The Innovation Award for Content Creation went to Eurosport and Discovery
To immerse audiences in the action from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, they created the Eurosport Cube, surrounding the presenter with LED screens, an idea that proved hugely popular with audiences.
“To receive recognition from IBC compliments the rave reviews the Eurosport Cube received from athletes, the broader Olympic family and viewers across Europe,” said Simon Farnsworth, EVP Technology and Operations, EMEA and APAC, Discovery. “By working alongside such excellent partners, including Whitelight and Deltatre, we were able to deliver the Cube experience to the highest standard.”
The Innovation Award for Content Distribution went to Medialaan
Medialaan won the IBC2018 Innovation Award for Content Distribution for the genuinely radical idea of making commercial breaks shorter. For its Stievie service, the Belgian network allows subscribers to genuinely catch up, by showing only commercials which are relevant to the individual.
“Medialaan is absolutely delighted to win an IBC Innovation Award, surely the most prestigious prize in broadcast engineering,” said Pieter Coucke, Solution Architect at Medialaan. “I would like to thank Yospace for developing a truly ground-breaking, viewer-first solution for live monetisation, and IBC for recognising what is a very forward-thinking project.”
The Innovation Award for Content Everywhere was won by RTÉ
RTÉ, the Irish national broadcaster, was the winner of the Innovation Award for Content Everywhere. It wanted to offer the sophistication of modern OTT platform, on a free-to-air budget. Saorview Connect has proved extremely popular with viewers.
“We are absolutely delighted to have won the IBC Innovation Award for Content Everywhere,” said Richard Waghorn, Director of Transformation and Technology at RTÉ. “We are very proud of what we achieved on the Saorview Connect project with our partners Freesat and EKT. It is a truly innovative service and for it to be recognised by IBC is a credit to the entire team.”
The IBC2018 International Honour for Excellence, IBC’s highest award, this year goes to Joan Ganz Cooney.
Mrs. Cooney co-founded Children’s Television Workshop, now Sesame Workshop, in 1968. The show Sesame Street first appeared on TV in the United States in November 1969. Mrs. Cooney remains a board member and the Chairman of the Executive Committee today.
Mrs. Cooney had a revelation when she recognised that children all over America were singing the words from beer commercials: she realised that television was reaching children, and wondered if it was possible to use that powerful media platform to teach. The result was Sesame Street, a unique blend of puppets, children, a culturally-diverse cast, and a remarkable range of guests, bound together by music that underpinned the educational elements.Today, Sesame Street is seen in 150 countries worldwide, and localised versions have been made in more than 20 countries.
“We are grateful to IBC for recognising the ways that, for almost 50 years, we have used the combined power of media and the Muppets of Sesame Street not simply to advance the world of educational media, but to touch countless children’s lives,” Mrs. Cooney said. “We are proud and humbled to receive the International Honour for Excellence, and on behalf of everyone at Sesame Workshop, past and present, I thank you.”
IBC Awards Judges honour Econet for TV everywhere in sub-Saharan Africa
Audiences everywhere now expect to be able to access content on any device, at any location, at any time. Realising this ambition, Econet Media, which serves southern Africa, received the Judges' Prize at the IBC2018 Awards Ceremony.
Kwesé Play is a streaming service which is widely available and offers a rich mix of local and international content, including an exclusive partnership with Netflix. The challenge for Econet Media was to develop a service which provided access across all types of OTT devices, but particularly to mobile devices in a geography in which fixed broadband is very limited. It needed to present this in a form that was accessible, secure to protect the owners of the intellectual property, affordable in the context of sub-Saharan Africa, and practical to use.
“Kwesé Play is a game-changer, bringing sport and entertainment to viewers in a part of the world which has been hard to serve,” said Michael Lumley, Chair of the IBC Judging Panel. “In our discussions, we recognised that the way the technology partners had collaborated on this project was innovative and successful, but we also felt that the outcome transcended the technology, delivering social change by connecting local people to global content.”
Two imaginative creative projects from the BBC collectively were honoured with an IBC Special Award. Civilisations AR is an augmented reality app linked to the landmark arts series, which allowed local and national museums to share more information about the objects in their care. BBC News chose to tell the geopolitical story of a project to dam the Nile in Ethiopia through a journey along the river shot in 360˚ video and immersive audio.
AI in production: video analysis and machine learning for expanded live events coverage - BBC R&D
In a year when artificial intelligence and machine learning became a very hot topic in the media industry, the IBC Best Conference Paper Award goes to a team from BBC R&D which has investigated practical applications. The award is made to the technical paper which, according to the team of peer reviewers, delivers not just the most significant new research, but does so in an accessible way.
In the award-winning paper, ‘AI in production: video analysis and machine learning for expanded live events coverage’, a team of BBC researchers covering a wide range of skills, under project lead Mike Evans, discuss a project known as ‘Ed’. This prototype system is used to create near-live content with minimal crew. An example might be a set of three unmanned 4K cameras, from which ‘Ed’ would produce a number of properly framed HD pictures, cutting between them as appropriate.
The judges gave the award to Wyplay (5.A27), which uses interesting sounds and colours to draw visitors in. Its technologies are set into an inviting context.
Highly commended large stands were Viaccess-Orca (1.A51), a two-storey design encouraging networking in a space-saving stand; and Google (14.E02), which the judges described as a small village with a subtle design acknowledging IBC’s host city.
Smaller free design stands are those up to 100 square metres. Here the winner is Paywizard (14.G27). Its colourful messaging allied to creative shapes, and the judges felt that it brings people together.
Highly commended in this category, were MRMC (12.F11) which makes excellent use of space to show off their mastery of robotics; and Conviva (5.B37) for its creative use of icons and floor messaging.
For the most innovative use of shell scheme space, the judges chose INA (6.A20) for the clever monitor mounting on the back walls and excellent use of light. They were also impressed with the clear messaging about the international importance of archiving in the broadcast industry – strong story-telling.
Highly commended in this category were Telmaco (7.A52) – a wow design with a unified message, and Speechmatics (8.E17) for its clear messaging and great attention to detail.