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NAB Sneak Peek: 2wcom Debuts HDR-CC

Radio World - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 17:57

2wcom has developed the HDR-CC, an HD Radio capture client for the delivery of additional HD Radio channels.

The company explains that by using the unit, users can set-up the importer IP address and directly connect audio to the small box’s XLR connectors. The box is able to accept one digital or analog stereo audio channel and provide it to an importer. The unit also sends the compressed audio via IP using an HD Radio codec. The HDR-CC can thus be located in a different location than the importer. Due to HDR-CC’s sound processing capabilities the loudness is almost the same as on the main program.

In addition, 2wcom says the unit simplifies audio switching for emergency alerts. Utilizing a new feature Xperi has implemented in Generation 4 importers, a single HDR-CC is able to provide the entire emergency alert for all supplemental channels on the transmitter.

The company points out that the only set-up required is an AES audio connection to the capture client and a GPI to trigger the alarm. When the alarm is triggered the HDR-CC logs into the importer and replaces all supplemental channels (HD2–HD4) with the alarm program. After the GPI is released the HDR-CC logs out and the importer continues with normal operation.

NAB Show Booth: C12431

Info: www.2wcom.com

The post NAB Sneak Peek: 2wcom Debuts HDR-CC appeared first on Radio World.

FCC’s Pai to Speak at 2020 NAB Show

Radio World - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 17:17

FCC’s head honcho, Chairman Ajit Pai, will make his way to Sin City to take part in a keynote conversation during the 2020 NAB Show.

Pai has been slated for a conversation with NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith during the NAB Show Welcome event on Monday, April 20, where they will discuss communications policy issues currently on the FCC’s docket, including spectrum policy and media ownership.

Also during the NAB Show Welcome event, Smith is scheduled to give his “State of the Broadcast Industry” address, as well as present the NAB Distinguished Service Award.

The NAB Show Welcome event will be at 9 a.m. on April 20 on the Main Stage in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The 2020 NAB Show takes place from April 18–22.

 

The post FCC’s Pai to Speak at 2020 NAB Show appeared first on Radio World.

NAB Sneak Peek: Dielectric Releasing Switch Controller

Radio World - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 17:04

Getting out of the NAB Show gate early, antenna maker is teaming up with remote control systems developer Burk Technology to add to its transmission support products line with a new dual RF switch controller.

According to a release, “The new DRFSC [Dual RF Switch Controller] device integrates SNMP and secure web-based capabilities to streamline the management of waveguide and coaxial transfer switch activation for modern TV and radio transmitters.”

It adds, “Benefits include plug-and-play adaptability to accelerate installation, streamlined hardware requirements, and networked status monitoring with richer data sets.”

The DRFSC can control up to two, four-port RF switches to provide RF routing in systems with auxiliary transmitters and/or antennas.

At the heart is Burk’s specialized Plus-X protocol. This can provide connectivity to Burk’s ARC Plus remote control system via a network connection, allowing engineers to centralize functions with other control and monitoring applications.

Dielectric explains, “Benefits include plug-and-play adaptability to accelerate installation, streamlined hardware requirements, and networked status monitoring with richer data sets.” In addition, “The DRFSC’s integrated SNMP control differentiates the unit from other RF switch controllers on the market. SNMP is a universal networking protocol integrated with most transmitter systems currently available.”

Dielectric Western Regional Sales Manager Steven Moreen, noting the influx of modern, digitally controlled transmitters in the last decade said, “All of these transmitters have built-in SNMP capability, and we are bringing this modernized solution to our customers for the purpose of simplifying how they remotely access, control, monitor and communicate with their RF systems.”

Commenting on the technology and business partnership between the two companies, Burk Technology’s Director of Sales Matt Leland said, “This powerful combination allows customers to integrate switch control into an overall facility view with graphical control screens, automated functions and flexible alarm reporting. The DRFSC represents the next-generation solution in switch controllers. We look forward to continuing our partnership and assisting our common customers with technical support and integration.”

NAB Show Booth: C2622

Info: www.dielectric.com

 

The post NAB Sneak Peek: Dielectric Releasing Switch Controller appeared first on Radio World.

Connect’s Kybio to Launch as SaaS

Radio World - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 12:30

The Kybio Media end-to-end monitoring and control platform from Connect is expanding beyond its on-premises offering to a new cloud-based software-as-a-service offering, which will officially launch at the 2020 NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Kybio is designed to assist with ensuring operational continuity and efficiency across the entire value chain from media acquisition, production to distribution. As a SaaS offering, the system will now be available to consumers who may not have the man-power to deploy and maintain a full on-premise system.

