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NAB 2009 sessions focus on the economy, with an eye on a brighter future

This year’s NAB 2009 convention looks to be a bit of a balancing act. Among the dozens of technical session and panel discussions, some are focused on surviving in today’s shaky economy while others will spotlight new technologies for a brighter future — including 3-D, IPTV, mobile video and creating compelling HD content. It’s clear there’s something for everyone.

A number of key themes at NAB are divided into a series of forward-looking sessions that encompass 3-D, mobile, broadband, mobile television and gaming. Other sessions include how to make money in a tough economy, monetizing content, new advertising models and the art of storytelling.

Broadcast engineers will likely be interested in all-day sessions on Saturday, April 18, on the digital television transition. On Sunday, there will be multipart sessions on mobile television technology, ending with an NAB Broadcast Engineering reception beginning at 5 p.m.

On Monday through Thursday, there will be sessions on new television technologies, quality control and automation, loudness and lip sync for DTV, towers, antenna studies and transmissions, newsgathering, managing DTV content and data, disaster preparedness, video compression and coding, storage, archiving and asset management, DTV infrastructure, content protection and alternative broadcast platforms.

On Monday at 2 p.m., Gartner Media analysts will focus on the future of television, social media and technology. It will look at trends that favor the various stakeholders in today’s media and will analyze which technologies are driving and enabling the front-runners in the TV 2.0 environment. The session continues into Tuesday.

At 2:30 on Monday there is a session called “Station Choices — Restructuring in a Changing Financial Climate.” The panel will feature legal experts on options for troubled stations and whether the FCC’s ownership rules give any flexibility to broadcasters with financial problems.

On Tuesday at 7:45 a.m., will be a session on the NAB Tower Leasing program presented by TowerSource. It will provide an overview of the new leasing service available to NAB members.

At 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, is a session entitled, “It’s 10:30, Do You Know Where Your DTV Signal Is Being Carried?” With cable operators on the offensive seeking changes to laws governing must-carry and retransmission consent, this session examines how such changes might threaten a broadcaster’s bottom line. The session highlights issues that ensure a station’s signal is being carried lawfully and with the owner’s consent.

On Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., there will be a session on the “State of the DTV Transition in the United States.” It will feature experts from the NAB, National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the Consumer Electronics Association and the FCC.

On Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m., there’s a session on personalized content and how the DTV transition connects to the new world of DVRs, VOD and interactive television. While on the subject of content, engineers will want to visit the show called “Creation, Production and Distribution of Content Made Possible by New Technologies.”

That show is in the Content Theater, a 300-seat screening room in the Central Hall. Projection is provided on a 13ft x 24ft screen by the newest high-end digital cinema projectors with 5.1 surround audio. The sessions will include the latest offerings in the world of 3-D, VFX and animation, as well as broadband, mobile and new ventures in content.

Also, the NHK Pavilion will include a Super Hi-Vision theatre and a 3-D television system that reproduces the 3-D effect in HDTV, without having to wear glasses. And, returning this year will be the IPTV Pavilion as well as an array of international pavilions from France, Bavaria, Belgium, Brazil, India, the UK and Italy.