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.