WHAT HAPPENED Jenny Priestley reports on her first visit to NAB Show
’m not sure anything quite prepares you for your first NAB Show. Certainly not the warnings about the amount of walking you’ll do, or the Las Vegas weather, or the late nights. Having returned, and sort of recovered, from my first trip to both NAB and Vegas I’m not sure those warnings quite prepared me for the madness of running around the Las Vegas Convention Centre. Of course my experience of NAB is very different to most people. While most vendors might get the chance to step off their stand and have a look at what their colleagues within the industry are up to, I spent my time running from South Hall to North Hall via Central and back again. Returning to London I felt energised (despite the jetlag), and thoroughly enjoyed spending my time talking to colleagues in the industry. Trade shows are great learning experiences and NAB 2019 was no exception. The main topic of conversation, it seemed to me, appeared to be around Cloud. American broadcasters and content owners appear to have embraced Cloud more than their European counterparts, who seem to be sticking to a hybrid of on-prem and Cloud as they wait to see who will be the first to move completely to the Cloud. As Brick Eksten, CTO, playout and networking solutions at Imagine Communications put it, European broadcasters are in “a race for third place. Noone wants to be first.” However, according to Dominic Harland, CEO and CTO of GB Labs, the term hybrid is completely useless: “I think it’s one of those terms that’s very open to interpretation.” GB Labs has been offering customers Cloud integration with its on-prem storage for six or seven years. “The question is, do content owners want to use the Cloud as an archive, are they using it as nearline storage, or are they hybriding their online storage to the Cloud,
18 | TVBEUROPE MAY 2019
are they using the Cloud as a shuttle area or a common area? There’s a whole variety of ways in which it could be defined. I’m being a bit flippant but I know that a number of people are saying the latest buzzword seems to be hybrid storage. Well we’ve been able to do that for a very long time, and so it’s just really how you want to be able to use that.” Does Harland agree that the American media and entertainment industry has embraced Cloud more than its European counterpart? “I get mixed reports from different territories,” he says. “There are customers who perhaps
have said they don’t want to use LTO tapes for archiving anymore, why am I buying storage for my facility that I have to power and I have to cool when I can just put it in the Cloud? They’ve made considerable investment in placing data into various Cloud solutions for archive purposes, and what I hear from a number of them is that they actually realise that their archive is worth money and because it’s worth money, they actually need to access that. That’s when Cloud can in most instances become quite costly. But by moving it away from on-premise, content owners suddenly realise that while it’s great that they’ve got online storage, they’ve no longer got archive storage, so when they download it, they’ve got to put it somewhere. Then there’s the choice of do you put it online, or put it on some sort of nearline, and then have to move it to online? So it can create more issues potentially.” So while the industry continues to discuss where to store its content, I’m off to rest my weary feet. Roll on NAB 2020! n
This is the greatest show!