NAB Show 2014: What to Watch For

If you have a profession in the broadcast industry, the NAB Show 2014 in Las Vegas is your heaven on earth. Who has time for gambling, Cirque du Soleil, and golfing when you have over hundreds of hands to shake, a thousand of exhibitions to see, and tons of new technology and gear to drool over?

The NAB Show is the largest broadcast media show in the world, hosting different types of exhibitors from across all media platforms. Last year, more than 90,000 attendees representing 155 different countries traveled to Las Vegas to check out new technologies, gear, software, workflow solutions, and more. At NAB 2014, there will be a total of 1,683 exhibitors showcasing their products and services and visiting all of them would undoubtedly a challenging feat. That’s why we’ve decided to save you some trouble by highlighting some of the most anticipated products and exhibitors to visit at this year’s show.

4k resolution was first introduced as a glitzy new technology at last year’s convention. This year, we expect to see exhibitors showcasing their mainstream 4k products and postproduction methodology. “We will be seeing more in the way of versatile and affordable 4K and HD workflows for film and television production, including acquisition technology such as cameras and lenses, as well as postproduction including 4K reference displays,” predicted Chuck Westfall, technical advisor for professional imaging products at Canon. Here are the top camera manufacturers to keep an eye out for at NAB.

Canon – Canon will be touting its Cinema EOS line. Keep an eye out for the EOS C500 4k cinema camera.
RED – One of the leading pioneers of 4k. Expect to see RED showcase their updated EPIC Dragon camera, which is capable of shooting in 6k resolution.
Blackmagic Design –Most known for offering professional-grade 4k cameras in ridiculously affordable prices, we expect the underdog to be a popular booth to stop by.
Ikegami – Ikegami will host an 8k(!) technology exhibit.

Camera equipment isn’t the only thing getting a 4k upgrade treatment this year. Broadcast professionals need 4k recording hardware to handle their 4k footage. With Apple’s Mac computers still serving as a major player in the post-production department, we expect to see a lot of equipment that integrates with Apple’s newest Thunderbolt 2 connection. “4k is here and here to stay. This NAB Show is bound to show a filling out of 4k infrastructure offerings for the needs across the workflow, after the initial enthusiasm stirred by 4k cameras and early 4k displays,” AJA product marketing manager Bryce Button said. Be sure to check out these video recording and post-production hardware manufacturers.

Nvidia – The company will be showcasing its latest Quadro GPUs that lets the users handle typical heavy post-production workload.
AJA Video Systems – AJA will be showing their newest I/O device, the AJA Io 4k. Also expect to see AJA’s wide range of I/O products, converters, and file-based recorders.
Cinedeck – Look for Cinedeck MX4K recorder, a 4k tapeless production recorder.

While the editing software department won’t have any jaw-breaking technologies to offer, they will preview the features that will come with the software upgrades. We expect to see major editing programs to support 4k soon enough. The biggest buzz in this department will be Avid Connect, the first ever “official” gathering of the Avid Customer Association, hosted by Avid. Be sure to check out Avid’s booth as well as a few others.

Avid – Avid has yet to announce any new products for the show, but we doubt 4k mastering will be in the lineup, since their only 4k-capable software was dropped. However, expect updates to its flagship product lineup, including Media Composer, Pro Tools, etc.
Adobe – Adobe will most likely be previewing its Creative Cloud toolset as well as its updates to Premiere Pro, After Effects, Prelude, and SpeedGrade.
Dalet Digital Media Systems – Makes sure to check this one out if your focus is news editing.

Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have become a force that now greatly influences how we view and interact with television content. There will no doubt be a flurry of status updates and tweets surrounding NAB Show 2014 – and of course, a number of exhibitors showcasing the latest in second screening applications and social TV solutions. Here are some of our favorites:

• With second screening and Social TV solutions gaining more traction, we expect to see a boost in booths that offer such services. Be sure to check out top dogs’ booths like Vizrt and Chyronhego and see what they have to offer.
• There will plenty of social TV and second screening startups at this yea’s convention to grab your attention. Be sure to check out Tomorrowish and Startups.be.

There you have it, folks. We’ll also be out there checking out the latest trends and buzz. See you in Vegas!

Click here for our creative services page.

4K TV, Broadcast Management, Broadcast Management Group, Las Vegas, NAB Show 2014, NAB technology, new technology