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NAB Insider from Radio magazine - Apr 24, 2007
News from the Convention
NAB2007 Radio magazine Pick Hit Winners Announced
The Pick Hit Awards are the original technology awards presented at the NAB convention. First awarded in 1985, the awards recognize innovation in product development with an eye to meeting the practical needs for radio. The winners are selected by a panel of radio professionals who work independently and anonymously to find the top new products introduced at the convention. Here are the NAB2007 Radio magazine Pick Hit Award Winners:
Learn more about these products and why they were chosen by the judges in the June NAB wrap-up issue.
NAB2007 Attendance is Third Largest Ever
According to the NAB's pre-show and on-site registration figures, total registered attendance for NAB2007 is 108,232. That's an increase from NAB2006, when 105,046 people attended the convention. International attendance was up from 25,537 at the 2006 convention to 26,824 at this year's convention.
NAB Launches Technology Advocacy Program
Washington - Apr 9, 2007 - The National Association of Broadcasters has created a long-term technology advocacy program to seek and facilitate development and commercialization of new technologies for radio and TV. The multi-year, multi-million dollar program will be named NAB Fastroad (Flexible Advanced Services for Television and Radio On All Devices).
NAB Fastroad is a result of the NAB Technology Advocacy Committee in accordance with the sustained priority placed on technology by NAB Joint Board Chairman Bruce Reese and NAB President David Rehr. Consisting of NAB Board members, the NAB Technology Advocacy Committee held its first meeting in March 2006 and subsequently conducted a year-long decision-making investigation, including briefings by outside consultants, economic and technical analysis of technology developments, and a technical review of potential projects through a technology discovery group process. Based on this work, the NAB board of directors decided unanimously in January 2007 to launch the program and NAB's executive committee approved organizational details in late March.
NAB Fastroad will be managed overall by a steering committee consisting of NAB executive staff, board members and other representatives from NAB broadcast member organizations. Project selection and implementation will be handled by a technical committee of selected NAB member company engineers and staff from the NAB Science and Technology Department. Participation by NPR Laboratories and MSTV has also been established to coordinate with other ongoing technical programs in the radio and TV broadcasting sectors. The program will principally concentrate on technologies and services related to over-the-air digital transmission.
IBS Partners with Backbone to Create Internet Radio
Worcester, MA - Apr 9, 2007 - The Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) has partnered with Backbone Networks to create an Internet radio network called the Digital Radio Network. Through this network, student-operated stations can syndicate live and produced programming among member stations, as well as automatically access royalty-free programming from worldwide third-party sources, such as Trakheadz.com. The network will use Backbone's client-server radio software.
The network builds on MPEG-4 AAC as its streaming format. This standard ensures universal acceptance across all listening platforms, and enables each school to partner with the Apple's Itunes store in preparing material, including artist/album annotation and cover art images that display to listeners' free Quick Time or Itunes players. Stations only need a Macintosh computer, a microphone and a DSL connection to be on the air. All program automation software is provided by Backbone, as well as all server storage, streaming broadcast bandwidth and automated reporting software.
IBS Digital Network member stations, as non-commercial entities, will be covered by a maximum royalty obligation of $500 per year, according to the recent CRB ruling. Stations will be able to generate RIAA-compliant listener logs specifying the per-performance records required by the CRB.
Products from the Floor
To ensure that those remotes are smooth and error-free, Zephyr/IP uses Agile Connection Technology (ACT) to continuously adapt to network conditions, minimizing the effects of packet loss, varying bandwidth and jitter. This codec features I/O including AES/EBU, analog and a Livewire Ethernet interface for direct integration with Axia IP-Audio networks as well as LAN, WAN and Wi-fi networks. Other features include studio-grade 24-bit A/D-D/A converters, transmission bit rates from 16kb/s to 256kb/s and a Telos-hosted Z/IP Server service for look-up of and connection to other Zephyr/IP users worldwide.
