Broadcasters Expect Big Things from IP at 2017 NAB Show

LAS VEGAS—There will be more than enough products and technology developments scattered across the Las Vegas Convention Center for the 2017 NAB Show to keep attendees busy, but many of the broadcasters in attendance already have some things high on their must see list that they shared with TV Technology. While displays of the continuing development of UHD and HDR technologies and the “shiny new toys” of virtual and augmented reality will draw plenty of eyeballs, according to Turner Sports Vice President of Operations Tom Sahara, a general consensus has IP technology among the most anticipated elements going into the show.

IP has been a hot topic over the last few years at the NAB Show, but it is the recent progress on the standards front that has many broadcasters eager to see what companies will have on display.

“We are very interested to see the bump we are expecting in IP for high bit-rate video now that the industry has converged on SMPTE 2110,” said Eric Pohl, CTO for National TeleConsultants. “I expect the flood gates to open in terms of seeing products.” (see “AIMS: SMPTE ST-2110 Products to Ship in 2017”) Pohl’s belief comes from what he says is a reduction of interoperability risk thanks to manufacturers consolidating on SMPTE 2110, and that consensus leading in turn, to “more sources and destinations embracing IP as the native I/O.”

Sahara is also in the camp that IP is ready to have a major impact on the industry, especially when combined with the cloud to help remove geographical boundaries. “From new consumption patterns enabled by mobile devices, to customized content personalization through targeted data analysis, to natural language user control of apps, the influence of the cloud and IP technology is transforming every facet of the broadcast business,” he said.

Not far behind IP is another potentially game-changing standard, ATSC 3.0. Now that the FCC has given the greenlight for broadcasters to start testing the Next Gen TV standard, what they will be able to learn from the NAB Show will have an impact on deployment (see “ATSC 3.0 Tech Getting Spotlight at NAB Show”). For Michael Saffell, director of engineering for WMUR in Manchester, N.H., a Hearst Television station, it’s “reality setting in that even though we aren’t to ATSC 3.0 yet, we will need to plan to compete in a 5G world.”

“The rapid pace of change across technology is affecting all aspects of the industry” Sahara expressed, and there will be more of that development on hand at NAB than IP and ATSC. Livestreaming, virtual set technology, workflow automation, studio display technology and other advances are sure to make it a busy show.

The 2017 NAB Show will take place from April 24-27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information, visit