The Audio Engineering Society has cancelled its AES Vegas 2021 event.
“Due to the evolving realities of the COVID pandemic, the NAB announced its decision to cancel the upcoming in-person Las Vegas convention,” it stated in an announcement.
“The AES convention was collocated with the NAB Show, and following the NAB announcement, the AES will regrettably cancel the in-person AES Show Las Vegas 2021, planned for October 10–13.
“The AES Fall Online program will proceed, with events taking place online between October 16–31, including a broadly focused technical program October 20–23. … Further information is forthcoming for those who have registered for the in-person convention, including converting that registration to experience the online program.”
AES apologized for the change “but we hope you understand that it was not feasible to continue as planned.”
The post AES Show 2021 Is Off After Cancellation of NAB Show appeared first on Radio World.
So in this issue you will find references to some sessions that had been planned for the convention.
But there are plenty of good stories to check out, including a look at the 75-year history of the Broadcast Engineering & IT Conference; the impact of drones in radio broadcast technology; John Bisset’s Workbench column; and plenty more.
The NAB Show is off. The National Association of Broadcasters will not hold its in-person event in Las Vegas next month after all.
Succumbing in the end to effects of the pandemic on the nation’s business, the NAB announced today that the 2021 NAB Show won’t happen.
This comes in the wake of several major exhibitor pullouts at the end of last week.
Until now, the convention organizers had pushed determinedly ahead, hoping to avoid having to go another calendar year without their signature convention. They’d put health precautions in place that included a planned requirement for proof of vaccination.
The announcement also was made on Twitter and in an email to the show community from NAB executive Chris Brown.
“As we have always kept the best interest and safety of the industry as our priority, it has become apparent in the face of these challenges that we can no longer effectively host NAB Show or our co-located events, the Radio Show and Sales and Management Television Exchange, in person,” he wrote.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic and surge of the Delta variant has presented unexpected and insurmountable challenges for our global community.”
The announcement indicated that details were pending regarding virtual versions of some of the show content.
The co-located Audio Engineering Society show also is cancelled, an NAB spokesperson told Radio World.
COVID-19 cases had surged again in recent weeks in parts of the country. Though some smaller industry meetings have taken place in person in the past month or two, the Delta variant has thrown some major event plans into disarray.
Just yesterday, registration opened for CES 2022 in Las Vegas in January. The 2022 NAB Show is scheduled for April.
Broadcast business software developer Marketron has a new tool available for radio and TV ad sales personnel, REV.
The company describes REV as a “sales growth platform.”
It adds, “Unifying the entire sales process on a single platform, Marketron REV streamlines customer, proposal, and order management processes so that sellers can focus more time and energy on selling.”
REV offers an integrated customer relations management section, . “An optimizer feature automatically places spots based on customizable cost efficiency or even placement settings” and “advanced algorithms drive dynamic pricing directly from existing traffic systems, allowing Marketron REV to set spot prices automatically that maximize revenue based on current fill rates, timelines, and other key factors.”
Marketron Senior Vice President of Product Jimshade Chaudhari said, “Because the platform eliminates redundancies, automates administrative tasks, and empowers broadcasters to price inventory more accurately, sellers no longer have that swivel chair experience.”
According to a release REV should also be compatible with other sales platforms.
Send your new equipment news to email@example.com.
SiriusXM is considering shutting down one of the two satellite radio infrastructures that created the combined company, according to the website TheDesk.net.
It quotes remarks by SiriusXM Pandora Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Witz at an investor conference this week.
She said the company is rolling out its new satellite technology and considering plans to shut off one of its older satellite radio platforms.
The website notes that the company is focused on rolling out its 360L system in cars and that once it reaches a certain critical mass, the company will be better positioned to streamline.
It said Witz didn’t specify which of the two platforms SiriusXM was considering for shutdown, but it lays out reasons that the Sirius platform is the one that eventually would be more likely to be shut down.
Most of us have heard the occasional announcement on a non-commercial educational radio station that may have blurred the lines between an underwriting acknowledgement and a commercial advertisement. While most NCE broadcasters no doubt embrace the FCC’s rules on underwriting announcements, some seemingly believe the boundaries are open to interpretation.
Now a LPFM is paying a price for apparently going over the line.
WAWL(LP), licensed to Tri-Cities Broadcasting Foundation in Grand Haven, Mich., has agreed to pay a fine for airing commercial advertising intended to be for underwriting purposes. WAWL operates under a noncommercial educational license. The FCC in a consent decree says the LPFM will pay a $17,500 penalty and that its license would be renewed for a shorter term than usual to ensure ongoing compliance.
