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For HD, NAB 2018 Will Be a Video Integrator’s Treasure Hunt

AV Integrators serve clients who are now expected to be content creators and distributors because the tools and technologies exist that allow even small businesses and institutions to put out polished video for live and prerecorded presentations. The 2018 NAB show will be filled with companies showing off the latest and greatest tech and integrators will be all over the Las Vegas Convention Center learning about the tools that will help their clients get to that next level.

When Clients are  Expected to be Content Creators, AV Integrators are Expected to Bring the Latest Tech to Make it Happen

We’ve spoken here about how important it is for AV integrators to expand into areas once reserved for broadcasters and major corporations. Companies, schools, institutions, houses of warship – even individuals – are creating professional-looking, polished, complex video for marketing, communications, educational purposes. It’s just expected. The tools and technologies to shoot, produce, post produce and distribute all this content get better and better all the time but there’s no place better than the Las Vegas Convention Center during NAB to see the very latest gadgets and solutions at one time.

Very small, economical PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) style cameras have played a very important role in this content-creation sector by allowing very small production teams, or even a one-person operations, to capture events – lectures, town hall meetings, prayer services, musical performances – from multiple angles, rather than with a single, boring static shot. In the past couple of years, the optical quality and resolutions of these cameras has shot way up from what we expect from security cams to the point where they can offer nice-looking images at 1080p or even UHD and true 4K. Among the leading companies in this arena, PTZ Optics (booth C9945), is expected to add to its lineup of high-end cameras, joystick controllers and other accessories.

NewTek (SL5016) is also likely to add to its current lineup of NDI-PTZ cameras. NDI, NewTek’s video-over-IP protocol, is being adopted by an enormous number of developers and manufacturers to allow camera, titling, effects and broadcasting/webcasting entirely within an IP environment, which has, in turn, helped open up new production capabilities to modestly-resourced groups. A great many of the newest PTZ cameras from NewTek and competitors such as PTZ Optics, are NDI native and we will certainly be seeing more on show floor. Those looking to bring their non-NDI-native gear into the NDI world, need not fear. Companies such as BirdDog (C11746) have found a great deal of success specializing in converting HD-SDI and HDMI input or output into the NDI realm. Given their success, it’s likely we’ll see an expansion of this company’s offerings.

The ability to switch from camera to camera or camera to playback or VFX tool once summoned up an image of enormous hardware boards in multi-million-dollar facilities but today, this kind of work is often being done with anything from the still-relatively-high-end NewTek TriCaster TC1 (and all the rest of the equipment they’ll be demoing at their booth) to the much more modest, but quite effective, Lecture Capture from Matrox (SL4524).

Integrators would also be wise to follow the latest developments in quality monitors such as the SmallHD 703 Bolt Wireless Director’s Monitor, a collaboration between monitor manufacturer SmallHD (OE5099) and multi-faceted manufacturer, Teradek (C6025). The new device allows filmmakers to wander the sound stage or location untethered, with a full HD monitor to view live takes as well as previews and playback, with full stereo audio headphone output. It is the first affordable, wireless, full HD monitor on the market, and its 3,000nit, daylight viewable display is the brightest SmallHD has ever made.

Atomos (C9425) has been a leader in combination monitor/capture devices for years and really helped lead the way in the trend of getting the most out of affordable DSLRs and video cameras. Their devices and peripherals today can be found on high-end feature film and television productions working with the top-tier cameras and shooting in high-res for HDR finishing but they’ve always continued to improve their few-hundred-dollar offerings too.

So, pace yourself so you can see what’s new with all these companies and the thousands more showing off their latest and greatest wares. And never lose site of the fact that the show is filled not merely with products and tools and hardware and software; it is filled with ideas you can use to help take your clients to the next level.


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