SBE@PBS TechCon 2019 Videos Available

ATSC 3.0 and the rapid launch of NextGen Broadcast were the drivers behind the first-ever SBE/PBS TechCon collaborative tutorial day, which was held April 6, 2019, at PBS TechCon in Las Vegas. The day-long tutorial, Launching ATSC 3.0 NextGen Broadcast: A Tutorial, covered what ATSC 3.0 means for the future of broadcast. The presentations were recorded, and the SBE is now making them available for online viewing.

Six tutorial sections will be available. The first two are available through the SBE online registration system. They are Part 4: NextGen/ATSC 3.0 Transmitter Conversion and Part 6: NextGen Broadcast/ATSC 3.x Scheduler.

Registered attendees of the SBE @ PBS TechCon 2019 will receive an email with instructions on how to view the videos. Others can register to view the videos through the SBE Webinar library via the SBE website. The cost for SBE members is $59, non-members is $89. SBE members with SBE MemberPlus can view the videos for free.

The remaining four sections will be made available in the coming weeks.

EAS 2019 National Periodic Test Final Checklist

by Larry Wilkins, CPBE, CBNT, AMD
Chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group

As the 2019 National EAS Test, commonly called the National Periodic Test (NPT), approaches, there are several steps broadcasters should take to ensure they are prepared on Aug. 7.

FEMA will transmit the test via the Primary Entry Point (PEP) system. It will not be available on the IPAWS CAP system. The NPT will be issued at 2:20 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019.

By now all EAS participants should have checked their EAS units to ensure that they are programmed and working properly. If you haven’t, now is the time to do so. Key items to check:

1. Verify your EAS equipment is running the required software version (contact your equipment vendor if you have questions).
2. Verify you are monitoring the correct legacy EAS monitor sources as outlined in your state EAS plan.
3. Verify the audio from both required sources is broadcast quality.
4. Verify the system clock is correct and synced to a national time server (check the time zone setting as well).
5. Be prepared to file ETRS Form Two by midnight on August 7.

Contact your state emergency communications committee (SECC) or state broadcaster association with any questions about the NPT requirements.

Charles Wooten, Bill Hubbard Earn SBE’s 2019 Top Individual Award Honors

The winner of the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year award for 2019 is Charles Wooten, of Panama City, FL. The award is presented to a member who has excelled in his or her career while furthering the mission of the SBE. Candidates are nominated by their peers. The winner of the 2019 James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year award is Bill Hubbard, CPBE, of Green Bay, WI. Hubbard is a member of Chapter 80. The award recognizes outstanding service and excellence in sharing knowledge through teaching other broadcast engineers.

Charlie WootenOn October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael bared down on the Florida Panhandle. The Category 5 hurricane came ashore and knocked out terrestrial and wireless communications and all utilities. Because of Charlie’s experience, planning and system redundancy, the citizens of Bay County tuned in their radios the morning after the storm and found iHeart Media signals live. Locals had access to critical information regarding, food, water and emergency health care.

Bill HubbardBill Hubbard recently retired from a long career in broadcast engineering. Bill is one of the charter members of Chapter 80. Among his service with the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, Bill spent much of his time volunteering his time with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Clinic program committee. In that role, he assisted in putting together two educational seminars each year. Bill has also helped contribute to the “Media Technology Institute,” a seminar to train new graduates in the basics of broadcast engineering. In 2019, Bill also developed and helped implement an incentive plan for Chapter 80 members to become SBE certified. The plan allows for Chapter 80 fund raising proceeds to be used to reimburse members for SBE certification exams and study materials.

The SBE 2019 Awards Program also recognizes other achievements from SBE members, chapters and SBE sustaining member companies.

Blackmagic Design has been awarded the 2019 SBE Technology Award for its 8K Workflow Technology. The 8K Workflow Technology introduces a complete range of 8K broadcast workflow products. To make sure customers truly benefit from these 8K products, they are based on the latest hardware processors running an embedded Linux operating system, which incorporates 30 years of experience and knowledge in the remote site management industry.

Chapter and Individual Awards
Chapters are the lifeblood of the SBE, and 2019 marks the sixth year that the Chapter Engineer of the Year Award has highlighted the achievements of members within their chapters. This year, seven chapters selected their own award recipients. Each winner will be presented with a special plaque and be recognized nationally on the SBE website and in a future issue of The Signal. The seven chapter winners also were automatically nominated for the national Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year Award.

