prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

What happened in Vegas…

Posted by prof e on April 14, 2015

Many companies were demonstrating drone technology

Drone demo on the exhibit floor

Actually, it’s still happening. It’s the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters and it will be continuing through Thursday. According to their press release, “With more than 98,000 attendees from 150 countries and 1,700+ exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for digital media and entertainment.” Conveniently for academics, the Broadcast Education Association annual convention runs concurrently and overlaps the NAB for a few days.

I, along with several of my colleagues from CSU-Pueblo, made presentations, attended sessions and workshops, and toured the more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space. Of course I didn’t see it all. Even if I had been there for the entire 4-day run I would have had a hard time seeing all of the booths, exhibits, and displays.

But I can tell you one thing…in just a few hours today I saw more pixels than some people see in a lifetime. There were 4K displays everywhere, and quite a few 8K displays as well. Monitor walls stretched from floor to ceiling, and there were $50,000 digital cinema cameras everywhere you looked. Companies (including: Adobe, Arri, Canon, Dolby Laboratories, GoPro,  Red Digital Cinema, Sony, and Zacuto, just to name a few) were showing off the latest and greatest hardware and, perhaps more important, software used by radio and TV broadcasters and media content producers. One of the highlights this year is the aerial robotics and done pavilion. Other buzz words for 2015 include UHD (Ultra High Definition), ATSC 3.0, Virtual Reality, and SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand, e.g. Netflix and Hulu+).

So, what was my ah-ha moment? During a State of the Industry report one of the speakers made the point that the media production/distribution industry was moving from hardware to software. More and more of the tools that we use to acquire, edit, manage, and distribute content are primarily software tools. Once media content is digital, software allows us to do any number of things to it in the process of making it available to our intended audience. The future of media production will be less about engineering breakthroughs and more about software development. And in the future most of our media and software will live in the cloud. It’s an exciting time to be in this business.

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