Now that we’ve had some time to consider what we saw at NAB 2014, we have a sense of how to sum it all up. What did we see there? In one word: disruption.
A Changing Market
The broadcast industry is in flux right now, with many mergers and acquisitions taking place. (Three even happened during the show: Dalet + AmberFin, Imagine Communications + Digital Rapids, and All Mobile Video + AEG.) This disruption isn’t just coincidental. The broadcast industry is assessing how new means of media consumption will affect their business. They’re betting different ways, but everyone acknowledges that change is happening.
There’s also a general feeling of momentum change as we all prepare for the next hardware evolution. Many conversations at the show revolved around this evolution. At the root of it all, everyone’s wondering how new hardware and viewing practices will affect an industry built on technologies that are rapidly going obsolete.
4K Is On Its Way
4K was everywhere, which comes as no surprise given what we’ve seen at other shows this year. The Ultra HD technology will clearly be part of that next big market evolution, but it remains to be seen how that will play out. The million-dollar question is whether consumer TV upgrades to 4K will support the market in the same way that the updgrades to HD did for about a decade.
The upgrade question is complicated by second screens. The TV is less central than it used to be, and consumers watch video on many devices.
IP Is Here
The final disruption we saw was in communications protocols. The old standby, SDI, is almost completely replaced with IP content delivery. Or more accurately, the replacement hasn’t happened yet, but all of the plans forecast at NAB point in that direction. Hybrid systems may help ease the transition, but everyone seems to realize that IP is the future of digital video delivery. Of course this opens up more possibilities for cloud content and OTT solutions, creating even more–you guessed it–disruption.
Where do you think the industry will be when it comes time for NAB 2015?