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A look at what’s in store at the National Association of Broadcasters Show
With the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show getting underway this weekend (April 11-16) in Las Vegas, among the many anticipated highlights are not only the introduction of breakthrough state-of-the-art (SoA) technologies but also Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler sharing an informed “what’s next” after the FCC’s historic net neutrality decision, Oscar-nominated editor Sandra Adair, ACE, sharing insights into the creative process on the Richard Linklater-directed Boyhood, a look-see at significant startup ventures in the tech sector, and workshops and panels discussing today’s content landscape and the prominent role that over-the-top (OTT) video delivery is playing within it.

Leading off the OTT conference program on Monday, April 13, from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. will be the Super Session “Constant Cravings – Using OTT to Win the Next Generation of Viewers,” which will address the evolution of the OTT landscape in 2015, particularly as it pertains to loosening pay TV subscription requirements and the opportunities arising from increased time-shifting and place-shifting alike.

Beginning on Tuesday, April 14, through Wednesday, April 15, NAB Show will host the Online Video Conference, which will feature discussions around topline issues that subscription-based content providers face when monetizing video across a variety of platforms. Featured sessions will include “Now Playing: How Sports and Gaming Are Driving Live-Streaming” (Tuesday, April 14), “Pay TV 2.0 – Adapting to Viewers’ New Expectations” (Tuesday, April 14), “The Evolution of OTT’s Hybrid Monetization Models” (Tuesday, April 14), and “Cracking the Mobile Video Equation in the Era of Pocket-Sized TV” (Wednesday, April 15), among others.

“Today’s consumers want access to their favorite content anytime, anywhere,” said Chris Brown, executive VP of Conventions and Business Operations at NAB. “This new paradigm creates new challenges for media professionals–how to deliver the best content experience, what platforms to create that experience for, and lastly, how to best monetize throughout. We are pleased to host discussions that answer these questions, and more, at NAB Show.”

Wares on display
Numerous manufacturers will debut production and post hardware and software advancements, many of which have been touched upon in SHOOT’s Toolbox column in recent weeks. Picking up on the OTT events at NAB, the exhibit floor will feature related breakthroughs, news and developments, a prime example involving Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), the technology arm of Prime Focus, and global sports media service provider deltatre. PFT and deltatre have announced a collaboration to provide an end to end live sports OTT platform that will be showcased at this year’s NAB in Las Vegas.

The joint offering will provide an immersive sports viewing experience for consumers looking for live sports solutions. Based on deltatre’s integrated video application Diva, and PFT’s Media ERP Suite, CLEAR, the combination is structured to address the needs of both broadcast and digital entities.

The framework is designed to exploit the most important aspect of live sport monetization; driving consumer engagement, which is achieved through facilitating the union of data and video. This also captures the essential elements to enable creative storytelling and near-real-time publishing of the same content, to consumer engagement platforms. All this is achievable in one integrated solution, and represents the multi-dimensional “engagement that consumers are demanding,” affirmed Ramki Sankaranarayanan, PFT founder and CEO.

The solution components include preparation (live ingest, transcode), data infusion (merge live logging data from external sources), storytelling (anyone from anywhere can prepare VOD on the fly; live), publish (publish to CMS) and engagement (consumer experience on the player) covering the entire content supply chain for live sports.

Clients tapping into the PFT/deltatre collaboration can realize such benefits as shorter lead times, brand reinforcement, increased creative freedom and the ability to provide an engaged and immersive sports viewing experience.

The deal with Italian company deltatre is just one of PFT’s new “Digital Next” offerings at NAB, helping businesses adjust and adapt to the digital transition of OTT solutions, digital servicing, distribution and 4K through building a connected enterprise and ecosystem. PFT will have at NAB its CLEAR Media ERP Suite, an enterprise-wide software that enables broadcast and production houses/studios to manage content-led business activities across departments globally and to deal with big data challenges. Media and entertainment companies can deploy the rich-in-applications Media ERP Suite to enjoy workflow orchestration across enterprise, supply chain and  partner ecosystems.

Also showcased will be CLEAR Operations Cloud, billed by PFT as the industry’s first end-to-end content operations on the cloud for multi-purpose distribution. Content enterprises today have to embrace the cloud to deliver the necessary volume for servicing their content demand from the growing number of digital outlets globally, such as Netflix, Hulu and other OTT platforms. They need to do that with lowest total cost of delivery and make it discoverable for the consumers quickly. PFT’s CLEAR Operations Cloud helps do just that–not just store and transcode, but perform end-to-end content operations on the cloud.  What’s unique about the product is that its infrastructure is powered by transcoders like Elemental, Rhozet, AmberFin, Digital Rapids and many more, offering content enterprises the ability to choose the one that suits them and use PFT’s custom workflow orchestration to package and deliver.

