SBE and ATSC to Develop ATSC 3.0 Certification for Broadcast Engineers

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc. (SBE), the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, and the Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc. (ATSC) today announced a cooperative effort to develop a new Specialist level of SBE certification that will benchmark an individual’s proficiency in the ATSC 3.0 System standard.

“SBE Certification covers a range of experience levels and disciplines in broadcast and media engineering. As broadcast engineering diversified beyond legacy technology, the SBE Certification Program also diversified by adding certifications for computer networking and IT, and then a series of specific Specialist Certifications for television transmission, AM directional arrays, and digital radio. With the industry preparing to implement ATSC 3.0, broadcast engineers must be proficient in the next-generation television technology. The SBE and ATSC are working together to develop the next SBE Certification Specialist to cover ATSC 3.0,” said SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE.

“ATSC is pleased to work with SBE to develop an ATSC 3.0 Specialist Certification program. The SBE has extensive experience training and certifying broadcast engineers. Our work with the SBE is part of efforts to support deployment of ATSC 3.0,” said Mark Richer, president of ATSC.
The world’s first internet-based broadcast television standard, ATSC 3.0 will give stations and viewers more choices and options now that broadcast TV can seamlessly connect with broadband-delivered content. Approved for use by U.S. broadcasters and deployed in South Korea, ATSC 3.0 technologies make it possible to transmit in Ultra High-Definition, to offer immersive audio, and to add more capabilities like high dynamic range, wide color gamut, and interoperability with Internet-delivered content.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers Certification Program is part of the society’s efforts contributing to the advancement of broadcast engineering for the general benefit of the entire broadcast industry. The program was created in 1975 to recognize and raise the professional status of broadcast engineers by providing standards of professional competence. Through the years, the SBE’s certification program has become recognized in the industry as the primary method of verifying the attainment of educational standards. With the industry constantly changing, the SBE-certified engineer must keep up with those changes.

To hold SBE Specialist Certification, an individual must first hold one of the SBE core-four certifications: CBT, CBRE/CBTE, CSRE/CSTE or CPBE. Once the new Specialist Certification is released, applicants will take a 50-question, multiple-choice exam and answer an essay question.

More information about SBE certification is online at sbe.org/cert.

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Nominations Committee Seeks Board Candidates for 2018 Election

The SBE Nominations Committee work has begun. Members of this committee include: Robert Combs, from Spring, TX; John George Jr., from Lexington, SC; Martin Stabbert, CPBE, from Reno, NV; Joe Snelson, Jr., CPBE, 8-VSB, from Aurora, CO; and chairman Justin Tucker, CSRE, AMD, CBNE, from Charleston, SC.

ballot boxThe SBE Nominations Committee seeks qualified candidates who are voting members (Member, Senior, Fellow or the designated representative of a SBE Sustaining Member) in good standing (dues paid). Candidates must hold an engineering level of SBE certification (CBT or higher, or CBNE) and maintain it the entire duration of service on the Board, if elected. Candidates should have a desire to serve and lead, not only as a member of the board, but through service as a national committee chair or member. Members of the Board are “at large,” meaning they represent all members, not any one specific region, state, city or chapter. It is suggested that candidates have previous experience as a leader in his or her local chapter, or other volunteer leadership experience, prior to running for the national SBE Board.

Members of the Board are expected to attend two regularly called meetings each year; in the spring, held during the annual NAB Show, and in the fall, at the annual SBE National Meeting. Other meetings may be called via conference call during the year.

The national SBE board includes 12 directors, four officers and the immediate past president. Directors serve two-year terms and officers serve one-year terms. Six director seats will be contested in 2017 as will all four officer positions. The SBE By-laws limits the number of terms of elected members of the Board. Directors may serve three consecutive terms. The secretary and treasurer may serve up to four consecutive terms and the president and vice president may serve up to two consecutive terms. The maximum number of years anyone may serve on the board is ten consecutive years. The time spent as immediate past president does not count towards the ten-year total.

