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Deadline Approaching for IBC2019 Best Of Show Awards

Radio World - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 03:38

The Best of Show Awards — supported by Future’s media and entertainment technology brands Radio World International, TVBEurope and PSNEurope — are a chance for companies to raise awareness for new products and services that will be featured at IBC. All nominated products will be recognized by those publications as well as Future titles like TV Technology, Radio World, Creative Planet Network, AV Technology Europe and Installation.

The winners of the Best of Show Awards will be determined by a panel of independent industry experts during the conference. All nominees will receive a stand visit with the judge to get a first-hand look at the product. Nominees will be judged on general quality and relevance of the product; design and build quality; business/operational benefits; innovation in concept/design/delivery; technical excellence; cost effectiveness; and game-changing ability.

To nominate a product, companies must follow the registration procedure detailed at here. The deadline for registering nominees is Sept. 9; winners will be announced on Sept. 16 during the conference.

IBC2019 will take place Sept. 13-17 at RAI Amsterdam.

The post Deadline Approaching for IBC2019 Best Of Show Awards appeared first on Radio World.

IBC2019 Will Explore “a New Era in Media”

Radio World - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 00:00

With conference and exhibition dates now aligned, this year’s IBC will take place from Friday 13 to Tuesday 17 September 2019, at the RAI in Amsterdam and will provide an unprecedented opportunity for attendees to enhance their understanding of a media production environment whose pace of change is continuing to accelerate.

Themed conference days, increased representation of women on stage, and a brand new esports event are among the developments that will greet visitors to this year’s IBC as organizers continue to strengthen its credentials as one of the world’s most influential media, entertainment and technology show.

In line with the multitude of creative, commercial and technical issues now influencing the development of media production, this year’s IBC conference has a different theme for each day: Friday’s is “create and produce: creating disruption;” Saturday’s is “manage: automating media supply chains;” Sunday’s is “publish; embracing the platform revolution;” Monday’s is ‘consume: engaging consumer experiences;” and Tuesday’s is “monetize: scaling audiences and revenues.”

Confirmed keynote presenters include Cécile Frot-Coutaz, head of YouTube EMEA; Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chairman of Vivendi; and Max Amordeluso, Amazon Alexa evangelist in the EU.  Building on the success of last year, IBC is also bringing back the Global Gamechangers Stage, which has a special focus on the technologies and business developments expected to change the game for the media industry. Speakers on this stage are set to include Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association; Jane Turton, CEO of All3Media; and Lisa Opie, director of factual for BBC Studios.

The final day of the show, Tuesday, will play host to an innovative new event, the Esports Showcase, powered by ESL, EVS and Lagardère. Combining a series of conference sessions — which will include the participation of key players such as Ginx TV, Twitch, Riot and Blizzard, as well as developers like EA Sports — with a live demonstration of Counter-Strike featuring professional teams from ESL’s National Championships.

[Read: IBC Exhibitor Viewpoint: Charlie Gawley, Tieline]

Also new for IBC2019 is the Media-Telecom Convergence Catalyst. This collaboration between IBC and the TM Forum will see three catalyst projects on the showfloor that highlight open innovation between the telecoms and media industries. Participation from Al Jazeera, Associated Press, BBC R&D, RTÉ and more will show how 5G, AI and big data management can solve business and technology challenges, and improve the customer experience.

IBC2019 provides a vital annual opportunity to become acquainted with the latest media solutions, it is also a venue for serious networking and deal making. IBC is a show where business genuinely gets done and deals are signed on the show floor. It’s great for exhibitors, but good too for buyers, who have the opportunity to compare solutions from all the leading vendors around the world in one convenient showcase.

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Attendees will go home equipped with shared unique insight and experience that will drive their own businesses forward in the year ahead. What visitors will experience at IBC2019 will energize and motivate them, and reveal new opportunities – for their businesses and as individuals in the year ahead.

The post IBC2019 Will Explore “a New Era in Media” appeared first on Radio World.

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Bad Electrolytic Capacitors Can Cripple Your Exciter

Radio World - Tue, 08/13/2019 - 12:08
Fig. 1: Spurious emissions seen on the exciter RF output.

One of the biggest hassles in maintaining older equipment is getting it repaired when it fails. A lot of companies don’t even want to deal with older, “legacy” equipment. Others will attempt repairs, but dwindling or discontinued parts may be an issue. 

A number of contract engineers and special project/consulting engineers have picked up the slack, offering repair services. 

