Las Vegas will be the setting for the broadcast technology industry’s biggest annual gathering next week. George Bevir asked some attendees what they are expecting from the show
Head of facilities, Shooting Partners
I’m not going with any particular projects in mind, but NAB always gives me a tonne of ideas, which I apply retrospectively. For example, we’re in pre-production for a new series of Hunted for Channel 4 and all of the fugitives will use the Canon XC10, which I saw launched at NAB last year. It’s the perfect small-form camera for the fugitives on the run to have in their coat or in a bag. I hope Canon develops the XC10 – Canon and Sony have been very good at giving us a model and then upgrading, and I hope that continues at this year’s show.
There is great development going on in lenses. The recently unveiled Fuji zoom lens will be biting at the heels of Canon’s CN7, which has been a really popular lens for large imaging cameras because it still provides all the zoom functionality. I’m also interested in minicams – a small-form minicam with global shutter that we can place on planes and cars is a holy grail for us. If I find one of those it will make my nipples tingle.
Technical director, CTV
I expect IP and HDR to be the themes of the show. I am looking to see the next generation of 4K coverage, so we can plan our upgrades accordingly, and I’m particularly interested to see how manufacturers are solving the 12Gb transport and processing issues.
In terms of new products or updates to existing kit, I’m interested in cost-effective remote production tools and, I am hoping to find a universal IP solution. I want to see if manufacturers have solved the IP problem by making it universal and not tied to any single piece of broadcasting kit, available across all brands and products, and not just a gateway solution.
I hear that Sony isn’t launching anything new in terms of its CineAlta range, but there has been some talk of a surprise from Canon. The surprise I’d really like to see is something to rival the Sony F5. Ideally, it would be an upgrade to the C300 MKII with a proper viewfinder and higher frame rate. I don’t have a problem with the price point, but it is under-featured. A couple of years ago the C300 was the go-to camera, but the industry seems to have moved towards the F5 now.
Business development director, Gearhouse
I am looking forward to seeing manufacturers demonstrating the technology developments they have been promising and, as always, I’ll be wanting to fi nd out what the equipment won’t do. I’ll be visiting the major players, as our clients are seeking projects where wholesale infrastructure is to be installed. I hope to see working IP-based solutions together with 4K/UHD integration, and particularly where interoperability of IP products between different suppliers can be demonstrated.
Managing partner, Marquis Media Partners
It’s important to identify the business benefi t that technology like UHD, HDR and HFR brings, compared with the cost. For HFR and HDR, I’ll be speaking with Ericsson and manufacturers like Sony and Grass Valley to see what they are doing in this field. I also expect to see some of the consumer device manufacturers, such as Samsung and LG, to find out what their UHD and HDR roadmaps might mean for broadcasters.
Operations director, Evolutions
We have avoided Avid Interplay to date but we are thinking about using it for more advanced workflows and automating processes, so we will be talking to the Interplay product management team. The key thing for us is efficiencies, specifically the automation of process with tools from the likes of Glookast, which rely on Avid being managed through Interplay and other systems interfacing with it.
Every new camera has an associated workflow in post that is usually unique and cameras are something we don’t see on a day-to day-basis because we are not out shooting, so NAB will also be a chance to chat with camera manufacturers.
Managing director, Medialease
With more 4K trucks, live audio is getting more complicated, so there is a need for more processing power. With this in mind, I’ll be visiting Calrec/Digico, Fairlight and Riedel to find out what they are doing to develop their networks to handle 4K and IP workflows. We have 4K cameras, glass and screens, but that middle part of workflow – the glue – is an area where I think we’ll get more clarity. I’ll be spending some time with SAM and Grass Valley to talk about their approaches to 4K and IP workflows. 4K will soak up so much data and file size so everything needs to be geared up to cope.
Chief technology officer, Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services
I am keen to hear how other organisations are employing the new software- centric broadcast technology stack in their operations. What progress is being made on the ground, the challenges faced and overcome, the tangible benefits being realised and so on. All of our traditional vendors are on a journey towards software-based products, so I am looking forward to seeing how they demonstrate innovation. I think the past year has been about proving the technical viability of these iterations and I would like to see more focus on the new value they create.