TVT’s annual survey of industry executives and what they are looking for ahead of the NAB Show

TV TECHNOLOGY: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2018 NAB Show?

NICOLAS BOURDON: This year’s show floor will be full of exhibitors presenting integrations with artificial intelligence. AI and machine learning are going to be one of the big themes of this year’s show. But aside from just joining in on the buzzwords, we need to see vendors presenting ways in which AI can be used to address real-world business needs. There are opportunities to implement intelligent functionality in any number of production processes where an AI application can act as a built-in assistant rather than a replacement for human operators.

At the same time, users and facilities providers are asking for more tailored solutions for live productions so demonstrations of workflow architectures that benefit from software-based micro-services will be a key feature of the NAB Show. The acceleration of virtualized infrastructures offers more flexibility and lets users optimize resources to better meet the expectations of content producers.

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TVT: What will be your most important product news?

BOURDON: We’ve got several new products being announced and demonstrated at this year’s show including an updated version of our video officiating system. Xeebra 2.0 integrates a new AI engine enabling automated calibration of a field of play so graphics can be added to live feeds in the correct size and perspective without needing any additional tracking or calibration. This can be used initially for soccer to notify a video referee of the precise moment a player goes offside.

We will also be unveiling a brand new server in our XT range, which will come with higher UHD 4K channel density (up to six channels) and offer optimized bandwidth for any live production workflow — whether in UHD, HD or 1080p. And with its integrated HDR support, the latest XT server is built to meet growing demand from those operating in higher-resolution live production environments.

TVT: How is your new product different from what’s available on the market?

BOURDON: The artificial intelligence that EVS has integrated in Xeebra isn’t simply plugging in a third-party AI machine. Our innovation teams have been working in this area for a while, building our own neural networks and teaching the machine to generate the correct output by learning from previous examples.

TVT: What is it about the NAB Show that brings you back every year?

BOURDON: Having a show like the NAB Show where everyone is able to come together to present new technologies, share ideas and experiences is vital for an industry that moves as quickly as ours. That’s why EVS continues to return so we can speak to customers and partners about how to continue the evolution of broadcasting technology.