Send Me to NAB

It probably won’t come as news to many but, as I write this, there is a fairly large event on in Las Vegas that is somewhat related to the topics I write about. Also to the work I do on a daily basis. The event, of course, is the National Association of Broadcasters Convention 2012.

I am not in Las Vegas, I am at home in New Zealand reading about the show, as I have for years, on the internet. However I want to go to the show next year, and I’m hoping you can help me (and hopefully I can help you in turn). I am attempting to crowd-fund my trip to NAB 2013.

I told a couple of people about this idea ahead of time. A few were supportive, but others were dismissive – something along the lines of “you want people to pay for your holiday?”

The answer to that is yes, and no. Sure, I’d love to visit Vegas, meet up with American friends and colleagues and trash hotel rooms, but it’s more than that. My interest in NAB is professional – it’s part of my personal professional development, if that makes sense. I work professionally in television post-production, but I also have a passion for the industry and the technology it’s built on. My employer can’t really justify sending staff to NAB, so I’m on my own.

However what I am planning to do is more than just idly wander around looking at shiny gadgets and hunting out corporate hospitality. I want to learn, and I want to share. A large part of my involvement with technology has always been as a translator – I take in technical information and I translate it into terms and concepts that can (hopefully) be easily understood by others.

This is something I’ve done as a part of almost every job I’ve ever had, and also something I’ve done for a wider audience. I’ve written for a broad audience on technical subjects for a number of publications and websites, I’ve actively contributed thousands of posts to a variety of online communities and I’ve even hosted a talkback radio show about computers and technology. It is something I enjoy doing and that I believe I’m good at.

So that is what I hope to be doing in Las Vegas in April 2013. I want to serve as a technical conduit for any interested parties. For businesses with an interest in a specific technology or market segment I’m happy to learn as much as I can and provide direct and relevant consultation about the options specific to their needs. For individuals observing NAB from home I’ll make myself available to seek direct answers about new products or services.

I’m also entirely willing to make myself available to vendors in any way I can. I’m not a big-name speaker or post-production mover-and-shaker but I have been using many products in many ways on high-profile and demanding projects for years.

So I want you (or people you know) to send me to NAB 2013 to work – for you. To learn more, please check out my Indiegogo project page: Dylan Does NAB or contact me directly via email (nab @, Twitter (@dylanreeve) or directly on this site.


  • Runetic

    As a non-professional into video, I just came back from my third NAB.  I live in southern California so it is a short flight to Las Vegas.  I was taking video classes at night and the instructor would not have class the week of NAB to encourage us to go there just to see the exhibits.  (He would get us a sponsor)  I have gone back since.  There is nothing like being able to see all the equipment available and be able to ask any technical question you may have.  

    Kudos on your attempt to at live election broadcasting.  I was just at a Blackmagic event today.  I was looking at their smaller switcher that is just under $1K to experiment with live broadcasting.  Is there any video of your broadcast posted anywhere on the web?  I am curious what bit rate you decided on and your uplink capacity?  Take care.


    • Dylan Reeve

      Unfortunately our broadcast stream wasn’t archived for very long – I’m not sure it does exist online anywhere anymore.

      Our fibre connection was capable of 8Mb/s up I think, but in practice because of routing issues and shared capacity we were using a much lower bitrate which we varied a little to get a reliable feed for our viewers.

      To be honest there was a lot more room for research and testing on the streaming aspects. Some services (UStream possibly?) offer an adaptive system where you send a higher quality stream and they create multiple streams of different qualities to suit the viewers. I don’t think Justin.TV which we used for this broadcast was able to offer that at the time.

      The BlackMagic switcher was amazing though. A few years ago I used to run a linear online edit suite that was centred around a Grass Valley switcher. It was a huge beast (about 24 rack units all told) and it couldn’t do half of what the ATEM unit could. I love live TV stuff but sadly I rarely get a chance to dabble in that arena.