A Masterclass in MPEG at IBC

The MPEG Industry Forum's ‘Masterclass' sessions are always hugely well-attended. The past two years have seen standing room only crowds at the IBC conference centre, and the 2009 session looks like being just as popular.

Dieter Engel, SVP Product Development Media Services at Deutsche Telekom AG, discusses his participation in the MPEGIF Master Class and the overall importance of attending IBC 2009. Engel says he first attended IBC in 2004. Over the last five years he has found the event an invaluable networking tool for speaking with the people in the industry that are on the cusp of future developments in his industry.

"Five years ago, IBC was mainly a place where broadcasters convened, but it is now an important meeting place for telcos, as well as for everyone involved in broadcasting," says Engel. "As everything in the industry comes closer together, you can now meet telcos as well as software producers and equipment vendors and manufacturers from, for example, Microsoft and Cisco.

"And there are more and more specialists and pioneers in their fields who attend. We want to use increasingly lower bandwidth for HD programmes, for example. At IBC, I can seek out the people and manufacturers using the latest in compression technologies to find solutions that address this. All the main industry leaders in that space are at IBC. The networking opportunities are truly unparalleled."

Engle will be speaking in the closing conference session and ‘Masterclass', ‘The Future of Digital Television' (Monday, 14 September, from 13:30), which forms part of the MPEG Industry Forum's Master Class. Chaired by Sebastian Moeritz, President and CEO of MPEGIF, the afternoon session brings together a broad spectrum of experts in digital television, including Virgin Media's Kevin Baughan, Open TV's Matthew Huntington and Echostar's Jeff McSchooler. The session will include a look to the next generation of digital broadcasting as the world heads towards analogue switch-off.

Part of Engel's presentation will focus on IPTV and how he has witnessed the coming together of internet and television. Having been in the online business of Deutsche Telekom for the last 17 years, Engel is currently in charge of IPTV Applications and PC-based Video On-Demand applications. When Deutsche Telekom started their IPTV service in 2006, its biggest challenge was to define the right user experience - to have a TV experience over IP networks.