Category Archives: Meetings

September 2008 Meeting – Triveni Digital – “ATSC Bitstream Verification”

Due to the complexity of the ATSC Transport Stream, broadcasters can find ourselves out of compliance. Some errors, while violations of the standards, do not produce degraded quality for the viewer. When even minor errors frequently trigger broadcasters’ alarms for inconsequential problems, important alarms often go ignored. The A/78 Recommended Practice was designed to address this problem. It develops a system of triage amongst the error types, ranging from unwatchable to invisible. By monitoring through devices that employ A/78, broadcasters can be assured of being quickly informed of any problems that will impact video quality.

Join San Diego SBE Chapter 36 for its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, September 17 at noon at Bay City Television, 8253 Ronson Road in Kearny Mesa. Triveni buys lunch. Expect the presentation to last till 1:30 PM. As always, guests are welcome.

About Richard Chernock

Dr. Chernock, the author of A/78 and Director of Technology at Triveni Digital, develops strategic directions for metadata management, content distribution and monitoring for emerging digital television systems. Previously, he was a Research Staff Member at IBM Research, investigating digital broadcast technologies. Dr. Chernock is active in a number of the ATSC and SCTE standards committees, particularly in the areas of metadata, monitoring and data broadcast. He is a participant in the SCTE HMS activity. He chairs a number of ad hoc committees within ATSC whose work relates to metadata and transport issues. He is vice-chair of the Technology Group on Distribution (TSG) and chairing the Non-Real-Time Services and Mobile/Handheld management layer activities within ATSC. In another life, he used transmission electron microscopy to study materials characteristics for advanced ceramics packaging and semiconductor technology at IBM. His ScD was from MIT in the field of nuclear materials engineering.

September 2008 Meeting – Nautel

When you get 30 engineers show up for a radio-themed meeting as we had in August, you can get cocky enough to call for two meetings in one month. Yeah, that’s what we’re doing in September. Our second presentation this month is by Jeff Welton of Nautel, the broadcast radio transmitter guys. TV Magic will host the meeting at noon, Thursday, September 25. Jeff will buy you lunch. TV Magic is at 8112 Engineer Road in Kearny Mesa. Expect the presentation to last to near 1:30 PM.

About the Meeting

The proposed 10dB increase to digital sideband power levels for stations broadcasting with HD Radio(tm) technology in the FM band will have significant impact on equipment and infrastructure requirements. Even if the sideband power were to increase by a lesser amount, the effect will be much more serious than many have realized. This presentation will cover the increase and the associated changes that may be required with various methods of injecting the HD radio signal onto the analog. In addition it will cover technology that has been implemented, or is being developed, to assist stations in achieving the highest possible signal level increase with the least possible impact.

About Jeff Welton

Jeff Welton is a graduate of the Electronics Engineering Technician and Technologist programs at RCC Institute of Electronics (formerly Radio College of Canada) in Ontario, Canada. He has worked in electronics repair, installation, quality assurance and manufacturing since 1985. In 1990, he joined Nautel in the Customer Service Department. Then in March 2007, Jeff accepted a position with Nautel’s Sales Department, where he has been able to use his technical background to help customers find the best possible solutions for their particular requirements.

About Nautel

Nautel is a global leader in the design, manufacture, sales and support of high power Radio Frequency (RF) products for AM and FM broadcast, navigation, industrial and space-based applications.  With a long history of creating highly innovative products, Nautel continues to lead the way in providing valuable new solutions for the digital radio broadcast revolution.

August 2008 Meeting – Arbitron PPM

The People Meter is coming to San Diego, and the good people at Arbitron would like you to understand how it works. Join the SBE Wednesday, August 20 at noon at Clear Channel Communications, for lunch and a talk. The PPM is up and going in Philly and Houston.
Sam Brown of Arbitron says:

The Arbitron Portable People Meter™ system uses a passive audience measurement device—about the size of a small cell phone—to track media exposure. Carried throughout the day by randomly selected survey participants, the PPM™ device can track when and where they listen to radio as well as how they interact with other forms of media and entertainment. The PPM detects inaudible codes embedded in the 1kHz to 3kHz portion of broadcast audio. It is also equipped with a motion sensor, a patented quality control feature unique to the system, which allows Arbitron to confirm the compliance of the PPM survey participants every day. At the end of each day, the survey participant places the meter in a docking station that extracts the codes and sends the data to Arbitron.

One of the first important steps in bringing PPM to San Diego is informing the engineers in the market about PPM encoding. For this, an SBE meeting is an ideal forum. Our presentation includes a demo of the system, examples of the equipment, Q&A, etc. which should make for an informative and entertaining meeting. Arbitron PPM SBE meetings have been well-received in other markets where we have introduced this exciting technology. We look forward to meeting you soon.

We start at noon with a lunch provided by Arbitron, followed by a presentation on the workings of the PPM system.  Should be out by 1:20 PM. Clear Channel is at 9660 Granite Ridge Drive. We have some door prizes from SCMS, including some nice headphones and a microphone. As always, members and guests are welcome to attend.

July 2008 Meeting – Surround Sound

The July 16 SBE meeting appears to be a real blockbuster. We’ll take a look at 5.1 surround audio and how it affects a broadcast facility.

  • Why the transition to DTV and 5.1?
  • What problems does this present to a broadcast facility?
  • Format compatibility
  • Metadata, including Dialnorm, digital rights management, downmixing etc.
  • Metering and monitoring for 5.1
  • Solutions: Facility implementation, production strategies, routing, embedding within SDI

Solid State Logic, Wohler Technologies and Dolby Laboratories™ will each have representatives. Between the three manufacturers, and with consultation from outside parties such as Roger Charlesworth of Charlesworth Media, we will address the above topics. Each manufacturer will present on their area of expertise, and SSL will be the main host of the presentations. No product oriented presentations, but on the individual request of an attendee, we can schedule more personal meetings and presentations in the future.

We anticipate one hour for the event, with each topic being given approximately 5-10 minutes for presentation and then we would like to have a Q&A session for the chapter to be able to quiz the professionals and ask questions for areas of specific interest or concern to them. We will also pull together a documented version of the presentation for distribution amongst the attendees.

We recommend the meeting for both radio and TV engineers interested in staying current with surround technologies.

Members and guests, join us July 16 at noon at TV Magic, 8112 Engineer Road in Kearny Mesa.

May 2008 Meeting – Taste of the NAB

Exhibitors this year:

  • Omneon media servers
  • Leader Instruments test gear
  • Blackmagic Design edit system media I/O cards
  • ESE timekeeping and interface products
  • AJA video interface and terminal equipment
  • Telecast fiberoptic transmission equipment
  • InPhase Technologies holographic storage
  • Network Electronics fiber, terminal, and compression gear
  • Henry Engineering interface devices
  • Telecast fiber systems
  • Clark wire and cable
  • DSC Labs test charts
  • SMPTE standards publishing
  • Verbatim blank media
  • ADS Tech video capture devices
  • Key Digital computer cables
  • Canon lenses

Plan to eat a free lunch provided by Canon. Lucky engineers will walk away with one of multiple door prizes donated by the roadshow sponsors. Larry’s giving away polo shirts, DVI cables, capture devices, CD media, gift certificates, and standards CDs, and other goods at the show.

Those attending will also be entered into a national drawing for prizes that include a Fluke multimeter, Burst Electronics digital video switcher, Coaxial Dynamics RF wattmeter, a copy of VidCAD software, a Radiosophy HD table radio, and a genuine Chuck Pharis Indian Head TV test pattern.

Members and guests welcome to TV Magic, 8112 Engineer Road, May 22 at noon.