Outgoing FCC chairman Julius Genachowski held what is likely to be his final face off with a large number of broadcasters today at the 2013 NAB Show.
More lightly attended than previous years, the session was led by Paul Karpowicz, president of the Meredith Local Media Group and NAB Television Board Chair. The contentious relationship the chairman has had at times with broadcasters was nowhere to be found during the session, although his Q&A session was lightly attended compared to previous years, and his reception from those in attendance was a bit cool, but polite.
One important message broadcasters should take to heart from the chairman is that there will be no turning back on the incentive auction and repack despite his departure, partially because it fulfills the policy agenda of President Barack Obama and partially because the FCC staff will proceed without delay in advancing the process, he said.
Genachowski, who has repeatedly told those attending his presentations at NAB during his chairmanship that he has a broadcast background, also revealed today that he started in radio in his youth as a DJ with the on-air handle of “Midnight Rambler.”
While the conference was lightly attended on Wednesday, the rest of the convention maintained its steady, high-energy flow that began on Monday.
- Flanders Scientific had its new flagship CM320TD Cinema Series reference monitor on display. It’s a 32in, 1080p-native 10-bit panel. For broadcast applications, 8-bit panels are available.
- Solid State Logic is showing off its sleek C100 HDS digital broadcast console and its smaller sister, the C10 HD. Simplicity is a benchmark with the pair, as both allow for customizable scripting automation. They also feature assignable delay. Also, the company is showing off MultiMonitor — a new 16-channel loudness metering software, provided by NUGEN Audio, which has been tabbed for release in the fourth quarter of 2013.
- Frezzi had its newest model, the SkyLight, on display. This tungsten-balanced LED light provides HMI output levels, 75W draw with 650W equivalent output. It weighs 4 pounds, it’s weather-proof, and instead of being an array of lights, it uses a reflector. Frezzi says many of the design decisions came about from customer feedback.
- Alcorn McBride has updated to 4K with its A/V Binloop HD. The video player is designed to feed video walls and static displays, which might otherwise be fed from more valuable playout ports. It supports up to eight channels of 1080p HD or two channels of quad HD (3840 x 2160).
- High Resolution Systems (HRS) showed its Universal Device Control software, which can control pretty much any AV device, including AJA Ki Pro recorders. The system provides a way to create custom interfaces for touchscreens, wall panels and other devices to control other devices. Runs over IP networks and is available in rackmount form.
- Vislink’s multi-mode van/OB transmit system, NewStream, has been housed this week in the company’s eye-grabbing, decked out, striped, satellite-mounted mobile vehicle, provides broadcasters with a space-saving transmission solution. Measuring 2RU x 19in, the system provides control for ENG, CNG and SNG, just one of many trend-setting benefits. Overall, the system is a part of the company’s LiveGear family of solutions.
- The Vitec Village was a busy place. Vinten showed its Vision Blue3. Vinten-Radamec was showing Camera Corps Q-Ball integration. Litepanels showed off the Inca 12 and Sola 12. Petrol Bags has shipped its Sound Devices-specific audio bag.
- Schneider Optics had Ira Tiffen on hand to talk about his filters, including the True-Streak series, which help mimic the anamorphic look.
- VITEC showed off the FS-T2001 field recorder. Tight integration with Sony XDCAM . The FS-P250 does proxy recording with Panasonic cameras, and can actually stream with a Wi-Fi adapter. The MGW Sprint encoder and decoder provide 1 frame of latency encoding at 1080p60 via “TurboVideo2” technology.
- Livestream featured its portable production switchers and teased a control surface, which should be available at the end of the year. The production switcher software is available independent of the hardware for producers with custom systems based on Blackmagic Decklink cards.
- ATTO Technology had 12Gb/s systems and 16Gb/s Fibre Channel systems available for those already working in 4K. Thunderbolt speeds are scheduled to increase later this year with the updated standard.
- International Datacasting has seen a lot of interest in its Laser ad insertion system. It enables broadcasters to serve regional ads by inserting them into the MPEG transport stream. Its Digital Tattoo system helps deliver IPTV. It’s getting a lot of interest from Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa, where cable TV infrastructure simply doesn’t exist.
