After 15 years directing television news, I’ve seen the industry transform from its carbon-paper-and-teleprompter days to the internet-driven landscape it is today. For decades, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention was where we went to upgrade our newsrooms, studios, and production facilities. Over 20 years after my first visit, I returned to a very different NAB, reflecting the massive shift towards internet-based content creation.

This year, lightweight, easy-to-use equipment for podcasting, live streaming, and mobile editing dominated the floor. While broadcast giants like Ross and Grass Valley still showcased their elaborate studio setups, portable multi-source mixers highlighted the growing demand for on-the-go production. Audio remains crucial in all forms of media, from TikTok to traditional radio. High-quality wireless microphones and headphones that protect against interference were abundant at NAB, reflecting their importance for both dedicated camera setups and independent creators. “E Sports” was the buzzword of the convention, with countless companies seeking partnerships in this burgeoning field. From peripherals to streaming devices to sponsorships, the eSports presence was impossible to miss.

Despite its name, NAB isn’t just for major broadcasters anymore. The convention caters to everyone, from top market stations to aspiring YouTubers, and its diverse array of technology could easily justify renaming it the “International Association of Broadcasters.” Can’t wait to see how the industry evolves at next year’s NAB!

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Dustin "Ripper71" Thomas has been a staff writer with for over 10 years and has taken on the role of Editor with a brief stint as Editor-In-Chief. He is also a co-founder of @IsItOctoberYet where he covers haunt nightmares, amusement park fun and Golden Knights hockey.