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NAB’s McFadden Warns Against Negotiating Available C-Band Spectrum

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 12:58

The FCC shouldn’t act like it’s haggling over a new car when it comes to the C-band spectrum, according to NAB’s Vice President of Strategic Planning Patrick McFadden. McFadden wrote a post on NAB’s Policy Blog on how in terms of the amount of C-band spectrum made available for wireless companies, the FCC must look at the facts on what amount is safe for broadcasters to effectively use the spectrum, not negotiate the best possible deal.

[Read: Cumulus/WWO Among Those Rejecting Fiber Suggestion as Replacement for C-Band]

In his blog, McFadden notes that satellite operators say that it is possible to make up to 200 MHz available for wireless companies, leaving 300 MHz for radio and television operators to continue using the spectrum without issue. He argues that it would be irresponsible for the FCC to try and debate over that number (or whatever it may be).

“Rather, the solution is to look at the information the operators have submitted regarding their transition plan and determine how much capacity can be made available without driving the entire America content ecosystem into a ditch,” McFadden wrote.

Read McFadden’s entire blog here.

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The post NAB’s McFadden Warns Against Negotiating Available C-Band Spectrum appeared first on Radio World.

Updated OOH Advertising Marketplace Rolls Out

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 12:54

Vibenomics has launched a new advertising venture with a former president of NextRadio at the helm.

New Vibenomic’s Chief Strategy Officer Paul Brenner at the NAB Show

The cloud-based managed service provider Vibenomics launched what it’s calling the Audio Out-Of-Home Advertising Marketplace. The solution enables businesses and connected cities to build a specific “audio vibe” in an environment — a sports complex or a shopping center for example — to increase sales and enrich a visitor’s experience, the company says.

The solution has been in beta test over the last eight months and has been used by more than 100 national and local advertisers to reach in-market shoppers in locations like water parks and sports complexes. Those locations reported consistently positive results after using the marketplace, the company said. Similar results were achieved by a roster of national advertisers like Pepsi, Red Bull and General Mills with one chain advertiser seeing a 42% sales lift and $1.9 million incremental revenue.

The new marketplace will be headed by Paul Brenner, a former president of NextRadio/TagStation and senior vice president of Emmis Communications. Brenner will join Vibenomics as chief strategy officer.

The Vibenomics Audio Out-of-Home Ad Marketplace will roll out to 2,000 locations in 45 states. The marketplace is designed to reach more than 150 million consumers while they are shopping, working, traveling and playing.

“In the process, we have created a national footprint that we know will be much sought after by both audio and OOH [out of home] advertisers,” said Brent Oakley, founder and CEO of Vibenomics.

According to Vibenomics, scientific studies show that background music influences how much time is spent in a store, what to buy, how much to spend and can trigger impulse buyers to make additional purchases. According to the company, the Vibenomics ad marketplace gives advertisers an opportunity to reach these audiences with professionally recorded announcements when they have a predisposition to purchase.

The Out of Home Advertising Association of America reported that revenue for the second quarter of 2019 grew 7.7% to nearly $2.7 billion compared to the same period in 2018. That marks the sector’s highest quarterly growth since 2007, the organization said, with growth occurring across all four major OOH channels: billboards, street furniture, transit and place-based. In addition, nearly 70% of the top 100 advertisers in the space increased their spend in the second quarter compared to the same timeframe last year, while 25% more than doubled their OOH investment.

The OOH market is expected to grow from $8 billion to $11.5 billion through 2022, said Scott McCorkle, executive chairman of Vibenomics.

“We are already taking market share from others in this space by offering more efficiency and better results,” McCorkle said. “[Advertisers] want to reach the unique footprint we have created and amplify the voice of their brands in an entirely new way right at the point of sale when it matters most.”

Features within the Vibenomics Audio Out-of-Home Advertising Marketplace include dynamic, in-stream, programmatic digital audio ad insertion; brand-safe placements, immunity to ad fraud; and access to consumers at the point of sale. The solution includes curated playlists, professional voice announcements and management via experience managers at Vibenomics who control music, messaging and advertising for customization of the message in each location.

Founded in 2016 in Indianapolis as Fuzic, the company rebranded to Vibenomics in 2017.

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The post Updated OOH Advertising Marketplace Rolls Out appeared first on Radio World.

IBC Exhibitor Viewpoint: Todor Ivanov, DEVA Broadcast

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 09:56

IBC2019 is almost here. Between now and then Radio World will conduct several short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the big annual trade show. Todor Ivanov is CEO of DEVA Broadcast.

Radio World: How has business been for the company since IBC2019?

Todor Ivanov: Business has been really good. We have been working on multiple projects, developing new products and perfecting old ones, continuing successful business partnerships and establishing promising new contacts.

By far the most significant development is that we are currently in the process of setting up a new, high-tech manufacturing facility, due to be put into operation in 2020. We are really excited because it’s a massive project — the entire facility spans about 4000 square meters. It is also quite demanding, with so many things to consider and bring to fruition, but it’s also quite rewarding. This facility is sure to bring about great new opportunities and contribute toward an even smoother, slicker and more sophisticated manufacturing process, so we can deliver even higher quality solutions to our clients. At the moment, I am giving this project my full attention and pouring all my efforts into ensuring that no detail is overlooked.

Apart from that, sales have soared and our business keeps expanding to new territories and customers. Our commitment to quality is what drives this company and we keep searching for improvement.

We have also had the privilege of being a part of every important industry exhibition. It has been a busy agenda but our local dealers have helped us make the most of every event. We are happy to note that our products are well received regardless of the location, and it is our aim to continue to provide the best to our customers.

Radio World: What are you hearing from your customers about their business outlook this year? In what areas should we expect growth or the most interesting projects?