Sankaranarayanan noted that the conventional operations cloud “offers only storage and transcoding. It cannot do management. It cannot deliver.” PFT’s CLEAR Operations Cloud offers all this and more as part of a comprehensive services package, with the client having the added flexibility of being able to select the transcoder it wants to use. Additionally, PFT’s CLEAR Operations Cloud provides 4K support, including a 4K up-conversion module.

The digital world is also fraught with increasingly complex distribution needs with more outlets such as A-VoD, S-VoD and T-VoD worldwide. PFT has a CLEAR Distribution Cloud which offers an integrated solution by connecting the rights and sales order systems, helping to process and service orders while offering governance in the rights regime.

“This is our fifth NAB and our most compelling set of products,” said Sankaranarayanan. “I’m super excited about the prospects.”

FCC chairman Wheeler will speak at the 2015 NAB Show. The address, which will be held Wednesday, April 15, 9-10a.m., is expected to provide insight into the FCC’s policy and regulatory objectives related to broadcasting, technology and communications law generally.

“This is a great opportunity for NAB Show attendees to hear first-hand from the FCC chairman on the FCC’s progress on the TV spectrum incentive auction and a host of other items currently under consideration at the Commission,” said NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith.

Tom Wheeler became the 31st chairman of the FCC on November 4, 2013. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.

For over three decades, Wheeler has been involved with new telecommunications networks and services, experiencing the revolution in telecommunications as a policy expert, an advocate, and a businessman. As an entrepreneur, he started or helped start multiple companies offering innovative cable, wireless and video communications services. He is the only person to be selected to both the Cable Television Hall of Fame and The Wireless Hall of Fame.

Creative Master Series
Editor Adair will be a featured session speaker within the Creative Master Series at the NAB Show. Earlier this year, Adair received her first Best Editing Oscar nomination for the Linklater-directed Boyhood. Her collaborations with Linklater also include Dazed and Confused and School of Rock. Her NAB session, titled “From Dazed to Boyhood: Collaboration over 22 Years,” will be moderated by veteran film editor Norman Hollyn and produced in partnership with American Cinema Editors (ACE).

Adair has edited 18 films for Linklater over the past 22 years, including the acclaimed Before trilogy–Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight. Adair is currently editing Linklater’s That’s What I’m Talking About.

Gaining momentum in its third year at NAB is the SPROCKIT program. SPROCKIT showcases 30 emerging companies that were hand-selected by industry experts because of their potential to disrupt the media and entertainment industry. SPROCKIT gives startups the opportunity to meet on equal ground with executives at leading media and entertainment companies to discuss new technology or creative solutions to solving the industry’s biggest challenges.

The SPROCKIT Hub (booth# N2530)–a dedicated pavilion at NAB Show featuring current and alumni participants–will host curated panel sessions with current and past SPROCKIT participants, as well as corporate members on issues like advertising across platforms and the age of over-the-top content (OTT). During NAB Show, the 30 SPROCKIT startups will present their company’s solution in a five minute pitch session, followed by a brief Q&A open to all NAB Show attendees. All attendees are also encouraged to cast their vote for the most outstanding SPROCKIT company online here. The SPROCKIT company presentations begin Monday, April 13, in the SPROCKIT Hub

SPROCKIT is the media and entertainment alliance of corporate executives and industry-vetted emerging companies showcasing and collaborating on products, services and new revenue models. SPROCKIT spotlights industry innovations through two channels: a showcase at NAB Show; and SPROCKIT Sync, a series of private meetings where conversations continue in Silicon Valley, New York and Los Angeles. Together, media and entertainment executives and entrepreneurs are shaping the future of the industry by building relationships to tackle cross-sector challenges, forecast trends and bring solutions to market.

Here’s this year’s lineup of SPROCKIT companies at NAB:

•aioTV is an over-the-top (OTT) video platform that enables service providers and content owners to easily aggregate multiple sources of live, on-demand and freely available video content into a single, unified TV experience.

•AntengoClassifieds is a mobile-first marketplace to buy and sell anything with trust, ease and PayPal escrow and guarantee.

•Bcast is a next generation social broadcasting network, platform and application that enables users to instantly broadcast live streaming videos at any time to and from mobile and wearable devices, the web and smart TV’s.

•Beachfront Media is a video technology company enabling distribution and monetization of video across all screens.