One such repair service is Frank and Dave Hertel’s Newman-Kees RF Measurement and Engineering (contact via newman-kees-hertel-rf-eng@twc.com).

Recently, one of their clients sent in a Broadcast Electronics FX-50 exciter for repair. The reported problem was that the exciter was producing “spurs” (spurious emissions) up and down the FM broadcast band, causing interference. 

Once hooked up on the bench, Fig. 1 shows what the RF output looked like. It’s not a friendly picture — and a great invitation for an FCC visit, if allowed to continue.

Because of the precise repetition of the unwanted frequencies, Frank and his son questioned if it really was, in the pure sense of the definition, a spurious condition. The precise spacing of the unwanted frequencies pointed them to look at the frequency modulated oscillator and the filtering of the automatic frequency control voltage that is sourced from the phase locked loop.  

Fig. 2: Inside the exciter module where electrolytic capacitors were replaced.

To their surprise, the AFC control voltage appeared to be free of any pulses that could be inducing the spurious problem. Next, they dismounted the Modulated Oscillator module and opened it up. Fig. 2 shows what they discovered.

[Making Sense of Component-Level Troubleshooting]

Inside the FMO module there are three electrolytic capacitors. C4 and C7 are 100 MFD @ 35 V and C6 is 10 MFD @ 35 V. The 100 MFD capacitors are used to buffer and filter the FMO modules on board regulator’s DC. The 10 MFD capacitor is used for bypass filtering of the modulated oscillator’s (Q-2) “drain” element.

Considering the age of the exciter, and since the FMO is a sealed unit and has no ventilation, they decided to replace all of the electrolytic capacitors. They replaced the C4 and C7 — 100 MFD @ 35 volts capacitors with 330 MFD @ 35 volts capacitors. The C6 — 10 MFD @ 35 volts capacitor was also replaced with a new 10 MFD @ 35 volts capacitor. The deteriorated foam was removed from the lid and the residue cleaned away and blown off all of the internal parts. Fig. 3 shows the RF output as a result of the repairs.

Fig. 3: A nice clean spectrum after electrolytic replacement.

After the successful repairs, they measured the values of the removed electrolytic capacitors. The C4 and C7 (100 @ 35 volts) capacitors checked good in their value, but exhibited a slightly elevated equivalent series resistance.  

The C6 (10 MFD @ 35 volts) capacitor was only slightly lower than its rated value, but its ESR value was elevated. An elevated ESR, in an electrolytic capacitor, will tend to make them become slightly inductive, and thus, they become resonant and can “ring” at some frequencies.

The rated value of a capacitor can be misleading when working with RF circuits. Frank writes that it is wise to check the ESR value of any capacitor that is used in an RF (or any) circuit. If you do not have an ESR capacitor tester, play it safe and replace the electrolytic capacitors. 

[Replace Electrolytic Capacitors — Before They Explode!]

Keep in mind that electrolytic capacitors are rated in temperature range and projected hours of use. Research and use only the “best” rated electrolytic capacitors. This is not a place to cut corners.

In recent columns, we have discussed the need to replace electrolytic capacitors about every seven years. If you have older equipment with the original electrolytics inside, your best preventive maintenance is to shotgun (replace) them all. 

If you’re troubleshooting older gear with the original electrolytics, a lot of time can be saved by first viewing the power supply voltages on an oscilloscope for excessive ripple on the DC power supply rails. 

The list of problems that bad electrolytics can cause is a long one. Save yourself the headache by getting rid of these ticking time bombs!

***

Dan Slentz found another interesting product on Amazon. It’s an $8,000 tiny home that can be constructed in just eight hours. Manufactured by Allwood, the structure cannot be used as a house, as there is no kitchen or bathroom, but a permanent structure for a remote broadcast studio at a fair or similar location is certainly a possible use case. 

Here’s the link for more information.

Contribute to Workbench. You’ll help fellow engineers and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Send Workbench tips and high-resolution photos to johnpbisset@gmail.com

Author John Bisset has spent 50 years in the broadcasting industry and is still learning. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. He holds CPBE status with the SBE and is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.

The post Bad Electrolytic Capacitors Can Cripple Your Exciter appeared first on Radio World.

IBC Exhibitor Viewpoint: Werner Drews, 2wcom

Radio World - Tue, 08/13/2019 - 03:00

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. Werner Drews is managing director at 2wcom.

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

Werner Drews

Werner Drews: To be honest, we were a little surprised with our success. 2018 was the second best year in 2wcom’s 20-year history. This trend continues in 2019. We have expanded our development team to assure implementation of new technical requirements of the markets can be fulfilled time-efficiently. The market directly adopted our new product line, 4 Audio, and we have completed the some big international projects for our customers. The next projects are in the queue, so we are very optimistic about the future.