Members interested in offering their candidacy and serving on the national Board if elected are encouraged to contact the chairman of the SBE Nominations Committee, Justin Tucker, CSRE, AMD, CBNE, at jttucker@sbe.org or 843-277-1270. A slate of nominees will be assembled by the committee by May 1. Other qualified members may be nominated by members in good standing no later than July 6.

The election takes place from July 20 through Aug. 22. Those elected will be installed into office during the SBE National Meeting in Danvers, MA, on Oct. 3.

Register Your C-Band Receive-Only Earth Station Now

The Battle for the C-Band Heats Up

On April 19, 2018, the FCC issued a public notice of a temporary freeze on applications for new or modified fixed satellite service earth stations and fixed microwave stations operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. This is the C-Band downlink. The notice also established, as a limited exception to the freeze, a 90-day window allowing existing entities that now own Fixed Satellite Service earth stations to register or license them if not currently licensed or registered. During this 90-day window, earth station users of this band can also modify currently licensed or registered earth stations.

The FCC explains plainly that the purpose of the freeze is to preserve the status quo in the C-Band pending FCC action in its open inquiry into “the possibility of permitting mobile broadband use and more intensive fixed use of the band” pursuant to Docket 18-122. This is known informally as the “mid-band proceeding” and it is a freight train. Congress, in the Mobile Now Act (Part of the 2018 Appropriations Act), called on the FCC to study the feasibility of federal and non-federal sharing of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band and to submit a report to the Secretary of Commerce and Congress within 18 months. In other legislation, the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services (Ray Baum’s Act), the NTIA and the FCC are required to submit reports evaluating the feasibility of allowing commercial wireless services to share use of specified frequencies between 3.1 and 4.2 GHz. If such sharing is feasible, the reports must identify which of the frequencies are most suitable: (1) for sharing with commercial wireless services through the assignment of new licenses by competitive bidding, (2) for sharing with unlicensed operations, or (3) for sharing through a combination of licensing and unlicensed operations. So there is a direct threat to the C-Band.

As noted in the public notice, there is a 90 day filing window for Receive-Only Earth Stations that have not been registered or licensed and current registrations and licenses can be modified. It is critical that you immediately see to the licensing or registration of your C-Band receive-only earth station within this window or risk losing the programming feeds. The window opened April 19 and it closes July 18, 2018. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Read the public notice
Info on registering Earth station sites

Dale Scherbring Appointed Trustee of Ennes Educational Foundation Trust

The SBE Board of Directors, at its meeting on April 8, 2018, approved the appointment of Dale Scherbring, CPBE as a trustee of the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust. The appointment was to take effect following the expected resignation of Trustee Fred Baumgartner, CPBE, CBNT. Baumgartner resigned as a trustee on April 9 after having served as a trustee for more than 25 years. Trustees have no term limit and serve at the discretion of the SBE Board.

Dale ScherbringDale is regional engineering director for Sinclair Broadcast Group, a position he has held since 2015. He manages the engineering for 24 TV stations across the Northeast region of the United States. He is also currently project managing the FCC repack for 99 Sinclair stations. He is based in Timonium, MD.

Dale began his career as a master control operator/maintenance engineer at KDUB Channel 40 in Dubuque, IA. He moved on to WXOW Channel 19 in La Crosse, WI, where he worked as a maintenance engineer and then as chief engineer. From there he joined Pappas Telecasting in Omaha, NE, where he began as chief engineer and then was promoted to vice president/director of engineering. In 2013, Dale accepted the position of vice president of engineering with Burst Communications, a systems integration company based in Denver.

Dale has been an active SBE member since 1985. He has held many SBE positions with chapters in Wisconsin and Nebraska. He was first SBE certified in 1986 and earned his CPBE in 2001.
On the appointment, Dale said, “As a trustee of the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust, I look forward to sharing my experience and talents in encouraging the younger generation of broadcasters.”

