April 24, 2019
This month’s meeting was held in conjunction with SMPTE’s Annual Post-NAB Wrap-Up Panel Discussion. Our panelists represent many diverse areas of expertise in commercial Broadcasting, Public Broadcasting, Education, Production and Public Access Media. This event has become a time-honored tradition for technical information exchange, personal opinions and candid observations of the events and technologies presented at the National Association of Broadcaster’s Show floor or other NAB Convention sites. It provides a robust question and answer opportunity with five well-respected industry experts who attended this month’s NAB events in Las Vegas. Additionally, our panelists presented their “pick hits” chosen from a wide array of new products and developing technologies.
PANELISTS: John Rule, Rule/Boston Camera
Stacey Decker, WGBH
Tim MacArthur, Emerson College
Gerry Field, American Public Television
Bob Lamm, Belmont Media Center
MODERATOR: Phil A. Ozek
SMPTE New England Section thanks WGBH for hosting this meeting and also to Phil Ozek for moderating this event. Special thanks to our SMPTE colleague Emeric Feldmar.
March 28, 2019
Geo Broadcast Solutions has developed the Maxxcasting FM Single Frequency Network of FM boosters used by WXLO and WXRV in the Boston area. Bert Goldman, owner and president of Goldman Engineering Management, Inc., described the theory behind synchronized boosters and the research that has gone into the design of these on-channel SFN’s and showed how these systems are implemented for WXRV and WXLO in Boston.
February 28, 2019
In this presentation Tim Hosmer, Director of Comark Digital Services, and Richard Lhermitte, VP, Solutions & Market development for North America, reviewed the Physical Layer Protocol of ATSC 3.0 and the elements that make up a Physical Layer Pipe. The protocol provides a wide range of elements for broadcasters to configure in order to address their targeted audience and devices. Tim and Richard reviewed each of these elements and provided examples of a few different PLP’s. They discussed the tradeoffs between robustness and efficiency for each of their PLP examples.
January 31, 2019
Production switchers have come a long way since the first “modern” device was introduced in the late 60’s. What began as a rather simple routing platform with rudimentary transition and keying capability has developed into a “production powerhouse” capable of creating complex visual effects involving multiple layers, transitions, and even external devices. In this stroll down Memory Lane (or, is that EMEMemory Lane?), Tedd Tramaloni, Business Development Manager for Switchers and Servers at Ross Video, traced how today’s production switchers have evolved from those early systems and took a peek into the crystal ball to see what’s ahead in the near future.
December 13, 2018
Wireless microphones that operate in T-Mobile’s new 600 MHz service band (the 617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz frequencies) will be required to cease operation no later than July 13, 2020. In many places, this transition will occur well before 2020, and wireless microphone use in these locations will be required to cease operation sooner. The FCC has made certain that spectrum will continue to be available for wireless microphone use on the other TV channels 2-36 (TV band frequencies that fall below 608 MHz), on portions of the 600 MHz guard band (the 614-616 MHz frequencies) and the 600 MHz duplex gap (the 653-663 MHz frequencies), and in various other spectrum bands outside of the TV bands. Scott Hewett of T-Mobile presented an in-depth discussion of these issues. In addition, Peter Starke of American Tower Corporation discussed the current status of spectrum auction progress.
October 3, 2018
The combined September/October meeting was held in conjunction with the 2018 Media Resource Expo, in Danvers, Massachusetts. The SBE National Meeting was held during the expo, and included the SBE Fellows Breakfast, Annual Membership Meeting (which was streamed live online), the National Awards Receptions, and the National Awards Dinner.
May 31, 2018
The FAA has been changing the rules of compliance for tower lighting. Bear Poth, founding President and CEO of LumenServe, discussed some of the lesser known changes in these rules. LEDs have been around for many years, however in the tower lighting world their usage is creating big changes. In addition, the traditional practice of maintenance and monitoring has a new model: Tower Lighting as a Service. LumenServe is at the forefront of this new methodology of tower lighting, and Bear explored its advantages and implications.
April 25, 2018
SMPTE’s Annual Post-NAB Wrap-Up – Special meeting
The panelists represented areas of expertise in commercial broadcasting, public broadcasting, education, production and post-production equipment and FCC re-pack analysis. This event has become a time-honored tradition of candid information exchange, personal opinions and observations of the events and technologies presented at the NAB Show floor or other NAB Convention sites. It provided a robust question and answer opportunity with five industry experts who attended NAB events. But wait, there’s more: The panelists also presented their “pick hits,” chosen from a mind boggling array of new products and developing technologies.
About the panelists:
- Emeric Feldmar, WGBH
- Gerry Field, American Public Television
- Bob Lamm, Cync Corporation
- Tim MacArthur, Emerson College
- Rick Zach, Comsult, New England
Moderator: Phil Ozek, Pegasystems
February 22, 2018
Claudio Medeiros, from Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark, provided a high level overview of ATSC 3.0, followed by a deeper look into ATSC 3.0 encoding. He discussed how video compression plays an important role by providing a flexible and future proof solution while enabling the new enhanced features of Next Gen TV.
January 25, 2018
In a special meeting, sponsored by WGBH, John Lyons, director of Broadcast Communications at the Durst Organization, an SBE Fellow who built and oversees the One World Trade Center facility, delivered a presentation detailing the design and construction of the RF transmission system at the building. John gave this presentation in October at the AES Convention in New York. 2017 marked a notable milestone in the broadcast industry – the resumption of television transmission from atop One WTC. The new installation will have the latest transmitter and antenna technology, and John showed and described what it took to pull it all together in this pre-recorded program.
December 7, 2017
IP-delivered telecom service will produce a 100% ROI in two to three years. Kirk Harnack, Senior Systems Consultant at The Telos Alliance’s presentation demonstrated that SIP/VoIP telecom service typically saves anywhere from 25% to 75% over the monthly recurring cost (MRC) of the legacy telecom services it replaces. For a small-market broadcaster with two or three radio stations, this might add up to a few hundred dollars per month. For a larger broadcaster with a half-dozen stations in a market, this figure can easily approach two thousand or more dollars per month in telecom savings. A new IP phone on-air phone system will make every caller sound better and allow HD Voice calls from station employees and VIP callers. New on-air SIP/VoIP phone systems are multi-studio, multi-line on-air phone systems that work perfectly and natively with these lower-cost SIP/VoIP telephone services. Moreover, TV stations and networks are moving to SIP/VoIP for IFB and extending intercom to the field. Kirk showed examples of such conversions at US and British broadcasters.
October 26, 2017
When broadcasters swap CD’s, cart machines, turntables and PC-based digital playout, mixing and processing systems, we call that Virtual Radio. Bill Bennett from Lawo described virtualization in greater detail by outlining the real applications in use today. He explored how broadcasters may now reap operational benefits and gains by capitalizing on IT’s investment in R&D and discussed virtualization’s anticipated role in content creation and broadcast workflow in the future. Lawo provides virtual radio products, digital mixing consoles, routing systems, video solutions and turnkey systems for the professional radio and TV broadcast, production and theater industries.
September 26, 2017
At the Media Resource Expo, 2017, we had two presentations:
From AJA Video Systems: The new FS-HDR real-time High Dynamic Range/Wide Color Gamut processor, co-developed with Colorfront, produces SDR to HDR, HDR to SDR, and HDR to HDR conversions. Bob Hudelson, FS-HDR Product Manager at AJA Video Systems, highlighted the processor’s significant new features, including:
- Processing based on Human Perception Mode
- Perceptually optimized color volume remapping
- Preservation of the original creative intent
From Grass Valley: Bruce Lane, Manager of System Integration Sales at Grass Valley, discussed the impacts of 4K on today’s broadcast environments. Where and how is 4K used today in production, from islands to full 4K Broadcast? What has the industry learned from early adopters? Why is timing so critical in 4K, what types of connections (4x3G, QUAD or 2SI, 10G, 12G, and 25G) are in use today and in the future? What other changes should the industry expect to see over the next few years regarding equipment (cameras, switchers, servers and replay)? Finally, HDR: what is it and how does that improve HD, 3G, and 4K images?
June 29, 2017
Karl Kuhn, Senior Video Systems Application Engineer at Tektronix, discussed the new methodologies needed from production to delivery of content in an IP end-to-end architecture. What do all the new buzzwords mean and how do we make sure it all works? To maintain network reliability in SMPTE 2022 and PTP deployments we need a stronger collaboration between broadcast engineers and IT engineers to bridge the gap between the SDI and IP worlds. Network continuity and proper buffering will promote smooth delivery of packets as we migrate away from black burst and tri-level and implement SMPTE 2059 Precision Time Protocol. We need to detect IP packet errors and monitor Packet Arrival Interval Time (PIT) and Time Stamped Delay Factor (TS-DF). Not all deployments will justify the migration to IP, so 12G SDI will become the typical architecture for some facilities. Smaller facilities and trucks may stay with SDI but need 12G SDI for UHD future proofing. These higher bitrates will require adherence to best practices. High Dynamic Range is considered the best bang for the bit but presents new end-to-end challenges. Delivering more detail in the blacks and the whites is the goal for a high quality of experience but getting the white levels correct is critical with brighter displays.
May 25, 2017
Paul Cintolo of Comrex, Devens, MA, provided a detailed overview of the ACCESS NX, Comrex’s next generation mobile unit. He also gave a synopsis of Opal, a new audio gateway device that allows callers to easily send wideband audio to the studio from a computer or smartphone via Web RTC and the Opus encoding algorithm.
March 30, 2017
On-set video walls are very popular for local news stations. How are they being used, how are they cabled, and what does a broadcaster need to consider for a successful deployment? Mark Armon of tvONE discussed how current stations are using their walls and looked at the interconnections they used to create their sets. There are several ways to create a wall, and he broke down the pluses and minuses of the different options.
February 23, 2017
The explosion in the production of LED SMD technology has generated a wealth of innovation in the large format display market. Constraining factors such as heat, weight and screen placement have now been overcome through the introduction of thin, light, pliable high resolution panels that can be seamlessly placed in any environment. DesignLED is the creator of flexible LED display panel. Since 2006, they have pioneered this value added category of LED display technology.
Howard Witherspoon, the President of DesignLED USA, discussed the unique uses and advantages of this valuable new display category, provided an overview of the technology and showed examples of how it is addressing the challenges of the large format display market.
January 26, 2017
Neil Searls, Director of Business Development, and Jim Stenberg, Principal Broadcast RF Engineer from American Tower Corporation provided an extensive overview of the Boston repack, current status, projected next steps and local TV/FM solutions. In addition, they reviewed the convergence of the Incentive Auction, ATSC 3.0 standard and new TV business models. Click here for a copy of their presentation.
