America’s TV execs want to make Israeli tech a star
Where Hollywood meets Herzliya

America’s TV execs want to make Israeli tech a star

The National Association of Broadcasters hopes to host firms with promising video technology at its annual bash in April

Participants at the 2015 NABShow, the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters in the US. (Courtesy)
Participants at the 2015 NABShow, the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters in the US. (Courtesy)

The electronics industry has the Consumer Electronics Show, the mobile business has the Mobile World Congress – and the television business has the NABShow, the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters.

“If you have technology, services or products that the TV, online video, cable/satellite, production and other affiliated industries, it’s the place to be,” according to Ben Kozuch, who is organizing an Israeli contingent to attend the NABShow in April. “While it’s true that everyone is online today and all the information about services and technologies are available to anyone looking for it, there’s no substitute for meeting people face to face.”

One would think that in today’s hyper-connected world – and especially in a hyper-connected industry like television and broadcasting, both traditional and web – it would for those seeking tech to find it, and for firms to locate and target the customers for their high-level technology. But that’s not the case, said Kozuch, who insists that there is no substitute for in-person meetings.

Kozuch wants to recruit Israeli tech firms in the video business to sign up for space at the NABShow – not a cheap venture, but one that he is quite sure will pay off. “Everyone who is anyone in broadcasting is at that show, and they are especially looking for innovative Israeli technologies,” said Kozuch. “It was their idea to recruit Israeli firms for the show, not mine.”

To find suitable candidates, Kozuch is running a mini-NABShow in Tel Aviv on January 20, with executives from the NAB planning to attend.

“This is now the second largest tech show in America, attended by about 100,000 people,” said Kozuch. “NABShow started out as something for the television industry, but it’s grown quite a bit, and now includes new media like Youtube video producers, social media sites, even virtual reality apps and sites.”

Technology for those areas is what NAB is seeking in Israel, Kozuch added.

“Everyone has heard about the Start-Up Nation, and last year someone in the organization asked me about promising Israeli video tech start-ups. We decided that the best idea would be to have a sort of pre-show in Israel, introducing local firms to the NABShow and informing them about what they can expect there.”

If they’re technology is good enough, start-ups will get the attention of top executives in the TV and video business – as did Israeli start-up Idomoo, which Kozuch introduced to executives in an associated event he works on. Idomoo created a personalized video technology platform that, similar to personalized e-mail, enables marketers to drop names and personal information into videos that are sent out via mail, web, or mobile.

“I took them to an industry show for video technology based on Adobe applications, and the Adobe executives there were very enthusiastic about what they saw. Now they have partnered with Adobe. That could only have happened if they were at that event.”

The hot trends in broadcasting today are virtual reality, security, even drones for media production. But even “traditional” businesses can find deals, said Kozuch.

For example, Orad was an Israeli firm that specialized in green screen technology, which lets a broadcaster put a virtual background behind an individual on the screen. They were bought out last year by an American company called Avid.

Hot or not, Israeli tech has been having an important impact on broadcasting tech. Just last week, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented Israeli start-up Valens an Emmy award for its creation and development of HDbaseT, a technology that enables the transmission of high-quality uncompressed video, electricity, USB power, and just about everything else on a single cable of up to 100 meters.

According to Bob Mauro, President of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Valens is “one of the reasons for the exciting growth of our industry.”

That’s the kind of Israeli industry-changing tech the NABShow is looking for – and expects to find in Israel, said Kozuch. “The Start-Up Nation brand is a draw, and for good reason. The NAB is attracted to that brand, and we want as many Israeli tech firms to give them what came here for.”

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