TAKEWAYS: Best of NAB Show 2017

THE STANDARD asked ATSC board members to chime in with their top takeaways from this year’s NAB Show.  First up is Lynn Claudy, from NAB:

  • Quote from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to a packed house: “Our goal is to issue a final authorization of the Next Gen TV standard by the end of the year.  We’ll move quickly (by FCC standards, anyway) because I want the United States to lead the world in broadcasting, just as in the communications industry generally.”  This is music to ATSC ears (and eyes)!

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai greeted by NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith

  • The NextGen TV Hub featured a live terrestrial broadcast of 4K UHDTV. And NASA debuted the first extraterrestrial 4K broadcast, linking the International Space Station (ISS) with an “standing room only” crowd in a Las Vegas Convention Center conference room using a UHD video encoder from AWS Elemental and a RED Epic Dragon Digital Cinema camera. Yes, with the multiple satellite hops and associated processing there was an 11-second delay in the interview with Elemental founder Sam Blackman, but the wait was worth it!

NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer talk 4K with
AWS Elemental founder Sam Blackman

  • NHK showed that 8K Super Hi-Vision displays are ready for consumers in 2017 with a mockup of a living room with an 85” flat screen television. But they also showed that this is not the end game for high resolution displays by any stretch of the imagination and featured a second living room mockup that may be typical in the 2020’s with a large screen sheet-type display only 2mm thick showing 8K resolution at 120 Hz frame rate.

Chris Homer of PBS cites three key takeaways:

  • Progress of Korean broadcasters. It was good to see this working, especially Layer Division Multiplexing.
  • Audience measurement testing on ATSC 1.0 platform. Verance has done some great work in demonstrating the power of the watermark technology and audience measurement on the 1.0 platform, which is of great interest to public media.
  • The Addressable Advertising demo was also great to see the power of the platform. May be relevant to public media in a different way to attract and reward membership viewers.

Finally, from CTA’s Brian Markwalter:

  • “ATSC 3.0 was everywhere and ready for action. Not only were ATSC 3.0 demos and products available in expected locations, like the NextGen TV Hub and Futures Park, but companies around the floor also were showing ATSC 3.0 products and displaying the logo.  Further, there were nearly 30 conference sessions that covered every aspect of Next Gen TV from business models to technical explanations and the timeline for introduction.”

The ATSC thanks the NAB and CTA which joined us a Presenting Sponsors of the NextGen TV Hub at the 2017 NAB Show. The Hub earned the Best NAB Show Booth Award from Sound & Video Contractor magazine – a tribute to the more than two dozen companies supporting the demonstration.