December 8, 2016
A multi-station FM channel combiner with a single feed line and broadband antenna provide a solution for the increasing demand of FM spectrum and tower space. Tightly spaced co-located channels require narrow higher order filters that quickly impact combiner efficiency and size to provide necessary transmitter isolation for IM suppression. Cross coupling has been used to improve isolation between channels, reduce filter order, and improve efficiency. Derek Small, Senior RF Engineer, Dielectric, was the presenter. Special guest Dielectric engineer Nicole Starrett also briefly touched on considerations for FM translators.
October 27, 2016
Operators who have significant investments in large-scale SDI plant are going to face technical and budget challenges as they transition to newer IP-based topologies while still maintaining current SDI workflows. This SBE presentation, given by Scott Barella, CTO of Utah Scientific, was prepared to provide some practical guidance for operators and system designers with a focus on constructing ‘islands’ within current infrastructures. Given that SDI is the predominant topology, the center of these plants lies within SDI routing cores. Therefore, any transition will have to address key SDI architectures and augment an existing plant. The paper addressed a number of key parameters such as control systems, SDI-to-IP conversion, and 12G SDI. The conclusion of the paper pointed to an ‘island’ approach as a practical means of providing a low-risk transition to the world of uncompressed IP video, audio, data and timing.
September 27, 2016
September’s meeting was held in conjunction with the 2016 Media Resource Expo, in Danvers, MA. We had two presentations, from Nevion and Sony.
Nevion: Today we can transport signals over not just dark fiber or highly resilient telco circuits but over MPLS and Metro Ethernet circuits, and to the horror of many, the public Internet. Signals can cross over disparate networks and need to be at a location or locations, in a deterministic manner to meet on-air requirements. How do broadcasters get the same confidence level and reliability out of newer transport media and attain the benefits of IP technology? Steve Sloane explored these questions.
Sony: Hugo Gaggioni discussed how to practically use HDR in a live application. HDR is often discussed as something that can be used in cinematography, but using it in a live environment requires different techniques and equipment. Hugo was present at the recent Summer Games and also discussed how Sony helped NBC create a live 4K HDR program there. This event used some equipment specifically for HDR that up to that time had not been seen outside of controlled demo environments, but will soon become commonplace.
June 30, 2016
Karl Kuhn, Senior Video Systems Application Engineer, Tektronix, gave a tutorial on the practical aspects of audio to maintaining a high level of Quality of Experience for your content from End-to-End. If the content must also be CALM compliant then 1770-3 testing must be applied.
It all starts in production and post with single, multichannel or surround mixes. Visualization tools are helpful to assist in creating the proper artistic mix results. If the content is file based then automated QC processes can be used to find clips, mutes, silence, CRC errors, and if needed, CALM compliance. Automatic correction for CALM compliance can be applied. Check to see how well CALM tracks with Dolby Dialnorm. Audio must survive the compression and transmission layer. Audio quality should be tested as close to the end user as possible with logging of alarms and trends.
Karl stepped through the process to understand the available tools to maintain and protect the quality of your brand.
May 26, 2016
What’s hot these days in the over-the-air television business? Plenty, but some topics are especially timely. With the incentive auction underway, stations are very concerned about the possibility of changing channels, and that of course means transmitters. And what signals will those new boxes transmit? ATSC 3.0 is a good bet for the near future. Joe Turbolski, Director of Sales Operations at Hitachi-Comark, presented an overview of both of these topics: new solid state UHF amplifier technologies for more reliable and efficient transmitters and the forthcoming ATSC 3.0 DTV standard.
April 28, 2016
As new IP technologies and production workflows emerge, the live video industry is changing. Dr. Andrew Cross, President and CTO of NewTek, one of the leading proponents of and innovators behind IP-based productions, discussed the significance of the industry’s shift to an ultra-connected production workflow. He shared his vision for the future of the video industry and showed how NewTek products with their open Network Device Interface makes the transition to IP easier and works with existing standards and other systems.
March 31, 2016
Live Video over IP has exciting possibilities for broadcast infrastructure, but how do we insure the reliability and interoperability among equipment systems, and how do we monitor these live streams? John Shike, from Snell Advanced Media, talked about an approach to routing with COTS IP switches that allows integration with SDI and provides clean switching, the role of open standards including VSF TR-03 that Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) is promoting, and how to monitor video, whether the stream is SDI, file-based, or video-over-IP.
February 25, 2016
For many broadcasters, the largest footprint for fault monitoring is their transmitter remote control; for some it’s a primary application. Going forward, fault monitoring will grow in radio and TV facilities as applied in some form or another to the studio, master control room, power and facility management as well as network health monitoring. Many monitoring applications in use are provided by proprietary hardware manufacturers and some are facility or network based. SuiteLife System’s national sales director Kenny Miller’s presentation outlined the proper feature sets for monitoring systems and how well consolidated monitoring environments can work. Properly applied, the technology results in a more efficient response by engineers to fault occurrences. With the aid of visual data displays operators may be involved, allowing engineering a greater focus to support the business of news or program production. Kenny showed how the integration of disparate systems and equipment across multiple site networks can bring Management, Monitoring and Control to a single screen.
January 28, 2016
There is an on-going shift in the way broadcasting handles live transmission and distribution and what it uses as a transmission path. In lieu of expensive paths like fiber or satellite, more and more stations are leveraging IP for low latency primary and back up contribution and distribution. Emeka Okoli, Solution Specialist, Raymond Thompson, Marketing/Products, from Zixi, LLC looked at the challenges and benefits to making this switch and discussed a few IP enabled work flows.
December 10, 2015
Television Broadcast is undergoing historic changes. Transmission encoding efficiencies are much higher than when the ATSC standard was created 20 years ago. Because of this there is a push to reduce the bandwidth used by broadcast, first with the possible consolidation of stations using the existing ATSC standards, followed by a later transition to ATSC3 which will greatly multiply both the encoding efficiency and the modulation efficiency. In the interim broadcasters must rely on careful utilization of the available bandwidth. Michael Guthrie, Technology Specialist at Harmonic, looked at the statistical multiplexing process and ways to measure the utilization of bandwidth and picture quality.
Special Feature: Harmonic had a live demonstration of channel sharing and multiplexing at the meeting!
October 27, 2015
This month’s meeting was held in conjunction with both the Media Resource Expo and the SBE Ennes Workshop. Too big for just one presentation, we had two!
Utah Scientific’s presentation detailed the emerging trends for moving real time, uncompressed video over Ethernet links as opposed to the standard SDI links in use today. It covered networking standards, the several competing protocols for uncompressed video, methods for cleanly switching between sources, timing and other items relevant to the transition to IP.
- IP Ethernet versus SDI
- Basics of SDVN
- Current standards of SDI over IP and their comparison
September 24, 2015
Video walls and monitor clusters are standard fare on today’s news sets. Set designers have gotten more creative on orientation, aspect ratios, and even shapes on these video walls, causing technical nightmares for the engineers responsible for feeding signals to them. The number of displays of each set also becomes a challenge to the operations team that needs to manage the content fed to them. Bob Valinski, director of sales at Orad, presented short case studies on new sets built at broadcasters such as The Weather Channel (108 monitors on set), Sportsnet Toronto (13,000 sq. ft. studio with a mixture of plasma displays and LED video walls & floors), MLB Network (entire studio lined with LED walls), and The Late Show (mix of LED walls and 3D projectors in theater). He focused on managing content and aspect ratios, as well as latency and other issues.
June 25, 2015
The FAA (and FCC) has been busy proposing and making changes to the rules governing the lighting of broadcast towers. Les Kutasi, of Dialight, talked about what tower owners need to know about the current rules for obstruction lighting, and the new rules to be adopted in the future. He discussed the options owners have for their towers regarding changing their lighting configuration. Highlights included:
- FAA / FCC new rules on light configurations
- How to update your lighting configuration with the new rules
- Explaining the different types of tower lighting options
- What options the market place offers for tower lighting
- What Dialight has to offer for tower lighting
May 28, 2015
More and more stations are turning to IP delivery of program audio and data to their transmitter sites. This has come about due to many factors, chief among them:
- New 950 MHz frequency slots are difficult to find in most markets now.
- The amount of audio and data that needs to be delivered to the transmitter has challenged the limits of conventional 950 MHz systems.
- Point-to-point service – T1 and equalized lines, for example – are being abandoned by traditional providers as they are costly to implement and maintain.
- The lower cost of IP connectivity and abundance of bandwidth available to broadcasters have made this transport medium a very attractive alternative to “conventional” STL links.
There are pitfalls using IP, however, and broadcasters must utilize appropriate error mitigation techniques to insure that their audio and data arrives at the transmitter site in useful form. Ted Nahil, Business Development Manager, Intraplex Products, discussed error mitigation techniques such as forward error correction and stream splicing that help guarantee proper delivery of audio and data over IP to a broadcast transmitter site. He also touched on the requirements to move MPX over AES-192 from a studio site to a transmitter site over an IP circuit.
April 30, 2015
You need to get your HD video signal from here to there, without compression and without delay, and you can’t run a cable, copper or fiber. How about a millimeter-wave 60 GHz wireless system? HXI, a manu-facturer of broadband digital radios, will demonstrate its GigaLink HD, the first FCC-approved unlicensed full bandwidth transport system for HD and 3D-HD (dual channel) video. Operating at 1.485 Gbps per channel, the radio ensures the absolute lowest latency of any SMPTE 292M/372M radio. Range is up to 500 meters (1640 feet).
Rick Hollowell, Wayne Pleasant, and Earle Stewart from HXI described the features of the technology and gave a live demonstration during the presentation.
March 26, 2015
Broadcast production has evolved greatly over the past few years with no slowdown in sight as viewing habits continue to move toward a more mobile society. Traditional broadcast is no longer driving the needs, and the days of “black box” master control are over. The drive for more content delivered in more places and at any time is overwhelming. This all leads to new considerations and requirements when architecting your SAN, including performance, accessibility, collaboration, distribution, archiving, and more.
Chris Duffy from Quantum discussed challenges driving the consideration and development of next generation SAN base broadcast workflows. Osvaldo Alvarez from IMT presented a real customer case study that details the challenges faced, troubleshooting initiatives, and corrective actions taken that completely turned around an underperforming broadcast production workflow.
February 26, 2015
The amount of data broadcasters deal with has grown by so much over the past decade that long-term storage has become a significant issue. The ability to send and retrieve data to and from archives easily is no mean feat.
