T E C H N O L O G Y                        by Michael Billups

NAB Launches Consumer Education Website on Incentive Auction Repack

The National Association of Broadcasters has announced the launch of TVAnswers.org, a new website to inform Americans about how they can continue receiving their local broadcast TV stations during the incentive auction repack process. The website is part of a consumer education campaign to keep viewers apprised of channel changes during the repack’s 39-month timeline.

The Federal Communications Commission recently completed the first-ever “incentive auction,” in which broadcast TV spectrum – or airwaves – was auctioned off to the wireless industry for mobile broadband usage. To accommodate these wireless services, over 1,000 broadcast TV stations across the country will need to transition to new channel assignments over the next three years. Broadcasters will change channels at different times during 10 different phases, with the final phase estimated for completion on July 3, 2020.

TVAnswers.org offers educational sections explaining to viewers why the transition is occurring, when stations in their area are changing channels and what steps they need to take to continue receiving local TV stations. For the estimated 77 million Americans who rely on an antenna to watch local broadcast TV, they will need to “rescan” their television sets after their local stations change channels. While some viewers will need to rescan more than once, no new equipment or services are needed. Viewers who subscribe to a pay-TV service such as cable or satellite will not need to take action.

“NAB is devoted to working with Congress, the FCC, the wireless industry and third-party groups to keep the public informed throughout this enormously challenging undertaking,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. “Broadcast TV remains Americans’ top source for local news, weather, community programming and emergency information. The broadcast industry is committed to ensuring no viewer is left without these services.”

NAB will be rolling out more tools for local TV stations in the coming weeks, including talking points, sample scripts and crawls and even automated phone messaging. Early next year, NAB will roll out customizable spots for stations to use as well as a video to help viewers understand how to rescan their TV sets.

TVAnswers.org is available for consumers in both English and Spanish.

Al Roker to Sit on Visionary Panel at NABSHOW 2017 LAS VEGAS

Owner & CEO of Al Roker Entertainment, Inc., Al Roker, will participate on a "visionary" panel at the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters conference - NABSHOW - entitled "Newtek Presents Broadcast Minds: The Power to See Ahead." The April 24th session boasts "big thinkers" who have something to say about trends in the video industry and the opportunities they see ahead. Roker's panel mates include Marcus Graham - Director of Programming for TWITCH and David Shaw, Vice President of Production for NFL Media. Jim Louderbeck - Venture Partner/Strategic Partnerships of Social Starts and Wochit will moderate.

Roker, Al

As a host and weatherman of NBC’s Today Show, along with Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer, Al Roker has the undivided attention of the nation (over 32 million viewers per week) every weekday morning as America prepares for work. 

Spanning a 35-year plus career and a thirteen-time Emmy winner, Al conducts interviews with celebrities and newsmakers around the world and does a wide variety of segments on every imaginable subject. 

Al is also an accomplished television producer. He is CEO of Al Roker Entertainment, Inc. (ARE); a thriving multimedia company involved in the development and production of network, cable, and home video. ARE produces programming for a diverse clientele including NBC News, MSNBC, Spike TV, Lifetime Television, A&E, The History Channel, E!, Discovery Networks, PBS, TV ONE, Oxygen, The Cartoon Network, The Weather Channel and NBC Television Stations Group.  More: https://www.linkedin.com/company/al-roker-entertainment. 

As a leader in new media broadcasting, Al recently launched Roker Media http://rokermedia.live (@RKRMedia), a creative consortium combining talent, production, amplification, and brand building for live streaming platforms, leveraging audiences where they live online. Working with Facebook Live, Twitch, Twitter/Periscope, YouNow and other social broadcasting platforms, Roker Media produces a new generation of media for an on-the-go, mobile audience. Roker Media also operates Roker Labs, a data and analytics division, dedicated to compiling and publishing actionable statistics and findings on how viewers consume media content. Roker Labs tweets at https://twitter.com/rokerlabs (@Rokerlabs). 

Al is a bestselling author with ten acclaimed books to his credit. His latest, co-authored with his wife, Deborah Roberts, is entitled “Been There Done That: Family Wisdom For Modern Times.” 

As an avid social media contributor, Al regularly tweets @AlRoker; https://twitter.com/alroker, posts on his website: http://www.alroker.com/, and talks with his audience on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alroker.

