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NAB ’18– Video Production Takeaways for the AV Integrator

The NAB 2018 show floors were packed with tools and technology relevant to today’s AV integrator. With corporate and institutional “AV” experts seeing a massive expansion into realms previously out of reach – what would have been exclusive to “production” and “broadcasting” – the NAB show floor has become more important.

The NAB 2018 show floors were packed with tools and technology relevant to today’s AV integrator. Good timing– because corporate, enterprise, and institutional AV experts are expanding into realms previously out of reach to them–what would have been exclusive to “production” and “broadcasting” in previous years.

Last month, we offered a peek at what was coming for the NAB show in Las Vegas that would be vital for AV integrators. Now, for those who missed the show (or went but didn’t have time to take everything in) we offer a quick summary of the fascinating and diverse products unveiled at the Las Vegas Convention Center of particular interest to AV integrators with clients who are now being charged with producing and webcasting professional-looking live and slickly-edited video.

There was certainly no shortage of tools for webcasting/broadcasting and switching live, multi-camera programs complete with effects and titling capabilities. NewTek has, of course, been in that space for many years with products such as the TriCaster and they have been instrumental in simplifying broadcast-over-IP with NDI (Network Device Interface) included in their own PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) style cameras as well as those of newer manufacturers of the lightweight, remote-controlled cameras, such as those from PTZOptics. NewTek was at the show with NDI Version 3.5, which offers optimized performance. NewTek also had plenty to discuss with their virtualized control room software, new “affordable yet uncompromising 4K workflows,” and its LiveGraphics approach to the creation of real-time motion graphics that does not require a proprietary hardware graphics engine. Content authored in Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe After Effects CC is available for live output from TriCaster TC1 and NewTek IP Series.

Of course, not every AV department has TriCaster money, but new technology (including NewTek’s NDI protocol) has resulted in many other approaches for companies, institutions, houses of worship and other clients of the AV integrator to create the kind of video programming that attracts viewers and promotes engagement. Wowza, for example, was at the show with its ClearCaster. This product is optimized for presentations on Facebook Live. In addition to being able to work with a full 1080 signal (4K, the company promises, is on the way) it can also 360° and VR video to maximize Facebook Live’s options, as well as a Talent View function that gives on-camera personalities the ability to see viewer reactions in real time. It also simplifies accessibility requirements by allowing captions to flow through a Facebook Live broadcasts and on to VOD assets, unlike other Facebook Live streaming software.

Naturally, Telestream, makers of Wirecast, were at the show too. They used the opportunity to introduce what they call a ‘one-box-solution’ for closed caption encoding to multiple live streams. Sophisticated caption insertion capability is part of the latest version of Lightspeed Live Stream, Telestream’s multiscreen live encoding and packaging at scale solution for broadcasters, content aggregators and live event production companies.

Epiphan Video, another leader in professional audiovisual capture, recording, and streaming products, offered a look at their upcoming all-in-one live video system, Pearl Mini. Epiphan Video was also at the Facebook Live Pavilion where Pearl Mini and Webcaster X2, designed for YouTube and Facebook Live presentations, were on display.

Atomos has been a leader in the lower-end world of production with its combination monitor/DDR units and today maintains its position in that space, on top-tier features and TV shows, and pretty much everything in-between. Among their big NAB announcements was one about their offering support for ProRes RAW. The ProRes RAW update will be available free for the Atomos Shogun Inferno and Sumo 19 devices. Atomos also demoed the new incarnation of the famous Atomos Ninja Ninja V – an all new compact 5.2″ 1000nit high brightness HDR monitor/recorder.

Clever minds throughout the entertainment, educational and corporate spheres continue to explore the best uses of 360-video to tell stories, attract viewers and promote engagement.

Show attendees were very excited by the enhanced Samsung 360 Round camera for all those reasons and also because it’s just a really cool device. The new version includes updates to its livestreaming and post-production software, including Samsung’s Stitching software, that weaves together video from each of the 360 Round’s 17 lenses.

Of course, that’s just a tiny taste of the type of new gear and upgrades that AV integrators soaked up at NAB ’18. But the key takeaway for integrators is that clients are now expected to create polished and elaborate video and there are more ways to do that than ever before. The more you know, the more successful you will be.


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