Hossein ZiaShakeri of Spectra Logic presented a discussion of their DS3 (Deep Simple Storage Service) system, a native REST-based (Representational State Transfer) interface to deep storage which enables easy archiving of large amounts of bulk data. The interface is media agnostic such that over long data retention periods data can be migrated from older storage types to newer ones transparently. In addition, Hossein gave a thorough overview of the different types of storage currently available (hard disk, SSD [Flash], optical, and tape), with a comparison of benefits and drawbacks of each.
REST relies on a stateless, client-server, cacheable communications protocol — and in virtually all cases, the HTTP protocol is used. REST is an architecture style for designing networked applications. The idea is that, rather than using complex mechanisms such as CORBA, RPC or SOAP to connect between machines, simple HTTP is used to make calls between machines. In many ways, the World Wide Web itself, based on HTTP, can be viewed as a REST-based architecture. RESTful applications use HTTP requests to post data (create and/or update), read data (e.g., make queries), and delete data.
To meet the demands of extreme data growth and long-term retention, the Spectra BlackPearl™ Deep Storage Gateway enables users to easily store massive data forever at virtually no cost. With BlackPearl’s simple RESTful DS3 interface and embedded tape management software, organizations will confidently store all of their data forever at costs as low as pennies per Gigabyte.
January 29, 2015
Ed Miley, Sales Engineer at Grass Valley (with the Telecast Fiber line) presented a case study of what he did at Gillette Stadium during the past few weeks, servicing news media with fiber, and discussed how and why fiber network capabilities there needed to be expanded.
Bruce Lane, Director of Sports Market Development for Grass Valley, followed with a presentation about 4k for live sports production, and also spoke about High Frame Rate (super slo-mo) video.
December 11, 2014
The move to Channel in a Box and Integrated Channel Playout (ICP) has presented new workflow challenges for broadcasters and playout facilities. As traditional tools that used to dominate master control rooms, such as dedicated graphics, branding systems and MCR switchers, melt away into integrated systems, the tools to deal with live cut-ins, sporting events, or scheduling mishaps have moved from familiar tactile panels to awkward mouse and keyboard clicks. At the same time, these changing technologies have presented new opportunities for workflow optimization and intelligent function integration. The power of ICP is bringing more production-like workflows into the master control room, blurring the lines where production control ends and MCR begins. The MCR of yesterday is rapidly evolving to become an iMCR – an Integrated Master Control room. Joe LoGrasso of Digital Glue and Bill Cordo and Brian Pelletier of Harmonic discussed the evolution of the MCR and how ICP solutions can help build a more powerful, efficient iMCR to unlock new revenue streams and save on operational and capital expenditures.
Joe LoGrasso gave a brief introduction and talk about some the areas and technologies they focus on including vendor specific software development. He highlighted the most recent development project they have done for Encompass Digital Media (EDM), where their custom middleware software solution for the Harmonic Spectrum ChannelPort digital media server has reduced operational errors and increased reliability for EDM and their clients.
October 30, 2014
Tedd Tramaloni and Pete Ross from Ross video discussed enterprise-wide control and monitoring solutions, focusing on DashBoard, Ross Video’s free, open-forum software that allows facilities to not only monitor and control Ross’ and certain third-party devices, but also create custom, application-specific control panels that can be deployed throughout the plant.
Dashboard started out as a control and monitoring system for Ross’ terminal gear, but has become much more widespread and full-functioned than that and now can be used to control virtually all its products, as well as those of some third-party manufacturers who have either adopted it, or allow for remote control using standard protocols such as VDCP. Thus, using Dashboard, a facility can do much more than simply monitor Ross gear cards, opening up the possibility of “hybrid” solutions that combine aspects of automated and manual control for not only production operations, but enterprise-wide systems as well.
Tedd discussed (amongst other things) three levels of production automation we’re seeing in the industry:
- Full up production automation where everything is coded and the automation usually controls everything.
- Not quite full up production automation, where graphics are controlled via MOS, but with a highly integrated switcher with audio, graphics and robotic camera integration
- Dashboard assist, controlling, for example, graphics, or a portion of the production from Dashboard GUI panels, like Ross’ Legislative control system.
September 25, 2014
A four-fer from the Telos Alliance!
First, John Bisset shared some of his famous tech-tips for radio and TV engineers. Second, Ken Tankel discussed some of the considerations for delivering quality audio in our regulatory environment. Digital television has the capability to deliver multi-channel audio to the home with wider dynamic range and frequency response and lower noise and distortion then has ever been possible before. Does the CALM Act and the related FCC regulations limit the quality of audio to the home? Third, special guest Telos Alliance CEO and Omnia Audio founder Frank Foti gave a brief talk recounting the history of the Telos Alliance, along with some advance information about what’s coming in the near future. And fourth, Telos brought the “Broadcast Audio Fanatics Demo Van” to the meeting, stocked with equipment from Linear Acoustic, Omnia, Axia, and Telos. It has driven to 32 states in the past year, but this is the first time it was in New England.
June 26, 2014
Steve Lampen, Multimedia Technology Manager and Product Line Manager for Entertainment Products at Belden, told us “Here Comes Ethernet AVB!” Ethernet has been around since 1973, and you’re probably aware of many companies that have struggled to make it work for audio and video applications. But those are proprietary systems where often Box A can’t talk to Box B. So IEEE, which owns the Ethernet standard, has been working on a re-write of the Ethernet standard called 802.1BA AVB, and the AVB is for audio and video bridging. Audio is easy on AVB, even hundreds of channels. Video is harder to network than audio. And, with the progression from HD to 3G to 4K, it’s going to be even harder, not easier. On the other hand, 40 gigabit data networking (and 100 gigabit) are also coming soon. There’s even a “Generation 2” of AVB coming called TSN (“Time Sensitive Networks”). All these were covered in Steve’s presentation. Finally, this new standard may herald a new way to design, install and operate audio and video facilities.
May 29, 2014
David Missall, Manager of Technical Services and Market Development for Sennheiser Electronic Corporation, delivered a fascinating presentation on how to get the best performance from your wireless microphone system. Some topics he discussed (and demonstrated in real-time with a portable spectrum analyzer:
- Frequency selection and coordination
- Antennas and placement
- Antenna cable
- Tips and tricks
April 24, 2014
Jim Stenberg, broadcast account manager with the US Tower division of American Tower Corporation, familiarized the audience with some of the important features and issues related to TV and radio towers and the RF equipment on and under them. He examined the different types and characteristics of towers, antennas, transmission lines and channel combining systems used for TV and FM broadcast. He shared some ideas on proper upkeep and preventive maintenance of this equipment along with some first-hand knowledge of the effects of failure.
March 27, 2014
- Nautel’s entry into LPTV market with 150, 250, and 500 watt models.
- Omnia Direct project: Nautel’s collaboration with Omnia for a new FM digital composite standard.
- LD-MOS FET Technology in transmitters: VS and NV-LT.
Gary Liebisch has been in broadcast engineering for over 35 years. He has held the title of Chief Engineer and Group Director of Engineering for stations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Cincinnati, Ohio. He joined Harris Corporation in 1999, as an RF Product Line Engineer and Product Manager. Gary joined Nautel in April of 2007 as the Eastern U.S. regional Sales Engineer and Manager. He served on the Board of Directors for the Society of Broadcast Engineers from 2008-2012, and is a Lifetime Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, NY., and Amateur Radio call W8GEL.
And, a special pre-NAB, SBE Meeting double feature!
Bob Orban joined us via Skype to discuss a full bandwidth standard for radio, new developments in TV processing, and the latest from Orban for streaming which allows for several streams to run through one processor.
In 1970, Bob founded Orban Associates, originally as a manufacturer of studio equipment. In 1975, Orban Associates introduced the original Optimod-FM 8000, which was the first in a long line of broadcast audio processors for AM, FM, TV and digital broadcasting from the company. Orban has also been involved in professional recording for many years and has mixed several records released on the Warner Brothers label, as well as on small independent labels. As a composer, his music has been heard on classical radio stations in New York and San Francisco, and his score for a short film, “Dead Pan,” was heard on PBS television in Chicago. He has designed studio reverberators, stereo synthesizers, compressors, parametric equalizers, enhancers, and de-essers under both the Orban and dbx brand names. Orban has been actively involved in NRSC committee AM improvement work. He has been widely published in both the trade and revered press (including Audio Engineering Society, Proceedings of the Society of Automotive Engineers, and SMPTE). He co-authored the chapter on “Transmission Audio Processing” in the NAB Engineering Handbook, 10th edition. He currently holds over 20 U.S. patents. In 1973 he was elected a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society. In 1993, he shared with Dolby Laboratories a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 1995, he received the NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award. In 2002, he received the Innovator award from Radio Magazine.
February 27, 2014
Karl Kuhn, Senior Video Application Engineer at Tektronix, presented a tutorial on the practical aspects of testing methodology you need to know in your daily operations. He showed how to make sure your content adheres to the “rules of the road” and operates within interoperability requirements. Having a better understanding of the following will help reduce “finger pointing.”
- Color Gamut and Shading – Artistic decisions can push you off the cliff.
- Ancillary Data – Maintaining integrity from source to destination.
As a Senior Video Systems Application Engineer, Karl Kuhn supports Digital Audio and Video, Compression, IP, and RF. He has been at Tektronix for 14 years. Prior to Tektronix he was the lead Video Test Engineer for IBM in their Digital Video Development Laboratory in Bethesda, MD. Karl holds three U.S. patents and one Japanese patent that cover In-service Testing of Digital Broadcast Video. He is the Past Chair of DC SMPTE and now the SMPTE Northeast Governor and SMPTE North American Sections Director. He is also a Certified Project Management Professional thru PMI and the George Washington University.
January 30, 2014
Virtual sets? Augmented Reality? Paul Lacombe, CEO of Unreel, reviewed the history of virtual set technology from its earliest beginnings until the present. How does it all work? What makes a bad virtual set? A good one? Is the US broadcast TV industry finally ready to go beyond the plywood flats and anchor desks used since Walter Cronkite’s days?
Unreel is the industry leader in Augmented Reality and Virtual Set solutions for broadcast, web and on-set visualization for feature films. Unreel’s UX (Xperience) software delivers unprecedented control of AR and VS elements in an intuitive touchscreen interface enabling Ross Video – and other best-of-breed technology providers – to deliver tailored customer solutions. Unreel’s headquarters are co-located with Academy Award-winner, Douglas Trumbull, at Trumbull Studios in Southfield, Mass.
