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April 19, 2012   Posted by: Dale Underwood

Top Storage Players at NAB Show Vegas


I arrived yesterday morning for the final 2 days of the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show here in Vegas. The size and scope of this show is overwhelming; 110K attendees and thousands of exhibitors of “all things digital content”. The show is so large that it takes up the entire, multi-building Las Vegas Convention center. I quickly traded my leather “hard” shoes for tennis shoes and set out to explore.

NAB has done a good job of bringing together a colossal number of exhibitors, yet organizing them so they are grouped by “community”.

Here are the community groups:

Acquisition & Production

Cameras, Lenses, Capture Accessories, Capture, 4K, Virtual Production, Set Design, Motion Picture/Film, ENG Vehicles, Workflow Solutions.

Home of: 3D, Lighting and Grip, French Pavilion, Belgian Pavilion, Bavarian Pavilion, KOTRA Pavilion

Content Market

Content Aggregators, Syndicators, Studios, Content Publishers, Advertising and Commercials, Motion Picture: Film and Documentary, News/Weather/Traffic, Short-form Programming, Sports, Stock Footage, Videogames, UGC.

Home of: Content Theater, Content Lounge

Display Systems

4K, Digital Signage, TV Sets, Monitors, Projectors, Projection Screens, Video Display, Ultra HD.

Distribution & Delivery

HDTV, 4G, Antennas, Transmitters, Towers, Broadband Connectivity, IPTV, Digital Cinema, Mobile Video, Mobile DTV, Microwave/RF Accessories, Cable Equipment and Headend, Test and Measurement, Fiber to the Home, Telepresence, Streaming, Software/Applications/Middleware, Wi-Fi/Wi-MAX.

Home of: Satellite Technologies, Brazil Pavilion, French Pavilion

Management & Systems

Digital Asset Management, Storage, IT/Network Infrastructure and Security, 3G B/S, Signal Management, Systems Integration, Cloud Computing, Routers, Master Control, Newsroom Automation, Video/Content Servers, Multicasting, Workflow Solutions.

Home of: Cloud Computing Pavilion, International Research Park, Mobile DTV Pavilion, UK Pavilion c/o Tradefair, ATSC Tech Zone

Online Video

Interactive Television, OTT, Content Delivery Networks, Encoding, Streaming, Advertising Platforms, VOD. more

Outdoor/Mobile Media

ENG, SNG, DSNG Vehicles and Services, Mobile Production Studios, Outdoor Signage, Power Generation, Satellite Uplink. more


Animation and VFX, Digital Intermediate, Editing Software/Hardware, 3D Technologies, Motion Graphics, Mastering and Duplication, Character Generation, Music and Sound Libraries, Subtitling and Closed Captioning, Encoding, Format Conversion, Workflow Solutions.

Home of: Post PIT, Plug-in Pavilion, Sound Track Central

Pro Audio

5.1, Audio Editing, Mastering, Mixers, Effects, Production, Post-Production, Encoding, Recording, Compression Technologies.

Home of: Pro Audio PIT


Analog, Digital and Streaming Technologies, HD Radio, Antennas, Transmitters, Towers, Automation, Master Control, News and Weather Services, Advertising/Media Sales Solutions, Encoding, Microwave/RF Accessories, Scheduling Software, Signal Management, IT/Network Infrastructure and Security, Web, Mobile and Video Applications.

The Storage Players

Being a data storage nut, my favorite area was the Management and Systems. Storage for the great “Content Shift” demands high-speed systems with built-in resilience. I saw many of the traditional players like EMC Isilon, NetApp, DataDirect Networks and Nexsan but was surprised by the large number of small newcomers. I also met several companies like Active Storage that are native to the broadcasting industry and seem to have a great story for high-performing storage.

Given the technical strength of Coraid and Texas Memory Systems high-performance storage, I hope to see them today.

I was also hoping to meet the folks from Starboard Storage and Nexgen but they were no-shows. I suspect there was just not enough time to handle the logistics given their recent launch status. Likewise, I also wanted to see either Xsigo or Virtensys of virtualized network fame but, again, they were no-shows.

The goal today is to get out of my storage comfort zone and check out some of the 3D booths. This place makes me dream of a day when you can virtually travel without being at the mercy of late planes! From the looks of things here, I’d say we are pretty close.

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