NAB Insider - April 13, 2004


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News from the Convention

NAB Awards Broadcast ResearchGrants


The NAB's Research and Planning Department has awarded five research grants to academic scholars as part of its annual Grants for Research in Broadcasting Program. Each year this highly competitive program attracts research proposals from broadcast scholars throughout the country.

The grants program is designed to stimulate interest in broadcast research and especially research on economic, social or policy issues of importance to the commercial broadcast industry. The goal is to make high quality academic research available to industry practitioners, as well as to other academics. The proposals are evaluated by an independent panel of academic and industry research professionals and by representatives of the NAB's Committees on Local Radio Audience Measurement (COLRAM) and Local Television Audience Measurement (COLTAM). The final awards are based on criteria that include problem conceptualization, research method, contribution to the field, and the clarity and thoroughness of the proposed research. The competition is open to all academic personnel.

This year's NAB grants recipients and their topics are:

  • Todd Chambers, Padmini Patwardhan and Shannon Bichard, Texas Tech University, Media Buyer Perceptions of Media Salespeople

  • William R. Davie and Philip J. Auter, University of Louisiana, "Identifying the Goals of Broadcast Weather Training: Developing a Model Approach to Learning Objectives

  • Michael G. Elasmar and Cathy Perron Eaton, Boston University, TV Station Marketing Strategies for a Changing Audience Measurement Environment

  • Don Grady and Constance Ledoux Book, Elon University, Consumer Adoption of New Radio Distribution Systems

  • John W. Owens and Thomas Haines, University of Cincinnati, and Francesca Dillman-Carpentier, Arizona State University, Presenting Radio Advertisements in Surround Sound: An Experimental Assessment of New Production Techniques

The final reports from these research projects are due by May 2005. For further details about these studies, please contact the NAB's Research and Information Department at 202-429-5489. Details about the Research Grants program are available at www.nab.org/research/grants/grants.asp.


SBE Launches Education Initiative


Indianapolis - Apr 12, 2004 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers, which has long stood on the foundations of providing education and other services to the broadcast industry and broadcast engineers, has acted to increase the role that education plays in its efforts. At the SBE's Executive Committee meeting in January, the group created a new national committee that will dedicate itself to providing these education efforts.

The Education Committee has been given four core responsibilities:

  • Create educational programs to allow SBE members to remain up-to-date with technology;

  • Coordinate all of the Society's education efforts within and outside the society;

  • Work with the National Certification Committee to prepare educational materials necessary to prepare for SBE certification exams;

  • Develop educational efforts that supplement the Ennes Educational Coundation Trust program.

This committee is in its formative stage. Fred Baumgartner, CPBE CBNT, has been appointed to serve as the committee's chairman. Baumgartner is currently assembling committee persons.

The committee plans to hold its first meeting at NAB2004. Details on the meeting location and time will be available at the SBE booth (Lobby 17) in the lobby hallway north of the Central Hall. The first order of business for the committee will be to establish a mission statement.

The next item of business for the committee will be to continue initial conversations with HDTV and IBOC developers to provide educational programs on these emerging technologies.

For more information, contact the SBE at www.sbe.org.


Telos Launches Axia Subsidiary


Cleveland - Apr 9, 2004 - Telos Systems has formed a new subsidiary company called Axia. This new company will focus on providing professional networked audio products for broadcast and other professional audio applications. Some of the initial products include digital audio routing switchers, mixing engines, and console control surfaces for broadcast on-air and production, all networked using the company's Livewire technology over Ethernet.


Enco and Scott Partner with AxiaAudio


Cleveland - Apr 9, 2004 - Axia Audio, the new subsidiary of Telos Systems specializing in networked studio audio products, has partnered with Enco Systems and Scott Studios. As Axia value-added resellers, Enco and Scott will offer Axia audio networking components bundled with Enco or Scott systems respectively, and will engineer these systems to take full advantage of the capabilities of the audio network.

Both audio playback system manufacturers will also license the Axia IP-Audio driver for integration into their respective systems' (Enco DADPro32 for Enco, Scott Studios and Computer Concepts for Scott) application software, which will allow workstations and servers to send IP-Audio directly to the Axia network without the use of PC soundcards.


Do you know...?

How well do you know Las Vegas?