Paul Lacombe is a graduate of SUNY NY BTEE. In 1985 Paul started with General Motors working on Finite Element Modeling and Analysis. After a few years in Detroit he moved to California to work for Silicon Graphics, and became involved in launching Silicon Studio. He traveled to Mallorca to build a virtual production studio for a startup called ArtBIT. Paul returned to LA to launch the virtual studio division at Pacific Ocean Post and land a production with Disney “One Saturday Morning.” Paul returned to the east coast to work with Doug Trumbull at Entertainment Design Workshop (EDW), landing another Disney project “Book of Pooh,” and then set off to start Unreel, focused on real-time 3D graphics and virtual-set solutions for feature film and broadcast markets.
December 5, 2013
Many TV and radio stations now rely on the public Internet for real-time media transmission. Media streaming is easy these days — harder is keeping delay down while keeping quality high. Tom Hartnett, Comrex’s Technical Director, spoke about various techniques used by Comrex products to “ride” the Internet, discussed appropriate applications for use over 3G/4G, and touched on what’s happening in high-quality voice over IP (VOIP).
November 7, 2013
November’s meeting was held in conjunction with the 2013 New England Broadcast Cable Expo at the DCU Center, in Worcester, MA.
Ken Tankel from Linear Acoustic gave a presentation that answered questions including:
- What happened to audio in the change from analog to digital delivery to the home?
- Why is there a new audio meter standard?
- Can broadcasters meet the requirements of the R&O on the CALM Act?
- How can broadcasters make viewers happy?
- How is Linear Acoustic trying to help?
Ken is a lifelong audio engineer. His career has included live sound; radio CE in Philadelphia; corporate engineer with CBS Radio; manager of engineering support, U.S. division, for Pro-Bel; sales and management for Dalet USA; and independent systems design and integration. For more than two years he has been an applications engineer with Linear Acoustic. In this role, he helps clients to utilize the full power of Linear Acoustic products. He also speaks to broadcast and audio engineers throughout the US and Europe about improving the television viewing experience. Ken holds an SBE Lifetime CPBE.
Steve Dirskmeier, Account Manager, Sony Professional Solutions of America showed Sony’s new 3LCD Laser Light Source Projector. The VPL-FHZ55 is a lamp-less projector, achieving 4,000 lumens of color light output at WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200), delivering a range of capabilities that eliminate many of the issues associated with conventional lamp-based projection.
September 26, 2013
Bruce Lane from Grass Valley spoke about 4K Productions – Some Issues and Advantages
- Bandwidth Requirements
- Depth of Field
- Lens Requirements & Current Limitations
- Image Resolution
- Temporal Resolution
- Pan & Scan
- Server Location & Control
June 27, 2013
Broadcasters are relying on a new transmission medium to supplement their news gathering activities known as Cellular News Gathering (CNG) as the efficiencies of wireless broadband networks continue to improve. But can this avant garde technology replace the time tested and field proven News Gathering transmission methods such as ENG or SNG? Vislink|MRC’s Eric McCulley discussed the pros and cons of each transmission medium and their associated compromises.
May 30, 2013
Rohde & Schwarz’ Dave Benco discussed UHF Solid State Efficiency developments. Over the past two years, transmitter manufacturers have been striving to improve the efficiency of solid state transmitters using several techniques. This presentation covered these techniques and the trade-offs associated with each. As solid state transmitters become capable of higher and higher power levels, the operating efficiency becomes more and more important as compared to other factors when choosing a transmitter to replace a tube-type at higher powers.
April 25, 2013
Gary Cooper and Megan Wagoner from Digital Broadcast Inc. discussed several of DBI’s products:
MediaFire IP (The only complete IP system of its kind)
Taking multicasting to the next level, MediaFire IP will automate, conform, manage, splice, playout, and monitor your station signals. MediaFire IP allows stations to supplement additional channels with no additional hardware. IP workflows give you the utmost in on-air control. MediaFire IP supports MPEG2 & MPEG4 compressed ASI transport streams and video over IP as SPTS & MPTS. Digital Broadcast’s MediaFire IP playout provides multichannel splicing of MPEG2 and MPEG4 media for direct feeds to cable or transmitter. MediaFire IP maintains the streamed MPEG network so that no baseband switching or keying is required. An IP multi-viewer completes the suite for easy monitoring of content.
MediaVault Archive & Share (A complete solution for easy access to material you need)
Online, nearline, offline, and cloud storage is available. Flexibility allows stations to use their existing archive to share content with stations throughout the group. Stations specify what level of MediaVault they need and DBI does the rest.
MediaVault can archive in native formats and/or a shared format. MediaVault provides a push or pull for all share material. Users can also auto-share breaking news material to all stations before a scheduled archive. View content from all stations with a single checkbox click. MediaVault takes the hassle away from distributing video content across multiple locations.
Spot Commander (Receive local spot content in the proper format, time, and standards)
Spot Commander takes the headache away from stations struggling with local spot production agencies. Allows production companies to transfer spots directly from the web via an encrypted website. Spot Commander automatically corrects files, normalizes audio, and drops finished content on to the appropriate server in the station specific format(s). Clients receive auto-rejection notifications if their spot is not approved. Spot Commander also links with the traffic dub list for automated house Identification.
March 28, 2013
The tag-team of Paul Rumo and Scott Widney from Satellite Engineering Group (SEG), gave a very informative and interesting discussion of current technology for in-house cable TV RF distribution designs and how these systems will look in the future to accommodate HD, file base workflow and borderless content accessibility. Particular emphasis was paid to the advantages of considering an IP-based system (IPTV). Satellite Engineering Group (SEG), based in Olathe, Kansas (a suburb of Kansas City, MO), was founded in 1980 and is an international communications company whose primary focus is supplying products and services to the CATV, broadcast and satellite markets.
February 28, 2013
Recent history has shown it is not a question of if, but when an emergency will occur requiring broadcasters to be prepared, and sometimes creative with their efforts to stay on the air. Recent disasters from Hurricane Irene to Hurricane Sandy have made many New England communities realize how important radio really is during a disaster. It saves lives. The recent proliferation of IP Based STL’s has opened new opportunities for IP Based STL’s. Whether it is a land line based solution or an over the air microwave link with wideband IP connectivity, the new lines of IP Based codecs offer broadcasters new possibilities for maintaining bi-directional connectivity to their transmitter sites not only for audio, but control and monitoring as well. But we must have multiple layers of back-up and redundancy if we are going to rely on IP. We cannot afford to be off air during a disaster.
Tieline offers innovative and flexible solutions for IP connectivity and Mary-Ann Seidler, Vice President of Tieline, discussed the new products available today to help prepare for emergencies as well as discussed what worked and what didn’t work for broadcasters during recent disasters. Case studies from the stations in New Jersey that were affected by Hurricane Sandy were examined.
January 31, 2013
Ken Dillard spoke about Digital-Nirvana’s advanced monitoring, workflow, and content sharing systems for television broadcast stations.
December 6, 2012
Steve Belcher gave a fascinating presentation about emergency standby power systems. Steve has over 25 years of experience supporting mission critical facilities in the telecomm industry and has spent the last five years as an account manager for FM Generator, Inc., assigned to their Verizon Wireless account overseeing the maintenance of 1,950 generators from 30KW–1.2 MW and 5,000 pieces of HVAC equipment from 3–300 tons.
Steve offered anecdotal accounts that relate to the real world operation of standby power systems, and he discussed changes in technologies that while often are viewed as improvements, can result in unintended failure with power systems.
Specific to emergency standby power systems:
- Expectations of a generator
■ Fuel considerations
■ Natural gas
■ Run times
■ Starting Battery and charging systems
■ Exercise schedules (load verses no load)
■ NFPA requirements
■ Load Banking
♦ Cost of ownership
♦ Responsibility for maintenance
■ Before, during and after emergency operation
♦ Reactive verses apparent power issues
- Expectations of Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) gear
♦ Mission Critical Loads
■ Fire/Safety systems
■ Under and overvoltage protection
■ Phase protection
■ Dual breakers verses transfer relay
■ Retrofitting controls
♦ Maintenance needs
- Uninterruptable power supplies (UPS)
♦ Use of UPS’s in standby power systems
- Future of standby power systems
♦ Commercial power as the back up
New England Broadcast/Cable Expo, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI.
June 22, 2012
A VISIT TO THE MUSEUM OF BROADCAST TECHNOLOGY: A Joint Event with SMPTE New England, Society of Broadcast Engineers, Chapter 11, Massachusetts Broadcasters Association
The Museum of Broadcast Technology in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, held a barbecue and Historical Retrospective Meeting Event at the museum. This was a special open house and self-guided tour of the evolving Museum of Broadcast Technology, based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, with satellite offices and facilities in Brookline and Foxborough, MA.
The MBT is a private museum that is a venture to foster the objectives of preservation, restoration and education with respect to radio and television technologies and tools, spanning from the 1930s to present day.
The special meeting was the first large scale open house for the MBT and its management staff. The museum is a work-in-progress and is not open to the general public at this time. It is planned to be a museum that will be opened on an appointment basis within the next year.
Guests had the opportunity to meet the founders and curators of the museum, Tom Sprague, Henry Berman and Paul Beck, along with museum founding collaborators and technical managers Jay Ballard, Marc Berman and Peter Fasciano.
EQUIPMENT ON DISPLAY:
Over 100 assorted broadcast cameras, over 75 assorted video recorders, telecine systems from 1954 through 2004 and much, much more OLD STUFF!
Video clips from the Joe Roizen collection originally produced by Ampex for training and sales promotion purposes. Other Joe Roizen Video and Film Clips including the famous Nixon-Khrushchev Kitchen Debate in Moscow in 1959 with an Ampex VR-1000 and RCA TK-41 camera. Many more neat historic clips of vintage equipment in action.
May 31, 2012
As playout facilities make the transition from SDI to file-based infrastructures, one of their biggest challenges is dealing with a wide range of file formats. For playout applications this goes beyond audio and video, and must include ancillary data such as captions, AFD and V-Chip codes amongst others. Aimed at engineering and operations managers involved in broadcast playout, this presentation, by Joe LoGrasso, Director for Strategic Accounts at Miranda, explored the challenges involved in accommodating these different file formats. Joe covered:
- Wrappers and codecs most in use today
- Considerations for choosing a file format
- Strategies to lower operational costs and risks at playout
- Wrapper, video & audio codec families and their key features; ancillary data carriage
- Essence conversion, re-wrapping and transcoding; hardware, software and hardware-accelerated software
- Considerations for choosing a file format; conversion at playout versus file normalization
- Opinions and conclusion: the law of moving parts
April 26, 2012
This coming June is the new deadline for broadcasters to be CAP-compliant. CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) is the latest incarnation of the EAS system, which itself is the descendent of emergency broadcasting procedures going back to CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) in the 1950’s. Are you ready? Were you ready for the nationwide test last November? That one didn’t go so well, for a number of reasons. Mark Manuelian, our local EAS expert and chair of PEPAC (Primary Entry Point Advisory Committee), discussed the test, its results and ramifications, the new CAP system, and more.
