Las Vegas, NV, April 22, 2009…It’s end of day Wednesday and, for better or worse, I’ve seen everything I’m going to see at this show. The show organizers peg attendance at 83K but most exhibitors I have spoken to believe the number is inflated. Though some exhibitors are purportedly complaining about the low floor traffic, nearly everyone I spoke to said the lower attendance didn’t hurt the  number or quality of the meetings they had. Although many companies may have cut their NAB attendance from 25 to 10, the ten people who did attend the show were the ones who make the decisions and sign the checks.

People have been talking for some time about the relevance–in an Internet age–of a trade show that sucks up so much time, energy and money, but the power of the face-to-face meeting will continue to rule for some time. And nobody I talked to is bemoaning a smaller NAB that’s easier to navigate and a lot, lot quieter.

I managed to run all over the South Lower and a bit of the Central Halls today (and a bit of the North Hall as I detailed earlier). I made one stop in particular in the Central Hall – in the Content Commerce Pavilion, I visited ATG DesignWorks which has a few U.S. patents (and a pending European one) for the technology to embed media the size and shape of paper or cardboard with audio and video. The idea came to one of the company founders when he was flipping through a magazine at a news stand and thought, one day there’ll be inserts that play video and audio. And perhaps soon they will; the company reports it’s had talks with some big media companies. The technology, however, will be OEMed, so you may not see an ATG label – just the cool technology.

Imagica, which we usually think of for scanners and recorders, showed Render Spice, which was created by Japanese broadcaster Fuji Television, as a network-rendering queueing software used for managing remote rendering for popular WIndows and Mac-based 3D and compositing software. They also showed improvements to its chroma-keying and image compositing plug-in sparkPRIMATTE for Inferno/Flame/Fire/Flint/Flare and Smoke. The newPRIMATTE V4.0 includes an Auto-compute button; core algorithms have also been changed from integer to floating point precision and accelerated. Lastly, the company showed O-gi, a new set of image quality enhancement plug-ins for Inferno, Flame, FLint and Smoke. Effects include wrinkle diminisher, mach band suppressor, video signal legalizer, video noise detector and edge preserving smoother.

In other good news, Thompson may have sold off its Spirit unit, but it was bought and revivified by Digital Film Technology which has come out with a Scanity film scanner – more on that in a later post.

Coming up is another post on all the mobile DTV technology shown at the show and more details on a few more products.