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Las Vegas Hosts 65,000 Attendees for NAB Wrap, Highlighting Discussions on Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Production, and Broadcasting’s Future.


The 2023 National Association of Broadcasters Show, which took place in Las Vegas on Wednesday, drew an estimated 65,000 delegates, according to show organizers, which many considered a healthy number for a post-pandemic show.

Attendance marked a notable increase following NAB’s return to an in-person event in 2022, which saw 52,468 delegates, though it was still well below the last pre-lockdown show, which drew 91,000 in 2019.

Artificial intelligence was perhaps the most widely discussed topic this year as NAB celebrated its centenary. As AI’s potential rapidly evolves, it’s a topic that will clearly continue to generate a great deal of anxiety, as well as staggering potential opportunities.

Overall, on the trading floor, it was an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary year. From a technical point of view, there was a host of new and evolving tools for all kinds of cloud-based remote workflows. And while there’s still a lot to understand before the promise of virtual manufacturing can be fully delivered, attendees would have had a hard time going anywhere in the massive exhibition halls, where 1,200 companies showcased their latest technologies, and not at least one LED to see. wall or related demonstration.

NAB continued to promote the rollout of Next-Gen TV and put sustainability in the spotlight with the launch of the Excellence in Sustainability Awards program, while Hollywood’s participation took this event beyond broadcast. Here’s a look at some of the week’s highlights and biggest trends.

Artificial intelligence

AI was rampant at NAB from the conference sessions to the trade show floor. “This is an area where NAB will definitely be active,” claimed NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt, sharing his thoughts on the potential dangers and benefits of the technology during a state of the art presentation. “It’s just amazing how quickly AI’s relevance to our entire economy — but specifically, since we’re in this space, the broadcast industry — has gone from amorphous concept to real.”

LeGeyt warned of several concerns he has for local broadcasters when it comes to AI, including how “big tech (uses) their platforms to access television and radio broadcasts. … That, in our view, does not allow fair remuneration for our content, despite the extent to which we generate massive traffic to their sites.” He claimed that legislation is needed to “put some guardrails on it”, especially at a time when “AI has the potential to accelerate that.”

He warned of the extra diligence that will be required to determine what is real and what is AI, as well as the caution that will be required when it comes to protecting one’s likeness. He balanced these warnings with a discussion of potential opportunities, including the possibility of expediting research at “resource-constrained local stations.”

IMAX, which made its first appearance as an NAB exhibitor this year, was one of many companies to showcase AI-driven technology on the show floor. It demonstrated current and prototype technology from SSIMWAVE, the tech start-up it acquired for $21 million in 2022. This includes AI-powered tools focused on bandwidth and image quality optimization, which can be used with the company’s IMAX Enhanced streaming format.

Other such exhibitors included Adobe, which showed a new beta version of Premiere Pro with an AI-powered text-based editing tool developed to analyze and transcribe clips.

Content is king

Sessions on HBO series The last of us and a conversation with Ted LassoBrett Goldstein of ‘s Brett Goldstein drew standing room-only crowds to the NAB Show’s main stage, while talent from the American Society of Cinematographers and American Cinema Editors presented masterclass sessions throughout the week.

Writer, producer and actor Goldstein – also known as Ted Lasso football player Roy Kent – was featured in a no-strings-attached conversation with a colleague Ted Lasso writer Ashley Nicole Black.

“Only an actor’s life, with all due respect to actors, they are insane. I don’t know why they would live like that,” he admitted when asked about working as both a writer and an actor. “It’s fucking mental. Your life is a lottery. Every day you wait for a magic phone to ring and you have no control over it. … I just didn’t want to be an actor who just sits there and says, ‘There are no good scripts.’ You have to write things for yourself, and then you can’t complain.”

He also talked about why collaboration makes the writers’ room work. Description of the teams op Shrink and further Ted Lasso as “some of the smartest people in the world in this goddamn room,” he said, “You’d be crazy not to accept these ideas. And if you allow this process of everyone joining in and taking this and taking that, it becomes 100 percent a better show.

ACE presented The last of us, in which showrunner and executive producer Craig Mazin teased that the series would go beyond the announced season two, drawing audience cheers. The session went behind the scenes of production with Mazin, DP Ksenia Sereda, editors Timothy Good and Emily Mendez, VFX supervisor Alex Wang, and sound supervisor Michael J. Benavente.

Virtual production for Throne: Ares

There was no shortage of exhibitors demonstrating technology and workflows for the evolving realm of virtual production, with potential applications ranging from advertising and serial work to feature films.

“For me, virtual production is a great tool in our arsenal for making stories come to life, but it’s a tool like all tools that needs to be applied well to get the best out of it,” asserts two-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth (The social network, the girl with the dragon tattoo). He is currently an advisor to SISU, which is developing robotic arms that were demonstrated as part of a virtual production pipeline at NAB.

Cronenweth reports that his next project is Disney’s Throne: Ares starring Jared Leto (who will direct Joachim Rønning for a 2025 release), and looking into virtual production. “As you can imagine for a sci-fi movie like this, we’ll be embellishing all the technology available to bring it to life, including some virtual production. I expect SISU’s robot technology to play a key role in that emerging technology.”

Next generation television

NAB used its annual confab to promote the voluntary rollout of the next generation of digital television, known as ATSC 3.0, which is based on the Internet Protocol and may include new capabilities such as free live broadcasts to mobile devices. A change of this magnitude has a long way to go before its potential can be realized.

At NAB, FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel launched the Future of Television Initiative, which she described as a public-private partnership between stakeholders to support a transition to ATSC 3.0.

“U.S. broadcasters have delivered 26 new Next-Gen TV markets to reach 66 by the end of 2022,” ATSC President Madeleine Noland reported. “We look forward to another year of continued US deployments and sales of new consumer receivers.”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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