Adam Audio A7
The A7 matches the A.R.T. tweeter with a 6.5" woofer that introduces a new cone material combining high rigidity and high internal damping with low weight. The speaker is powered by two 50W RMS amps (one per driver). The front panel sports a power switch and volume control. The rear panel houses controls for tweeter level and two shelving filters for high and low frequencies. The unit also features balanced and unbalanced input connectors. Other features: two-way active bass reflex and a frequency response of (± 3dB) 46Hz to 35kHz. Its dimensions are 7" x 13" x 11".
Digital audio router
The Xrouter is a routing and distribution system using MADI and audio-over-Ethernet to provide versatility for a wide range of audio routing applications. The unit can be used as a stand-alone routing and distribution system by interconnecting multiple Xrouter units. Features of this router include eight MADI for 512 inputs and 4GB Ethernet for 1,024 inputs; 64-bit audio-over-Ethernet via CAT5e or fiber; independent output dithering--16, 20 or 24 bit; a sample rate of 28, 96 or 192kHz; and 2RU in size.
Broadcast Electronics AMD 10
This modulator transforms an existing BE medium-wave transmitter to DRM operation. The new option for BE 4MX and BE A and E series transmitters supports all DRM modes of operation and requires no additional modification to transmission infrastructure. The unit is offered as an add-on unit for BE's 4MX transmitter line and as a plug-in module for BE's A and E series transmitters.
Google Ad Sense Adds Compatibility with Several Systems
Google Ad Sense for Audio is now supported by commercial systems from Broadcast Electronics, Enco Systems and LAN International. Ad Sense for Audio is an automated method for radio stations to make their inventory available to Google advertisers.
Ad Sense for Audio is currently available to stations using BE's Audio Vault, Vault2 and AV100, Enco's DAD automation system and LAN International's Viero management suite of tools. Ad Sense also works with Google's SS32 and Maestro. It will soon operate with RCS Nexgen.
Wheatstone, Enco Partner to Provide AoIP
New Bern, NC - Apr 10, 2007 - Wheatstone AoIP drivers will ship to Enco Systems for integration into the company's DAD audio automation systems. The AoIP driver replaces sound cards in the DAD workstations.
Liebisch Joins Nautel as Regional Sales Manager
Hackett's Cove, NS - Apr 9, 2007 - Gary Liebisch has joined Nautel as the regional sales manager for the eastern United States. Liebisch was most recently the product manager for AM and FM radio transmission products for Harris, and was a key member of the team that introduced several HD Radio products. Prior to his association with Harris, Liebisch was a chief engineer and director of engineering for more than 20 years with various groups, including Chancellor Media.
Liebisch received a Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and holds lifetime certification as a Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer with the Society of Broadcast Engineers.
He will maintain a Nautel field sales office in Ohio. He can be reached at 513-576-6400 or Gary.Liebisch@nautel.com
Nautel NX Link
A remote Web-based monitoring and control system for Nautel transmitters, this system allows users to access the NX Link via Internet-enabled computers or with IP-ready smartphone devices. Users have remote access to alarm and information logs and configurable e-mail reporting of critical alarms is available.
National Association of Broadcasters Engineering Handbook, 10th Edition, by Edmund Williams
The NAB Engineering Handbook provides detailed information on virtually every aspect of the broadcast chain, from news gathering, program production and postproduction through master control and distribution links to transmission, antennas, RF propagation, cable and satellite. Hot topics covered include HD Radio, HDTV, 2GHz broadcast auxiliary services, EAS, workflow, metadata, digital asset management, advanced video and audio compression, audio and video over IP and Internet broadcasting. Basic principles and the latest technologies and issues are all addressed by respected professionals with first-hand experience in the broadcast industry and manufacturing.
Musicam Suprima, Road Warrior
The new Suprima codec offers universal connectivity and compatibility with an IP/LAN interface, ISDN S/T & U Interface terminal adapters and a X.21 interface in an all-inclusive package. Coding algorithms include MPEG 2 AAC, MPEG 4 AAC LD, MPEG Layer II, Layer III and low-delay Apt-x standard and enhanced mode. The Road Warrior provides all the features of the Suprima in a lightweight, compact package with a five-channel microphone input/mixer.
