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NAB Insider from Radio magazine - May 2, 2006
Inside this issue:
News from the Convention
NAB President: It's Time to go on the Offensive
Las Vegas - Apr 24, 2006 - Speaking during the all-industry opening on April 24 at NAB2006, association president David Rehr told broadcasters it is time the association and broadcasters take the offensive on several fronts, rather than playing defense. While acknowledging the industry faces several challenges, Rehr reminded his audience "broadcasting has a solid base of strength on which to support the dazzling new possibilities ahead."
Broadcasters also must continue to be "evangelical" about their community service and local content, he said. The NAB and broadcasters must go on the offensive in five areas, Rehr said, including:
Registered Attendees at NAB2006 Tops 100,000
Las Vegas - Apr 25, 2006 - The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) released its estimated attendance numbers for the NAB2006 convention held in Las Vegas April 24 to April 27, 2006. The total number of registered attendees at the convention was 105,046. The number of international attendees was 25,537. Press attendees at the show equaled 1,294. All numbers are estimates and final registration data will be released after the show.
Starting with NAB2007, the Radio/Audio section moves to the west end of the North Hall to occupy N3 and N4.
SBE's Certification Program Turns 30
Indianapolis - Apr 20 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Program of Certification on April 25 during the SBE Spring Membership Meeting during NAB2006. The celebration included recognition of many local chapter certification chairmen and the National Certification Committee. A special meeting memento was presented to the first 250 people attending who hold SBE certification.
The SBE originally petitioned the FCC to create more stringent licensing requirements for broadcast engineers and operators. When the FCC decided to take the opposite action, the SBE stepped in and created the Program of Certification in 1973. The program was introduced during a session called, "A New Broadcast License Certification Program," at the NAB convention in 1975. Since its introduction, the SBE Program of Certification has evolved and grown to establish a recognized standard of ability for broadcast engineers, audio and video engineers, broadcast IT professionals and radio and TV operators.
"Today, there are more than 5,600 active SBE Certifications held by broadcast professionals," said Jim Bernier, CPBE CBNT, chairman of the National Certification Committee. "This is a number that continues to increase every year as we continue to adapt the Certification Program to the changing demands of our industry."
Wiley to Head NAB Government Relations
Washington - Apr 20, 2006 - Douglas S. Wiley will join the National Association of Broadcasters as executive vice president of government relations. Wiley joins the NAB from the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), where he was senior vice president of government relations under Congressman Dave McCurdy, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. As leader of the EIA's public policy team, he forged legislative strategies to consolidate support of the high-tech industry on Capitol Hill on both sides of the aisle.
When Wiley starts at the NAB on May 15, he will be the most senior NAB executive responsible for representing the broadcasting industry before Congress and the Administration and will lead the NAB's government relations team.
Before joining the EIA in 2003, Wiley was the director of government relations for Alcatel in Washington, DC, where he was a founding member of the High Tech Broadband Coalition. Wiley has also been a vice president at the Telecommunications Industry Association. As director of legislative affairs for the Competitive Telecommunications Association (Comptel), he helped draft and codify key elements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Prior to that, Wiley was the senior legislative assistant to Rep. Thomas J. Bliley of Virginia, former chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. While on Capitol Hill he focused on high-tech, telecommunications and mass media issues. In the mid-1980s, he served in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Executive Branch agency principally responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information policy, under the tenure of former NTIA Administrator and FCC Chairman Alfred C. Sikes. Wiley holds a Master's in Business Administration from the George Washington University.
IDC Partners with Axia
Cleveland - Apr 17, 2006 - Axia has entered into an agreement with International Datacasting Corporation (IDC) to include Livewire network connectivity in IDC satellite receivers. The deal allows IDC receivers to communicate directly with Axia Livewire Ethernet audio systems.
Products on the Floor
AKG Perception 100, 200
These large diaphragm, side-address condenser mics are equipped with 1" capsules that delivery 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response, which begins at 5kHz that rises to +4dB at 10kHz. The mics offer 135dB maximum SPL capability and self-noise of less than 16dB-A. The 200 adds switchable 300Hz, 12dB-per-octave bass-cut filter and a -10dB pad for greater flexibility. Both mic's externally-biased capsules must be powered by 48V phantom power. The chassis' are made of zinc/aluminum alloy and the grille screens are made of special spring steel that are strong and extremely dent resistant. Both mic's impedance is 200Ohms with a signal-to-noise ratio of 78dB.
