Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned Dielectric has literally changed how FM broadcast antenna manufactures validate directional pattern studies for new FM broadcast antennas.
In fact, the company’s research played a key role in the recent FCC filing of a Petition for Rulemaking, written with leading broadcast consultancy Merrill Weiss Group, that could be approved within weeks.
The new rule, Dielectric says, paves the way for the first directional FM pattern verification rule change in 58 years — a rule change that passes the torch from physical to AI-driven simulated modeling.
Merrill Weiss, principal of Merrill Weiss Group, offered his expertise on existing FCC rules while assisting with the writing and filing process.
The inspiration behind Dielectric’s effort is to provide FM broadcasters with a more efficient and economical antenna modeling process. FM broadcast antenna manufacturers today build physical models and collect measured data to verify antenna patterns – a time-consuming and burdensome process. Dielectric’s petition proposes that the FCC allow FM antenna manufacturers to transition to computer-based antenna modeling using computational methods – an approach widely used in other broadcast products. In fact, this technique has been used for TV station antenna modeling since 2017.
“This is simply long overdue,” Dielectric VP of Engineering John Schadler said. “FM is the only FCC service that still requires a physical range measurement, and anyone who has worked with range measurements knows that accurately measuring radiation patterns is extremely difficult. Simulated pattern verification is much more economical with less chance of error — it just makes sense.”
The clearance to leverage simulated antenna modeling will also result in better accuracy for broadcasters. “3D high-frequency simulation will, in many ways, yield results that are superior to traditional range measurement proofs,” Schadler added. “Since simulations are done in a true free space environment, any issues with the range or anechoic chamber and with the surrounding environment are eliminated, resulting in more reliable azimuth patterns and H/V ratios.”
The use of software also eliminates the lengthy set-up and take down time of models, as well as the need for a technician to adjust the model and take data points by hand. This removes mechanical tolerances and human error affecting the data. Another advantage of designing in a virtual environment is that the geometry can be completely optimized and not compromised by time, materials and tolerances.
Schadler adds that since the start of Repack in 2017, Dielectric has shipped more than 1,000 TV antennas using a virtual-only design process, which has both accelerated design timelines and eliminated the traditional physical design process. Many of these designs have been field verified, further supporting the accuracy of computer simulations.
“It is safe to say that it would have been essentially impossible to design, manufacture, test, and install this many antennas to successfully complete the Post-Incentive Auction Spectrum Repack, in the minimal time allowed, without the use of virtual simulation,” Schadler said. “Another fallout of Repack is that we created a new crop of engineers – HFSS computer simulation super users. ANSYS HFSS is 3D electromatic simulation software tool for designing, simulating and evaluating high-frequency components. New opportunities such as FM pattern studies will take advantage of our engineers’ new expertise.”
HFSS software can make small changes to completely optimize radiation patterns and not be constrained by time and material. This replaces the time-consuming trial-and-error procedures that engineers and technicians have lived with for nearly six decades.
— Brian Galante
HD Radio, touted by parent Xperi Corp. as “the most successfully deployed commercial digital radio system worldwide,” has expanded into the motorbike category.
But, don’t expect any Harley drivers to suddenly start cranking up “97.3 The Coast HD2” while enjoying a ride down to the Florida Keys from Miami anytime soon.
The HD Radio receivers are currently available on the digital dash display of one motorbike brand — an uncommon one across the U.S.
So, who among the nation’s motorcyclists can enjoy HD Radio? The new 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental, the latest addition to the R 18 family, has it.
While it marks another industry first for HD Radio technology, which recently entered the commercial truck market, it also demonstrates that Xperi has a long way to go to get entry into the most commonly used motorcycles.
That said, HD Radio technology is currently available from more than 40 manufacturers across 200 passenger vehicle models and is currently in over 75 million vehicles.
“We are proud that the R 18 Transcontinental marks the first motorbike to offer HD Radio technology,” said Xperi SVP/GM for the Connected Car division, Jeff Jury. “Our entry into the motorbike category is yet another step in our mission to ensure that consumers across the globe have access to the best quality digital radio experience. We are so pleased to continue to partner with BMW, and other OEMs worldwide, as we broaden the reach of HD Radio technology.”
LONDON — AdTonos has appointed Paul Smith as Senior VP of Sales to support the global growth of sales, with a primary focus on the U.K.
Smith has more than 12 years of experience in the radio industry and has successfully managed multiple commercial teams across Great Britain.
In fact, Smith spent much of his career with iHeartMedia investor Global, becoming the youngest Commercial Director at the time.