•buzzmark syncs television advertisements, programs and jingles with viewers’ mobile devices to deliver coupons and offers from local and national brands, enabling broadcasters to leverage their offline reach to capture incremental mobile revenues.

•Channel Master is a provider of commercial and retail over-the-air, over-the-top and linear online video products and solutions for operators, broadcasters and the cord-cutting consumer.

•Critical Media’s media monitoring and video editing platforms streamline the creation, distribution, analysis and monetization of video through live broadcast ingest, mobile apps and data feeds.

•Dataclay provides automation systems that enable content creators to efficiently pipe data streams into video for personalized ads, broadcasts, digital signage, e-commerce, social media and more.

•Didja-Clippit App and Cloud Service helps television fans create short clips of TV programs, comment about them and share via social media. Clippit also maximizes benefits to networks and content owners.

•ExtendTV is a programmatic media buying platform built on high-speed trading principles and designed to optimize delivery and performance for local advertising campaigns.

•FLUENDO’s technology improves the multimedia experience in the free software environment, empowering devices and consumer desktops. Today, all of FLUENDO’s products are fully compliant with all patent licenses and ready for professional use.

• is the only platform to track national TV advertising in real-time and measure digital responses across major video, social and search platforms.

•Kwicr’s mobile delivery network (MDN) is a platform that improves app performance by accelerating Internet traffic over mobile broadband networks.

•Limecraft offers production facilities, producers and broadcasters the technology to build their private cloud, leveraging existing storage and media asset management services.

•Multipop is developing the first scalable interactive video platform. The patent-pending technology adds content extensions, commerce and ad opportunities to any video in minutes.

•NIMxchange is a cloud-based content distribution service for TV broadcasters.

•Psychability’s TV Data Management Platform (DMP) brings big data and analytics to TV and helps traditional TV media and programmatic advertisers make more profitable use of TV audience data.

•Reveal enables publishers to improve mobile revenue by showing them, and their advertisers, their most valuable audience segments.

•ScoreStream crowd-sources sports scores, photos, chat and more, fundamentally changing the way sports content is created, shared and consumed.

•SDVI provides SaaS-based infrastructure management solutions that optimize the media supply chain for content owners, distributors and media facilities.

•Stringr is a mobile and web enabled platform that allows media customers to request, preview, and purchase footage of anything from anywhere under tight deadlines by alerting nearby videographers of custom video requests in real time.

•Tagboard enables an aggregation of public social media within seconds of being posted to the major social media networks. Tagboard’s tools offer the power to select specific posts to feature on websites, in broadcast TV, and on large displays.

•Unruly is a video ad technology company that enables major brand advertisers and content owners to use paid and earned media to distribute their video content in native ad formats across the Open Web.

•Videa is a supply-side platform for automated television advertising. Owned by Cox Media Group, Videa offers solutions and services that are designed to simplify the buying and selling of spot television.

•Videogram is a platform to discover, share and monetize online video. Embed Videogram in websites, social networks, ad banners, live streams, programming guides and apps to increase click-thru and engagement

•Videolicious’ patented technology allows broadcasters to create and automatically edit story tease videos for social channels, with station graphics, text, a-roll and b-roll, watermarks, and more, in seconds on mobile devices.

•Vu Digital’s content solutions – Video-to-Data (V2D) – instantly identify video and audio using automated speech recognition (ASR), text extraction from images, and facial and image recognition.

•Wahwah Networks provides a new media ecosystem consisting of a music-driven targeting tool for brands and advertisers, which also stands as a monetization solution for publishers.

•Yottio is a real-time video screening and trafficking platform for media makers.

•YuVue enables publishers and brands to discover and acquire consumer photos and videos shared on social media. YuVue empowers content creators by protecting their copyright and connecting them with companies who can license their work.

NAB Show attendees and the public can follow all the action and highlights from the SPPROCKIT Hub via Twitter (@SPROCKIT4Glory) and join the conversation using the #SPROCKIT hashtag.

SPROCKIT is created in partnership with World Series of Startups, LLC and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). SPROCKIT corporate members include: AARP, Comcast, Cox Media, Disney/ABC Television Group, E.W. Scripps Company, Fox Networks Group, Gannett Broadcasting, Google, Graham Media Group, Hearst Television, Media General, NBCUniversal, Pearl TV, Raycom Media, Scripps, Samsung Global Innovation Center and Univision Communications Inc. SPROCKIT supporters include: Ad-ID, Angel Capital Association, Boston Consulting Group, Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at USC, Ernst & Young, Interactive Television Alliance, Irving Group, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, , National Venture Capital Association, New Amsterdam Media, New Vantage Group, SmithGeiger and Springboard Enterprises.