Bonus March Chapter Meeting: SAS and Recent Digital Audio Protocols

While AES-67 Audio over IP and now AES-70 (GPIO and Control over IP) are popular in the radio broadcast world, a little known standard called IEEE-802.1 (also called AVB), is continuing to grow in the TV/Film, Production, Automotive and Consumer Industries. AVB (“Audio Video Bridging”) is an Audio over Ethernet (AoE) mechanism with auto QoS. With its growing popularity many other industries, the IEEE is positioning this technology to replace HDMI in entertainment systems, gaming consoles and TV Displays. AVB provides a mechanism for intuitive control and discovery. AES-67 is an Audio over IP (AoIP) topology, and while development is ongoing for “control and discovery”, (as is AES70), it’s poised to become the industry standard for radio broadcasting. We’ll outline key differences and typical applications for each protocol.

Al Salci of Sierra Automated Systems and Engineering Corp. visits us Wednesday, March 27 at 12 noon at iHeartMedia, 9660 Granite Ridge Drive, San Diego. He provides lunch, then will give the presentation. Members and guests are all welcome.

About our Guest Speaker

Al Salci is a veteran analog and digital designer, and software engineer with over 35 years experience in broadcast communications. Originally from Toronto Ontario, Al holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Toronto College of Electrical Engineering & Technology. Al started his career in Television Broadcast designing time code products for Telcom Research, Evertz Systems and Leitch Video. Al moved into radio in 1983 as Director of Engineering for McCurdy Radio Industries where he developed audio consoles, switchers, intercoms, and other audio products.

Later, Al joined RTS systems in Burbank as Senior Digital Design Engineer and developed 4-wire intercom systems to enhance their 2-wire TV camera communications networks. Al Salci teamed up with Ed Fritz, another veteran design engineer in Burbank and started Sierra Automated Systems & Engineering Corp. that specializes in high-density digital audio distribution and management systems, audio control console surfaces, large-scale AoIP systems, and fully integrated intercom systems. SAS is celebrating over 34 years.

Chapter 36 Election Returns Announced

SBE Chapter 36 held an online election and named its new lineup of officers.

Chairman Tony McDaid and Vice-chairman Mike Curran each took a second term.

Oscar Quintanilla, veteran headend engineer at Cox Communications, volunteered to take on the role of Secretary-Treasurer. He’s an Advanced Class ham radio operator, KF6YB. He and Chris Durso maintain several VHF and UHF ham repeaters around town.

All three ran unopposed.

McDaid thanked Secretary-Treasurer Jessica Colyer and Program Chairman Bart Schade for their service in the past year. Meeting program management will be performed by the executive committee in the coming year.

San Diego is Done with 600 MHz TV Broadcasts

For the first time since KAAR 39 signed on in 1965, there are no TV signals above 600 MHz in the San Diego/Tijuana market after T-Mobile purchased the spectrum in a 2017 auction. On March 14, 2019,

  • KBNT switched to channel 24 from 25 at 6 AM
  • KNSD/KUAN switched from 40 to 17 at noon
  • XHDTV Tecate shutdown 47 to reconfigure antennas for 21 (and has done so as of Friday, March 15)
  • KHAX-LP Vista shutdown to reconfigure for 25

If you are an over-the-air viewer with a TV antenna rather than cable or satellite and you can’t receive some of the local TV stations, you will need to perform a RESCAN on your TV for the new channel lineup. Press your remote control MENU button and find the SIGNAL or ANTENNA submenu, then select AIR (not CABLE), then AUTOPROGRAM or SCAN or RESCAN. Not all TVs have the same menu titles, so you may have to consult your TV set owner’s manual. Yeah, sorry you threw that away. Check out YouTube, maybe.

What was once UHF-TV channels 38 – 51, recorded by a spectrum analyzer in University City, San Diego, March 15, 2019 by Gary Stigall, Signal Wiz, Inc.

Let’s look to see what’s going on, channel by channel. New information in bold:

15 – XHTJB, public TV “Canal Once” (channel 11) moved from channel 46 in September 2018. The FCC website has this allocation placed in Ensenada, but they’re actually in Tijuana.

