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Bryce Button, Director of Product Marketing at AJA, discusses AJA releases at the NAB Show, as well as the trends and technologies that are continuing to shape the future of the broadcast market.

AJA at NAB: Technologies & Trends that will Continue to Impact the Broadcast Market

Q What did you showcase during NAB 2019? What was the response?

A During NAB 2019, AJA showcased a range of new solutions and product updates that streamline how broadcast, production, post and AV professionals deliver dynamic and engaging content, with support for the latest formats and technologies, including HDR, 12G-SDI, Broadcast IP and beyond. Our new product launches and announcements were well-received with excitement from attendees, including the new Ki Pro GO multi-channel H.264 HD and SD recorder and player, which was honored by the broadcast community with multiple best of show awards. Additional new products we debuted included 14 openGear converter cards featuring DashBoard software support, two new IP video transmitters that bridge HDMI and 3G-SDI signals to SMPTE ST 2110 and the Corvid 44 12G I/O card for AJA Developers. We also introduced updates featuring improvements for the FS-HDR HDR/WCG Converter, Desktop and Mobile I/O products, AJA Control Room software, HDR Image Analyzer and HELO recorder/streamer. Throughout the show, we saw a consistent heavy flow of visitors on the AJA booth, and from our viewpoint, it was another successful year.

Q What trends dominated this year’s show?

A 8K, HDR and Broadcast IP technologies continue to be a driving force for the market, with many companies at NAB – including AJA – showcasing the latest solutions that harness the power of higher quality resolutions, formats and supercharged workflows.

As demand for 8K content grows, more companies are developing new technologies that streamline higher resolution production, post and delivery. Although the industry is still working towards pure 8K broadcast delivery, use of 8K for post-production, graphics and plates is becoming more widely adopted for 4K and HD backplate creation. This year at NAB, AJA introduced new technologies to support 8K workflows, including the new Corvid 44 12G, an 8-lane PCIe 3.0 video and audio I/O card for developers, enabling 8K 60p or multiple 4K streams of input or output. We also showed the new Desktop Software v15.2 update, which introduced support for Apple ProRes capture/playback across Windows, Linux and macOS in AJA Control Room, at up to 8K resolutions. Also, on display at our booth was SGO Mistika’s 8K finishing system, which includes AJA KONA 5 cards integrated for audio and video I/O.

During NAB more companies were also exhibiting the latest HDR solutions, to harness the full potential of the Human Vision System and engage audiences with more captivating content with a wider dynamic range. Among these solutions were updates to AJA’s FS-HDR converter and frame synchronizer and HDR Image Analyzer, devices designed for more accurate HDR production.

Additionally, a host of new solutions on display at NAB supported SMPTE ST 2110 IP video, including AJA’s Desktop Software v15.2 with ST 2110 support for the Io IP Thunderbolt 3 I/O device and our new IPT-10G2-HDMI and IPT-10G2-SDI IP video transmitters that bridge HDMI and SDI signals to SMPTE 2110. The continuing transition to IP workflows provides several advantages to broadcasters, including expanded routing capabilities, simplifying audio and video embedding and disembedding with greater metadata capabilities, and making it easier to produce programming with talent spread remotely.

Q What new technologies emerged during the show?

A For the first time at NAB, AI and machine learning emerged as trending topics that generated a wealth of buzz and excitement from attendees and developers pioneering computer vision for broadcast. New solutions incorporating deep learning technologies were introduced for automating production processes – like scaling, tracking and media management – alongside the continued adoption of cloud services to help streamline workflows and save broadcasters time, money and resources. Additionally, new solutions incorporating 5G, HDR, 12G-SDI, fiber and streaming technologies – and beyond – continued to emerge, catering to the evolving needs of production professionals across broadcast, film, live event, eSports, proAV, corporate and video applications. Also evident throughout the show was increasing demand for robust streaming solutions to facilitate everything from eSports broadcast to live house of worship services.

Q What technologies and industry trends can we expect to see continue to impact the broadcast market?

A Audiences have grown accustomed to demanding the highest quality viewing experience, whether their media consumption be at home; on-the-go on mobile devices; or in live theater, sporting event, concert or arena venues. Content creators are tasked with producing and delivering the highest quality content to satiate audience demand, requiring innovating with new solutions that advance next-generation HDR, IP, cloud and UltraHD workflows. Trends that were prevalent at NAB 2019 will continue to be driving market forces, as the industry works to standardize HDR, IP and 8K workflows to deliver the highest quality content possible to audiences.