Three trustees are appointed by the Society of Broadcast Engineers Board of Directors and are responsible for the operation of the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust. Also serving as trustees are Douglas W. Garlinger, CPBE, CBNT, of Fishers, IN; and Tony Peterle, CPBE, of Miami, FL.

On the appointment, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “Dale brings more than 30 years of broadcast engineering and SBE membership experience to his role as a trustee of the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust. That experience will be invaluable in helping the Trust achieve its educational mission.”

The Ennes Educational Foundation Trust was initiated by Indianapolis SBE 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 (pronounced “EN-es”) 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 Trust was transferred by Chapter 25 to the SBE national organization to administer in 1981.

Over the years, the purposes of the Trust have expanded. In addition to granting scholarships, the Trust now is involved with the presentation of broadcast engineering-related educational programs, seminars and workshops. It also helps to underwrite costs associated with educational projects, including publishing technical books and manuals.

The name of the Trust was changed in 1994 to the Harold Ennes Educational Foundation Trust to fully embrace its expanded role.

Each year, the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust offers scholarships to deserving candidates who aspire to, or advance their careers in the technical aspects of broadcasting. Tax-deductible donations to the Ennes scholarship fund can be sent to the SBE National Office.

Massey Named SBE Fellow

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has elevated Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNT, to the membership rank of Fellow. The SBE Board of Directors elected him at its meeting held Sunday, April 8 in Las Vegas during the 2018 NAB Show.

Jerry Massey is director of technical operations, Entercom Greenville Spartanburg. His career in broadcasting began as an engineer at WFBC-TV in 1973, but his experience in communications began during his time in the Air Force. His career includes working as a transmitter engineer, director of engineering and chief engineer for stations WFBC-AM/FM, with the additional Greenville stations being added to his responsibilities through acquisitions and mergers.

Massey has served on the SBE Board of Directors and as the society’s treasurer, vice president and president. He is currently immediate past president. He is active in Chapter 86 Greenville Area and currently serves as its chair.

In the nomination for Jerry Massey, one person wrote that from a career standpoint, “Jerry is ‘top of his class’ in his leadership.” The nomination goes on to say that, “Jerry’s commitment of time and knowledge with the interest in the dissemination of that knowledge to our members as well as serving in [his SBE roles] are indeed conspicuous and valuable contributions to the advancement of broadcast engineering.”

Another nomination said, “Jerry is known for…taking care of SBE members. His words of ‘member benefit’ are often quoted when discussing how the society can do more for members and when the board makes changes to its policies and procedures.”

“My friend and colleague, Jerry Massey, demonstrates the outstanding qualifications of broadcast engineers worthy of the Society’s highest member grade,” said Jim Leifer, CPBE, president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. “His devotion to excellence in himself, in others and from the SBE is unmatched.”

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 more than 50 years ago, 78 members have been honored with the Fellow rank.

Massey will be recognized for his election to Fellow during the SBE National Awards Dinner on Oct. 3, 2018, in Boston, during the annual SBE National Meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the Media Resource Expo.

Certification Service Milestones

The SBE is made up of a multitude of volunteers. There are seven employees who work at the National Office, but the real momentum behind the SBE is those who dedicate their personal time to further the goals and objectives of broadcast engineering through the SBE. This includes, but is not limited to, the Board of Directors, all the various SBE committees in addition to the Certification Committee, and the local chapters including the chapter certification chairs.

At the spring Membership Meeting at the 2018 NAB Show, the SBE recognized the local certification chairmen who devote volunteer time to the Program of Certification. These local certification chairmen receive a plaque on the recurring five-year anniversaries. What follows is a list of those who were recognized at the meeting in April. Thank you very much to all the volunteers who devote so many hours to the SBE and the certification program.

