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COMMENT REVIEW NAB Duncan Payne Regional Director Azule Finance As I emerge from the customary post-NAB haze and try to formulate a coherent analysis of the 2016 show, perhaps the most striking realisation is that despite pacing the halls for four long days, I barely scratched the surface. The scale of the event, much like Las Vegas itself, is simply extraordinary, with over 100,000 attendees and nearly 1900 exhibitors. Right from the first morning of the show, my social media feeds have been full of reviews of “amazing products” and “technical advancements”, many of which I just didn’t get time to see. Here, however, are some highlights of the things I did manage to get to. Even before the show properly started, Ross staged an impressive 800 seat mini-conference, with David Ross evangelising on the new product lines. Among a plethora of new toys was the surprising launch of quite possibly the only sub-4k camera seen at NAB. Their “Acid” camera has been developed specifically with green-screen applications in mind, as they felt that dedicated camera companies were not giving the attention required to that specific application - a field that Ross covers so well with all the other surrounding technology. Whilst the cameras they’ve introduced are “only” HD, crucially they are 4:4:4 sampling, giving the full colour range for the best results in chroma-key environments. Ross also introduced a smaller mixer into their Carbonite range - the Black Solo - which is aggressively priced and can be supplied in any of 3 configs. It’s clever, and is perfectly suited for small AV / small truck applications. And coming from Ross it’ll work when it turns up, and keep on working. 34 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 113 MAY 2016 On the other end of the mixer scale, SAM ( the new Snell / Quantel merged business ) were flat out with enquiries and demo’s for UK Broadcast and OB clients. As well as the hugely powerful headline Kahuna mixer which caught my eye, they had a very familiar looking instant replay device. The Quantel side of this business always did make quality, intelligent storage replay solutions, and this one looked like it might be able to succeed in a market place dominated for so long by EVS. EVS themselves have never sat still, despite their powerful position. Of all the businesses selling kit, there is perhaps only Arri in the camera market which even comes close to possessing a “must- have” product in a particular sector. It must be a lovely place to be. EVS were promoting a new server technology aimed at supporting sports officials. Named Xebra, presumably named after the black and white uniforms of the American Football officials ( but with a gimmicky “X” instead of a “Z”), it is a multi-viewer showing up to 8 simultaneous angles of a particular event, which allows for faster mid-game decision-making. They also had a very neat C-Cast system. They estimate that over 90% of footage shot at big sporting events is never aired. C-Cast is an open platform that third party developers can write apps for, to review all footage and make 100% of the clips available to the viewers on demand for 2nd screen viewing. This allows the viewer at home to become their own director, with the ability to view different angles from the ones offered live on the broadcast. Carrying on the storage theme, both ObjectMatrix and AVID had new offerings. AVID’s Isis on-line storage range is being superseded by Nexis, which is a totally configurable and scalable storage solution, with 120Tb of storage available in a 4u chassis for around the £40K mark. One of the key changes is a move from a Windows- based technology to Linux. The existing Isis 2500 and 5500 are due to go end-of-life in December with the 7500 following 6 months later, but AVID will still support the product for 5 years, as there are so many still in the market. 5 years seems a sensible period to cover this type of technology. Another key technology development announced is that files can now be edited in Adobe Premier.