A petition to deny WAWL’s license renewal application was filed by WGHN(FM), a competitor in Grand Haven. The commercial station submitted 24 examples of what it called commercials running on the noncom educational LPFM. WGHN Inc. officials wrote: “The content of those announcements appear to advertise rather than simply identify the named sponsor.”
Wendy Hart, vice president of WGHN, wrote that the LPFM “airs spots, ostensibly acknowledging donors, but the content of which sounds virtually identical to commercial advertisements.” The announcements it recorded were for a range of businesses including funeral homes, restaurants and convenience stores.
WGHN also claimed WAWL failed to broadcast educational programming, but the FCC rejected WGHN’s claims on that count and declined to deny license renewal.
“We have negotiated the consent decree adopted herein, in which the licensee acknowledges that it has violated the Underwriting Laws, agrees to make a civil penalty payment to the United States Treasury in the amount of $17,500, and agrees to adopt a compliance plan to prevent further violations of the Underwriting Laws,” the commission staff wrote, adding that after reviewing the record, they thought it best to grant only a short-term renewal to October of 2024.
It appears the broadcasters involved are well acquainted. Eric Kaelin, a former general manager of WGHN, launched WAWL in 2014, according to a report in the Grand Haven Tribune. Kaelin currently serves as president of Tri-Cities Broadcasting Foundation.
For LPFMs wondering where the line is on this issue, consulting group REC Networks has the following advise on its website: “Non-commercial educational stations are not to operate as a profit-making business. This means that NCE stations are unable to carry commercials which promote a business that may have donated (or underwritten) the station. While NCE stations are unable to air commercials, they are permitted to identify for-profit businesses that support the station by announcing their name, contact information and even a non-promotional description of the business.”
The acting chairwoman of the FCC has said she wants to “revitalize” a key advisory panel, and now she has named its members.
Jessica Rosenworcel appointed members to the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council. CSRIC is a federal advisory committee that provides recommendations to the FCC to improve the security, reliability and interoperability of the nation’s communications systems.
Rosenworcel described the council as “one of the nation’s most impactful cybersecurity partnerships” but said that in recent years “this public-private collaboration has faced criticism that its membership gave private companies an outsized voice. Today, we take steps to right that ship.”
She said the restructured group adds federal expertise, public interest participation and diversity, and that it would focus on 5G network security and reliability.
The group is called CSRIC VIII because this is the eighth iteration of the council. The first meeting will be Sept. 22 in a virtual format.
Rosenworcel said the group will be co-chaired by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security. CISA leads a coordinated effort to enhance the security and reliability of cybersecurity and communications infrastructure. She noted that CISA recently co-authored a report on potential threat vectors to 5G infrastructure.
“I am also pleased to report that the membership of CSRIC VIII will reflect more participation from the public interest community than any other CSRIC to date. This means that the public and consumers also will have a voice on issues that ultimately affect their safety and security.”
The co-chairs will be Billy Bob Brown, Jr., executive assistant director for emergency communications at CISA, and Nasrin Rezai, senior vice president & chief information security officer of Verizon Communications.
Below is a list of members; an asterisk after a name means the member represents the entity listed after their name on CSRIC.
Brandon Abley, Director of Technology, National Emergency Number Association
Rob Alderfer, Vice President, Technology Policy, Charter Communications
Colin B. Andrews, Senior Director, Government Affairs, Telecommunications Industry Association
Mark Annas, Emergency Services Administrator, City of Riverside Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management
Mike Barnes, Product Security Officer & Quality Leader, Mavenir
Michael Bergman, Vice President, Technology and Standards, Consumer Technology Association
Donna Bethea-Murphy, Senior Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs, Inmarsat
Shirley Bloomfield, Chief Executive Officer, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association
Mary A. Boyd, Vice President, Government Regulatory Affairs, Intrado
Wade Buckner, Chief, City of Southside Fire & Rescue*, International Association of Fire Chiefs
Brian K. Daly, Assistant Vice President, AT&T, Inc.
Marla Dowell, Director, Communications Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Andrew L. Drozd, President & Chief Scientist, ANDRO Computational Solutions
Katherine Elkins, Emergency Medical Services Specialist, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Public Knowledge
Craig Fugate, Chief Emergency Management Officer, America’s Public Television Stations
Micaela Giuhat, Director, 5G Policy and External Engagement, Microsoft Corporation
Dana Golub, Vice President, Technology Business Operations, Public Broadcasting Service
Stephen Hayes, Director, North American Standards, Ericsson
Mark Hess, Senior Vice President, Business and Industry Affairs, Comcast Corporation
Rittwik Jana, Chief Architect of Radio Access Network, VMWare, Inc.
