IBC: More about brands, less about content

I guess that I am a bit like the proverbial frog not realizing that the water has warmed up.

Being in the TV business for 30 years, I have been immersed in it and did not realize truly how much it changed.

With the changing landscape of more channel, more ways to watch TV, the per channel budget has go down and that did put a squeeze on the technical personnel. A lot of expertise has been lost. Network, streaming, file-based workflows, codec and new production tools has increased the complexity of system.

As a consequence, most TV facilities no longer have the expertise to design their system. They often rely on system integrator but even them have experienced the consequences of lower budget. They must increasingly rely on manufacturers to provide solutions.

In that context there is less and less space for specialized independent vendors that provide a technically superior solution. Often it does not matter. What does is a known brand that can provide a working solution even if it’s not the best solution for the project.

Like it is the case in politics, increasingly in the TV market the image is more important than the technology. This is very much apparent at IBC this year both in the conferences and the exhibition.

In that context, I think that it is wise for Intel to associate itself with a celebrity like will.i.am. Brands. It serve them well as that session did draw the largest audience so far. Not only that, what will.i.am was talking about did have only a remote link with TV (he talked a lot about processor everywhere, mainly in cars and homes) and yet the audience seemed to think that it was genius… celebrity appeal?

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