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Our Musings from IBC 2019

Blog post   •   Oct 03, 2019 15:55 BST

Adder at IBC 2019

IBC2019 seems like only yesterday, or so our feet may be telling us! But it’s been nearly two weeks since the show closed and during that time we’ve digested and reflected on the many fascinating conversations we had with partners and customers at the show. We thought we’d put some of our findings into a blog to share with you. Enjoy!

Still as good as it’s always been…?

Out of all the major trade shows and exhibitions around the world that we attend, IBC remains a broadcast show with broadcast technology for broadcast people, and that makes it a much more accurate litmus test of where the broadcast industry is right now.

So, what did we discover? Read on…

Speaking with our colleagues and counterparts also exhibiting through the RAI’s 14 halls, it appeared that visitor numbers might have been down on last year and that would be supported by the shorter queues at the food vendors during lunchtimes. This certainly has its benefits when you’re hungry, but why do we remain positive about the show overall? Well, those who spent their time, money and energy to visit the show did so with a greater sense of purpose than they did 12 months ago. There was growth in the number of C-level executives on the show floor and 10% more visitors in the under-35 age bracket. Even in the face of a Brexit backdrop, investment is still being planned and is due to be spent, as broadcasters continue to innovate and adopt IP technologies such as SMPTE 2110 and NDI within their facilities. As they do so, the number of computers managing the broadcast video chain increases and so does the need for KVM matrix systems.

10G networking is comfortable

As the adoption of SMPTE2110 and other video-over-IP standards accelerates, broadcasters are becoming increasingly comfortable with high-bandwidth networking. The rise of the speciality IT broadcast engineer role has been boosted by a generation of broadcast engineers who understand and deal with networking every day. IP is their norm.

IBC indicated to us that there is a rapidly growing confidence that IP is the obvious way to build matrix systems. From OB trucks and radio studios, to edit suites and TV centres, no matter how many transmitters or receivers you need, IP is the most flexible, scalable and resilient way to connect devices.

4K is now

Customers at the show were clearly looking to invest in a high performance matrix solution and wanted to know how they can invest in future-proofed technology. The percentage of 4K technology inside a television or radio studio is increasing every quarter. Check out our recent blog about 4K TV sales and the growing demand for content.


Our time at IBC validated our decision to ensure the ADDERLink™ INFINITY 4000 (ALIF4000) was fully backwards compatible with HD capable transmitters; giving our customers the opportunity to transition to 4K at the right time for them. Remember, many of the 4K solutions available from our competitors are not backwards compatible or use different codecs – forcing their customers to choose either an all-HD or an all-4K system or risk a split system where not everything is compatible. Some would say that isn’t a matrix system.

4K is on fire!

Where 4K is essential, is within the post-production and VFX market. We were grateful to have an Autodesk Flame system on our booth (supplied by technology partner, XTFX) – and it certainly drew the crowds. By combining it with Eizo displays and the Wacom Intuos Pro, we demonstrated one of the most advanced VFX tools on the planet running on an IP KVM matrix.

The response from end users and value-added resellers was incredible. This group of customers are the most demanding when it comes to video performance. They invest serious money for an uncompressed technology that requires up to four fibre cables per endpoint, and the combination of lossless dual-head 4K60, super-low latency and our advanced USB support makes our recently launched ALIF4000 the perfect solution. When all of that can be achieved over a single fibre cable, with off-the-shelf network switches…well, let’s just say we gave a lot of product demos.

Security is a key factor in decision making

Reducing users’ direct access to computer and networking hardware protects critical data from being stolen and prevents services from being interrupted by human intervention. KVM extenders and matrix systems have long been considered tools for increasing security, but in the last few years it is the security of the systems themselves that have come under scrutiny by decision makers.

Over the last 10 years we have continually bolstered the ADDERLink INFINITY’s security protocols, responding to the needs of customers in the Nuclear Energy and Aviation industry. The demand for security from broadcasters is just as high and we repeatedly receive questions about security protocols, control mechanisms and active directory integration. The ADDERLink INFINITY has been designed to meet these demands, so when it is combined with the customers own IT security approach and the protocols offered by network vendors like Cisco, we have an extremely powerful solution that proprietary systems may not match.

Laptop docking gets people excited. Who knew!

With the release of our v4.8 firmware, we enabled customers to use the ALIF100T as a local input to the ALIF1002, ALIF2020 and ALIF2002 receivers. Using the spare SPF port, users are now able to connect to a local PC which is only available to them via their receiver, and not to other users on the matrix. With businesses continually searching for innovative ways to save space and improve user’s efficiency, this added functionality has sparked a lot of interest. At IBC it was just as popular, particularly for broadcasters who want their teams to utilize laptops in broadcast galleries for example.

Stuff we heard that made us happy…

“My colleague recommended I talk to you”

“I saw your product installed at TF1”

“We’ve used your products for over 10 years”

“I love your branding around the building – you’re everywhere”

That’s a wrap…

Broadcast has been a key market for Adder for many years and we have large-scale installations with national and international broadcasters all over the world. We specialize in high quality, high performance connectivity solutions which our customers use for thousands of different applications. They come back to Adder time and time again because we listen to what they need and deliver what they want.

Want to find out more? Get in touch. We’d love to hear from you