High Definition the Rage Among NAB Tech Vendors

Apr 18, 2005  •  Post A Comment

If it doesn’t have high-definition capabilities, it isn’t likely to be found on the show floor at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas.

About 1,400 companies are slated to exhibit at the show. Vendors that target the electronics news-gathering market will offer products that can handle high definition as news broadcasting begins the eventual migration to HD.

Prominent vendors showcasing HD gear include Grass Valley, Sony, Telestream and others.

Grass Valley will publicly display for the first time its high-definition nonlinear editor, which is part of the Aurora product suite. The vendor has shown the product only privately in the past, said Ed Casaccia, product manager for news workflow applications at Grass Valley.

It’s Grass Valley’s first nonlinear editing system with HD capability, but it can still handle standard definition and can move between the two formats seamlessly. “There is a growing interest in the domestic HD market as the price point on the cameras, storage media, etc., is coming down,” he said. “We haven’t gotten to the tipping point yet, but we are getting there.”

Sony plans to showcase its HDV camcorder, a portable, handheld, lightweight camera that can be used for news gathering. It also connects directly to a laptop editor, allowing journalists to start editing immediately in the field, said Bob Ott, VP of marketing for professional audio and video products in the broadcast and production business at Sony.

“If you are standing in the desert and it’s 130 degrees, you need to be able to survive walking more than a mile, and you also need to be able to throw the camera on the ground, put the tape in your pocket and run like hell [if you need to],” he said. Sony will demonstrate how the camera interfaces with various nonlinear editing systems from Avid, Apple, Adobe, Pinnacle and others.

Telestream has added HD capabilities to its Flip Factory product, which acts as a “video file translator,” said David Heppe, Telestream’s senior VP of sales and marketing. Flip Factory can take files from one newsroom system and convert them so they are usable on another. With the HD capabilities, that means SD files in Flip Factory can be played back on HD equipment.

For-A plans to showcase an HD version of its digiStorm 3-D virtual studio system. Graphics company Vizrt will offer an HD version of its character generator. Pinnacle will showcase graphics systems and character generators in HD.