38 Petabytes of Fleeting Moments

If someone told you the NBA and RF recording had something in common, would you believe them??

Video Transcript:

– Are you a sports fan? Do you watch NBA basketball? Would you believe me if I told you that RF Engineers can actually learn a few things from athletes and the world of sports? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today.

A few months ago, I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal that described how the NBA records and archives every moment of every basketball game from twelve different camera angles. As I read further into the article, I learned that the NBA stores these video recordings in a nuclear bomb shelter in New Jersey. That’s right. There is a nuclear bomb shelter in New Jersey that stores thousands and thousands of data tapes preserving every single moment of every single NBA game, from twelve different camera angles.

That’s 38 petabytes, in case you were wondering. At first, that all seemed a little excessive to me. I mean, I can certainly understand keeping a copy of every game. But from 12 different angles?

In a nuclear proof bunker? But as I thought about it some more, I realized that an NBA game is really a series of unpredictable, fleeting moments. You never know when something interesting or amazing is going to happen in the game, and you don’t know which camera is best positioned to capture that fleeting moment. If you really think about it, those fleeting moments are actually the most valuable part of the NBA’s 38 petabyte video archive.

Obviously, the NBA understands that the gold is in the fleeting moments. I found the whole thing so fascinating, I started to think about how this might apply to my world of RF recording. And I realized that some of my customers are already doing the exact same thing. They are using an RF recorder during field tests to capture a series of fleeting moments.

These are unpredictable RF signals, which might never appear again, and that can’t really be fully understood in real time. Just like the NBA, only a slow motion replay of these RF signals will create insight and understanding. Of course, I imagine the NBA management team would probably think we were a little excessive for capturing so many RF signals in the field. But value is in the eye of the beholder.

And for the RF engineers who care, those fleeting moments, or fleeting signals, are everything. They can be the difference between struggling to figure out why a design won’t work, vs. delivering an on-time design that meets spec. Steve Jobs famously declared that details matter.

In the world of RF signals. and basketball, I think it’s the fleeting moments that matter. A single missed moment, or missed RF pulse, could be the difference between winning and losing. Thanks for watching!

I’m Sean Wallace, and I feel so privileged to be able to share my 20-year journey in RF recording with you.