Ivanov: It is not easy to give a definitive answer here. What matters the most is that radio in general is on the rise, which gives us a great platform to build on. We know that trends vary depending on the local markets so we try to branch out in terms of the products we provide, rather than channeling our efforts into a specific area. Our product catalog is quite rich and that is how we ensure that no matter where a client is, they can get quality merchandise.

[IBC Sneak Peek: DEVA Broadcast Brings DB4005 to IBC]

Radio World: Stepping away from your particular segment, what is your feeling for the overall health of the radio industry?

Ivanov: It is developing fast and always introducing new technology. It is also quite competitive, which can only add to the motivation of companies who ply their trade in this field. It is very important that radio continues to be a part of people’s lives — it does not feel obsolete or forgotten. On the contrary, it is going strong and this encourages us to keep improving.

Radio World: You’ve been active in the radio monitoring, encoding and processing gear for 22 years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing users in this segment right now?

Ivanov: First of all, being in this market for so long is a challenge in itself, but it is definitely one that we relish. Staying in any business and establishing a well-reputed and respected name is not easy. We have faced a series of difficulties over the years but we now know that having a team of experienced and dedicated professionals is the key to making it work. We have a great group of engineers that make cutting-edge technology seem simple — and they are essential to the success of our company.

Radio World: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth?

Ivanov: Taking the time to visit us at booth 8.D79 in hall 8 will definitely be worth it because our product display will once again impress attendees. We will bring to the expo both new releases and gear that has been part of our product range for a long time. The highlight will probably be our upcoming DB4005 model — a third-generation digital FM Radio modulation analyzer and receiver with an MPX input. I don’t want to give you too many details now — let’s leave that for the show. Suffice it to say that we will have the right product for every client, so be sure to drop by!

Radio World: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at IBC2019?

Ivanov: Each year brings great technological innovations in our field and I am certain that every manufacturer will bring to the expo their best and most advanced products, which is great for our industry. DEVA Broadcast will also use this important venue to showcase some superb solutions. You don’t want to miss this!

Radio World: How do your international sales and marketing efforts differ from your U.S. efforts?

Ivanov: It is true that every market has its own peculiarities and being aware of those is an important part of what we do. However, there is a common denominator to our strategy, no matter which part of the world is concerned — we have to be able to recommend the right product and also offer competent and efficient assistance. This, coupled with the high quality equipment we provide, is central to our sales efforts for any part of the world.

Radio World Will you be attending any sessions or looking forward to any events?

Ivanov: My guess is I will be quite busy on our own booth displaying our product range, as I want to personally ensure that clients receive all the information and demonstrations they need. However, the IBC always offers a great program and it would be wonderful if I could manage to make time for some of it. 

Radio World: You’re a show veteran, how has the show changed since your first visit?

Ivanov: It has evolved spectacularly — it feels like every year the show is on a grander scale. It is superbly organized and plays host to a wealth of events, panels and workshops, a great number of exhibitors and an ever-growing number of attendees. It takes great professionalism and enthusiasm to set up such a show and the result is impressive. It really is one of the biggest exhibitions in our field.

Radio World: What’s your favorite thing about this show?

Ivanov: The fact that it showcases the best technology and makes it available for such a large number of people to evaluate. Another important aspect of it is that it gives us the opportunity to discuss products with our customers and get their feedback. The IBC is a huge event and we are really thrilled to participate.

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The post IBC Exhibitor Viewpoint: Todor Ivanov, DEVA Broadcast appeared first on Radio World.

Using Media to Make Afghan Children Smile

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 08:49

The author is BBC journalist and writer.

LONDON — “I am so happy that my childhood favorite, the young radio presenter, has grown up, and her daughter is now presenting a TV program,” said a fan in a Facebook message to me. He was talking about the rabbit, Warakai, with whom I am now co-presenting the BBC News Pashto children’s bedtime stories TV program, “Lallo Lallo” (Lullaby). Warakai is the daughter of Kharakai, the talking rabbit on the BBC radio who, during the brutal war of the 1990s, stole the hearts of Afghans. If I can say so, I knew her very well.

Najiba Laima Kasraee with Warakai, the daughter of celebrity radio personality, Kharakai.

CIVIL WAR

In the early 1990s, when civil war was raging in Afghanistan, I wrote and presented a children’s radio program, which the BBC broadcast from London. Knowing how little content was available for Afghan children, I was trying to give them some moments of sparkle and happiness so they could forget, even if temporarily, the bombs, the hunger, the fear, and perhaps lose themselves in a place where good prevailed over evil, where darkness always gave way to sunshine. This place was the children’s story slot on Wednesdays on BBC Pashto radio, transmitted on medium wave and shortwave in Afghanistan as well as in the “Pashtun belt” in Pakistan’s northwest.

As Warakai joins Najiba to co-present Lallo Lallo, the studio audience, Bibbo the Monkey and Lallai the Koala, look thrilled.

Most of the time, my daughter was my first listener. She would give me the most direct and honest feedback you can wish for as a writer. If she liked the story, I would see it in her eyes. I would be telling her about the ant beating the drum, and she would be give me a wide smile and do a drumming gesture. If my narrative confused or disappointed her, her face would immediately show it, she would frown and ask, “Why?” or “Is that it?” That’s when I would know that there was a need for a rewrite.

Watching my daughter’s response, I also could see how children’s imagination works as they picture characters in their heads. One evening I was telling her the story of a village where love was gone and people were angry with each other. No one was giving treats to the fairies in the trees, no one was visiting them, so the fairies decided to pack up and leave the loveless village. My daughter’s immediate reaction was: “Do the fairies have suitcases? What are their dresses made of?” As they tuned in to hear that tale, the audience was informed that the fairies’ dresses were made out of rose petals, their sandals — of green shiny leaves, and that they packed their garments in walnut shells.

