Mr MXF does Vegas

Bruce Devlin - new

Published: 19 May 2017

Mr MXF does Vegas

For quarter of a century I have been boarding planes to Las Vegas every April and the thing I look forward to most is the Sunday morning cycle from the Strip up to the top of Red Rock Canyon to look back down upon Vegas. From up there, you get a sense of perspective of how alien the city stuck in the desert really is.

This year\'s NAB Show is likely to fill many people with a sense that alien technologies have materialised into the heart of traditional production, post-production, OB and distribution workflows. We really are in the middle of the industry cycle where if you can think it then you can code it. The only thing that prevents complete and total chaos is that no single vendor is big enough to simultaneously solve all the challenges facing all the industry segments. This is forcing collaboration and forcing the rapid adoption of some key standards to do the heavy lifting for the next decade (if we\'re lucky).

Many of these technologies have been around for a few years, but I think that 2017 really marks the point in time where the results of early adoptions are being shared. So, although I think that VR is fun, my belief is that in 2017 you can do some serious Deep Learning for your next round of investments. You can get this knowledge from the people that have already discovered the secrets through their use of pre-release technologies. Here are my picks:


Lessons from the Front Lines on Tuesday 25th April @16:35. Heavy hitters like Chris Fetner from Netflix, Callum Hughes from Amazon and Dave Suggs from Warner Bros. will give you real world experience about using the cloud at scale. Moderated by Dave Ginsberg from IMT, I think this promises to be one of the must-see sessions that will mix business and technology and help you navigate the cloud future that your considering through choice or maybe imposition.


The secret of great networks, like comedy, is timing. This black & sync for the internet age and a good working knowledge of PTP\'s pros and cons will stand you in good stead if you\'re going to be using IP live streaming connectivity in production or contribution. [Caution - understatement alert ahead] The Precision Timing Protocol is a little dry to read, but operating an IP facility with Video or Audio without a good understanding will prove VERY challenging. The goto booth for the experts is N4824 which has demos, education and a whole bunch of experts available to answer questions ranging from newbie to seasoned expert.


Getting the timing right is only useful if you have some media to stream. If you are struggling to understand the difference between SMPTE ST 2110 and SMPTE ST 2022 then the goto booth is still N4824. The demonstrations that you will see are the results of many man-years of formal and informal interoperability tests resulting in racks of humming equipment that can discover, lock into and switch IP stream whether they are interleaved or componentised. Your key questions are "Does this piece of kit use hardware or software time stamps?\" and "Is it available yet". Ask several people and listen carefully to the answers. You will learn about the technology AND the depth of understanding of the demonstrator. For more education, view the IP Showcase schedule online.


The interoperable mastering format radically changes the model of content distribution from linear interleaved , fully rendered files to componentised build-on-demand. In addition to the many demos from MAM companies, Transcoder companies and Cinema Tooling companies there are a couple of sessions of significant interest. IMF for Broadcast by the ever enthusiastic Clyde Smith in N260 on 25th April at 13:30 and the Next Generation Cinema panel chaired by the irrepressible Annie Chang of Marvel in S223 on 23rd April at 13:40.

Enjoy your wanderings around the halls of NAB 2017. Ask all the vendors about their migration to cloud and their security policies. Ask a stranger what they thing the topic of the show is and if you\'re feeling fit, ask me about riding a bike in Vegas!


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