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 11, 2008 - April 17, 2008, and will feature more than 1,600 exhibitors. This will be the last NAB Show before the DTV Transition, which will happen next February 2009. 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. Last year there were more than 111,000 attendees
According the NAB2008, it's the essential destination 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 NAB2008 is all about, for it is on this exhibition show floor that developers, buyers and aggregators of electronic content set the cycle in motion.
Digital TV Transition
At this year's show, the key issue will be the DTV Transition. The DTV Transition is so important that the NAB will host a number of seminars to fully discuss this important topic. A series of sessions and panels focusing on the upcoming transition todigital television will be held. A joint session, titled "The Buck Stops Here! DTV Transition Best Practices," will be one of the highlights in the NAB Show's extensive schedule of DTV-related discussions on topics ranging from consumer education to technology requirements to regulatory compliance.
In the joint session, co-hosted by the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) and NAB, DTV experts will address critical issues facing broadcast stations, including consumer education, tower work, equipment purchases, FCC approvals and coordination with cable and satellite companies that remains unresolved. The joint session is a town hall-style forum that will take place on Monday, April 14, and will be moderated by former FCC Chairman Richard Wiley and David Donovan, president of MSTV. TelevisionWeek will also present awards recognizing stations that have made significant strides in educating consumers about DTV.
In addition to this year's comprehensive line-up of DTV panels and experts, the NAB Show will also feature a "DTV Trekker," a 20-foot-long customized truck designed to look like a television. The "Trekker" is part of NAB's traveling road show to bring information about the DTV transition to Americans across the country.
Additional DTV sessions include:
- Coming in 2009: Mobile DTV from the Broadcast Television Industry
- DTV Audio in a File-Based World
- DTV Broadcasting for Mobile and Handheld
- DTV Transition: Partnership Opportunities for Cable Operators and Broadcasters
- How Tomorrow's TV Might Look Like... Differences and Progress
- Mobile TV: Opportunity at 100 MPH!
- Show Me the Money... Business Models and ROI
- Taming DTV Loudness and Consistency Issues - A Discussion of Strategies to Improve the Listener Experience
- Television Music Licensing in the Digital World
- The DTV Transition: Turning the Corner
- The Future of Digital Media in Television, Film, Newspapers, Magazines, and Advertising
Within the NAB Show, there will also be several conferences being held simultaneously for attendees. One conference is the Creative Storage Conference. This conference emphasizes digital storage technology that is critical in managing all aspects of content creation and distribution. Higher resolution in theatres, home entertainment and mobile devices is driving enormous growth in demand for digital storage and capacity requirements. Another key conference is the Surround Broadcast Conference that will feature some of the biggest names in broadcast audio and surround technology. Leading companies in the development of broadcast surround tools will offer presentations and demos dispersed between sessions.
Just a few 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. Mobile TV opportunities will be discussed by the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC). A special session has been set-up focused on mobile television opportunities for local TV broadcasters. The OMVC hopes to kick-start the mobile DTV process to make mobile DTV a reality. 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.
IPTV is a critical topic of growing importance. According to NAB officials, it was the number one searched term and one of the most popular segments during last year's NAB Show. This year NAB expects to see a huge demand for ongoing education and information.
The IPTV Pavilion will be in the "Content Central" section located in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. New to the NAB Show, the IPTV Pavilion and Content Central will provide a platform for exhibitors such as Maverick Systems, BT, ConnecTV Media International, DIGISOFT.TV, Itiva Networks, MDS America, NXP Semiconductors, Sentivision, Tektronix, UBStream, Ambric, Xeno and others to showcase their latest products and services centered on content distribution and delivery. The IPTV Pavilion will focus on the distribution and delivery of IPTV services, uniting content and new technology to provide innovative solutions to telecom organizations.
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, which are all factors that come into play as producers both comb their archives looking for content they can repurpose and shoot new material.
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. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org..