To help me tell those tales, I soon summoned Kharakai, my grey rabbit co-presenter. Like me, Kharakai was safe from destruction yet held tight the love for her mountainous native land. Kharakai was fun. She helped me explain some particularly tough and tricky parts of the story, asking questions exactly as a child would do. She often took over the narrative with her own interpretation.

Afghans fell in love with my co-presenter. The amount of letters, gifts, and toys we were receiving for her was unprecedented. And they were not all from children. At the end of my journalist colleague’s very serious interview in Afghanistan with an authoritative interlocutor, the bearded commander took him aside and, suddenly smiling, quietly asked who was behind the voice of the rabbit on the BBC radio show…

[In-Car Updates From Radioplayer, BBC Sounds]

BBC World Service started broadcasting in Pashto on Aug. 15, 1981, at the height of the Cold War, in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. As information in the country was under strict government control, the BBC’s radio broadcasts in Pashto became staple listening for millions in Afghanistan and Pashtun-speaking areas of Pakistan. Mullahs were asked to adjust the evening prayer times to allow people to tune in to the BBC.

CRUCIAL INFORMATION

From mid-1990s, the weekly radio soap opera “New Home New Life” in Pashto as well as Dari (produced by the BBC’s international charity BBC World Service Trust — now BBC Media Action) started to raise issues such as awareness of mines (a scourge that claimed thousands of civilian lives), immunization, or refugees’ return to their villages. Aimed at empowering women, it was also a radio drama in its own right, bringing together entire families and, where radio sets had to be shared, neighbors.

Najiba Laima Kasraee visits Kabul in 2002.

Afghan children can now watch our stories rather than just listen to them. But in a country where many areas have sporadic access to electricity — and hence to TV and social media — BBC News Pashto radio continues to be an important source of news and features. In Afghanistan — fifth largest market for BBC News outside the United Kingdom — the BBC reaches 59 percent of the population in Pashto, Dari, Uzbek and English.

BBC News Afghan service’s editor, Meena Baktash, says: “We always look for ways to deliver content tailored for a wider range of audiences, be it children, youth, parents, or women in particular — on TV and online but also on radio which continues to be a medium of choice for millions in Afghanistan.”

Afghan children are still surrounded by war. Just like in the 1990s, many are familiar with the sound of attacking gunships. They have seen explosions in a market place or a school. For many, childhood ends at the age of four when they start to work.

As our TV series talks about health, safety, education and morality, Kharakai’s daughter, Warakai adds moments of magic and colors, something every child deserves. Let’s see if her TV fan group can match that of her radio celebrity mother.

The post Using Media to Make Afghan Children Smile appeared first on Radio World.

AES to Shine in Big Apple

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 12:33

The traditional fall audio gathering, the AES Show, approaches. This year’s event once again is at New York’s Jacob Javits Center.

The show floor will be a two-day affair, Oct. 16–18, while the sessions run for three days, Oct. 16–19.

As usual there will be plenty of equipment exhibitors on the show floor. Attendees will find more than enough to put gray hairs on the GM.

Many of the sessions that would of most interest to the Radio World audience can be found in the Broadcast and Online Delivery track (see www.aes.org/events/147).

Track chairman Dave Bialik says, “We’re very open. A lot of people have gotten the opinion, ‘AES, that’s above the broadcaster level,’ but people don’t realize that broadcasters have to care about audio quality.”

For sheer star power you can’t beat the “Innovations in Audio Processing” featuring an all-star lineup, no, make that a Murderers’ Row lineup of processor gurus: Bob Orban, Orban Labs; Frank Foti, The Telos Alliance; Steve Dove, Wheatstone; George Massenburg, GML; and Tim Carroll, Dolby Labs. The session will be directed by Bialik.

Radio World Editor in Chief Paul McLane will be overseeing “Performance Spaces for Broadcast,” a look at the proliferation of live stages at broadcast facilities. Joining him will be Sam Berkow, SIA Acoustics; John Carraciola, JVC Communications; Gary Kline of Kline Consulting; and Jason Ornellas, Bonneville International–Sacramento. The session will help provide tech ideas, design tips and guidelines to navigate the concept to completion of building a performance space in a facility.

If there’s a theme being explored, perhaps it is “streaming.” There are several sessions taking on that multifaceted topic.

We can start with “Anatomy of a Stream.” Triton Digital’s Sam Sousa will be joined by Bob Orban, John Kean of Cavell and Mertz, Iaon Rus of The Telos Alliance and Mike Smith of Mainstreaming. This is a dig into where streaming is today, including its construction, and where it might be going tomorrow.

Several from the panel will also be involved with “Metadata: What Works, What Does Not and Why?” Joined by Kent Terry of Dolby Labs, they’ll turn their attention to metadata.

“Convergence of Broadcast Over-the Air and Streaming Delivery” is headed by the NAB’s David Layer. Broadcasters still reach the majority of their listeners via over-the-air transmission but few deny that digital streaming will play an increasingly larger part of their program distribution effort. He’ll be joined by Sayon Deb of the Consumer Technology Association, Jeff Detweiler of Xperi and Todd Baker of Vizio.

As part of streaming, the subcategory of podcasting is also starring. “Podcast Production Story” is led by Walters-Storyk Design Group’s Romina Larregina and John Storyk. Joined by Austin Thompson of Gimlet Media and John DeLore of Stitcher, they will examine podcast-oriented production facilities at the two podcast production houses.

There will be a related tour of the new WSDG-designed Stitcher production studios in Manhattan.

American Public Media’s Rob Byers will also helm a podcast roundtable taking a look at crafting a quality podcast.

For the really ambitious the session “Facility Design for IP,” with Andy Butler of PBS, Kent Terry of Dolby and Emeric Feldmar of WGBH, promises to be barn burner. “If you think you know IP, think again” is the tease for this session, a co-production between AES and the SBE.