Antwane Johnson, Deputy Assistant Administrator (Acting), National Continuity Programs & Director, Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U. S. Department of Homeland Security
Everett Kaneshige, Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors
Javed Khan, Director, 5G Product Management, Altiostar Networks
Farrokh Khatibi, Director, Technical Standards, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
Jason Lish, Chief Security Officer, Lumen Technologies, Inc.
Jennifer Manner, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Hughes Communications
Maureen C. Mclaughlin, Vice President, Public Policy, Iridium*, Satellite Industry Association
Danny McPherson, Executive Vice President & Chief Security Officer, Verisign, Inc.
William Mikucki, Vice President, Technical Operations, Safety and Securities Technologies, Comtech Telecommunications Corp.
Susan Miller, President & CEO, Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions
Derek Peterson, Co-Director, Wireless Broadband Alliance
Krisztina Pusok, Director, Policy and Research, American Consumer Institute
Mark Reddish, Senior Counsel & Manager, Government Relations, Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials
Travis Reutter, Director, Network Management, Metronet*, ACA Connects- America’s Communications Association
John Roese, Global Chief Technology Officer, Dell Technologies
Travis Russell, Head, Cybersecurity Office, Oracle Communications
Francisco Sánchez, Jr., Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
Tom Sawanobori, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, CTIA
Tim Schram, Commissioner, Nebraska Public Service Commission*, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commission
Sean Scott, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Technology Officer, SecuLore Solutions
Paul Steinberg, Senior Vice President, Technology, Motorola Solutions
Peter Tomczak, Program Manager, Spectrum Coordination and Clearance, FirstNet Authority
Claire Vishik, Intel Fellow & Chief Technology Officer, Global Government Affairs, Intel
Steve Watkins, Executive Director, Strategic Technology Policy, Cox Communications
George Woodward, President & CEO of Trilogy Networks*, Rural Wireless Association
Henry Young, Director, Policy, BSA | The Software Alliance
Timothy Youngblood, Senior Vice President, Chief Security Officer, & Product Security Officer, T-Mobile
The post Rosenworcel Names Members to Revamped Advisory Group appeared first on Radio World.
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?”).
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.”
The author of this commentary is chair of the Digital Radio Mondiale consortium.
Though not out of the COVID-19 woods yet, there is an increasing feeling of great separation between the sad times of the 2020 and the possibly more positive, life-affirming “after the pandemic” feeling of 2021.
Things have changed in our radio, or audio, media universe. There has been a clear increase in use of technology and gadgets. Streaming and podcasting have ballooned. Even the older generation has caught up technologically with the savvier youngsters. Boomers and Millennials Zoom weekly together (at least a third over 65 years old in the U.S. do so, according to OnePoll) and use “hearables” (earbuds, headphones etc.).
Radio usage has remained high all this time, as radio has proven a great utility staple, valued for its immediacy, simplicity, companionship and, lately, mood enhancement and escape.
Crossing Digital Currents
This has not remained unnoticed by the tech giants appropriating and using radio formats or even setting up what could only be described as “radio stations.” Thus Amazon is reported to be building out a live audio platform meant to disrupt traditional radio and rival the likes of Clubhouse or Spotify’s new live audio platform, in Axios at the end of August (“Scoop: Amazon Quietly Building Live Audio Business”). The idea is for Amazon to be paying podcast suppliers, celebrities, musicians to stimulate live conversations and events (old-style chat and live radio shows), all to be accessed through Amazon and possibly on gadgets like Alexa. In other words, a sort of curated radio content but on subscription. Attractive radio on payment, a sort of Netflix for the ears. Is this then the way to integrate radio into the new media reality?
Not oblivious to these developments, radio stations themselves have invested in streaming and developing a stable of attractive podcasts. Different research studies show that listeners are engaging more actively with broadcasters if they also enjoy streaming or podcasting. They seem to be (at least in the U.S.) younger, more mobile, the kind of listeners which advertisers are interested in.
So, radio stations linking to the social media or OTT space are doing it for various reasons: it is the trend (they can become “digital,” though not truly digital in the broadcast sense), there is a need to attract or keep audiences for public stations and maximise advertising profits for the private stations. In the specific case of commercial stations, this blend of broadcast and podcast, or IP type of presence, is a very useful way of increasing revenue in an industry enjoying increased popularity but lower ad dollars during the pandemic.
Even in a place like India, where radio has only a fraction of the advertising pie (2–3%) and where ad revenue has been greatly affected by the pandemic, this blend is important. Getting advertising on radio “extensions,” like podcasts, has become a necessity as radio still commands a key place for Indian advertisers. “Radio is a preferred partner for brands owing to its mass, local reach and high engagement,” says Megha Ahuja, VP – digital media planning, Carat India.(“Changing the Frequency”)
We seem to be witnessing crossing currents with social media and big tech veering towards radio, but increasingly on subscription, and radio trying to maximise use by using platforms while trying to maintain its universality. Are these currents then intersecting or merging?
