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ACTIVATING VOICES “Broadcast audio is going through fundamental change”


hile experiencing my first IBC Show last month, it dawned on me just how much goes on behind the scenes of television that the viewer has no idea about. After running around all 15 of the RAI’s halls, I began to realise how much technology is used in the making of programmes I love to watch. It’s staggering really, and I suspect the average content consumer would be shocked at the level of IT and infrastructure there is within the television idndustry. It felt at times like a baptism of fire as I dashed from meeting to meeting, but I returned to London feeling as though I had learned a great deal, and I surprised myself on occasion – I definitely wouldn’t have been able to discuss packet loss before the show! There seemed to be three distinct themes at this year’s show: IP, the cloud and security. IP and the cloud are not new areas of discussion for the industry, and I suspect we’ll still be talking about them at IBC2018. But security and piracy are becoming more important, especially as viewers move away from linear TV to OTT and streaming. This year, we’ve had examples of major series such as Orange is the New Black and Game of Thrones being leaked ahead of their launch dates. The other big issue in terms of piracy is sport. The English Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga have both

announced measures to combat the issue of illegal streaming. Streaming piracy is regarded a ‘faceless crime’ – those that do it think it doesn’t matter because as far as they’re concerned no one gets hurt. What they’re not considering is the people working so hard behind the scenes so they can watch their favourite team. Bring them to IBC2018 and they would soon learn the difference! Back in the mists of time, or the mid-1990s, radio went through a fundamental change. Out went quarter-inch tape and in came digital. It was a game changer for everyone working in the industry. I was in my first job at Capital FM. Six weeks after I started, Capital moved from the old Euston Tower to its new home in Leicester Square, and with it everything I knew about radio production went out the window. Of course for radio, the introduction of digital has been life-changing and now broadcast audio is going through its own fundamental change. I keep hearing phrases like VoIP and AoIP, while voice activation seems to be about to dramatically alter the way we search for programming. So, I hope you enjoy this month’s issue focusing on the future of broadcast audio. n


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TVBE October 2017  

TVBE October 2017