The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.   #NABSHOW #AlRoker #Newtek

WOMEN AND IMIGRANTS RIGHTS ADVOCATE, AMERICA FERRERA, TO RECEIVE 2017
NAB TELEVISION CHAIRMAN’S AWARD

-- Award honors individuals for significant breakthrough in television --

Ferrera
      Ferrera

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Award-winning actress and producer America Ferrera will receive the NAB Television Chairman’s Award during the NAB Show Television Luncheon. The luncheon will be held Monday, April 24 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino.

Ferrera is best known for her breakthrough role as Betty Suarez on ABC’s comedy “Ugly Betty.” She was recognized with a Golden Globe, Emmy, Screen Actors Guild Award, ALMA and Imagen Award for her performance.

Ferrera currently produces and stars as Amy in the second season of NBC’s workplace comedy “Superstore.” She is also a contributor in the EPIX TV mini-series “America Divided,” a five-part documentary that explores inequality in education, housing, healthcare, labor, criminal justice and other related topics.

“America Ferrera is an esteemed and versatile actress who not only entertains, but brings attention to a variety of important national and global issues,” said NAB Executive Vice President of Television Marcellus Alexander. “She is the embodiment of what this award represents.”

Ferrera most recently appeared in Showtime’s second season of the groundbreaking documentary "The Years of Living Dangerously." She is the executive producer of Refinery 29’s "Behind the Headlines," a multimedia experience comprising video, text and images dedicated to humanizing the conversations around issues that matter to women.

Upcoming, she will executive produce MACRO’s digital series "Gente-Fied," a dramatic comedy featuring an all-Latino cast, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and "Only Girl," which is a docu-series investigating what it means to be a female in a male-dominated field, ranging from baseball players to airplane pilots.

Ferrera spoke about women and imigrant rights issues at the historic Women’s March on Washington, D.C., the day after the presidential inauguration, and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July 2016.

Established to recognize individuals for significant achievement in one or more specific art disciplines in television, the NAB Television Chairman's Award first debuted in 2009 with four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe-winning actor Kelsey Grammar as the recipient. The last recipient was film, television and stage actress Keke Palmer in 2016.

About NAB Show

NAB Show, held April 22-27, 2017 in Las Vegas, is the world's largest electronic media show covering the creation, management and delivery of content across all platforms. With more than 103,000 attendees from 166 countries and 1,700+ exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for digital media and entertainment. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is home to the solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways. For complete details, visitwww.nabshow.com.

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.   #NABSHOW #AmericaFerrera


NAB SHOW LAUNCHES MULTICULTURAL TV & VIDEO CONFERENCE

-- Olympic Gold Medalist Oscar De La Hoya to Keynote --

Golic
Oscar De La Hoya

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is introducing the new Multicultural TV & Video Conference, taking placeWednesday, April 20 in Las Vegas during the 2016 NAB Show, the world's largest annual conference and expo for professionals who create, manage and distribute entertainment across all platforms. The conference will focus on how media companies can best capitalize on the diverse audiences inherent to television and other video content viewing, particularly related to talent, content development, brand advertising and publicity.

“As our society becomes increasingly multicultural, it creates unique challenges and opportunities for television and video content providers striving to reach diverse audiences in meaningful ways,” said NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton. “We are pleased to present a new conference at NAB Show dedicated to this important issue.”

Olympic gold medalist and 10-time world champion in six divisions and among the biggest draws in the history of the sport of boxing, Oscar De La Hoya will keynote the conference. Since retiring from the ring in 2009, he has focused his attention on building the company he founded, Golden Boy Promotions, into one of the most successful boxing promotion companies in the world that also represents the sport’s newest pay-per-view superstar Canelo Alvarez. De La Hoya has also earned recognition as a Grammy-nominated singer and active philanthropist and for his contributions to the Mexican American community. The opening session is titled “Rolling With the Punches: Launching New Channels for Diverse Audiences,” which speaks to Golden Boy Promotions and De La Hoya’s vision for his recently launched RingTV Live.

Other conference sessions address topics such as cultivating a diverse talent pool. “How Do Diverse Voices Matter?,” 10:45-11:45 a.m., features Kelly Edwards, vice president of Talent Development for Programming at HBO; Donna Michelle Anderson, president of Planet DMA; and DuJuan McCoy, owner, president & CEO of Bayou City Broadcasting.

Getting to Know You: More Research + More Data = More Viewers?,” 2:30 - 3:15 p.m. focuses on evaluating diverse audience segments by utilizing research, data and measurement techniques. Panelists includes Eliana Murillo, head of Multicultural Marketing at Google, and Carol Hinnant, senior vice president, National Television at comScore, and Adriana Waterston, senior vice president, Insights and Strategy at Horowitz Research.

