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Notes From NAB 2013

April 10, 2013 | Telepresence Options

NAB 2013 book
Story and Images by David Danto /

Greetings from the 2013 National Association of Broadcasters Conference in Las Vegas.��As I mentioned in�last year's show wrap-up�this is still really a conference in search of a definition.��Although heavily attended (90K are expected this year) it is more like watching a�"Battlestar Galactica Ragtag Colonial Fleet"�than a cohesive assembly of focused exhibitors and attendees.��The theme of the show is "Metamorphosis", which really seems more like a fervent aspiration than a statement of fact.�

As one example, what does it say about a "broadcast" conference that is using a smart device as its on-site signage imagery?��The conference is now really much more about media content creation and management than it is about broadcasting.��NAB members are in a state of near panic over the significant growth of�"Zero TV Homes."��"Getting broadcast programing on all the gizmos and gadgets - like tablets, the backseats of cars, and laptops - is hugely important," an NAB spokesman was quoted as saying.��It is well past time for this conference to change its name.

One of the themes that emerged early in the conference was 4K.��4K or Ultra HD (UHD)�was everywhere!��You can't spit without hitting a sign, poster, flyer or person hawking how great this next innovation will be.

NAB 2013 booths

UHD images are fantastic, but there is still no practical way to deliver UHD programming to homes, so it is all a bit of the cart way before the horse.��Sony announced their plans for aDTH�UHD�service�to be available this year at January's CES conference, but there have been precious few details released past the initial announcement.��Still, as Broadcast Engineering put it in their tweet, "If you aren't early on 4K, you're already late. Big dogs pushing hard now."

I'm also seeing tacit acknowledgement of the "Changing flow of Storytelling" theme that I reported came out of the�International�CES�Show�in January - consumers now take in their content differently, and are not going back to sitting together on their sofa watching TV for hours.��Both "second screen" content and the alternate distribution methods I referred to above are very important topics to the content providers here.��There is an underlying sense of desperation that these concepts must be embraced if providers don't want to be left behind.�

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