Now that the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show is over, it’s time to start thinking about the next big tech show in Las Vegas, the NAB’s annual Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology (BEIT) Conference.
For those who have attended in the past, this 74th iteration of the event holds some changes from recent tradition. Most notably, the 2020 NAB Show will be a day shorter than it has in the past, so the BEIT Conference has adjusted its schedule accordingly. The conference will run from Saturday morning through Wednesday afternoon, April 18-22, 2020.
Also, by popular demand, BEIT Conference papers have been allotted 25 minutes each, to allow for more questions and audience interaction.
An Embarrassment of Niches
The BEIT program is designed, and its papers selected, by a group of senior engineers from NAB member companies—the BEIT Conference Committee (see Table below).
|Roz Clark (Chairman)||Cox Media Group|
|Winston Caldwell||Fox Corporation|
|Bill Davis||Capitol Broadcasting Company|
|Jim DeChant||News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting|
|Mike Kelly||E.W. Scripps Company|
|Marcy Lefkovitz||Disney / ABC Television Group|
|Jason Ornellas||Bonneville International|
|Glenn Reitmeier||GlennReitmeierTV LLC|
|Steve Shultis||New York Public Radio|
|Glynn Walden||Entercom Communications Corp.|
|John L. Poray||Society of Broadcast Engineers|
|Tom Mikkelsen||Consultant, SBE|
The committee first selected a set of topics that were posted in last Summer’s Call for Papers. The committee was then confronted last Fall with a dizzying array of resulting proposals from across the industry and around the world. Their difficult and painstaking selection process resulted in a conference program consisting of 90 papers across 30 sessions, plus nearly 10 hours of additional content programmed by BEIT Conference partners, the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), the Broadcast Technology Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-BTS) and the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA).
Hot topics to be covered at the 2020 BEIT Conference include Next Gen TV, Conversion to IP, Over-the-Top (OTT) TV, Artificial Intelligence Applications, 5G Technology, Cloud Applications, Ultra HD and Advanced Advertising Technologies. Sessions are also planned for Emerging Radio Technologies, Cybersecurity, Broadcast Facility Design, New Workflows, Advanced Emergency Alerting, Next Gen TV Audio, New Technologies for Sports Coverage, RF Spectrum Issues and the TV Repack.
Given the impending commercial launch of Next Gen TV in 2020, it’s no surprise that the topic is receiving a lot of attention at this year’s BEIT Conference. A special six-part series called Next Gen Academy will cover many facets of the topic, across Sunday and Monday, April 19-20.
Stage and Engage
As in the past, both “traditional” (sequential) on-stage presentations and simultaneous, “electronic poster” presentations will be included in the conference. The latter, called BEIT ENGAGE! allows up-close and personal contact with presenters, across eight BEIT Conference sessions running from Saturday through Monday, April 18-20.
The number of ENGAGE! presentation stations will be reduced from five to three in 2020, allowing more time for attendees to spend with each presenter. Similarly, in the on-stage presentations, each conference session will include three sequential papers on a single topic.
Something for Everyone
The broad range of timely subjects should provide papers of interest to all who attend. NAB is also adjusting conference registration to allow attendees to register only for the BEIT Conference, at a reduced rate. (Previously, the only option was the so-called Conference Flex Pass, which allowed attendance at the BEIT and other Conference tracks. This option remains in 2020, now called the NAB Show Conference Pass, which still includes access to the BEIT Conference. But for those only interested in BEIT Conference sessions, a less expensive option is now available.)
Beyond the NAB-curated sessions, BEIT Conference partners will again produce several sessions as part of the program. These include the SBE Ennes Workshop (two morning sessions, Saturday April 18), an IEEE-BTS Symposium (two afternoon sessions, Saturday April 18), and NABA’s Future of Radio and Audio Symposium (FRAS) (three sessions, Sunday April 19).
An overview of the 2020 BEIT Conference sessions is shown in the Figure below (click on the Figure to expand).
We hope you can make it to this must-attend event, the longest-running track at the world’s largest media convention, NAB Show’s BEIT Conference, in Las Vegas, Nev., USA, April 18-22, 2020.