Category Archives: National

Check Your EAS Set-up

On October 24, 2014, there was an unauthorized playing of the national emergency alert notification (EAN) tones during a syndicated radio broadcast.  These tones were a retransmission from the original EAN test conducted on Nov 9, 2011. There is a possibility that Digital Alerting Systems’ DASDEC units may have stored the recent unauthorized EAN and will retransmit on November 9 when the date/time stamp becomes valid.  Digital Alerting Systems has published a Field Service Bulletin on this matter, http://www.digitalalertsystems.com/pdf/DAS%20FSB-103014R1.0.pdf. If you are using a DASDEC system version 2.5 or earlier, AND if you are located in any area where this syndicated programming was broadcast on your EAS monitoring source/station, we suggest that you read the Field Service Bulletin for more information and for the company’s instructions on how to proceed. If you use another manufacturer’s  EAS equipment, we recommend you contact them if you have any questions.

(It’s very unlikely the recent national error event propagated to San Diego, and checking a client DASDEC unit, I found no stored national EAN’s. However, it’s a good time to check your configuration to turn on Strict Time if available on your device’s configuration. –ed)

SBE to Expand Membership Scope, Support

The Society of Broadcast Engineers announced October 8 it will work to attract and serve those who work in technical broadcast and media related positions, in addition to its traditional broadcast engineering membership base. SBE president, Joe Snelson, CPBE, 8-VSB, made the announcement in his address during the Society’s 50th anniversary Annual Membership Meeting held at the Turning Stone Resort, in Central New York State.    Continue reading SBE to Expand Membership Scope, Support

SBE National Board to Include Schecter

Past San Diego market Director of Engineering for Lincoln Financial Media, Eric Schecter was voted into a seat on the SBE Board of Directors last month. He’ll serve two years. Eric served as Chairman in San Diego in 2006 and later in Phoenix, where he’s Director of Engineering for the CBS radio cluster.

Re-elected to second terms in office were President Joe Snelson, CPBE, of Las Vegas; Vice President, CPBE, of Greenville, SC; Secretary Jim Leifer, CPBE, of Boynton Beach, FL; and Treasurer Andrea Cummis, CBT/CTO of Roseland, NJ.

SBE at the NAB Show

Every year I look forward to the NAB Show. It’s this great change from the daily grind where I get to see old friends and new technologies, often in the booths at the very back of the exhibit halls. And the parties. Did you see Kool and the Gang at the CNN party a few years ago? Wow.

My first was in 1983, when the big exhibitors were RCA and Ampex, both showing off their amazing new 1″ tape machines, their commercial playing robotics systems, and Plumbicon low definition cameras with $30 – $100K price tags.

This year will be #30, after having missed a couple of years in the middle.

The SBE has some great stuff planned for this year. If you have time for nothing else, please make time for the 50th Anniversary Open House Tuesday. And did I mention certification points for attendance?

2014 Ennes Program at the NAB Show  

The annual Ennes Program opens the NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference at 8 am on Saturday, April 5, and runs until 5 pm. The program theme is “Best Engineering Practices,” and includes a diverse list of topics and subject matter experts.

SBE Meetings and Events at the 2014 NAB Show Saturday, April 5
SBE National Frequency Coordination Committee Meeting
3:00pm – 5:00pm, Conference Room 8, Las Vegas Hotel

 

Sunday, April 6
SBE Board of Directors Meeting*
8:30 am-12:00 pm, Conference Rooms 8-9, Las Vegas Hotel 

Tuesday, April 8
SBE Certification Exams
Must be pre-registered
9:00 am-12:00 pm, Conference Rooms 9-10, Las Vegas Hotel

SBE Frequency Coordinators Meeting
8:30-10:30 am, Conference Rooms 13-14, Las Vegas Hotel

SBE Membership Meeting
5:30-6:30 pm, Room S225, LVCC

SBE 50th Anniversary Reception
6:30-8:30 pm, Room S219, LVCC

Register Your 7 or 13 GHz ENG Receive Site

February 5, 2013 -The FCC today released a public notice announcing the April 1 effective date of the requirement to register 7 and 13 GHz TV Pickup stationary receive sites in ULS. The public notice also announces the grant of a fee exemption to TV Pickup licensees in the 7 and 13 GHz bands who modify their licenses between now and April 1 for the sole purpose of adding their receive sites. The public notice also provides detailed filing instructions.

Here is the complete text of the Public Notice.

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.

 

Steve Church Dies

Steve Church, founder of Telos-Omnia-Axia in Cleveland, passed away September 28 of brain cancer at the age of 57. An obituary in Radio World Magazine tells of Steve’s pioneering work with digital signal processing (DSP) in the development of telephone hybrids for broadcasting. He also introduced MP3 digital compression to broadcasting with his development of codecs that could extend audio spectrum for use over ISDN and voice telephone circuits.

Church was born and went to high school in San Diego, and he presented his digital hybrid and ISDN concepts at chapter 36 meetings in the mid-1980s and 1990s.

Members Re-elect Officer Slate

SBE headquarters announced national election results that continue the current slate of officers, with some new directors.

New to the board as directors are Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO, senior director of engineering 
and operations, WNET in New York, N.Y.; John Heimerl, CPBE, vice president of strategic technologies, WHRO-TV, WHRO-FM, WHRV-FM in Norfolk, Va.; and Wayne M. Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB AMD, DRB, CBNE, director of engineering, Texas A&M University-Educational Broadcast Services in College Station, Texas.

2012 was the first year the society offered online voting, which saw a 64% increase in ballots cast from the previous year. The total number of ballots cast was 1,313, which were 511 more ballots than in 2011.

John Battison Dead at 96

SBE founder and first president John Battison has passed away in Loudonville, Ohio. According to an article written about him by his editor Chriss Sherer at Radio Magazine Online, John had a long, distinguished career as broadcast engineer, both in the U.S. and internationally. He served as staff broadcast engineer, technical consultant, writer, and lecturer. He founded the Society of Broadcast Engineers in 1963 and was honored with the SBE’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

SBE National Elections Go Electronic

Voting for candidates to serve on the 2012-13 SBE Board of Directors is ongoing. Members of SBE are able to vote online for the first time in society history.

Voting members should have an email from Intelliscan, the company conducting the election, sent the morning of July 26. The email contains a unique link to the member’s ballot. To vote, open that email and click on the link.

Two reminder emails will be sent to members in August who have not yet voted. Each of those messages will also contain the unique link to the member’s ballot.

Members who opted out of electronic voting are receiving ballots in the mail. All electronic ballots must be cast by the deadline of 4:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, August 28. Paper ballots must be received at the SBE National Office by that same date and time.

The SBE Board of Directors consists of volunteers that govern the society. All four officer positions and six of the 12 director seats are being contested this year.