In addition, there’ll also be a whole track on Networked Audio. Many of the sessions will provide updates on current technologies, some look at the next big thing while others are trying to get an idea where IP audio is going in a longer run scenario. Radio broadcast engineers, listen up.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Be sure not to miss “Emergency Preparedness and Safety for Broadcasters.” Scott Fybush, Tom Ray, Jim Leifer and Howard Price will discuss the multiple approaches that encompass a station’s emergency plans. These can include everything from personnel to facility design plus dealing with emergency officials and how to recover from an emergency. This session is a co-production with the SBE.

Mark Twain, played by Rob Alvey, will make an appearance on Oct. 16 in “An Intimate Evening With Tesla and Twain” presented by HEAR Now Festival and SueMedia Radio Waves Studios.

After all of that serious stuff, perhaps it might be time to take a break.

The “Technical History of WNYC,” featuring New York Public Radio’s Chief Technology Officer Steve Shultis, Director of Engineering Jim Stagnitto and Andy Lanset, director of archives, is a look back at the evolution and development of the influential noncommercial station, especially from a broadcast engineering viewpoint.

There’s also a pair of sessions that look at very “edgy” audio — things like 3D audio. Maybe not relevant at the moment for radio broadcast engineers but we’ve seen how fast technology can change the dynamic. “Live Broadcasting With Object-Based Audio” features presenters from Television France, Radio France and Fraunhofer discussing recent demonstrations in Europe highlighting “immersive and interactive content” in actual TV and radio productions. These include 3D audio, multiple language broadcasting and real-time alternative version mixes of programming.

In a similar vein there is a session called “Immersive Audio Mixing and Workflow for Broadcast.” A bit heavy on TV but possibly a hint of things to come in the next decade.

Other fun stuff and items that might be of interest include a number of Audio Builders Workshops. These are DIY sessions on how to build and repair equipment.

 

For history buffs, the HEAR Now Festival and SueMedia Radio Waves Studios will present “An Intimate Evening With Tesla and Twain,” Oct. 16. The two men, with their oversized personalities, who need no introduction, really met in the 1890s. The event features professional Mark Twain re-enactor Rob Alvey.

And, finally, as is now tradition, the attendance of sessions can count towards SBE recertification, and there will be a certification exam conducted at the show on Oct. 18.

IF YOU GO

What: AES New York 2019

Where: Jacob K. Javits
Convention Center

When: Oct. 16–19, 2019

Info: www.aes.org/events/147

How Much:
Three-Day All-Access
AES Member: $520–620
AES Student: $145–165
Nonmember: $655–755

Two-Day All-Access
AES Member: $350–420
AES Student: $100–120
Nonmember: $430–530

Single-Day All-Access
AES Member: $195–230
AES Student: $65–75
Nonmember: $235–285

Exhibits-Plus Onsite: $75

NAB Show New York

The NAB Show New York, Oct. 16–17, is collocated with the AES Show in the Jacob Javits Center. Attendees of the AES will also have access to the NAB Show New York.

It describes itself to be the “largest gathering of the media, entertainment and technology community on the East Coast.”

The show offers a floor with equipment dealers along with sessions on a range of topics, from video production to monetizing opportunities provided by cutting edge technology to a Streaming Summit.

More info can be found at www.nabshowny.com.

The post AES to Shine in Big Apple appeared first on Radio World.

IBC Sneak Peek: Xperi Highlights DTS Connected Radio

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 07:50

At IBC2019, Xperi will be showcasing its global Hybrid Radio solution, DTS Connected Radio.

Xperi says DTS Connected Radio delivers a new over-the-air in-vehicle hybrid radio experience for listeners.

Working directly with broadcasters, DTS Connected Radio delivers real-time broadcast metadata for all programming types and returns new insights on how listeners are engaging with broadcast content in the vehicle.

On display, will be LIVE global demonstrations of the DTS Connected Radio experience around the world.

IBC Stand: 14.A26

Info: www.xperi.com

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The post IBC Sneak Peek: Xperi Highlights DTS Connected Radio appeared first on Radio World.

IBC Sneak Peek: RCS Brings Streaming to IBC

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 00:00

RCS calls Revma an affordable and complete online professional streaming solution. With guaranteed reliability, 24/7 support, professional audio processing and integrated listener reports, it adds.

The customizable streaming package has an Administration portal with user management. Listener reports are designed for radio people, per stream or aggregated for all sources.

The company says that Revma is compatible with the most popular audio ad-providers for alternate ads for a station’s online streams. Multiple audio outputs can provide any quality and format — HLS, MPEG-DASH, HTTPs, F-MP4. In addition it has no cross-platform restrictions, infinite scale for any number of sources and listeners

IBC Stand: 8.C32

Info: www.rcsworks.com

The post IBC Sneak Peek: RCS Brings Streaming to IBC appeared first on Radio World.

Centralized MPX Over IP Transmission

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 12:00

 

The author is sales and marketing manager at 2wcom.

Anke Schneider

Time has flown since the introduction of IP, and today, even most rural regions are connected to the internet. In addition, the cost has shifted in terms of satellite and IP bandwidth, even if it varies from country to country.

With this in mind, MPX over IP offers radio stations operating a VHF network the possibility to choose their best transmission approach, depending on coverage and costs. This results in significantly more possibilities for signal distribution, leading to increased flexibility in network management.

Some general points and main advantages:

  • The technology offers potential of savings in terms of bandwidths costs. If satellite is not economical, especially if the required kbps increases due to a high number of individual RDS configurations, plain MPX over IP is the cost-saving alternative. The situation is completely different when distribution via IP is a cost driver. Then encapsulation of the MPX signal in a transport stream for satellite distribution is the economic way to go. System simplification is possible because studio and transmitter locations are directly connected and the multiplex signal is only generated at the studio site. Two scenarios are given for signal generation.
An overview of an MPX over IP transmission system.

