NAB Recap, Part One: Pre-NAB Weekend

Sony’s NAB Show press conference put the focus on 3D production, announcing that the company will once again be sponsor ESPN’s Summer X Games in 3D as well as programming for 3Net and Sky in the UK. But it was the announcement of a multiyear, multicamera deal with NEP that topped the list of new deals.

Although AVC-Ultra will not hit the market until 2013, Panasonic’s new compression scheme permeated nearly every major announcement at the company’s pre-NAB Show press conference. In addition, Panasonic also briefly teased a 4K VariCam prototype.

Grass Valley’s presser debuted its latest fiber-to-triax converter while also unveiling notable upgrades: an updated version of its Stratus Media Workflow Application Framework software, a revamped K2 Summit Media Server platform, the 6.5 version of its EDIUS nonlinear software, and additional features to its Trinix NXT Multiviewer for SD, HD, and 3G.

One of the more interesting new companies represented at the show this year was Brevity, which offers a potentially game-changing technology for sports production. The New York City-based startup exhibited V3, a Web-based video-management system that it says can transfer encrypted video files over Internet, fiber, or satellite up to 30 times faster than otherwise possible.

At a press conference on Saturday night, Harmonic announced a deal that will provide its Omneon MediaGrid shared-storage systems and ProMedia Carbon enterprise transcoding software for NBC Olympics’ production of the 2012 London Games.

For the second consecutive NAB Show, Avid has boosted its Interplay system to the next level, with the introduction of Interplay Sphere. Following Interplay Central’s debut last year, Sphere promises to take remote content access to the next level, too. The cloud-based system allows journalists to acquire, access, edit, and finish stories from anywhere, “breaking down the walls of the newsroom,” as Avid executives put it during the press conference.

2012 was a big show for Germany-based console and routing-systems manufacturer Lawo. At its booth, Lawo North America President Herbert Lemcke ticked off several new developments.

Evertz jumped into the replay market with Dreamcatcher. Drawing from experience building the Mediator Content Management and Automation system, the company sought to create a replay server characterized by production quality, new compression technology, and codec flexibility.

At the NAB Show, Harris Corp. unveiled the Magellan Network Management System, a complete network-monitoring and -control solution that manages the individual components of broadcast from creation, through aggregation, and on to delivery.

If you thought the broadcast-loudness issue was settled, think again. The leadoff round of presentations at the DTV Audio Group’s NAB Show meeting focused on exactly that.

Producers and directors in the next generation of sports broadcasting are running around now wielding increasingly affordable DSLR video cameras, shooting hi-def footage of Pop Warner football and girls softball games. David Marsh at Audio-Technica thinks they’re going to want microphones to get the kind of audio they’ll need to match that HD video.

Ross Video may be known primarily for its switcher and servers, but the Canadian manufacturer suddenly became a major player in the robotic-cameras market after acquiring Cambotics, its second such acquisition in just three months.

At an early-morning press conference on Sunday, Chyron dove head first into the second-screen/social-TV pond. The company highlighted its new Engage platform (co-developed with ConnecTV) and announced the launch of Shout, a standalone software application that enables broadcasters to bring Twitter feeds live to air.