NAB Radio Update - Sep 2, 2008

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2008 NAB Radio Show Engineering Program
This year's NAB Radio Show Engineering Program, Sept.17-19 in Austin, TX, focuses on advances in radio technology, new ways to generate potential revenue from AM towers, plus optimizing FM signal coverage with boosters. The engineering sessions are presented in a workshop-type environment with ample time to ask questions and interact with experts and industry peers.

Wednesday, Sept. 17
8 a.m.-9 a.m.
Renting AM Towers to Non-Broadcasters

Gary Cavell - Cavell, Mertz & Associates
This presentation for managers and engineers alike provides practical, easily understood insight into the game of renting space on your AM station's directional or non-directional tower. Topics include liability issues, leasing gotchas, planning for shared use, understanding each other's needs, FCC considerations, and (simplified) technical issues.

9 a.m.-10 a.m.
Psycho Acoustics: Is Jim Loupas Crazy When He Says Branding with Sound will Make your Radio Station More Successful?

James Loupas, James Loupas Associates
In today's ultra-competitive market, branding with sound is a potent weapon in the radio broadcaster's arsenal. Processing is part of it, but not all of it. Come learn the five ways you can make your sound a unique brand in your market. Questions and comments are always a part of this exercise.

10 a.m.-11 a.m.
FM Boosters – Opportunities and Challenges

Stan Salek, Senior Engineer, Hammett & Edison
FM boosters have been in regular use for about 20 years. Over that time, many systems have been designed and constructed, with some notable successes, but also a number of disappointments. The key has been to adequately isolate the FM booster signal from that of the main station operating on the same channel in areas of population to be served. This workshop will cover the technical elements needed for successful implementation of FM booster transmitting facilities. Examples of both successes and failures will be presented, along with consideration of performance expectations when FM boosters are designed for IBOC digital radio compatibility.

11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Advances In Remote Control Technology

Tony Peterle, Technical Support Manager, Audemat
Broadcasting is in the midst of a digital revolution. Advanced technology is spreading rapidly throughout the industry, from all-digital television to HD radio to audio over IP to advanced all-digital audio processing and RF test and measurement equipment. One area that has lagged somewhat behind the technological tidal wave is remote facility control, but that is now beginning to change. This workshop presentation explores the new technology being applied to remote facility control.

1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
NRSC Meetings

The NRSC has been setting standards and investigating new technologies for radio for more than 20 years. Don't miss this opportunity to participate in these important industry meetings. You do not need to be a member of the NRSC to attend.

Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008
8 a.m.-9 a.m.
Next Generation IP-based Audio

Tag Borland, President, Logitek
Network aware professional audio equipment has a poor record of interoperability. Recently available protocols allow multicasting systems, like digital mixers, to automatically find and select the many settings required for network communication to work. Consoles can now find other audio equipment, negotiate communication methods and receive a list of available sources just by turning on the power. Some user groups have started requiring a minimum set of protocols in the networked equipment they buy. Now is the time to start planning for the coming change.

9 a.m.-10 a.m.
High Bandwidth Capacity RF STL/TSL Connectivity

Jim Moody, Senior Consultant, James Moody Associates
Larry Miller, Senior Partner, Schwartz, Woods & Miller

This session will examine and present possible solutions for high bandwidth studio-to-t ransmitter, studio-to-studio and transmitter-to-transmitter connectivity problems. Modern broadcast data connections such as T1, DS3, OC3, and 100baseT Ethernet were not even contemplated when the FCC drafted the rules that govern STL connectivity. Those rules have not evolved with the demands of technology, and broadcasters are now faced with a connectivity dilemma that often dictates looking beyond Part 74 to Part 101 of the FCC rules .

10 a.m.-12 p.m.
HD Radio Measurements Workshop

David Maxson, Managing Partner, Broadcast Signal Lab
HD Radio technology and its implementation require an understanding of measurements techniques not familiar to most radio engineers. Some of what will be covered in this special workshop includes: the HD Radio signal and spectrum, the HD Radio Mask evolution, the current state of the rules, what is PSD and measuring PSD.