- Aframe, in the Cloud Pavilion, showed of its cloud-based video asset management system. It simplifies the task of doing digital dailies, approvals, commenting and distribution, and is accessible from any device because it’s based on HTML5. Works with Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere and FCP 7.
- At Small Tree, company president Corky Seeber introduced the TitaniumZ-16, a shared storage system integrated and optimized for video editing. Available in 16- to 144-drive configurations and scalable to 158 ProRes 422 streams, TitaniumZ-16 enables up to 20 10GbE or 24 GbE port connectivity. Seeber also debuted the TitaniumZ-8 and TitaniumZ-5.
- Julien Signès, Envivio president and CEO, introduced Envivio Halo Experience Server, a multi-screen application server that allows operators to further personalize the user experience based on individual viewer requests. It facilitates advanced applications including time-shifted TV and network DVR, targeted advertisement insertion, social and personalized TV — without requiring significant changes in the existing multi-screen infrastructure.
- MultiDyne, which is celebrating its 35thanniversary, unveiled the SilverBACK-4K, a camera-mounted fiber transport solution that supports 4K digital television. The system enables users to seamlessly transmit any camera signal — including Ultra HD video, HD-SDI video, audio, intercom, control data, GPIOs, tally and power — over a single hybrid copper and fiber cable.
- Erik Otto, Mediaproxy CEO, introduced a range of LogServer platforms and software: LogServer IP, a native MPEG streaming server solution; LogServer ASI v8 for compliance logging, which now includes integrated fingerprinting; and LogPlayer Mobile, which provides live streaming and playback from any connected LogServer system across all available channels.
- David Barton, Epoch CEO/CTO, unveiled its Workflow Virtualization Technology for media production and distribution workflows. It’s a SaaS designed to improve speed, bandwidth utilization and ease of deployment for today's complicated multi-site, multiformat workflows by unifying, harnessing and optimizing customers’ existing IT infrastructure, as well as those of suppliers and partners and optional cloud services. Epoch monitors existing infrastructure and re-engineers workflows in real time for maximum performance and total capacity.
- Apantac president Thomas Tang and his company hit the ground running in 2008 and as their successes grow, they may be running faster now than ever. This year, among the numerous new multiviewers, converters, scalers, extenders and matrices Apantac is showing at NAB, the Tahoma IP catches one’s eye as the ASI/IP multiviewer supports ASI/MPEG2 TS, H.264 and MPEG4. It also features an ability to support up to 1080p at 60Hz. Also, the EVS XT3 extender is impressive as it provides a way to combine VGA, PS2, and 2 x RS-422 signals into a single Cat-5e or Cat-6.
- Leightronix has smaller projects and broadcasters in mind with its LuxeVision ipMerge. The platform starts at 50 endpoints and ranges up to 400 in one system. The all-in-one solution includes a multichannel VOD server, an application server with middleware, and a multichannel multicast server in a 1 RU platform. All of it opens wide the door of IPTV possibilities for small to medium settings.
- DPA Microphones may have finally dealt a deathblow to bad karaoke with its d:facto mic. The mic can seamlessly fit into wireless systems such as Sony, Lectrosonics, Shure, Wyscom and Sennheiser, and it flawlessly reproduces natural sound reaching up to 160dB. Also, in a “give them what they want” example, the company’s d:fine headset is an eye-catcher in its green skin — a tone to match the DPA brand — that has proven to peak consumers’ interests, according to DPA’s James Capparelle.
- According to Studio Technologies, the company has devised a way to help “ease the tension” between producers and talent with its Studio Technologies Model 240 Producer’s Console. Intercom communication is clearer, which, unfortunately for the talent, lessens the ability to claim a producer’s message was lost in translation.
As NAB 2013 winds down, it means it is time for Broadcast Engineering Pick Hits Awards! We'll announce our winners shortly. Keep checking to find out who will take home one of the industry's most sought-after honors.