A Philosophical Tour of the NAB Convention Halls

SVG Member Thomas McGowan, VP, Business Development, EVT Corp., offers his take on where to go at the show.

I’ve attended 33 consecutive NAB Conventions. From each one, I got a sense of the numbers, enthusiasm, and intensity of the attendees, and it’s my belief that, in each category, this year’s NAB Show overwhelmingly exceeds last year’s. Let’s view the NAB from a purely broadcast perspective.

The North Hall:
Who doesn’t believe that a digital-file workflow (DFW), which includes advanced automation techniques, is important in handling sports content today? Middleware moves content from one location to another in the DFW. These disciplines are enabling tremendous efficiencies over conventional techniques and higher-quality images, while providing greater access to more content, and the North Hall is the place to see them. The level of expertise in the vendors’ booths there is the best that it has ever been at NAB and a testament to the partnership that has developed between the broadcaster and the manufacturer over these last few years. The feedback that I’m getting about the North Hall is very positive.

The Central Hall:
Audio is the key here. A sports program without audio is just a series of pictures, and that doesn’t meet the objective. If audio is complicated for you, visit the Central Hall. If you’re looking to “make my programs audibly come alive,” check out the Central Hall. Here, too, the level of expertise in the vendor’s booths is higher than ever. Some of the most knowledgeable audio people on the planet are holding forth there.

The South Hall:
Is there anyone who hasn’t heard of or seen 3D? The South Hall provides a look into the future: how your eyes see. Are there issues surrounding 3D that require resolution? Absolutely, and the Sports Tech LA Summit at USC in January pointed them out. Is 3D compelling, and has it made a significant impact? Yes to both questions. Are we fortunate to be at the forefront of S3D technology? Absolutely. Should you get up close and personal with the people who jointly develop the technology with customer feedback? Only you can answer that question, but, if your answer is yes, get there early, because the booths are packed.

Storage vendors, encoding technologies, end-to-end solution providers, editing, color-correction devices, servers, cameras, and just about every widget and gadget you can think of is in the South Hall. And highly skilled personnel are there, too, willing to assist you in meeting your objectives.

This is a great opportunity to advance your knowledge, educate vendors about what’s important to you, and come away from the show knowing that you made it better because you were here.

Where else would you rather be this week than at the NAB? Who else would you rather work with than your friends and partners? What other industry would you rather work in? I expect the same answer to each of those questions: nowhere, no one, no other.

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