NAB 2016 in 21 Quotes From 21 Folks

LAS VEGAS—The parties are over. The booths are packed up. Another NAB Show has come and gone. TV Technology asked a cross-section of 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. (Possible spoiler alert: ATSC 3.0, IP-based infrastructures and drones. Lots of drones.)

A compendium of their quotes is presented here, with each contributor’s name linked to their full five-question Q&A, in the order they were submitted. We thank them all for playing ball. 

“Central Hall West was literally abuzz!!!” ~ Wendy Aylsworth, past president of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, who has attended around 25 NAB Shows.

“Like everyone else, I have a very hard time seeing into the future.” ~ Mark Schubin,engineer and explainer, (as well as engineer-in-charge at the Metropolitan Opera) who has attended the most NAB Shows among these respondents with a total of 44.

No doubt—ATSC 3.0, HDR/4K and VR/AR.” ~ Dave Siegler, senior vice president of operations for Cox Media Group, a veteran of 18 NAB Shows.

Most of the manufacturers have finally agreed that AIMS (2022-6) for video over IP is the direction the industry should move.” ~ Alan Popkin, director of engineering & technical operations at KLCS-TV/DT—35 NAB Shows.

“Anyone who went down to the five-digit booths in the Central Hall had to be knocked out by the insane assortment of video production equipment.” ~ Bob Kovacs, writer, editor, reporter and video producer—30 NAB Shows.

“Very clearly, this year’s theme was ATSC 3.0.”~ Dr. Richard Chernock, chief science officer for Triveni Digital—16 or 17 NAB Shows.

“Why do 4K HDR when 1080p HDR would look better than just 4K with almost no additional bandwidth overhead, then upconvert in the TV for 4K display?” ~ Michael Silbergleid, strategic & technical marketing communications guru—27 NAB Shows.

“While I feel ATSC 3.0 is lacking from the sense of how we can actually execute it in say the top 30 markets, I liked the consumer experience areas.” ~ Kyle Walker, vice president of technology at Weigel Broadcasting—20 NAB Shows.

Interoperability as a business requirement, IP transport, HDR, VR and drones.” ~ Bruce Devlin, chief media scientist at Dalet and governor of SMPTE U.K.—23 NAB Shows.

“Most of the technologies that I thought were really cutting edge when I first saw them have become part of the business now.” ~ James E. O’Neal, retired television engineer and historian—more than 30 NAB Shows.

“Every booth had something 4K.” ~ Ken Aagaard, executive vice president of engineering, operations and production services for CBS Sports—36 NAB Shows.

“AIMS gaining significant traction, Sony and Grass Valley Groups agreeing to work together on I/P connectivity.” ~George Hoover, chief technology officer, NEP, Pittsburgh SMPTE section chair, chairman of NAB’s Exhibitors Advisory Council—around 35 NAB Shows.

“I think ATSC 3.0 was the over-arching theme of this NAB, with lots of sessions and lots of buzz.” ~ Craig Johnston, TV Technology correspondent—33 consecutive NAB Shows.

“4K will no doubt take hold as the distribution business models evolve.” ~ Thomas Edwards, vice president of engineering and development at Fox—14 NAB Shows.

“Tip: Keep an eye on Sony’s TV line next January.” ~ Pete Putman, president of ROAM Consulting—22 NAB Shows.

“We may be beginning to solve the automatic metadata capture issue.” ~ Karl Paulsen, chief technology officer of Diversified—“39 years worth” of NAB Shows.

“I think people who got burned by the 3D fantasy are struggling mightily to jump on the VR bandwagon.” ~ Christy King, consultant—about 10 NAB Shows.

“As late as last year, I heard manufacturers saying that their end users ‘wanted to build a plant with a single vendor’s products, as if that would insure interoperability. I did not hear one manufacturer say that this year.” ~ Clyde Smith, semi-retired consultant at Fox Network Engineering and Operations—36 NAB Shows.

“VR has the furthest to go, but it’s obvious HDR and cloud-based media management/processing are here in a big way.” ~ Richard Welsh, chair of 2016 NAB Show’s Future of Cinema Conference, co-chair of HPA Tech Retreat U.K., CEO of Sundog Media Toolkit—Eight NAB Shows.

“Ang Lee’s film screening was so compelling and ‘buzzworthy’ that you have to believe this technology will be embraced by the movie-going public.” ~ Dennis Wharton, executive vice president of communications for the National Association of Broadcasters—28 NAB Shows.

“It’s great to see the SMPTE DCP finally being adopted by major cinema chains!” ~ Aimée Ricca, director of Marketing and Communication for SMPTE—four NAB Shows.

Bonus round (submitted after initial publication):

“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.” ~ William T. Hayes, director of engineering and technology for Iowa Public Television—“Frighteningly,” 37 NAB Shows in a row.

“I believe that ultimately the transition to IP instead of SDI is a short-term solution that will ultimately be replaced by completely hybrid cloud solutions.” ~ Simon Eldridge, chief product officer at SDVI—16 NAB Shows.

“Most interesting were the kinds of services that the OTT providers were already so familiar with.” ~Richard Westcott, vice president of technology and digital media for NBC4-LA and KVEA-52, 18 to 20 NAB Shows.

“While much is still to be determined as far as ATSC 3.0, it’s a technology that much of the industry is uniting around, in that it offers new a vastly expanded means for bringing content and services to consumers.” ~ Susan Ashworth, former editor, TV Technology,contributor, NewBay Media Broadcast/Video Group.