NAB Roundup 2013 – Forget 3D, Let’s Talk 4K!

Neptune Salad by Ben Rock

Every year, if I’m able to do so, I make the 4-hour trek by car from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to attend the National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB). For the uninitiated, it’s a trade show where all the manufacturers of every piece of gear involving broadcast, filmmaking, production, postproduction, you-name-it fill a massive convention center in Las Vegas for a week of every year. It’s like ComiCon for filmmakers – a chance to see all the new gear, computer programs, lenses, etc. to expect in the following months, a glimpse perhaps into our production workflow-to-come. My first NAB was exactly ten years ago, and even though I can’t make it ever year, it’s a great way to check in on all the trends in filmmaking. A way to see what will be possible in the near future.

Three years ago, I blogged about the the ubiquity of 3D technology which manufacturers presumed would be the next big thing as filmmakers prayed it would not (spoiler alert – a little of both, but nobody’s out of business because they failed to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on 3D technology for their business making industrial safety videos for the trucking industry). That year also marked the DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera coming into its own. 3D was a thing we all had to know about, but small form-factor, affordable, high-quality cameras were an actual game changer.

Some questions about NAB can never be answered, like “why is all the good food in the hall with all the radio crap when we have that sloppy Indian place in the central hall?” or “why do I end up with 5lbs of swag (I weighed it) that I will only throw away in six months?” And also, “what do the weasel-words ‘innovative network solutions for enterprise technology customers’ mean?” The world may never know. But for NAB 2013, the year was one of… Incremental progress. read more...

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