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?

Drews: We have won some large tenders this year, so the business is clearly going very well for our customers. We get requests for FM and DAB with almost the same frequency, so our clients are looking to expand in both markets. The big topic of course is “everything via IP.” Requests for transcoding and the exchange of data in mixed networks are very interesting, e.g. from Livewire to Ravenna when transmitting from a studio site to the headend.

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

Drews: It’s hard to tell. On one hand, we see a shift in the way people consume media, trending toward more personalized consumption away from linear programs. Podcasts and streaming services like Spotify are real competitors for radios, especially when they offer offline options. On the other hand, technology is changing as well. The rollout of new transport technologies like 5G in the next couple of years could also be used for broadcasting radio programs via IP. However, it’s still going to be a while until 5G or wide area WLANs are available everywhere and a final replacement of the current modes of radio broadcast is feasible in practice. Until we can ensure excellent coverage with these newer technologies, FM and DAB will retain a good position. And while mobile phones are replacing the radio in more situations, radio remains strong in places where people spend a lot of time, like in the car or the kitchen.

Radio World: You’ve been active in the audio and video distribution market for more than 20 years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing users in this segment right now?

Drews: One of the biggest challenges is the speed of the current development — it has never been faster! Technology is progressing year on year and customers need solutions that meet these new requirements. In addition, devices are morphing to multipurpose systems that are able to handle different functionalities in much higher density. It’s not always easy to explain these products to customers because of their multipurpose approach. Old descriptions like RDS encoder, satellite receiver or stereo generator for instance are no longer accurate. It’s challenging to describe — in concise terms — what a multipurpose platform (that comprises many units in one box) offers in a way that is quick and easy to grasp for clients.

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

Drews: One of the most interesting reason for customers to visit us at stand 8.E78 is that our well known AoIP, MPX over IP and FM/RDS solutions are undergoing a monumental change. The common denominator is a Linux-based and well thought-out technological concept. Our goal is to provide new products, which support broadcasters navigating to the next gen of audio technology. Each device of the audio-IP series, like IP-4c or MoIN [Multimedia over IP Network] server ensure outstanding flexibility in application, high compatibility and support studio-to-studio or studio-to-transmitter links as well as broadcasters increasing cross-media tasks.

For our established FM/RDS and MPX over IP solutions the new state-of-the-art, hybrid and modularly configurable 4audio MPX series will replace all existing products, like C02, S02 or the analog/digital MPX over IP codecs. One advantage, for example, is that the devices are configurable respective to client needs — a stereo generator, RDS encoder, MPX over IP codec and satellite receiver in just one 19-inch rack unit. This saves money and rack space.

We just launched the high-density DAB-4c ETI/EDI convertor to address some special challenges in operating expanded DAB networks including EDI and ETI multiplexers as sources. The converter enables customers to operate legacy ETI and EDI transmitters in parallel. Moreover, it is possible to operate DAB in already existing infrastructures (such as DVB-S/S2 or ASI) originally not intended for DAB.

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

Drews: As in previous years, anything related to IP. All devices have to work via IP and the customers are beginning to look more carefully at the IP security of these solutions. All standard IP protocols and devices must be compatible with other IP products of a network.

In addition, the trend is moving toward more density. This means everything must be delivered in one device, or even better, function as software only. What I mean by this is that each function can run on standard PC-based machines in virtual environments. A cloud-based technology is also becoming more important for the customers. I’m sure 5G broadcast will also be a main topic of the show.

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

Drews: The U.S. industry very often needs their own standards, their own products, just using the same products and technologies like in other parts of the world is not 1:1 possible. So we are “Americanizing” our products before we make our products available in the U.S. Of course you have to go to the U.S. shows as well to be part of that market — yet this is not enough. There are many specification groups and forums where one needs to be present as well.

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

Drews: I’m mainly focusing on meeting our customers and dealers to understand their requirements and to exchange thoughts. The IABM breakfast meeting and some standardization meetings are also interesting. Moreover, many of our engineers will be joining us on our stand this year. They will also have time to attend various targeted sessions. In my opinion, IBC offers great networking opportunities and we are able to meet people from all different kinds of technologies and divisions.

[Read: Sneak Peek: 2wcom Unveils DAB-4c Converter]

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

Drews: The show is getting bigger, louder and more international. But I love it — it always feels good being there. The basic principle has not really changed, but for us the show is becoming increasingly important each year thanks to our expanding customer base.