16 – KDTF, Entravision’s LATV outlet, moved from channel 51 on Mt. San Miguel on November 16th using their same broadband panel antenna. They were granted a Construction Permit on February 21 to allow them to stay on 16.

17KNSD, NBC Universal, moved permanently to 17 on noon, March 14th. They had installed a new Rohde & Schwarz transmitter and UHF Dielectric Pylon antenna installed by Wireless Infrastructure Services (“WIS”).

19 – KPBS, San Diego State University’s PBS outlet, had their antenna installed by WIS in 2018 and is due to move from channel 30 on March 26, 2019, taking over channel 19 from KSWB, who is moving to 26.

20 – KZSD, a UHF outlet of Scripps, is up on Mt. San Miguel and broadcasting a repeat of their channel 10 lineup since November 2018.

21XHDTV Tecate, an Entravision-leased signal from Cerro Bola, moved from channel 47. Manuel Rojo says they installed a new 32-panel antenna array.

24 – KBNT-CD on Mt. Soledad made the switch from channel 25 on March 14, 2019, at 6:00 AM, according to Chief Engineer Manuel Rojo. They have a new Harris transmitter and new antenna installed by Wireless Infrastructure Services at the KGTV transmitter site.

25 – KHAX-LD Vista has a CP to get exclusive use of channel 25. KBNT-CD switched from 25 to 24 on March 14.

26 – KSWB, Tribune’s Fox affiliate, had WIS install their Dielectric slot pylon antenna last week. They’ll move from channel 19 on March 26, delayed due to construction delays at KVCR San Bernardino, channel 26. KVSD-LD from Mt. Woodson received a Silent STA on October 15, 2018 (this fixes a previously erroneous report that they did not file for the STA).

27 – XHBJ Tijuana moved from 44 before November 30, 2018.

30 – KPBS will move to 19. Tijuana will take over this channel after that date.

31 – KSDY-LD changed from 50 to 31 on February 8, and was granted their construction permit for channel 31 on February 21. KTCD-LP will share channel 31 from Mt. Woodson at 140 W ERP omni-directional.

35 – KVSD-LD has a CP to take over channel 35, but they filed with the FCC for a Silent STA in November 2018 and have yet to return to the air. 

39 – KZSD-LP STA on Mt. San Miguel became KZSD-LD and moved to channel 20 in time for their November 30, 2019 T-Mobile takeover date.

40 – KNSD-TV moved to channel 17 on March 14, 2019.

47 – XHDTV went off-the-air March 14 and is expected to move to channel 21 soon.

50 – KSDY-LD moved to channel 31 on February 8, 2019.

51 – KDTF Mt. San Miguel moved to channel 16 using an STA before the November 30, 2018 T-Mobile deadline.

Jaime Bonilla Cuts Off BCA

XHPRS-FM 105.7 and XEPE-AM 1700 have discontinued their operations agreements with San Diego-based Broadcast Company of the Americas, aka BCA Radio. The stations, known as “105.7 Max FM” and “ESPN 1700” were shut down in mid-December after a reported payment dispute with the license holder, Media Sports de Mexico, owned by Jaime Bonilla Valdez.

Their respective websites continued streaming programming until the end of February 2019. BCA continues to operate XEPRS 1090-AM, known as the “Mighty 1090 AM.”

GPS Date to Rollover April 6 on Some Electronic Devices

Some compare the change to the famous “Y2K” transition at the end of the twentieth century. An information security expert said at the RSA 2019 conference in San Francisco last week, “I’m not going to be flying on April 6.”

Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers limited the number of stored digits needed to count the date, so some devices will roll back to zero on April 6, 2019.

Broadcasters seldom directly use GPS to supervise station activities. Most often, a GPS-based device might be used to indirectly correct a wandering computer clock, or as a time standard in a precise oscillator where its pulses are measured but the date may be ignored.

However, GPS is used often for time stamping video and for displaying time of day. I contacted Bill at El Segundo Electronics, ESE, about whether his ES-series clocks, used widely around broadcast stations, might have the 10-digit time problem. He replied, “The supplier for our GPS receivers assures us that there will be no problem with the WNRO (Week Number Roll Over) on April 6, 2019. Our Chief Engineer recommends that you keep the unit powered up and running over the WNRO.”

Thanks for the news tip, Bill Lipis.

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego