Comments and concerns continue to pour in about the potential impact on radio and TV stations from proposed reallocation of C-band spectrum to wireless carriers.
In an August 2019 filing, the National Association of Broadcasters urged the Federal Communications Commission to reject what it calls “ill-conceived and self-interested proposals” that would impact the delivery of content to millions of radio and TV viewers and listeners via C-band spectrum.
The NAB specifically pointed out what it called a “self-serving and anticompetitive proposal” submitted by ACA Connects Coalition. That organization submitted a proposal to the commission in July 2019 that proposes to clear at least 370 MHz of C-band spectrum in an expedited time frame for use by wireless services and transition broadcasters and earth station users from C-band delivery to terrestrial fiber video delivery.
The coalition, which represents both incumbent C-band earth station users and wireless providers, also proposed creation of an auction that would award new terrestrial licenses and assign obligations for transition costs, and proposed a plan that would repack remaining earth station users to the upper portion of the band.
In its current filing, NAB most specifically objects to portions of the ACA Connect proposal that say that fiber is the answer.
“The ACA proposal simply cannot achieve sufficient reliability in any immediately foreseeable timeframe because they cannot replicate the simplicity of C-band satellite’s one-to-many network topology,” the NAB said in its filing. The association pointed to C-band’s reliability, saying that “the “99.999 percent reliability [that] C-band distribution provides translates to just minutes per year of potential C-band delivery outages, which can be significantly exceeded by a single fiber failure.”
The NAB also expressed concern that the ACA Proposal is not for a single point-to-point fiber connection but rather for hundreds of individual fiber connections, thereby frustrating end-to-end service agreements. The loss of connected networks like fiber, including those that occurred in New York City in September 2001, illustrate the pressing need to maintain sufficient C-band spectrum for content delivery.
“The commission should not further indulge ACA’s nakedly self-interested proposal to use auction funds to pay ACA’s members to install fiber to displace their competition,” the NAB said. “Instead, the commission should speed the 5G transition at C-band by focusing its attention on reallocating 200 MHz of spectrum immediately while preserving flexibility to evaluate additional opportunities as they become warranted.”
The comments are being submitted as part of the commission’s proposal to make some of the of the 3.7–4.2 GHz band, known as C-band, available for terrestrial use. The commission specifically requested comments on those proposals suggested by ACA Connects as well as those submitted by Google, Microsoft and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) and separately by AT&T.
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What are the best ways to maximize listenership in today’s market? Attendees to the upcoming Radio Show in September may find an answer.
Edison Research will present new research on driving audience engagement and leveraging audio trends at the 2019 Radio Show, which is to be held September 24–26 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.
While radio’s reach remains strong across all ages, time spent listening to radio has fallen much faster among younger listeners than among older ones, according to Edison. The session titled “The Secret to Longer TSL” will focus on the best means of attracting and retaining listeners and will delve into best practices to optimize advertising.
As part of its research, Edison’s qualitative team conducted one-on-one interviews with young radio listeners to understand their attitudes about commercials, different audio platforms, interest in and engagement with radio programs, and what they would like from radio.
Led by Megan Lazovick, Edison Research vice president, the session will unveil new analysis on audio listening trends and content preferences as well as offer insight on how radio can effectively compete with and embrace other platforms. In her role, Lazovick’s observations on consumer attitudes and behavior have shaped custom research studies such as Edison’s Share of Speech as well as NPR and Edison Research’s Smart Audio Report.
“These interviews helped to inform a new national survey of radio listeners and quantify listener sentiments,” said Lazovick. “Our survey results have been eye-opening.”
More information on the Radio Show, which is produced by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau, can be found at www.radioshowweb.com.
WorldDAB is getting set to attend IBC2019. A major focus for the organization during the show will be the transition to digital radio in a connected world and how to adopt a sound radio distribution strategy.
