It's that time of year again for the National Association of Broadcasters to hold their annual trade show in Las Vegas, NV. Billed as the world's largest electronic media show, it runs from April 14, 2007 - April 19, 2007. The NAB Show covers the entire spectrum of content creation, management and delivery. The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts.
According the NAB2007, it's the essential destination for more than 100,000 electronic media executives, trendsetters and visionaries. This event brings together the entire spectrum of media - television and radio broadcast, audio and video production and latest technologies from all corners of the globe. Covering more than 1.7 million square feet of exhibit space, it is packed full of the biggest names in media: Sony, Verizon, Microsoft, Google, MySpace, Amazon, DirecTV, Comcast, and so forth.
As consumers become increasingly aware of the technology options available to them to receive electronic entertainment and information into their daily lives, they are not only growing savvier about the electronic devices they purchase, but about the content and technology that fuels these devices. Likewise, choosing the platforms that bring electronic media content into their lives is now based on far more factors than price alone, and is an integral part of the personal technology decisions consumers are learning to make. This is at the heart of what NAB2007 is all about, for it is on this exhibition show floor that developers, buyers and aggregators of electronic content set the cycle in motion.
At this year's show, there are four significant consumer technology themes emerging as major topics at NAB2007 -- Broadcasting over-the-air in HD, Mobile Television, HD Radio and Technologies for Worship
Broadcasting Over the Air in High Definition
By the end of this year more than 47 million households in the United States will have high-definition TV sets, up from 35 million at the end of last year (Jupiter Research).
Many local broadcast stations are starting to convert their facilities to offer news and other local programming in high definition. As a result, consumers with HDTVs can receive high definition programming by simply using an over-the-air antenna. They can also access a station's multicast programming with any over-the-air antenna.
Some stations have begun broadcasting local news in high definition, while many others are preparing to do so. Nearly every station has already made the mandatory transition to digital that enables them to carry network programming in high definition.
Just two years ago, the idea of watching TV on the cell phone was a mere novelty to most consumers. Now, nearly every broadcast and cable network has either devised a mobile TV strategy or already introduced programs " short clips and longer pieces " for consumers to watch on their wireless phones. That's because demand for such services is growing quickly. The Research firm -- Solutions Research Group -- has concluded in a recent report that today's younger viewers in the 18-to-39 age group will consume 80 percent of their TV on-demand via broadband, DVR, iPod or VOD within seven years.
At the start of 2006, about 2.5 million people in the United States subscribed to video service on their mobile phones (Telephia). By the end of the year that number had swollen to 6.2 million, a nearly three-fold increase, according to mobile research firm Telephia. At this year's NAB Show many of those content producers will be meeting with the technology firms who can help them get their video in the right format for various new viewing venues. Also, the show floor and many sessions will address issues such as production, post production and asset management " all factors that come into play as producers both comb their archives looking for content they can repurpose and shoot new material specifically for cell phones.
Technologies for Worship
In 2006, houses of worship spent $623 million on projection equipment and $7.7 billion on audio equipment, according to TCI Info Inc. Now, churches are looking towards broadcast as their next area of expansion, with massive growth projected over the next five years. With over 355,000 houses of worship in the United States alone (TCI Info), the church market is one of the largest and fastest growing technology markets in North America. Houses of worship who utilize today's technologies tend to be "more successful" in terms of maintaining and growing their membership, which in turn brings more money through donations and tithing into the church itself.
High Definition Radio
Today, over 1,000 free, local, over-the-air radio stations have upgraded their broadcast technology with digital HD Radio channels. HD Radio offers listeners crystal-clear audio on free, over-the-air local radio stations, providing listeners with new and expanded formats. According to iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of the HD Radio system, approximately one new HD Radio broadcaster goes on the air each day, reaching every major U.S. city and 60% of all listeners. By 2008, more than 90% of the U.S. population will be reached by HD Radio broadcasters, by their estimates.
Stations from Boston to Los Angeles to Alaska are bringing HD Radio technology to communities both large and small.
At this year's NAB Show content producers will be meeting with the technology firms who can help them get their video in the right format for various new viewing venues. The show floor and many sessions will also address issues such as production, post production and asset management " all factors that come into play as producers both comb their archives looking for content they can repurpose and shoot new material.