Where Is Digital Radio in This?
Digital radio is definitely of the new digital age, as the audio quality of broadcasts and the extra features make it an almost new digital platform accessible primarily in the car (where analog AM and FM suffer interference) and then on mobiles and in the homes. In DRM, available on all broadcast bands, the FM sound quality in AM is evidently superior to any old-style analog sounds your grandparents might have enjoyed. Internet content, images, multilanguage content, not to mention disaster warnings, education bites or fully illustrated lessons with sound and pictures and traffic info are all possible and available. Particularly the potential to deliver education through audio and visual material, even from the internet, but without requiring internet, has come to the fore in pandemic times, especially in places still learning about podcasting.
And if only digital radio is available, you can create your own podcast by recording favorite programming and playing it later, while the program schedule is available at a touch of a button. All this can be done using terrestrial waves and not glass fibers and valuable bandwidth, another commodity in short supply. Regulators feel the bandwidth pinch already with all the podcasts and other frilly bits in demand. And so do policy makers who hope that flying the unfinished 5G banner for broadcasting or waiting for another miraculous technology will get them off the hook. They seem to be hoping that the big investment and change needed to roll out digital radio will be thus unnecessary. This probably also drives the big buzz around social media among broadcasters. But in absolute terms, this is still minute compared with radio listening. If radio could offer more using digital standards, while keeping its core values and heart, the media landscape would be richer.
Son of Broadcasting
The miraculous blend technology is already here. It is called digital radio and needs to be supported and deployed seriously, so that informative, local, exciting and engaging or educational radio, and not music by subscription, remains available to all. The switchover to digital radio has been slow, with varying degrees of success in the U.K., U.S., Europe, where the switch-off dates are being kicked into the long grass (see recent decision in Switzerland). Other countries, like India, have had a great head start. The hope is that complicated evaluations and analysis will not detract now from sticking with the complete open, not company-owned DRM standard (in FM, too). This decision would give confidence to the receiver industry (who will not engage in producing them unless there is a clear official commitment and announcement), to the listeners.
Digital radio (e.g., DRM and other recognized open standards) is a neat solution, more robust, doing away with the blight of interference experienced in analog. DRM offers more channels, more choice and many digital extra benefits. There needs to be a communication step change so that decisionmakers take the right decision, while there is increased acceptance of a mixed media landscape in which broadcast and podcast can co-exist and enhance each other.
So, you might want to accept an “invitation” to Clubhouse (its clever trick) or subscribe to many podcasts (and probably listen to just a few) but you are still very likely to still switch on your (digital) car radio and enjoy so much more, while stuck in traffic.
The technology has to work but the digital content, well linked to social media, must be attractive to start with. Podcasting remains the son of broadcasting, but sons often want to emulate and surpass their fathers.
The post Making Digital Radio Part of the New Multimedia Landscape appeared first on Radio World.
Mike Johnson is the principal engineer for Mike Johnson Broadcast Technology in Portland, Ore. He read our column about the CATV F-to-RJ45 adapter and realized he had something to contribute to the discussion.
While Mike was helping build out the new facility for All Classical Portland in 2014, a coworker showed him an adapter he had discovered to make the connection between StudioHub and AES3 digital audio simple.
The solution is to use the three-pin XLR DMX lighting standard, which was later adapted to work over RJ45 cables. Like the CATV adapter we described, it uses the first pair in the Category cable. The adapters are available as short, three-pin XLR male or female plugs on one end to RJ45 jacks. The photo shown here is typical; you can find that connector at markertek.com, type DMX-5XF-CAT5 into the Search field.
The DMX standard started out with a five-pin XLR, but it didn’t need all five pins. Sweetwater has a discussion on understanding DMX.
These DMX adapters eliminate the need to use a dual XLR-to-RJ45 adapter dongle for AES3 digital, which results in an unnecessary, awkward right channel XLR connector (since the AES3 signal only travels on the left analog connector). The DMX adapters are short and can be plugged directly into the equipment, making for a neat, uncluttered conversion.A little strip tease
San Diego’s Marc Mann says Frank Hertel’s choice of silicone-jacketed wire in his LED fixture dimmer project reminded him of an interesting experience.
First, Marc notes that to his knowledge, silicone-covered wire was reserved for premium test leads, as the flexibility of the jacket allows the probe clips to remain in position. The silicone formulation is also heat-resistant.