“Migration to broadcast digital offers radio broadcasters opportunities and challenges,” says WorldDAB. “Hybrid radio — combining broadcast with connectivity — enables an enhanced experience to the listener. The challenge, however, is to develop a radio distribution strategy that will balance the budget and safeguard audience and business models in the face of digital giants.”
To address this issue, the organization will hold a conference entitled “Radio Distribution Strategies for a Connected World,” which takes place on Monday Sept. 16 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The session will discuss radio’s migration to digital and look at broadcast digital radio’s place in the distribution mix. It will also offer recommendations and advice on how broadcasters can assess all digital distribution platforms to make informed investment choices today to safeguard broadcast radio for tomorrow.
WorldDAB and many of its members will be present at the show on stand 10.F23 to offer information to those interested in finding out more about DAB+ developments worldwide.
IBC Stand: 10.F23
The post IBC Sneak Peek: WorldDAB Studies Digital Broadcast Migration appeared first on Radio World.
Westdeutsche Rundfunk, the public broadcaster of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany has recently taken delivery of 20 Orban 8700i audio processors.
Broadcasting on FM, DAB+ and via the internet, the media house is using the new Optimod 8700i audio processors for use at its WDR2, WDR5 and WDRcosmo channels.
As part of the deal, Orban offered tech support and handled set up of the units, creating pre-sets according to the requirements of each program and format.
The Optimod 8700i, Orban’s flagship product, features include a Xponential LoudnessTM algorithm and dual redundant power supplies and safety bypass relays.
Nathan Moore is the General Manager of WTJU at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hear how and why he has lead the way to build a podcasting studio for the community to use, as well as a student run LPFM station and a concert series and a summer camp.Show Notes:
- “Unsettled” WTJU’s one minute stories on immigrants
- teej.fm, WTJU’s podcasting network
The post Podcast #207 – Building More Communities Around Your Station appeared first on Radio Survivor.
Misuse of the codes associated with the nation’s emergency alert system can lead to hefty fines — just ask Meruelo Radio Holdings, ABC, AMC and Discovery, who agreed to a series of civil consent decrees ranging from $67,000 to $395,000.
Last week the commission announced it had reached significant financial settlements with a radio group owner, TV broadcaster and a cable TV network for using actual or simulated EAS tones during a broadcast. FCC rules prohibit broadcasting of EAS tones except during an actual emergency, test or public service announcements, and this includes simulations of those tones.
Programs that aired an EAS code without authority included ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and Discovery’s “Lone Star Law,” as well as promos aired by Meruelo Radio Holdings’ Los Angeles-area KDAY(FM) and KDEY(FM)’s morning radio show.
As part of the agreements, the media companies agreed to pay more than $600,000 in civil penalties and agreed to follow a compliance plan that would help to ensure such actions do not recur.
“The use of actual or simulated EAS tones during non-emergencies and outside of proper testing or public service announcements is a serious public safety concern,” the FCC said in its announcement. “These rules aim to protect the integrity of the alert system by helping to avoid confusion when the tones are used, [avoid] alert fatigue among listeners and [avoid] false activation of the EAS by the operative data elements contained in the alert tones.”
As part of its investigation, the FCC Enforcement Bureau found the following programs had violated its rules.
- In the fall of 2017, Meruelo’s KDAY and KDEY included a simulation of an EAS attention signal in a promotion for its morning show. The promotion was broadcast 106 times on KDAY and 33 times on KDEY’s simulcast of KDAY. The company admitted to the violation, agreed to pay a $67,000 civil penalty and committed to a compliance plan.
- During a Oct. 3, 2018, episode of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” ABC broadcast an episode that used a simulated WEA tone three times during a comedic sketch. ABC transmitted the episode nationwide to 250 TV stations, including eight of its owned and operated stations, which in turn broadcast the episode in their markets. ABC admitted to the violation, agreed to pay a $395,000 civil penalty and committed to a compliance plan.
