President, Academy of Broadcasting Science
My last visit to NAB was in 2009. Four years on, there were many new things to see at the show reflecting the rapid changes taking place in the industry. The major focus this year at NAB was 4K, with other technologies, by contrast, being far less prominent with some of them destined to be no more than flashes in the pan and seeming likely to last only briefly.
I was greatly struck by what I saw on manufacturers’ stands and by what I learned in meetings with exhibitors. There is an evident gap between NAB and CCBN. Firstly, the quality of exhibitors and stands is far higher at NAB; secondly, NAB is a real international exhibition, with people coming from all over the world. In this area, CCBN has some distance to catch up.
In addition, the conferences at NAB are very high level, with themes and topics very closely aligned with current trends of industry development. At this year’s show, you could see how the distinction between broadcast and new media is becoming very blurred. Convergence is a significant trend, especially the convergence between broadcasting and the Internet which was plain to see in every part of the NAB exhibition this year. The Chinese industry must become part of this trend, and promote the development of broadcasting through the Internet.
This year, I had the honour of attending the IBC Council meeting, where I felt the discussion topics were extremely relevant. For example, there was an active debate on how to attract more people to IBC and NAB, what were the shortcomings in this year’s NAB, and how to overcome and avoid them at IBC in order to maximise the number of delegates. Professor Du Baichuan gave the Council meeting an overview of the situation in China.
Our visit to NAB was a very valuable learning experience for the CCBN delegation. Clearly there are some things we can do, and some things we can’t, but only through strenuous efforts can we achieve success. CCBN has a leading position in China and in the Asia-Pacific region, but in international terms, we have some way to go in order to catch up with NAB and IBC.
All in all, our visit to NAB was extremely successful. We saw many new things, and learned about new directions and trends. We met many old friends, and made many new ones, all of which will contribute to establishing a solid foundation for CCBN’s future development.