Another session in development will address the so-called “three cultures of content” that attract diverse viewers on multiple video platforms. Those “cultures” include culturally-specific content, like in-language programming; culturally-inclusive content, which attracts a broad audience but features characters and story lines about a particular culture; and cross-cultural content, which is programming initially intended for one culture, but with some adaptation, can appeal to a broader audience. Panelists represent broadcast, cable and digital platforms.

Other session topics include driving revenue and advertising and the effect of multicultural television and video on the 2016 election. The full conference schedule will be updated as speakers are confirmed.

The NAB Show Multicultural TV and Video Conference is produced by Schramm Marketing Group, a New York-based event production company and multicultural marketing firm that specializes in the promotion of sports and entertainment for leading brands. Google is a platinum sponsor of the conference and Olympusat is a silver sponsor.

About NAB Show

NAB Show, held April 16-21, 2016 in Las Vegas, is the world's largest electronic media show covering the creation, management and delivery of content across all platforms. With 103,000 attendees from 166 countries and 1,700+ exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for digital media and entertainment. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is home to the solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways. For complete details, visitwww.nabshow.com.

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.

2016 NAB SHOW TO HOST KALEIDOSCOPE
 VIRTUAL REALITY SHOWCASE

 This year's NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show in Las Vegas, April 18 -21, has partnered with Kaleidoscope, the largest community for virtual reality (VR) creators, to host the inaugural Kaleidoscope VR Showcase at NAB Show. 

The Kaleidoscope VR Showcase at NAB Show will feature groundbreaking virtual reality films and immersive experiences, which hail from North America, Europe, South America and beyond. For the first time, NAB Show attendees will have the opportunity to travel to virtual worlds and experience the most innovative narrative, environmental and interactive content.

“With the rapid evolution of media and entertainment, it’s clear that virtual reality will play a prominent role in the future of film and broadcasting,”  said NAB Executive Vice President of Conventions and Business Operations Chris Brown. “Kaleidoscope will be a major highlight of our virtual reality educational programming – we can’t wait to see what this next generation of artists brings to the NAB Show floor.”

Founded in 2015 by entrepreneur René Pinnell and former "Industrial Light & Magic" technical director Michael Breymann, Kaleidoscope empowers independent VR artists and works to promote the visibility of VR as the new frontier of film and entertainment. Previous to its involvement withNAB Show, the inaugural Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival toured across the North American continent, visiting ten cities that included Austin, Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, and more in 2015.

“As the home of unique and award-winning virtual reality content and artists, Kaleidoscope is thrilled to bring this new frontier of experiential entertainment to NAB Show,” said René Pinnell, co-founder of Kaleidoscope. “The success of our North American tour highlighted the resounding interest in this medium, and the artists that are its pioneers. There’s no better place to showcase this extraordinary movement in media than at NAB Show.”

BROADCASTERS UNLEASHED!

Michael W. Billups for Black Online TV


    It's not so easy to see now, but there was a time when media-making was the domain of select few. Only the big boys, the Nets, the Hollywood schmoozers dictated what we saw, heard and pretty much experienced in any other way. Needless to say, those days are gone (for good or bad) thanks to the internet, a new handfull of big boys - Apple, Google, Netflix, etc. - and a myriad of tantalizing toys and apps like GoPro, the ubiquitous drones, Periscope, and more. But baby, in the words a long ago media man: "You ain't seen nothin', yet!"            

     When the annual confab of media types gets underway next April in Las Vegas, it'll be an unbridled celebration of all things that scream, "Look at this!" From the National Association of Broadcasters' NAB Show 2016 organizers' description: "The media and entertainment industry has become unleashed. Dynamic innovation and cutting-edge technologies are shattering the boundaries of content and opening up limitless opportunities. NAB Show® is the only place to break free from conventional thinking and open your mind."      

     This reporter has covered the NAB Show every year for more than 25 years and trust me when I say that even your wildest imagination will find it hard to keep up!      Think about it: First, there was the 500-channel universe, then the 1000-channel; add an abundance of new technologies, new delivery methods, and no shortage of new thinkers with unfettered access to it all.      

     Over the next few weeks, I'll preview what's new, what's coming, what's hot and what's not as the players begin leaking the info on their wares. A lot of it is really technical, for sure, but here I will help you get a fair grasp of what it all means for you and your enjoyment.      

