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Thu 23 Apr 2009 04:00 AM

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Talk of the town

Following the success of this year's CABSAT show in Dubai, technology vendors, production staff and broadcasters prepare to descend on Las Vegas for another colossal NAB Show. Digital Broadcast identifies some of the event's highlights.

Talk of the town
Talk of the town
Talk of the town
Talk of the town
Talk of the town
Talk of the town

Following the success of this year's CABSAT show in Dubai, technology vendors, production staff and broadcasters prepare to descend on Las Vegas for another colossal NAB Show. Digital Broadcast identifies some of the event's highlights.

The NAB Show, the broadcast industry's largest trade event is once more upon us. While much of the talk will be dominated by the impact of the economic downturn, there are plenty of other talking points among the 80,000 delegates.

At the time of press, the show had confirmed the inclusion of 1600 exhibitors including 430 international exhibitors and 70 debutants for 2009.

The NAB Show has been the leading electronic media event for more than 80 years, showcasing every stage of the content lifecycle, from creation to consumption... Each year we see new exhibitors from a variety of media platforms. - Chris Brown, Executive vice president of conventions and business operations, NAB.

"The NAB Show has been the leading electronic media event for more than 80 years, showcasing every stage of the content lifecycle, from creation to consumption," says Chris Brown, NAB executive vice president of conventions and business operations. "Each year we see new exhibitors from a variety of media platforms, and we look forward to learning about the unique opportunities that these new companies will bring to this year's show."

Several of the new exhibitors represent the 3D production and broadcast industry, a topic that will feature heavily, as it did at IBC 2008.

Philips 3D Solutions, 3ality and 3DTV Corp all make their first appearance at the show and will take their place in the new 3D pavilion.

The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) will be highlighting its latest findings in the fields of holographic TV and 3D HD transmission technologies.

The conference programme continues to reflect the expanding role of the broadcast industry with the addition of three new streams. The Military and Government Summit will look at some of the technologies that bridge the gap between these two industries and may encourage some technology vendors to consider what they can offer this vertical market.

The Advertising Innovations event will offer broadcasters a comprehensive overview of the latest trends in advertising and help them to discover how to maximise ad revenues in a multiplatform environment. A particularly pertinent issue for FTA networks looking to capture their share of an increasingly competitive market.

The final new entry to the conference is the Mobile Entertainment Summit. The agenda will reach beyond the scope of mobile TV to look at all content and media driven phone applications including social networks, music and video downloads, iPhone applications.

Further broadening the scope of the show will be the new content commerce pavilion. The new feature will include film studio MGM, one of the world's largest games production houses Electronic Arts, online video specialist Brightcove and the American Film Institute (AFI). The aim of the new pavilion is to unite all members of what NAB calls "the content community".

AmberFin: Stand No. SU4323

In the latest upgrade to its flagship content mastering and transcoding software solutions, AmberFin announces the immediate availability of iCR 4.5. The company claims the latest version enhances file-based workflow efficiency and raises the bar on image quality, while reducing cost per deliverable.

The latest version of iCR introduces a wide range of enhancements, including increased interoperability with tapeless cameras, VTRs, editing and server systems and simultaneous ingest and transcoding allows conversions and transcoding to be pipelined with ingest operations.

Native support for Avid DNxHD and Final Cut Pro, offering instant interoperability with Avid and Apple editing systems, extended industry-leading MXF support of native Panasonic P2, Sony XDCAM as well as Avid Op Atom MXF.

File-based standard definition motion compensated frame rate conversion is now a standard feature on all iCR systems.

Netia: Stand no. SU822

Netia will introduce its Radio-Assist 8.0 range of digital audio automation software at the exhibition.

Equipped with a broad range of tools for end-to-end multimedia workflows, the newest version of Netia's acclaimed software suite now extends beyond traditional broadcasting by allowing users to prepare publication at an early stage of the workflow.

Integration with Netia's Media Asset Management system is compatible with all media including video, images, texts and audio.

Radio-Assist 8.0 gives instant access to all types of media, archived or online, according to Netia. Regardless of the storage medium, items can be previewed and restored for repurposing and distribution, both for broadcasting and for multi-platform distribution.

By interfacing with Netia's Media Asset Management system, Radio-Assist 8.0 also responds efficiently to the needs of media groups having to manage and share media throughout their entities.

