I've had a pretty enlightening week. Nothing religious or political. After all, you shouldn't discuss those subjects with friends. But enlightening in the sense that I've been involved in lots of discussions about the future. And in particular the technology of the future.
Starting with the near future I interviewed a DoP who is using the Red One camera on a new BBC drama. Anthony Dod Mantle is a brave man to use a virtually untested (in television terms) piece of kit on a high profile gig for the Beeb. But he assures me that he has no doubts that it is the right thing to do. He said:
"For me, shooting a film at this speed I knew I had to be a bit braver. I just soak up technology as it comes and I look at it with a critical eye and also with an open heart. I know roughly the tendencies. You don't have to be a genius to know roughly which way things are going as far as celluloid and digital media is concerned.”
He is looking to the future with a camera that is leading the way, certainly in resolution terms, as definition, resolution and luminance become key factors. It is a toy, of sorts, but a very useful one as it provides the kind of image quality that means you can do untold magic in post production.
Dod Mantle wasn't the only person I spoke to who made forward looking statements this week. I also chaired a roundtable discussion about the technology of the future. It featured top technologists from around the industry. It was very interesting.
I'm going to write it up and it will be published in Broadcast. But, suffice to say, our chat covered everything from the impact of video games on other media and the need for mobile WiMax through to 3D stereo and the home media hub. And everyone agreed that access to media will become ubiquitous.
We decided that broadcast TV is not dead. That content will be personalised like you've never seen before. And that we will all become schedulers (although we may not get the same salaries).
Techno, techno, techno
This kind of thing may well also be discussed at a session at the Technology Summit in which the
former EBU director of the technical department Phil Laven will take a look at the latest technological innovations and assess the impact they will have on your life. I bet he'll have a couple of really interesting suggestions.
Win a free pass
Speaking of which, I thought it might be interesting to get some of your opinions. I don't want much. Just a few lines revealing which technologies, themes, toys or products will be catching the eye in the future.
You can have your say in two ways. Either log in and add your comments below (as some people have done already). Or, if you want to considered for the prize but you want to remain anonymous, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll keep a note of your address but add the comment to the site.
The best answer, as picked by me, will get a free delegate pass to the Technology Summit. It's worth£700 so it is not to be sniffed at.
It could be new versions of the toys of today - such as the Red One, the iPhone or Sky+ - or new themes such as stereo 3D, personalised content or Smelly-vision (ok, maybe that isn't such a great idea).
Personally I'm predicting that - as viewers - very soon we'll be able to edit programmes in the way we want. This might mean the ability to zoom into parts of a television screen to focus on the bit we're most interested in. Or the chance to decide what happens next to a character in a drama (like you do in Grand Theft Auto) in real-time while the narrative continues. It surely cannot be long before that kind of technology is fused with broadcast or internet television giving us a truly interactive experience.
Let me know your ideas below. And good luck.