The 2018 Broadcasters Clinic in Wisconsin has won for Best Chapter Regional Educational Event. Chapter 16 in Seattle, WA, has won for Best Chapter Communication.

Doug Irwin, CPBE, AMD, DRB, of Chapter 47 has won the award for Best Technical Article, Book or Program by an SBE member for his three-part Radio World article series on the repack.

Statistical Awards
Greatest Growth in New Members
Class A: Chapter 115, Southern Idaho, Chapter Chairman Thomas Kettwig, CBT
Class B: Chapter 85, Central Western Oklahoma, Chapter Chairman Brian Ryel, CBTE

Most Certified Chapters
Class A: Chapter 7, Jacksonville, FL, Chapter Chairman Craig Butler, CSRTE, and Certification Chairman Alan Alsobrook, CSRE, AMD, CBNT
Class B: Chapter 24, Madison, WI, Chapter Chairman Britny Williams, CBT, CBNT, and Certification Chairman James Hermanson, CPBE, CBNT

Highest Member Attendance
Class A: Chapter 112, Western Wisconsin, Chapter Chairman Todd Zscherntiz, CBTE
Class B: Chapter 79, Austin, TX, Chapter Chairman Ed Rupp, CBTE, CBNT

All the winners will be recognized at the SBE National Awards Dinner, held during the SBE National Meeting Oct. 15 and 16 at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Clinic in Madison, WI.

Nominations for the 2020 awards will open in February.

Note: Class awards are determined using the median chapter size as of Dec. 31, 2018, as the dividing line between Class A (fewer than the median) and Class B (more than the median).

SBE Releases 2019 Compensation Survey Results

Compensation SurveyFrom April 1 to May 24, 2019, the Society of Broadcast Engineers conducted its fourth annual compensation survey to determine salary levels and benefits among broadcast and media technology engineers. This survey provides a wealth of useful information, and it adds to the baseline being developed for subsequent surveys to establish compensation trends.

The complete results of the survey are available at no charge to SBE members as a benefit of membership. A link to the survey is posted on the SBE website. SBE members will login to view and download the report.

The survey included 23 questions that gathered information about job titles, broadcast market size and compensation in dollars and offered benefits. SBE membership was not required to take the survey. About the survey, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “The SBE Compensation Survey continues to receive a high level of participation, which helps us provide useful data to our members in radio, TV and multimedia technology.”

While all responses remained anonymous, demographic data collected included market size, job category/title, age, years working in broadcasting, salary, benefits received, and any certification held. The data is split into radio or TV results, with greater detail on job category and market size. President Leifer added, “Just like in previous years, the survey shows that individuals who hold SBE Certification on average earn a higher salary than those who do not hold SBE Certification.”

SBE members can access the survey at this link. SBE login is required.

2019 National Periodic Test Date Announced

FEMA has announced that the 2019 National Periodic Test (NPT) will issued Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 2:20 p.m. EDT (18:20 GMT). The alternate date is Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019.

Alfred Kenyon, chief, Customer Support Branch IPAWS Program Office, indicated, “This year FEMA proposes to originate the test via the National Public Warning System composed of the FEMA designated Primary Entry Point (PEP) facilities. The intent of conducting the test in this fashion is to determine the capability of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to deliver messages to the public in event that dissemination via internet is not available. The public should be aware that full message text and multilingual messaging will not be available due to the over-the-air message delivery and relay used in this system of EAS message dissemination.”

All EAS participants are encouraged to verify the two required monitor sources assigned by the State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC). Check not only for the correct source but the quality of the audio. If you not able to receive clearly the assigned sources or have not been receiving the Required Weekly Test (RWT) from both sources, contact your SECC for an alternate source.

The 2019 test will not be fed via the IPAWS network as in past years. The test will be received via each state’s Primary Entry Point (PEP) and relayed by the area LP-1 and LP-2 stations.