Late breaking addition: By now you’ve surely heard about the Great 2012 Easter Antenna Burnout that affected four of the major Boston-area broadcasters. We updated you on the causes and progress in repairing the shared antenna system.
March 29, 2012
More and more broadcasters are now legally obliged to provide recordings of their transmissions pretty much on-demand. It’s important. Being able to quickly prove a transmission actually happened can help resolve a dispute, or maintain advertiser confidence. Axon’s TRACS2 3rd generation compliance recording system makes compliance easier, more efficient and cost-effective than ever. New software, improved hardware and an extended range of features bring high levels of efficiency and reliability to the whole process of transmission recording, storage and retrieval.
John Carapella, Director of Sales, Axon USA Inc., gave an overview of Axon’s TRACS2 system and explained how it could be used for compliance/aircheck recording at a broadcast station.
Some TRACS2 features:
- Based on the Linux OS; runs on dedicated hardware; equipped with RAID 5-configured disks.
- No tape stock, recorder or storage costs; low labor costs; potentially dramatic savings.
- Search and retrieval is fast and simple – even for multiple users.
- Rack-mountable; small footprint; no tape storage implications; 1RU high.
- Automatic recording, with no direct access to recorded content, plus a user-management system.
- Designed for more than just compliance recording.
February 23, 2012
CALM down. On December 13, 2011 the FCC released the rules governing commercial loudness. The requirements vary depending on the station size and the source of the programming.
The “Safe Harbor” provision of the rules allows the program provider to certify that the material they supply conforms to ATSC Recommended Practice A/85. Not all programmers will do this, and there is always locally produced material. As with all FCC rules, it is ultimately the station’s responsibility to demonstrate compliance. This presentation covered what these requirements are and how you can show you are meeting them.
Paul Keller is a Product Manager for Test and Measurement in the Broadcast Communications Division of Harris Corporation. The products cover Audio and Video testing in all formats from analog through 3 Gb/s SDI with a little bit of ASI thrown in for good measure. Mr. Keller has been involved in broadcasting for over 40 years in all aspects of radio and television production, post production, and transmission. Mr. Keller is a member of the AES, SBE, and SMPTE. He holds a BSEE degree from Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.
January 26, 2012
Mobile DTV is one hot subject in the over-the-air broadcast television industry today. The Mobile DTV platform enables local TV stations to deliver live, digital content to ATSC-capable mobile and video devices such as mobile phones, portable media players, laptop computers, personal navigation devices and automobile-based “infotainment systems.” The service is “in-band,” meaning local broadcasters are providing mobile TV services as part of their terrestrial transmission within the same, existing 6 MHz channel they use for their current ATSC DTV programming.
Dave Benco’s gave a fascinating presentation, including an overview of the new A/153 standard and how it is different from A/53 in the physical layer. He discussed required changes to station infrastructure to implement and deploy mobile services with a focus on the equipment changes and upgrades that are needed, along with related considerations when selecting equipment.
December 8, 2011
Criss Onan, Senior Eastern Regional Sales Manager for Broadcast Electronics products, presented a selective history of radio broadcast automation systems from 1958 to today, including electro-mechanical systems, solid state systems, source gear, PC-based systems, early DOS & Windows hard drive systems, a current hard drive system and probable future developments.
Criss joined Broadcast Electronics in 1993. Previously he was sales manager for broadcast equipment distributor Northeast Broadcast Labs. Before that he held a variety of positions at radio stations in New York.
November 2, 2011
This month’s meeting was held in conjunction with the New England Broadcast and Cable Expo (www.NEBCE.com) at the DCU center in Worcester. Steve Dirksmeier of Sony explained demonstrated Sony’s newest broadcast video monitors. The combination of Super Top Emission OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) display and dedicated professional display engine makes the E-series the next generation in master monitors. These new monitors deliver outstanding blacks, quick response with virtually no motion blur and a wide color gamut. In addition, Steve showed a combination video projector and sensor that turns any ordinary white board into a telestrator-type presentation device, at a cost of roughly $2,000.
September 29, 2011
The Switch has been in the Boston market over the past year providing broadcast TV end-users with a cost effective solution for SDI and HD-SDI local fiber circuitry.
This month’s program’s focus was The Switch’s expansion of their switching and transmission network from six existing cities to fifty cities over the next year. More important, The Boston Switch, located at 250 Bent Street in Cambridge, will be operational by late October/early November. The Switch will feature 3G/HD/SDI customer-controlled, community switching services as well as competitive inter-city transmissions via its Inter-City On Demand (ICOD) Network.
What does this mean to you?
- The ICOD network will comprise 50 cities using a 10 Gbps mesh network capable of transmitting in uncompressed 3G, HD, JPEG 2000 and 270 Mbps SDI.
- The Switch’s existing six-city network (New York City, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto and Washington D.C.) will also be upgraded.
- Unlimited 24/7/365 customer-controlled community switching for all customers connected to The Boston Switch – no need for phone calls or emails. Local and long distance connectivity is available with the touch of a few buttons.
- Each Switch city will connect to all 50 locations through its Inter-City On Demand (ICOD) network via The Switch’s pay-per-minute long haul fiber transmission service.
Eric, Howard and Meredith discussed how The Boston Switch’s new services might help meet your local connectivity needs, as well as your long distance domestic and international transmission needs.
June 20, 2011
MAYAH Communications was our host for the June meeting. MAYAH’s focus is on the technology for Audio over IP, N/ACIP, SIP and other related issues with real time audio broadcast quality over IP, 3G, BGAN, ISDN, and POTS transmission to non-MAYAH codecs.
The focus of the meeting was primarily targeted on the emerging Audio over IP issues for audio codecs. Unlike ISDN, which was very simple and reliable, IP raises new issues to provide the quality of service needed for reliable and quality audio for radio and ENG. (ISDN is fading from the market gradually due to costs and availability). Factors that influence effective Audio over IP were discussed, including:
- CODEC and compression algorithms
- Latency, Quality and bit rates
- N/ACIP and SIP protocol for connectively to all codecs
- Audio-via-IP Experts Group
- Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), RTP and Voice-over-IP
- vADSL vs. SDSL QOS( Quality of Service) for internet transmission
- Remote audio over IP: 3G, WLAN, BGAN
- MAYAH’s approach to ISDN and IP codecs
May 26, 2011
Lester Miyasaki of WTI presented and demonstrated its newest in the SideWinder series of mast/surveillance cameras, the SideWinder HD. The SideWinder HD features 2-megapixel CMOS sensors, 20x optical zoom lens with a 16:9 widescreen format.
Wireless Technology Incorporated, based in Ventura, California, was founded in 1984 and has provided innovative solutions for video surveillance systems worldwide. WTI supplies tower, building and mast mounted cameras to numerous TV stations as well as manufacturers such as Accelerated Media, Frontline Communications and ENG Mobile Systems.
April 28, 2011
David (Shack) Haralambou, of By Request Communications discussed what you, the customer needs to do to get the most out of an outside integrator. His topics included:
- Why hire an outside integrator? What are the benefits and drawbacks?
- Realistic timetables (not just the on-air date)
- Documentation deliverables from the integrator (pre-build)
- Documentation deliverables from the customer (pre-build)
- Review periods
- Access issues
- Staffing requirements from the customer side
- Labor requirements and expectations
- Standards (OK, recommended practices anyway)
- Testing and training (post-install)
- Building an issue list both the customer and integrator can agree on
- Final acceptance procedures (post-install)
- Documentation deliverables (post-install)
- Final project review (post acceptance)
March 31, 2011
Phil Owens, from Wheatstone, spoke about TV Audio and Audio Networking over IP, with details about:
- The Wheatstone D8 TV audio console — everything needed for live audio mixing in medium and small market stations, remote trucks, or secondary on-air/production rooms in larger facilities. 30 motorized faders, 24 input channels, four submasters, two main buses and two aux buses. True surround mixing. Extensive on-board processing.
- Wheatnet— Intelligent IP system of audio networking over IP — A look at Wheatstone’s IP audio networking in a broadcast facility.
- Phil also gave a pre-NAB preview of some new goodies.
February 24, 2011
Belden presented an introduction to its 10GX Pre-Terminated Cabling System, a Category 6 Pre-Term intended to save time and money, with no compromise to performance and reliability and a green solution. The system has been specifically designed to support mission-critical needs for bandwidth-intensive applications such as uncompressed high resolution digital video, medical imaging, digital animation, CAD/CAM, high-speed data storage or cluster computing.
Ideal for all types of data centers, Belden understands the ultimate goal in data center networks is zero downtime or ‘extreme’ network availability. In a risk-averse environment with very strict schedule constraints and budgets, demanding reliability and performance without compromise is a must. Belden’s 10GX Pre-Terminated Cabling System delivers fast-deployment, with built-in reliability combined with guaranteed performance and headroom. Moreover, the system is fully supported under Belden’s IBDN 10GX Certification Program including guaranteed bandwidth of 625MHz, total support for 10 Gb/s Ethernet, and Belden’s 25-Year IBDN product warranty.
January 27, 2011
January’s meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather. (Snow in New England — who knew?)
December 9, 2010
Steve DeFala, Northeast Regional Sales Manager – Broadcast Sales, described, and showed, an exciting new concept in ENG Van technology. Based on the Ford Transit truck chassis, this vehicle provides a very flexible and efficient platform for today’s smaller news crews and is an affordable alternative to a full size ENG van. The compact size makes urban live shots a breeze. A shorter wheelbase and lower center of gravity contribute to the vehicle’s overall ease of maneuverability which includes parallel parking – a must for any operator in an urban environment. The compact pneumatic mast, low maintenance design, and efficient workflow platform come together in a cost effective system. After lunch, attendees were able to inspect the van, which was parked outside the restaurant.
November 10, 2010
This month’s meeting was held during the 2010 New England Broadcast Cable Expo (NEBCExpo). Tom Jennings of Accelerated Media Technologies spoke about their new IP-based ENG trucks.
