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NAB and the Years We Debated the Future of Television

By Jim Ball | Apr 12, 2016


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While I’m fairly new to Signiant, I am a long-time veteran of NAB. I’ve been to so many NABs that I don’t count anymore.

To give you some indication on my level of experience (and age), I first started going to NAB as GM of a Boston-based post house when technologies like non-linear editing were just starting to emerge.

Photoshop was just for photo re-touching and booths for Sony and Grass Valley were huge; the absolute destinations for all attendees to be entertained and to evaluate gear.


The NAB Grand Alliance vs. The Internet Advocates


I was also around in the early days of HD when the NAB “Grand Alliance” was screaming from the rooftops, HD IS THE FUTURE OF TELEVISION.

At the same time, companies like Apple Computing started coming to the NAB and would say in panel discussions, “HD is not the future of television. The Internet is the future.” Well, turns out both parties were right and then some.

Since those years of the Grand Alliance and the Internet advocates, lots and lots has happened. Tape-based workflows are virtually ancient history, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine on the planet and almost anybody can produce, publish or broadcast content over the Internet.

The changes have been exciting, and it’s been fun.

In 2003, I switched over from being in production to being in marketing for manufacturers of production equipment and software.

I’ve been at three different companies since and found that the basic goal has always been the same:

  • Build innovative products that enable people to do things they couldn’t do before;
  • Make it easier for the customer to produce and deliver content;
  • And help them build their business.

4K to 8K, Video over IP, and Moving to the Cloud


As we approach NAB 2016, much of the talk is about 4k/8k and beyond, Video over IP and the Move to the Cloud. But what’s new for me this year is the speed in which the industry is moving to the cloud.

Maybe that’s because I happen to now work for a company that’s an innovator in helping businesses transfer large files over the Internet between people, systems and the cloud.

More and more customers want to work with our Cloud-Native SaaS products and send big files to cloud storage. Every day I hear how our customers are utilizing the cloud to help their businesses, and it seems like momentum in the entire industry has crossed a threshold. It’s not really a debate anymore.


The foundation of the future of television was the Internet and improved imaging technology, but today’s future is the cloud.


So, at this NAB, I look forward to learning even more about our customers’ cloud strategy. What are they trying achieve and how can we help? We talk to a lot of different companies and we have broad insight to share.

We invite all of those that are coming to NAB 2016 to schedule a meeting with us. We’d be happy to talk about the cloud, moving large files fast and any other topic that may be on your mind.