Pecena Appointed SBE Vice President After Russell Steps Down

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) announced that RJ Russell, CPBE, has resigned his position as vice president of the society effective April 12, 2019. Russell resigned in anticipation that his company, Technical Broadcast Solutions, will be hired to take on a significant SBE project in the near future. The SBE will announce that project when details are confirmed.
Wayne PecenaAs per the SBE by-laws, the SBE president appoints SBE members to fill unexpired terms, subject to approval by the SBE Executive Committee. Following a meeting on April 17, the Executive Committee approved the appointment of Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, to fill the remaining vice president term. Pecena was serving as secretary, and so President Leifer appointed and the Executive Committee approved board member Kevin Trueblood, CBRE, CBNT, to fill that role. With an opening on the Board, Leifer appointed and the Executive Committee approved former board member Jason Ornellas, CBRE, CRO, to fill the remainder of Trueblood’s term, which runs through Oct. 16 of this year.
The SBE Executive Committee is comprised of the four officers, plus two appointees from the Board of Directors. Trueblood was already a member of the Executive Committee as an appointed board member. To fill that vacancy, Steve Brown, CPBE, CBNT, has been appointed and confirmed to serve through Oct. 16, 2019.
Wayne Pecena is the assistant director of educational broadcast services in the Office of Information Technology at Texas A&M University. In this position, he serves as the director of engineering of TTVN: The Enterprise Videoconference and Data Network serving the Texas A&M University System and Public Broadcast stations KAMU-TV and KAMU-FM serving the Brazos Valley area. He is a Fellow member of the SBE, and active in SBE Chapter 99 College Station, TX. He was elected to the SBE Board of Directors in 2012, and became secretary in 2016. He has chaired the SBE Education Committee since 2012.

Kevin Trueblood   Jason Ornellas   Steve Brown

On the changes, SBE President Jim Leifer said, “Losing RJ as the VP of the SBE is unfortunate, but understandable given the circumstances. While his skill and abilities will be missed on the SBE leadership team, we are fortunate to have a deep bench of talent to continue the SBE’s work.”

SBE Holds Daily Booth Drawing at 2019 NAB Show

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the 2019 NAB Show, visitors to the Society of Broadcast Engineers booth were encouraged to drop a business card for the daily drawing for a $200 Fry’s gift card.

Each day’s drawing was sponsored, and the SBE thanks these Sustaining Members:
Monday: Nemal Electronics
Tuesday: Linkup Communications
Wednesday: Blackmagic Design

The winners are:
Monday: David Weaver, chief engineer of Ion Media in Fairfax Station, VA.
Tuesday: Tim Neese of MultiTech Consulting, Inc. in Swannanoa, NC.
Wednesday: Alex Brewster, assistant chief engineer at Entercom Seattle.

John Collinson Named SBE Fellow

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has elevated John Collinson, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, CBNE, to the membership rank of Fellow. The SBE Board of Directors elected him at its meeting held Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas during the 2019 NAB Show.

John Collinson, who joined the SBE in 1976 and is currently a Senior member, is the chief engineer at Ventana Television, Inc., a branch of HSN, in Saint Petersburg, FL. He has held that position since 1994. He previously was the chief engineer of WWSB-TV and WAAY-TV in Sarasota, FL from 2007 to 2008, and the chief engineer of WDAF-AM/KYYS-FM in Kansas City from 1987 to 1993. He attended Oklahoma State Tech and John Brown University.

Collinson has served SBE Chapter 39 Tampa Bay Area as chapter chair from 1999 to 2001, and chapter certification chair since 1995. In the early 1990s, he led the effort to restart the chapter. For the past 11 years, the chapter has presented an annual Broadcast Technology Symposium, and Collinson has been a leader in founding and continuing that project. Many chapter members credit him as being a driving force in keeping the chapter active with, as one of his Fellow nominators wrote, “his steady support and wise counsel even after he handed off the main leadership role to others.”

One nomination credited Collinson’s mentoring efforts: “[John] encourages both brand new and seasoned engineers to expand their knowledge and their level of certification. He takes the time to nurture young talent and has been instrumental in growing [the chapter’s] relationship with St. Petersburg College with the goal of enticing more young talent to join our trade.” Another nomination noted that because of Collinson’s efforts, 19 St. Petersburg College students (and counting) have earned the SBE Certified Radio Operator Certification to date.

His dedication to SBE certification is boundless. One nominator wrote, “John is not only a great mentor for new members, but also pushes the membership as a group for higher certifications every chance he can.”

Additional comments from his nomination include notes words of praise, including:
“John is always one of the first to volunteer for a project.”
“John is an engineer’s engineer.”
“John is a shining star in our industry.”
“John values our broadcast community, and it shows with his dedication year after year to the SBE, both locally and nationally.”

On the SBE Board of Directors’ approval of John Collinson’s elevation to Fellow, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “The peer accolades expressed for John show the highest esteem of an SBE member, and recognizing him with the membership grade of Fellow is a testament to John’s skill, attitude, professionalism and dedication to broadcast engineering. These are the marks of an SBE Fellow.”