Axia Audio Iprofiler
Multi-channel audio archiving/logging program
This logger works with Axia IP-Audio networks to capture and store as many as 16 stereo audio channels (or 32 mono channels) of time-stamped MP3 audio without audio cards. The system uses a computer's Ethernet port to record audio streams directly, eliminating computer sound cards. The logger can be used to log on-air programming, store-and-forward network audio feeds and automatically construct air checks. This product supports MP3 compression bit rates from 8kb/s to 320kb/s. The 300GB hard drive can hold more than three years of audio. Audio segments can be automatically backed up as they are created to a network drive or a remote FTP server. Multiple backup locations can be specified.
This translator will convert an FM in-band signal, including FM analog and HD Radio, to another on-band frequency with a command through its RS-232 serial data I/O or front panel control set. The unit is able to manicure the signal, cleaning it of extraneous artifacts and thereby providing a 99 percent+ duplicate of the original signal. Through the use of NTP technology, extraneous noise can be removed from the modulated signal, without loss, while maintaining the integrity of the subcarriers, maximum stereo separation, full fidelity of the audio signal and complete sound stage accuracy.
In this compact version, the battery tray has been removed and replaced by a new front profile. The side flanges are shorter, thus reducing its depth size. The two rails extruded in the front profile allow users to mount accessories or a custom hand rest. An internal digital module offers 8x 24-bit A/D converters with a selectable FS from 44.1 to 192kHz, outputing four AES/EBU lines. A switchable limiter is also provided.
Continental, Nautel Collaborate on Sales Territories
Hackett's Cove, NS, and Dallas - Apr 24, 2006 - During the opening hours of NAB2006, Continental Electronics and Nautel announced that the companies have entered into an agreement to distribute each other's products in their respective home countries of the United States and Canada.
Continental will be able to sell Nautel's solid-state equipment in the United States, and Nautel will be able to sell Continental's high-power tube equipment in Canada. With the deal, Continental will also provide Nautel-made HD Radio exciters in the Continental 816HD tube-based HD Radio transmitters. The Nautel exciter will carry a Continental brand.
OMT Automation Partners with Wheatstone's G6
Wheatstone's G6 audio over Internet Protocol (AOIP) console featured OMT's Imediatouch 2.6 automation software at NAB2006. Wheatstone's AOIP driver doesn't need a traditional sound card and provides multi-channel audio feeds for up to 8x8 stereo pair per PC over Ethernet.
80 Stations Plan Conversion to FM Extra
Milpitas, CA - Apr 14, 2006 - The Idea Bank consortium of broadcasters has selected DRE's FM Extra digital subcarrier system as part of its digital radio strategy. The Idea Bank consortium represents nearly 500 radio stations across the United States and meets twice a year to discuss issues that affect the future of radio. At the group's Atlanta meeting in April, it announced that the group plans to initially convert 80 stations to FM Extra this year.
Over-the-air FM Extra broadcasting was displayed at the meeting from WREC-FM 91.1 in Atlanta with two digital channels of stereo audio simultaneously with the primary stereo analog channel and RBDS.
DRE states that FM Extra can be used with HD Radio transmissions to provide even more digital channels to listeners. DRE also states that DRE-capable production receivers will be available by the end of June 2006.
Thorsteinson Named President of Harris Broadcast Communications Division
Melbourne, FL - Apr 17, 2006 - Harris has named Timothy Thorsteinson president of the company's Broadcast Communications Division. Thorsteinson had been serving as president of the Leitch Technology business unit of Harris, which was acquired in October 2005. He succeeds Jeremy Wensinger who is being promoted to a senior leadership position within the Harris Government Communications Systems Division. Wensinger held the position of president for two years.
Thorsteinson joined Leitch Technology as president in November 2003. Prior to joining Leitch, he was vice president of Grass Valley products for Thomson Broadcast and Media Solutions, where he was responsible for a variety of product lines including switchers, server/storage units, digital news production, signal management, film imaging product lines and TV/film production products. Previously, he served as president of the Grass Valley Group.
Prior to joining Thomson/Grass Valley, Thorsteinson was with Tektronix from 1991 to 2001. He served as president of Tektronix Pacific Operations, one of three units established to accelerate growth in key international markets.
Before joining Tektronix, Thorsteinson served 12 years with National Semiconductor where he designed several programs focused on process re-engineering and total quality management. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.
