NAB 2022 is a go! After a two year hiatus thanks to the small matter of the pandemic, the show is finally back. Here's RedShark's CEO, Matt Gregory's 10 reasons you should be going.
I’m writing this piece from a coffee shop in Heathrow’s Terminal 3 as I await my flight to Las Vegas. I used to be a regular here at T3, up until early 2020 I would depart from here every 2-3 months and head over to New York, Massachusetts, California and yes, Las Vegas, Nevada to hang out with friends, partners and customers. At the same time getting hands on with the Film and TV industry’s latest products and services.
We started RedShark 10 years ago from a spare desk in Basingstoke, Hampshire but the US is home to most of our community of readers, subscribers and followers. Long story short, we miss America very much! Fast forward to six months ago and I still would not have expected to write this article. Twelve months ago I was wondering if any of the major Film and TV technology trade shows would exist at all in their previous formats. Didn’t we all just a little bit?
After two long years that have changed how we work, live and interact with one another, "business as usual" is impossible. However in that time our industry has not just adapted, its grown stronger. Major advances in live streaming, remote workflows and virtual production have seen huge leaps in technology and new opportunities for industry professionals.
We've learnt about these new products and services mostly online. YouTube videos, Zoom webinars, virtual roundtables, podcasts and (of course dear reader) RedShark news. However, for me anyway, experiencing these products and technology in person with a team that can explain and demonstrate the various aspects of any given solution is still the optimum format for learning about new technology, and at a Trade show with hundreds of exhibitors weighting it up against its competition is still the best way to see what the future looks like for Film and TV technology.
There are many reasons people will not be attending. Each one an individual choice. Here at RedShark we are attending with a skeleton crew compared to previous years because we have team members that need to shield and/ or protect vulnerable people in their lives. A quick look at my LinkedIn feed and the messages I’ve received from friends across the industry suggests we will definitely not be alone out there.
The industry is genuinely buzzing again to have an event like this, there are networking party invites going out, big names delivering keynotes, huge product announcements and no one speculating about “who will pull out first” - instead asking who they can meet up with again. I’m all here for that. If you can’t make it don’t worry, we will be delivering a daily news roundup here and in your inbox Subscribe here if you haven’t already) each day of the show.
So in the spirit of my unbounding optimism - I’ve decided to put this double espresso from Pret and the free WiFi to good use and share my “10 Reasons to attend NAB 2022”. Feel free to add anything I’ve missed in the comments or hit us up on our Facebook/ Instagram/ LinkedIn channels. We will do our best to share everything you think is cool!
I was at BSC Expo in London a week ago along with our Technical Editor Phil Rhodes. We both recognised the biggest trend on show was the huge advances in VP technology, sound/ volume stages and camera tracking technology. It’s phenomenal and needs to be seen to be truly experienced. Companies like Mo-Sys (C4750), Vitec (N4420), Sony and many others will be showing how Unreal Engine driven systems are making productions bigger, better, more efficient (in terms of cost and CO2 emissions) and kinder to talent!
For someone like me the workshops are one of the main reasons I attend. Hearing directly from the people that work on projects like Stranger Things, Ozark and Mindhunter is how I learnt about HDR grading, working in high resolutions and the true potential of Adobe After Effects. This year I’ll be checking out the Gods of Mars to figure out how they built a world in Unreal Engine, Inside Mixed Reality for Live Broadcast that focuses on a technology that has exploded recently - XR (extended reality) with Megapixel and Disguise. Oh, and because since I last went to an NAB my wife and I now have 2 small children, I’ll be taking a look at “Making Content at the LEGO Group”, seriously it looks like a top panel discussion and some of LEGO’s top creative leaders are sharing their experiences.
We’ve got to know the new range of ASUS ProArt products very well and the team behind them too. Its new range of OLED monitors will be something we haven’t seen before though and this show will be the first time anyone will be able to take a look at the PA32-DC monitor. We are huge fans of its PA32-UCG single panel display so to see it side by side with the new OLED monitor is something genuinely exciting for us. Also check out its motherboards (which 3rd party CPU builders absolutely love) and its Studiobook laptops which feature a super cool tracking wheel to make editing on the go much easier. Still don’t believe us that its monitors are awesome? OK take Blackmagic Design’s (N302) word instead, there are approx 50 ASUS monitors on the BMD stand this year. So head over there and check out Resolve 18 and ASUS monitors at the same time.
The ASUS PA32-UCG 4K monitor.
The word of encoders and decoders has become a lot more accessible thanks to the likes of Matrox. Long standing pioneers of Live Broadcast Solutions it has a whole range of products that can help you if you are looking at upgrading your live workflow. The team there are *always* incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, stop by and say hi for a warm Canadian welcome.
This is another area where we expect to see incredible advances over the past 2 years. Blackmagic Design’s ATEM MINI has been selling by the containerful and expect big news in this area from Atomos (C9526) as well. We’ve just taken a deep dive into the Teradek Wave (spoiler alert - it's awesome). Along with its Spark, Cube, Vidiu and Bond products Teradek are now major players in the live production world. It doesn't have its own stand this year but you will see its products *everywhere* as its huge range of partners utilise Teradek products to showcase its own Live solutions as well as taking meetings at the Creative Solutions stand (N212). LiveU and NewTek also have new products that can finally be seen and demo’d in person.
The Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro ISO.
Actually (continued from above) NewTek is a reason on its own. Since we last saw the team they have been acquired by VizRT, got a new CEO and has doubled its revenues in the past 2 years. How? By making amazing live production equipment. Its TriCaster is awesome (our 7 year old video on how to build a virtual studio using a TriCaster Mini is still incredibly popular) and has now evolved into the Elite and Pro versions. We will check them out to see what differentiates it. It usually has some of the best interactive presentations/ demo’s at the show so worth taking a look for that alone.
Symply Storage (N1937)
Sometimes you need to dig around at the back of the Halls to find out the really cool stuff and this is a good example. Symply was founded by industry legend Alex Grossmann. Alex is ex Apple and had a vision to create a range of storage solutions that can grow with their clients (small production companies). He got support from storage experts Global Distribution and now has a product set that covers disc, tape and cloud. I really like their branding and our production crew love their Workspace product. Go check them out and also check out as many startups/ growing companies you can as the edge of the halls. You’ll always get a warm welcome.
Cloud Workflow Solutions
Honestly a while ago just writing the words “Cloud workflow solutions” who have put me back to sleep but things have changed. Frame.io changed the way creators collaborate in the cloud. We use it, our partners use it and now Adobe own it. Atomos are now moving into this area too. In response Blackmagic announced its own Cloud storage solutions which look extremely interesting.We expect this area to get even easier to manage, explain and work with.
Here is one you can enjoy just as much from home as at the show itself. We recently reviewed the ONE RS and liked it so much we got our own. We’ll be using it for our NAB behind the scenes series that you can catch on our Instagram page here. Good to see the Insta360 team exhibiting in such a big way this year.
The Insta360 ONE RS action camera.
We are all a little older and we’ve been through a lot but hey, it’ll be great to meet our friends and colleagues in person again. For a lot of attendees it’ll be the first chance they’ve had to meet their co-workers and customers in person. That’s a brilliant thing. Meet potential collaborators, new suppliers and valued customers again. A quick look on Eventbrite will show you plenty of after hours options. You’ll have earned a drink!