Test your knowledge of Las Vegas trivia.

  • Which hotel was the first one to add a sports book to its casino?

  • Name the hotel where Elvis and Priscilla Presley were married. Extra credit if you know the history of that building's location.

  • Where did Frank Sinatra first perform in Las Vegas?

  • Name the first high-rise hotel built on the Strip in 1955.

  • When did the Las Vegas Convention Center open?

The answers are below.


New Products from the Floor

TFT 460/467 digital STL system


Booth N2707


A new addition to the STL product family, the unit offers six uncompressed program channels and a data channel to meet the requirements of consolidated operations. The digital STL consists of a transmitter and receiver pair that accommodates up to three AES/EBU inputs or up to six discrete audio channels. The transmitter provides a 2W output and delivers them uncompressed in a configurable digital method to the receiver. Sample rates of 32, 44.1 and 48 ks/s are supported. The RF system is frequency agile and set by software in the transmitter and receiver. The transmitter and receiver can be remotely controlled over an Internet or LAN connection. The 460 transmitter features six channels uncompressed, analog I/Os and 3.125kHz step size. The receiver offers a threshold sensitivity of 84dBm for 256 QAM, analog output levels at -10 to 8dBm and analog audio outputs at 600 ohm balanced.


Enco Systems Guardien
Booth N2426, SU6764
This system is an automated profanity elimination and spoken wordlogging system for radio broadcasters. Guardien is a two rack-unitdevice with stereo balanced analog and AES/EBU inputs and outputs andfeatures contact closures for control of external devices or alertmechanisms.


AKG C414 B-XLS and C414 B-XL II
Booth N4018
The C414's proportions have been optimized, straightlines have been replaced with sweeping curves and flat areas have beenreplaced with gently rounded surfaces. The mic is slightly bigger thanits predecessors. The rounded edges reduce unwanted reflections. Afifth polar pattern has been added to the original set of fourselectable patterns. Besides cardioid, hypercardioid, figure eight andomni, the new generation also provides a wide cardioid. All switchpositions, microphone output overload, and power on/off status areindicated by LEDs. All function selectors on the mic are situated inthe low-impedance section to prevent problems at high humidity. Acapsule shock mount minimizes handling and stand-transmitted noise.Other features include sensitivity tolerance of +/-0.5 percent,sensitivity of 6dB and low self-noise. The XL II features a transformeroutput.


Session Highlights

Radio Broadcast ContentCollection and Distribution


April 22, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., room N110



The last day's sessions cover topic relating to audio capture and transmission.

From 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Exploring New Directions in Radio Production will cover the new ways to process audio for a station's productions. The presenter is Alan Peterson, production/imaging director of WMET-AM.

Jeff Zigler, senior manager of sales engineering for Prophet Systems Innovations, will present WANcasting; What Are You WANning For? from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. This presentation will cover the history of WANcasting systems.



In Digital Audio File Distribution for Radio, Naruhiko Nihira, chief technology officer, and Motoko Sasaki, assistant, of Tokyo FM Broadcasting, will discuss the distribution system used by the Japan FM Network of 38 affiliate FM broadcasting companies all over Japan. The session runs from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

The last session of the Broadcast Engineering Conference from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. is called Sound Processing: A Time and a Place. David Reaves, co-owner of Translantech Sound, will outline the current status of on-air processing misuse from a historical and technical perspective, and then investigate solutions using signal analysis and intelligence to control an on-air processor.


More New Products

Broadcast Electronics XPi 10


BoothN1902


This HD Radio signal generator is installed at the studio, rather than the transmitter to reduce STL bandwidth and repurpose more of the existing equipment when implementing HD Radio. The generator allows the user to take advantage of the revenue-producing opportunities of HD Radio, such as advanced application services and secondary audio service. It also speeds implementation of Tomorrow Radio.


ADS Technologies Red Rover


Booth SL952


This audio software controller is available with hands-free operation. It works with any sound card and let's the user track and control any number of tracks. The Red Rover is a USB device designed with ergonomic and space-saving functionality in mind. The unit features standard multitrack transport controls that seamlessly interact with and control Adobe Audition's on-screen displays. In addition, the control unit provides unlimited access to all 128 tracks of possible audio on Audition.


