Things to know about NAB

First thing to know about NAB: Las Vegas is probably one of the last cities in the world where you can routinely expect to pay exorbitant money for Internet service in your hotel room. However, at McCarran Airport, wifi is free. That probably explains why I’m posting this now, as I wait to board my flight home.

Next thing to know about NAB: You will get blisters. Usually they will be on your feet.

Third thing to know about NAB: You can hear some amazing things here. While I managed to miss actor Tim Robbins’ keynote address on Monday, coverage of it here and here is mixed and interesting. It’s not every day you hear a speech favorably compared to both Edward R. Murrow’s “lights and wires” speech in the 1950’s and former FCC commissioner Newton Minow’s “vast wasteland” speech in the 1960’s, while simultaneously being called obscenity-laced and “gonzo.” You can listen to a recording of the speech here.

Fourth thing to know about NAB: While it still is a large affair, Las Vegas doesn’t seem to care about it anymore. Used to be in years past every hotel marquee would feature a huge “WELCOME NAB!” sign. This year I saw exactly one, and it was on a sign outside a strip club. I guess they know their demographics.

Finally for now, one of the best things about NAB is not just the opportunity to see the latest and greatest gear, but to see friends and acquaintances from years past. I once described NAB to my wife as my version of the Wisconsin tradition of “deer camp,” where husbands disappear for a week prior to Thanksgiving to ostensibly hunt deer. Of course, there is usually a lot more socializing that stalking involved, and often NAB is the same.

Of course, my wife has never let me live that crack down.

Bruce A Johnson

A 1981 graduate of the Boston University College of Communication, Bruce A. Johnson got his first job in broadcast television at WFTV, an ABC affiliate in Orlando, FL. While there, he rose through the ranks from teleprompter operator to videographer, editor, producer and director of many different types of programming. It was in the early 1980’s that he bought his first computer – a Timex/Sinclair 1000 – a device he hated so much, he promptly exchanged it for an Atari 400. But the bug had bitten hard. In 1987, Johnson joined Wisconsin Public Television in Madison as a videographer/editor, and still works there to the present day. His responsibilities have grown, however, and now include research and presentations on the issues surrounding the digital television transition, new consumer technology and the use of public television spectrum in homeland security. He freelances through his company Painted Post MultiMedia, and has written extensively for magazines including DV and Studio Monthly.

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