NAB Show 2008: Scale, technology, the cutting edge, India brings back several points to ponder
LAS VEGAS: The NAB Show 2008 is over, and for many present there, irrespective of the number of times that they have been there before, the scale of the event was overwhelming. More than 1 lakh delegates, 1,200 members from the press covering the event, and just about every corner of the Las Vegas Convention Centre consumed by the event, it is near impossible to see everything in the four days of the event. For television broadcasters, there was some eye-opening technology presented and the companies competing for the broadcasters’ attention included the likes of Sony, Thomson and Panasonic.
The biggest highlight of the address was Tim Robbins’ keynote address and he took the opportunity to question what national media had become all about. From the intense focus by the media on celebrities’ personal lives to the need to always create controversies and sensation, Robbins mocked the industry for the ratings game that it falls prey to. He was referring to the US media of course, but given the number of times we have heard similar observations in context to the Indian media, one cannot help but wonder how much we already are, at least on some aspects, like these more mature markets. On a lot of other things, we have a very long way to catch up. Take for instance the fact that on February 17, 2009, the US broadcasting industry would switch off from the analog mode permanently. The industry heads are already busy preparing for that.
The second biggest highlight this year was the India Super Session, where India’s plans on the digital front were amply covered. Key players from the Indian media industry took the dais to speak on the challenges and opportunities of the market. Also on the occasion, Joint Secretary at the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Zohra Chatterjee, emphatically stated that digitisation was high on the Government’s agenda in light of the Commonwealth Games 2010.
India was high on NAB’s agenda, according to its President and CEO, David Rehr. The expectations from this market are high, and according to leaders of the Indian media and advertising fraternity, we are geared for the future.
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