- In February 2019, AMC Networks twice included EAS tones in the “Omega Episode” of its television program “The Walking Dead.” This was transmitted on eight separate instances across cable and satellite systems nationwide. AMC admitted to the violation, agreed to pay a $104,000 civil penalty and committed to a compliance plan.
- In early 2018, Discovery’s Animal Planet network broadcast an episode of “Lone Star Law” titled “Thousand Year Flood” that included an actual WEA signal. The crew was filming Texas Game Wardens following Hurricane Harvey and caught the tone of a real wireless alert received by phones during filming. Discovery transmitted the episode eight times to cable and satellite systems nationwide from January to March 2018. Discovery admitted to the violation, agreed to pay a $68,000 civil penalty and committed to a compliance plan.
The Enforcement Bureau also released an Enforcement Advisory that reiterates the current law as it applies to EAS tones.
The post Media Companies Pay $600,000 in Civil Penalties for EAS Misuse appeared first on Radio World.
Veritone Digital Media Hub is a cloud-native, white-label portal specifically designed for rights holders and content creators to access, manage, and deliver content centrally. It also offers users the option to monetize content to a global partner and customer network.
According to the company, the intuitive user interface gives a clean, organized SaaS portal where users can display assets such as video, images, poster art, and more. Digital Media Hub is configurable, so you can tailor it to your brand.
Recently, Digital Media Hub was enhanced with the power of Veritone aiWARE, an operating system for Artificial Intelligence for cognitive processing and a broad extension of the portal’s asset search functionality. These enhancements, explains Veritone, enable content rights holders or content creators to take advantage of robust metadata management, packaged delivery of multiple files, automated creation of rich metadata, and exponentially greater search and discovery capabilities.
Backed by the media workflow and orchestration components of Veritone Core asset management system, Digital Media Hub offers an increasing array of digital asset management capabilities.
Once content is captured and ingested into Core, Digital Media Hub allows that content to be accessed centrally, analyzed with select cognitive engines through aiWARE, and made immediately available to global stakeholders, such as media, partners, and sponsors.
IBC Stand: 5.C24
The post IBC Sneak Peek: AI Powers Veritone’s Digital Media Hub appeared first on Radio World.
The author is chairman of Digital Radio Mondiale.
In one of my drawers I recently found several plug adaptors, used over the years in various parts of the world. Some have three pins, some have two, a few are square others are round. The one I choose to travel with is always determined by my destination because most countries connect to electricity in their own way, according to their own standard.Photo credit: Radu Obreja
I know the routine but still I can’t help wondering each time I pack my bag why there isn’t a single plug that is suitable for use in this global village. And then I ask myself why there isn’t simply one digital radio standard that can be easily deployed anywhere with one or several receiver models that will work no matter where you are, in the kitchen or car?
For digital radio, the choice is infinitely simpler than for electricity plugs, as there are only three major digital audio broadcasting standards to choose from (DRM, DAB/DAB+ and HD radio). Each standard does different things, in different parts of the spectrum and the world. They can be used to offer different and sometimes similar benefits.
DRM, the latest digital radio standard, can be deployed in all frequency bands (AM as well as FM). This means it can give more content with lower power consumption and better audio quality in FM but very clearly in AM (shortwave and medium wave) using the current analog frequencies in use. The standard also needs more receivers than its over 1.5 million cars in India, to be appreciated for its clear audio, text and emergency warning benefits.
DAB/DAB+, an open standard, like DRM, works in the liberated analog TV Band III, giving more space on multiplexes to stations that want to cover and compete in the same areas, like very congested cities for example in Europe.
HD Radio is a United States-based proprietorial in-band solution mainly designed for the FM band. It meets U.S. requirements and uses a generous spectrum allocation. Nowadays its owners are also promoting a digital-only medium wave solution.
Three standards, three sets of technical specifications that compete and, in some cases, complement each other.