October 28, 2010
MAYAH Communications presented a program focusing on audio over IP, N/ACIP, SIP and other related issues with real time audio broadcast quality IP, 3G, BGAN, ISDN, POTS transmission. The products discussed included:
- C11 Product Family– C11 Ultra Small, codecs provide Audio-over-IP based on EBU N/ACIP standards using Ethernet, 3G networks, BGAN, FlashcastTM auto-connect ISDN to all non-MAYAH codecs, ASI and POTS. C11 is extremely compact 1/2 19″ 1 RU, low power, fan less and easily stackable up to eight units in standard 19″ 5RU racks with redundant power supply along with algorithms from G.711/G.722, Eapt-X®, apt-X® and Linear to AAC ELD.
- SPORTY– New Portable Reporter CODEC: the ultimate tool for live reports, sports, news, voice over, radio interviewers and commentators. Supporting audio transmissions 2 XLR + 2 Line In over Ethernet/IP, UMTS/3G, WLAN/Wi-Fi, ISDN and POTS with direct audio logging/playback to SD card or USB Stick during transmission! Up to 5 hours battery life.● FLASHMAN II – The Next Generation Portable Recorder IP CODEC provides two professional microphone/line XLR inputs for recording to SD card or USB Stick in both advanced and conventional audio formats. Simultaneous live transmission over Ethernet/IP, UMTS/3G, WLAN/Wi-Fi with SIP/RTP per EBU Audio-over-IP standards.
- CENTAURI III 4000– Radio-to-MPEG-Transcoder. 8 Stereo FM/RDS Signals are transcoded to MPEG TS!
September 30, 2010
Spectra Logic presented a program shedding light on the realities of data tape storage, covering content access and performance requirements, as well as the technology advancements that make it possible to address demanding throughput goals while preserving hundreds of thousands of hours of digital video content. Hossein ZiaShakeri, SVP Business Development & Alliances, examined how advances in data tape make it the ideal, most viable storage platform for handling growing video data sets – all at much faster speeds and while making it easy to retrieve video content. He also showed why tape, integrated with disk, makes sense as a pain-free component of a tiered archiving ecosystem.
June 24, 2010
Broadcast Electronics’ new line of low power (1 kW – 5 kW) solid state FM transmitters, with advanced features including frequency agility, scalable output power, IP enabled and HD-compatible. Criss Onan, Senior Eastern Regional Sales Manager at Broadcast Electronics, showed a STX-1 transmitter shell (enclosure with knobs, switches, etc., less innards) and described the new transmitters. Criss also asked for feedback from the group so Broadcast Electronics can provide future enhancements that match the broadcasters’ needs.
May 27, 2010
Did I just hear someone say “tape was easier?” Well, sometimes file-based commercial delivery and ingest do get a little messy. Today, master control operators have to deal with various delivery services, methods, file formats, codecs, transcoders, electronic dub lists, and the magic word that can hopefully tie it all together: metadata. But the processes involved are far from uniform. Cris Nuernberg from Floripa Integration discussed this topic and introduced ideas and solutions that may enhance operations at individual stations. Perhaps it’s time to provide the correct tools and standard procedures that can properly hand traffic back to the Traffic department. What if operators could open one system and all spots were there, waiting for them? That would be easier than tape! http://floripaintegration.com/r/N6c2q0I
May 8, 2010
A special monthly meeting was held on a Saturday, open exclusively to SBE members, for a tour of the United States Air Force PavePAWS radar station on Cape Cod. Very special thanks go out to Lt. Colonel Max E. Lantz II, Commander, 6th Warning Squadron Cape Cod Air Force Station, Captain Philip Menchaca and Barbara Burnett, who worked for several months to coordinate this tour for our group. The fact that Colonel Lantz, Capt. Menchaca, and the other escorts gave up free time on a weekend for the tour is sincerely appreciated.
March 25, 2010
Jim Latimer of Symetrix discussed the technology aspects of audio processing and gave a comprehensive demonstration of the latest AirTools products, including the brand new Multiband Processor 2m, and the Voice Processor 2x.
February 25, 2010
“Hear Factor” focuses on understanding the need for loudness metering and control in television audio, from original content creation, to ingest, to final transmission. It also demonstrates some of the “gotchas” of metadata including DIALNORM, and how stations can use upmixing of stereo to surround so that their sound doesn’t collapse when transitioning from network to local programming.
Don Cardone, from Linear Acoustic, gave a presentation that examined the reasoning behind the recently published ATSC Recommended Practice A/85, “Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television,” and revealed simple and effective means for broadcast facilities to implement the practices. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM) legislation H.R.1084 and S.2847 passed by the U.S. House and pending in the Senate directly references A/85, mandating the FCC to enforce the recommended practices.
January 28, 2010
Keith Pelletier, Director of Engineering, SPX/Dielectric, gave a presentation on IBOC implementation for FM stations. He focused on specific data relative to the isolation required between the analog and digital systems, and discussed common amplification and high level combining techniques.
November 12, 2009
New England Broadcast and Cable Expo, DCU Center, Worcester, MA.
September 24 , 2009
T-Mobile recently launched UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service) services in the Boston area under their FCC AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) E block license (2140-2145 MHz). They are currently preparing for continued growth in the FCC AWS A block spectrum, which is directly adjacent to channel A7r at the upper end of the 2 GHz ENG band. Kevin Glassman and Dan Wilson from T-Mobile described the special steps T-Mobile is taking to minimize ENG interference, and shared their field trial and implementation experiences. They also outlined their AWS program and roll-out timetable for the Boston area.
June 25, 2009
Chris Regan, North American Sales Manager, APT Limited, took a look at private IP links, Metropolitan Ethernet links, and the first wide scale North American deployment of MPLS virtual network links for IP audio distribution.
By now most of us have heard about IP audio and many are beginning to deploy it in various ways. The majority of deployments so far have accepted compromises in order to achieve specific goals, such as better remote access (for remotes), or to achieve connections at the lowest possible cost (for low cost backup or repeater STLs). However, when you have read about Audio over IP you will have noted that a frequent caveat is that circuits with proper Quality of Service (QoS) are recommended for pro-grade applications.
The application of these network technologies for high quality compromise-free distribution of audio were explained in detail. In addition, these technologies were contrasted with the IP techniques designed to work over compromised networks and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach were discussed.
May 28, 2009
Dennis Heymans of Myat, Incorporated discussed a number of new technologies and solutions for broadcast transmission. His talk included:
- The IBOC “LO-LOSS SOLUTION” — a new and unique high level combining filter with extremely low transmission loss and better overall efficiency for the station.
- Mobile Media Filters — This is the hot new world of DVB-H transmission at 700 MHz and L-Band.
- New developments in DTV filters— You may remember that Myat pioneered temperature compensated dual mode DTV filters that need no cooling fans or thermal jackets. They didn’t stop there, and Dennis will bring us up to date on this and other developments in radio and TV systems.
Founded in the 1950’s, Myat Incorporated has grown to be a well known leader in transmission line systems and components, and is the only transmission system company that remains under its founding management.
April 30, 2009
Karl Graebener, regional sales manager of Canare Cable, discussed the new SMPTE 311 HFO (Hybrid Fiber Optic) connector for cameras and CCUs. Canare has a series of in-wall (and equipment rack) HFO panels that allow for the simple integration of the new connector into a facility. Additionally they provide HFO camera cables, HFO breakout assemblies, an HFO tester and the CLEPTOP HFO cleaning sticks. Virtually all new arenas and stadiums (including the new Yankees Stadium and the Mets Citi Field) are installing HFO infrastructure. Additionally the majority of new HD Mobile Trucks built over the last year are HFO interconnected throughout.
Another product line discussed was a Single Mode Fiber Optic system. Canare has a series or EO/OE (Electrical to Optical/Optical to Electrical) cards that enable the transport of HD/SDI/ASI, AES audio, RS-422/232 and Ethernet over single mode fiber connections. Up to 16 of these signals can be multiplexed onto one single mode fiber. Canare has three different sized card cage/power supplies for these cards to allow for flexibility in deployment.
March 26, 2009
This month’s presentation explored the current state of DTV Translators and how they are being utilized. The FCC recently allowed full service stations to apply for “gap filler” translators. This ruling was discussed along with the fundamental technical elements that make up modern DTV translation. Program System Information Protocol (PSIP) was also discussed as it relates to DTV translators and LPTV stations along with some interesting applications.
Scott Barella has been involved in the broadcast industry since 1977. He has a strong background in product development, systems design and architecture, construction, integration and television station operations. He has worked at six different television stations over his career and is now acting Vice President of Technology and Business Development for LARCAN, a leading global transmitter manufacturing company, headquartered near Toronto. Before joining LARCAN, Mr. Barella was Vice President of Engineering for Burst Communications for six years and led the company’s Broadcast Systems Integration division. Prior to Burst he was the Chief Engineer of the Broadcast Operations and Engineering Department at the AT&T Digital Media Centers (now Comcast). Scott also served as the Chief Engineer for 3 years at KCNC Television, a CBS owned and operated station in Denver, where he led the station’s technical efforts with several innovative station engineering projects, including one that won the station a 1999 engineering Emmy award for the use of the first digital microwave system in helicopters. Scott holds a B.S. degree in Radio and Television Broadcast from the University of Wyoming. He is the current SBE Chairman for the Denver local Chapter 48. He is also a published writer for industry trade journals including TV Technology and Broadcast Engineering.
February 5, 2009
This month’s meeting consisted of a special tour of the new WGBH studio facility. In June of 2007, WGBH and WGBX began broadcasting from their brand-new facilities in Brighton. A multi-year project, this 343,000 square-foot new location houses the two television stations as well as WGBH-FM. Special thanks to Mike Foti, Dave St. Onge and WGBH for their time and generosity in hosting the event.
December 4, 2008
Whodunit? Floripa Integration can add much needed flexibility and accountability to file-based workflows.
File-based workflows don’t always (if ever) generate accountability. In its simplest form, file-based workflows revolve around a “drop folder” monitored by a transcoding server. This situation does not make use of available metadata, eliminate typos, or add accountability. When things go wrong, managers often find themselves asking around for the answer to “whodunit?”
Cambridge-based Floripa Integration introduced two of its products, DLogger and DubCentral, and discussed SD/HD file-based workflow, commercial and promo distribution/ingestion, and the significance and applications of technologies such as BXF and AFD.
DubCentral offers a complete video ingestion workflow for commercials and promos by integrating with traffic systems, catch servers, transcoding software, and automation systems. When needed, DubCentral allows operators to easily up/down convert video, remap audio channels, and manage ancillary data (without having to create new transcoder profiles or factories). Together with Floripa’s PromoBox, DubCentral creates a distribution and automatic ingest solution for promos and commercials produced in-house. More at http://floripaintegration.com/r/o767J3A.
