Huge day today for NAB Show featuring world’s first 4K video stream live from the International Space Station, the technology awards luncheon featuring keynoter Tim Wu, and the Amateur Radio Operators Reception.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated events at this year’s NAB Show was NASA’s live 4K stream from the International Space Station. Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer spoke to Sam Blackman of AWS Elemental through a live 4k feed, the first ever from space.
The discussion included the revelation that Commander Fischer was inspired by two titans of the space movie genre, The Right stuff and Spaceballs! The two astronauts did some zero-G demonstrations, playing “water ball” ping pong, and playing with alka seltzer and food coloring to stunning effect. They also demonstrated the zero-G mic drop (hint: it doesn’t).
ISS Commander Peggy Whitson said she was inspired to become an astronaut after watching the moon landings as a child. Both astronauts underscored the importance of the 4K feat as a way to inspire a new generation of explorers.
The Ultra HD conversation with the ISS was followed by an expert panel talking about NASA and the media. We spoke with Sam Blackman and Astronaut Tracy Dyson Caldwell before the event to get the inside scoop. We’ll have the video interview available soon, so stay tuned.
The NAB Technology Luncheon featured the presentations of the NAB Technology Awards. We honored b<>com with the Technology Innovation Award for their work in SDR to HDR conversion.
Catherine Badalamente won the Digital Leadership Award. “We are in the middle of a technological revolution,” she said, “and how lucky are we?”
John Kean took the Engineering Achievement Award for radio, and John Lyons won the award for television.
Tim Wu gave the keynote address and discussed the media cycle. He gave examples of the cycle through history, and argued that the internet was no different. He said the cycle starts with invention, followed by an open period (where all are free to pursue it), domination (where a few companies consolidate to rule the industry), and finally, stagnation.
Wu said that some believe the internet is different, but he argued that this is not the case. “We must understand,” he said, “that the internet and the web have become dominated by a handful of firms.”
While the NASA Super Session may have been the most anticipated event of the show, there are those that hold that the ham reception is the event of the show. Amateur radio operators from around the world come to Vegas to talk shop and take part in the raffle where almost $12,000 in prizes are awarded by raffle. This year the event was hosted by NAB’s resident amateur radio operator Bob Weller, N6NE.