NAB exhibits opened at 10 a.m. on Sunday. It wasn’t the usual heathy 100,000+ crowd, but it was an excited and healthy 52,000. Courtesy NAB.
Many annual NAB Shows have become milestones in TV broadcasting history. The presence of the 2022 NAB Show marked the first Las Vegas NAB Show since 2019.
Some 52,468 people visited the 2022 NAB Show, compared with 91,450 visitors at the last NAB Show in 2019. There were about 103,000 visitors in 2016 and 2017, and about 100,000 in 2015. Because there were no 2020 or 2021 NAB Shows, some significant ‘new products’ came to the market before the 2022 NAB Show.
The buzz on the 2022 NAB Show exhibit floor and the BEIT sessions was crisis management, cloud-based solutions, NextGen TV, 5G operability, hybrid as the new normal, and Web3 powered by block-chain and AI. The NAB formed a 12-member National Advisory Council for Web3 with entertainment, tech executives and platform providers to provide insight to the executive team responsible for the NAB Show. Could future NAB shows be all digital? Many NAB visitors are often too focused on exhibits and meetings to enjoy all Las Vegas offers, other than plentiful restaurant dining excellence.
Many cab drivers have told me NAB visitors are the cheapest people to visit Las Vegas next to medical doctors. Forty years ago, the NAB Show overtook the town, and most of the major hotel shows took NAB Show week off. NAB Shows were famous for private hospitality suites and client parties in some of the most famous hotel suites in Las Vegas. Who had time to wander the LV Strip? Times have changed and so has Las Vegas.
Many new products at the 2022 NAB Show were said to help propel stations into the cloud-enabled future. The following is a list of new product introductions in alphabetical order at the 2022 NAB Show. There isn’t room for every relevant exhibitor in Part 1. Part 2 will cover the second alphabetical half of NAB 2022 exhibitors showing the most useful and exciting new products.
AJA Video Systems debuted HELO Plus at the 2022 NAB Show. It provides h.264 streaming and recording. What makes HELO Plus different from HELO is dual streaming outputs and multi-input processing, SRT support, advanced encoding/decoding, improved scheduling options and device operation, and layouts and graphics insertion. HELO Plus received a NAB 2022 Product of the Year Award. AJA also released a new v1.5 update for BRIDGE NDI 3G that brings new NDI 5 support and performance enhancements to AJA’s gateway appliance for high-density conversion to/from SDI and NewTek’s NDI video over IP protocol.
Blackmagic Design introduced its revolutionary URSA Mini Pro 12K for digital film with a 12,288 x 6480 12K Super 35 sensor and 14 stops of dynamic range, built into the URSA Mini body. It shoots at 60 fps in 12K, 120 fps in 8K and up to 240 fps in 4K Super 16 and features an interchangeable PL mount. Blackmagic Cloud Pod lets users record onto USB-C flash disks and then use Cloud Pod to make the disk available on the network. The company also announced HyperDeck Extreme 4K HDR, a new broadcast deck with advanced H.265 4K recording featuring a touch screen user interface with built in scopes and HDR screen. It also debuted two new ATEM hardware control panels for all ATEM switchers.
The Blackmagic HyperDeck Extreme 4K HDR does 10x more for 10x less money than its equivalent 10 years ago.
The Cobalt Digital exhibit spotlight was on SafeLink. SafeLink protects live video and audio data over unsecured networks, thereby eliminating video hits or glitches. By using a low latency protocol, Reliable Internet Streaming Transport (RIST), SafeLink provides reliable video transport even in live production environments that may experience network delay, which was awarded a Product of the Year Award from the NAB. Cobalt also introduced a new series of BlueBox Group (BBG) EO/OE 12G mini-converters at NAB 2022. The line-up consists of five 12G versions that include single and dual coax-to-fiber, single and dual fiber-to-coax, and a coax/fiber transceiver.
DekTec showed it latest PCI Express Card modulators, receivers, and ASI/SDI/IP solutions. The company also showed its latest USB Devices such as modulators and RF probes, standalone and OEM IP Converters, RF Tools such as the ATSC 300 Tool Set, and software such as Stream Xpress and StreamXpert, its SdEye and HEVC analyzer.
Dielectric returned to NAB to celebrate its 80th anniversary and introduced its new president. Dielectric owner Sinclair Broadcast Group announced the promotion of Keith Pelletier to President of its Dielectric subsidiary. Keith has been with Dielectric for 25 years. Dielectric debuted a now-available ATSC 3.0 antenna line at the 2022 NAB Show, and debuted updates to its RFHAWKEYE IP-based RF monitoring system.
Florical Systems showed its latest solutions for master control centralization, cloud-based master control, and end-to-end master control solutions. The company demonstrated its ACUITAS feature-rich and flexible integrated broadcast playout solution, its AirBossX master control automation solution for unattended on-air control, SMART Central business process management (BPM) solution for broadcast facilities, and its MediaMaster storage and asset management solution.
The FOR-A FA-1616 multi-purpose signal processor supports 4K/12G-SDI/HDR/WCG and Video-over-IP (SMPTE ST 2022-6/SMPTE ST 2110). Courtesy https://www.for-a.com/products/fa1616/index.html.
FOR-A debuted a range of IP production solutions powered by broadcast-optimized transport technology from AMMUX with RIST. The new REMI product range is part of FOR-A's new architecture of "Software-Defined IP Solutions," integrated with software-based IP technology from AMMUX.
FOR-A also debuted its FA-1616 multi-purpose signal processor. It supports 4K/12G-SDI/HDR/WCG and Video-over-IP and simultaneous processing of 4K and HD video by using 4 channels together as a 4K processor. It also serves as an IP gateway, enabling up to 32 channels SDI/VoIP conversion with VoIP option.
