How was the experience at this year’s NAB Show?
Button: There was an overarching air of excitement at NAB this year, as
conversations surrounding the evolution of industry trends such as IP, HDR UltraHD and even 8K, continued to progress. We saw a consistent, heavy flow of traffic in the AJA booth and the south lower hall overall, and a number of professionals dropped by to see our new Ki Pro GO multi-channel H.264 HD and SD recorder, as well as updates and additions to our line of HDR, IP and openGear products.
What was different, as compared to its previous versions?
Button: At NAB this year, the crowd, trends, panels and even the food was familiar. However, we saw an increased interest in 8K, HDR and IP among the broadcast, production and post- production communities, as well as a growing number of professionals
searching for robust live streaming gear, for everything from live event production to church services and eSports.
What is the latest wave of technology doing the rounds of the media industry?
Button: From 5G to HDR, 12G-SDI, fiber and streaming, we saw a range of technology solutions designed to meet the evolving needs of professionals across broadcasting, live streaming, eSports, film, and TV production, proAV, corporate video, houses of worship and more. Additionally, we witnessed the early emergence of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) for items like scaling and media management, alongside the growing use of cloud services for production and post-production.
Which technologies did you see more of, at NAB Show 2019?
Button: This year we saw a lot more companies showcasing technology to support 8K workflows, AJA included. At the AJA booth, we showed off the new Corvid 44 12G card for developers, which is an 8-lane PCIe 3.0 video and audio I/O card enabling 8K 60p or multiple 4K streams of input or output. It is important to note that while 8K is a way-off in terms of pure broadcast delivery, its use for post-production, graphics, and plates is becoming more common for 4K and HD environmental back-plate creation. We were also showing Desktop Software v15.2, which introduced support for Apple ProRes capture/playback across Windows, Linux and macOS in AJA Control Room, at up to 8K resolutions. SGO Mistika’s 8K finishing system, which includes AJA KONA 5 cards integrated for audio and video I/O, was also on display at our booth. HDR proved a recurring theme in terms of technology as well, with AJA showcasing updates to our FS-HDR converter/frame sync and the HDR Image Analyzer – devices designed for successful HDR production. There were also a host of new solutions on display that support for SMPTE ST 2110 IP video, including our latest version of Desktop Software and new IPT-10G2-SDI and IPT-10G2- HDMI IP video transmitters that bridge HDMI and SDI signals to SMPTE 2110. Looking at connectivity, we saw a lot of fiber, 12G-SDI and openGear solutions from companies like AJA, among others.
How do you, as a company, intend to keep pace with the ever-changing technology landscape?
Button: We live in a fiercely competitive, ever-evolving landscape. We understand the importance of listening to the industry and our customers, and anticipating what they need. We believe in building and refining it with customer input, as trends progress. It is a practice that we have built our business on, and will continue to implement.
Where do you see the industry heading in the next 2-3 years?
Button: The constant desire among content creators and providers to improve the audience viewing experience will continue to drive technology companies to deliver innovative solutions that advance HDR, IP, cloud and UltraHD workflows. As the industry works through some of the challenges inherent in any new workflow pipeline, we will begin to see HDR become more of the standard across film, TV and live productions. More professionals are likely to embrace hybrid SDI/IP workflows as they see more successful implementations in the field that demonstrate the benefits. In terms of resolution, I anticipate that more professionals will embrace 4K and even 8K in the next few years. Meanwhile, the quality of streaming will continue
to improve as will the way streams are presented to viewers.