NAB is Nigh

By Jessica Mantheiy

The Desert Beckons!
Yes, it’s that time of the year, when many in our sphere converge on the illusory land of Las Vegas for that annual celebration of all things video technology, the NAB Show (April 24 – 27, 2017). As always, the Chesapeake Systems gang will be in attendance, bouncing around the convention center and city at large through all hours of the day (and often well into the night), so we can keep our finger on the pulse of our industry.

NAB can be maddening in its scope. There is never enough time over the course of the five days we spend in Nevada each year to see and experience everything the show has to offer. We use our time there as best we can, however. Our team joins dozens of meetings and other events, so we can stay in sync with our clientele, as well as our current vendor partners.

One of the other important aspects of attending NAB is, of course, to engage with vendors we do not currently work with, but whose exciting technologies might be useful additions to our bag of tricks, that is to say, our portfolio of solutions that we can apply to the technology and workflow challenges we face every day across our client base.

Areas of Focus for Us?
Obviously Media Asset Management and associated technologies, which have largely become our hallmark as a consultancy and integration firm. There are always new players in the MAM space, and it is our goal to be as familiar with as many as possible, as deeply as possible. Each platform and associated developer has its strengths, as well as “areas that could use improvement.” It’s critical for us at CHESA to know these ins and outs, because sometimes subtle functionalities (or lack thereof) can make or break a successful implementation.

Storage technologies as always are a foundational part of our catalog, and there is much activity in this space as well. Production SAN and NAS shared storage systems are important to our clients, but increasingly, folks are investing in longer-term archival data repositories. But in our world, archives must be “active archives,” making it trivially easy to recall a snippet of video or other media for a project, no matter what tier of storage it may be on. The choices here are as expansive as ever. We’ve always used data tape and will for some time, but other options have emerged that are worthy of exploration, such as private “object storage” systems (which typically need to be addressed via API calls, and do not present a mountable file system to browse through, like a local drive, SAN or NAS volume). Another option on more organizations’ radars than ever before is public cloud storage, such as Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure. Like private object stores, these cloud options almost always require some type of software platform to “put” files into them or “get” files out (these being two of the most common types of API, or “Application Programming Interface” commands for addressing object storage systems).

And Then All of the Other Stuff:
Transcoding systems, workflow automation platforms, client-side creative applications from Adobe and others. Let’s not forget the fun stuff: 360-degree video camera rigs, airborne drones, maybe finally airborne drones equipped with 360-degree video cameras? A man can dream.

If you’re going to be out in Las Vegas for NAB, don’t be a stranger! It’s always fun to see friends and colleagues (a thankfully almost totally overlapping Venn diagram) out in the land of make-believe. Feel free to drop us a line ahead of the show, as we’re always happy to meet up and share our show-floor experiences. If you are not attending NAB, but there’s something you’ve got your eyes open for, let us know, and we’ll do what digging we can on your behalf while we’re out there.