Raise your hand if you don’t have at least one pair of test leads with a soldering iron burn on the jacket! Marc chose the silicone-covered wire when he needed to make some six-foot leads for his power supply. He purchased some 16 and 18 AWG (American Wire Gauge) wire from Ali Express and eBay. Each length of cable was manufactured off-shore.This 18-gauge wire actually measured 20-gauge; note the red arrow.
When he stripped the lead off the 18 Gauge wire, the wire pulled straight out of the jacket. Not just one strand, but all of the strands. No matter how cautious Marc was to strip just the jacket, the wire still pulled through — the silicone jacket was not bonded to the wire!
The wire was also mismarked. Although the jacket said 18 Gauge, it was actually closer to 20 AWG.
Marc then discovered that he did not have 100 percent copper wire, rather CCA or copper-clad aluminum.
From another website, Marc learned that the advantage to CCA wire is that it is lighter and more flexible. The cost of CCA versus oxygen-free copper wire is also much lower.
So Marc warns buyers to confirm the composition and specifications of the wire you are buying, especially from online sources. If your application is critical, such as in a high-power transmitter, the variations could make a difference.Little light, big impact
Glynn Walden, too, dropped us a note about Frank Hertel’s LED dimmer circuit, and commented how far LEDs have come since his first experience.
Glynn was in his fourth year of engineering studies at Florida International University, when someone brought in a new diode that emitted a visible red glow when it was placed on a curve tracer! Glynn says this was around the time that the 555 Integrated Circuit (IC) was replacing all of the old mechanical timers.
He writes that he could never have dreamed that this little light-emitting chip would one day replace the incandescent bulbs in a console, let alone the headlights in your car or the light bulbs in your home. Or, for that matter, the beacons on a tower.
Agreed. We are fortunate to be living in such a time where the innovations and improvements just keep on coming.
Glynn is retired from CBS Radio as a senior VP of engineering, but he is probably best known as the father of the in-band, on-channel digital broadcast system now known as HD Radio.Filter reminder The Filtrete Smart app will remind you about scheduled filter changes and provides other tips and alerts.
Speaking of improvements, 3M’s Filtrete pleated air filters division offers an app that lets you set reminders for changing filters or ordering replacements. The app can also take into account air quality in your region so you’re changing filters based not only on time but on air quality.
In online reviews, users say the app saves them money because they don’t change filters too soon. Filtrete also has a filter model with a built-in sensor linked by Bluetooth to your phone, though according to some of the reviewers, the reliability of this new feature seems questionable.
In any case, if you’re looking for a quick reminder for filter replacement, this app may be for you. It’s available on at Apple Store or Google Play, or search “Filtrete Smart App.”
On a related note, I had my home air conditioning system serviced recently and I noticed the technician jotting something on his hand. I asked what it was and he told me it was to remember the thermostat set point when he was resetting the thermostat after his testing.
He told me that he was using the “original palm pilot.”
John Bisset, CPBE, has spent over 50 years in broadcasting and is in his 31st year writing Workbench. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. Workbench submissions are encouraged and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The post Workbench: This Adapter Simplifies AES Connections appeared first on Radio World.
From our People News page: John Davis will join Wheatstone’s support team. He will be based in Houston.
He currently is sales and support manager for Logitek Electronic Systems, where he has worked for almost 20 years and been a familiar voice on the phone or face in the company’s convention booths.
“John has a background in AoIP support of almost 20 years and has previous experience in broadcast automation as the marketing manager for OMT Technologies,” Wheatstone said in the announcement.
“In addition to his automation and IP audio networking background, he brings to Wheatstone 18 years of on-air experience with Cox Radio Inc. He continues to fill in on weekends at Cox Radio’s Houston stations.”
Davis also worked earlier for Nationwide Communications and Sundance Broadcasting, and he is a partner in LFD Communications, a Texas PR and marketing agency, according to his LinkedIn bio. He studied journalism at Arizona State University.
“I’ll be leaving Logitek with nothing but respect for Tag Borland and company,” Davis wrote in a social media post, “but I’m excited for the future.”
Send announcements involving radio technology and executive management hires to email@example.com.
Automation systems, sometimes referred to as playout systems, are a critical asset at many if not most radio stations. These systems can range from small and economical to enterprise-scale.This article is excerpted from the ebook “Automation: The Next Phase.” Click the cover to read it.
Regardless of the scope and complexity of the system you use, at some point you’ll be tasked with expanding, upgrading or outright replacing it.
More often than not, station management opts to stay with the same automation supplier versus making a complete change.
Transitioning to a different system typically means extra work and more disruption to everyday station operations, including retraining everyone. It has been said that the best automation system is the one you know.
