The NAB Show is a unique marketplace that attracts a wide
variety of broadcast-specific needs and products to Las Vegas every year. TV
Technology surveyed a number of broadcasters and producers to take a peek at
what’s on their shopping lists:
CBS: FILE-BASED AND 4K
The NAB Show may
come once a year but the FCC’s penchant for formulating new rules never ends. Finding
new equipment to comply with these new rules is one of this year’s goals for
Bob Seidel, vice president of engineering and advanced technology for CBS.
“We’ll be looking
at technologies that allow us to comply with the upcoming FCC requirement for
text to audio conversion for the SAP channel,” Seidel said. “We’ll also be
looking at technology that allows us to comply with some of the new captioning
rules on quality.”
CBS will also be examining
new file-based editing, storage and delivery technologies. Seidel believes that
file-based workflow has matured to the point that the process is “an important
part of how a station does business.”
As for 4K, Seidel
said the network will be looking at state of the art 4K production, “just to
“I’m not sure we’re
ready to broadcast 4K but we’re looking at all of the post production and
production sides,” he said, adding that many of the network’s primetime shows
are shot in 4K. “We’re trying to understand their workflows and how we would
Harvey Arnold of Sinclair
Larry Oaks, vice president
of engineering and technology at Meredith Corp., plans to “look at new newsgathering
and newsroom technologies and glue tools.” Like many station groups, Meredith
has a couple of stations that are in the final stages of HD conversion and part
of his shopping plan is to finish “the clean-up work.” Also on Oaks’ shopping list
are “tools for monitoring and review to assure compliance with the CALM Act.”
Broadcast Group, Director of Engineering Harvey Arnold says the station group
is looking for “better, cheaper and faster.”
His group has made
some recent acquisitions in smaller markets and some of those need significant
upgrading. “Viewers want HD” Arnold said, and he is looking to bring it to them
with help from new technologies in several areas. “Camera costs continue to go
down, and graphics are definitely getting better, faster and cheaper,” he said.
Arnold is also comparing the latest ATSC encoder technology and HD news editing
systems. In larger markets, Sinclair Broadcast Group is looking at camera
robotics and Ross Video’s Overdrive for production automation.
The group also has
an eye on streaming technology. Arnold plans to replace older encoders with new
technology for multichannel streaming and expects to investigate many encoders
at the show.
EXPAND AND REPLACE
Steve Smith, consultant
Bret Falcetto, director
of operations at KRBK-TV, the Fox and MeTV affiliate in Springfield Mo., is in
the process of ramping up his station’s local newscasts from two-minute
newsbreaks into full-length news programs. The technical project requires a new
production switcher, graphics system, prompting, and closed captioning gear. KRBK
is also shopping for a statistical multiplexing (statmux) solution for
real-time management of video stream bandwidths before transmission.
Steve Smith, president
of Broadcast Technology Consultants in Greenville S.C., plans to shop the floor
with several of his clients. His list starts with a new election system to
replace a legacy leader system.
Smith is also
shopping for a local emergency message crawl-to-speech converter for SAP/DVS
audio channels for all TV station virtual channels in time to meet the FCC’s May
2015 deadline. He is also looking for new solutions to meet just announced FCC closed
captioning rules, including sync of closed captioning to the main audio and
improvement of ENT closed captioning with real-time speech to closed captioning
via software vs. captioning services.
Smith’s clients are
also investigating next-generation solutions for master control and news
operations including multiple channels per server, IP-based, virtualized and
streaming outputs to feed CDN’s. He is also shopping for content acquisition
solutions using Wi-Fi or cellular with improved performance and ease of use.
John Dennison, consultant
owner Angie Warnock will be conducting “primarily a fact-finding mission” about
the future and timetable of 4K and 8K and how that technology fits her company
and its clients. Warnock’s Harrisonville, Mo.-based company provides video
production and staging for Fortune 500 companies. She also be looking at
large-screen LED display technologies.
cofounder of Niles Media Group in Kansas City, admits that he always looks at “the
usual sports truck items like lenses and backpack transmission gear,” at the
show, but this year one of his goals is to learn more about how to embed data, and
develop databases to enhance sports production.
Dennison is looking for is integrating files for use on air. “People bring us
all kinds of formats and expect us to be able to use it,” he said.
What do you suppose
were the Las Vegas odds when Sony introduced the U-Matic ¾-inch VCR that the
industry would still be seeing new video formats and new products to deal with
them at an NAB Show 14 years into a new millennium? Some things don’t seem to