2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
The Embedded Exporter Technical Panel

Moderator: David Layer, Director, Advanced Engineering, NAB
Panelists: Dan Dickey, Vice President, Engineering, Continental Electronics Corp.
Scott Martin, Head of Data Systems, Nautel Limited
Ted Lantz, HD Radio Product Manager, Broadcast Electronics
Tim Anderson, FM/Digital Radio Product Line Manager, Harris Corporation, Broadcast Communications Division

HD Radio transmission equipment has recently advanced to the next level with the unveiling in April of the "Embedded Exporter." HD Radio stations use the Exporter to combine multicast audio channels and advanced data services along with a station's main audio channel into a format suitable for transmission. In this session, the differences between the previous generation of Exporter equipment and the new Embedded Exporter will be explained, with a focus on how this new technology promises enhanced reliability and a greater feature set while at the same time substantially lowering the cost of upgrading to HD Radio technology.

Friday, Sept.19, 2008
8 a.m.-10 a.m.
High-Power IBOC Technical Panel

Moderator: Geoff Mendenhall, Vice President, Transmission Research and Technology, Harris Corporation - Broadcast Communications Division
Panelists: Jeff Detweiler, Director, Broadcast Business Development, iBiquity Digital Corporation
Dan Dickey, Vice President, Engineering, Continental Electronics Corp.
Ted Lantz, HD Radio Product Manager,
Gary Liebisch, Eastern U.S. Regional Sales Manager, Nautel, Ltd.
Milford Smith, Vice President, Radio Engineering, Greater Media, Inc.
Mike Starling, Vice President, Engineering, National Public Radio

In June a group of radio broadcasters asked the FCC to allow FM broadcasters, at their option, to increase the power in the digital portion of their hybrid IBOC signals by up to 10dB. In this session a panel of technical experts will discuss this proposal, explaining the potential impact on existing facilities as well as how to best design new facilities for higher-power operation.

10 a.m.-11 a.m.
The HD Radio EPG Project

Moderator: Rick Ducey, Chief Strategy Officer, BIA Financial Network
Panelists: David Maxson, Partner, Broadcast Signal Lab, LLP
Nick Banks, Development Director, Unique Interactive
Joseph D'Angelo, Vice President, Advanced Services, iBiquity Digital Corporation

One of the advanced features supported by the HD Radio system is transmission of an Electronic Program Guide (EPG), an interactive on-screen guide to scheduled broadcast programming. NAB, through its FASTROAD (Flexible Advanced Services for Television & Radio On All Devices) technology advocacy program, has a team of technical experts from BIA Financial Network, Inc., Broadcast Signal Lab, and Unique Interactive working with Ibiquity to develop the business requirements, system architecture and specifications of an EPG suited to the HD Radio market for local broadcasters. The EPG project team will discuss their plans and progress to-date.

Products from the Floor

Orban Optimod 8585
Digital surround audio processor
Booth 600
Starting with the technology of Orban's Optimod 6300 two-channel processor for digital transmission media, the 8585 incorporates multichannel processing that reflects the latest psychoacoustic research into loudness perception. The 8585 features Optimod-quality two- and five-band audio processing for surround sound broadcasting, netcasting and mastering. Thanks to versatile compression ratio controls and a mastering-quality look-ahead peak limiter, the 8585 is ideal for mastering audio in broadcast productions. The 8585 is built on Orban's flagship hardware platform. This features a GUI displayed on a quarter-VGA active matrix color LCD, making it easy to do all setup and adjustment from the 8585's front panel. A new third-generation CBS Loudness Controller helps retain audiences by controlling both subjective loudness and annoyance. The multichannel and 2.0 processors can operate with separate audio processing parameters like release times.

Harris HDE-200
Booth 509
The Harris HDE-200 exporter supports the delivery of multiple HD Radio program streams over a single, dedicated IP connection. The development of the new exporter is driven by the need to fortify the E2X (exporter-to-exciter) protocol in the HD Radio transmission chain while minimizing implementation costs for the radio station. The Harris Pacific Design Center has embedded new software code from Ibiquity Digital into a fully functional hardware component with no moving parts, which enables increased reliability. At only 1RU, the HDE-200 offers a drastically reduced footprint with more features and options than its predecessor. The exporter supports TCP over IP transport of the E2X protocol, as well as HD Protocol (HDP). The HDE-200 exporter also includes remote and front-panel metering and monitoring features and an internal GPS module, as well as options for profanity delay, diversity delay and an Arbitron People Meter.

Digigram PYKO
IP audio endpoints
Booth 624
This range of IP audio endpoints and software can build manageable digital audio networks. PYKO devices will either convert analog or digital audio sources to MP3 or PCM IP streams or play such streams from the network or from locally stored MP3 files. Units are housed in robust, rack-mountable casings with balanced I/Os on terminal block connectors and eight GPIOs.

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