The NAB Show Daily News asked a number of industry leaders to share their thoughts on current issues and trends in their market segment of the media and entertainment industry. Here are some of their answers.
VICTORIA ST JOHN
President, Association of Public Radio Engineers, and Director of Operations, Vermont Public Radio
More than 90 percent of our listenership still comes from terrestrial towers, but a lot of strategic energy is going into digital technology rather than RF. Gaming, programming and digital media are very attractive and often more lucrative than RF engineering. At the same time, many gifted RF engineers are reaching retirement age. Our challenge is developing the next generation of engineers to seamlessly glide into this new multiplatform setting, prepared to sustain the RF engineering foundation while the industry expands in new directions. We are devoted to training and retraining new engineers. The APRE has given five new engineers scholarships to attend the Public Radio Engineer Conference.
How we consume media has shifted the landscape for radio and TV. We need to sustain the technology and funding models that work while looking at the industry and consumers as a whole with an intention to continue innovating. Also, we have to remind ourselves that engineering is invisible until there is a problem, yet it is our foundation. Our industry manages budgets that are being pulled in multiple directions and we can’t lose sight of our fundamental reliance on skilled engineers.
CTO | Company 3
I’m going with our dedicated color science and engineering teams because there’s quite a lot to see that directly affects a color grading and post-production company like Company 3. Storage is always an area where we need to stay ahead of the curve. We have about 10 petabyte (10 million gigabytes) spinning on our SAN right now. Last year at this time it was about half of that. We’re bringing in more work, but a lot of the growth is because files are getting bigger and our clients continue to require an ever-growing number of deliverables for each project. Our needs could easily double to 10 petabytes by this time next year, and with 8K coming, the requirements could be significantly more than that. We’re also very curious to see what manufacturers have to offer in the growing number of display technologies, including Direct View for cinema.
Group Founder of AV Industry Professionals
The AV industry is constantly evolving and incorporating new technology. 4K and 8K resolution, AV over IP are hot topics when combined with display and image developments. There is a serious migration from projectors to interactive flat panels now that the ASP has dropped on the panels to a near-equal level with a full projector installation. Interactive 20-point touch panels are the ideal display tool for schools and boardrooms. Not far away on the horizon are the direct view LED panels, which have also evolved with tighter dot pitch and lower ASP prices. These panels are now used in multiple types of applications. LED is not just for stadiums or the Las Vegas Strip.
From my perspective, consolidation, corporate acquisition and multiplatform distribution are the key business trends facing broadcasters and media companies as they arrive at NAB Show. Consumers across multiple demographic groups each make individual choices on when, where and how they choose to consume content.
Media companies must scale to compete to meet the demands of delivering desired content to their customers. Consequently, my key focus will be toward next-generation automated workflow solutions enabling multiple versions of an asset to be delivered seamlessly to our distribution partners, transcoding and metadata management to deliver those assets and big data management to target and receive feedback and prioritize the presentation