May 1, 2011

NAB 2011 Highlights

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), held yearly in Las Vegas, is anything but just about broadcasting. It is exhibits and conferences on everything to do with media … film, video, internet, you name it. I’ve attended almost every year since the mid-80’s, and have seen industry sea changes year after year.
As I peered out over the expanse of one of the several show floors, I recalled how time and again the industry players can quickly shift places. I remember at an NAB in the late 1980's seeing a tiny booth of an unknown startup company showing a Macintosh-based non-linear editing system. Within a few minutes of seeing what the system could do, I predicted that this was the future of video editing. Well, that company was Avid, and it did indeed portend the future of video post production. Avid has, for the past several years, had one of the largest exhibits at NAB, and this year was no exception. At the time in the late 1980’s when I first discovered Avid, Abekas was one of the big player at the show, with their leading edge disk-based digital compositing/effects systems. Well, some twenty years later they’re back to being an unknown, with a tiny booth and a single product offering. Funny how the industry-wide “gales of change” are constantly shifting the landscape.

NAB 2011 - Key Issues:

  • 3D production process (James Cameron Keynote).
  • Transmedia: ubiquity, interoperability of content across all platforms/devices.
  • "Content in the Cloud"
  • Auto Stereoscopic content and technology