5Qs About NAB 2016: William T. Hayes

LAS VEGASTV Technology asked a cross-section of NAB Show-goers a series of five questions regarding what they considered the main themes, evidence of those, whether or not these initiatives will take hold, and what promising technologies from past NAB Shows did not see daylight. (A complete list of quotes from respondents and links to their full 5Qs is at “NAB 2016 in 21 Quotes.”)

William T. Hayes, director of engineering and technology for Iowa Public Television:
Q1. How many NAB Shows have you attended?
W.H. Frighteningly, this was my 37th in a row.

Q2. What, in your opinion, were the main themes of the show this year?

W.H. ATSC 3.0 was clearly a theme. UHD (beyond resolution) was also a theme, with much discussion of HDR, wider color gamut and higher frame rates. Drones as a camera platform was another theme. IP as a replacement for SDI was another theme. Virtual and augmented reality was another theme.

Q3. What were some examples of these themes?

W.H. ATSC 3.o was on display at both the Futures Park and the Consumer Experience areas along with live broadcasts of UHD content, AWARN tests and consumer products. UHD was evident in cameras and switchers, which I was actually evaluating for IPTV. You couldn’t miss drones, as they were in every hall, every size, shape and configuration. The IP theme was coupled tightly with a lot of the UHD technology as an infrastructure for the next generation of production equipment. This last one is still a little on the cutting edge for general adoption, but clearly it is developing. There were a number of VR cameras on display and a few compelling session on VR.

Q4. Do you foresee any or all of these technologies or initiatives taking hold?
W.H. Drones and UHD were a given. They have been in development for some time and are moving into the mainstream. IP is also no surprise, it has some attractive features and will in all likelihood be a valuable tool in UHD production tool kit. I was hopeful about ATSC 3.0 but the alignment of the FCC petition for rule making, the introduction of the LG tuner-demodulator chip and Wheeler’s pledge fast track movement on the petition all made for a much bigger splash for ATSC 3.0.

Q5. What technology that impressed you most at a past show didn’t see the light of day?

W.H. Obviously there was no 3D anywhere to be found but in truth, the technology didn’t really impress me from the beginning. I can’t really think of anything else that was compelling to me from past shows that vanished. I did hear several people refer to VR as the new 3D, so this will be an interesting question to ask next year after the wow factor dissipates, and we see how hard it is to work in the virtual space.