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It’s Showtime!

Shows are exciting, but don't forget Memorial Day

ALEXANDRIA, VA. — We are now in full swing of the big video/AV convention season, with NAB Show 2015 behind us and InfoComm 2015 coming up quickly. (Coverage of both these shows is in the May 2015 issue, by the way.) Both shows are big enough that it’s nearly impossible to see everything you should see and give it all some quality time.

However, a couple themes from the NAB Show will probably carry over into InfoComm and point the way video is going in 2015. One of these has to do with cameras: They are getting smaller and higher quality, even as the price stays the same or even comes down.

One effect of smaller, higher-quality cameras is the explosion of camera drones, which is the other big theme from the NAB Show. As cameras get smaller, they are easier for drones to carry, making it easier than ever to get unique shots that you could only dream about five years ago.

It’s best to think of drones as just another camera support device, like a tripod or stabilizer. In that sense, drones are just one of the burgeoning camera-support options shown at the NAB Show, giving us new-found freedom to shoot in new styles and at new angles.

If your video tends to be shot from cameras mounted to the wall or ceiling, there are growing options there as well for broadcast-quality cameras that are easy to install and operate. We are entering an era of affordable quality for nearly any operation and facility.

There has never been a more exciting or interesting time for government video operations.


Many of our readers have military backgrounds, so I want to mention that Memorial Day is at the end of May. When I was a kid, there would be a Memorial Day parade in town and there was always a group of old men in the parade. My mom would pat me on the shoulder and tell me to stop squirming when the old men passed by, because they were World War I veterans.

Eventually, I joined the Army and got a taste of military life. Time passed and I got interested in the history of wars and soldiers, and got to thinking about those old men. It dawned on me that they might have had similar experiences when they were kids watching a Memorial Day parade—only when they were kids, the old men in the parade were Civil War veterans.

Think about this: When those old Civil War vets walking in the Memorial Day parade were kids, their moms told them to stop squirming when the old men in their parade walked by. They were War of 1812 veterans! In fact, depending on the age of the Civil War veteran, he might have seen a Revolutionary War veteran or two as a child.

In other words, I am two Memorial Day parades away from someone who was a veteran of the U.S. Revolution. I literally did a face-palm when I thought that as a kid, I could have talked to a WWI soldier who himself might have spoken to a Civil War veteran.

On this Memorial Day, urge your kids to do more than watch the parade from the curb. Kids are kids and most won’t understand it right away, but the right experience just might last a lifetime.