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NAB Show Expands Tech Focus

LAS VEGAS—Anyone planning to attend the NAB Show in a couple of weeks after even a few years’ absence may find themselves slightly bewildered at first at how dramatically this annual confab has expanded and diversified beyond the traditional broadcast form. New come-ons this year mirror the myriad cross-media integrations currently underway globally—and range widely from the latest in cloud storage schemes to an ambitious boot camp on RF—the basic backbone technology of terrestrial broadcasting.

Hosted by NAB and BPL Broadcast., Connect Media World is designed to recognize and take full advantage of the fact that media platforms are multiplying faster than ever. In 2013 and forever more, attendees will be told, the consumer is increasingly demanding a fully connected and very personalized content experience beyond linear television.

“Connected Media World is the most prominent new feature of the show floor and reflects the continued evolution of the exhibition,” said Chris Brown, executive vice president for Conventions & Business Operations at NAB. “This new destination in the North Hall is representative of the changing nature—not only of the business of media— but also of the consumer experience. CMW will spotlight how the technology that is driving content creation and delivery translates into the consumer experience.”

IPTV, mobile, social and cloud technologies, new devices and content will all be showcased at CMW.

A new all-day training program to allow industry professionals to brush up on their practical knowledge of broadcasting’s root technology is “RF Boot Camp: Understanding Radio & Television Transmission,” on Wednesday, April 10, as part of the Broadcast Engineering Conference. The special event is being presented by NAB Labs.

“Over the years we’ve heard from engineers and ‘non-technical’ owners and managers that NAB should consider offering a seminar or tutorial on the topic of RF,” said John Marino, NAB vice president, Science & Technology. “One of the problems facing broadcasters is a serious shortage of technical professionals who understand RF—and specifically what goes on after program content leaves the studio and goes to the transmitter site. Today the majority of engineers and technicians, for the most part, are experts in studio operations and IT networking. The new RF Boot Camp will explain away the ‘black magic’ many associate with RF transmission.”

The all-day seminar (with lunch break) will feature instructors John Bisset and Mary Ann Seidler of Tieline Technology, and Gary Cavell and Cindy Cavell of Cavell, Mertz & Associates. (Boot camp participants will need to purchase a One Day Pass or conference Flex Pass.)

Also new this year in the North Hall of the LVCC (N6621) is the Enterprise Computing Pit, which will feature the latest advances in remote-server storage options known as “cloud computing,” as well as demos of how business processing software and large-data management tools are expanding their roles into servicing TV news media and educational and entertainment content, and their respective needs.

The “pit” also is being designed as a meeting-place venue for like-minded communicators and content providers to share their ideas and thoughts on various forms of “enterprise infrastructure,” said NAB, and for informal discussion of how broadcasters and others can take full advantage of emerging breakthroughs in these new options.

The NAB Show has invited 10 market-ready startups to enjoy the wide exposure and a venue dedicated to presenting their products and services directly to today’s media and entertainment “influencers” in a new venture on the show floor dubbed “Sprockit.”

NAB said the selected participant-entrepreneurs will enjoy prescheduled meetings with corporate executives, as well as with an array of media outlets. The startups will be asked to deliver on-stage presentations alongside what organizers said will be “some of the biggest names in the industry.” Sprockit is being formulated by NAB in partnership with World Series of Startups, LLC, and Springboard Enterprises, and will run from Sunday-Thursday, April 7-11. It’s sponsored by Convergent Wealth.

The 10 participating startups will be selected by Angel Capital Association, Dell Founders Club, NAB, National Venture Capital Association, Startup America Partnership, The Paley Center and Springboard Enterprises.

For TV and video professionals, multimedia designers, book publishers, photographers, technologists, educators and app developers, the NAB Show will offer the new Digital Publishing Workshop—a three-day, “doublechoice” sessions grid running April 8-10. The curriculum provides two different classes running concurrently throughout the three-day agenda, with common lunch breaks. The workshop is being produced by NAB in coordination with Future Media Concepts and FMC’s new enterprise “TAP!” (Technologically Advanced Publishing).

The growing flow of all types of print, data and video/audio content to a mix of ubiquitous devices—currently ranging from tiny smart phones and tablets to large-screen streamable HDTV sets—has accelerated dramatically in just the past two years, says FMC. The workshop, it said, is being devised to provide common-sense practical take-aways aimed at upping the chances for one’s latest content batches to clear any and all possible IP hurdles posed by new media venues.

FMC said its certified instructors will provide advice and practical tips on developing and marketing an online brand, creating app and eBook video trailers, learning about the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, producing video podcasting, and understanding what FMC calls the “the new rules of SEO” for content distribution.