The first post-pandemic NAB Show concluded last week in Las Vegas with strong attendance and exhibitors numbers. The exhibition space was smaller than in previous years, but the energy and excitement of finally being able to meet in person could clearly be felt across the event’s three halls.
We at NPAW were thrilled to present our newest products and connect with customers, partners, and other industry professionals to discuss key industry challenges. But, despite our busy schedules, we managed to find some time to scout the show’s floor in search of the latest innovations.
Here are the main NAB 2022 trends we identified.
Streaming innovations around user experience
It is no coincidence that the NAB decided to devote Las Vegas Convention Center’s brand-new West Hall to companies innovating within the video streaming space.
Streaming businesses experienced a big boost during the Covid-19 pandemic, but they are starting to feel the positive effects wear off as competition increases and consumers become more demanding. Faced with this new scenario, content providers must do all they can to provide the best experience for their users if they want to separate themselves their service from the rest and increase user engagement.
The West Hall’s exhibit was the proof that the industry is ready for a new wave of innovation that puts user experience front and center — from comprehensive analytics and CDN balancing solutions like those of NPAW to new video player technologies for OTT streaming.
Cloud services and collaborative tools
Other major NAB 2022 trends we spotted have to do with cloud technologies. Whereas hardware was once the main highlight of NAB, the pandemic has sped up digital transformation and all its ramifications.
In addition to the usual suspects, we saw plenty of new cloud and collaboration tool offerings for media companies to operate globally and across teams.
Such new offerings include tools and platforms to facilitate and secure the transfer of large video files — an increasing problem in an industry where multi-camera experiences are becoming the norm and remote work is still prevalent.
Another example is IP-based workflows and other collaboration tools that let production teams work together on a project at the same time.
Adaptative graphics and the metaverse
Finally, we saw a move toward adaptative graphics and, in general, interactive content.
Regarding the first topic, solutions are now available to automatically adapt the format of graphic elements like chyrons or in-match statistics for live sporting events to the needs of each output device.
This reduces the workload and data transfer needs on the content provider’s side of things and improves the user’s experience — no more squinting at your phone’s screen to see a player’s stat; the system detects your device type and generates a bigger image in real time.
On the other hand, interactive formats and the metaverse were, of course, hot topics.
However, and as we have seen in other recent industry events, what was presented were mainly ideas to showcase these technologies’ potential rather than concrete solutions for content providers. It will still be some time before the industry moves beyond the hype and decides what it is exactly that it wants or can do with these innovations.