Here are some key take-aways from IBC 2017.

8K approaches normalization.
The security of 4K UHD content is currently high on the agenda of content owners everywhere and 8K is already coming into view on the horizon. After more than a decade of development and regular appearances in IBC’s Future Zone, NHK is approaching the finishing line with its 8K broadcasting system. Japan’s state broadcaster plans domestic transmissions in the format next year ahead of the showcase it will receive at the 2020 Olympics. What is remarkable is not that NHK has built out the production to delivery chain including systems cameras, switchers and compression but how normal the concept of 8K UHD has become. We may not see it in the home worldwide anytime soon, but this looks to be where the industry is headed.

Security top of the agenda.
High profile hacks and the continued threat to pay TV revenues by redistribution of live streams has ensured security remains a major point of discussion. Irdeto is taking a lead in this regard with advanced technologies such as watermarking, combined with proactive detection and enforcement services. At IBC, Irdeto announced that its Cloaked CA solution has completed a rigorous review against the stringent usage rules for 4K UHD premium content included in the Farncombe Security Audit.

Irdeto is also advancing secure pay TV experiences by integrating its TV Cloaked CA solution directly into Vestel’s 4K TVs to securely deliver premium content. It also partnered with MStar, SMiT, TP Vision and Rabbit Labs to support the revolutionary step for the CI Plus standard and allow for worldwide reach with USB CAM. Meanwhile Tata Sky chose Irdeto to secure its new OTT service with Irdeto.

AI works today.
If the hype around VR has tailed off while commercial models and production issues are worked through, the buzz around Machine Learning and AI appears justified.

There are probably too many companies at IBC badging products as Artificial Intelligence when in truth it is best billed as advanced analytics. Nonetheless, there are genuine applications for AI in media today. These range from pulling insights out of video content, to automatic metadata generation. One critical application is in the rapid and efficient detection and identification of illegally redistributed streams. Irdeto is leading the charge here.

TV OTT convergence.
A friction-free user experience is behind the success of several broadcaster and pay TV operator OTT offerings. Channel 4 and ITV in the UK are building subs to their OTT hubs so much so that half of the ‘live’ views to ITV hit reality show Love Island were through the ITV app. A key reason for this, they say, is that consumers like the TV-like feel of their app and are comfortable knowing there is one place to get the content they want. At the same time, online first players like Facebook want to expand live and original content arguing that they have the built-in communities which broadcasters crave.

It will be interesting to see how all this has developed in time for IBC 2018.