Scenario 1: A complete multiplex signal consisting of mono, stereo, pilot and RDS is transmitted to the regional transmitter sites.

Scenario 2: The multiplex signal consists only of mono, stereo and pilot. The RDS signal is generated for regionalization at the local transmitter sites.

  • In the best case (scenario 1), users can dispense with a sound processor, RDS encoder and stereo generator at transmitter sites. This reduces purchase and energy costs and means less effort is required to maintain the system and the minimization of failure points.
  • When digitizing the signal, it is possible to adjust transmission bandwidth configurations, according to audio quality and bandwidth requirements. The signal bandwidth and the resolution of the digitized MPX signal are crucial for the quality. However, most transmitters already achieve very good quality with a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) > 70 dB.
  • For synchronization, it is recommended to use the Pulse Per Second (1PPS) signal derived from GPS. In combination with a 10 MHz clock, synchronization of all receivers in a network is possible. Requirements: The total delay must be greater than the longest transmission time between the encoder and a transmitter location, but less than 1 second (≤ 900 milliseconds). This compensates the effects of runtime differences of the various transmission types and simplifies mixed operation (IP/satellite). To allow 1pps synchronisation, especially for VHF single-frequency network (SFN), it is indispensable to choose MPX via IP distribution because audio, ancillary data and pilot tone must be distributed as one signal. If capacity is not an issue, the network operator can also centralize system monitoring. Special receivers equipped with multiplex for monitoring and controlling output can be used to rebroadcast the signal for monitoring. In addition, it can be stored for future reference. Due to stringent regulatory requirements for MPX distribution, more complex monitoring devices offer precise measurement parameters for MPX signal peak deviation and power.

IP Packet Handling

General problems like IP packets in the wrong order (packets were sent over different routes), packet jitter or even duplicate packets should be solved by a larger buffer and intelligent buffer management.

[Read: IBC Exhibitor Viewpoing: Werner Drews, 2wcom]

Mechanisms need to be available to deal with potential packet losses caused by transport failures or incorrectly configured routers/switches. This is important because the UDP [User Datagram Protocol] normally used in these situations only supports sending IP packets, not re-requesting of lost packets. The following mechanisms can be used to tackle this problem:

  • For cable and DVB network using MPEG-TS: A proven mechanism is the Pro-MPEG error protection, which can also be chosen for other data types. The error protection is based on the fact that sent packets are organized in a matrix structure at the encoder in order to calculate correction packets over the rows and columns.
  • An alternative for IP networks: In this case, the RUDP [Reliable User Datagram Protocol] can guarantee reliable IP packet delivery even with very high packet losses. It protects against random packet losses as well as burst packet losses. In addition, RUDP requires less bandwidth and shorter delay times than conventional forward error correction mechanisms, such as Pro-MPEG FEC. (Note: RUDP needs a duplex IP link and unicast/multiple unicast.)

If bandwidth economy does not play a role, MPX over IP codecs that offer dual streaming can be used to increase transmission robustness. If the primary stream is interrupted, the decoder switches to the second stream. Furthermore, a redundant setup including cable and satellite can ensure distribution of the MPX signals.

CONCLUSION

MPX over IP offers broadcasters three major advantages.

First, by directly connecting the studio and transmitter site, the equipment required is reduced, resulting in less time and money spent on system support.

Second, the technology distributes the multiplex signal in excellent quality, while hardware and software redundancy ensures transmission robustness.

Last, operators can utilize respective technology for distribution, which offers the best bandwidth economy as well as optimal regional coverage.

The post Centralized MPX Over IP Transmission appeared first on Radio World.

Adventures in 1970s AM: Visit to the Big Station

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 08:30

Most cities in the early 1970s had one: a big, old-line, middle-of-the-road radio station. In Toledo, Ohio, ours was WSPD(AM), and it had been the first station to sign on in our city. It boasted the best signal. I had been told that its ratings dwarfed all the other AM stations in town. Most folks would not make the switch to FM for five or 10 more years so AM had little competition.

I worked about five miles away from this juggernaut over at WOHO(AM), a respectable number two in the ratings, but far behind WSPD. While WSPD played easy-listening stars like Patti Page and Perry Como, we played slammin’ top 40 during the week and oldies on the weekend. Yes, I was one of the WO-HO “good guys,” shouting silly stuff, slinging jingles and taking requests.

One day I was asked by our sales secretary to drop off a commercial tape at WSPD on my way home. I agreed and called a buddy there whom I’ll call “Glen,” and asked him if I could have a tour when I stopped by.

[Read: Adventures in 1970s AM: The Big Kahuna]

Even though I was in the radio business, I didn’t know any more about WSPD than a typical listener on his way to work in the car. WSPD sounded impressive on the air, with disk jockeys who were older than the WO-HO “good guys,” and who all came from the deep-voice school of announcing.

WSPD resided in its own building as was common for AM stations then, this one a faux-colonial with pillars in front and a nicely manicured lawn. I parked my car in the lot and headed up the walk to the entrance where engraved upon the glass door was the legend: “WSPD, the Voice of Toledo.” Stepping through a glass vestibule, I entered the reception area which was quite nice with a black and white tiled floor. A young woman sat at the front desk, putting postage on outgoing letters. I introduced myself and told her that I was there to see Glen, and she summoned him through the intercom.

Glen arrived promptly, accepted my tape and walked me down a hall to the main part of the station which is where I experienced my first moment of culture shock. I felt like I had exited a plush hotel and entered a shabby office of low-rent hustlers. These sales guys were all talking loudly on their phones and teasing the secretaries. The carpet was worn, there were no decorations on the cheaply paneled walls and the stench of cigar smoke hung over everything.