[Check Out More Products at Radio World’s Products Section]

Kybio as a SaaS service will be offered with a monthly subscription that will provide access to Kybio’s entire range of functions, while platform hosting, administration and general maintenance will be handled directly by Connect.

There will be automatic software updates and corrective patches as well.

Connect will showcase the Kybio SaaS offering at booth N5206 during the 2020 NAB Show, which takes place from April 18–22.

The post Connect’s Kybio to Launch as SaaS appeared first on Radio World.

Cumulus Considers Selling Tower Holdings

Radio World - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 10:24

Cumulus Media, looking to reduce its debt load further, is looking at possibly selling some or all of its 250+ tower sites that are spread around 32 states.

President/CEO Mary Berner made the announcement on a conference call reporting annual financial results Friday. “We are considering strategic alternatives regarding our tower portfolio,” she said.

CFO John Abbot said Cumulus is the last major U.S. radio group that owns such a large collection of sticks. “Given the dynamics in the tower market where multiples are well in excess of multiples in our industry, we may be able to take advantage of a sale/leaseback opportunity that could be beneficial to us.” He emphasized that these discussions are in an early stage.

Berner said the company is also “working on ways to monetize some land we own in Nashville.” Cumulus has multiple locations in that city and is looking at possible consolidation there.

[Related: “Diplex Two Four-Tower DA Stations 60 kHz Apart? No Way!”]

Berner expressed pride in the company’s 2019 results, including growth in its digital business and “active cost management across our platforms.”

The reduction of “leverage” is an important theme for the Cumulus leaders. Abbot said debt was reduced by more than $220 million in 2019 and by more than $275 million since emergence from bankruptcy. “The company has paid down debt that equates to over $13 per share.”

Berner said, “We are optimistic about 2020 and our continuing ability to drive strong operating and financial performance while aggressively reducing net leverage.”

 

The post Cumulus Considers Selling Tower Holdings appeared first on Radio World.

User Report: AEQ Phoenix Alio Helps Antenna Hungária

Radio World - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 07:57

The author is general manger for Ringnet.

BUDAPEST — Budapest is a city involved in European sports events.

Antenna Hungária is a member of the European Broadcast Union and one of the largest audiovisual service companies in Hungary. It has extensive facilities and highly qualified personnel to provide production services in Hungary for customers in radio, television and telecommunications. 

Antenna Hungária has a large fleet of OB vans and recently it was the designated host broadcaster for the European Men’s and Women’s Water Polo Championships. This competition was held in Budapest’s Duna Arena from Jan. 14 to 26 with the participation of 16 countries: Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Turkey.

To be able to offer the highest broadcast quality audio for the unilateral commentary signals from the event, Antenna Hungária chose AEQ’s Phoenix Alio portable IP audio codecs. Hungarian Integrator systems’ integrator Ringnet supplied five units to service fully equipped commentary positions for the Rights-Holding Broadcasters at this edition of the championship. 

The commentary service includes technical support to the RHBs, provided by Antenna Hungária in its role as host broadcaster. Such services usually involve operational and communication issues. AEQ, in turn, supported Antenna Hungária whenever required. 

SPORTS BROADCASTING

Several top-level broadcasters from Serbia, Croatia, Malta and Greece have taken up this practice. The links are mostly done by RTP protocol, and some broadcasters register the codecs on their own SIP server as an additional means of ensuring the link.

Antenna Hungária said the AEQ Phoenix Alio was effective in simple and flexible use and operation for the sports coverage. It is also able to cover other types of events such as concerts thanks to its stereo signal transmission capability. The broadcaster also uses it to broadcast political and social events. 

Alio can be controlled remotely from an app, which allows it to be handled by inexperienced users. It is sometimes given to journalists for remote reporting and guest appearances in programs via public internet connections. The Alio is controlled from the station. It has a “help” button for requesting remote technical support.

Alio is ideal for sports broadcasting. First, it can work with two independent full-duplex circuits, one for program and one for coordination. Also, because it has equalization for the microphones, it can mix the international stereo sound. Furthermore, its compact and solid design optimizes it for use outdoors with users and equipment renters, who might not always be careful with the equipment.

[Codecs Make the Magic of Radio Shine]

To interface with broadcasters in other countries, Alio can connect to other codecs from most manufacturers thanks to the SIP communications protocol (N/ACIP Tech 3326 EBU standard). This avoids requiring visiting broadcasters having to send their own equipment to events.

When connecting Alio to another AEQ codec, users can take advantage of an exclusive set of tools that makes the establishment of communication and the control of the unit a simple task, including SIP and IP (RTP) connectivity, with a simplified connection tool called Smart RTP. 

 

For information, contact AEQ in Spain at +34-91-686-1300 or visit www.aeq.eu.