But does that system give you room to adapt to current technology and workflows?
For the past 15 years, automation systems have done a good job at providing hard drive space, memory, speed, networking, metadata, file management, uptime and GUIs.
The days of having to reboot your hardware every day or compressing audio files to fit on the drive are long gone for most systems. Options we needed to weigh in earlier purchasing are no longer an issue with today’s systems, which are rich in features, reliability and capacity.
So what key questions should you ask instead?Are you thinking about moving to the cloud?
If you are considering either a full cloud infrastructure or a hybrid approach, make sure your supplier has a dedicated development team devoted to the cloud. Cloud-based playout is no easy task; you’ll do well to purchase from a company with dedicated resources.
Cloud technology for broadcast is still in its early stages. You want to ensure that the company you choose to saddle up with is committed to innovation for the long term.
Be aware that cloud playout will be billed as an ongoing software cost, typically monthly or annually. So your capital expenditure goes down — there is less hardware to purchase — but your operational expenses go up.
Think about how that might affect your profitability, and consider other op-ex costs to reduce due to advantages such as less hardware and technical support on-site. Those considerations could lead to a reduced real-estate footprint, decreased maintenance costs or other synergies.
Whether you move to the cloud now or in the future, ensure that your automation provider does not limit your options down the road.What is your cybersecurity posture?
More importantly, does your current or proposed automation system fit within it?
Cyber attacks, system hijacks and ransomware are real and present threats and should not be ignored. Sure, you may have firewalls and tight network security inside your plant. But if something sneaks through, taking advantage of a zero-day exploit, you could be in big trouble.
What protection mechanisms does your automation system have? What redundancy in situations like this does it offer? That might be reason enough to buy a system that offers at least some form of hybrid cloud that allows for almost instant service restoral.Will my system support interoperability?
It is not uncommon lately to find a myriad of technologies in the studio. There are the standard fader consoles, glass (touchscreen) mixers, AoIP networks, video cameras, lighting systems, remote voice tracking, geographically diverse studios, and more.
If your studio doesn’t have some of these things yet, it will someday. Conduct a detailed review of the interoperability of the proposed system. Ask about how easily it interfaces to AoIP protocols, especially the control layer.
The system should be able to handle basic camera control for visual radio. How easily does it manage remote connections to other locations, especially work-from-home situations that are common in the pandemic? We all made it work, but how simple was the workflow?
The bottom line is that you should ensure your next automation purchase can easily integrate into and improve your workflows. You should not have to “work around” the system to make things play nice.Are they a vendor or a partner?
I think most of us would agree that purchasing an automation system is about as significant as it gets. You can have the best console, transmitter and talent, but everyone suffers without a functional playout system. That includes the audience.
So when choosing, ask yourself if the manufacturer is someone you’d consider as a business partner who is there for you before, during and after the sale and installation.
Like airplanes and consoles, a playout system, once installed, is in operation for many years. This is not something you’ll be swapping out every year.
Take a close look at your proposed partner’s bench strength. How many employees do they have? We all know how important technical support is. How experienced is their support team? What is their track record for development and focus on the product line?
Are they financially sound? You want them to be around for a long time, and you want them to have funding to pursue research and development well into the future. Some companies make a friendly playout system but do not have the funding to develop future technologies or adapt to changing workflows.
Does the company listen to feedback and incorporate suggestions into future releases? How often do they update their software (ask about minor releases and major version updates)? Do they have a presence in the country where you operate?What’s my game plan?
As in any significant station project, make sure you have a plan from the start.
This means you should have a strong understanding of why you are changing or upgrading your automation system. You may need to revisit this question as you dig into the costs and resources needed to execute the plan. It is not uncommon for a stakeholder to ask, “Tell me again why we are going through all this effort and expense.” If you can’t justify the necessities, you may run into obstacles receiving the final sign-off.
Identify your upgrade and conversion team ahead of time and designate a leader and key decision-makers. Typically, these working groups will include representatives from engineering, programming, operations, finance/management and sales. Each of these departments is affected by the choice of system and feature set, so it is best to include them early in the process.
In summary, don’t approach the purchase as though it is a simple piece of gear.
The author is a veteran engineering executive and owner of Kline Consulting Group LLC
The post With Automation, You’re Buying More Than a Product appeared first on Radio World.
The author is project manager with AEQ.
Luis Buñuel High School is in Móstoles, a city of just over 200,000, west of Madrid. It is a public training center that develops intermediate-and higher-level professional education, including specializations in media, TV and radio.
The school recently inaugurated a digital radio studio with AEQ technology including Capitol-IP digital audio mixer and attendant AEQ studio accessories.