“Wow,” I said to Glen. “This is not what I pictured” He nodded his understanding and said “Wait until you see the studios, Ken.” Taking another turn down the hall we reached the main studio, visible through a large plate glass window. Inside I saw the air talent, whom I was told was the station’s afternoon drive time disk jockey “R.T.”

Surprisingly he was wearing an enormous caftan with a lovely floral print which barely covered his large bulk. His thinning hair was styled in what we now refer to as a “comb-over” as he waved us into the control room. Glen made introductions and Ron stood up and offered his hand and said “Hi, guy! Sit down for a while!” My friend Glen said “I’ll leave you to chat and I’ll be back in 10 minutes.” So R.T. and I talked between records as I watched him stack his commercial carts, check items off the log and occasionally answer the phone. He was quite friendly and larger than life, but looked nothing like the image in my mind of a dignified gentleman in a dark suit and tie.

While R.T. worked I began to take note of the equipment, which looked like it was left over from the early ’50s. The microphone was WWII-vintage and the turntables went back even further. Our equipment at WOHO was state-of-the-art by comparison. On the walls were autographed pictures of some big stars: Rosemary Clooney, Glenn Miller, The Ink Spots and several others that hadn’t had a hit in 20 years.

So much for my mental image of “the big station.” I felt like the curtain had been pulled back and the Wizard of Oz was just an old guy in a mumu.

Ken Deutsch is a writer who lives in sunny Sarasota, Fla., and has a book of these tales available, Up and Down the Dial.

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Switzerland Confirms FM Switch off Date

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 06:42

Bernard Maissen, deputy director for the Federal Office of Communications, has announced that Switzerland’s radio programs “will only be available on the FM Band until the end of 2024 at the latest.”

Credit: Wiki Commons

OFCOM said in a release that Maissen based his decision on the radio industry’s existing agreement and legal provisions. As per studies available to OFCOM, at the end of June only 17% of listeners tuned into radio using FM.

TIMELINE

According to the organization, in December 2014, the Digital Migration Working Group (AG DigiMig) stated that radio broadcasters intended to phase out VHF broadcasting by 2024.

It said that SRG and more than 80 percent of private radio stations agreed to this decision in 2015. And in October 2017, the Federal Council adopted the radio industry’s target and provided the legal framework for VHF switch off.

Maissen then announced the country would extend VHF radio licenses expiring in December 2019 until 2024, with the possibility of shortening the duration if the radio industry wishes.

Simultaneously, OFCOM would examine whether individual VHF transmitters in peripheral areas with insufficient DAB+ coverage could continue to operate for a limited period after 2024.

FIGURES

GfK research institute collects figures every six months on behalf of OFCOM and the AG DigiMig. Its results show the Swiss listening to an average of 65 minutes of digital radio per day out of 100 radio minutes.

This, says OFCOM, demonstrates a digital radio usage increase of 16% in three and a half years: from 49% in autumn 2015 to 65% in spring 2019. At the same time, VHF usage fell 16 percentage points from 51% to 35%.

While DAB+ has mainly replaced FM in the home and at work, the reports also reveal that FM is still more frequently used in car (56%). In spring 2019, listeners tuned into radio in the car via DAB+ for 38 out of 100 radio minutes. OFCOM points out, however, that the share of in-car DAB+ listeners is rising.

Findings also show that in the first half of 2019, the Swiss purchased some 136,400 DAB+ radios (excluding cars). According to GfK’s semi-annual surveys, consumers in Switzerland have bought a total of 4.3 million DAB+ devices since 2000.

Swiss Radio Day took place in Zurich on Aug. 29.

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IBC Sneak Peek: Rohde & Schwarz Introduces TMV9evo and THV9evo

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 00:00

Rohde & Schwarz is introducing the new TMV9evo and THV9evo DAB+ VHF Band III transmitters, which complete the firm’s range of DAB+ transmitters.

Designed to help network operators reliably run their networks, Rohde & Schwarz says its DAB+ transmitters reduce operating costs, thanks to significant energy savings and build-in performance analysis capabilities.

TMV9evo is an air-cooled transmitter available from 350 W, while the THV9evo is liquid-cooled and available from 1.3 kW.

According to the company, the transmitters offer energy efficiency of up to 49% in all Band III frequencies, and minimize transmitter room cooling costs. In addition, it points out that the efficiency rate reduces system error level and maintenance requirements.

The company emphasizes that the unit is easy to operate, has a long lifespan and boasts a thermal design for continuous operation at 45°C. It adds that it’s possible to carry out complex analyses directly on the transmitter system, which, it says, reduces infrastructure complexity and decreases operating efforts for the system engineer.

IBC Stand: 7.B21

Info: www.rohde-schwarz.com                                                                                                    

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IBC Sneak Peek: AEQ Announces Atrium

Sun, 09/01/2019 - 00:00

AEQ’s new digital audio mixer Atrium is specifically designed for on-air audio production at radio and television stations.

According to the company, Atrium is able to manage up to 1000 audio channels of local content and is AoIP-controllable through one or several control surfaces, each with up to more than 90 motorized faders with pages for snapshots or memories.

The mixer features a set of pre-configurable touchscreens, encoders, indicators and keys. This, says the firm, allows users to dynamically adapt each function according to specific requirements, maintaining the necessary information visible so operation is simple and safe.

What’s more, Atrium’s AoIP capabilities mean users can manage signal inputs/outputs as well as control elements on different, even distant equipment.

The new mixer incorporates tools that provide redundancy at all levels, as well as snapshots, physical and virtual control, automatic mixing and level adjustments.

