5 Things That Caught My Eye: North Hall

Let’s hear it for the NAB Show North Hall. It’s a manageable size for wandering, and it’s stocked with the widest range of exhibitors, special interest clusters and sheer novelty of any NAB Show venue. Here are some hot tips.

1 RadioFest … Is that what RF stands for?

“Broadcast” — it’s the “B” of NAB. And there’s a bunch of “B” in “N,” the North Hall. If tickling the airwaves is your thing, you need to visit your neighbors in the North. In addition to transmitters, RF stalwarts like Eimac and Shively (all that gorgeous plumbing!), and automation galore, visit Sound4 (N5916). They’ll let you test drive their “Big Voice” processor, a cool tool that stores presets for individual voice talent, and tweaks up their dulcet tones with EQ, phasing and limiters. And, of course, a secret algorithm. Isn’t there always?

2 Real-World 8K at NHK

What? In all the years you’ve visited NAB Show, you’ve never dropped in to see NHK’s (N331FP) crazy, bleeding-edge technology demos? That needs to change. Take a chance, have some fun! Get up close and personal with real, working 8K systems; watch yourself shoot hoops in 8K, 240 fps slo-mo; or don their wacky-looking 8K VR headgear and visit the high-resolution future.

3 Loafing at the Startup Loft

There’s a metric boatload of new and cool stuff to see in the Startup Loft concourse, from a text-based audio editor to applications for facial recognition, project management, interactivity and more. My favorite: Freewire Technologies (N2936SUL-A), showing Mobi Gen TWS, a green alternative to that stinky, noisy generator that powers your location gear, concert mix desk or lights. In the era of electric cars, a trailer-sized box o’ batteries makes perfect sense.

4 Immersed in VR

There’s a whole cluster of VR-related vendors in the North Hall, one more outrageous than the next. But the Insta360 (N2803VR) booth, itself a design standout, showcases a whole family of cameras you can strap to your nutty active-lifestyle friends and record their thrills and spills. Motion sickness patches not supplied, so bring your own!

5 Non-Broadcast Neighbors

The NAB Show has always attracted out-of-industry exhibitors — I’ve seen wristwatch vendors and massaging lounge chairs — but here’s non-broadcast news you might be able to use: the Gridd underfloor cabling distribution system by FreeAxez (N5019). So well executed. Imagine all that gorgeous engineering underneath your own studio floor.