Smith progressed by joining the Senior leadership team in NewsUKs Wireless group before finally integrating the stations into the Bauer portfolio.
AdTonos is owned by Radio Net Media, an operation designed to monetize podcasts, audiobooks, music and radio streams of over 200 recognized publishers across the U.S., U.K., European Union and in Latin America. Specifically, AdTonos works with online audio publishers and advertisers to deliver ad solutions.
Smith “will strengthen AdTonos’ network of advertising brands so the company can meet the increasing demand for effective, measurable tools within digital audio advertising
and seamlessly connect brands with online radio publishers to utilise the interactive nature of audio,” the company said.
AdTonos CEO Michał Marcinik commented, “Paul’s extensive background in scaling digital advertising solutions, combined with his unrivalled vision of how brands should interact
with their audience makes him the ideal candidate to join AdTonos’ team. Well-recognized
media buyers are actively investing in our audio offering, and the time has come to make it
available to a wider group of advertisers.”
With some vendors saying they’re not going to attend the 2021 NAB Show, Telestream has spoken out regarding its attendance at the early October affair in Las Vegas.
“They’ve got tons to talk about and, despite a reduced presence, will be showing the fruits of their labors especially in regards to technology integrations between products from previous acquisitions,” a spokesperson says.
The workflow automation, media processing, quality monitoring and test and measurement product maker will be using booth C3013 at the NAB Show, from Oct. 9-12 in Las Vegas.
From live and studio production, video on demand and post production, content management, and distribution and monitoring, Telestream has a story to share.
“Attendees will see important updates and enhancements to the company’s wide range of offerings as a direct result of the synergies and integration of intellectual property by development teams provided by the company’s recent acquisitions,” it says.
With rapid analysis, faster diagnosis, and quicker resolution of issues, monitoring and measurement solutions are focused on preserving quality and reducing cost resulting in higher subscriber retention and better business value, Telestream adds.
“It’s been a challenging year and having NAB in October says it all, but the good news is that Telestream has been working closely with top tier organizations to develop processes and workflows that keep them competitive, profitable, and flexible enough to grow in these unprecedented times,” says Scott Murray, SVP Product Marketing at Telestream.
Telestream has continued to advance the state of the art in cloud and hybrid deployments for media processing and video quality assurance. Several Telestream media processing and workflow automation tools will be on display including updated versions of the Vantage Media Processing Platform, ContentAgent, and Lightspeed Live Capture.
The Telestream Cloud suite of services will also be on display allowing customers to mix and match services that meet their specific needs. A brand new, soon to be announced Telestream Cloud service, will make its debut at NAB 2021.
The latest versions of Content Management solutions including Kumulate and DIVA allow customers to easily migrate, update and upgrade their media libraries without affecting day to day operations. Attendees will see how to intelligently manage their storage on-premises, remotely or in the Cloud.
For video quality assurance, new tools for monitoring of QoE and QoS in the production network will be demonstrated. Users benefit from enhanced visibility post origin server of encrypted streams and Dynamic Ad Insertion. Flexible cloud, virtual or appliance-based deployment options are available.
The latest PRISM SDI/IP family waveform monitors will be shown for ST 2110, 4K/8K HDR measurement. PRISM is available in a wide array of form factors and designed to be used in multiple applications from HD-SDI Live Acquisition to 25G ST 2110 IP engineering and diagnostics.
For those unable to attend this year’s show, please visit: https://www.telestream.net/company/events/nab/NAB-2021.htm for more information.
EUREKA, CALIF. — Expanding the range of smart home devices through which radio broadcasters can engage their audiences, streaming and podcast product provider StreamGuys is now offering custom development of Google Actions.
Paralleling the popular Alexa Skills that StreamGuys has been providing for many years, Google Actions enable listeners to access stations’ live and on-demand content on Google smart speakers and other Google-enabled devices through intuitive voice commands.
StreamGuys’ Google Actions creation service allows broadcasters who don’t have their own in-house development capabilities to take advantage of the growing ecosystem of Google smart devices for engaging their audience. Once enabled on a smart device, the custom Actions allow listeners to verbally access not only live streams and podcast episodes, but also additional on-demand content offered by the station. Broadcasters can choose the unique words that users speak to launch their programming, as well as tailoring the interactive experience surrounding their content with customizations such as using their own DJs’ voices for device messages and prompts.
