Bridge Technologies March Blog Post

Can someone remind us how to write an NAB blog, please?

With the upcoming NAB Show just a month away, it seemed an obvious topic to write this month’s blog on. But where in the world to start? We all feel a little out of practice when it comes to hyping up the idea of international travel and tradeshows: what should we be writing about, and how should we be writing it?

OK, well a good piece of writing captures a mood. Let’s begin there. But what mood? Unfettered excitement and jittery anticipation? Trepidation and uncertainty? A gnawing fear that we’ve all forgotten (and by that, I mean a collective, industry-wide ‘we’) how to ‘do’ trade shows? Is the pleasure of gathering together going to be unduly compromised by an underlying caution and distance (both emotional and physical), to the point that it becomes a chore rather than a contentment?

The truth is, all of those feelings are at play, and at different levels for different people. There is no singular ‘mood’ that we can hope to capture in a world which we can’t even necessarily define as ‘post-Covid’ (and which even if we could, is marked by ongoing flux, complexity and tragedy anyway). Probably just best to acknowledge that whilst within the Bridge offices there’s a lot of excitement – we are, after all, highly social creatures here at our Akerselva offices, creatures who thrive on the dynamism of interaction with our peers and friends in the industry. But not everybody feels like that, and that’s OK.

So what’s a different strategy we could use to get this month’s blog started? How about looking to our last NAB blog for a little bit of inspiration. We’ll have to scroll pretty far back to find that…

What a difference a day (and two years) makes…

Goodness, how full of positivity 2019’s NAB blog is! Yes, this is definitely the inspiration to be drawing from as we seek to ramp up to NAB 2022. What particularly marked the 2019 show? Well, there were multiple awards for the VB440. A significant role played participating in the IP showcase. And a quite spectacular dinner at Stratosphere with our business partners.

But what’s really notable about 2019’s NAB blog is the palpable feeling of pride it has about us ‘breaking through’. Certainly, we’d been making waves for a while, but it was this show more than perhaps any other where we felt that our IP message was not only being properly heard, it was actually being internalised and embraced. And most importantly, people recognised that it’s a message we’d been promoting for a long time, and were looking to us for answers as a result. Our place as IP experts was being acknowledged – we were in the limelight.

Which means that actually, 2022 will be quite a different affair, tone-wise. Because whilst it can sometimes feel like time has stood still for the past two years, the fact is that technology still moves at a fair old pace – something we’ve witnessed first hand, as our sales have gone from strength to strength, along with our industry recognition. A lack of physical presence has not fettered the increasing importance of our conceptual presence. Which means that over the course of the two year tradeshow hiatus, we’ve kind of moved from the position of bright young upstarts with crazy ideas to grizzled veterans who know the ropes and are the font of all wisdom (at least wisdom as it pertains to IP networks).

Yes, even though we’re going into NAB with a slightly more modest booth than we’d planned (/hoped) for in 2020 and 2021 (never wise to go cliff diving when you haven’t been for a swim in two years), in terms of reputation we’re going in not as a group looking to promote or push the idea of IP, but instead as problem solvers, transition managers and guidance counsellors for a market which now very much already recognises the benefits of IP, but doesn’t yet necessarily have the knowledge, tools or confidence needed to make the change. No longer evangelists (because nobody needs an evangelist when you all already believe), but instead church elders tasked with guiding and interpreting IP scripture for the masses.

It’s funny how things change, but stay the same

And of course, one of the big differences between our 2019 blog and this 2022 edition is the technological advancements we’ll be bringing to this year’s show. On the face of it, it might not seem like it; the core focus remains on the VB330 and the VB440. But then we’ve discussed this issue in last month’s blog; we don’t feel the need to repackage every progressive step forward we make with our technologies – so sometimes, what looks similar might in fact be a world apart.

Resultantly, this is the first time we’ll be showing in person some of the remarkable steps we’ve made over the last two years; including the harmonisation of the VB330 v6 across appliance, server and software applications, or with the VB440, the introduction of remarkable new audio monitoring tools (including a 7:1 stereo downmix delivered through browser), the ability to monitor (and preview) HDR images on an SDI browser screen, along with JPEG XS analysis (also on the VB330) or the new signal generator and quad view functions.

We’re very much looking forward to showing these off, like a proud Mum with a new (or evolved?) baby.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…

Of course, before we get to that point, we’ve first got to get on a plane – a fair novelty in itself these days. Whilst some will probably sink back seamlessly into the delivery of champagne direct to the seat, cruising at 42,000 feet above the Atlantic, the rest of us might be slightly more mystified by the return of tiny packs of peanuts, and the – let’s face it – quite terrifying prospect of US immigration controls.

But once we’ve packed up the products on their crates to send across the sea, checked (and double checked) that our passports are still date, made the seemingly endless set of transfers between our own front doors and the hotel front desk, and finally sunk down into the opulence of crisp white hotel bedding to sleep off our jetlag, we’ll be ready. Ready with our game face. Ready to re-embrace (at least figuratively) our industry friends and peers. Ready to lead the way when it comes to monitoring, measurement and all things IP. Ready to do what we do best: excel and push the technological boundaries of the broadcast industry.

(Oh, and ready to enjoy grand, champagne-and-cigar-laden dinners on the terrace. This is Las Vegas, after all).

If you’re looking forward to NAB with the same level of cautious optimism and excitement as we are (or even if you’re not), we’d love to see you on our booth W5604. There’s lots to catch up on!