I like NAB because it is about the future - of storage, of content, of entertainment. Large file-based worflows and rich metadata are the future, and NAB is a where a big piece of that lives.
So what was cool? Here's what I liked:
- 3D. The industry is jumping on 3D big time and this time it might work. I tested several systems and was surprised to find that the expensive LCD shutter-based systems were unwatchable, while the cheaper polarized screens worked fine. Sports looked especially good in 3D - you get a better sense of player locations.
- Open-source online HTML5 video platform. That's a mouthful, but it sounds like a good idea. Kaltura.org.
- HD-AAC. A new layered lossless codec from the Fraunhofer Institute - co-inventors of MP3 - that plays as a regular compressed AAC file on your current iPod and an uncompressed file on your future HD-AAC capable player. Future-proof your ripping. No word on whether Apple will use it for iTunes.
- Scale-out file systems. Bycast, Data Direct Networks, FalconStor, HP, and Quantum were showing product. One said they were seeing a lot of activity in the 20 PB+ installs. W00t!
- Metadata. This is important because as we store more stuff finding it is the problem. Extended metadata - data about the data - is critical to long-term data storage and retrieval. What the industry calls media asset management - software that manages video content - automatically adds metadata where it can, though humans are needed for some data. And object storage - a terrible name - is file storage with extended metadata. Both point the way to the future.
- Owle. These folks make Bubo, an iPhone GS mount that offers wide-angle lenses and lights. Hand Held Hollywood loves it - and when they come out with the cheaper plastic version I think I will too.
I wanted to try the beta of VeriCorder's new iPhone GS video editor, but no luck. Shoots. Edits. Leaves.
The Storage Bits take
Consumer video demand will be driving storage for the next decade at least. Making it easier to produce, edit, share and keep is a big job.
The products at NAB point the way.
Comments welcome, of course.