IBC Stand: 8.C55

Info:  www.aeq.eu

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IBC Sneak Peek: Inovonics Adds to DAB+ Range

Sat, 08/31/2019 - 12:00

Inovonics is unveiling the INOmini 661 DAB+ monitor-receiver at IBC2019.

Specifically designed for the European market, Inovonics says the new INOmini 661 DAB+ monitor-receiver complements its 662 DAB+ SiteStreamer for remote monitoring.

Replacing the model 660, the INOmini 661 DAB+ monitor-receiver boasts many new enhancements at an attractive price, the company adds.

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Improvements include a larger LCD Display. better resolution, flashing red alarm message. It also features independently adjustable analog L/R and digital-AES audio outputs as well as additional measurement metrics added for more information. Firmware is field upgradeable via USB.

IBC Stand:8.B38

Info: www.inovonicsbroadcast.com

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IBC Exhibitor Profile: Jay Tyler, Wheatstone

Sat, 08/31/2019 - 10:00

IBC2019 is almost here. Between now and then Radio World will conduct several short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the big annual trade show. Jay Tyler is director of sales for Wheatstone.

Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s IBC Show? 

Jay Tyler: One word: Up! Business is changing and we are seeing the last of the analog studios leap into the world of IP audio.

Radio World: What are you hearing from your customers about their business outlook this year? In what areas should we expect growth or the most interesting projects?

Tyler: Customers are still saying budgets are tight but that they have to keep progressing technology-wise or they will be left behind. We see people installing modern infrastructures as a way to leverage technology, and they are reducing cost with these systems.

Radio World: Within the last year or so the two large station ownership groups have emerged from bankruptcy. Are you seeing any increase in equipment sales or interest? What is your feeling for the overall health of the radio industry?

Tyler: If you were an outside investor, you might think that radio is not where you’re going to make a quick buck. But for those of us in the industry, we are seeing an increase in spending due to the fact that many broadcasters held off upgrading their studios for years and kept some equipment longer than they should have.

[Read: IBC Exhibitor Viewpoint: Werner Drews, 2wcom]

Radio World: You’ve been active in the equipment manufacturing market for years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing manufacturers right now? Does the trade row between the United States and China greatly affect you?

Tyler: I think the biggest problem manufacturers are facing is obsolete parts. The manufacturers of the parts we use in audio equipment is changing too, so at Wheatstone we have a full-time person who deals with finding new parts to replace the old ones and making sure they work with our current designs. The whole electronics industry has felt the pain of “trade wars” but we have adjusted and moved on and business is getting back to normal.

Radio World: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth?

Tyler: We are showing at IBC for the first time our Glass LXE, which is a multitouch virtual console that is a studio-ready standalone UI into the WheatNet-IP audio network. We are showing a new AoIP appliance called SwitchBlade that anyone replacing ISDN lines or looking to expand the studio beyond the usual four walls will be interested in. We are also showing for the first time this IBC the Strata 32, our new TV audio console that packs 64 channels and the latest IP audio innovations into a very compact frame. We’ll have the new X5 FM audio processor, which is really something and all I can say is you’ll just have to hear it for yourself. Finally, we’ll show our VoxPro 7.0 audio recorder/editor, which has a few new moves that we didn’t have last year. Wheatstone is in stand 8.C91.

Radio World: Going by the interest on our website, AoIP technology is on the top of the list for product acquisition and upgrades. Is that something you are seeing and if so, how are you addressing that?

Tyler: We have been full on AoIP for over 10 years and we just see it as a continuing area of interest for all broadcasters. I think broadcasters are getting a sense that if they’re not AoIP, they’ll be left behind because so much of what they will be able to do to keep up with changes going on around them will start with AoIP.

Radio World: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2019 IBC Show?

Tyler: More interoperability and control layers for AES67.

Radio World: You’re a show veteran, how has the show changed since your first visit?

Tyler: We are seeing many more visitors from Africa, Middle East and North America than years past and people wanting to extend AoIP outside the facility to connect cities and sites around the world.

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2019 Fall Product Planner

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 22:55

This ebook is nuthin’ but gear. It features editorial coverage of dozens of new products as introduced by the industry’s leading manufacturers in recent months, culled from Radio World coverage of the NAB Show, Radio Show, IBC, CES and other relevant trade expositions. You’ll find consoles, codecs, monitors, antennas, broadcast software, service providers and lots more. Technology ranges from analog to digital, including the latest in IP, with specs and company website information. You could almost build a whole radio station with the latest gear from these pages.

Sponsored by 2wcom, AudioScience, Bext, Comrex, Davicom, DJB Radio, Dielectric, ENCO Systems, Henry Engineering, Inovonics, Studio Technology, The Telos Alliance, Tieline  and Titus Labs.

The 2019 Fall Product Planner is free. Read it here.

 

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Community Broadcaster: In It Together

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 19:56

The author is membership program director of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. NFCB commentaries are featured regularly at www.radioworld.com.

This fall, the good folks at marketing consultancy Hearken will host their first Engagement Innovation Summit. It is one of those rare moments to bring together public-interest media of all kinds to talk about audience engagement and, more importantly, how to involve the communities we serve in bold ways.

Hearken is, in so many respects, the conscience of journalism. Jennifer Brandel and team have prodded everyone from commercial to nonprofit media groups to think differently about our work and the communities we cover. Whether it is working with journalism organizations abroad or showing up at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ Regional Summit in Grand Rapids, Hearken is ever present. The firm’s message is important: journalism must listen more, and newsrooms can help to cultivate a more engaged community in the process.

[Read: Community Broadcaster: Turning It Up]

Given the media landscape, such conversations could not come at a better time.

Countless case studies share the woes facing media organizations. Growing numbers of content providers, polarized coverage and income inequality all are contributing to less revenue. Layoffs and further audience attrition are the outcomes ultimately. On top of that, the public is saying more and more that the news cycle has them beleaguered and tuning out coverage.

