James Cameron: Lights, Digital Camera, NAB

In one week all eyes will turn toward the Las Vegas Convention Center to see the latest media gadgets and tools at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show.

April 17, 2006

3 Min Read
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In one week all eyes will turn toward the Las Vegas Convention Center to see the latest media gadgets and tools at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show.

Multimedia has exploded in the past year with telecommunications carriers and set-top box companies offering options, such as software from Sling Media that can turn mobile phones into televisions or Apple Computer selling TV episodes for $1.99 each on iTunes Music Store to view on iPods.

NAB attracts movie makers, content producers, broadcasters, engineers, and telecommunication carrier that are rushing to lay claim in Internet protocol television (IPTV) and streaming media to mobile devices and cellular phones.

On Sunday, James Cameron takes the stage to keynote the Digital Cinema Summit. Cameron, known for directing "Titanic," "The Terminator," "The Abyss," and "Aliens" also will join cinematographer and inventor Vince Pace, and producer Jon Landau, to talk about three-dimensional (3D) digital movies.

Digital media will affect companies throughout the entertainment supply chain, from production to consumer. Earlier this month, six major studios began selling, rather than renting, full-length feature movies on the Internet through Movielink LLC and CinemaNow Inc. Universal Studios stepped in with "Brokeback Mountain" and Sony Pictures began selling "Fun With Dick and Jane."The broadcast industry also expects the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to pull the plug on analog signals by 2009, moving high-definition (HD) products onto center stage at this year's NAB conference.

A recent discussion with executives at NVIDIA Corp. highlights new graphics cards the company will demonstrate at NAB. The cards are meant for new workstations Hewlett-Packard & Co and Dell Inc. intends to deliver soon.

The graphics cards will enable HD broadcast networks to create "stunning graphics and flashy transitions in real time" and will give television viewers "a new experience," said Julien Zanchi, NVIDIA product manager for professional solutions. "A few years ago any graphics card could do the job, but now with HD it's more difficult to implement the processes into PCs." Thomson's Grass Valley will demonstrate applications that support multi-authoring and distribution formats, as the entertainment industry transitions toward a complete digital supply chain relying on bits and bytes.

Sony Electronics Inc. and other top camera manufactures will return to capture the attention of show-floor attendees by demonstrating HD cameras, such as Sony's 4K-digital projector with 4096 X 2160 pixel resolution, said spokesman Tom Di Nome.

Internet companies have also found a place at NAB. Executives from CustomFlix Labs Inc., a wholly owned Amazon.com Inc. subsidiary, will offer new ways to self-publish and distribute DVDs on-demand. CustomFlix in March announced an agreement with Withoutabox Inc., a community of independent moviemakers, to provide more cost-efficient ways for independent filmmakers to create and fulfill industry screener and retail DVDs.Software and services are making an appearance, too. Axia Audio, a division of Telos Systems, will launch software applications for IP-Audio networks at NAB. iProFiler, a multi-channel audio archiving and logging program works with Axia IP-Audio networks to capture and store up to 16-stereo audio channels, or 32-mono channels, of time-stamped MP3s without audio cards.

Quantel Ltd., focused on content delivery and digital cinema products and services, will launch workflow software, as more companies in the entertainment industry take a cue from enterprises to improve collaboration in their digital supply chain. ZoneMagic lets users collaborate on projects whether they're in the same floor in a building, next door or across towns, countries and continents.

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