The post User Report: AEQ Phoenix Alio Helps Antenna Hungária appeared first on Radio World.

Broadcast Actions

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 20:00
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Actions

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Electronic Delivery of MVPD Communications

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 20:00
The Commission adopts a Report and Order that modernizes the carriage election notice provisions in the FCC's Rules for low-power TV and noncommercial educational translator stations, which are not required to maintain online public inspection files

Pleadings

FCC Media Bureau News Items - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 20:00
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FCC Preps Big Spectrum Moves

Radio World - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 16:29

The FCC will be making some big spectrum-related decisions Friday (Feb. 28) at its February public meeting that will affect broadcast and cable operators.

The commission is scheduled to vote on freeing up 300 MHz of the 500 MHz C-Band satellite spectrum for next-gen terrestrial wireless, in the process repacking satellite operators and their broadcast and cable clients into smaller space and potentially paying those satellite operators billions to exit the spectrum early.

There has been a flurry of activity at the FCC as stakeholders argue for tweaks in the item before the vote.

The meeting will also include a separate vote on proposed rules for the auction of that C-Band spectrum.

Also on the docket is a vote on freeing up more “white spaces” — the space between TV station channels — for unlicensed use by allowing for higher power and taller towers. The FCC is billing the move as a way to better close the rural digital divide.

Broadcasters have said they are willing to work with computer companies on freeing up the white spaces spectrum, but only if they have assurances it will not cause interference to their existing signals.

One of the main sticking points has been whether the FCC should allow unlicensed operations on channels adjacent to TV channels. Computer companies say they can without causing undue interference. Broadcasters are unconvinced.

The FCC will seek further input on whether that is feasible, essentially kicking that can a bit further down the road.

But wait, there’s more.

The FCC will also vote on final procedures for an auction of county-sized licenses (22,000, the most ever) for 70 MHz of midband spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band.

 

The post FCC Preps Big Spectrum Moves appeared first on Radio World.

NUG@NAB Radio Technology Forum Stays on Sunday

Radio World - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 16:28

Nautel has announced details for its annual pre-NAB Show event, and registration is now open. 

The 2020 NUG@NAB Radio Technology Forum is scheduled for April 19 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Flamingo Las Vegas’ Scenic/Twilight Ballrooms. 

The networking and educational event includes lunch. It features presentations on “broadcast transmission best practices, challenges and technology trends” from industry figures and Nautel employees. Radio World’s Paul McLane will again share his thoughts about the show’s biggest trends and technologies to watch. Additionally, McLane will present the Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award to Dave Kolesar of Hubbard Radio.

Note that participation in the NUG@NAB Radio Technology Forum qualifies for one-half of a certification credit for the Society of Broadcast Engineers. 

Registration is required, but the event is “free and open to anyone passionate about radio transmission.” Nautel says they expect more than 300 broadcasters to attend.

Nautel says it kept the Sunday schedule for this event based on attendee feedback, despite the timing change for the NAB Show itself, which had traditionally opened its show floor Monday morning and will now commence at noon on Sunday.

The post NUG@NAB Radio Technology Forum Stays on Sunday appeared first on Radio World.

Former Air Talent Establish Congressional Broadcasters Caucus

Radio World - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 15:30
Rep. Tom Emmer

Two broadcasters-turned-congressmen have established a new bipartisan caucus to represent the interests of local broadcasters in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Representatives Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Brendan F. Boyle (D-Pa.) announced the formation of the Congressional Broadcasters Caucus and explained in a press release that this “caucus will be a resource to educate members of Congress about broadcast-related issues and the importance of local radio and television stations to tens of millions of Americans.”

Rep. Brendan Boyle

Rep. Emmer previously co-hosted a morning talk show on Minneapolis station KTLK(AM), and Rep. Boyle analyzed Notre Dame football and basketball games on the radio during college.

Through this endeavor, Emmer explained he hopes to “further the conversations about how to support” the broadcast industry.

The announcement also quoted former senator and broadcaster now National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO, Gordon Smith, who said the new “caucus will serve an important role” by fulfilling its mission of discussing and solving issues of importance to the broadcast community.

 

The post Former Air Talent Establish Congressional Broadcasters Caucus appeared first on Radio World.

Broadcast Pix Names RadioPix Product Manager

Radio World - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 11:43
Jeff Adams

Jeff Adams has joined Broadcast Pix as a product manager, heading up the business and product development of RadioPix visual radio systems. RadioPix was introduced last year at IBC Show in Amsterdam. 

In the announcement, Broadcast Pix CEO Graham Sharp charged Adams with “spearheading our new visual radio strategy — to provide the most complete and easy-to-use solutions for live broadcasting and streaming.”