The studio has five talent positions, professional radio automation software, a technical control position and the necessary equipment to produce radio programs in a professional way with professional material.
Several AEQ accessories were installed in the radio studio to make work easier.
These include the AEQ Studiobox, a signaling box that facilitates the interaction of the talent with the controller. Among other buttons, it has a mute or cough button.The AEQ Studiobox is shown in use at Luis Buñuel High School.
There is also a button in the Buñuel radio Studioboxes, labeled “Tech,” a talkback control. With it, even in the middle of an on-air announcement, the user interrupts the on-air microphone to give instruction to the controller who listens through his monitors or headphones. In addition, the Studiobox’s unique ring will be green when the studio is ready to open microphones and red when the microphones are live on-air.
Also in the studio are AEQ HB 02 microphone panels. These provide connection of the microphone and the headphones of each user, and allow an individual control of the listening level in their headphones.
For AoIP interfacing, AEQ’s Netbox 4 MH allows connection to the audio network via IP, up to four input channels for microphone or analog lines and four output channels, for stereo headset and analog lines. Netbox 4 has GPIOs for signalling terminals such as Studiobox. It can be powered by PoE.
This device is responsible for connecting the studio microphones to the IP network, making it available not only in the control but also in any of the audio editing workstations for students to prepare their individual audio files to practice assembling news and interview summaries.
The NAB Show is set for October in Las Vegas.
Wade Witmer is deputy director of the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System, or IPAWS, Program Management Office in FEMA National Continuity Programs. This is one in a series of interviews with exhibitors ahead of the show.
Radio World: What is your news or message for NAB Show attendees?
Wade Witmer: Our message is “IPAWS Loves Broadcast Resilience.”
With the modernization of the National Public Warning System — NPWS Primary Entry Point or “PEP” stations — the opening of our new 24/7 Technical Support Services Facility and our advocacy to the Federal Communications Commission for the recent changes to EAS, FEMA wishes to show the continued viability of EAS and our support for broadcasters.
We invite NAB Show attendees to the FEMA exhibit, where they can talk with our experts on EAS usage and all things alerting.
The 2021 IPAWS National Test, conducted Aug. 11, delivered the EAS portion of the test via the broadcast “daisy chain.” We want to hear attendees’ experiences receiving and forwarding the test to their audiences.
RW: What are the most important trends or changes in alerting?
Witmer: First, we’re watching the development of advanced alerting capabilities in ATSC 3.0.
Also, IPAWS-OPEN, FEMA’s central alert message aggregator, has been moved from brick-and-mortar servers to a cloud provider. This gives us the flexibility and resilience to survive connectivity issues and localized data-center issues.
The IPAWS PMO has updated the training materials and documentation it offers Alerting Authorities, which are agencies of state, local, tribal and territorial governments authorized to send public alerts through IPAWS.
Further, the FCC has affirmed the important role of State Emergency Communications Committees in planning for public alerting. The IPAWS PMO looks forward to coordinating with SECCs to fine-tune and improve their plans.
Finally, FEMA is coordinating with the FCC about Persistent EAS Alerts as called for in the National Defense Authorization Act. FEMA notes that these types of emergency alerts “should persist on EAS until the alert time has expired or is cancelled by the alert originator.”
RW: How has the pandemic affected the organization’s work?
Witmer: Our staff has maintained contact with Alerting Authorities, Alert Origination Software Providers and regulatory agencies by email, teleconferencing and telephone. If anything, because of the critical demands of emergency events at this time, our communications have improved.
FEMA teams continue to travel to NPWS stations to supervise facilities construction, testing and maintenance.
RW: Anything else we should know?
Witmer: The National Weather Service is not posting their weather alerts and warnings to the IPAWS EAS Feed. Broadcasters need to know that the only source for NWS alerts for EAS participants is via NOAA Weather Radio or another custom source.
Several big-name TV exhibitors announced in the past several days that they won’t exhibit at the NAB Show in October. The pandemic continues to play havoc with major industry trade shows 18 months after it swept across the United States.
Canon issued a statement Friday afternoon: “Due to the ongoing health and safety concerns presented by the COVID-19 Delta variant, Canon has made a carefully considered decision to withdraw from this year’s NAB and InfoComm Shows. The communities that NAB and InfoComm represent are something that we will greatly miss this year, but the health and safety of our team members, customers, and potential show guests is our number one priority.”
Ross Video on Friday morning issued an announcement, “As time has passed since the revised dates for 2021 were announced, it has become increasingly apparent that the challenges posed by the fluctuating public health situation in Nevada (and elsewhere around the world), travel restrictions into the USA, logistics and general uncertainty among exhibitors and potential attendees are, regrettably, too great to enable Ross to participate.” Ross is based in Canada.
