NAB is the National Association of Broadcasters and every year they hold a convention in Las Vegas. This popular event attracts tech geeks, broadcasters, filmmakers, photographers and educators from all over the country and the world. It’s an ideal location for a business trip or just a fun vacation; as you can explore the convention floor during the day and then party at night on the Vegas strip. This is the 3rd year I’ve gone and while I was on business I definitely came for some pleasures as well.
This year is quite possibly the biggest year yet in terms of just the sheer amount of booths and people that were at the convention. And there were definitely some good and bad things about this show– I’ll get to that in a moment. I encourage anyone who regularly buys new tech products to go to NAB at least once in their lifetime. And they may want to hurry before the SJW agenda turns it into a vanilla event with no distinguishing features.
The processor company had a very strong booth. It was small but effective and the staff at the booth was knowledgeable and not too pushy, which I appreciated. They showed me how well their processors work inside the HP computers and the new mac pro and I was pretty impressed. They were showing me videos playing at 10-bit rates with zero lag and I found that particularly satisfying.
The maker of cameras and lenses had an impressive booth. Their big thing was marketing their latest C-series cameras in particular the Canon C300 Mark II, a 4k capable camera that is looking to level the competition with a relative low body price. Of course the lenses and the new Cfast cards are incredibly expensive so you’re gonna spend money one way or another. They also showcased a lens that goes from 50mm to 1,000 for long scenic shots. It was a well done display and their salespeople were fairly knowledgeable about everything and didn’t beat around the bush with MSRPs.
Odyssey & Atomos:
Both of these companies make external recorders with various HDSDI and HDMI inputs/outputs. Odyssey wasn’t flashy but they knew their stuff and they had a truly remarkable product that could hold two SSD cards at the same time allowing for easier recording of sporting events. Atomos was more the fun booth, with booth babes, raffles and even a giant dome that showcased videos shot using their hardware.
The maker of hardware, software and most recently video cameras also caught my eye. Blackmagic has been kind of sloppy in years past but this time they really seemed to have their act together. They showcased a converter box which would allow for some interesting streaming capabilities and editing workflows as well as a brand new update to DaVinci Resolve.
Resolve used to be just a simple color correction system but now it’s evolved into fully capable video editing software and its FREE. Resolve 12 will pretty much do everything the current top editing systems Avid and Adobe can do, and more. Plus Avid’s bugs and glitches are making it less and less desirable and Adobe is not doing themselves any favors with their ludicrously expensive cloud based system. It looks like Blackmagic is about to change the game in this front.
They really didn’t bring the heat this year. Stationed off in an isolated corner, they failed to truly generate any excitement and there was no buzz about them on the show floor. Sony has made a lot of bad decisions in the past few years, but one of the worst they’ve probably made at this event was being boring. Booth babes would have really helped them out, but I guess the SJWs got to them. Oh well! There are plenty of more companies to check out!
The hardware experts from Grass Valley just didn’t impress me. They are trying to enter the video camera game with their 4k camera named the CION that features SDI inputs and outputs as well as HDMI capabilities. But they aren’t doing a good job distinguishing themselves amongst a growing field of competition and they have had several delays on the product release. Couple that with Blackmagic improving the quality of their product and AJA could be in serious trouble–within the next few years.
There were almost no booth babes at this year’s NAB. In year’s past they’ve had women in bikinis and mini skirts. This year a girl in form fitting jeans and a polo was considered good enough to be a booth babe. They were few and far between. NAB had well over 200 booths this year and I probably saw all of them and out of all those under 10 had booth babes. Roughly 0.5% of the booths used sex appeal to sell their product—one of the most effective forms of marketing.
Some people balked at my previous article on booth babes and how conventions are becoming more and more hostile towards them. But my fears are becoming reality. The most popular booths were of course the ones that used pretty women to sell their products these included; Canon, Atomos and Filmotechnic. For most of the rest it was a pathetic display, especially since it was all taking place in “Sin City.”
I’m sure at next year’s NAB there will be even less. It’s such a shame, people can say it doesn’t affect the quality of the show but it really does. There is less energy about it; you just meander from booth to booth until you find something interesting. It was rarely eye catching, and how could it be when you have four different booths trying to sell you military grade briefcases to protect your equipment? Overall NAB was a nice event, but what does it say when the women touring the booth are showing more skin that the promoters?