“In today’s media-saturated world, it is important for broadcasters’ brand voice to be presented consistently to their audiences across all listening platforms,” said Eduardo Martinez, Director of Technology at Humboldt County-based StreamGuys. “The ability to create tailored experiences also helps them forge deeper relationships with their listeners than the typical ‘cookie cutter’ approach available through third-party aggregators. Our customers have enjoyed using Alexa Skills to better engage their audiences, and our new Google Actions offering lets them extend these benefits onto Google-enabled devices while providing consistent, cross-platform listener experiences.”
One of the first stations to take advantage of Google Actions developed by StreamGuys is KJTH-FM 89.7 in Ponca, Okla., known as “The House FM.” It is a listener-supported, Oklahoma-based Christian radio broadcaster. Listeners can access the station’s voice-prompted menu by saying “OK Google, ask The House FM to play the live stream” or “OK Google, talk to The House FM”, or go directly to desired content with commands such as “OK Google, play The House of Praise”.
For broadcasters using StreamGuys’ CDN and SaaS-based solutions, tight integration between the Google Actions and StreamGuys’ SGmetadata metadata delivery system also allows live stream listeners to ask questions such as “what’s playing?” or “what song is this?”, with the device then speaking out the current song details.
StreamGuys-created Google Actions can be used on all Google Assistant-compatible devices. This includes native Google devices (Google Nest Audio, Google Nest Hub Max, Google Nest Mini) and third-part smart devices from JBL and Sonos. In addition to dedicated smart home devices, Google Actions are also supported natively on Android smartphones.
The Audio Engineering Society will be a bit of a two-step in October.
Firstly, it will co-habitate with the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Oct. 10–13 for an in-person get-together at the Westgate. Then it will go online for a massive series of sessions and workshops called AES Fall Online 2021.
The main day for the Vegas leg is Monday, Oct. 11, starting at 9 a.m.. Sessions that would be of interest to the Radio World audience include “Those Crazy Remote Broadcasts” (with Kirk Harnack), “Why and Audio Processor Is Necessary” (with Frank Foti), “Using SNMP” (with Jeff Welton, Nautel, and Tony Peterle, WorldCast), “Understanding Audio for SMPTE 2110,” “Guidelines for Streaming Loudness” (with John Kean) and “Maintenance, Troubleshooting and Training.”
Of course there’ll be events and audio celebrities such as Al Schmitt and Chuck Ainley making appearances.
The online session menu is still in development but some items of interest are sparkling.
Listed for Wednesday, Oct. 20 are “Advantages of Using Metadata” (with John Kean), “Planning a Multistation Facility” (with David Skalish, Audacy), “Spatial Audio in Podcasting” (with MPR’s Rob Byers), “Understanding SNMP (with Tom Ray) and “MPX Transport for Broadcast” (with Frank Foti).
Needless to say there are many other sessions that could pique the curiosity of the Radio World reader (Hint: “Dead Tech: Is Anything Ever Really Obsolete?”).
Media workflow solutions provider vCreative is welcoming one of the nation’s biggest Hispanic -focused media and marketing technology companies to its family.
That’s because Babson Park, Fla.-based vCreative has completed its deployment of vPPO, the company’s cloud-based software for radio and digital.
Now using vPPO is Entravision Communications.
vCreative implemented its centralized, collaborative platform to connect all departments involved in the production workflow process across all Entravision locations to manage creative radio projects. “From initial task assignments, talent selection and automated advertiser approvals, through to storage and delivery of all digital, local and agency assets, Entravision users now have complete visibility and control of the critical work that drives revenue for their company,” vCreative says.
Entravision also activated the vCreative integration with WideOrbit’s ad management platform WideOrbit Traffic. This integration helps to eliminate duplicate entry and reduce the labor associated with the production workflow process, vCreative says.
Entravision President/COO Jeffery Liberman says, “From the minute a sale is made, the comprehensive work to craft and deliver the best creative message for our customers begins. vCreative has helped us become more effective and precise with our work, allowing us to be efficient, giving us back time while still guaranteeing the highest quality product.”
Susie Hedrick, CEO of vCreative, adds, “The past 18 months have forced us all to take a fresh look at how we operate and conduct our daily jobs. Entravision is a prime example of a company that has consistently focused on finding innovative ways to drive productivity and bring value to its customers. We are proud to offer additional time-saving technology to their employees, who can now focus more acutely on meaningful work for their customers.”
Entravision also manages 47 radio stations across the U.S., most of them serving Spanish-speaking consumers.
Bill Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Townsquare Media (pictured), and Stuart Rosenstein, the locally focused media company’s Chief Financial Officer, are presently preparing to participate in three upcoming investor events.
