Although in NAB everyone talked about 4K, manufacturers are clear that this technology will still take a few years to reach and become widespread in Latin America.
By Richard Santa
The increase in the presence of Latinos in NAB Show during the last years has not only occurred as visitors, who already reach 15% of the nearly 25 thousand international people who attend the fair. Little by little, technology manufacturers and distributors for the region have been gaining space among the 1,500 exhibitors that meet annually in Las Vegas.
In 2014, two Latin countries stood out at NAB, each with a pavilion to exhibit their companies and with the characteristic that their participations were supported by the respective governments as an incentive for the development of the industry.
The first case is Brazil, a delegation that since 2006 has been present at NAB and that every year grows in the number of companies that are part of this pavilion. For this version, 18 companies from different segments of the television industry arrived, all offering solutions based on Brazilian design and production.
The Brazilian Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investments, known as Apex Brasil, is the government body that supports the participation of companies in NAB, coordinated by the Union of Electrical, Electronic and Similar Equipment Industries, Sindvel, of Santa Rita do Sapucaí, known as the Valley of Electronics.
According to Daniela Saccardo, representative of Sindvel, this year was much better for the Brazilian delegation than in previous versions. Not only because of the number of Brazilian companies participating, but also because of the appointments and interest in their technologies.
The second Latin country with a pavilion at NAB was Argentina. For the first time, 11 companies arrived, led by Invap, which had the support of the Argentine government for participation in the fair.
Roberto Rodriguez, director of Videoswitch, one of the exhibiting companies, explained that the idea of participating for the first time in NAB arose among the companies that developed technologies for the implementation of ditigial television in their country. "Invap was in charge of installing the transmission stations for digital TV in Argentina. For his stand at NAB he invited some companies to participate in the fair. The project aroused interest in other companies and that is why it was presented to the Foreign Ministry, an entity that was responsible for paying for the pavilion."
He added that the experience was very rewarding thanks to the contacts that each company was able to make and that they hope to be able to count on the support of the government to return next year.
4K, everyone's ad
From the technological point of view, one of the common announcements among manufacturers had to do with 4K. Undoubtedly, this is the trend that marked the fair this year, showing much more complete equipment and systems. Among the companies is Sony, which presented its F5, F55 and F65 cameras, workflows that take on great importance in color correction, memories with high storage capacity, among other systems.
For its part, Panasonic took advantage of NAB to present its first 4K camera, the Varicam of 35mm. Blackmagic Design announced two new capture cards, the DeckLink 4K DeckLink SDI 4K studio models, which now includes all the features of the previous models, but now allow capture and playback in SD, HD and 4K.
For its part, Adobe launched its system that will allow media companies to deliver content through 4K-enabled SmartTVs and other IP-connected devices. Rohde & Schwarz was not far behind. The company has been accumulating experience with the 4K format since 2005, specifically in film post-production, through its subsidiary Rohde & Schwarz DVS and this year presented solutions for post-production, storage, presentation, coding and multiplexing, instrumentation and transmitters.
The industry's bet on this technology is great, if you take into account that, according to Sony estimates, by 2015 there will be about seven million 4K-based TVs in the world.
4K, far from Latin America
During NAB 2014, Sony officially unveiled the broadcast of three of Brazil's 2014 FIFA World Cup matches in 4k, in partnership with FIFA TV.
The person in charge of this project is Luiz Padilha, vice president of Professional Solutions Latin America, who told TV Y VIDEO that the joint work between the two companies began in 2013 with the 4K recording of several matches of the Confederations Cup, also held in Brazil. "That experience helped the 4K developments Sony is introducing this year."
In addition to the three matches that will be broadcast via satellite, one of the knockout stages (June 28), one of the quarterfinals (on July 4) and the final (on July 13) at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Sony and FIFA will jointly produce the Official Film of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in 4K.
Outside of this project, 4K is far from being a reality in Latin American countries. At least this is recognized by some manufacturers, who pointed out that there is still no interest in this technology because it is not clear the format of the band by which it must be transmitted.
Jorge Dighero, from Grass Valley, indicated that "in the large channels of the region today you can find production in 4K for novels, sports and special events, but in transmission it is still quite far away. Even though the technology is available, some channels and production companies are still in the process of implementing HD or trying to recoup this investment."
This year NAB Show was the stage for the presentation of the new image of various companies and businesses. Many businesses advertised purchases from broadcast manufacturers. One such case is Grass Valley. The company presented its new image after the integration with Miranda. Although both were under the name Grass Valley, the color of their logo changed from green to purple.
This year Grass Valley had two stands, its traditional in the south pavilion with the production flow solutions and another in the north with the infrastructure solutions. During the fair it was known that there were some normal changes in this type of process that generated movements in the division that had been serving Latin America. Rafael Castillo, who spent 18 years with the company and in his last role served as vice president for Latin America, left the company in early April.
His replacement is Leonel da Luz, who held the same position at Miranda since October 2013. Another change in the Latin American group has to do with the representative in Brazil. Felipe Andrade, who was serving in that position some time ago, left the company.
Another makeover presented during the fair was that of Harris Broadcast, a company that after its sale last year, was divided into Imagina Comunicación and GatesAir. Imagine Communications took over the IP-based video systems segment, while GatesAir is in charge of the broadcasting portion.
Marien Areco, in charge of the company's Marketing area for Latin America, explained that the name change was agreed upon since the sale of Harris Broadcast, because Harris continues to serve other segments of the government. Imagine Communications is a company acquired by Harris Broadcast earlier this year, which is why it was decided to leave this name.
ChyronHego went shopping after acquiring WeatherOne, a provider of weather forecasting solutions for broadcast and digital media, which is based in Oslo, Norway. Dalet Digital Media Systems has signed a definitive agreement with Advent Venture Partners to acquire UK-based Amberfin.