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.

Physical Layer Tutorial Set for SBE at PBS TechCon

ATSC 3.0 and the rapid launch of NextGen Broadcast are the drivers behind the first-ever SBE/PBS TechCon collaborative tutorial day, which takes place Saturday, April 6, 2019 at PBS TechCon, held at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel. Open to anyone eager to learn what ATSC 3.0 means for the future of broadcast, the tutorial takes place the day after TechCon, is affordable ($95 for SBE and PBS members), and open to all. Online registration is now open for the event at bit.ly/SBEatPBS.

Luke FayLuke Fay, senior manager technical standards, Sony Electronics US Technology Standards Office, is involved with the development of the next generation of broadcast television in a variety of standards organizations and their efforts to educate members of the new possibilities available with ATSC 3.0. He is the vice-chair of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) Technology Group 3 (TG3), chair of ATSC TG3 Specialist Group on Physical Layer and vice-chair of ATSC TG3 Specialist Group on Interactive Environment for ATSC 3.0.

In his session, 3.0 PHY, Luke will provide a concise tutorial on the physical layer (PHY). The fundamentals of transmission change dramatically compared to 8-VSB or any other more traditional broadcast modulation scheme. Originally, this alone was the motivation for replacing ATSC 1.0. It is the Physical Layer (PHY) that enables single-frequency networks and mobile reception. Beyond OFDM, a “bootstrap” signal and Physical Layer pipes (PLPs) empower NextGen (NGBT) over-the-air (OTA) TV to reach receiving devices in an extremely broad set of circumstances and for a multiple of uses.

Make plans to attend SBE at PBS TechCon on Saturday, April 6, 2019, held at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel. Register now: bit.ly/SBEatPBS.

Regulatory Session Announced for SBE at PBS TechCon

ATSC 3.0 and the rapid launch of NextGen Broadcast are the drivers behind the first-ever SBE/PBS TechCon collaborative tutorial day, which takes place Saturday, April 6, 2019 at PBS TechCon, held at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel. Open to anyone eager to learn what ATSC 3.0 means for the future of broadcast, the tutorial takes place the day after TechCon, is affordable ($95 for SBE and PBS members), and open to all. Online registration is now open for the event at bit.ly/SBEatPBS.

Jerald FritzThe regulatory session segment has been confirmed for the event. Jerald Fritz, executive vice president for strategic and legal affairs for ONE Media 3.0, oversees long-term strategic planning and government relations for the company, supporting the adoption and implementation of the broadcast industry’s NextGen transmission standard.

In his session, Fritz will cover NextGen regulatory and contractual deployment requirements. These include simulcasting carriage mandates, program hosting agreement issues for 1.0 and 3.0 stations, government applications and notifications. Meeting these obligations and preserving station cashflow require that broadcast engineers have a good handle on how far ATSC 1.0 content compression can be pushed and at what cost. It’s valuable to have a firm grasp of video quality measurements. Partnering through channel sharing is a big part of broadcasters’ deployment plans. It’s a broadcast engineer’s role to fill in the technical specifications competently in each of these legal arrangements.

Make plans to attend SBE at PBS TechCon on Saturday, April 6, 2019, held at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel. Register now: bit.ly/SBEatPBS.

Launching NextGen Broadcast: An SBE Tutorial at PBS TechCon 2019

ATSC 3.0 and the rapid launch of NextGen Broadcast are the drivers behind the first-ever SBE/PBS TechCon collaborative tutorial day, which takes place Saturday, April 6, 2019 at PBS TechCon, held at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel. Open to anyone eager to learn what ATSC 3.0 means for the future of broadcast, the tutorial takes place the day after TechCon, is affordable ($95 for SBE and PBS members), and open to all. Online registration is now open for this session at bit.ly/SBEatPBS.

PBS TechCon 2019Periodically, broadcast goes through an extensive revamp. The launch of TV, FM, DTV – and now NextGen Broadcast – are pervasive and swift. For decades, the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has held programs and tutorials to help broadcast professionals build the necessary new skill sets required in our industry. This year, several dozen NextGen stations take to the air. The pace is likely to pick up. Broadcast engineers need to understand the potential of ATSC 3.0 and see what’s under the hood: the architecture, equipment, configurations, and options that go into NextGen. What follows are highlights of the daylong agenda.

– The regulations that dictate the requirements of the transition and technical compliance. These include MVPD notifications, carriage and 1.0 host requirements and agreements. Meeting these obligations and preserving station cashflow require that broadcast engineers have a good handle on how far ATSC 1.0 content compression can be pushed and at what cost. It’s valuable to have a firm grasp of video quality measurements. Partnering is a big part of Pearl’s and many others’ transition plans creating channel shares. It’s a broadcast engineer’s role to competently fill in the technical specifications in each of these legal arrangements.

