The Las Vegas Convention Center hosted the NAB Show last week from April 11 through April 16, 2015. NAB stands for National Association of Broadcasters. This showcased new technology coming out to enhance viewer experience. The whole concept of broadcasting is changing. With more high definition cameras, drone cameras, and new media experience available, more broadcasters are using these within television shows and media.
ARRI stole the show. The ARRI Alexa camera is the top camera used by film makers today. The Alexa was used to film “Birdman”, Academy Award winner for Best Picture 2015. Other projects the Alexa was used to shoot are: “Skyfall,” “Gravity,” “Philomena,” “Life of Pi,” “Riddick,” “Drive,” “Game of Thrones,” “House,” and “Orange is the New Black.” There are many films and television series which use this high end camera. Guenter Noesner, Sr Technical Sales, says the Alexa starts at about $75,000.00. The Alexa mini starts at around $45,000.00. Michael Richey White was commissioned by ARRI to do technical spec drawings of the cameras. Michael told me how he has been drawing since he was a child. ARRI liked his work a lot and brought him on board for the show.
Canon was there with all of their exciting new and older equipment. Their gigantic booth was set up with three mini interactive studio sets. There was a jungle outdoors set with two models tossing a sleeping bag around and getting ready to camp. Another set was a full kitchen with two models demonstrating a set of kitchen cooking as well as dining room preparation. And the final set was a full white background with model sitting in the center at the ready for an interview. The new 4K-HDR (High Dynamic Range) and DI (Digital Intermediate) suite was not just on display but actually there for people to use and get the feel for what one of these cameras can do. The Canon C300 Mark II digital cinema camera was on presented as the newest top of the line camera with 10-bit 4:2:2 4K image data. This camera is available in September at $20,000.00. Attendees were given a first class peak at what the camera can do in the ninety seat theater.
The drones are taking over the industry. ARRI had specialized drone cameras on display for people to marvel at. The Alexa mini has been attached to a drone to give the viewer of films unique aerial vantage points. A leading aerial company, ATI, had a booth set up with cameras mounted to single rotor helicopters, the most advanced coaxial octocopter for heavy lifting named THOR, the mid-range cinema ship SKYJIB series, and lightweight BOT series. For GoPro HERO 4 users, ATI introduced the SOLO from 3D Robotics powered by twin computers to stream live HD video from GoPro direct to iOS and Android devices. There were many other companies displaying their drone ware such as Aeronavics and DJI.
The NAB Show is not just about the equipment but as well networking. SPROCKIT is a part of the NAB Show to bring together start ups to network. There was an estimated $20 Billion in purchasing Power in attendance. Industry visionaries, media executives, award winning filmmakers, and technical experts all merged here. Ingrid Vanderveldt of Vanderveldt Global Investments spoke of the need for more women in high leadership roles. She spoke of the marketplace slowly changing to give women salaries on a level with male counterparts. She used to be the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Dell raising hundreds of millions of dollars for Dell. She was a leading advocate for women and empowering women. With no investment in projects, there are no projects. If we invest in all of our people, then this means higher quality at a higher rate of return.
Other stunning media included LED paneling to interactive programming. CREATE LED had a giant LED paneling display to display truely seamless splicing of AirMAGs (panels) for indoor HD LED displays for both rental and fixed installations. CREATE LED has pixel pitch going from 1.9mm to 10.4mm. A leading competitor is AOTO with a pixel pitch of 0.75mm to 16mm. AOTO’s S6 outdoor displays can pack in pixels at 6mm. Vivian Chen of AOTO said the pixel difinition of AOTO is very clear and sharp with 8K 24bit, which is the way much of the innovation is going in Japan. Interactive programming was demonstrated by, Andrew Schydlowsy, founder and CEO of Sticky Interact. He allows for for viewers of video programming to chat and comment about programs being viewed in real time. He said this is effective in gaining feedback from viewers watching, so producers can see what they are doing right or need a little help with improvements. Go to NMX Live to see Sticky interactivity and feedback responses on the NMX (New Media Expo) event by clicking the “NMX Questions?” tab on the right side. Joseph Saint Remy product specialist of WASP3D talked about his innovations for embedding virtual backgrounds and virtual sets with the reporter or broadcaster. These allow a viewer to gain a little more information subconsciously about what the story is telling at time of broadcasting by picking up on non-verbal cues. Mike McMahon on the board with Xstream explained in the IP NAB portion of the show about what solutions can be made for overly bulky data storage. This is the gateway to the cloud and putting the old servers behind. When too much data is too much data Xstream has some ways to help. The Xstream Mediamaker allows a producer to ingest, manage, monetize, encrypt, encode, and deliver internet television to any device.
The NAB Show was successful in getting people together. It was successful in showing brilliant new technologies with 4K or 8K resolutions. The NAB Show invites people to leave behind a minute of worry or complaining, and choose to gain 60 seconds of happiness. We all have a choice of how we think and act and what way we wish to project such images. What will your projection of content be?