Omnibus: Stand ZE-21 SU5417

Automation, content management and workflow systems provider OmniBus will demonstrate its iTX software suite at this year's show. The company claims that iTX combines and exceeds all the functions of a conventional transmission chain in a single, integrated suite of software applications.The system offers support for SD and HD and can integrate with third-party systems. According to Omnibus, iTX can significantly reduce the investment required to launch and operate channels in broadcast, IPTV, mobile TV, disaster recovery and business continuity applications.

The OmniBus iTX Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is a specially configured variation of iTX designed for business continuity (disaster recovery) applications that includes media replication, fully redundant mirroring and remote operation after evacuation.

Content can be sourced automatically from existing servers and transferred as required to a remote location where an iTX playback engine interprets the transmission schedules to provide a parallel service.

iTX On-Demand is a new version of iTX that simplifies the process of creating VOD material, claims Omnibus. Broadcasters can transmit conventional channels and save VOD-ready content from the same iTX workflow and hardware, without having to re-ingest or reformat material for VOD use. It can be used to create everything from low-res files for Web download or mobile phones, to HD MPEG4 files with Dolby surround sound.

XOrbit: Stand su3417

XOrbit, a developer of technologies for caption automation, management, distribution, and live-to-air solutions for the television and broadcast industries will highlight three new products at NAB 2009.

AdSmart produces dynamic, demographically targeted caption sponsorships, reducing the cost of captioning and increasing overall revenue options.

The RTX Series is now available in a completely redesigned version 3.0. The new version includes XOrbit's exclusive foul language monitor WordCheck, centralised user management/authentication for large installations, and coordinated multi-language support.

ProofPositive, XOrbit's watermark-free delivery verification network has been enhanced. A new 3RU video signal monitor (VSM) chassis, updated motherboard and CPU, new video capture technologies, and version 2.0 software.

The VSM 2.0 unit provides automatic audio-level and video-overlay alerts.

Rohde & Schwarz: Stand C1933

Rohde & Schwarz will launch the R&SSX801 multistandard exciter at NAB.

Although its housing occupies only one height unit, the new R&SSX801 performs full signal processing from the input signals (video/audio signals or transport streams) to the RF output signal and a wide variety of options.

It is the first exciter to combine analogue and digital TV with digital radio on the same universal platform, according to the manufacturer.

The unit occupies just 1RU with coder, RF modulator, display with control panel and power supply.

An integrated GPS receiver can be added for synchronisation in single-frequency networks or as an accurate reference frequency. It is also possible to apply a 10 MHz or 5 MHz reference clock to the exciter. Integrated RF receivers for DVB-T/H allow monitoring of the transmitted signal or can be used in regenerative re-transmitters.

The new multistandard exciter is operated from the front control panel including a display or with a commercial web browser and Java technology.

Snell & Wilcox: Stands SU1917 & SU1717

Snell & Wilcox will showcase a range of products at NAB, which the company says will enable broadcasters to make a seamless transition to HDTV and 3Gb/s operations.

The company will introduce several new additions to its ‘intelligent infrastructure' product range.

The IQ Modular range includes more than 400 ‘intelligent' component building blocks, and 26 new 3Gb/s-capable modules. Available in 76 variants, IQ Modular gives customers unlimited flexibility in tailoring a broadcast facility to the demands of HDTV.

Compatible with emerging 3Gb/s standards and metadata-rich infrastructures, as well as current analogue, SD, and HD standards, an IQ Modular infrastructure serves as a unified, flexible, and future-proof system for digital broadcasting, claims Snell & Wilcox.

Modules in the new 3Gb/s IQ range are also available in SD and HD versions that may be upgraded easily and affordably to 3Gbps operation when the broadcaster's HD-3Gb/s road map warrants the shift.

The IQ Modular range of format conversion modules is built on Snell & Wilcox motion-adaptive technology optimised for maximum performance. Modules in the range also provide frame synchronisation, audio embedding and de-embedding with advanced Dolby E/D processing, metadata handling, and SMPTE 2016 AFD ARC support.

An updated version of the Alchemist Ph.C, S&W's HD motion-compensated frame-rate standards converter will be displayed. New features include a FilmTools option that delivers results with stunning film-like quality, quickly and affordably, according to the company.