Chapter Certification Chairs
1 Year James Campbell, CPBE; Chapter 103
Rusty Armitage, CPBE; Chapter 113
5 Years James Cole, CPBE: Chapter 9
David Shaffer, CPBE, CBNE; Chapter 56
10 Years Steve Epstein, CPBE; Chapter 143
15 Years Ed Roos, CPBE; Chapter 88
25 Years Thomas Green, CSTE; Chapter 45
30 Years Samuel Straus, CPBE; Chapter 60
SBE Certification Committee
25 Years Troy Pennington, CSRE, CBNT

Recognize Excellence and Submit a Nomination in the SBE Awards

Nominate SBE members and chapters for the 2018 SBE award season. Consider your chapter and chapter members when you think about these awards. There may be an individual in your chapter who has been an outstanding engineer, educator or mentor for new broadcast engineers. Recognize that person by nominating him or her for the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year or the James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year awards.

This will be the sixth year that the Chapter Engineer of the Year award is nominated by SBE Chapters. Each chapter has the opportunity to nominate one of their own members. Chapter s are ecouraged to take this opportunity.

The SBE Freedom Award recognizes an individual or group that has performed extraordinary service to the United States through the use of media technology. The SBE Technology Award recognizes the person, group or company that has developed innovative new technology or systems for media technology. Maybe someone you know has written a notable technical article or presented a technical paper at a meeting or program. These are a few of the awards that are presented each year by the SBE.

Of the 13 awards that are presented each year, the local chapter or SBE members nominates for 10 of them. Many SBE members are highly qualified and deserving of recognition. Likewise, many chapters do an excellent job promoting the ideals and goals of the SBE. Please nominate these members and chapters so they can receive the recognition they deserve.

Find all the details on the SBE awards at sbe.org/awards. If you have any questions or need more information, contact Certification Director Megan Clappe at mclappe@sbe.org or SBE Awards Committe Chair Jason Ornellas at jornellas@sbe.org.

SBE Strategic Planning Conference: June 9, 2018 in Indianapolis

The SBE will conduct a strategic planning conference on Saturday, June 9 in Indianapolis. The purpose of the conference is to assess how changes to the media industry affect our members and future members and determine ways for the SBE to adapt to meet the needs of the members of the future.

The chair, or a designee, of each SBE chapter is invited to participate. Chapters might consider funding the travel and hotel cost from chapter funds for their representative. Members of the national SBE Board of Directors and all SBE national staff will also be participating. The conference will be facilitated by Rodney Vandeveer. As the instructor for the annual SBE Leadership Development Course, Vandeveer is familiar with the technical broadcast community. He owns VanTECH Training and is a retired professor of Organizational Leadership and Supervision at Purdue University.

Though there is no registration fee, chapter participants are asked to register online so the SBE can plan for seating and meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided to participants, as well as a welcome reception on Friday evening, June 8. The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

The technology and economic changes within the media industry have had a pronounced effect on the expectations of those who work on the technical side of broadcasting. The skill sets, educational background and experience expected by employers have expanded from those of the traditional RF broadcast engineer to one that includes information technology systems, operations and non-traditional delivery systems.

We will identify the demographics of who are members are today who they will likely be in the years ahead. Participants will develop recommendations to the national Board of Directors regarding specific actions the SBE needs to take regarding recruitment strategies, education, certification and chapter operations.

Register online.

SBE Conducts Third Compensation Survey

Compensation SurveyFrom April 1 to May 13, 2018, the Society of Broadcast Engineers will conduct a survey to determine salary levels and benefits among broadcast and media technology engineers. The SBE conducted its first survey in 2016. This third survey will continue to help us establish a baseline for subsequent surveys and build compensation trends.

The complete results of the survey will be available at no charge to SBE members as a benefit of membership. A link to the survey is posted on the SBE website.

The survey includes questions about job titles, broadcast market size and compensation in dollars and offered benefits. SBE membership is not required to take the survey.

