4K Displays, Networking, and NAS Top NAB 2015 Thunderbolt™ Trends

Posted on May 18th, 2015

The biggest names in the media and entertainment industry gathered in Las Vegas last month for the annual 2015 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show. After seeing the crowded halls, high energy and exclusive sessions with the biggest names in Hollywood on display, it’s very clear the future of high-end professional workflows is in good hands with Thunderbolt™ solutions.

A record crowd of more than 100,000 professionals who create, manage, and distribute entertainment and other video content roamed the exhibit hall looking for the newest trends in video production capabilities, and insights into the transformation of broadcasting. The largest attendance in NAB history comes as no surprise, since we continue to see overwhelming demand for video and content production in both traditional and new media channels.

For the Thunderbolt team, NAB was a great opportunity to meet with video content creators and get a better understanding of how technology is playing a role in improving their production process for TV shows, films, and everyday video capture that can take place anywhere and at any time.

One of the benefits of attending NAB is the chance to get a close-up look at this year’s award-winning Thunderbolt technology innovations, such as the LG Digital Cinema 4K Monitor, QNAP Thunderbolt NAS, Pegasus2 R2+ storage device, and JMR Electronics’ Lightning Thunderbolt 2 Quad Tower. These products are just a sample of the many Thunderbolt-enabled devices that were demonstrated at NAB, as 4K video continued to be a strong focus. Beyond simply higher resolutions, 4K content brought forth the growing need for powerful workstations, blazing-fast storage drives and docking solutions for users who want to build the optimal 4K workflow for their content needs.

4K Video Rollout
This year was all about 4K video production. From acquiring to display, the show floor was buzzing about how to leverage the highest resolution format available. At NAB, LG showcased the first true Thunderbolt 2 compatible 4K monitor. In additional to the gorgeous 31-inch display, with a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels, the two Thunderbolt 2 ports also allow the monitor to daisy-chain other Thunderbolt-enabled devices to it – representing the first time a 4K display can be connected directly to a production workflow with Thunderbolt.

Thunderbolt Networking
One of the most top-of-mind subjects among NAB attendees who stopped by our booth was networking using Thunderbolt technology. Most of the users we talked to said that they are trying Thunderbolt networking but are unsure of how to set it up for the best performance. Watch the video below for tips from Jason Ziller, Director of Thunderbolt Marketing, on how Thunderbolt Networking works.

Network Attached Storage (NAS) Another new development is the introduction of the first Thunderbolt NAS product from QNAP, which represents an entirely new category within the Thunderbolt ecosystem. The QNAP Thunderbolt NAS Solution comes with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for easy accessibility at high bandwidth rates to support 4K data transfers of large video and design files.

It’s an exciting time to be in video production, and having spent time at NAB this year, it is clear that television of the past has morphed into a new something very different for content producers and consumers. More screens and more content mean that more technology advancements are needed to power this new entertainment experience.

What were your impressions of NAB? What were the most interesting things that you saw or learned at the show?

Tags: 4K content, 4K monitor, 4K resolution, 4K video, 4K workflows, Intel Thunderbolt, NAB 2015, NAB show, NAS, Network Attached Storage, Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt networking, Thunderbolt workflows, video production trends