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Trends to Watch from the 2024 NAB Show

As a 30+ year veteran of the broadcast industry, one of my favorite events is the annual trade show from the National Association of Broadcasters. Known as NAB, this year the show attracted more than 60,000 content professionals from broadcast, media, corporate and entertainment.

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NAB is my must-attend show every year because it’s the only one of its size focused exclusively on the broadcast market. As such, it’s THE place to find the latest cutting-edge solutions that experienced industry pros need to deliver a great experience.  

I'm passionate about content creation and storytelling, and I love the ever-advancing technology that supports it. The following are a few of the products that stood out to me and several broader trends worth noting.

Broadcast products to watch

Of the hundreds of new products introduced at this year’s show, here are some that caught my attention: 

  • Brainstorm, a leading manufacturer of Realtime 3D graphics and virtual production, released the latest version of their virtual suite. They elegantly demonstrated how effective it can be in a small space. Virtual sets, remote participant support, multicamera switching, data driven AR graphics, camera tracking and lighting control all run on a single workstation. Keep an eye on this company.  
  • Ikan Corporation had two brilliant new products on display: a PTZ teleprompter with motorized pedestal and my favorite - PoE Studio Lights. This innovative power-over-ethernet approach to studio lighting simplifies installation and eliminates the need to bring in an electrician for studio lights. Plus, it is all LED so low heat and low power. The simplicity of a single cable for power and control - brilliant! You can control brightness and temperature over IP, allowing you to integrate into an existing control system like QSYS or Crestron. The result is lighting flexibility when time and space are at a minimum. Use cases include any space you are looking to quickly and easily convert into a mini broadcast production space.   
  • Ross Video clearly invested significantly in research and development over the last few years. They launched nearly a dozen new products, several of which won awards at the show. I was particularly impressed with the all-in-one robotic camera system Artimo, new software-based production switcher and major upgrades to their XPression graphics platform to name a few. These products deserve a further look. 
  • nab-show-trends-blog-image-2Sony has a new 4K pan-tilt-zoom camera that uses artificial intelligence to automatically recognize and track moving subjects. I was impressed by how naturally the tracking performs, making it ideal for live events. Their whisper suite demo of this unit in action was impressive! Broadcast quality glass and imaging with on-air quality tracking. This is perfect for the corporate studio world.
  • Vizrt is another partner I was impressed with. They create a broad range of solutions for production switching, graphics, XR and next gen hybrid production solutions. The new TC Mini product line caught my eye for how easy and affordable it can be to step into professional production. And their Tricaster Now cloud offer is going to be very compelling to organizations looking for production anywhere and anytime, without the constraints of a normal studio location.     

Broadcast trends to watch  

Beyond specific products, a few broader trends were evident among the more than 1,000 exhibitors and hundreds of sessions and speakers.

  • Artificial Intelligence is everywhere, and it’s changing everything – As you might expect, AI-driven tools factored heavily in this year’s show as manufacturers look for ways to leverage AI to solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges. The ease of use and quality of features (like the automatic camera tracking on Sony’s PTZ) have improved significantly, making these tools a viable option for live production. 
  • Driving broadcasts from anywhere is getting easier (hello, cloud computing) – One of the biggest costs associated with live production is the need to have multiple people onsite. New cloud-based tools are changing that. For example, on-site camera streams can go straight to the cloud allowing people to technically direct or produce a show from anywhere in real time. That means your talent and cameras can be onsite, but everyone else can stay home.  
  • More tools are compatible with UC platforms – Now that working from anywhere is the norm, more manufacturers are making sure their solutions are compatible with UC platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and more. In addition, many of the walls between solutions have come down, and they are now easier to use, making them a much better fit for how people communicate in the modern workplace. For example, solutions like Viz Tricaster NOW, Epiphan Unify, and Quicklink Studio allow you to deliver a great experience from anywhere.  
  • Video walls are replacing green screens – In the past, if you wanted to film a message from the C-Suite to all employees, you might use a green screen and add a different background in post-production. Now, video walls are stepping in to fill this gap in real time, making life easier for your crew and more comfortable for your executives. The result is TV-level production value at a price point that is becoming more affordable all the time. We’re now able to make direct view LED look fantastic on camera. And we can easily transport your executives almost anywhere while keeping them in a comfortable, local space at the same time. 
  • Adding graphics to video has never been easier – Producing graphics for live events used to require heavy computers and onsite operators. Not only was the process cumbersome, but it was also expensive. Now, there are HTML graphic platforms in the cloud, like Viz Flowics, that allow you to add titles, motion graphics, and more in real time. You can run your graphics from anywhere and deliver them straight to the video switcher allowing you to produce a polished broadcast without having to get on a plane. AR graphic solutions like Viz Virtual Studio, Brainstorm and Chimera level up even more, allowing virtual graphics to follow the camera and studio space, creating an augmented reality effect.  

Your trusted partner for all things broadcast

 I’m the first to admit that I can be a tough customer at shows like NAB. After years of being in the broadcast trenches, it’s hard to impress me. But this year’s show blew me away. Between the new products and emerging trends, story tellers have never had more options and better tools to deliver content and wow audiences. 

If your organization produces broadcast, media, or entertainment content, new and better solutions are available that could address challenges you might face. AVI Systems is here to help if you’re looking for a trusted partner to walk you through what’s available. 

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©AVI Systems, Inc., 2024

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