The Fellow honor is the highest membership level in the SBE. Members must have made significant contributions to the broadcast engineering field or the SBE. Candidates are nominated by their peers. Since the Society’s founding 55 years ago, 79 members have been honored with the Fellow rank.

Collinson will be recognized for his election to Fellow during the SBE National Awards Dinner on Oct. 16, 2019, in Madison, WI, during the annual SBE National Meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Clinic.

Essential Program for Broadcast Engineers on ATSC 3.0 NextGen Broadcast

By Fred Baumgartner, CPBE, CBNT

For some 25 years, the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust with the Society of Broadcast Engineers has presented a day-long tutorial the opening Saturday of the spring NAB Show in Las Vegas. We’ve always aspired to “give broadcast engineers what they most need to know this year.” Over the years, this is where many of us got our first crash courses on everything from IP to SDI. HD to DAI. Transmission to test gear.

Along the way, we made arrangements for the PBS TechCon attendees and attendees of the Association of Public Radio Engineers conference to also have access to the program. There is something good about having commercial and non-commercial broadcast engineers in the same room for a day. It also made the day attractive to the best teachers and justified the incredible work that these presenters put into a great tutorial. Over the years, there have been some awesome tutorials.

While the SBE continues this year with the tradition of providing an excellent Ennes program at the beginning of the NAB Show, the SBE has also joined with PBS TechCon to provide a full-day, broadcast technology tutorial on ATSC 3.0 – NextGen Broadcast. It’s on Saturday, April 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel, tacked on to the end of the PBS TechCon conference and open to everyone. It’s affordable: $95 for SBE members and employees of PBS member stations, and includes lunch.

Over the last two decades, there have been maybe three curricula that stood out as having been essential. The series at the dawn of IP, DTV, and big-storage come to mind. I think this year’s is rather likely the fourth essential program. With some 20 TV stations transitioning to ATSC 3.0 in the next year, NextGen Broadcast is about to become very real. The thing about NextGen is that it has a lot of pieces, and there is a fair amount of engineering work that needs to be done. More importantly, you are likely to be asked to explain the what, why and when of this transition to the people you work with and beyond.

Because NextGen Broadcast has so many pieces, it takes quite a team of subject matter experts to cover it adequately. In nine sections, we will cover everything from regulations and the physical layer to how to convert your transmitter and proof it. We’ll also do some practical things, like show you what receivers, dongles, displays and test and measurement tools there are out there and how to use them.

The presenters list is a who’s who of NextGen Broadcast development. The list includes: Luke Fay, Madeline Noland, Jerry Fritz, Blake Homan, Jim Dechant, Mark Corl, Azita Manson, Doug Lung, Joe Seccia, Tom Barbeau, Richard Lhermette, Sang Jin Yoo, Myra Moore, Bonnie Beeman, John Casey, Merrill Weiss, and more.

Make plans (even change your plans!) to be sure you can attend this important event. This will be the most comprehensive tutorial presented anywhere on ATSC 3.0 NextGen Broadcast to date. Register online at the SBE website.

SBE Leadership Development Course Set for August 6-8, 2019

The Society of Broadcast Engineers will hold the 2019 SBE Leadership Development Course Aug. 6-8, 2019, in Atlanta, GA. This three-day course is an intensive study of successful leadership and management, designed specifically for broadcast engineers.

The course explores the nature of leadership, the difference between being a manager and being a leader, how to build a winning team, the importance of attitude in the leadership position, communication insights and so much more.

Leadership Development Class, 2018

Leadership Development Class of 2018

Instructing the course for the 11th year will be Rodney Vandeveer, professor of Organizational Leadership and Supervision at Purdue University. Vandeveer brings more than 30 years of experience in human resources management, training, development and manufacturing. Vandeveer also owns a leadership training business, VanTech Training. A previous course attendee said, “Rodney [Vandeveer] knows this stuff inside and out and makes it interesting as well. Plus the real-life examples from his careers help prove the points.”

To register for this professional development opportunity, go to sbe.org/ldc. The enrollment fee is $670 for SBE members and $725 for non-members. The course will be held at the Hyatt Place Atlanta Airport-South. A special room rate of $118 per night is available. Mention the SBE Leadership Development Course when booking by phone, or reserve a room online. Questions? Contact SBE Education Director Cathy Orosz at corosz@sbe.org.

The SBE has presented the SBE Leadership Development Course since 1997. The NAB sponsored the course from 1965 to 1995. This intense course is designed specifically for broadcast engineers who have or aspire to have management responsibilities. Details on the course and registration information are available at sbe.org/ldc.