Visual radio has been an area of growth and interest for the broadcast community for several years, and Radio World explored the technology in the Trends in Visual Radio 2019 ebook

Broadcast Pix noted that Adams’ career comprises stints as a record label producer; radio talk show and TV host; creative executive at JamtheHype and Black Fuel Music; and manager of business development for Image Technologies and at multiCAM Systems. His behind-the-mic credits include “The Jeff Adams Show,” “The Shannon Burke Show,” “Jeff is Live,” “Broadcast Now,” “NAB Live” and the Facebook Live Streaming Platform BeLive.tv.

Broadcast Pix was founded in 2002 and is based in Chelmsford, Mass. However, Adams will be based in Lakeland, Fla. 

The post Broadcast Pix Names RadioPix Product Manager appeared first on Radio World.

Prevent False Hot Spot Readings With These Tips

Radio World - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 09:44
Fig. 1: Dan’s IR SEEK Camera, available from Amazon, Grainger and Allied Electronics.

Dan Grimes handles radio broadcast maintenance for the Southwest Region of Faith Communications Corp. 

Dan recently took advantage of a Telos-sponsored tips webinar provided by the Society of Broadcast Engineers. He picked up on one of the tips provided by Richard Wood, an independent consultant and principal of Resonant Results Ltd. Richard performs infrared camera inspections for all types of facilities, among other services.

In the SBE presentation, I share some of Richard’s photos, showing “hot spots” detected by his inspections. Many of these are at rigid line junctions, or elbows, where a bullet is overheating and ready to fail.

Richard’s service becomes an insurance of sorts for stations that do not want to endure the catastrophic failure of a bullet and transmission line — potentially costing the station tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and lost revenue.

Dan has been performing this maintenance inspection for the Faith Communications Corp. stations for some time. Dan uses both the Seek IR camera and an Etekcity IR gun. His warning is that both instruments can give false results when looking at a brass rigid transmission line.  

The brass is simply an IR reflector, so the reading turns out to be whatever the brass is reflecting. If a cold door is opposite the line, it reads cold. Turn over to the other side where there is a warm transmitter, and it reads hot. 

Fig. 2: (A) Rigid Line Elbow – Angle 1 at filter; (B) the IR image with no tape covering the line; (C) black tape covering the suspect right angle, reducing reflections; (D) the IR image with black tape covering the elbow. Fig. 3: Elbow number 2, measured with the IR temperature gun.

When you have a dilemma, you turn to an expert. In this case, I contacted Richard Wood, who said that false readings are actually common in IR work. The key word is emissivity. 

Richard provided a website that discusses the different reflected versus transmitted values of thermal energy from an object.

Richard added that when he took IR training, they showed how to make a highly reflective object easier to “read.” The trick was — yep, you guessed it — Scotch 33 Tape. You cover the area to be measured with the black tape, and then you measure the object, not the reflected IR value. 

Higher-end cameras allow the operator to adjust the emissity level of the measurement, but I think you’ll find the black tape is less expensive! 

Richard also typically moves around to different angles when testing new transmission lines or highly polished brass and aluminum.

Fig. 4: (A) Angle number 2, with no tape; (B) IR image of the same angle, no tape; (C) angle number 2, showing line covered with black tape; (D) IR image of same — note the “red” temperature not seen in the image with reflections.

Richard pointed out another key feature in any measurement device — the spot size ratio. This is the pattern measurement area at a given distance. Even though there may be a “laser” pointer, that does not mean that that is the only point measured.

So Richard’s suggestion is not to just “point and shoot.” Instead, put Scotch 33 tape on the elbows you want to measure. Then use the thermal gun at the same physical distance point each time. The result will be repeatable values that can be put in a log. An easy way to accomplish this is to tape the line and an X on the floor for the measurement target and send points. 

Dan provided several images to demonstrate this effect “with and without black tape.” The results are seen in Figs. 2, 4 and 5. 

Fig. 5: (A) A third junction to be measured at the bandpass filter; (B) the IR picture of the third junction, with no tape applied to the junction; (C) the third junction with tape applied; (D) the IR image of the third junction, with tape applied — normal temperatures noted.

Richard Wood and Resonant Results can be reached at 1-608-839-3930.

***

The SBE membership drive is underway. If you opt for SBE MemberPlus membership, you’ll have access to the library of all SBE webinars — including the Workbench Tips Webinar. 

These webinars are an excellent resource for engineering education — whether you’re new to the industry or an old salt like me, but still learning! 

Head to www.sbe.org for more information.

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 certification with the Society of Broadcast Engineers and is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.

The post Prevent False Hot Spot Readings With These Tips appeared first on Radio World.

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