Comments from NAB show in Las Vegas

I survived Las Vegas and the 2012 NAB! This is an event I attend so I can stay current with the latest trends and equipment in broadcasting. I flew out of Buffalo Airport which is a very effecient and clean facility. This time I flew with Southwest and the staff were pleasant and fun to fly with.  The casual banter on the microphone was similar to Westjet and before we knew it the 4 hour flight was over and we were in Las Vegas and ready to deal with the ground transport people (don’t pre-book a shuttle or you could be waiting over an hour. It is better to get a cab or a shuttle on arrival). This year I decided to stay at the Flamingo Hotel because that is where the Canadian hospitality suite is located and also because the Monorail stops right at the hotel. The hotel is a little older, but still clean and of course this is where Donny and Marie Osmond perform nightly.

Teri Hatcher
Teri Hatcher

Monday morning, I was at the Las Vegas Convention Centre early thanks to the Monorail (buy your tickets online before you arrive as it’s a lot quicker!), picked up my access pass and made it into the South Hall only to find the session I wanted to attend was located in Las Vegas hotel on the other side of the North Hall. The emcee for the opening session was Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives) who spoke about radio and the importance that it has played in her life.  Then it was time to head off to the sessions and also check out the equipment. These convention halls are huge, covering 181,000 square feet and somebody told me that is the equivalent of over 20 football fields. I am sure I walked every square inch of those halls several times over in the three days!

The luncheon on Tueday was emceed by Donny Osmond who has been entertaining since he was 5 years of age. Donny spoke about how radio has helped his career and what it was like to actually hear one of his songs played on the radio. He also talked about the impact of hearing Casey Kasem announce that Donny’s song as the number one song in the land. Bob Uecker known as “Mr Baseball” was inducted into the this title was given to him by Johnny Carson) into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Bob was very entertaining and has enjoyed an amazing radio career as the voice of the Milwaulkee Brewers. You may rememebr him from the TV show Mr. Belvedere. He also appeared in a number of baseball movies.

 There was lots of great technology and all the major players were present. Canada was well represented and the OMT Media Touch booth always seemed to be busy. I saw representatives from two of the major Canadian broadcasters in negotiations with Jackie Tetlock and her team at different times. Burli was another Canadian company who look to have had a busy show as did the folks from Stream On who rolled out a new product called ListenLater provides radio stations with the ability to upload and archive all of their content to StreamOn’s private Internet cloud – automatically and in real-time while broadcasts are taking place.

The RCS Zetta software won the “Cool Stuff Award” but I did not get an opportunity to see the demo. For my money the most interesting new gadget was the iPhone adapter from Tieline. This adapter which costs $495 turns your phone into a remote broadcast kit and allows anyone with an iPhone to go live to air with up to 20KHz voice quality. You also need to download an app and configure it and you are instantly connected to your Tileine studio unit. There are three versions of the software but the $399 version will be right for most stations.  This allows a station to license up to 10 iPhone connections. It comes with a Microphone input, a stereo line input and automatic gain control, and operates via an external power supply or you can use 2 AAA batteries which will give you up to 8 hours broadcast time. This unit is so popular with newsrooms and radio stations that Tieline cannot keep up with production and there is a 2 to 3 month waiting list for this device.

By the Wednesday had had my fill of the NAB and wanted to get out of Las Vegas. However I am glad I went as I came back with lots of ideas to share with our clients and also caught up with broadcasting friends from all over the world. The next NAB radio show will be in Dallas from september 19-21.