B’casters discuss digital advances

Six-day event mixes tech, business, creative

AMSTERDAM — The 29th Intl. Broadcasting Convention shuttered Tuesday after some 43,00 delegates, up 5% from last year, attended more than 100 sessions, most a mix of technical and business with creative thrown in.

The six-day event continued its mission, now in its fifth year, of morphing from a technical broadcast convention to one that embraces creation, management and delivery of entertainment content.

Bill Kinder, director of editorial and posts production at Pixar Animation Studios, welcomed the new standard for digital cinema, but added much more work needs to be done to enhance the theatergoing experience.

“There are huge opportunities with d-cinema,” Kinder said, but he also reminded delegates that it wasn’t all about technology. “People soon will be able to have a very high-quality movie experience in their homes, and if they believe it is a better one than they can get in the theaters, then the answer is going to be more complex than just d-cinema.”

He told Daily Variety later that multiplexes may no longer be the answer.

“Why should audiences pay all that money to sit in a shoebox with 10 or 20 rows when they can sit at home in comfort and watch widescreen and have a pretty good time? We need to re-examine the theater experience and maybe bring back the big screen. Cinema is not just about a screen. It is a social experience as well.”

The biggest flurry of excitement was in the mobile lounge, where execs from companies including Nokia, Qualcomm and the Korean T-DMB Consortium rubbed competitive shoulders and sung the praises of new-generation smart phones, which offer TV-quality video reception. The mobile lounge also featured the latest content provided by companies like Nokia to feed the smart phones.

At 1,000 companies on the exhibition floor, IBC reached capacity several years ago.

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