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CEDIA and IBC -- Shows to See

Convergence just around the corner? By Miles Weston

Sometime -- you know, in all your spare time -- you've got to take in any one of the trade shows around the globe. Two recent ones were CEDIA in Indianapolis and IBC in Amsterdam. CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) is always in Indianapolis -- who knows why -- and IBC (International Broadcasters Conference) is always in Amsterdam -- that's easy to understand. Of course you couldn't forget the Fall IDF (Intel Developers Forum) event where all of the chip people and system manufacturers tell us how good it is going to be for us.

Why are these shows so cool?

Want to see what production solutions will trickle down from the broadcast and super-pro users to regular people in a year? IBC is the show. This stuff is so advanced it hurts your eyes and devastates your checkbook (or in our case, credit card). Want to see what the rich and famous will be installing in their "homes"? Then CEDIA is your show.

Then the IDF people spend a lot of super techie time discussing how they are going to have us connected 24/7 at home, in the office, in the air, in the coffee shop. You get the picture.

IBC Production, Postproduction
The two are interrelated because it's all about content.

One thing you have to say is that the Dutch know how to throw a party. IBC highlighted digital cinema with eye and ear boggling projection technology, digital intermediate, new camera technology and audio developments. Way out of the reach of mere mortals there were a lot of hints from Sony, JVC, Matsushita, Thompson and others that we'll be getting portions of the technology this next year in the professional and prosumer products.

300 categories, 3,000 companies and some of the most fun, most exciting hardware, systems and software were on display. So what can "we" expect this coming year? 3D video production hardware will be really hot this next year for both prosumers and consumers. The new postproduction software is going to enable HD production for almost everyone and be very affordable. That means we're going to be able to see really bad personal and family videos very clearly. 

While the rest of the world is already into streaming video (especially the Pacific Basin), it is just coming to Europe. That means the way the U.S. drags its feet we'll probably see it here in a couple of years. Internet TV is well established in Japan and Korea and there are pockets of it in Europe. Just might be the thing that drives the PC into the living room.

Bring It On Home
CEDIA was all-HDTV this year. Well, that and immersive sound, 3D video and ideas about how you can always ensure you get the best seat in the house by owning the house.

While there are hundreds of new audio and video solutions for the common man/woman there are also those drop-dead setups for people who want to double the size of their home and never leave their home theater. Sure there was a lot more on home automation and home networking this year but the stars are always the huge ultra high-def screens  (see graphic below).


There is certainly a place for the do-it-yourself home theater/home network/home automation offering but we believe it is still something you'll want someone to install for you. Despite how easy Cisco, Intel and their cohorts make it sound -- wireless UPnP and content anywhere, anytime is a great idea that is still evolving.

With the growth of bandwidth to the home with cable, satellite and soon the Internet there seems to be an increasing demand for people to set their own viewing schedules. The networks and Hollywood are working hard to determine ways to track what you watch, when you watch it and that you don't copy that content and spread it around.  

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Related Keywords:DVD Insider, trade shows, CEDIA, IBC, Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, International Broadcasters Conference, Amsterdam, Fall IDF, Intel Developers Forum

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