January 18 Meeting: LTE for Broadcast

Moseley Event LTE transceiver
Moseley Event LTE transceiver

TV stations are in a frustrating position these days with respect to electronic news gathering. The science of bonded cellular LTE has matured to the point of being quite practical for carrying HD news video over much of our metro areas. However, operating costs are high and you can’t depend on it at locations that are either crowded so that the cell site bandwidth is used up or in rural areas with sketchy cell coverage. On the other hand, microwave ENG requires expensive site leases, expensive maintenance, and vehicles with tall masts and skilled operators. Ka-band satellite ENG has significant upfront and operating costs. So what’s happened in many TV stations is a slow build-up of OpEx and CapEx that are trying the patience of your bean counters.

What if you could replace your maintenance- and operations-intensive rotating parabolic antennas with sector antennas and a simple transceiver? Says Moseley:

EVENT LTE™ is a bidirectional, point-to-multipoint microwave system that employs state-of-the-art LTE OFDMA wireless technology with advanced MIMO in both uplink and downlink, tailored specifically for ENG service to provide two or more times the bandwidth capacity of conventional single-stream systems. The channel- and traffic-aware dynamic bandwidth allocation, quality of service and security features enable EVENT LTE™ system to offer highly reliable and secure ENG service, support multiple applications with varying requirements, and facilitate the dynamic addition of new trucks in the field. EVENT LTE™ base station supports multiple collocated or non-overlapping sectors. The robust design and scalable architecture allows for uninterrupted service even in demanding non-line-of-sight deployments and facilitates organic growth of the ENG infrastructure enabling significant capital and operations savings.

Join us for a presentation on BAS LTE Wednesday, January 18th at 12 noon at KFMB stations, 7677 Engineer Road, San Diego. Moseley buys lunch. As always, members and guests are invited.

New Engineers Join KFMB

KFMB hired two Broadcast Maintenance Engineers in November.

Julio Ramirez, KFMB Staff Engineer
Julio Ramirez, KFMB Broadcast Engineer

The AM/FM/TV combo hired Julio Ramirez, previously with the Signal Wiz contract engineering company assisting with maintenance at KPRI (FM), KSDY-LD, and other clients. More recently, he had done IT work at XETV for Paul Redfield’s Orbdot contracting services company, and tech support for ESET security software. Julio enjoys music and photography after hours.

Joseph Pandolfo, KFMB Broadcast Engineer
Joseph Pandolfo, KFMB Broadcast Engineer

KFMB also hired Joseph Pandolfo, past Chief Engineer at each KMIR Palm Springs, WTXL Tallahassee and WDBD Jackson. He had also served with Harris Broadcast as server product field support engineer. He’s been a member of SBE since 1984 and has a CBNT certification.

FCC Catches Up to LA Area Radio Pirates

In early December, 2016, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability, proposing a $25,000 fine for Iglesia el Remanente Fraternidad Elim in Panorama City in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. That church has operated a radio station on 93.7 MHz while repeatedly ignoring FCC requests to shut down since 2013. In fact, the website continues to publicize the FM pirate station.

In a second Panorama City church pirate radio case, field agents traced a signal at 95.1 FM back to an antenna atop the Ministerio Internacional Luz A Las Naciones church after they received complaints about the station in March 2015. They warned the property tenant, Nelson Quintanilla, that his continued unlicensed operations could lead to more than a warning. But the station remained on the air despite repeated warnings to Quintanilla—who at one point admitted to agents he was responsible for the station. The Enforcement Bureau says when agents returned to the church in October 2016, the station was broadcasting again. They are also proposing a $25,000 fine for this case.

SBE 36 Holiday Luncheon a Roaring Good Time

SBE 36 Holiday Luncheon at Mimi's Cafe in Mission Valley, December 2016.
SBE 36 Holiday Luncheon at Mimi’s Cafe in Mission Valley, December 2016.

The SBE gang held its annual holiday luncheon this year at Mimi’s Cafe in Mission Valley and had a great time of it. Congratulations to those who walked out with prizes. Nigel Worrall received a ham radio handi-talkie from RF Specialties. Bob Gonsett, Steve Frick, and Barbara Lange walked off with chocolates or wine from Piper Digital and Utah Scientific. Everyone got great food and conversation.

SBE Chapter 36 Gets UHF Amateur Radio Repeater

Mt. Soledad in La Jolla is now home to another radiator, KI6KHB/F. A new Yaseu Fusion repeater is broadcasting on 445.540 -. It is in Auto mode meaning if you transmit FM, the output will be FM. If you’re using the digital C4FM mode, the output will be in C4FM.

Frequency: 445.540 -, PL 88.5Hz, DSQ code: 36

Repeater output is 25 watts TPO on a station master omni antenna right above the roof line at the KGTV site.

Note: This repeater is coordinated with SCRRBA and is co-channel with the WB6AJE repeater on Mt. Wilson in Los Angeles. Outside Oceanside there may be overlap between the two machines so we’re suggesting only use the repeater if within the county.

Local broadcast engineers are encouraged to use the new repeater.

Huge thanks to Chris Durso, Gary Stigall, Bob Vaillancourt, John Bush and many others that made this year long project a reality.

ki6khb-f

(Matthew Wilson Anderson installed the system and wrote this article.)

KURS Sold to El Sembrador Ministries

KURS 1040 kHz AM San Diego
KURS 1040 kHz AM San Diego

RadioInsight.com reported last week: “El Sembrador Ministries is exercising its option to purchase silent 1040 KURS San Diego CA from Quetzal Bilingual Communications for $900,000. El Sembrador is being credited half of its time brokerage fees paid since July 2014 subtracting $310,000 from the money owed. KURS went silent in early October after failing to pay tower owner Multicultural Broadcasting due rent. $10,816 from the deposit paid to Quetzal will go to Multicultural to restore the station’s use of the tower.”

