This year's NAB show at the Las Vegas Convention Center (April 14-17) offered all you'd expect from the world's largest media show, but with some considerable differences.
The buzz on the floor centered around some missing key players: Apple and Avid did not have their usual impressive presence at NAB, although Apple had some other key events going on in the city. Digidesign, a subsidiary of Avid, was over in the North Hall this year, which came up about three aisles short because of missing exhibitors. Traffic was noticeably down, although the South Hall had the usual mad rush of attendees wanting to gawk at the eye candy provided on the floor.
Speaking of the South Hall, there were some new looks on the floor as all the music library booths were consolidated together in a "Music Row" of large booths providing music styles from A to Z. Also on the floor was a motion-capture company with two women in skintight suits that portrayed their action on a screen—something you'd usually see at GDC. Red Digital Cinema, which was at NAB for the second year showing its 4x hi-def video camera, had a line around the block that wanted to see what 4,900x2,580 pixels looks like.
New audio gear was well-represented in the North Hall, especially with the looming digital TV deadline next year. Codecs from Dolby and Minnetonka, and new consoles from SSL, Lawo, Studer and DiGiCo were getting a lot of attention, as were massive networked I/O systems from Lightwave and Aviom. Holophone got the award for “booth bling”, bringing a reggae band to a booth that spanned across an aisle and housed the company’s slick black Winnebago.
See our list of Certified Mix Hits and our show wrap-up for more info on all the gear at this year's show at Mix’s NAB site: http://mixonline.com/ms/nab08/.