DLogger combines, in a single location, years of asrun logs, traffic schedules, operator sign on/off, discrepancies, and closed captioning notifications. Some of DLogger’s features include: multi-channel, multi-timezone, web-based color-coded asrun logs; real-time recon and warning system; and search across date ranges by house number, ISCI code, Ad-Id, or title. Volicon customers can benefit from a tight integration with Observer for broadcast monitoring and review. More at http://floripaintegration.com/r/R7d2E.
November 6, 2008
Since the earliest days of commercial television the quest to control TV broadcast levels has never wavered. While the signal complexity and diversity of the program material has evolved the radical changes in loudness are still the number one viewer complaint. Ed Simeone, Chairman of TC Electronic, presented the historical background of loudness control and demonstrated the latest technology based upon the BS1770 recommendations.
September 25, 2008
Hirschmann Mission-Critical Ethernet systems. Hirschmann offers Ethernet equipment that works in the environments others can’t – equipment exposed to harsh weather, dusty and hot building cores, bumpy and noisy broadcast trucks, and mobile onsite equipment.
Jon Judson, Regional Sales Manager-Northeast presented an overview of Hirschmann’s products, with an eye toward showing how to ensure the valuable broadcast signal will reach newsrooms even while covering hurricanes and other disasters. Hirschmann is a division of Belden, Inc.
June 26, 2008
Arbitron is beginning the roll-out of its new PPM system of audience measurement in the Boston region. They are presently “live” with PPM in Philadelphia and Houston, and are installing PPM in markets including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
The Arbitron Portable People MeterTM system uses a passive audience measurement device – about the size of a small cell phone – to track media exposure. Carried throughout the day by randomly selected survey participants, the PPMTM device can track when and where they listen to radio as well as how they interact with other forms of media and entertainment. The PPMTM detects inaudible codes embedded in the 1kHz to 3kHz portion of broadcast audio. It is also equipped with a motion sensor, a patented quality control feature unique to the system, which allows Arbitron to confirm the compliance of the PPMTM survey participants every day. At the end of each day, the survey participant places the meter in a docking station that extracts the codes and sends the data to Arbitron.
One of the first important steps in bringing PPMTM to Boston is informing the engineers in the market about PPMTM encoding. For this, an SBE meeting is an ideal forum. The presentation included a demo of the system, examples of the equipment, Q&A, etc.
Ken Freed, New England District Sales Manager for JVC, gave a presentation about JVC’s ProHD line of cameras. JVC has a range of HD products for ENG and studio applications at the most cost effective price points in the history of our industry. As a result, for the first time JVC HD products are “on the air” in major markets every night. The reasons for this success come from JVC’s understanding of MPEG and from advanced mathematics in their cameras along with their implementation of native HD as 1280x720p60. JVC’s effective low-bandwidth native HD implementation is a perfect fit for the Native File Workflow model evolving in 2008 as mid-market stations anticipate the costs of their HD build-outs.
John Wood, Director of Technology, Microwave Radio Corporation, presented MRC’s take on the new technologies that will allow TV stations to send audio, video, and data from their ENG truck to the studio using IP file transfer techniques.
With the broadcast market looking to capitalize on multiple distribution schemes including off-air, cable interface, and multicast, the ability to monitor, manage and troubleshoot across these technologies is more than not getting caught with your pants down. It’s good business. As engineers, you need to get to the bottom of a revenue interrupting problem fast whether the issue is in your plant, or if it comes to you from outside.
Dave Musil of Sencore presented the MSA1850-P. The media service analyzer interfaces ASI/310M, 8VSB/QAM, and IP. You can remotely access the unit using a simple web browser from anywhere on the web. You see at a glance the health of all your programs. This portable unit goes to the problem and can analyze three streams simultaneously: one in monitor mode, two in the background. That means the unit watches your back when you are not present, logging and recording for failure levels you parameterize for TR101290, bit rate and physical layer issues.
Started in 1951, Sencore Electronics designs, manufactures, sells and services world class electronic test equipment and operational gear. Its communications division deals exclusively with compressed media solutions. They offer the most popular receiver/decoder in the market, digital streamers used by major retailers all over the US, and MPEG, RF and IP test, monitor and analysis tools from the very inexpensive to powerful lab instruments.
Doug Thompson from RCS discussed radio station automation and its integration with three of RCS’s products…
Radio Visualized – Enhance your station’s programming on the air, in the car, on the Web and on a hand-held device with RCS RADIOSHOW. Use today’s latest technology to reach more listeners in more ways.
HD Radio Importation – The RCS HD Importer enables advanced HD radio capabilities, like multicasting and data-casting. As a stand-alone module, it can work with any automation system and integrates seamlessly with NexGen.
Interactive Web Streaming – iSelector is a personalized online player, streaming the custom content provided by a radio station or record label directly to each of your listeners.
More and more, broadcasters find ourselves immersed in an IT environment, and a very complex network structure. This month Ipswitch, Inc. showed how WhatsUp Gold v11 can help us be proactive in the way that we manage a complex and mission critical broadcasting network infrastructure!
Ipswitch develops and markets software products and services for businesses worldwide. More than 100 million people use Ipswitch software to monitor their networks with Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold, transfer files over the Internet using the market-leading Ipswitch WS_FTP Professional client and Ipswitch WS_FTP Server and communicate via IMail Server.
WhatsUp Gold v11 – award winning network monitoring software – delivers on its two promises of blending network monitoring and comprehensive windows-based application management with ease of use, allowing broadcast engineers and IT managers to turn network data into actionable business information like trending analysis and resource planning guidance.
WhatsUp Gold v11:
- Discovers IP based network devices and maps them
- Allows for manual input of non-standard IP devices and virtualized devices
- Includes full SNMP and WMI monitoring out of the box without the need for agents
- Notifies you of state changes for all or specific device, interface or process monitors
- Includes Drag and Drop MIB support for all SNMP and WMI devices and applications
- Gathers real-time and trending network information for technical and business reporting
- Uses the concept of a workspace to focus the busy admin on what is important
- Is the Industry’s best web application for remote, mobile administrators
For more info prior to the meeting, check out the Ipswitch web site at: http://www.ipswitch.com/
The Sixth Annual BOS-CON Trade Show and Ennes Workshop was held on October 4th and 5th.
Jim Tronolone of PatchAmp described the new PatchAmp Lite system, which:
- Frees up valuable RU’s by eliminating rack space required for DA’s
- Eliminates cabling from DA trays to Patchpanels
- Speeds up integration
- Less than half the weight of traditional DA’s wired to patch panels
- Very low power consumption (75 Watts per loaded frame)
- Electrically superior to traditional cabled systems
- Reduces jitter
- All external signals are equalized and reclocked at all patch points
- Increases system reliability and eliminates cabling errors
TAMUZ is a leading international manufacturer of LCD Broadcast Monitoring Solutions, with a portfolio that includes a full range of sizes and designs, including:
- Full HD monitors from 15.4“W up to 82“W
- Rack mountable monitors from 7“W up to 19“W
- Desktop monitors from 12“ up to 42“W
- Stackable monitors for monitor walls from 24“W up to 82“W
- Portable monitors from 7“W up to 10“
- Preview monitors, rack mountable, from 4“ up to 8.4“
- All monitors operate with the same type of OSD and electronics
- All monitors remote controllable via Ethernet or RS232
Ray Kalo, President, Tamuz America, discussed:
- AAC, Automatic Alignment and Calibration, using PM 5639/T probe. The only LCD manufacturer offering built-in complete quick disconnect calibration tools with all monitors
- LSM124WHD 24″ Full HD monitor. The only monitor that passed 100% of EBU’s recommendations among six other manufacturers.
- FLM117WHD, 17″ with three HDSDI inputs
- Dual 9″ with three HDSDI inputs
- SoapBox portable HD test generator
Microwave Advances is a local, independent manufacturing and repair facility for microwave radios. New products include a high stability 23 gHz rebuild kit that complies with new FCC rule changes so you won’t have to buy a new radio, and the MicroSynth, a hand-held microwave signal generator. Erik Stromsted discuss his and his company’s background and described the services they provide. Solid state sources, RF power amps, and LNA upconverters, downconverters, and YIG synthesizers are their specialty.
PESA-from Com-Tech to QuStream, a journey from the Midwest, to Spain, and back again. Distributed Audio Routing – More sources and destinations, less real estate. CWDM Fiber transport-Bringing different routers together. Fiber to copper, copper to fiber, without the external frames. Fortel – Beyond the Y-688: more glue, smaller space. All this and more from Keith Andoos, Northeast Sales Manager of QuStream.
A few years ago, the message was to build a 1.5 Gb/s infrastructure even if you were only planning on a 270 Mb/s SDI system. This allowed easy migration to HD when required and affordable. HD is now common. It is time again to think about doubling the bandwidth of your video infrastructure. SMPTE 424 supports 1080P video formats and uses 3 Gb/s video transport. So, now is the time to start thinking about a 3 Gb/s plant. Randy Hall, Senior Systems Engineer at NVISION covered some of the aspects of implementing 3 Gb/s data rates in their video routing products and video systems, and what may exist beyond 3 Gb/s.
Can you use Category 5 or enhanced versions (5e, 6) to carry analog and digital audio? Or analog or digital video? How about S-video, RGB or VGA? Or broadband/CATV? Of course you can! For some applications, baluns are required. Exactly how to use it, and when not to use it was discussed by Steve Lampen of Belden.
Peter Burk, from Burk Technology, gave a presentation on the ARC Plus, a next-generation transmitter remote control system for full-time, multi-site or dial-up operation. Taking advantage of the scalability of IP, the ARC Plus connects an unlimited number of sites, each with up to 256 channels of metering status and command. Access the entire system from the front panel of any unit, take control using a Web-browser or PC software, or dial in to your system over the phone. With ARC-16 backwards compatibility, the ARC Plus allows broadcasters to advance their facility management operation incrementally, protecting the station’s hardware investment.
Robert Yankowitz, RF Systems Manager for the Boston CBS television stations and WBZ-AM, presented a quick tour of the WBZ transmitter site in Hull (with photographs of that historic site), and discussed theory and practice of AM directional antennas, including several methods of calculating their patterns. You can download his calculation spreadsheet here (2,425k). Please note this Excel file contains macros, which may result in a security warning.
BOS-CON! This year’s Ennes Workshop/Regional Trade Show was a great success.
PAETEC Communications is an Integrated Communications provider currently serving 1400 customers in New England. It is a privately held company with 500 million dollars in revenue and 14 quarters of net income position status. The topic of conversation surrounded the services PAETEC provides to the Florida Radio Market Community. Guest speakers were members of the South Florida PAETEC Office, and they gave an overview the services currently provided to 37 radio stations in South Florida.
