NAB Show at 100 Series
A History of Innovation & Connection, Part II
NAB Show is almost here! Exhibitors are readying the latest products and solutions, and the industry will continue to build on 100 years of achievements. Attendees will once again be amazed by remarkable solutions that enable new services, new business models, and new modes of consumption. And they will experience and engage with all of it — the people, the products, the information, the opportunities — in new ways as well.
As the countdown to the Centennial Celebration continues, here’s a look back at a storied history of innovation. Part II of our retrospective focuses on some mainstay exhibitors and breakthrough technologies from the last several decades of NAB Show.
Exhibitor Highlights: 1980-2000
Telemetrics attended its first NAB Show in 1980, where founders Anthony C. Cuomo, Albert Chan, Haig Soojian, and Steve Halas — all former Philips Broadcast Television Systems employees — showed off their latest camera control over a single coax cable. Two years later, the company won an OEM contract for RCA’s “HawkEye” CCD-1 camera with the Telemetrics 360-degree robotics pan/tile head, controlled over triax cabling.
A decade later, at the 1992 NAB Show, Telemetrics introduced its first robotic camera pedestal for TV broadcast studios. As the company continued development of its camera control systems, it continued to debut new products at the show. The Telemetrics OmniGlide Robotic Roving Platform was introduced in 2018, and the 2022 NAB Show featured a wireless transmitter for the system, eliminating the need for cables.
Founded in 1983, Wohler Technologies became the first company in the world to offer an in-rack audio monitor with the release of its second product, the AMP-1A, in 1987.
“NAB is where we’ve done our most product launches over the years. When there’s an NAB coming up, we plan to have a product launch every time. That’s built in our calendar.”
— Kim Templeman-Holmes, vice president of sales and marketing at Wohler.
In 1981, in its first year of operations, Artel helped CBS wire Edwards Air Force Base so the network could live broadcast the landing of the space shuttle orbiter Columbia. The event marked NASA’s first flight to end with a wheeled landing, and also the start of Artel’s success in manufacturing fiber optics transmission systems for broadcasters.
For more than half a century, Shively Labs has designed and fabricated FM broadcast equipment for demanding broadcast sites. The company has become a well-established fixture at NAB Shows, though both its product line and booth design have been updated over the years.
Sony has likewise been a mainstay at NAB Show. The company launched the 1-inch Type C video tape in 1978, and the format was widely considered a breakthrough. Broadcast engineers today recall flying in for that year’s NAB Show specifically to see the new format for themselves. The evolution of Sony products and the booth itself show how radically the technology — and the show experience — have changed over just two decades.
Nautel has been an NAB Show exhibitor since the 1980s, showcasing its innovative solid-state transmitter products. Among the company’s most notable shows was NAB 2014, with the highly successful launch of the Nautel GV Series of FM transmitters.
Matrox is yet another exhibitor that counts on NAB Show launches to bring attention to major releases. That was the case for the company’s DigiSuite, which won a Technical Emmy® Award in 1997. Sold with different nonlinear editing packages, it supported real-time editing with a computer. The company now is on its fourth generation of products it introduced at NAB Shows decades ago.
Dielectric will celebrate its 80th anniversary at this year’s NAB Show, and the company has been a constant presence at the show over the years.
“The year 2000 was a big one for me as it was my first NAB. As a young engineer, I was able to grow a lot of relationships, help out the broadcasters, and develop a lot of product — and we continue to do that today.”
— Keith Pelletier, President, Dielectric
NAB Show in the New Millennium
Utah Scientific also has been a longtime NAB Show exhibitor, bringing its video routers, master control switchers, and related control software to the show floor year after year. Brett Benson, president and CEO of Utah Scientific, notes that today’s NAB Show is amazing, and unique, in giving exhibitors both large and small exposure to so much buying power.
Rohde & Schwarz brought one of its biggest product launches to NAB 2012, where the company introduced the THU9 transmitter platform, a high-power transmitted family designed to conquer the market. Nearly as notable in the company’s booth history was the 4K LED screen — huge for the time at 4m x 6m — on the company’s NAB2016 booth.
In 2019 Vizrt’s ‘The Big AR Show’ – billed as the largest augmented reality show in Las Vegas – looked at the use of data-driven AR tools during the 2018 midterms. Chris Black, head of branding content for the Vizrt Group, noted NAB Show offers a fresh opportunity, every year, to use the latest technology to create a ‘wow’ moment” for attendees — and draw them back in future years to see what will happen next.
The Panasonic booth at the 2019 NAB Show featured the debut of the company’s best-selling AW-UE150, as well as the company’s CineLive solution with Panasonic Varicams. The company has expanded on this product lineup with new releases at NAB Show and NAB Show New York.
Evertz has been among increasing numbers of exhibitors, large and small, in recent years showcasing solutions for IP media workflows and virtualized/cloud processing. The company earned TV Technology Best of Show Awards for the 2019 NAB Show for its evEDGE Virtualized Processing Services and its MediaFlow products.
Another 100 Years of Innovation
These exhibitors are just a sampling of the many immensely creative and resourceful companies that come together each year at NAB Show to meet the needs of their customers, the larger broadcast industry, and the audiences it serves. The future is bright: NAB Show has always been a launching-pad for the latest innovation… who knows what’s next?
“The way people consume content is changing and it’s evolving, and it’s going to continue to evolve. Who would have thought you’d watch TV shows on a little tablet or computer, sitting at your desk or lying in your bed at night? There used to be, not too long ago, the one television in the family room. And before that, it was the one radio receiver to listen to radio programs in the family room. So, this journey is far from over. There will be many more legs to this journey.”
— Bruce Swail, CEO, GatesAir