     So, put on your Augmented 3D Virtual Reality hoodie and hold on tight! We're going on an incredible journey - and I can hardly wait!



                                         READY FOR “4k”?

by Michael W. Billups for Black Online TV

Chances are, you already know the stunning, vibrant pictures that today’s HD TVs are capable of displaying. With a resolution of 1920 x 1080, most of us expect nothing less than crystal clear, life-like images of our favorite housewives, big games and big discoveries on view from the couch.

But are you ready for “4K”?

I remember when 4K video first hit my radar a few years ago at the annual NAB Show (National Association of Broadcasters) in Las Vegas. It was all anyone was talking about for quite some time. Some were obsessed with it. Before I actually saw productions that were shot in 4K, I really didn’t think I would be that impressed. But when you consider the fact that so-called “Ultra HD TV” is around 3840 x 2160 and 4K is 4096 x 2160, we’re talking about a spectacular experience and – more importantly – we’re talking about the pixel resolution that the big and bigger screens - 60-inches and higher for example – really need to maintain HD brilliance over the larger space.

Is 4K for you?

4K TVs are showing up now in your local electronics retailers and you may be imagining one under your tree for Christmas. If you are, here are some things to look for and be aware of:

      -  Prices range from around $1,400 - $5,000 for a 55-inch model to about $25,000 - $30,000 for an 84-inch screen. Prices will likely drop over the next twelve months.

      -  You may want to consider a digital cinema projector instead of a flat screen. But be careful. Some manufacturers use a technique called “pixel-shifting” to simulate the higher resolution and do not display a true 4K picture.

      -  Does the model you are eying accept 4K content over HDMI and display it natively?

      -  Will it convert lower resolution program sources to 4K?

      -  Right now, programs being produced in 4K are available but not in great supply. But that will change.

      -  You may want to wait for the next generation of Blu-ray players to come out. So-called “4K-ready” Blu-ray players can only up-convert regular Blu-ray discs into a 4K display. They would not be able to show a true 4K disc. Just make sure the resulting converted image is as spectacular as you are expecting.

      -  The way things are going, 10K may be available before you can swipe your card for new 4K set!

It will be interesting to see if more 4K content shows up over the next several months. Equipment and content showcases at the next CES (Consumer Electronics Show) and NAB will be good barometers of what to expect in the very near future. Stay tuned!

 

                           

Broadcasters’ Confab Reveals Content Explosion on the Horizon

by Michael W. Billups

Video hedz attending Post Production World at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas are bursting with the enthusiasm of a hot new reality star over the new opportunities popping up in video production land and social media.

The fog of ever-increasing promises of the convergence of TV and the Internet are set to rapidly become crystal -- sooner instead of later. A slew of recent developments and acquisitions are opening windows of advancement in the areas of higher quality production, faster found content, and wider spread distribution -- especially for what has now become the platform of choice -- mobile. Studies show the majority of people under the age of thirty do ALL of their media viewing on smart phones, tablets and laptops.

Facebook, where one can quickly find more than half of the known universe's inhabitants, recently introduced its new timeline feature which, along with dozens of other user-easy tools, makes telling life stories -- real or otherwise -- compelling or blatantly ridiculous -- a snap (or should I say, just "a point and a click") for anyone. Look for more tools producing more programs by more people as the ten-ton gorilla (Facebook) makes more use of its recent latest billion dollar acquisition, "Instagram" - your life in pictures.

And don't be shocked when one of the giants comes along and gobbles up the social highlighter, "Pinterest;" to do what with? - who knows?

Stay tuned. It's a jungle out there.

Report: Yahoo is Planning 10 Original TV Series to Rival Netflix, Amazon

Yahoo

Yahoo has big plans for online video content — and it is eyeing original TV series the likes of those that Netflix and Amazon are targeting, the Wall Street Journal reports. Yahoo is said to be interested in series that consist of 10 half-hour-long comedies, with the Journal citing sources as saying they will have per-episode budgets from $700,000 to a few million dollars. The projects are said to be led by writers and directors with TV experience. Essentially, the WSJ notes that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is seeking to produce “a hit online show with viral appeal.” The company is close to making orders for four original Web series ahead of Yahoo’s April 28 “NewFront” ad-sales event, though it isn’t clear if any deals will be sealed in time for that. More original programming will lure users into spending more time on Yahoo’s site, and in turn watching video ads.