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NAB2005: HD Now Verging on Ubiquitous at Big Show

Although veteran attendees to NAB shows will often tell you that nothing really changes from year to year, that may be more perception than reality these days. A few years ago, HD was all the rage, with over-promises of rapid deployment, immediate public acceptance, and sharply plunging price points.
Well, not quite. Things slowed up quite a bit after HD's initial broadcast introduction back in late 1998, and other, newer, media innovations were beginning to steal HD's thunder. But the sun shines brightly once again on still-merging HD services (and a growing list of different forms of HD product) so much so that, perhaps like the medium of radio, HD is almost being taken for granted now as a given in the industry (as well as other industries) and there seems to be an assumption at NAB2005 that HD will surely become part of the big picture. No need to ask. Not anymore, anyway.
Seemingly suddenly (although that's mostly perception, as well), HD is being thrown at NAB attendees this week is various forms of displays, a growing variety of capture devices, computers, handhelds, and the real emergence of improved HD production formats (can you say "1080p"?; it's everywhere here)--sometimes without even seeing the "HD" labels attached. If one of the more frequent questions on the show floor this year (especially over in typically the more eye-popping South Hall) is, "Might that also be HD quality?" More often than not, the answer coming back is, "HD? Well, of course."
Often you can't really take stock of an NAB show until the dust has settled (quite literally; it's been a windy week here). We will likely miss a few big items, but rest assured we'll be reporting on more of them as their importance comes more into focus in the weeks ahead. There were, of course, a few things that caught our eye rather quickly. The next few items in HD Notebook are some highlights.