NAB SHOWCASE: Complete Coverage of the 2008 NAB Show from Broadcasting & Cable

NAB Tech Sampling: Part II

As usual, the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas was overflowing with technology news. B&C offers another peek at the latest gear.>>>

The Last Analog NAB

For broadcasters and vendors that have been plotting their digital futures for more than one decade at National Association of Broadcasters shows, sometime during last week’s convention, they must have stopped and observed, “Wow. This is the last analog NAB.">>>

Snell & Wilcox Creates File-Focused Spinoff AmberFin

Snell & Wilcox was at the 2008 NAB Show last week not only to hawk its video-processing and switcher products, but also to make a pitch for AmberFin, a new company that will market iCR, Snell’s software-based system for content repurposing, and other new software products aimed at file-based work flows.>>>

Avid Introduces New Editors, Better Format Support

Las Vegas -- Nonlinear editing supplier Avid Technology introduced a new line of nonlinear editors aimed at the broadcast and professional market that promises better performance and, more important, better compatibility with file-based camera formats like Sony’s XDCAM HD and Panasonic’s P2 HD.>>>

JVC Broadens ProHD Line

Las Vegas -- JVC Professional introduced a new addition to its ProHD camera line, which has found favor with station groups like Scripps Howard and Raycom Media.>>>

Kilar Hints at Hulu Mobile

Las Vegas -- Hulu CEO Jason Kilar hinted that the video site co-founded by NBC Universal and News Corp. could find its way to other platforms, saying that many of them, such as mobile phones, would be "ripe for the Hulu experience.">>>

RTNDA: Digital Minds Should Plot Digital Strategy

Las Vegas -- Traditional newsroom staffers with traditional news-gathering philosophies don’t cut it in the fully-converged media world, according to the panelists here at Radio-Television News Directors Association session “Going Local … in a New Direction.">>>

NBCU: Don’t Plan on Voucher Extensions for Converter Boxes

Las Vegas -- Consumers who receive a $40 coupon from the government to subsidize the purchase of a digital-to-analog converter box should act fast, said NBC Universal vice president Bob Okun, who heads the network’s lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C.>>>

NBCU Tackles Digital Downconversion

Las Vegas -- NBC Universal is making moves now to ensure that its television programming continues to reach standard-definition cable and satellite viewers in the proper format after high-powered analog broadcasts cease in 2009 and cable and satellite operators will start carrying a downconverted version of the network’s HDTV signal to support viewers with analog sets.>>>

Cable Operators, TV Stations Must Unite for DTV Transition

Las Vegas -- They weren’t all singing Kumbaya, but at a National Association of Broadcasters session here Monday, leaders of the cable and broadcast industries pledged cooperation toward getting the digital transition to happen without major casualties, and both sides saw potential pluses.>>>

UGC Moves to Mainstream

Las Vegas -- User-generated content is no longer restricted to entertaining oddities such as pet tricks and Mentos-Diet Coke explosions, and it is a vital way to extend a channel’s reach, said the speakers in the Radio-Television News Directors Association session here, “Making User-Generated Content Part of Your Overall Strategy, Online and On Air.">>>

B&C Hands Out Technology Leadership Awards

Las Vegas -- At a packed cocktail party here Monday, publisher Larry Dunn gave recipients of the 11th Annual B&C Technology Leadership Awards plaudits for their crucial leadership in the business and, judging by the crowd, there were hundreds who agreed with his assessment.>>>

‘Very Uncomfortable Time’ for Stations

Las Vegas -- Audience Research and Development senior vice president Steve Safran chastised RTNDA/National Association of Broadcasters attendees for being too comfortable in the midst of the digital revolution. “It’s a very uncomfortable time,” said Safran, moderator of the “Leading Change in a Digital Newsroom” panel here.>>>

Tim Robbins Decries Media 'Abyss' in NAB Keynote

Las Vegas -- Actor Tim Robbins, noting that he has been labeled a traitor for previous comments he made about this nation and its pre-emptive war in Iraq, pre-empted a planned dialogue on new media at the National Association of Broadcasters' annual show and launched a humorous, profanity-laden attack on both the state of the country and the consolidation of viewpoints being carried by national media. “We are at an abyss as an industry and as a country,” Robbins said.>>>

Rehr: ‘We Will Leave No TV Set Behind’

Las Vegas -- Making sure that 20 million households that could lose their access to free over-the-air broadcasts from their local stations don’t is the “highest TV priority” of the National Association of Broadcasters, its president and CEO said Monday. “We will leave no TV set behind,” David Rehr said in his keynote opening the 2008 NAB Show here.>>>

Broadcasters Detail Mobile-DTV Progress

Las Vegas -- Roughly 500 broadcasters gathered at the 2008 NAB Show here early Monday morning to discuss the prospects for delivering television signals to mobile devices using their existing digital spectrum and, according to executives actively involved in field trials of mobile-digital-TV technology, the industry should have a new standard for mobile DTV in place by next February.>>>

Hulu Uses Signiant for Content Aggregation

Signiant, a provider of software-based systems that manage the distribution of digital-media content over diverse networks, announced that Hulu, the Web-video joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corp., is using its software to aggregate TV shows, feature films and clips.>>>