Tieline Launches Interoperability Over IP with other Brands
As telco providers cut back and in some cases discontinue offering ISDN service in the United States and Europe, the European Broadcast Union (EBU) is establishing operability standards that will allow IP codecs from different manufacturers to communicate with each other. At NAB2007, Tieline Technology demonstrated codecs that are compliant with the new audio-over-IP interoperability standards issued by the EBU.
While most ISDN codecs have been able to establish ISDN connections regardless of the manufacturer for more than 10 years, IP connectivity does not always provide the same cross-compatibility. The EBU is establishing a global standard for broadcasting via IP networks and interoperability between codec brands.
Part of this compatibility includes the use of the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP), which defines a standardized packet format for delivering audio and video over the Internet, and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP ), an Internet application-layer protocol that allows audio and video sessions to be established over the Internet. SIP provides many features to simplify a codec connection across the Internet including the ability to register a name or number to a codec to simply dialing via a SIP server; a mechanism to allow the best algorithm that is common to both codecs to be used; correctly setting sample rate, bit-rate and mono/stereo mode; and an option to send only, receive only or standard send/receive mode.
Tieline plans to extend its support for phone voice mode to include SIP VoIP over IP connections. Tieline now offers voice-mode connectivity on POTS, GSM, ISDN and IP.
NABEF Announces Engineering Internship Recipients
The NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) has named the 10 participants in the NABEF Broadcast Technology and Engineering Internship Program. The program, in its inaugural year, provided participating students exposure in the broadcast engineering field by attending NAB2007.
The NABEF Broadcast Technology and Engineering Internship Program reinforces the broadcast industry's diversity efforts by increasing the number of women and people of color entering the broadcast engineering field. The NABEF fellowship recipients were selected from a pool of qualified candidates with demonstrated ability and interest in broadcasting. The 2007 participants include:
|Crystal Dapheen Essex|
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
|Johnathan F. Lovelace|
|Jessica L. Sturgis|
|Varian Cavell Lucas|
University of North Texas
Napa Valley College
Bates Technical College
Boise State University
|Patricia L. Walsh|
The NAB Education Foundation supports and advocates education and training programs, strategies to increase diversity, initiatives stressing the importance of the First Amendment, community service, philanthropy and other timely broadcasting issues.
X-Digital XDS-Pro 4
The XDS-Pro 4 satellite receiver is designed as a professional device enabling networks with up to four audio outputs with 32 relays. Each live stream can be routed to any of the balanced outputs. Media files can be transmitted into local Flash, a local hard disk or onto a mounted Network File Server device. Audio files residing on the mounted device can be inserted into live or recorded media being output via the MPEG decoder, providing localization into live and stored programming.The XDS-Pro is capable of recording and playing back any broadcast channel. All units are equipped with as many as 32 programmable Form-A relays that can be actuated via network control or ancillary data channels, providing a legacy interface for many existing radio station automation systems.
Inovonics Band Scanner
FM scanning receiver
The Band Scanner is a tool to evaluate FM broadcast band congestion and to log station identification parameters. The system is powered by the USB port of any Windows PC. The Band Scanner generates a graph showing RF level vs. frequency for every station in the market. It then analyzes each carrier and creates a station list. Stations with an RDS presence are further refined to show all the radio data groups being transmitted. Its interface is like a portable radio: It may be tuned manually through the receiver screen or by double-clicking a point on the spectrum plot or an entry on the station list. Spectrum plots may be saved as jpg or bmp files. The RDS data error level is graphed in a separate window on the receiver screen. The program can be monitored with headphones plugged into a standard 1/8" jack.
Pristine Systems Informant
Audio silence monitor
The Informant is an audio silence monitor with e-alterts. The unit continuously monitors incoming audio using high-speed A/D converters with a specially weighted algorithm to detect silence below a user adjustable threshold. When the length of silence on any channel exceeds the user-determined duration, an e-mail/SMS text message is sent to the corresponding e-mail address from that channel's time schedule.
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Also in the April Issue
- Update on Transmitters
- On-air Missteps to Avoid
- Tower Lease Renegotiation
- New Products
- Applied Technology: Streaming with the MPEG HE-AAC Audio Codec
- Side by Side: Studio Furniture
- Practical Use: Circulators and Isolators