Attributed to both Mark Twain and Will Rogers, it’s one of my favourite reflections on the media technology industry and particularly apt today, the second day of NAB. I’ve already had conversations over the last couple of days with engineers and technologists who are excited about the latest gadgets and gizmos that they are expecting to find on the show floor:
However, when I quiz them about the usage of those self-same gadgets, they often describe to me the usage of the new gizmo in a traditional workflow for traditional TV.
“Yeah, but look at what cloud can offer” says the guy who has to look after the internal storage of a particular facility. What he sees (and it was a he) is that a particularly horrible job of balancing the facility’s storage requirements in terms of volume, throughput and resilience is now someone else’s problem and he can get on with the bits of his job that he likes.
The same conversation with a woman who had more business oriented aspirations came to a different conclusion. “We could out-source everything” and by “everything” she meant storage, editing, transcoding, versioning, distribution, playout – the works. Her vision of a playout facility was that everything was in the cloud and the satellite uplink became a sort of glorified youtube player at a data center that was close enough to the dish to be economically viable.
We all want progress, but some of the changes that are about to confront us may be uncomfortable for many. The underlying visual media business model is changing. No-one knows what the right answer will be, but we all know (as consumers) that we like to be entertained and that we will probably consume more visual media and not less.
If are you wandering the halls of NAB, why not pop in and see. That’s our business. I, personally, would like to help you feel comfortable that the future of media is a good one and that making great looking content is going to keep us all entertained and in jobs for a long time to come!