- AM and FM
- Clear Channel
- Jefferson Pilot
- Universal Radio
- Cox Radio
- Radio – One
Two of the bigger buzz words around NAB this year were HD-ENG, and IP over ENG. One of our own local companies, Microwave Radio Communications gave a presentation on these subjects at the annual NAB engineering breakfast. MRC graciously agreed to give this presentation at our monthly meeting for May. John Wood, director of technology at MRC, covered the latest advances in ENG and HD-ENG technology, including camera back transmitters, diversity receivers, alternate modulation methods, and FTP over ENG.
Network operators are quickly discovering that carrier-grade Ethernet offers the flexibility, scalability, performance, and reliability needed to deliver a full range of applications – VOIP, HD video, data, multimedia – to business and enterprise customers.
Bryan Smith from Expedient presented a session exploring the current state of technology to extend the full range of Ethernet functionality present in the LAN to the MAN and the WAN. He not only presented the latest approaches in extending this technology, but also offered real-life examples of deployments using Ethernet over copper, wireless, fiber, and bonded T1.
Cedric Taylor from Mackay Communications presented an overview of Inmarsat’s BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) service. BGAN allows broadcasters to send broadcast quality voice, data and video from remote locations at a lower cost. BGAN provides integrated voice, high-speed data, fax and IP (Internet Protocol) channels for large files and video in a single compact package. BGAN allows broadcasters to access information, and send high quality voice and broadband data from almost any location. With a single BGAN terminal, broadcasters can simultaneously make a call, download or send data, and access the internet. BGAN terminals can support single or multiple users, and they can also support external devices such as telephones and hands-free headsets. Broadcasters are using BGAN for remote broadcasts and emergency communications, and the technology can benefit both radio and television operations.
Panasonic is the industry leader in the development of Solid State removable memory technology for broadcast and production acquisition in SD and HD formats. The P2 platform is a format independent architecture that currently uses DVCPRO, DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO HD recording formats for seamless integration into existing environments. The P2 platform along with the surrounding support products and workflow methodologies was the subject of a very interesting presentation by Bill Kennedy.
David “Shack” Haralambou of By Request Communications gave a quick, comprehensive overview of the nexus digital audio routing and interconnect system, using redundant fiber-optic interconnections, manufactured by Stage Tec. The nexus system uses time-domain multiplexing to combine and route audio, which allows a very high density of crosspoints in a small physical size. The system can be expanded to handle up to a 4095×4095 matrix, all in a single rack, or distributed over an area spanning distances up to 60 miles.
John Bisset, local sales manager for Broadcast Electronics is one of the most well known and respected names in radio, with many years of experience in the business. John presented an in-depth update on HD radio, aka IBOC, along with a first look a new ultra compact 50 kW AM transmitter.
BOS-CON! This year’s Fourth Annual Regional Trade Show/Ennes Workshop in Marlboro, MA, was a another great success.
Ken Dillard of Statmon briefly covered the history of remote management with a careful analysis of the way we do things now. More importantly, he covered what to look for and what your expectations should be as you make the transition to a software based product, which brings all of the diverse systems and devices in your enterprise under control, in a single easy to use and configure interface.
For the last four years, Larry Bloomfield has traveled the country with the Taste of NAB Road Show in an effort to provide technical updates to the radio and television engineering community from a select group of manufacturers, based on new developments that were seen at NAB.
This year, Larry’s technical discussion included new items from:
- Aja Video Systems
- ESE – Precision Timing
- Henry Engineering – Audio Accessories
- InPhase Technology – Holographic Based Storage Media
- Larcan – TV & FM Transmitters
- Leader Instruments – Test and Measurement
- Leitch Technology – Video Distribution
- Ligos Corporation – MPEG Encoding and Transcoding
- Modulation Sciences – Radio & TV Processing and Monitoring
- Orban CRL – Audio Processing
- Omneon Video Networks – Media Servers
- Riedel Communications – Intercom, Digital Audio, and Radio
- Sundance Digital – Broadcast Automation
- Tektronix – Test & Measurement Equipment
Many thanks to WCVB for their generosity in providing the venue for this year’s show.
For more information on the Taste of NAB show go to http://www.tech-notes.tv/
SONY has been a visible leader in the development of MXF, which is being widely accepted as the standard for interchanging media and metadata. The standard is also promoted by the Pro-MPEG forum, the EBU, and the AAF Association. MXF allows the user to store metadata and media-data in one file and/or stream. This is achieved by “wrapping up” all data (media and metadata) in a standardized, hierarchical way.
The 2 GHz BAS transition was clearly one of the hottest issues at NAB. This month, Wolf Coach, one of our own local companies, provided some very interesting facts relative to the current Nextel plan for inventory verifications and upgrades. The program gave station engineers and managers a clear understanding of what will and will not be covered in ENG trucks and portable units.
Comsearch gave us some insight on frequency coordination issues, traps, and problems as they relate to both radio and television related microwave and two way systems, and how to avoid them.
Mike Simon of Rohde & Schwarz discussed 8-VSB measurements at the DTV Transmitter facility, and highlighted the usefulness of a specific Rohde & Schwarz 8-VSB measurement server solution (EFA-NET), which offers unique measurements opportunities and functionality not previously available to broadcasters. Mike provided a good mix of basic 8-VSB theory, with an example of a current Rohde & Schwarz 8-VSB measurement solution used in the industry.
Peter Fasciano, a well known and respected authority in broadcast production, and one of the founders of Avid, shared his thoughts on the state of the art in server-based video systems. He discussed storage planning issues; how much you will need, and how to deal with latency and bandwidth issues.
Avid has become the world leader in digital media creation tools. Today, most of what we see and hear – 90% of primetime television shows, 85% of feature films, 80% of commercials, and nearly all of the chart-topping pop music hits – are made using Avid products.
Dennis Heymans from Myat gave us an update on RF transmission technology and products for radio and television, including DTV and IBOC. For over 50 years, Myat has been a recognized leader in rigid transmission line components and accessories. Dennis Heymans, Director of Sales at the Myat RF Filter Division in Portland, ME, and known by most of us for having many years of experience in RF systems, gave us the latest update on ways to get more in, and more out of an RF system, including a virtual tour of the new Myat installation at Four Times Square in Manhattan.
BOS-CON! This year’s Ennes Workshop/Regional Trade Show was a great success. With over 120 exhibitors and 55% more attendees than last year the show was the biggest and best to date.
Keith Andoos presented Omneon VideoNetwork’s unique server solution.
Omneon combines the best of both IT and broadcast, and is the most scalable and flexible server on the market today. Developed by Don Craig, one of the designers of the original Tektronix Profile, the Omneon server operates free of motherboards and operating system drives. The server is completely modular and can be upgraded while powered-up.
We were fortunate indeed to have one of our better known local companies, Microwave Radio Communications, as our guest presenter. Dan McIntyre, Vice President of Sales and Marketing provided insight into the issues television broadcasters face in light of the 2 GHz Broadcast Auxiliary relocation, and what to do about it. This is a complex and changing subject with new information constantly coming to light.
With decades of experience, and a global view of the ENG market, MRC is in an excellent position to help broadcaster through this difficult period. Dan’s talk included a discussion of the new FCC rules, plus a technology update on what is available to meet them.
A Taste of NAB 2004 Road Show
(Not associated with the National Association of Broadcasters.)
This was an EDUCATIONAL event to bring a taste of what happened at NAB 2004 to those who couldn’t make it.
The show was open to any and all organizations including:
- Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineering
- Audio Engineering Society
- Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
- Order of the Iron Test Pattern
Equipment and literature featured are from:
- Cobalt Digital Inc.
- InPhase Technologies
- Leader Instruments Corporation
- LightningMaster Corporation
- Maxell Corporation of America
- Quartz Electronics, Incorporated
- Sasem Co., Ltd.
- Sony Electronics, Incorporated
- Sundance Digital, Incorporated
Each item displayed was discussed and its strong points mentioned. This “Taste of NAB” presentation fills a great need for stations, networks and individuals who couldn’t go to the NAB convention.
This was a GREAT chance to see new products right here at home.
Ray Thompson of EMC gave an informative presentation of his company’s high-capacity disk storage systems:
Information Lifecycle Management for Broadcast – manage your media from online to archive…
- Clariion Line of online Storage solutions including the newly announced AX100 low end Clariion storage solution
- 7th generation Clariion storage solution
- Network Attached Storage solutions (offering no single point of failure for broadcast)
- Clariion Disk library solutions – designed for near online
- Centera – Scalable to petabytes – store your media on disk – for long retention periods with faster retrieval times and at a cost comparable to tape solutions
- Uses RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent Nodes)
- Legato – EMC recently purchase Legato
- Avalon IDM (Independent Data Manager)
- Documentum – and VM Ware (server virtualization)
Caterpillar and Southworth-Milton, the local authorized Caterpillar dealer, presented a new type of system for power conditioning and backup power requirements for for the broadcasting industry. The session included a discussion of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) using state-of-the-art kinetic power cell technology.
POWER QUALITY BASICS:
- What is Power Quality
- Industry Study on Power Quality
- Batteries: “The Weak Link”
CAT UPS SYSTEM:
- New Patented Kinetic Power Cell Technology
- Functionality of Flywheel Based UPS System
- Voltage Regulation, Power Factor Improvement and Harmonic Cancellation
- Models, Features & Options
CONTINUOUS POWER SYSTEMS
- Operation Sequence
- Normal Operation
- Brief Power Outage
- Extended Power Outage
APPLICATION IN BROADCASTING INDUSTRY
- Challenges posed by FCC driving digital signal
- UPS performance during “Crowbar” event
- Customer testimonial
- Experience in North America
For more information please contact:
Electric Power Sales Manager
175 Powder Forest Drive
Weatogue, CT 06089
Comrex, the makers of the best POTS codecs and phone hybrids showed their new cellular phone codec that can transmit 7kHz audio through a cell phone!
Comrex’s new GSM Module plugs into a Matrix codec and gives the user freedom to produce remotes without worrying about dropping in a phone line, ordering an ISDN line, or getting his RPU blown out of the water because of frequency congestion.
Thanks to Comrex and Kris Bobo for picking up the tab for the lunch and for giving an interesting and informative presentation. You can learn more about this new product at http://www.comrex.com/matrix_codec.htm. For more information, contact Comrex at email@example.com.
Many thanks to our very own Bill Gould and Moseley for a great program last month on the new bi-directional unlicensed data link for STL systems. This is some great technology at a VERY affordable price! If you didn’t get to the meeting give Bill a call and he get you the info. Bill’s number is: (978) 373-6303 or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.