Congratulations! You’ve booked your first trip to the 2019 NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show. Don’t be surprised if you feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of what you see once you step into the cavernous Las Vegas Convention Center.

At NAB you will find products like NLEs (Non Linear Editors), Asset Management systems (MAMs, DAMs), Quality Control tools, storage solutions and transcoders in the South Hall. Cameras, studio tools, communications devices, drones and more fill the North Hall.

Navigating the terminology to find the right solutions for shaping the future of your media operation can be a daunting task.

We recommend focusing on:

  • Object Storage – Object storage designates all pieces of data as an object. Data is kept in separate storehouses versus file folders, and is bundled with associated metadata and a unique identifier to form a storage pool. This type of storage provides better scalability, faster retrieval times and a reduction in cost. You’ll hear about object storage from cloud providers like AWS, Google and Azure, and from most of the traditional storage manufacturers like Quantum, NetApp and DellEMC. You’ll also want to check out new providers like Wasabi to see how you can save costs on egress fees.
  • AI/ML – Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will be on full display. Every cloud service and aggregator will be showcasing how their product can recognize faces and objects or translate speech-to-text. While these features are cool and can save huge amounts of search time for broader business benefits, remember AI is only as good as the training it receives. Looking for a solution that enables you to provide feedback and help the model improve is key to the success of AI. Most providers have a solution where you can build your own model or use one that has been built with a feedback loop. Check out GrayMeta, AWS, Google and IBM Watson as some of the leading AI/ML providers or aggregators.
  • IMFInteroperable Master Format has been discussed by SMPTE and NAB for many years. As you go through the South Hall you’ll hear companies touting their support for IMF. You’ll want to ask what “support” means. Systems may have the ability to manage IMF packages for the purpose of archiving content, they may provide a way to visualize all of the components that make up a package, or could make up a package, or provide you a way to manage supplemental components.
  • AXF  – Archive Exchange Format is a new containerized approach to archiving media aimed at helping to eliminate compatibility issues between storage solutions. This is a relatively new SMPTE standard, but one both the storage providers and asset management technologies are sure to be talking about.

Tips for surviving the NAB Show:

  • Wear comfortable shoes. You will do a lot of walking in crowds, be comfortable.
  • Bring business cards and pens. NAB is a great place to meet people and companies that can help transform your media program. Jotting notes on the backs of business cards helps with follow up.
  • Have a purpose. Do some research about the products you are interested in, and have an expected outcome for conversations. NAB offers a Map My Show tool for gathering and scheduling your time efficiently.
  • Badge = Discounts. Check out some of the places offering deals when you show your NAB badge to save a few bucks.

Finally, get some rest because the NAB Show is a whirlwind! Levels Beyond will be at the AWS booth (SU2202) and the Wasabi booth (SL14508). We’d love to see you and hear how your show is going.

 

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