NAB 2011 in Review: Part 1

It is easy to get lost in the week of chaos that is the NAB Show. In an effort to help those who may have missed the show’s biggest news items or just want to go back and reminisce about the event, SVG is providing a three-part series, dubbed NAB 2011 in Review, which chronicles all the product announcements, deals, and personalities that made the biggest splashes in Las Vegas this year.

Press Conferences and Plenty of 3D, 3G
NAB 2011 began with a bang, with the annual press conferences featuring a profusion of new-product releases. Grass Valley unveiled a variety of offerings, including its 3G Transmission system, which marries fiber and triax cabling systems. Harmonic’s press event followed, highlighted by a series of new Omneon-fueled products.

The NAB press conferences also offered major 3D announcements from Sony and Panasonic, as well as a host of product introductions. Among the highlights were these:

  • A wealth of new products from EVS targeting both the 2D and the 3D markets, including the XT3 production server and Xedioa Flash newsroom system.
  • Snell demonstrated how its Morpheus automation platform can drive essential metadata to second-screen apps on the iPad as well as mobile platforms.
  • Harris announced that it has been tapped to build out a new IPTV and digital-signage infrastructure for the revamped Madison Square Garden.
  • Front Porch Digital debuted an overhauled version of AXF (Archive Exchange Format), an open digital-storage format that it hopes will become the industry-wide standard.
  • Chyron announced BlueNet, an end-to-end graphics workflow that combines Chyron’s suite of graphics tools into a single customizable setup. The system is already in use by the NHL.
  • Avid unveiled InGame, which combines Avid products from various stages in the in-venue video-production chain — editing, graphics, storage, asset management, archive — to create an overarching system for pro and college teams, stadiums, and leagues.
  • The big news for Ross Video was the launch of Carbonite, an affordable line of production switchers aimed at mid-market broadcasters.
  • For the sports market, Evertz’s two biggest product announcements were Mediator SC, a multiplatform, multichannel playout solution, and OvertureRT Live, an integrated channel-in-a-box solution.
  • Quantel touted its F1-racing sponsorship by parking a racecar outside the Las Vegas Convention Center and announced variety of enhancements to its Enterprise sQ server-based production system.

In addition, Sunday’s DTV Audio Group meeting addressed the latest trends and issues facing the audio industry, such as loudness control and 5.1-surround-sound production.

And Mel Lambert, of content-creators.com, provided an overarching view of the tablet’s effect on sports consumers and broadcasters alike.

Opening Keynote and Perspectives From the Floor
The NAB Show officially kicked with a welcome by NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith and NAB Chairman Steve Newberry and the presentation of the NAB Distinguished Service Award to former NAB chief Eddie Fritts. The highlight of the opener was the keynote speech by 3D pioneers James Cameron and Vince Pace, which was put together with help from SVG.

The first in a trio of SVG-produced sessions at the NAB Show featured an in-depth look at the 3D production of the Sony Open golf tournament in Hawaii in January. The session provided a playbook for producing golf in 3D from the great minds at Golf Channel, PGA Tour, Element Technica, and Sony Electronics.

SVG also launched its series of “NAB Perspectives” by industry leaders on the show floor: