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.

SBE WEBxtra Begins Pilot Run

SBE WEBxtraFollowing the SBE strategic planning conference held in Jun 2018, the SBE has created several task groups to investigate and develop plans based on 46 action steps to accomplish the objectives of growing and retaining membership, attracting new and younger members to the SBE, and increasing participation in SBE activities among members. One of those action steps was to create a monthly virtual program for member engineers, technicians and other broadcast professionals, wherever they may be.

The task group, under the leadership of SBE Board Member Kirk Harnack, launched a three-episode trial of the SBE WEBxtra. The first episode aired live on Jan. 25. (Watch that episode now.) Additional episodes will air in February and March as part of a pilot program to evaluate the YouTube live stream. Harnack and his task group will present its collected information to the SBE Board of Directors at its meeting on April 7 in Las Vegas at the 2019 NAB Show.

The SBE WEBxtra is being developed as an SBE chapter of the web. It’s not intended to replace the function and interaction of local chapter meetings, but to enhance member participation. This may be beneficial to SBE members who do not live near a local chapter.

For those holding SBE certification, viewing the SBE WEBxtra qualifies for 0.5 points in category G (attendance), just like attending a local chapter meeting.

The dates and guests for the February and March episodes will be announced as they are finalized.

Tarr Appointed to Fill SBE Board Vacancy

Chris TarrThe SBE Board of Directors Executive Committee, at its meeting on Jan. 26, 2019, approved the appointment of Chris Tarr, CSRE, AMD, DRB, CBNE, to fill an open position on the SBE Board of Directors. The Board seat opened when Kim Sacks, CBT, resigned her position on the board for personal reasons. Tarr fills Sacks’ unexpired term that will end in the fall 2019.

Tarr is director of technical operations for Entercom Milwaukee/Madison, WI. He lives in Mukwonago, WI. Tarr served a previous term on the board as a director from 2006 to 2008. He will also take over as the chair of the SBE Mentor Committee. On his appointment, Chris Tarr said, “As someone who is passionate about the future of our industry, and an SBE mentor of two engineers, I’m honored to be able to continue the great work Kim Sacks has done with the Mentorship program.”

On the appointment, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “Chris has a boundless energy for broadcast engineering. With his previous experience on the board, I anticipate Chris will continue to grow the SBE Mentor Program, continuing on the great work Kim Sacks started.”

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.

EAS Blue Alert Code Becomes Effective January 18, 2019

By Larry Wilkins, CPBE, chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group

In January 2018 the FCC amended its regulations governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to add a new event code, BLU, to allow alert originators to issue an alert whenever a law enforcement officer is injured or killed, missing in connection with his or her official duties, or there is an imminent and credible threat to cause death or serious injury to law enforcement officers.

Delivery of Blue Alerts over EAS will be implemented January 18, 2019.

Sage Endec users: Update firmware will be available next week.

DasDec users: The BLU event code is in the v4.0 software update.

Trilithic/Viavi: includes BLU event code in its v18.10 software update.

Gorman-Redlich: has a update, contact their office for details

As a reminder the BLU event code is in the “voluntary” list, that is, it is not one of the FCC required relay alerts (EAN, NPT, RMT). Stations can elect to relay these alerts or not, with guidance from their state and local EAS plan.

Broadcasters and Cable Operators should watch for information updates from your SECC (State Emergency Communication Committee).

Blue Alerts over WEA takes effect July 18, 2019.

Read the FCC ruling.