The NAB show has always seen more pro AV and display– i.e. “non-broadcast”–technology over the sprawling show floors in Vegas than most would expect. LED, large venue projection, live event production tools– NAB delivers a lot to pro AV– if you know where to look. 

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At this year’s NAB show it’s hard to avoid displays that were once mainly the stuff of DSE (Digital Signage Expo) and InfoComm. What’s different this year, from a display perspective? Simple: direct view LED. Increasing innovation in direct view fine-pixel LED displays are driving the LFD market growth. Currently making up just 19% of today’s global market, narrow pixel Pitch LED is challenging the status quo and expected to rise to 44% by 2020.

OK, but why NAB? Because those LED trend numbers are dovetailing with another huge trend: the use of direct view LED on broadcast sets, and the use of more direct view LED in live events (corporate meetings; concerts; sporting events, etc.) Not only are falling prices for finer pixel pitch LED causing a boom in integration services (from AV integrators) to the broadcast market, but the technology evolution of the category is leading to innovations that will cross over to installed AV for enterprise, education, and live entertainment. Example: image processing advances (from companies such as D3 LED) that are needed in broadcast– such as realtime scaling and simultaneous output of tens of millions of pixels to screens of different resolutions– are making their way to the AV market, as broadcast technology teaches a few new tricks to integrators.

And LED is not the only trend. AV integrators are increasingly offering more broadcast and live event capabilities to their installed AV clients. Because streaming, archiving, and production tools are now both more affordable for AV end users and easier to use (as we’ve reported here).

It’s complicated, the arrows going in multiple directions. But if you’re at NAB 2018, below are a few places you can educate yourself about both direct view LED, and also new broadcast and AV/IP and live streaming tools that might give you and your clients’ “AV” a boost.

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Before you get distracted with all the shiny direct view LED, at NAB fourteen leading developers of the NDI video/IP protocol (since its introduction in 2015, NDI has become a popular industry standard for sharing video on a standard Ethernet network) have joined together to exhibit their latest products and solutions. NewTek, the developer of the royalty-free standard, is hosting the event from the NDI Central Pavilion at NAB. If you can’t make it to NAB you can watch the exhibition on NewTek’s Twitch livestream.

The NDI Central Pavilion at NAB

The NDI Central Pavilion at NAB

The stream will showcase NDI developers and creators who are at the forefront IP video production. The 14 NDI developers being featured are AJT Systems, Boinx Software, Changsha Kiloview Electronics, Production Bot LLC, Easy Media Suite, Etere, FingerWorks Telestrators, LiveXpert by 3D Storm, Medialooks, NewsMaker Systems, NIXUS, Panasonic, RT Software, Stream Circle.

Samsung and HARMAN (one and the same, of course) at NAB– direct view LED: Samsung’s IF Series displays, available in P1.2, P1.5, P2.0 and P2.5 leverage LED HDR scene adaptation technology to showcase a detailed and realistic picture. According to Samsung, “Samsung LED Display IF Series reach peak brightness levels nearly two times higher than standard LED maximum brightness norms. Often, conventional LED displays struggle to present red, green and blue color hues accurately and without distortion in low grayscale settings." The IF Series displays alleviate these challenges through a unique grayscale management algorithm that maintains consistent R/G/B gradation for improved color accuracy. As a result, low-brightness indoor environments, such as galleries, museums and shops, can display content at optimal quality with uniform and precise color expression.

OK, it’s not direct view LED, but Sharp Electronics Corporation is exhibiting for the first time at NAB Show 2018. And it’s newsworthy because Sharp is making huge LED-backlight LCD panels that cross over into many pro AV markets, and they’re also pioneering 8K. During the show, Sharp will introduce its theme – "Changing the World with 8K" – through various product demonstrations with its 8K camcorder and video monitor to showcase the present and future of the 8K ecosystem, for medical, educational 8K viewer and 8K distribution/transmission. The 8K camcorder allows the user to shoot, record, playback and line-out in 8K all on the spot. Also, Sharp's 8K 70-inch Class video monitor will provide the opportunity to experience high definition, high quality images that conform to the 8K standard image and supports HDR extended display at an 8K (7680 x 4320) resolution. Sharp's new 8K ecosystem contributes to remote medical technology including remote diagnosis and monitoring with 8K technology, supporting the next generation of medical technology. Finally, the ecosystem comes equipped with an 8K distribution/transmission, showcasing the possibility of 8K high quality image transmission by IP.

Leyard and Planar are showing display solutions at NAB “designed for the gamut of broadcast applications from on-camera and virtual reality studios to production, post-production and master control rooms” according to the company. Leyard and Planar’s participation at NAB 2018 follows the hiring of broadcast veteran Kathy Skinski to support the companies’ focus on the broadcast market. Skinski brings more than 20 years of television and digital experience, working with top media giants including ABC Network, Time Warner Cable and CNN.

Among the direct view LED solutions from Leyard/Planar at NAB 2018:

The Leyard TWS Series, a family of ultra-fine pitch LED video wall displays available in 0.9, 1.2, 1.5 and 1.8 millimeter pixel pitches. The Leyard TWS Series features a 27-inch diagonal size with an all-in-one design to fit a broad range of broadcast environments. The Leyard TWS Series is lightweight and easy to handle, making it an attractive solution for applications where traditional, hanging or curved video walls are required.

The Leyard TVF Series, a family of fine pitch LED video wall displays available in 1.5, 1.8 and 2.5 millimeter pixel pitches. With a 27-inch, slim-profile display cabinet, the Leyard TVF Series features front serviceability and a stackable design that eliminates cabinet-to-cabinet cabling and reduces the complexity of installation and vertical alignment.Interactive Touch Solutions: Leyard and Planar offer a wide range of interactive touch displays solutions to help enhance coverage. 

The Leyard LED MultiTouch delivers completely seamless interactive LED video wall using Leyard PLTS (Pliable LED Touch Surface) technology and a sleek framing system to provide a dynamic multi-user experience. Leyard LED MultiTouch delivers a high-performance, interactive experience with 32 simultaneous touch points, and is available in 108-inch, 151-inch and 196-inch diagonals.

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