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Catch the Wave

On April 19, engineers nationwide will explore the digital future. At the Las Vegas Convention Center, NAB 2004 kicks off broadcasting's buying season as specialists of every stripe present their state-of-the-art wares.

Two new camera formats, Sony's XDCAM and Panasonic's P2, are expected to hit the show floor in final or near-final form factor. For engineers in the news business, this is a taste of nirvana.

We asked top engineers from the nation's top networks what's hot and what's not this year. They gave us their insights-and their shopping lists.

Many of them are beginning or completing major facility upgrades, which promise a double whammy: changing the look of on-air content and the operations behind them.

No matter what stage their projects are in, these engineers are looking for next-generation digital products that will either fill an existing gap or help propel operations to even greater efficiency. Consistently, they raise issues of digital asset management, file transport, and simpler, more efficient acquisition.

Digital technology continues to provide new opportunities for broadcast organizations. It also introduces new challenges, and network engineers will be seeking solutions to them at NAB 2004.