Sony Nets Big HD Camera Sales

Sony announced a slew of high-definition camera sales at NAB to major broadcast and cable customers, both for field applications and studio use. Most notable was that the CBS reality show Survivor will use Sony’s XDCAM HD optical-disc cameras to shoot the upcoming 17th installment in high definition.>>>

Omneon Snags NBC Olympics Deal

Video server and storage supplier Omneon announced at the 2008 NAB Show that it has won a large deal from NBC to create an IP-based transport and storage solution to deliver both high- and low-resolution video from the 2008 Beijing Olympics back to the U.S.>>>

Gray TV Taps Panasonic for HD Newsgathering

Station group Gray Television has selected P2 HD, Panasonic’s solid-state camera format, to support newsgathering at 21 of its stations.>>>

ABC News Aims for Digital History

After five years of planning, ABC News has taken on the massive task of digitizing its content archive. And by fall, the network hopes it can identify its 500 best clips while, on a daily basis, improving the ability of reporters and producers to access historical footage.>>>

ABC to Buy SD Cameras NAB

So far, the only hi-def news content ABC News is regularly creating is Good Morning America. That may change, as the network plans to ramp up HD production for studio shows and election coverage.>>>

Harmonic Aims at Mobile TV

Compression supplier Harmonic has integrated low-resolution encoding into its DiviCom Electra MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) encoders, with a specific focus on mobile video applications. It will be demonstrating the development at the NAB Show with its Electra 5400 standard definition (SD) H.264 encoders.>>>

Thomson Touts MediaFuse, Partners with WorldNow

Las Vegas—Thomson Grass Valley’s big NAB Show news is MediaFuse, a software add-on to its Ignite automated production system that will allow broadcast stations to quickly repurpose their newscasts for Web distribution.>>>

The Top 25 Station Groups...with M&A Forecast

The climate is cooling for TV station mergers and acquisitions, as recession fears linger and the credit crunch makes financing more costly and difficult to obtain.>>>

Smooth Operators

While broadcasters' investments in high-definition production gear to launch HD newscasts have drawn much attention over the past year, many stations are also quietly overhauling the guts of their plant, replacing and/or upgrading master control switchers, routers, playout servers and automation systems to handle high-definition and multichannel playback. Those are the items they'll be looking for at the NAB convention next week.>>>

What Stations Want at NAB

Among the throngs at the National Association of Broadcasters convention April 11-17 in Las Vegas will be the top engineers for major broadcast groups. And all of them will have their minds on one date for certain: Feb. 17, 2009, the last day broadcasters will be allowed to transmit an analog signal. Here’s a look at how six of the major broadcast groups will spend their time on the NAB floor making final plans for the digital transition.>>>

What Networks Want at NAB

Once again, B&C checked in with top network technology executives to find out what they will be scouting for at the 2008 NAB Show. While equipment needs vary from network to network, two areas of focus appear to be common: continued investment in HDTV, and finding easier ways to repurpose content for the Web and other new platforms.>>>

Broadcast Flash Attack

Video server and storage vendor SeaChange, which introduced a flash-memory-based server for video-on-demand (VOD) applications last year at the NCTA show, will come to the NAB show in Las Vegas with a similar product for broadcasters.>>>

Sony Touts XDCAM Progress

Sony has completed the development of a new XDCAM HD optical-disc camcorder that has a 2/3-inch imaging chip and will record high-definition video at up to 50 megabits per second with 4:2:2 color sampling.>>>

NAB Tech Luncheon to Honor ABC Engineer

Retired ABC senior advisor of science and technology Antoon (Tony) Uyttendaele will be honored with a 2008 NAB Engineering Achievement Award during the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual technology luncheon at the 2008 NAB Show in Las Vegas, to be held Wednesday, April 16.>>>

Doug Liman to Deliver NAB Keynote

Doug Liman, director and producer of films including Jumper, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Identity and Swingers, will deliver a keynote address at the National Association of Broadcasters’ 2008 NAB Show.>>>

Hulu Guru Jason Kilar to Take NAB Stage

The head of Hulu, the online-video joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp., will deliver a keynote address at the National Association of Broadcasters’ show in Las Vegas in April to discuss new delivery platforms for broadcasters' content.>>>

CSI Executive Producer Zuiker to Speak at NAB Show

The Hollywood-ization of techie-type conventions, on display at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, continues: The National Association of Broadcasters said Thursday that it lined up Anthony Zuiker to speak at its show April 14, also in Las Vegas.>>>

Stations Ready for Mobile DTV Trials

At the same time that broadcasters are wrapping up the final pieces of their transition to digital television (DTV), they are also busy trying to create a new technical standard that will allow them to broadcast to mobile devices within their existing digital spectrum.>>>

Avid Technology Abandons NAB Convention in 2008

Hardware giant Avid Technology announced that it won’t exhibit at the National Association of Broadcasters’ convention in Las Vegas next spring. It will instead spend its marketing dollars on smaller, more targeted customer events and training initiatives.>>>

Mobile TV Takes Flight

A coalition of almost 800 local stations is working to bring live over-the-air broadcast TV to mobile television devices within a year.>>>

NAB Hall of Fame to Barker: Come On Down!

Barker, who joins fellow game-show host Regis Philbin and a veritable host of others in the Hall of Fame, will be inducted Monday, April 14, at the NAB's annual convention in Las Vegas.>>>