If the prospect of spending several days in "the convergence marketplace" isn't enough to get you to Las Vegas for NAB 99, maybe a reunion of All in the Family cast members will. The induction of the landmark show into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame is sure to be one of the highlights of this year's National Association of Broadcasters conference and exhibition, to be held April 17-22. See our Dates page (page 10) for more information.

NAB 99 will host 1,400 exhibitors from the broadcast, multimedia, audio and video, and telecommunications fields, with a number of lighting and sound companies on the show floors besides. A total of 150 sessions, organized into 11 conferences, will also be held; Archie, Edith, Gloria, and Meathead gather their laurels at a luncheon on Monday, April 19.

NAB is the place to find out about what's next in innovative TV lighting, and how it's converging with other disciplines in the broadcast marketplace. Last September, Videssence said it had installed the first virtual reality studio environment package that had separate control features for the background (matte) and foreground (talent or presentation area) lighting zones. KKYK, Channel 22 in Little Rock, AK, now sports SRGB fluorescent fixtures, dimmable and controlled by DMX/solid state power distribution. The station now has an optimized VR studio environment in which lighting effects upon real presenters, sets, or performers can be matched to those in synthetic or graphic background realities; real, not virtual, representatives from Videssence should be on hand at NAB to talk more about this and other projects.

Moving lights continue to jazz up TV, with former Soviet satellites the latest to adopt the technology. The Adlershof studio, in the heart of East Berlin's so-called Media City, was up until last month a temporary home for the BBC's Top of the Pops (TOTP) show (pictured), which has been touring Europe. It had something of the appearance of its counterpart at the BBC, but relied largely on bulky, yet functional, equipment from the former East Germany and Soviet Union. Studio Hamburg bought the facility last year and upgraded it to accommodate the program.

Lighting suppliers Procon, Helicon, and MediaTec used Martin Professional equipment to liven up performances by artists including Bryan Adams, the Spice Girls, and Grace Jones. Some 72 MAC 500s and 36 MAC 600s were used throughout the three-stage setup as both back- and frontlight, and some were also onstage. Thirteen PAL 1200 effects lights are also incorporated in the lighting design, with the backdrop for the main stage backlit using two PALs and two MAC 600s to create the TOTP logo.

LD Patrick Nicolas worked with production manager Gabi Grundman, lighting programmer Lia Amato, and lighting operators Jans Probst and Jerry Appelt. TOTP is expected to tour other cities as the convergence marketplace in television expands well beyond Las Vegas.