What to Expect at NAB 2019

NAB Show opens its doors in just a few days’ time, showcasing the tech behind what the broadcast industry creates and how the world consumes. So, here’s a sneak peek at what Futuresource Consulting expects will be the key topics and trends to emerge from this major event for media, entertainment, and technology professionals.

With more than 1,700 exhibitors and 100,000 attendees from 160 countries, these insights will help you navigate the NAB Show without missing the need-to-see technologies on display. 

IP in Production

IP in production will once again be a recurring theme across the show floor. Watch out for announcements and demonstrations on virtualization and remote production, as well as the move from hardware to software and into the cloud.

Video for the Masses

Democratization of video production and live streaming means that almost anyone can now create and distribute video, while exploring profit opportunities through advertising or sponsorship. With this new trend comes a new set of industry challenges and brand fortification needs. Be on the lookout for themes that bring together the AV and pro video worlds, advancements in live streaming and a focus on repackaging, repurposing, and doing more with less.

Innovations in Acquisition

A continued move towards larger imaging sensors is expected to be seen, particularly with full frame and large format sensor cameras becoming increasingly common. We’ll also see promotion of non-traditional products for video acquisition, including accessories to enable smartphones to fulfill their potential. The continued development of immersive formats for VR and AR has supported interest in new acquisition techniques such as light field and volumetric video. These will start to make their presence felt on the show floor.

Image is Everything

Improvements in image quality continue to push the industry forward and this year will be no different. An array of 4K and 8K solutions will be on display, although HDR and HFR will also play a large role in show proceedings.

Improvements in Audio

This year, watch out for a range of initiatives that will focus on enhanced 3D audio capture and rendering, particularly for AR and VR applications, along with object-based workflows.

The Rise of AI

Futuresource expects machine learning techniques to be talked about across the show, but particularly in video encoding discussions, allowing the optimization of encode parameters on a scene-by-scene basis, while feeding back into the system to enhance future encoding sessions. Another key area that could be touched upon is AI-enhanced program editing to accelerate the turnaround of highlight content and showreels.

5G and its Growing Potential

5G will be a talking point at the show, as there is growing potential for it to replace outside broadcast trucks, using IP-over-5G. This will trickle down into a range of modules that can convert professional cameras for wireless outside broadcast, as well as channel-bonded modems to enable live capture and the relay of video to production studios and streaming services.

Graphics Technology Accelerates Forward

Ray-tracing will be a key theme throughout the show, providing photo-realistic visuals for film and TV. Watch out for a range of new developments and announcements around high-quality rendering and real-time applications.

Editor's Note: Adam Cox, Futuresource Consulting’s head of imaging and pro video, will be on NAB TV on Thursday April 11 at 11: 30 a.m. discussing NAB Show’s emerging trends.