For community media, often on the periphery of the journalistic ecosystem, these trends create calamity as well as opportunity. Shrinking donations for community radio mean we have to be more responsive in how we create content and develop our storytelling. Finding ways to reengage people in media and discovering what is important to their neighborhoods must be a priority for all of community media.

The times also demand that community radio stations be very frank when evaluating how their engagement work aligns with their strategic goals. Are we realizing our full potential? I ask because, in my professional life, I hear of many stations that say they simultaneously involve wide swaths of their communities, are diverse, and provide space to everyone, and yet are also struggling financially for even the most basic needs. In all but a few cases, I encourage stations to take a long look at these two matters — the large community supporting the station and the fact keeping the lights on is a real question — and find avenues to be most relevant. Sometimes, improving fundraising is as simple as asking. More often, it’s talking with the people we serve and exploring how we could more inspire their confidence, trust and investment.

Fortunately, journalism outfits everywhere are trying to solve the puzzle of audience and money, As Hearken shares, listening is proven to pay dividends. Groups like the Membership Puzzle Project offer plenty of examples of media organizations stimulate new conversations with a goal of making journalism sustainable. All of this research, and the October gathering, should give community radio a lot of hope. While big, for-profit newspapers and public radio may feel miles away, many of them are working on the subjects of engagement and membership. Their studies benefit everyone.

Community radio stations are finding our groove in a media saturated and increasingly difficult world. Fortunately, our media fellow travelers are lending the support we all need.

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Inside WTOP: A Special Radio World Facility Tour Webinar

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 19:17

WTOP and its sister stations Federal News Network and The Gamut recently moved to its new, spectacular studio plant on the D.C./Maryland border. Knowledgeable radio industry visitors are walking away marveling about it.

Now Radio World readers can visit too thanks to this special one-hour, multimedia webinar tour hosted by Radio World Editor in Chief Paul McLane.

We take our video cameras inside — to the Glass Enclosed Nerve Center, the WTOP editor’s desk, the specialized production and support studios, and the technical operations center of this big AoIP-based specialty media facility.

We learn from WTOP Technical Operations Manager Brian Oliger about the design philosophy behind the project, and from RadioDNA President Rob Goldberg about the installation and integration challenges.

WTOP is a special success story. It was again the nation’s top-billing radio station in 2018, according to BIA Advisory Services; it was the only station in the top 10 that is not located in New York, L.A. and Chicago, and the only one not owned by iHeart or Cumulus; and it is consistently the No. 1 station in Nielsen’s 12+ ratings in Washington, a market of almost 5 million people.

Originally airing Aug. 28, this 1.5-hour webinar is now available on-demand. See it here.

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Inside the September 1st Issue of Radio World

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 16:44

The new edition explores how to do emergency streaming on the cheap, as well as what’s new in broadcast studio furniture and accessories. It remembers the Mosquito Network, previews the fall AES Show and reports on the efforts by U.S.-based shortwave broadcasters to develop affordable DRM receivers.

REGULATION
Why I Believe the FCC Failed on Translator Interference

Engineering consultant Charles M. Anderson lays out his views on an FCC action that touches many users of the FM spectrum in the United States.

TECH EVENTS
AES to Shine in Big Apple

Conference No. 147 for the big audio organization is taking shape, and it again will be collocated with NAB Show New York.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

 

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Inside the August 14th Issue of Radio World

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 16:33

Randy Stine reports on current contention about the fate of the C-band. Fred Jacobs explains why he is paying close attention to the latest SiriusXM app. ConnectedTravel explains its vision for the dashboard, and why radio should care. All this and much more. (Oh, and Legos, too!)

FACILITY DESIGN
What Do You Get When You Combine Legos and Radio?

WLGO is a miniaturized radio studio, created by a passionate broadcast pro.

ROOTS OF RADIO
Broadcast History Cards Provide Peek Into Past

Available online, these images offer a trail of tantalizing bits of info over many decades of radio.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

 

The post Inside the August 14th Issue of Radio World appeared first on Radio World.

Maryland Gas Explosion Site Was Birthplace of HD Radio

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 15:35

The gas explosion that left 22 businesses homeless in Columbia, Md., last Sunday also wiped out a little bit of radio technical history.

The office and shopping complex that was so seriously damaged was also where HD Radio was invented and commercialized. Technology developer USA Digital Radio was based there in the early days of HD Radio.

“The entire system used today and approved by the FCC was developed there,” said Glynn Walden, the veteran broadcast engineer who was a key player in development of the in-band, on-channel digital radio technology.

“There were about 50 employees there. This was the home of USA Digital Radio during the development of HD Radio, which became iBiquity.” Walden’s office, other staff and leadership offices, and technical laboratories were located there at the time. The company later moved elsewhere and subsequently became part of DTS and then Xperi, which today maintains offices in another part of Columbia.

“All of the [IBOC] system that was approved by the FCC was developed in that building,” Walden continued. “The only real changes have been the implementation of the multicasting and data, which were part of the original design but were later added through the use of importers and exporters.”

The first IBOC test transmissions were done in the early 1990s. USA Digital Radio’s investors included radio broadcast groups seeking a way to deploy digital technologies that could coexist on the part of the spectrum where their existing AM and FM assets were licensed. The company filed a petition for rulemaking with the FCC in 1998, and the commission began the regulatory approval process the next year.

According to news accounts, the Lakeside Office Building and shopping center where the explosion occurred was home to a nail salon, day spa and an office for the Social Security Administration, among others. Residents at least a mile away reported their houses shaking from the explosion. No injuries were reported but parts of the complex were entirely wiped out.

Based on news photos, Walden believes that the second-story office space that USADR/iBiquity had occupied then was near the center of Sunday’s blast and probably totaled.

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