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NAB Show 2018 Recap

April 18, 2018

Media... Entertainment... Technology... It's the M.E.T. Effect, and it happens at the NAB Show. Held every April in Las Vegas, it's the world's largest convergence of broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, manufacturers, representatives, users, and more. The packed convention center halls include technology for broadcasting, multimedia, content gathering/creation, streaming and delivery, virtual and augmented reality, field audio, all the way to digital video, digital signage, and even drones!

Dale's team of Joe Prout, Mike Descoteau, Joel Guilbert, and Eric Eldredge attended the event and covered the vast halls, in search of the latest and greatest developments on the audio side of our industry.

Some of our team's findings of interest included:

  • Eventide announced they are finally shipping their long-awaited H9000 audio processor. The unit features powerful effects processing and routing and should be available in late May.
  • Tieline introduced the new ChatterBox IP-based IFB and intercom system, to be released later this year.
  • Sonifex brought a bunch of new AES67 IP audio products to their catalog, including monitoring, talkback, routing and PTP-ready clocks.
  • Zoom displayed a prototype of their new F8n field recorder. Based on customer feedback after the F8's release, it promises lots of improvements and should ship over the summer.
  • Avid expanded their VENUE | S6L live console system with three new surfaces, another mix engine, and two new stage boxes.
  • Studio Technologies announced four new Dante-based broadcast studio tools, all of which should be shipping soon. This includes Models 205, 206, 391, and 48D.
  • Ward-Beck Systems showed off the long-awaited preMO mic preamp, complete with onboard mixing, monitoring, and AES67 output. They are expecting to ship soon.
  • Telos displayed their Infinity system, an IP-based matrix-free intercom. Infinity is expected to ship by about June.
  • Junger Audio turned our heads with their new flexAI processing system and the AIXpressor rackmount processor. This open-architecture audio processing system will available in the summer.
  • RF Venue introduced the WaveTower spectrum scanner - this hardware/software solution is powerful and simple to use.
  • Audinate announced their AVIO series of Dante audio adapters will be available by month's end.

Joel Guilbert offers his thoughts on the show:

NAB 2018 had a generally optimistic tone; record-setting attendance (101k registered) with technologies founded in IP firmly marching forward and starting to be ready for primetime (pun somewhat intended).

The IP broadcast showcase has evolved through the years from a ragtag rack cobbled together from a few pieces of gear to a full-blown broadcast solution. The audio section had multiple format mixers (SSL and Yamaha using AES67 compliant Dante) Calrec, LAWO, and many manufacturers' equipment all speaking happily.

More and more AOIP devices are filling the market out, some unique offerings from Studio Technologies and Glensound and others are filling out the niche nicely.

PTP clocking is a new area that needs to be taken seriously. Think of PTP as the new BlackBurst sync for 2110 networks - a lot of these will be needed in the future. ClearCom-owned Trilogy showed their Mentor RG, Brainstorm their DXD-16 PTP and Sonifex AVN-GMCS.

ATSC 3.0 was successfully deployed at the recent Pyeongchang Winter Olympic games, and WRAL in North Carolina successfully received the first American ATSC 3.0 broadcast, with Dolby newest AC4 codec. Dolby has finally readied AC4 for transmission, expect to see it incorporated into products over the next few years. It is already incorporated into the Dolby DP580 reference decoder. For ATSC 3.0, Dolby AC4 will be standard for North America, MPEG-H for Europe.

More and more Dolby Atmos content is being created, and professional tools for Dolby Atmos mixing are becoming more readily available. Of special interest were the Nugen Halo Upmix and Junger Level Magic tools - it’s a good indication of the longevity of a format when companies invest in creating tools to support its production.

For a complete gallery of all the photos from the event, look HERE.

See a list of our week-long updates from the show floor on our TwitterInstagram, and Facebook pages.

See several new product video announcements on our Youtube page.

Dale Pro Audio remains committed to being a leading provider of solutions in the Broadcast and Field Audio markets since 1956.

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