A number of pivotal topics were highlighted at the 2023 IBC show, including cloud, artificial intelligence, 5G, VR/AR/XR, metaverse, gaming, and edge computing.
It was great to be at IBC this year and see footfall return to pre-Covid numbers. I must confess I was rather surprised by the number of acquisitions and mergers that were announced over the last two months, and one never knows if that means more funding or a fight for survival. I am also sure you probably have read enough about all the buzzwords that have been doing the rounds at IBC, whether it be on digital transformation, AI, Generative AI, cloud or hybrid technologies, among other things.
What fascinated me though was technology that promised to potentially enhance the capability of your existing equipment. For instance, when someone from Blackmagic Design whipped out his iPhone and showed me how BMD’s new app could transform his device into a professional video camera, I was excited by what that would mean for filmmakers on a budget. Or when I heard that vendors were ditching their public cloud-only campaigns in favour of hybrid approaches, that meant they were respectful of market needs and revisiting their strategies to accommodate client preferences.
It was also interesting to meet with some MENA professionals at the show. Invariably, when you get to speak to all of them within a span of three to four days, you begin to see patterns in the kind of integration projects that are emerging in the region. For instance, it took one ambitious IP project in Doha with Alaraby TV to get others going. While most end users were cautiously migrating parts of their facility to IP, Alaraby’s success has now spurred others to take the same path. But I have been sworn to secrecy on that. We shall hear more in the coming months, and they shall also be unveiled in BroadcastPro.
In the meantime, I would like to draw your attention to some of our stories this month. StarzPlay, for instance, started off as a streamer but is now being engaged by telcos, not just in the MENA region but outside as well, to provide them with OTT services. Then there’s Asharq News, which engaged a French company to develop a technology that would help with its indexing requirements and will eventually be useful to other global players as well. The MENA region is not a small player anymore and if we are importing expertise and services, we are also exporting some now. This is a region worth keeping on your radar.