This includes the Noble Capital Markets virtual roadshow.
Management will participate in Tuesday’s Noble Capital Markets’ Virtual Road Show Series, presented by Channelchek.
The event will feature a corporate presentation, followed by a Q&A session proctored by Noble Senior Research Analyst Michael Kupinski, featuring questions submitted by the audience.
The live broadcast of the virtual road show is scheduled for tomorrow (9/14) at Noon, Eastern Time.
Later this month, management will participate in the Sidoti Virtual Investor Conference on September 22 and September 23, 2021. Management’s presentation is scheduled to begin at approximately 2:30pm Eastern on Wednesday, Sept. 22. Management will be available for one-on-one meetings with investors on both days.
To register for the presentation or one-on-ones, visit www.sidoti.com/events. Registration is free; one does not need to be a Sidoti client to participate.
Lastly, Townsquare management will participate in the Guggenheim Virtual Broadcast Conference on Wednesday, September 29. Management will be available for one-on-one and small group meetings.
He previously served as Market Manager of the company’s Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss., radio stations.
Now, he’s moving on up to Jackson, the state capital, to lead Alpha Media‘s properties there.
Ricky Mitchell has been named Market Manager of Alpha Media’s Jackson, Miss., station group.
Mitchell returns to Alpha after a stint at El Dorado Broadcasters in Yuma, Ariz.
As Alpha Media Regional President and Chief Compliance Officer Bill McElveen explains, Kevin Webb recently retired after 32 years of running the Alpha/Jackson, Miss., station group. This led to a nationwide search for his successor.
“We began a nationwide search for our next Market Manager, and after interviewing dozens of candidates, we were thrilled to be able to bring back to the Alpha Media family a true son of Mississippi in Ricky Mitchell,” he said.
Mitchell added, “I am thrilled to come home to Mississippi. It’s a tremendous honor to be able to live, work and serve the local Jackson community with such a talented and dedicated team and I can’t wait to get started!”
Mitchell’s first day back with Alpha Media is Thursday, Sept. 16.
The NAB; Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC); and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) late Friday filed a petition with the FCC demanding a stay of the Commission’s order mandating disclosures for foreign government-sponsored programming.
The groups also want the FCC to delay implementation of its order until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rules on a petition for review they’ve just filed, which challenges the order.
Salem Media Group has successfully completed a refinancing effort that effectively sees old debt replaced by new debt.
The move, the company notes, shrinks its debt by more than $9 million.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has selected the Poynter Institute to develop and deliver a new “Digital Transformation Program” designed to educate, assist, and coach up to 80 public media senior leaders on the best strategies and tactics to transform their organization’s digital operations and culture.
The virtual training will be funded by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
A professional with over 28 years of experience in accounting, finance, human resources and business administration has been named GM of nonprofit Adult Alternative “88Nine Radio Milwaukee.”
It’s a woman who was previously the HR manager and accountant.
With Ron Walter’s retirement at the end of August, Nexstar Media Group had a choice to make on his successor as the head of two Volunteer State markets.
That decision has just been made by the nation’s No. 1 licensee of commercially licensed broadcast TV stations.
It’s the parent company of MeTV and several other digital multicast networks that also owns the CW affiliate serving the nation’s third-largest market, as well as the CBS affiliate serving Milwaukee.
Now, Weigel Broadcasting is expanding into the National Capital Region by acquiring a low-power TV facility based in the county seat of Shenandoah County, Va., nearly 100 miles from the White House.
Norman Shapiro‘s Weigel Broadcasting has just signed off on the purchase of two over-the-air broadcast television facilities serving the nation’s second-largest television market.
The seller: An entity that among its properties were low-powered TV stations using VHF Channel 6 to serve radio listeners with audio at 87.7 MHz.
A number of organizations with global interests are endorsing the idea of implementing Common Alerting Protocol as a standard emergency protocol, hoping to achieve universal use by 2025.
“The Call to Action requests a scale up of efforts to ensure that by 2025 all countries have the capacity for effective and authoritative emergency alerting that leverages the CAP, suitable for all media and all hazards,” WBU wrote.
“CAP makes public alerting faster, easier, less error-prone and more understandable. CAP helps a broadcaster be certain that an alert is authentic and authoritative, and to crosscheck alerts from diverse sources. CAP alerts can also be compiled on a map to show how different aspects of the emergency are evolving.”
Among those endorsing this idea is internet pioneer Vint Cerf. He noted that many online users may not receive messages designed for mass media dissemination.
