Local industry gurus share their thoughts on this year's NAB.
Hasan Sayed Hasan, head of twofour54 intaj
NAB was very useful. For the first time in the last few years, I could see really new products and technologies, which could have an exciting impact on this region. I was impressed with some new display technologies, especially OLED (Organic LED) monitors. 3D, of course, was the buzz word. All suppliers wanted to show that they were “3D ready” or future proof. Whether their products were related to 3D or not, almost all stands had the 3D sign on them.
There were prototypes of several new 3D camera systems as well and I look forward to seeing the actual products later this year. It was interesting to note that nobody at NAB was talking about HD anymore. HD has now become a given or “normal television” in the international arena. The challenge for us in the Middle East is to ensure that all those creating content are adapting to this shift in order to compete at a global level. Attendance was also good taking into consideration the economic situation especially in the United States. It was a bit better than last year, but I don’t think we saw anything like the 2008 numbers. However, exhibitors were able to spend more time with the “serious visitors” rather than the more speculative window shoppers. I hope to go back to NAB next year. It would be interesting to see how the market will filter out many of the new products introduced this year.
Nick Barratt, senior broadcast manager, MBC
The technology is quite interesting. Everyone is still pushing the 3D side of things. From our side, we went there to focus on the asset management side of things. Couple of things that impressed us was the Sony Media Backbone family that is meant to link the various devices and solutions used throughout a production workflow, from the ingest to the archiving stages, providing centralised network-based management of AV files and metadata.
They dedicated a huge part of their stand to the Media Backbone as opposed to the cameras and the more traditional standalone products. Equally exciting was their ELLCAMI high-speed ingest and transcode engine. I was not very impressed with the 3D technology. I don’t see it as being the driver that people are making it out to be. I don’t see myself at home wearing these glasses and watching 3D entertainment regularly. As for the good, I had the opportunity to see one of my friends who was looking at more cost effective equipment than we generally look at here. Looking at the stuff Black Magic is kicking out right now and some of the studio kit that was available. He was able to sweep together an actual HD studio for about US $120,000 dollars and that was phenomenal. NAB was good but I think IBC is better for us unless you are looking for something specific. The travel and the time difference is just too much to justifying going to NAB.
Mark Barkey, sales manager, Axon
NAB was very good this year. For the first time, we exhibited in the North Hall as opposed to previous years, when we used to exhibit in the South Hall. That was a bit of a novelty. From Day 1, it was very busy at the stand with many customers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Day 4 was a bit slow as most exhibitors seemed to be visiting each other or perhaps, left owing to news about the volcanic eruption in Iceland and disruptions in flights. Axon’s own theme was “Glue and Beyond”, where we had several new product launches for 3G, 3D and optical lines, as well as the entry level glue range “SynLite”. In addition to this, we also announced cooperation with the American company PESA, thus strengthening our presence in North-America. Perhaps the main focus at this show was 3D. The good part of the show was having many visitors and new opportunities. We believed it was time and money well spent and also got excellent hotel rates and good accommodation. The bad part was that most of us had trouble with the GSM networks for some reason or the other. The sad bit was that many people got stuck in the US or missed their flights because of the volcano. I guess NAB 2010 will be known as the one about 3D in the year of the Volcano.