Reporting Live from NAB

This week I attended the 2011 NAB Show in Las Vegas along with a few others from the Dell Precision workstation team. NAB, which stands for the National Association of Broadcasters, is the digital media industry event for video, audio and film. With only one month into my new role as Media & Entertainment specialist for Dell Precision, I was excited to meet with some of our key broadcast, video and audio partners face-to-face, including Grass Valley, Sony, Matrox, Autodesk, Newtek and Adobe, to talk about our joint go to market strategies and how we can work together to better serve our customers.

NAB is also great venue for demonstrating our solutions for the digital media industry and learning about the new technologies, solutions and industry trends for 2011. This year Dell partnered with NVIDIA to demo a cutting-edge broadcast application from ARRI and Iridas on our Dell Precision T7500 desktop workstation. ARRI, the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of motion picture cameras, digital intermediate systems and lighting equipment, announced CUDA, or parallel computing, support within their ARRIRAW software development kit (SDK) at NAB. This SDK will be used by the majority of the top post production independent software vendors to accelerate the debayering process required to maintain the digital negative (RAW format) throughout the entire film production process while also allowing artists to work with the highest resolution content possible. Iridas showcased the impact this will have in streamlining the review process yielding a significant cost savings in producing digital films. This ARRIRAW workflow was previously done on custom hardware but NVIDIA and Dell have made real-time workflows in post-production possible on standard Dell workstations.

In addition to the ARRIRAW and NVIDIA solution, Dell partners with AVID, Adobe and more than 60 others ISVs, to certify our Dell Precision workstations with the leading digital media and other major software applications. For example, the Dell Precision M6500, T5500, T7500 and R5500 workstations are certified with AVID’s Media Composer Mojo DX and Nitris DX, which enable accelerated digital video capture, editing, monitoring, and output. You might ask what ‘certification’ means….Well, in short, Dell seeks input from our software partners when we design our professional workstations and to help complement that partnership our platforms are tested by software companies until they earn the title ‘certified’. With an ISV certified our customers can be confident the demanding applications they depend on run smoothly, right out of the box.

While there were thousands of different technologies displayed and demonstrated at the show, the recurring theme this year was “storytelling”, as shared by many industry moguls including filmmaker James Cameron. One might ask how “storytelling” is relevant to this industry – well, it is one of the main tools people use to communicate and create emotional connection. We all rely on storytelling to deliver messages to an audience, whether it is an executive in business motivating a team or a parent sharing a life lesson with a child. The digital revolution offers many ways to share our stories – TV, print, internet, social media, mobile devices, digital photography just to name a few. Almost everyone is involved in some way at a business and personal level. At Dell we are proud to be one of the key innovators and providers of technology that enable our customers to tell their story.

About the Author: Scott Hamilton