Eye on IBOC
Day Sequerra Holds M2 Raffle at NAB2006
Las Vegas - Apr 27, 2006 - Day Sequerra raffled off a M2 HD Radio modulation monitor during the NAB convention in Las Vegas. The lucky recipient is Director of Engineering Steve Fluker of Cox Radio in Orlando, FL. Chriss Scherer, editor of Radio magazine, drew the winning ticket.
The M2 offers over-sampling 24-bit, 96kHz DAC combined with the proprietary Class A-biased audio output circuitry that provides audio from every broadcast source. The high resolution, peak and hold 50-segment LED meters indicate RF carrier modulation percent and audio modulation in decibels. The unit uses a multi-function display for tuning and other station information. The monitor also includes alarms for over-modulation, loss of audio and loss of carrier. All tuner functions can be monitored and controlled remotely via an optional PC interface.
WGUC-FM Multicasts with Neural Digital Codec Pre-conditioner
Kirkland, WA, and Cincinnati - Apr 17, 2005 - WGUC-FM 90.9, Cincinnati's Classical Public Radio, has begun HD Radio multicasting using Neural Audio's Neustar Plus digital codec pre-conditioner. WGUC has recently added a 24-hour jazz channel (HD2) to its line-up.
The new WGUC channel features nationally syndicated programming from Jazz Works. WGUC has been broadcasting its classical music programming with HD Radio technology since 2003 under a grant from the Cinergy Foundation.
Neustar Plus and the Neustar 4.0, debuting at NAB2006, have been built from the ground up as a codec pre-conditioner to improve multicast transmission. Neustar 4.0 is fully networkable and upgradeable in the field. The Neustar platform can perform as a stand-alone solution or in tandem with traditional audio processing to maximize the potential of any low-bit-rate audio path for HD Radio, Internet, ISDN/POTS, Satellite, DAB and DRM.
Neutrik XX series
Right angle cable connector
Available in 3-, 4-, 5-, 6- and 7-pole configurations, the connector features a rotatable insert and offers the same features found in Neutrik's other XX-Series products.
Harris Neustar SW 4.0
Software version of Neustar 4.0
This newest generation of Neural codec pre-conditioning, this software runs on any Windows XP/Server 2003 computer, including the HD Radio importers, using the same processing algorithms as Neustar 4.0 in a Windows environment. This version runs as a stand-alone codec pre-conditioner processor or in conjunction with traditional broadcast processing. The software includes the same features as the Neustar 4.0, but also allows broadcasters to simultaneously process HD2, HD3 and HD4 channels or multiple Internet streams. The systems also features the Neural Coding Load Analysis System to decrease codec artifacts.
Myat FM Switchless Combiner Series
Designed to ensure that maximum output power is available at the antenna at all times, operators can switch under full power without interrupting on-air programming, which ensures maximum on-air power. This series is designed to combine or switch two transmitter inputs into a combined output or either transmitter to either output. Switching between modes is achieved by applying a signal to the required mode. Each unit's positions are factory pre-set and performance optimized.
Recording as many as 12 track-hours of audio directly to a 2GB flash memory card, the recorder includes a full-featured time code reader/generator that stamps the time code directly on to broadcast WAV or MP3 files. The miniature recorder weighs about 4 oz. and can be powered for 24 hours with two AA batteries. The unit can be worn on the body as a back-up to wireless microphones when wireless operation is not possible or reliable. An optional 8Vdc to 16Vdc power input is also available. The unit can record in a continuous 12-hour loop or in traditional record/stop operation.
John Battison Honored with SBE Lifetime Achievement Award
Las Vegas - Apr 27, 2006 - John Henry Battison was awarded the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) Lifetime Achievement Award during NAB2006 in Las Vegas. Battison has played a significant role in the radio industry; from working in radio stations to founding the Society of Broadcast Engineers in 1963. From 1978 to 1985 Battison held several management and engineering positions. He was the director of engineering and general manager of CHCTTV in Calgary, Alta. He became director of TV, produced Burl Ives on ABD Network and produced two weekly shows on Dumont, CBS and NBC. In 1947-1949 he worked for ABC New York, where he planned and designed four network TV and FM stations. In 1968-1970 he worked in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh as chief engineer of Saudi Television.