Also on Friday, the website of Sports Video Group reported that Panasonic had withdrawn from the NAB Show.
And earlier in the week, Sony Electronics said it would not exhibit at either the NAB Show or InfoComm, though it planned a press conference at the NAB Show prior to its opening. Sony quoted Theresa Alesso, president of the Pro Division of Sony Electronics, saying, “While these events are an important forum to reach our customers and introduce new products, this is a choice we made to ensure we’re putting our employees’ and our partners’ health and well-being first.”
Responding to the Sony news, NAB Senior VP of Communications Ann Marie Cumming told AV Network on Tuesday that Sony is a valued partner and NAB respected its decision. “Recognizing that NAB Show is an economic engine for our industry, we are committed to delivering a productive in-person experience and have taken important steps to prioritize the safety of our community, including requiring proof of vaccination,” Cumming said Tuesday, estimating that there were some 600 exhibiting companies planning to show.
There was no immediate comment from NAB on the subsequent departures.
It’s remarkable and unsettling to think that 20 years have passed since that day.
Like most of us over the age of 35 or so, I know exactly where I was on 9/11. Shortly before 9 a.m., I was settling in for a day’s work in my Radio World office overlooking Columbia Pike in northern Virginia.
My colleague Terry Scutt called in from her desk near my office door, telling me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.
I immediately pictured a small single-engine aircraft, though my mind also turned to the B-25 bomber that had struck the Empire State Building in 1945. In that tragedy, which took 14 lives, the ESB itself, though seriously damaged, withstood the crash. I knew that story because I was born in Manhattan and have always held a special feeling for the city.
Vaguely uneasy, I tried to envision what the World Trade Center would look like after a plane had struck it.
Of course I went online to see if I could learn more about what had happened, but the internet was locked up.
Now people were talking in the hallway, saying unbelievable things. That this maybe wasn’t an accident but an attack. Though my memory is fuzzy about the sequence, at some point someone turned on a television, and I no longer had to try to imagine what a skyscraper looked like after being hit by an aircraft.
Unbelievably, within 17 minutes, a second plane struck, and then we knew for sure that these were no accidents. Like the rest of the country, I and my co-workers felt a rising sense of fear along with our horror.
[Related: A Timeline of 9/11]
What we didn’t know in the office was that, even as we tried to absorb these two stomach-wrenching developments, Flight 77, coming from the west, was making a looping maneuver almost directly above our own heads — not once but twice. More murderers were pointing another plane at another target.
Radio World’s office sat 4.7 miles from the home of the American military. The road outside my window pointed directly at the Pentagon, and the jet was now flying directly parallel to that road.
Shortly after it passed over our heads a second time, it struck.
What follows in my memory is even more blurred. Sirens began to scream on Columbia Pike as emergency vehicles rushed to the northeast. Some of us went to the roof and could see smoke rising from the crash site. Office mates were crying and trying to call their spouses and children. Rumors flew in our hallways of yet more planes taken, more terrorists in the air, a threat to the White House. Someone said a bomb had gone off at the State Department.
All this while, images on the TV showed the two towers burning, with people visible in the upper floors, waving, pleading for help. We knew there had to be hundreds if not thousands of people in there. The news anchors were talking in hushed, frightened voices.
Without mercy, the hammer blows continued.
A tower, astonishingly, collapsed in front of our eyes.
A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania.
A second tower crumbled.
And all under that bright-blue, cloudless sky. Forever, the blue sky of late summer in Virginia will remind me of that day.
The attacks involved the broadcasting industry not just because it was news but because WTC was home to significant television and radio infrastructure.
That infrastructure was lost and stations were knocked off the air. But human beings tended those transmission plants. Bob Pattison, Don DiFranco, Steve Jacobson, Bill Steckman, Rod Coppola and Isaias Rivera were among the almost 3,000 people who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
Shock. Fury. Numbness.
How does one speak about the unspeakable? I feel nausea coming back even as I dig up these memories.
What lesson is to be learned?
To never forget? Certainly. To honor those who died, and to revere those who rush toward such disasters, rather than away from them, to help? Yes. To cherish our lives every day, to try to remember in these divisive times that some values bind Americans together, and that we should be kinder to one another? To work against hate and fanaticism and those who would attack our home and our values?
But the feeling is so empty. The loss was so pointless. Americans seem angrier with one another than ever.
And the years move on.
Wherever you find yourself tomorrow morning, please join me and Radio World in remembering those who died; those who lived and saw their lives shattered; and those who answered the call for help.
Paul McLane is editor in chief of Radio World.