When Broadcast Video Expo (25-27 February) left its traditional home at Earl’s Court for pastures new at East London’s ExCel for the first time last year everybody had an opinion about the impact of the move.

The consensus was that the three day event had benefitted from being held in a roomier venue.

That meant more space for the show’s 300 exhibitors and 15,000 plus delegates.

Furthermore executives visiting the three day exhibition reported that they were more inclined to spend the entire day there given the effort they had made to get to the far flung reaches of London E16 – a decision which has no doubt gone down well with exhibitors.

In addition to seeing manufacturers’ latest advances in TV production technology, BVE visitors can once again this year take advantage of a comprehensive seminar programme covering some of the key creative and technical issues which face the industry. 

The seminar programme has been another beneficiary of the move with expert panels grouped into subject areas and held at purpose built seminar theatres distributed across the show floor.

The seminar programme will be divided up into separate theatres dedicated to subjects such as cinematography, production, post production, broadcast IT, connected TV and – of course – 4K.

Creative inspiration is the theme at the Cinematography and Lighting Theatre with sessions on the art of the director of photography hosted by David Katznelson (Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones), who will be focusing on high-end drama production, as well as talking about his low budget British horror In Fear.

Documentary cinematographer Leonard Helmrich and Adam Suschitzky (Silent Witness, Vera, Outcasts) will also be hosting sessions and showing clips.

The Broadcast IT Theatre will be looking at the benefits of file-based workflows as the industry hurtles towards its agreed date of October 2014 when broadcasters will want all programmes delivered in a standardised digital format approved by the Digital Production Partnership.

The other major issue on the horizon is Ultra HD, with the BBC’s Andy Quested, Turner Broadcasting’s Rod Fairweather, as well as representatives from Sky Deutschland and the EBU debating the implications.

As Andy Quested points out: “We have been using cameras which are beyond HD for years but the key thing is how far can you take that 4K signal?”

For the BBC, 4K development is likely to be conducted through the BBC’s commercial arm or through special one off events, with 4K broadcasting having to wait until audiences are capable of receiving 4K broadcasts.

The real opportunity for the BBC may be through OTT providers such as Netflix which is very keen to get its app into connected TVs in 4K.

But Quested stresses that the benefits of 4K are about much more than improved resolution. “We are interested in not just more pixels but better pixels, by which I mean there’s potential for extended dynamic range, higher frame rates and better colourimetry. It’s clear that the current standard HD frame rates of 24 or 25 fps will no longer be good enough. We’ll need 120 fps for subjects such as sport,” insists Quested.

4K Theatre
In recognition of the growing importance of 4K, one of the highlights of this year’s seminar programme is a theatre, sponsored by Televisual, dedicated to 4K screening and debates.

Themes to be discussed will include: the 4K roadmap – drivers and obstacles to uptake, delivering end-to-end 4K workflows, utilising the latest 4K camera technology and understanding UHD as a cinematographer.

Staying connected

The Connected Theatre will feature a debrief on the recent CES exhibition in Las Vegas, asking which consumer technologies are heading our way.

The session is hosted by media strategy consultant Nigel Walley from Decipher, who admits to being underwhelmed by this year’s CES, where the focus seemed to be manufacturers promoting technology some way from being ready for market.

Other popular sessions at the Connected Theatre will come from the BFI and BBC, with the BFI showcasing its latest digital developments and the BBC giving a preview of the next wave of innovation at the corporation.

Producer’s Theatre
This Televisual-sponsored venue will feature a debate on crowd-funding featuring Nesta’s Liam Collins, director Ed Kellie and Lizzie Gillet, producer of Age of Stupid – a crowd-funded environmental feature which raised £1m.

According to Gillet there are definite pros and cons to crowd funding: pros are, of course, money and contributors who sometimes provide unexpected practical help. Cons would be her annual admin job of dividing revenues among the film’s financiers.

Other well attended Producer’s Theatre sessions are likely to be Hat Trick’s Jimmy Mulville and Mel Leach from Two Four discussing the ups and downs of running an indie. Plus there will be daily commissioners sessions covering entertainment, factual and drama production.

Post Production Theatre
Another Televisual-sponsored venue, this year’s Post Production Theatre features some seriously useful sounding sessions, including a discussion of the potential of the cloud with Dock10’s Emma Riley and The Farm’s David Klafkowski.

As Klafkowski points out, the cloud is a natural progression to post production services.

“There will always be occasions when we need to operate in split locations, and cloud computing functionality and faster internet speeds make this more and more viable.”

One drawback is often consumer over expectation or supplier over promising, says Klafkowski. “Editing services running on the cloud often demo well but in reality the user experience leaves a little to be desired.”

Other Post Production Theatre highlights will be edit consultant Larry Jordan discussing FCPX as a professional tool, and 4K post. “The main issues with 4K are storage and bandwidth,” says Jordan.

“The speed of virtually every computer today is fast enough to edit 4K video, so now storage is the gating factor. Far too often, we find ourselves obsessing over the CPU while we blithely connected a single USB3 hard drive and expect everything to work.”

Jordan lists some useful dos and don’ts for 4K edits. “Do work with proxy media as much as you can for the rough edit. Do expect to add a high-speed RAID to your system, do add additional RAM to your computer (16GB is a good number), and do keep a minimum of 20% free space on all storage devices.

“Don’t attempt to edit 4K files with a single hard drive, regardless of how it is attached, and don’t change your workflow – organise and edit your files the same as you always have.”

Go to www.bveexpo.com for more information

Televisual at BVE

Televisual Media will be represented throughout the event with an exhibition stand next to the 4K Theatre.

There will also be a chance to meet key editorial staff who will be chairing a range of conference sessions at the venue.

Televisual will also be a headline media sponsor at the event, specifically sponsoring the 4K Theatre, Producer’s Theatre and Post Production Theatre.

On its BVE stand (RO2), Televisual will be showing its growing library of 4K content on a 4K screen, including aerial shots of London, images of extreme weather from lightning to tornados, as well as the northern lights, which are all available to buy.

Televisual is also interested in representing new 4K material.

David Wood

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