Issue: May 1, 2006


As our May issue closed, the Post staff had just returned from Las Vegas, having attended the annual NAB show, also known as “The World’s Largest Electronic Media Show.” NAB’s 1,400 exhibitors attracted just over 105,000 attendees this year, and as busy as we were at the show — meeting with manufacturers, seeing technology demos, attending press events — I feel we only saw a fraction of what it had to offer.

The “Show Daily” section of our Web site re-caps dozens of announcements from the convention. You can find numerous articles in our News and Products sections this month, and even a digital intermediate focus from NAB on page 34.

From my own perspective, I saw a number of interesting announcements at the show. Two years ago, Panasonic stole headlines with the introduction of its P2, solid state memory-based camcorder, and this year Grass Valley took that concept to the next level with the introduction of the Infinity line, a series of products that let users choose the type of recording media they want to work with. No longer do users have to rely on proprietary media.

I ran into Discreet Inferno artist Fred Ruckel of NYC’s Stitch Motion Graphics, who said he had looked at Eyeon's Digital Fusion software and felt it had really come a long way, offering a solid compositing workflow and support for all the newest formats. Ruckel was also impressed with the level of maturity of Apple’s Shake compositing solution. At the time, he was on his way to the SGI booth, hoping to hear that the workstation provider will continue to support his hardware for Inferno now that Discreet has introduced a Linux version.

Sony Media Software and SmartSound both introduced low-cost, flexible soundtrack creation products, and NewTek demo’d SpeedEdit, a ridiculously inexpensive NLE software tool that lets users mix and match both HD and SD formats on the same timeline.

Sony also emphasized its commitment to the UMD format, despite dwindling support from film studios, showing V.2 of its UMD Composer for creating video and music titles. Sonic showed an authoring tool too, with Scenarist 4 set to handle both HD DVD and Blu-ray work.

And this just scratches the surface.