BSkyB head of broadcast strategy John Lennon stressed that before tapeless became a reality, some 250 Sky suppliers currently delivering 19,000 hours annually on tape will have to be persuaded to adopt the same standard.
Lennon also warned that broadcasters may have to equip themselves for several tapeless file formats - a situation which Discovery vice-president for business services Sam Cabraal believes will lead to the emergence of a third party aggregator which would check the standards and formats of files delivered to broadcasters.
Whether going tapeless will save time and money was another moot point among broadcasters who attended the show. ITV's director of technology Ian Whitfield estimated that£250,000 of annual savings are expected when desktop browsing replaces VHS early next year. C4 head of channel operations Steve White revealed that the broadcaster's long-form file transfer trials showed that actually couriers were cheaper than leasing a network to transfer tapeless data and the tapes arrived sooner.
BBC head of technology for production Paul Cheesbrough could not attend the conference, but his keynote speech was delivered by BBC senior production technologist Jon Attard.
Attard said that a move away from tape was essential, so that broadcasters can distribute content to many different platforms.
He cited the UK's 16 million households capable of broadband access and last week's announcement of Apple's new video iPod with Desperate Housewives on iTunes as evidence that broadcasters' role was expanding from linear transmission to include on-demand across multiple media.