National Association of Broadcasters Convention 2004
Well, another NAB convention has come and passed.
This year was my ninth show in the last ten years, and a lot has changed. Since last year, “HD” has become the buzzword. This year’s show also had (according to the Lost Remote TV Weblog) more than 94,500 attendees, up from last year’s 88,000. Accordingly, there was less bellyaching about the economy, and the exhibitors who came with things to sell seemed to be moving inventory or placing Sold signs on their demo units.
Ten years ago, the Internet didn’t get any attention from the convention-goers, and I counted on one hand with two fingers to spare the number of booths that were offering Internet services or products. I also recall how, back in ’95, Avid and Media100 had similar-sized booths and were neck and neck in their respective technology. I think Avid is now more worried about what Apple engineers are doing. One person I chatted with at the Promax Digital Video Cafe is a Media100 user. He was telling me how he visited Media100’s booth, hoping to be reassured about the company’s future, but unfortunately left feeling more worried.
Here are the highlights (IMHO) from NAB 2004:
Apple hosted an invitation-only event at the Venetian and announced Final Cut Pro HD (a.k.a. FCP 4.5, so it’s a free upgrade available now for FCP 4 users). According to Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice-president of Applications Marketing, there are more than a quarter million FCP editors in the world. Live from NAB has more info on FCP HD.
Apple also announced DVD Studio Pro 3, the Xsan High-performance Storage Networking system, and Shake 3.5. Working together with Panasonic, Apple introduced the new compact AJ-HD120 0A DVCPRO HD VTR. Now you can shoot in HD and import your footage into FCP via FireWire.
The announcement from Apple that I’m most excited about (read: can’t wait to get my hands on) is Motion. Bye-bye After Effects. Well, almost anyway. AE still has the ability to do animation in Z-space. But the way Motion uses behaviors and not key frames to create animations is very cool, and it will only cost $299 when it ships this summer! Creative Mac has more info on Motion.
Apple’s booth was always very crowded. It’s no wonder Apple won six National Association of Broadcasters Best of Show awards.
Sony’s killer app—OK, killer hardware, actually—was the Sony Anycast, a control room in a suitcase. The video guy at my church has ordered one, so I am looking forward to getting my hands on it when it ships in August.
In Huge Systems’ booth, I got a close-up look at its MediaVault 320-R. Wouldn’t one of those look sweet next to your G5? Huge was one of the presenters at the Promax Digital Video Cafe and made some interesting comments about how it feels that the technology of network storage is going to go Ethernet—not Fiber Channel.
Of course, there were many other cool things that time and space don’t allow me to opine upon. Overall, it was a good show, but there was not enough time to see everything I wanted to see—and I didn’t spend much time sitting through demonstrations, either! It was good to see all the third-party hardware and software for Macs this year—accessories, plug-ins, and other things made to work with Final Cut. It’s an exciting time to be working in this field, and I can’t wait to see what exciting things will be shown at NAB 2005!
Also in This Series
- Macworld Expo 2009 · February 2009
- National Association of Broadcasters Convention 2004 · May 2004
- O’Reilly Mac OS X Conference 2003 · December 2003
- Mac Expo 2003 (London) · December 2003
- MacFest 2003 · June 2003
- National Association of Broadcasters Convention 2003 · May 2003
- Apple Expo Paris 2002 · October 2002
- Macworld Expo New York 2002 Wrap-up · August 2002
- IPEX 2002—Birmingham NEC · May 2002
- Complete Archive