More, more, more at IBC2023

Growth for us is good for all

Reporting on IBC each year is becoming a bit of a challenge, because really, how many more ways can we say that things were bigger, better and more exciting than ever before? That every year we achieve greater success, meet more people, and make bigger waves? (both metaphorically and literally, since our boat cruises are now an integral feature of our Amsterdam adventures!)

Pleasingly, our success this year was part of a broader trend for the industry; the IBC committee reports that this year’s show attracted slightly more than 43,000 attendees from 170 countries – up 16% on last year, with a 25% increase in terms of exhibitors. And as we’ve said before, success for each competitor is success for the industry, and success for the industry is success for each competitor (it’s kind of a Three Musketeers thing, y’know?).

But it’s hard to believe that anybody was visiting anybody else’s booths at the show, because a lot of the time it felt like every single IBC attendee was at ours! With our founders giving back-to-back interviews, our sales team and engineers offering a constant stream of product demos, and our wonderful booth team churning out coffee after cocktail after champagne flute, it was difficult to find time to catch a breath. (And more than a few deep breaths were needed to help us complete our annual Saturday morning one-mile Bridge Tech team run!).

Doing More with Less

But all of this frenetic energy is in keeping with a theme that permeated our time at the show, and which Simen Frostad focused on in his interview with InBroadcast: the idea of doing more with less. From a show perspective, that meant filling every minute with both fun and function, every inch of the booth with evidence of our remarkable innovations this year, and it meant calling on the Bridge team to spend every waking moment delivering the Bridge monitoring message.

But what was more interesting than the messages our team did deliver is the ones they didn’t have to. In previous years, the VB440 was so groundbreaking in nature that a whole demo had to be used to communicate its basic premise: a complete production toolkit designed for engineers and creatives alike, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world on a next-to-no-latency basis. People didn’t believe it, so they had to be shown. Whilst still groundbreaking and unmatched in the market, at IBC2023 we didn’t have to explain this idea so much anymore or convince anybody of its truths: these days, the VB440 has made such an impact on the industry that everybody now knows what it is.

Focusing on the (award winning) details

This meant we could use booth time to let customers explore some of the added functionalities we’ve been working on this year; including an extensive new audio panel (which scooped a TVTech Best Of Show  award this year!), 64-channel audio signal generation, dynamic explanatory hovercards and full event logging.

Similarly, when it came to the VB330, a greater industry-wide understanding of IP broadcast and the importance of monitoring within that meant we could focus on details rather than the fundamental message. Indeed, no greater evidence was needed to prove that the industry understands the significance of the VB330 than the fact that it was awarded Best Monitoring or Network Solution by CSI for its SCTE 104/35 ad insertion & recording feature.

Taking More from Less even further

But when Simen was talking about ‘doing more with less’ in one of his interviews at IBC, what he was referring to wasn’t our busy booth or our terrific team: he was talking specifically about the technology, and the remarkable amount of functionality packed into each of our probes.

So when we say more, we mean things like the fact that the full range of Dolby® standards is now incorporated within the VB440 (something that was in evidence if you attended our after-hours drinks session at the booth, where the music was brought to you using an amazing Dolby ATMOS setup).

More from less also refers to the fact that a whole host of our probes’ functionalities (VB330 software) are now available on-demand through AWS – meaning if you don’t want hardware, you don’t have to have it (though there are many reasons you still might!).

And it refers to the idea of being able to perform full multi-channel audio monitoring using just a browser and stereo downmix, and full HDR monitoring using only an SDR screen. Or to monitor JPEG XS video, thus allowing lossless video transport with a fraction of the bandwidth demand.

And it also refers to our approaches to sustainability, which see us constantly seeking to deliver more to the industry, with increasingly less impact on the environment.

So all of this rather invites the question: how much more could we possibly deliver, and how much less can we do it with? Watch this space, because we suspect IBC2024 will hold the answer!