Battison was also a consultant. He was a consultant for Bing Crosby, owner of KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, from 1961 until going to Saudi Arabia in 1968. He was also a consultant to former Governor of New Mexico John Burroughs from 1960-1962. Battison became a TV consultant, planning TV studios, for American University, Washington, DC, from 1952-1954. He has lectured on broadcasting at New York University, American University and in 1952 became the director of education for the National Radio Institute in Washington, DC. Battison was nominated as a Commissioner to the FCC in 1961 and 1973 by Senator Joseph M. Montoya. He was appointed Colonel-aide-de-campe to Governor Sims of New Mexico. Battison is listed in Who's Who in America.
Other achievements include being the author of 15 technical books and more than 500 technical articles in technical journals. From 1964 to 1967 he was the editor of the Journal of Society of Broadcast Engineers. He is a former editor of Broadcast Engineering, a contributing editor for Public Telecommunications Review and technical editor of Radio magazine.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals for their dedication, lifelong achievement and outstanding contribution to the broadcast industry. Nominees must be SBE members in good standing and have been active for 40 years or more in the broadcast engineering industry or a closely allied field that benefits broadcast engineering. Nominations must come from SBE members in good standing, and include the endorsement of three other SBE members in good standing.
Burk Technology Releases Lynx 5.1 Software
Littleton, MA - Apr 20, 2006 - Burk Technology has released Lynx 5.1 broadcast facility control software. Lynx 5.1 works with the GSC3000 and VRC2500 broadcast facility control systems to provide PC-based facility management and automatic control for unattended operation. Major new features include full support for the G-Link G-Bus Expansion series, virtual channels that allow new meter or status indicators based on the composite values of other channels, new tools in the custom view editor, and SQL server support.
A fully functional demo of Lynx 5.1 is available at the Burk website at www.burk.com/lynx.
NAB Announces Crystal Radio Award Winners
Las Vegas - Apr 25, 2006 - The National Association of Broadcasters has named 10 winners of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards. Award winners were selected from a pool of 50 finalists and recognized at the Radio Luncheon held during NAB2006. The winners are:
Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service.
The Radio Magazine Pick Hits
Radio Magazine Announces 2006 Pick Hit Award Winners
Las Vegas - Apr 26, 2006 - Each year at NAB, Radio magazine awards its Pick Hit Awards to companies that debut innovative products at the NAB convention. Picked by a panel of radio engineers, the judges look for products on the show floor that are affordable, as well as technology that targets a particular need in the radio broadcasting industry. This year's winners of the 2006 Pick Hits Award are as follows:
Look for more information on these products in the June issue of Radio magazine.
Day Sequerra Market Area Monitor
Data collection system
Designed for HD Radio, analog and Internet broadcasts, this data collection system offers radio broadcasters a set of resources for local, regional and national HD Radio confidence monitoring and competitive analysis. The MAM system offers diagnostic measurements for any HD Radio station (AM or FM), whether an independent operation or part of a national multi-station group. Using 1RU of space, the MAM receiver records a complete snapshot of any station's HD Radio output including audio SNR, level and time alignment as well as audio program samples, along with cataloging that station's full HD Radio data payload. The system also provides monitoring, cataloging and sampling of legacy analog AM and FM radio and Internet-streaming broadcasts.
OMT HD Now
Programming for HD Radio multicasts
This service provides HD Radio multicast broadcasters with a way to handle their programming and content needs. With one workstation, stations can create multicast programs by accessing a music library with more than 150,000 music titles or 100 professionally programmed channels in various music formats. Multiple HD Radio channels can be managed remotely from a central location to include customizable music, liner and commercial content that is relevant to each market.
Audio Processing Technology HD PCAU
APT and Pulsecom have created the HD PCAU, which assists broadcasters with their migration from analog to digital. This product offers an AES/EBU interface, as well as 20Hz to 20kHz bandwidth to transport HD Radio content and auxiliary data, allowing RBDS to be embedded in the audio stream.
IP audio codec software
This is software for PCs that works via LAN, WAN, DSL, ADSL and the Internet. The system features an auto-detect algorithm built in, so when a user sends or receives content over an IP connection, the system can recognize the coding algorithm used in the transmission and automatically change the settings to match. A compact USB hardware key is required to run the software unrestricted. The software can be used on any computer equipped with a 10/100 LAN interface and a Direct Sound compatible sound card. It supports standard algorithms MPEG 1 and Layer 2, MPEG 2 and Layer 3 and G.722. It also supports MPEG 2 and 4 AAC, MPEG 4 AAC low delay and uncompressed PCM linear audio.
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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