MIX AND MATCH
DRM and DAB/DAB+, both born in Europe, can present a comprehensive and complete solution for a country. DRM can futureproof the medium wave and shortwave bands and infrastructure, while DAB/DAB+ can offer savings and opportunities in large or congested cities.
In addition, since the multiplexes are really at their best when full, for smaller places, DRM in the FM band could be easily deployed. That is unless of course the regulator has set its heart on solving the small area, small broadcaster challenge by using a miniature DAB+ solution.
On the other hand, there are some who think that DRM for AM could be complemented by HD Radio in FM, thus creating full coverage and a full in-band solution with simulcasting in the mix.
With their eyes fixed on the digital conversion of the same lucrative FM market, DAB+ and HD do not mix, really, unless they make alliances for various “hybrid” car solutions.
So, is only the competition or perceived competition, among these three standards stopping a “mix and match” approach? The answer is, as always, a bit more complicated.
In a few cases, some feel that because they chose DAB/DAB+, it’s possible to bend and stretch this local digital solution in a way that allows it to cover an entire country (like Norway) without filling the edges and higher frequencies with DRM.
In larger countries, such as that of India where DRM is now being rolled out, it makes sense to employ just one standard (the DRM standard) to FM, rather than start messing with and adding other standards.
As mentioned, DRM and DAB+ share a lot of the technical DNA and, rightly so, some countries in other parts of the world, for example in the Southern hemisphere, are exploring the possibility of deploying DRM and DAB+. HD Radio on the other hand doesn’t fit easily with any of the open standards.
At the end of the day, the one-standard choice or the mix and match approach are dictated by size of the country, legacy and infrastructure of the broadcasting industry and general goals.
Do you really want to give up international broadcasting in pursuit of other platforms, with some of the known consequences? Or would you prefer to strengthen your international voice (like Indonesia)? Do you want to give a digital voice to local communities or stimulate competition among commercial stations?
There is also the all-important question regarding cost. Introducing one standard rather than two will always be cheaper for transmitter and, especially, receiver manufacturers, as well as for the listeners. A DRM-DAB+ receiver is a distinct possibility and probably much cheaper to manufacture now than a couple of years back. A DRM-HD receiver would be prohibitively expensive because of all the IP and other associated costs.
And while digital radio tests continue, commissions formed, secret and not so secret conversations conducted, the big boys in the chipset industry are forging ahead with a pragmatic and comprehensive digital solution, the all-standards chipset.
This is meant especially for the car industry, so any one standard, or combination of standards, can be supported in cars, in any country, no matter which standard or standards are chosen, but always at a cost.
A common digital platform showcasing all three standards ready to satisfy all needs is now a reality. It is the multi-standard chipset able to be produced in great volumes and used according to geographic and industry needs.
So, the multi-standard “adaptor” (or rather the chipset) can be deployed now but it will always cost more, in some combinations much more, than one single, humble plug.
An oft-ignored area where IP technology is looming as a transformative presence that will rewrite work practices is the STL.
With that in mind, The Telos Alliance’s Omnia Audio brand has developed the MPX Node, a pair of IP devices that send a post-processor composite signal from the studio directly to the transmitter site via IP.
The pair are configured as an encoder, to be placed at the studio after the processor, and a decoder, waiting at the transmitter site, ahead of the transmitter itself. In between them is likely to be the public wired internet but it could be a wireless IP radio link.
Omnia helpfully explains, “The Omnia MPX Node preserves all the complex peak limiting, stereo generation, and RDS (if provided), as if your FM processor were at the transmitter. The result is less equipment, fewer steps, and fewer points of failure between your processed signal and your transmitter.”
A single MPX Node encoder can send its signal to multiple MPX Node decoders simultaneously. According to Omnia the pair can work as low as 320 kbps.
Keeping within the Omnia family, the Omnia.9, using the µMPX codec, can send the processed composite signal directly to the MPX Node decoder.
However, the encoder is processor-agnostic, so long as the processor outputs a composite signal.
IBC Stand: 8.D47