Introduction - NAB Show 2009 Report
This year's NAB was very different form those of the last 5 to 10 years. Make no mistake about it, the recession is hitting our industry and it is hitting Las Vegas - Hard! How hard you ask? By my estimates attendance at the show was off 50% from last year. What does that mean? No problem finding a room, word was out that some of the biggest and best hotels in Vegas were running specials for under a hundred bucks a night. No problems getting a taxi, cab lines were non existent. No problem jumping off the show floor to make a pit stop, little or no lines at the rest rooms or food areas. Most importantly though, there was no problem getting time at the booth with the people you needed to meet with!
This will probably go down as one of our most successful NAB shows ever! We've picked up several new lines, the most significant one I can tell you about is AJA, but we will have more exciting news to share with you as the spring heads into summer. We also saw the launch of a new product line-up form Matrox, giving them affordable HD I/O devices at every price/ user level. Sony announced a new version of Vegas Pro (9), but the even bigger news was Vegas getting more attention and support from the Sony mother ship as the Sony Creative Software group becomes part of a bigger Sony business unit. While Avid & Adobe didn't have major product announcements, they did provide a peak at their very exciting road maps for the future.
One of the most anticipated announcements for NAB 2009 did not happen. Although Apple was not at the show, the Final Cut Pro Users Group Super Meet was a huge success. Many of the attendees were hoping for big news from Apple about the next version of Final Cut Studio, but alas, nothing yet. The rumor going around the show was Snow Leopard OS first, then the new Final Cut Studio a few months later.
The future's so bright – you have to wear 3D shades!
When I walked around the show floor at NAB I could not believe how many booths were showing or talking about 3D video workflows. When Avid introduced Media Composer 3.5 a couple of months ago with stereoscopic 3D editing, I thought it was just some technology hype for the investors. After touring the halls at NAB, I realized that perhaps there was more going on here - a lot more.
Why do we want 3D video? Didn't we go through that fad back in the 50s? Is it really all that exciting? Well if you ask Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, Lucas Films or some of the other major animation and FX studios the answer is pretty simple. 3D movies are bringing folks into theatres, and that's a big deal. So many homes now have big screen HD TVs that theaters now have to compete with cable, satellite and Blu-ray for our entertainment dollars. A night out at the movies isn't a cheap date anymore, so Hollywood is looking for hooks that require you to come to the theaters. 3D is a hook that keeps reeling us in.
The demand for 3D movies from Hollywood may create demand for 3D home viewing which will ultimately trickle down to us. I know what you’re thinking? "I'm just starting to figure this whole HD thing out, and now I have to worry about 3D?". You don't. It's going to be several years; my guess is 5 or more before we're shooting our own 3D home movies, travel videos or kids sporting events. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep an eye on it. Some technology breakthroughs in 3D will create spillover products into our markets. Most importantly it will hopefully inject new dollars and resources and talent into our industry which will ultimately result in better, faster, cooler, more powerful workflows for us.
So let’s talk about all the cool new stuff that we did see at NAB, and how it is going to help you produce and edit your video, faster, better and more efficiently.