– Converting a transmitter to 3.0 service and performing the proof-of-performance and acceptance testing will be covered by the engineers that build the transmitters. Further, some studio-to-transmitter links (STL) can be reutilized or upgraded; others cannot. While most stations will start with converting a “big-stick,” many will be looking at extending their coverage and increasing their penetration with the additional boosters that OFDM enables in a way that no other modulation previously used in broadcasting has. We will give you a good foundation for designing (or selecting vendors and partners that can help), planning and building your NextGen distribution system, including single-frequency networks.

– The centerpiece of NextGen is the scheduler. This cannot be understated. You will understand why this is, and we’ll cover the most practical configuration options. Key vendors will address how to use their solutions and explain the tradeoffs and system limitations for each as well as existing workarounds. We will also look at the field measurements of the past and future and how they impact an ultra-flexible system where so many variables are in play.

– Performance. We will cover monitoring the performance of the NextGen system and look at what test equipment, TVs, dongles and first-day hacks are available. These are all critically important to a successful launch. The options are early in their development cycle, and broadcast engineers will be doing a lot of hand-holding and integrations (read that “MacGyvering”).

– Finally, we’ll address some of the issues of adoption, timing, budgeting, project planning and (looking further out), the enhanced content and services that NextGen Broadcasting is designed to enable. Everybody in your world will want to know what NextGen is all about. Some will have overindulged in the hype. Most will have more misunderstandings than real knowledge (we don’t throw out TVs this time). For others, there will be fear, uncertainty and dread. We’ll conclude with what is real and what is not, matching adoption curves with equipment life cycles. We will separate what happens today and what happens further down the road. In particular, we’ll look at what changes in broadcast station architecture and workflows, including digital ad insertion and ad tech, will help move the revenue needle.

We’ll do the best we can to give you what you need. But when the hype becomes real, it is always a big deal. This year, you might want to get support to come to Vegas a couple of days before NAB opens, and join us Saturday, April 6, at the PBS Technology Conference. Register now: bit.ly/SBEatPBS.

Also at TechCon, Another ATSC 3.0 Option
The IEEE Broadcast Technology Society will be hosting the ATSC 3.0 Roadshow at PBS TechCon 2019. BTS will be hosting the ATSC 3.0 training seminar taught by expert Gary Sgrignoli of Meintel, Sgrignoli, and Wallace, the noted digital TV transmission consulting firm. This course will cover the ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer and prepare participants to take the SBE ATSC 3.0 certification exam. Registration and seminar information can be found on bts.ieee.org.

SBE Leadership Development Course Set for August 7-9, 2018

The Society of Broadcast Engineers will hold the 2018 SBE Leadership Development Course Aug. 7-9, 2018, 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.

Instructing the course for the seventh 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.”

SBE Leadership Development COurse class of 2017

The SBE Leadership Development Course class of 2017

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; 1899 Sullivan Rd.; College Park, GA. A special room rate of $126 per night, plus tax, is available through July 7, 2018. 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 are available at sbe.org/ldc.

Ennes Educational Foundation Trust Announces Scholarship Recipients

The Ennes Educational Foundation Trust has awarded four scholarships for 2016. Winners were chosen from applications received by July 1, 2017, from the previous 12 months.

The Harold E. Ennes Scholarship, Robert D. Greenberg Scholarship and John H. Battison Founder’s Scholarship are awarded to individuals interested in continuing or beginning their education in broadcast engineering and technology. The Youth Scholarship is specifically for a graduating high school senior interested in broadcast engineering as a career. Each scholarship awarded this year is for $1,500.

Clifford WhiteThis year the Harold E. Ennes Scholarship recipient is Clifford White of Tyler, TX. Cliff grew up near Tyler, TX, in a very technically inclined family. His father, Steve, has owned a small computer software company since the 1970s. Being around this technology, coupled with a unique curiosity, and nurtured a desire for all things technical. He discovered amateur radio at the age of 14, and within two months earned his Extra Class license. Being one of the few younger members of the local ham radio club, many of the older Elmers would give him old or broken equipment, which he would learn to fix. He learned most of knowledge of electronics from reverse engineering and repairing these old radios, oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, and similar other devices. Several of his ham radio acquaintances worked in the broadcast industry, and he soon began following them around learning about the big radios. He is currently a senior at LeTourneau University, where he is studying for an engineering degree. When not in school, he works as a consulting engineer for many radio stations in the East Texas area.