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

Drews: Meeting people! In our world of social media and many ways of digital communication it is more important than ever to meet in person and work with your customer and partner in a team. The IBC is perfect for this! Networking is very important in the broadcast industry. We are a small, very specialized family, and so it is good to know your customers and competitors in person. Another aspect about the show is that it allows us to learn more about new technology and trends in the market and, of course, what the competitors are doing.

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The post IBC Exhibitor Viewpoint: Werner Drews, 2wcom appeared first on Radio World.

In-car Updates From Radioplayer, BBC Sounds

Radio World - Tue, 08/13/2019 - 02:00

LONDONRadioplayer is launching a new way for car companies to access official metadata about radio stations. The new RadioDNS “ClientID” standard allows vehicle manufacturers to add rich metadata such as streams, logos, now-playing information, and podcasts via a feed using Radioplayer.

BBC Sounds music mixes displayed via Android Auto.

The non-profit radio platform, which is backed by international broadcasters, already offers basic metadata such as logos and station descriptions on behalf of partner stations in the open RadioDNS format.

ENHANCEMENTS

The new “ClientID” functionality will rollout in addition to the original open feed, enabling Radioplayer to offer more enhanced and valuable metadata to trusted partners by issuing them with unique “Client Identifiers.” This ensures that official metadata from broadcasters is only used by licensed partners.

The road-test rig for the Radioplayer reference radio.

“Radioplayer’s top priority is to help car companies build better radios,” says Michael Hill, managing director of Radioplayer. “We welcome any technology solution which helps us achieve that, particularly if it’s underpinned by open standards like DAB and RadioDNS. This new feed will help manufacturers build fantastic new ‘hybrid’ radio interfaces, keeping radio strong in the connected cars of the future.”

 

Countries that have rolled out the Radioplayer model include Germany, Ireland, Austria, Norway, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Peru and Denmark.

Michael Hill is managing director of Radioplayer.

Meanwhile, BBC Sounds, which launched last year to bring together the United Kingdom broadcaster’s live and on-demand radio, music and podcasts into a single personalized app, has introduced support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This expands what was previously available in the BBC’s iPlayer Radio app, offering drivers a larger choice of content from the dashboard.

Listeners now have four main sections to explore: “My Sounds,” which brings the user’s Bookmarks, Subscriptions and Latest list into one place, as on the mobile app; “Browse,” which provides a route to explore music mixes and recommendations; “Stations” for listening to live radio; and “Downloads,” for everything downloaded on the app.

New functionality has also been added to the BBC’s Alexa skill for smart speakers. Listeners are now able to pause and resume podcasts and on-demand programs seamlessly between the BBC skill and the BBC Sounds app and website.

This now means, for example, that if a user is halfway through listening to a podcast on a mobile phone using the BBC Sounds app during their commute home, they can then resume it once in the house using Alexa on a smart speaker. This feature is available when linking a BBC account to an Alexa account.

[Sennheiser to Unveil Immersive Automotive Sound System]

In-vehicle listening remains vital for broadcasters, with the latest U.K. RAJAR Midas Spring 2019 research showing that 22% of live radio, and 14% of podcast listening, takes place in either a car, van or lorry.

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The post In-car Updates From Radioplayer, BBC Sounds appeared first on Radio World.

IBC Sneak Peek: Digigram Iqoya Talk Simplifies Remotes

Radio World - Tue, 08/13/2019 - 00:00

Digigram will showcase the Iqoya Talk portable codec at IBC2019.

Built for live remote-broadcast operations, the company says that “by carefully understanding the needs of the users, it has come up with a powerful solution.”

With three mic-line inputs and four headphone outputs that can be individually mixed, Iqoya Talk allows up to four journalists and guests to perform a studio-quality on-field reportage.

Designed like a smartphone, the codec’s commands are accessible through the 5-inch LCD touchscreen with a rotary-knob in the middle for quick access to all relevant on-field settings.

Users can configure the Iqoya Talk with predefined scenarios in the studio, and then stream audio content through a large number of wired or wireless “last-mile” connections.

Iqoya Talk is suitable for sports commentary, music festivals and small and large outside broadcasts. It features two independent and hot-swappable Li-ion batteries and, according to the company, can be used for up to 12 hours without interruption.

IBC Stand: 8.C51
Info: www.digigram.com

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The post IBC Sneak Peek: Digigram Iqoya Talk Simplifies Remotes appeared first on Radio World.

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