In June this year, the FCC issued a $12,000 monetary forfeiture and short-term renewal for KURS(AM) for failure to prepare issues and program’s lists in the Station’s public file and to file biennial ownership reports.

The same station was issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for violating output power limits in June 1999.

Jaime Bonilla, associated with Quetzal Bilingual Communications, also owns group Media Sports de Mexico stations XHPRS Tecate (operated by Broadcasting Corporation of America as Max 105.7), XEPE 1700 kHz (also operated by BCA), XESDD 1030 kHz Tijuana, and XESS 620 kHz Rosarito, Mexico. XESDD was noted by local engineers for its dial position only 10 kHz away from co-owned KURS, less than 20 miles away.

New Tijuana DTV Station on Channel 33

A new DTV signal appeared last month on physical channel 33.  An informed source says the signal is from XHCTTI on Mt. San Antonio in Tijuana, virtual channel 3.1 broadcasting the new network Imagen, meant to compete directly with the dominant Azteca and Televisa networks.

Tip from Bob Gonsett

San Diego to Get Franken-FM

The FCC awarded Venture Technologies Group of Los Angeles a Construction Permit to build an analog channel 6 VHF “Franken-FM” transmitter on Mt. Palomar. KRPE-LP is to be licensed for 3kW Visual Power with a two-element Scala yagi antenna, a move from Murrieta. Neither their FCC CP nor database query record specify antenna polarization nor whether they are in the Mexican border zone. XETV held channel 6 from 1953 until they left the air with all other Tijuana stations in June of 2015.

If you’re not familiar with the term, Franken-FM refers to TV stations built on channel 6 analog with the purpose of using only their aural carrier on 87.75 MHz since it’s tunable on just about any FM receiver. Venture currently owns Franken-FM units in Los Angeles, San Jose, Chico, and Redding. Some VTG stations have LMA’s allowing other broadcasters to rent them.

Venture is also installing a new channel 17 low power digital outlet, KRPE-LD, on Red Mountain above Fallbrook. Curiously, the city of license is listed as South Park, CA.

Mexican TV Stations Introduce New Virtual Channel Numbers

On October 27th, Mexican TV stations aligned their virtual channel numbers with their network identifications. After re-scanning channels, you’ll find, for example, XHTJB Tijuana, physical channel 21, identifies now as 11-1 since it broadcasts Canal Once from Mexico City, replacing its most recent virtual channel number as 3-1. That last number had been its analog channel. XHJK, Azteca 13, physical channel 28, now identifies as 1-1.

Not all stations along the border are following this protocol. Tijuana’s Canal Las Estrellas, slated to be 2-1 throughout most of Mexico, was still 57-1 when last scanned. Stations were not re-identified if it was believed their virtual channel number would conflict with a US virtual channel ID.

US TV stations in major O&O markets at one time aligned their TV channel allocations with their mother networks. CBS stations signed on channel 2, NBC channel 4, DuMont channel 5, and ABC channel 7 wherever they could.

November 2016 Meeting: Lawo and the Virtual Radio Station

When broadcasters swap CD’s, cart machines, turntables and audio consoles for PC-based digital playout, mixing & processing systems, we call that Virtual Radio. At our next meeting, guest speaker Bill Bennett, Lawo’s Radio Applications lead in the U.S., will describe virtualization in greater detail by outlining the real applications in use today.  He’ll explore how broadcasters may now reap operational benefits and gains by capitalizing on I.T.’s investment in R&D and will discuss virtualization’s anticipated role in content creation and broadcast workflow in the future.

Bill Bennett, Applications Lead, Lawo USA
Bill Bennett, Applications Lead, Lawo USA

Virtual Radio is a hot topic. A recent episode of This Week in Radio Tech (TWiRT) featured a Lawo presentation on this topic. How did they conduct their broadcast interview? Virtually, of course!

Lawo is a provider of virtual radio products, digital mixing consoles, routing systems, video solutions and turnkey systems for the professional broadcast industry. Their equipment is utilized by TV and radio stations, production companies, and theaters worldwide.

Bill Bennett made his presentation Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 at iHeartMedia, San Diego before a sizable audience of local broadcast engineers.

About the Presenter

Bill Bennett has been a long time audio engineer and project manager, leading media venue technical set-up teams for several Olympics. He’s also managed NBA, NHL, and regional events. He joined Lawo last year.

 

September Lunch ‘n’ Learn: AIMS – The Way You’re Going to Do Video Production Over IP

With all the discussion regarding studio video over IP, it gets a little nutty to try and sort out all the players trying to move the industry forward.  Scott Barella, Deputy Chairman of the AIMS (Alliance for IP Media Solutions) Technical Work Group and the new CTO of Utah Scientific will explain the progress of IP video and how the standards groups of SMPTE, EBU, AES as well as industry groups such as VSF and AIMS are working together to help move the IP initiative forward.

He will also review the key differences of SMPTE 2022-6/7 and TR-03/04 and what the engineers are doing behind the scenes to make it all work together.

Scott will then also share where Utah Scientific is in their development of some key products enhancing existing systems that are raising a few eyebrows.

Join us for this bonus meeting Wednesday, September 21, at 12 noon at KFMB Stations, 7677 Engineer Road. Utah Scientific will pick up the tab for lunch.  This is truly bleeding edge information that we’re lucky to see the day before the presentation is made in L.A.