While all responses remain anonymous, demographic data collected will include market size, job category/title, age, years working in broadcasting, salary, benefits received, and any certification held. The data will be split into radio or TV results, with details on job category and market size.

The SBE Ennes Workshop at the 2018 NAB Show

On Saturday, April 7, at 9 a.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center in rooms N262 and N264, the SBE’s annual Ennes Workshop educational program at the NAB Show takes flight for the 24th time. Attendance requires a full NAB Show registration (Conference Flex Pass, Exhibits Pass + Session 6-Pack, or Exhibits Pass + Session 3-Pack, available at a discount to SBE members) or either a PBS Techcon or NPR APRE registration and badge.

The Ennes Workshop at the NAB Show has always addressed what broadcast engineers most needed to know to be successful. The presenters are the best teachers, recruited specifically to address the topics at hand.

Info on all the SBE events at the 2018 NAB Show.

Following is a rundown of the day’s topics and presentations.

Tomorrow’s Media Toolbox – Today

9:00 – 9:10 a.m.
Good Morning and Introduction
Director’s Remarks
John Poray, CAE
Executive Director, Society of Broadcast Engineers

9:10-9:35 a.m.
IP Networking for Real-Time Video
Robert Welch
Technical Solutions Lead, Arista Networks
ST 2110 is all about professional media over managed IP networks. Robert reveals the considerations and design architectures for building, maintaining and operating the all IP real time workflow.

9:35-9:55 a.m.
Is IP Real?
Moderator: Stan Moote, IABM
Panelists: Karl Paulsen, DSI; Mike Cronk, Grass Valley; Dan Turk, NEP Mobile
The panel will hit the hard-facing details about real-time IP from the supplier through system integrator to end-users. Stan will prime the discussion with current industry questions. Attendees are welcome to also ask questions from business through to technical matters about real time IP in general including SMPTE ST-2110.

9:55 – 10:20 a.m.
Next Gen is OTT/OTA
Frederick M. Baumgartner, CPBE
Ennes Educational Foundation Trustee, SBE
Director of Next Generation TV Implementation, Sinclair Broadcast
Next Gen is in fact an overlay of the existing Internet. Every business case that makes sense relies on this overlay being IP-based, and the ultimate over-the-top (OTT) platform being broadcast over-the-air (OTA). Linear TV as we know it stops at the ATSC 3.0 air chain and from that point; it is the world of streaming video, ad-tech and the user experience (UX). That takes us to a place we are not as experienced in and workflow and interrelationships we have yet to understand.

10:20 – 10:40 a.m.
Break

10:40 – 11:05 a.m.
Social Media Drives Local TV Viewership
Emily Stone
Director of Multi-Platform Content, WTTG, Fox 5
Social media was once considered a pain for broadcasters and many operations painstaking took these digital efforts as a money-losing, necessary evil. It is now all about having a compelling social media strategy tied directing into station activities

11:05 – 11:30 a.m.
What are MicroServices and Why Should We Care?
Steve Reynolds
Chief Technical Officer, Imagine Communications
Microservices are the software-based building blocks that have been instrumental to the success of Google, Amazon and essentially every other digital business that has gained commercial prominence in the past decade. To compete with a new breed of media creators and distributors that have fully embraced the digital age, it is critical to broadcast companies’ long-term success to understand and begin to adopt a microservices-based architecture.

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Cyber Security Hygiene in IP Broadcast Systems
Denis Onuoha
Chief Information Officer, Arqiva LTD
Everyone knows cyber security is a key element in the media and entertainment business. The question is how to implement this in a practical manner. Denis will explain how to deal with tangible items like change management, passwords, the reality of air gaps, maintenance and legacy equipment.

 

The SBE Ennes Workshop this year was organized by
Tom Mikkelsen, Principal, National TeleConsultants
Stan Moote, Chief Technology Officer, IABM