All posts by Gary Stigall

Here Comes H.265

The International Telecommunications Union, ITU announced January 25th the new High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) to be known also as H.265. The new codec is expected to use about 50% of the data bandwidth of its predecessor H.264, which itself uses about 50% of the bandwidth of its predecessor MPEG-2.

The savings in bandwidth comes at the cost of processing power. It’s said to take 4 to 5 times the CPU power to compress and decompress, so it could take years for wide adoption, during which time another technology could leapfrog the standard.

But potential economic benefits are profound. If H.265 is adopted by transmission media like cable, satellite, and broadcasters, as many as twice the number of channels could fit into available bandwidth.


February 2013 Meeting: Not Your Father’s 2-way Radios

Many thanks to Sean Melia of Bassett Sales for coming to San Diego to explain today’s communications backbone systems and buy us lunch. They sell 2-way radio systems and can hook you up with a highly versatile system, whether buying or leasing.

This month’s meeting was hosted by Martin Banks at Video Gear in the Miramar area. Video sells and rents cameras, lighting, and really every product necessary to get your video production recorded and edited. Another great venue!

January 2013 Member News

Kevin Schrader began his full-time engineering position with KPBS this month. He was formerly Chief Engineer at Cox Media channel 4 downtown, where he took care of its studios and the Cox HD vehicle. When Fox Sports won the Padres contract, he…well, yeah. In a bit of refreshingly creative management, KPBS and Cox transitioned him between jobs for several months during which he worked part-time at each.

TV Magic Shuts its Doors Permanently

After 16 years, San Diego audio/video systems integration company TV Magic, Inc. locked its doors in mid-December and dismissed their few remaining employees.

TV Magic had a good run, designing and/or building audio/video facilities large and small. In just the last five years, they worked on these projects:

  • ESPN’s LA Live Center video facilities,
  • Fox Sports West facilities in Los Angeles,
  • design of the KPBS San Diego master control,
  • the move of KVCR in San Bernardino,
  • various improvements at the Trinity Broadcast Network,
  • the giant Arena de Ciudad de Mexico,
  • and Multimedios network center in Mexico.

During the recent recession, the company had a hard time regaining traction in the Los Angeles media market and lost its largest customer. But the nail in the coffin came when they lost a class-action lawsuit last  year filed by a group of independent contractors demanding overtime pay and damages for an alleged violation of California laws governing whether installation workers should be regarded as employees or contractors.

TV Magic supported Chapter 36 for years as a sponsor and meeting host.

[The author worked as Chief Technology Officer for TV Magic from June 2010 to February 2012.]