The 2011 NAB Show is in the books

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Yet another NAB Show has come and gone. The frenzied week of meeting, sessions, exhibits and general broadcast camaraderie has such a long build-up, and then it seems it's over in a flash. Well, not completely over.


You know by now that attendance was up from last year, albeit not yet as high as 2008. But it's on an upward swing.

The increased attendance, coupled with the generally positive economic outlook certainly added to the overall positive feelings on the exhibit floor. All the exhibitors I spoke to said it was a good convention. Attendees as well had positive feelings about the week's activities.

So what was hot? That's the question I hear every year. The easy answer is to look at the Radio magazine Pick Hits. Look at the technology they cover and it's easy to get a feel for the trends at the convention. This year also adds the Editor's Picks, which are part of our convention review as well.

A topic of importance to the NAB was adding FM to cell phones. This was mentioned quite often, although outside a specific display, there's not much to see related to the idea. That's an ongoing discussion that for now has no obvious resolution waiting.

Adding data to transmissions and station websites continues to be a popular topic. While iBiquity keeps touting and showing the Artist Experience features, automation system providers are further developing their content management capabilities to feed it, RBDS and website functions.

The data capability also related to increased attention to enhancing the listener experience of radio in any form. The basic program service data is merely an entry point. Feeding handheld apps, Twitter/Facebook integration and crowdsourcing are ways to attract listeners in the ever-expanding pool of media choices.

And while radio is obviously an aural medium, we're starting to get the hang of video. No, not to transmit slow-scan images, but as enhanced content on websites or via handheld apps. In the last few years, many stations have looked at studio lighting options to stream shows from the studios. Now radio is looking at systems to capture and deliver video from the field.

Radio magazine is even getting on the video bandwagon with our first series of Pick Hits Videocasts. Get a closer look at the 2011 Pick Hits in these 15 videos at

Meanwhile, underneath everything, we continue to see IP as an ever-present element. Audio over IP is only part of it, with many (if not most) codecs, studio mixing/routing, phone systems, automation and STLs including it. But IP control, including SNMP, is being added to nearly everything. With a browser or a dedicated app, it seems nearly everything was being accessed via some kind of handheld device.

A good portion of this issue is dedicated to what we saw at the 2011 NAB Show, but there's always more. I'm curious to know what you saw and found interesting. Let us know by commenting on the articles at

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