NAB, Broadcasters, Broadband, and The Internet of Things

Mid-April Las Vegas Super Session Strikes New Turf

By Jimmy Schaeffler

(Las Vegas, NV, April 13, 2015) – On Tax Day, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), for the first time ever, will present a session about the Internet of Things, titled “Broadband and the Internet of Things: Realities and Myths.”

This bigger-than-normal-in-audience-size-and-attention “Super Session” will take the NAB on a route similar to other big show producers, which focuses partly on survival. In order to reinvigorate audience attendance, looking toward new constituents and their interests has been key. Just look at the Consumer Electronics Assn (CEA) and its annual CES Show, for a prime example of this kind of a change-to-keep-the-show-healthy practice.

The NAB will make new headway this year into areas like the Internet of Things (IoT), where just months ago, some would have wondered the relevance of this topic to the “typical” NAB audience. These NAB attendees are typically made up of broadcasters, other video distributors (including pay TV, ISPs, Over-The-Top (OTT)/streaming/broadband, and other providers), technology and engineering folk, content rights holders, future trends aficionados, and an odd assortment of others quite curious about this future. These latter folk would include those in industries outside broadcasting, such as consumer electronics, transportation, and Hollywood/Silicon Valley types, for instance.

Other “new” areas for the NAB this year include topics such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and new developments in what is still a “new” technology for video, i.e., Internet Protocol TV (IPTV).

The Panelists

Panelists for next week’s 90-minute “Broadband and the Internet of Things” event will include former seven-year-long FCC Commissioner, Rob McDowell; Cisco VP, Doug Webster; MelRok CEO, Paul Donahue; and xG Technology CEO, George Schmitt.

The author is the organizer and moderator for the session.

IoT Topics

A foremost issue will undoubtedly be a simple better understanding of the basics The Internet of Things (IoT). Just What is Iot, Who will do it, When will it happen, and How big will it get, are some of the queries that will be addressed during the session set-up (so that even an “IoT Virgin” will be able to proceed, knowing these foundational points).

Under this same “understanding” heading, will be the all-important issue of how the IoT relates to broadcasters. Until recent preparation for this session, the author was concerned about being able to bridge that gap. Recent research and feedback from the panelists has, however, opened a treasure trove of broadcaster opportunities.

Iot and its relationship to broad asters will include broadcasters’ use of precious spectrum, as the delivery vehicle for future IoT devices and the systems they are a part of.

Also, in deference to some of the evil representing technological development these days, ample time will be spent discussing Internet of Things security, and the related issue of privacy and piracy.

Panel/Group Q & A

A rare pre-sampling of 15 session Qs below features a fascinating look at just how the analyst, regulatory/policy, big company, and small company communities might be thinking about just how Iot will one-day embrace the broadcast and other video communities. Featured questions include:

* How inevitable is the Internet of Things?

* What are going to be the key enabling technologies behind the tidal wave that will be the Internet of Things (IoT) tidal wave?

* What will be the barriers to IoT adoption?

* How can the broadcast industry participate in the Internet of Things? Any best practices just yet?

* For broadcasters, what are the most compelling use cases for the Internet of Things? What about for the larger video ecosystem?

*  The Internet of Things seems outside the addressable area of broadcasters, at least as we know it today— do you agree, and, if so, how do they need to change to capture it? If not, why?

*  What do broadcasters have to be most cognizant of as the IoT movement takes shape?

*  Can broadcast stations be relevant in an Internet of Things world ?

*  What about security, privacy and piracy in the Internet of Things worlds?

*  As it relates to the Internet of Things, what do you believe are the biggest myths about broadband scarcity and why?

*  Aside from access to spectrum, what are some of the most significant regulatory impediments to innovation and development of the Internet of Things?

*  Recently, in the IoT community, there has been an increased focus on the need to develop standards for the operation of Internet of Things devices. While standardization is important for a variety of reasons (from security and privacy concerns to ensuring seamless consumer experiences across devices),

what is the right mix when it comes to allowing innovation in the early stages of developing the Internet of Things? Need we worry about overly restrictive standards?

*  Can a wireless broadcast station Internet of Things network interoperate with wireless Internet of Things networks on WiFi, 4G, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Google “Thread,” or Cisco “Meraki”?

*  Can multiple (incompatible) protocols on new and legacy devices work together in a secure manner with new Internet of Things protocols?

*  Should Internet of Things devices and systems operate on existing Internet WiFi networks? If yes, then why; if maybe, then why; if no, then when?

To Attend or Watch Live

All our readers are welcome to please join us at this unique session, again, on Wednesday, April 15, 10:30a-noon PST, at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, room S 222.

Lacking the ability to visit in-person, the NAB is also offering live streaming of the session, by going to the NAB website at, where live steaming will be featured on the home page.