Thomas CarlisleReceiving the Robert Greenberg Scholarship is Thomas Carlisle of Mesa, AZ. Tom began his career in broadcast working as a freelance system design engineer focusing on recording studios, post-production facilities, and broadcast facilities in 2000 while based in New York City. In Dec 2004, Tom joined the staff of Trade the News. For the next eight years he helped design and expanded its web-based subscription Squawk Box service. In 2012, Tom joined Fox News as a broadcast maintenance assistant of the Quartermasters department. In 2014, Tom moved to Phoenix, AZ, to join the staff of NBC-affiliate KPNX as the staff broadcast maintenance engineer. In 2016, Tom jointed the staff at Sneaky Big Studios as studio engineer and currently manages all broadcast and technical operations. Tom received his CBTE in 2017, and is furthering his education at Mesa Community College to focus on preparation to take the test for his CBNE and CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) in 2018 upon completion of the Cisco Networking Academy – CCNA program.

Timothy KyobeThe John H. Battison SBE Founder’s Scholarship has been awarded to Timothy Kyobe of Kampala, Uganda. Timothy started his professional journey as a radio broadcast and IT engineer seven years ago at the age of 25 at Capital Radio Limited, Kampala, Uganda, which is part of Radio Africa Group. That same year he completed his two-year university diploma in telecommunications engineering at the Uganda Institute of Information And Communications Technology. He is proud to be a Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer and Certified Broadcast Networking Engineer through the Society of Broadcast Engineers. He joined the SBE in 2015 when his employer sponsored him to attend the 139th AES convention in New York, where he met two SBE members whom he looks up to as role models. He had never known of any certified broadcast engineer in his country and is proud to be the first and only certified broadcast radio engineer and certified broadcast networking engineer in Uganda and East Africa.

Katy GerberKaty Gerber of Anaheim, CA, received the Youth Scholarship. As an incoming freshman attending California State University of Monterey Bay, Katy will study human communications and cinematic arts. With this education, she will enter the field of broadcast media to direct and inform an audience on ways to go about conscious living and consumerism. She currently works as a paid intern at Empire Media Productions where she provides media services to local government.

SBE President Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNT, said, “Education continues to be a focal point of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and through the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust, we can assist deserving candidates with Ennes Scholarships to support their education in broadcast engineering.”

The Harold Ennes Scholarship Fund Trust was initiated by Indianapolis Chapter 25 in 1980 in memory of Harold E. Ennes, author of many textbooks for broadcast and broadcast-related communications training and a member of the Indianapolis chapter. Ennes was a member of the SBE’s national Certification Committee and made many contributions to the early development of the Certification Program. To encourage greater growth, the Scholarship Trust was transferred by Chapter 25 to the SBE national organization to administer in 1981. The name of the Trust was changed in 1995 to the Harold Ennes Educational Foundation Trust to fully embrace its expanded role.

SBE Leadership Development Course Set for August

The Society of Broadcast Engineers will hold the 2017 SBE Leadership Development Course Aug. 8 – 10, 2017, 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.

Rodney VandeveerInstructing the course for the seventh 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, “Outstanding program! I found the material valuable, and Rodney [Vandeveer] is an engaging teacher!”

To register for this professional development opportunity, visit the Leadership Development Course page on the SBE website and click the Education tab. The enrollment fee is $620 for SBE members and $675 for non-members. The course will be held at the Hyatt Place Atlanta Airport South. A special room rate of $118 per night, plus tax, is available through July 10, 2017. 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 are available at sbe.org/ldc.

SBE Launches Mentor Program

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, has begun its first Mentor Program. The Mentor Program is designed to provide broadcast engineers who are new to the field a means to gain insight and work with a seasoned broadcast engineer who can share his or her acquired knowledge. SBE Mentor ProgramThe SBE accepted applications for mentors and mentees from SBE members through September. Mentees were paired with mentors based on mutual experiences and career interests.

Participants are asked to have regular communication by voice or video at least every other week. In all but a few pairings, mentors and mentees are not in the same city, but this should not impair the interaction of the participants. Officially, the mentoring will last one year, but the professional relationship can certainly continue.

The inaugural launch of the program attracted 32 mentees and 18 mentors. Many mentors are working with more than one mentee. The SBE Mentor Committee is cochaired by SBE board members Jeff Keith, CPBE, and Eric Schecter, CBRE.

On the launch of the program, SBE President Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNT, said, “This program provides a fast-track for those SBE members who are new to broadcast engineering to gain practical insight and knowledge from some of our more experienced SBE members. Through this, we are able to tap the knowledge resource to grow an engineering talent resource. I extend a personal thanks to the volunteer mentors who are participating in the SBE Mentor Program.”

The SBE is still accepting applications for new mentors and mentees. As new mentors and mentees apply, new partners will be matched.

SBE Launches Chapter Training Video Series

The SBE has produced the first in a series of videos designed to inform and orient new and aspiring chapter chairmen and other officers and leaders about local chapter operations. The first video, titled Structure and Responsibilities, is available on the Chapters/Administration page of the SBE website. It is based on information contained in the SBE Chapter Manual.

Chapters can also use the video to help potential chapter leaders understand chapter responsibilities and how a chapter works. View the video in the chapter administration section of the SBE website or on the SBE YouTube channel.