From BE@NAB: Where's the wow

There’s always one question asked in any conversation an editor has with an NAB exhibitor, “So, what have you seen that’s new?”

This year, my answer was “Not much.”

That’s not to say companies haven’t introduced new, even innovative, products at this year’s show. It’s just that in some years, there are one or two things where everybody says, “You have to go see this.” Last year and this year, I did not hear that phrase.

Companies can’t be expected to produce yearly “WOW” products. While they may tell you their new gizmo is first, best, most innovative, but WOW, it probably isn’t.

WOW products may be inexpensive or very expensive, typically the former. They may come from a big vendor or a little, new company. But, like a virus, news of a truly WOW product spreads rapidly. By day two, attendees and exhibitors alike will know about it.

This year’s show, like last year, had a low number of new products introduced. I’ve decided that the number of new products introduced at any show is highly dependent on the phase of the moon times the integral of the sun’s radiation. In other words, who knows?

For the last two years, many of the products announced were “real” versions of something announced at IBC. Or, they were versions two, B or upgrades. And, that’s not necessarily bad.

Most engineers I know would much rather have serial number 100 of a product than serial number 1. The idea of letting a vendor work out a new product’s bugs at someone else’s station sounds pretty good.

So, don’t fret if there’s no WOW this year, there’s always next year and we could see WOW squared.

For more posts from NAB, visit the BE@NAB blog.