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  • Writer's pictureDean Anthony Gratton

ARMed for broadcast technology success

It came as no surprise when I heard the news that Cambridge born and based ARM had been presented with the IBC 2015 International Honour for Excellence. You know ARM, right? Well ARM is the British semiconductor company that designs processors or CPUs for a myriad of portable devices for mobile phones and tablets. Microsoft Windows 10, for example, has run on tablet devices powered by ARM, which are a world away from the typical x86_64 architecture dominated by Intel.

Anyway, in the presence of the world’s most influential broadcast and entertainment companies, industry experts gathered in Amsterdam to celebrate excellence in broadcast media technology — and the transformation of media consumption today.

ARM joins the mighty ranks of previous winners, including film directors James Cameron and Sir Peter Jackson, CNN’s Ted Turner and Apple’s Steve Wozniak – I’m getting dizzy just reeling them all off but it seems that ARM is taking the accolade very much in its stride — choosing to focus upon future aims rather than bask in the spotlight of its current wave of glory.

Down to earth

“We see an exciting future for the broadcast and entertainment industry as evolving technology brings new revenue streams, diversity in consumption and seamless viewing experiences across all devices,” said Simon Segars, CEO of ARM. “Getting there will require effort, as successful technology must be highly sensitive to cost, capacity and energy constraints in order for companies to remain as sustainable as they are innovative. ARM already designs technology that enables the industry to create content, refine it in post-production and get it on to everyone’s screens — and we will fully support the sector in this next phase.”

All very down to earth for a company that is brushing shoulders with movie industry royalty. Segars does however add “We are hugely excited to be formally welcomed into the IBC family with the 2015 International Honour for Excellence award” Finally, is there a faint whiff of “Woohoo, let’s go party” in the air?

It makes me wonder

And party they should – shouldn’t they? After all, there’s never been a more exciting time to be part of the industry. It’s a roller coaster ride of innovations and technological advances in how broadcast is delivered and shared. What’s more, it’s a veritable smorgasbord of opportunity for young filmmakers, for whom budget need no longer stand in the way of creativity. Consumer power is evident across all aspects of the broadcast value chain and we are redefining the way we manage and distribute our content, in what many have come to see as an increasingly fragmented media world.

But, as ARM step down from the IBC stage with their award for excellence in hand, I can’t help but wonder what’s next for broadcast technology. It strikes me that what’s seen as excellence today will, in this insanely fast moving sector of the industry, no doubt swiftly be considered ‘old hat’ tomorrow. Perhaps that’s why ARM aren’t ready to celebrate; perhaps it’s why they’ll never be ready to celebrate. Like so many in the industry they’re simply too afraid to rest on their laurels, choosing to remain focused on where technology is heading rather than where it is right now. After all, just like broadcasting content itself, true excellence is a constantly moving stream full of innovation and ideas that fragment our world and leave us continually challenged — if not always entertained.

Until next time…

“Drama, drama, drama” – the mantra of this ever evolving broadcast sector, but then that’s what makes writing this column such an enjoyable challenge. With this in mind, I’m currently working on some stories that I hope will both entertain and enlighten you in the months to come but, for now, this is where a starry-eyed Dr. G signs off.

Originally published in Skype in Media.

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a technology influencer, analyst & futurist 

I dispel the rumours, gossip and hype surrounding new technology

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