The big NAB Show news at GatesAir was that Thomson Broadcast signed a definitive agreement to buy GatesAir. The sale is subject to certain regulatory filings and is expected to close in the second half of 2022. Further details weren’t disclosed. In the meantime, GatesAir is celebrating its “First 100 Years in Business.” At the show, the company introduced Maxiva GNSS-PTP, a new timing and signal reference solution for broadcast and telecom facilities that speaks to modern navigation technologies used in second-generation Global Navigation Satellite Systems.
Under the new leadership of CEO Andrew Cross, Grass Valley presented its vision of the future of media production, which is built on its cloud-native Agile Media Processing Platform (GV AMPP). The company made several major announcements including full GV AMPP support of end-to-end NDI. The native integration of NDI into the GV AMPP infrastructure makes it possible to route an almost unlimited number of signals anywhere in the world. Grass Valley also announced a multi-year strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services.
GV also showed its camera products including the LDX 90/100/150 series and PTX 35X HD conference camera.
In addition, Grass Valley announced collaborating with Epic Games to bring Unreal Engine, the world's most advanced real-time 3D creation tool for photoreal visuals and immersive experiences, to GV AMPP. Unreal Engine on GV AMPP enables users to leverage the most innovative real-time rendering system natively with all Grass Valley video technology. Grass Valley also announced it will no longer charge for Playout on its GV AMPP.
The Comark E-Compact transmitter series provides a high efficiency Doherty, rugged, air cooled platform for broadcast requirements, and is available in US and international versions. Courtesy Comarktv.com
Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark is celebrating its 50th Anniversary of continuous activity and experience in broadcasting television. At the 2022 NAB Show, the company announced the introduction of the newly improved E-Compact EC700HP-BB3 series high-efficiency air-cooled solid-state UHF DTV transmitters. The “BB3” version is the third generation in the high-powered product line, and it supports the US post-repack channels 14-36. The transmitter is available with a single final power amplifier or up to 12 x PA’s in parallel, producing from 1.1kW to up to 13.2kW respectively, measured after the mask filter.
Comark also announced an agreement with Vislink Technologies to offer Vislink’s ATSC 3.0 ready digital video microwave system: IPLink 3.0. This new system allows the broadcaster to smoothly migrate from the traditional ASI transport platform to a future IP-centric system architecture.
Vislink’s IP data over RF system provides a low-cost infrastructure deployment that delivers data access to remote or hard-to-access transmitter locations. The IP Link 3.0’s use of high order modulations and strong FEC, ensures stations can be confident of a robust RF link that requires minimal bandwidth allocations. With the Vislink IP Link 3.0 providing a low-cost infrastructure deployment, broadcast stations can focus on launching ATSC 3.0’s key features such as 4K UHD/HDR and immersive audio, as well as seeking new revenue streams through interactive services.
Imagine Communications and Operative entered into a solutions partnership agreement. The agreement combines key pieces of Imagine’s portfolio, OSI, XG Linear, GamePlan and the newly announced SureFire with Operative’s AOS and OnAir platforms. Imagine debuted its SureFire video ad server addition to its suite of monetization solutions, addressing time-worn gaps in the cost, yield, and quality of advertising on digital video streams. SureFire video ad server is an ad decisioning solution for OTT, leveraging common broadcast rules and audience data across VOD and addressable linear platforms. SureFire operates as a managed cloud service on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Also debuting at the 2022 NAB Show was Imagine Aviator, the first cloud-native platform that enables broadcasters, MVPDs and digital-first providers to plan, make and monetize premium-quality linear and OTT content from a single, unified platform. Aviator is a powerful tool for delivering live sports, news, and scheduled and unscheduled live events workflows. The ground-breaking solution is designed to enable media companies to extract the maximum revenue potential from their assets. At the heart of Aviator is Imagine’s “audience-first” ad placement engine, which allows media companies to sell inventory by audience, by context, or by spot, regardless of the platform or delivery mechanism.
A new hyper-density SDI/IP gateway replacement from Lawo was unveiled at the 2022 NAB Show. Courtesy https://lawo.com/lawo-news/
Lawo debuted its .edge IP Video Infrastructure Platform: Hyper-Density SDI/IP Gateway and SDI Router Replacement. .edge’s compact 2RU housing accommodates up to four 25/100 GbE .edge processing blades and rear I/O plates with best-in-class signal conversion density. It complements Lawo’s established V_matrix video processing and multiviewer solution with a hyper-density SDI/IP gateway.
LTN Global Communications, Inc. launched LTN Arc, a fully-managed production solution that enables media organizations to repurpose and decorate centralized feeds into customized streams for distribution on multiple channels. LTN Arc leverages LTN’s industry-leading IP video network LTN Transport to acquire feeds from venues around the world and deliver them for processing. LTN Live Video Cloud provides next-level aggregation and normalization. The dedicated LTN events service team decorates live content with graphics and remote voice talent. At the same time, LTN Connect drives the monetization of live content through scalable, flawless metadata signaling for advanced advertising and channel customization workflows.
The company also announced the launch of LTN Lift, a fully managed, cloud-based playout solution for the automated creation of live, linear channels to reach cross-platform audiences.
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Covid-19 may have changed the course of broadcasting but has not slowed its development, judging from NAB 2022, the first major industry show with a physical presence since before the pandemic.
It has been hard to find vendors or visitors regretting their presence at NAB 2022, or suggesting they will not come next year, despite the significant drop in overall numbers.
NAB happened! Yes, footfall was inevitably down and there were fewer vendors exhibiting, but the show went on. And what a great success it was too.
With fewer exhibits and smaller crowds, the 2022 NAB Show aisles were easier to navigate and exhibitors had more time to speak with visitors.