Forecast Consoles Masterrail2.0 and Masterrail NLE


BoothSU11639


Masterail 2.0 allows more flexibility and expandability and the Masterail NLE is an editing console that incorporates Masterail technology to provide all the benefits of Masterail's modular based console system - expandable, modifiable and flexible. The MASTERail system integrates a pre-engineered, steel-frame superstructure with a proprietary aluminum extrusion serving as the spine of the console. All devices are universally attached to the spine allowing for the random or specific placement of equipment.


Convention Events

The 2004 Pick Hits AreComing


In 1985, Broadcast Engineering magazine began a tradition of recognizing the top new technology of the NAB Convention by creating the Pick Hit Awards. When Radio magazine was created in 1994, we continued the tradition of identifying the top technology from the convention. 20 years later, the Pick Hits are still recognized by the broadcast industry as the true technology award.

The Pick Hits are selected by a panel of radio professionals who go about the show on their usual business. Their participation on the Pick Hits panel is a secret during the convention. The panelists work independently; they don’t know who the other panelists are. Late on the third day of the convention, the panelists meet to discuss their findings and select the top new products introduced at the convention.

What sets the Pick Hits apart? Our history as the original technology award is the most obvious. Other organizations and publications have created awards that are given out at the show, proving that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

The Picks Hits are selected by following a set of established rules. The official rules are included in the June issue with the judges’ selections, but briefly, the following rules apply:

  • The product must be new and not shown at a previous Spring NAB

  • The product must have a positive affect on the intended user

  • The product must improve on available technology

  • The product must be reasonably priced

  • The products must be available with the current calendar year

No other technology award has such established rules. Some so-called awards have simplistic rules, such as the product must make the judge say, “Oh wow” or some similar mindless criteria.

The judges operate independently and anonymously, ensuring that their selections are not biased. The editors of Radio magazine have no role in selecting the Pick Hits.

So now that you know how important the Radio magazine Pick Hits are, you probably can’t wait to find out who will win. The recipients are told on the last day of the convention, so look for the Pick Hits signs. The results will also be in the June issue, and we will announce them in our post-convention issue of the NAB Insider.


Technology Luncheon


April 21, 12 noon to 1:45 p.m., LV Hilton Barron Room



This annual tradition features a keynote speech from Donald A. Norman of the Nielsen Norman Group, Northwestern University. He will discuss the stumbling blocks of the HDTV transition.

The NAB Engineering Achievement Awards will also be presented to the recipients. Glynn Walden, senior vice president of engineering of Infinity Broadcasting will receive the award for radio. Ira Goldstone, vice president/chief technology officer of Tribune Broadcasting will receive the award for television.


Out and About in Las Vegas

Free Time


If you have some free time and want something to do besides sit at the blackjack table or slot machine, try one of these diversions.

The Excalibur features a free show on the court Jesters Stage. Live variety acts begin at 10 a.m. daily. The cast of 28 performers features singers, magicians, jugglers and contortionists. Each act lasts about 10 minutes and are presented every 45 minutes.

For some outdoor entertainment, stop by the Mirage and see the erupting volcano (perhaps again). The show lasts about three minutes and can be seen nightly after dark, every 15 to 20 minutes until midnight.

The Rio presents the Masquerade Village Parade every hour from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. Because the balcony is very crowded, try standing underneath the floats. This is also the best place to snag some beads.


Did you know...?

How well do you know Las Vegas?


Here are the answers to our quiz.

  • The Stardust was the first hotel to add a sports book to its casino.

  • Elvis and Priscilla Presley were married at the original Aladdin hotel, which was torn down in 1998, rebuilt in 2000, went bankrupt in 2001, was sold to OpBiz in 2003 and then renamed Planet Hollywood.

  • The first place Frank Sinatra played in Las Vegas was the Desert Inn.

  • The Riviera was the first high-rise hotel on the Strip when it arrived in 1955.

  • On April 29, 1959, the Las Vegas Convention Center officially opened with a 20,340-square-foot rotunda, 18 meeting rooms and a 90,000-square-foot exhibit hall. In its first year of operation, the Las Vegas Convention Center hosted eight conventions attended by 22,519 delegates.


To receive these articles weekly in your e-mail, subscribe to the NAB Insider e-newsletter from Radio magazine. Click here to subscribe.




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