AI-driven tech, virtual production, AR/VR and cloud solutions were all big at the show but the one that truly merited attention was an app that focused on sustainability.
Usually, when you return from NAB, people are gushing about new trends or technologies that they believe will take the industry in a new direction.
While we did see a lot of that at the show, I think the big news this year was from the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) itself. The addition of the new West Hall this year meant a 20-minute walk to the rest of the action. However, the new LVCC loop sweetened the process with Tesla cars waiting at the stations outside the Central and West halls to take us on a 90-second drive through the $47m underground tunnel to get to the other side. It was a lot of fun with everyone going on a jolly but with plans to have only the North and West halls in 2024, those wait times could be a lot longer.
In the meantime, while there were some impressive technologies around AI, AR/VR and the cloud, the one product that stood out for me was the Home Apps solution from Lawo, primarily because it is relevant to all broadcast facilities. Andreas Hilmer of Lawo called it “the great pyramid of wasted processing”.
“Whenever you invest in a server, you buy for the maximum capacity you require although you rarely use any of that on a daily basis,” he explained.
The rest of the time, that resource lies there under-utilised although it continues to consume the same amount of power. Now consider how many racks, servers, etc a broadcaster has for its studios, control rooms, PCR, MCR and so on.
Typically, facilities invest in standard Dell or HP servers and they are not designed for dedicated processing. So, if anyone has a pool of processing power on-prem or in the cloud, this little app can help redirect that compute power and allocate it based on requirements to different processes, thereby maximising its potential. Of course, I have over-simplified it.
But essentially, you are just redirecting processing power as required. I thought this was a given at most facilities.
This year, with all the science fiction I have been watching with the teen, I was half expecting to see AI technologies that would self alter and dynamically adapt to the needs of each viewer, but it turns out we are still figuring out some pretty basic stuff. Perhaps at CABSAT there will be more? See you there!