2012 Olympics in 3D: major enhancement or a waste of money?

One of the few decisions yet to be made about the London Olympics is whether or not to broadcast them in 3D.  Supporters (who not surprisingly include equipment manufacturers) say it will greatly enhance the experience of the Games (although it is open to question just how many people will be ready to receive 3D broadcasts in their homes by next summer).  But for our old friend Manolo Romero and his colleagues at the Olympic Broadcasting Service there’s a huge cost implication…lots of new kit and extra production staff…which may or may not be considered worthwhile.

Read more on this from Owen Gibson in the Guardian…

Broadcasting: “a unique service unavailable anywhere else in the media ecosystem”

By now, it should be clear to all that what some people still call “new media” are NOT sounding the death-knell for TV. A wealth of information and research seems to be indicating that TV as we know it is actually benefiting from the proliferation of new ways of consuming content…which stands to reason, really, since people want to watch something other than reruns of “I Love Lucy” and broadcasters are the people who know how to create compelling content, however it is delivered.

Anyway, all this is prompted by the comments filed earlier this month by the NAB as part of the US  Federal Communications Commission’s annual survey on the state of video competition. The FCC’s  Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming – is required every year by Congress, and this year the NAB took the opportunity to bang the drum for traditional broadcasting, which it called “a unique service” which no other part of the media sector can deliver.

Read more about it here…

Five emerging IT trends…how will they affect the media sector?

There are a ton of blogs, posts, stories and releases these days which offer opinions about evolutionary trends in anything and  everything. We read lots of them, and while some are amusingly weird, others are truly thought provoking.

This one struck me today: a list of “Five New Technologies That Will Change Enterprise Computing” published on the smartertechnology.com website.

Now, while it’s normally stories about media and media technology that occupy our reading time,  we’ve recently been thinking a lot about how broadcasting and other forms of electronic content delivery are actually forms of “Enterprise Computing”…and what that means for the media technology sector.

So the “5 new technologies” article is actually pretty relevant to all of us concerned with media and e-content.

It made us think.

See if it does the same for you (Some other good stuff on the site as well)

Please feel free to come back here and tell us what you think…

How is TV coping with the changing ad landscape?

Convergence is transforming the way broadcasters make money out of TV. Traditional TV ads are holding their own (for now) but none the less innovation is key.

This interesting article on the excellent TVGenius blog discusses some of the ways the innovation is happening…

Newscorp profits slide overall but TV business is buoyant

Newscorp made a billion dollar profit in its Q3…but while that was an overall 15% slide over the same period last year, their star performer was television, with profits shooting up from $40m to $192m in the period.

Rupert Murdoch says the quadrupled contribution is down to a strong national advertising market, increased retransmission consent revenues, and popular programmes.

So who says TV is dying?

Read more from Rapid TVNews…

NAB: are vendors’ heads in the cloud(s)?

What happened at NAB? Is the industry moving forward again?

Although it’s early days…the show is still winding down, after all…it is perhaps not too soon to start trying to analyse what it all meant.  Despite the fact that there seem to be some epic hangovers being nursed by many delegates, the MAC team in Las Vegas are still clearheaded enough to give their initial impressions.

It certainly seems to have been extremely busy show, with the mood being positive and upbeat although with a note of caution born of experience. We saw big crowds on the big stands…but SME suppliers seemed to be finding it harder to attract a lot of footfall.

In terms of hot topics, our impression is that 3-D has not been as dominant as expected in view of the hype at previous shows; content monetisation, interoperability, the Cloud and the  ”W Word”…workflow… were all getting a lot of attention.

And talking of Heads in Clouds, while vendors have been pretty upbeat about prospects, are they getting excited about things which interest only some of their core customers…the broadcasters?

Here’s a characteristically insightful Vegas viewpoint from Broadcast Engineering’s Mike Grotticelli

The gloves are off in Las Vegas…Apple is throwing its weight about

There’s a fine row brewing in Las Vegas.

The “Supermeet” scheduled to take place in Bally’s on the Tuesday of NAB (although nothing to do with NAB itself), is organized by the FCPUG, which stands for the Final Cut Pro User Group…which nevertheless bills itself as “The World’s Largest Gathering of Final Cut Pro, Adobe and Avid Digital Storytellers.”

This is usually a broad-church kind of get together of editors and creative people, and indeed this year’s Supermeet was scheduled to be sponsored not just by Apple but by Avid, AJA, Canon, BlackMagic, Autodesk and various others, most of whom were going to make presentations at the event.

But not any more.

The organizers have reportedly informed everyone but Apple that their sponsorship and platform appearances are no longer required, since Apple are planning to use the event to announce the next version of Final Cut Pro and apparently “don’t want to share the platform with anyone.”

As you can imagine, this has set numerous cats among several flocks of pigeons.  Avid were going to present the Indie film-maker Kevin Smith (otherwise known as “Silent Bob”) at Supermeet, and are scrambling to find an alternative venue.

NAB themselves, who were never overjoyed in the first place at having such an opportunistic rival event in Las Vegas during the show, are trying to find other opportunities for the spurned sponsors.

Meanwhile everyone is agog to see what Apple  are going to say about the much-anticipated  new version of FCP.

Here’s the FCPUG Supermeet homepage…which seems to be changing hourly.  Here’s Avid’s take. And here’s the latest from Industry Blog ProVideo Coalition.

All very exciting!

By the way if you’d like to meet MAC at NAB, to talk about how our team of seasoned industry experts might be able to help you, mail us here. Whether you’re a broadcaster, a vendor or an investor, we’d love to get together. And have a good show!

Moore vs. Murphy…the NAB “conflict of the laws”

As we enter the annual NAB hysteria, delegates arriving in Vegas with projects in mind should remember that while Moore’s Law will doubtless give them some tempting new technologies to look at and admire, their purchasing decisions should be made with  another Law in mind…Murphy’s.

Here’s a very interesting article from Broadcast Engineering…

6 observations about Change and TV – insight from Ved Sen

Ved has some very interesting things to say about predicting change in an era of uncertainty.

Non-British (or non-soccer-savvy) readers may not follow all his allusions fully…but we’re sure they’ll get the point!

Read the full article here

Get me to the market on time! Is YouView missing the boat?

According to a UK analyst, the YouView initiative is taking so long to reach fruition that the whole project is under threat of becoming obsolete before it’s even launched.  This is despite the recent “You’re Hired!” moment involving Sir Alan Sugar.

Read all about it here