“It easy for internet technologies to deliver CAP alerts to online users, and to life-saving online devices such as sirens, digital signage, bridge controls, bed shakers, etc.,” Cerf wrote in a comment posted on the campaign page. “Let’s build out a future where CAP-enabled alerting becomes a humanitarian feature of all major cloud services and computer operating systems worldwide.”
Organizations supporting this campaign include the International Telecommunication Union, the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, AccuWeather and the International Association of Emergency Managers.
“The CAP uses XML digital standard format for exchanging emergency alerts that allow a consistent alert message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different communication systems,” as described on this Red Cross information page.
CAP is operational in all of North America and most of Europe. The campaign has posted a map showing which countries use CAP or have it under development.
Antenna manufacturer Dielectric is hoping that the Federal Communications Commission will approve a petition to allow computational directional FM antenna pattern modeling.
It said it expects the FCC to give its blessing this fall.
“The new rule paves the way for the first directional FM pattern verification rule change in 58 years — a rule change that passes the torch from physical to AI-driven simulated modeling,” the company stated in a press release. It said broadcasters would benefit through a more efficient and economical antenna modeling process.
The petition was written with consultant Merrill Weiss.
The company said FM broadcast antenna manufacturers currently must build physical models and collect measured data to verify patterns. Its petition proposes that the FCC allow them to transition to computer-based antenna modeling using computational methods, an approach used in other broadcast products including TV station antenna modeling, which has been allowed for the past four yearss.
Dielectric VP of Engineering John Schadler said in the announcement that this change is “simply long overdue. … FM is the only FCC service that still requires a physical range measurement, and anyone who has worked with range measurements knows that accurately measuring radiation patterns is extremely difficult. Simulated pattern verification is much more economical with less chance of error.”
Schadler said simulated antenna modeling will be more accurate. “Since simulations are done in a true free-space environment, any issues with the range or anechoic chamber and with the surrounding environment are eliminated, resulting in more reliable azimuth patterns and H/V ratios.”
The company says this approach also would save time, reduce the impact of human error and facilitate the accuracy of designs.
Virtual simulation, the company added, made it possible for Dielectric to ship more than a thousand TV antennas in the TV industry spectrum repack.
“Another fallout of the repack is that we created a new crop of engineers, HFSS computer simulation super users. ANSYS HFSS is a 3D electromatic simulation software tool for designing, simulating and evaluating high-frequency components,” Schadler said.
Dielectric highlighted the use of artificial intelligence in its process. “We are looking at how external scripts can be used to make smart decision geometry changes based on previous iterations. We see a lot of opportunity for AI and simulation in RF moving forward.”
HD Radio is now available for the first time on a motorbike.
Xperi Corp. announced that HD Radio receivers are available on the digital dash display of the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental.
“This marks another industry first for HD Radio technology, which recently announced it had entered the commercial truck category,” it stated.
The announcement was made by Jeff Jury, Xperi SVP and general manager, Connected Car.
The base model of that bike retails for about $25,000.
“BMW Motorrad continues to be ahead of the innovation curve when it comes to the consumer experience and making sure their motorbike owners have the listening experiences they want,” Jury said in a press release.
Several broadcaster advocacy groups are asking the FCC not to implement its new rule about investigating the sources of programming content, pending the outcome of a legal challenge.
The National Association of Broadcasters, the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters have asked the Federal Communications Commission to stay the implementation of its report and order that requires every TV and radio broadcaster now to independently investigate every programming lessee to determine whether the sponsor is a foreign governmental entity or its agent, “even where the leased programming poses no colorable risk of foreign sponsorship.”
The three organizations recently filed a petition for review of the FCC order in an appeals court.
“The commission should stay the order’s implementation pending the completion of judicial review. This case satisfies the requirements for a stay,” they wrote.
“Petitioners are likely to succeed on the merits because the order flatly contravenes Section 317 of the Communications Act, violates the Administrative Procedure Act and unduly burdens speech in contravention of the First Amendment.”
They said this FCC order will require many broadcasters “to spend tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire and train employees to conduct the required investigations, as well as engage counsel to review their lease agreements and negotiate with lessees to bring existing leases into compliance with the order.
“These unrecoverable costs unreasonably and unnecessarily burden the operations, resources and programming arrangements of broadcast stations across the country … [T]he likely harm from requiring broadcasters to undertake these efforts for thousands of lease agreements— the vast majority of which have no possible connection to foreign governmental entities— outweighs the benefit of such a requirement.”