SBE Publishes Broadcast Engineering Handbook

The Society of Broadcast Engineers and McGraw-Hill Education have released the SBE Broadcast Engineering Handbook: Hands-on Guide to Station Design and Maintenance. This new book offers detailed practical information on video, audio and broadcast transmission systems from dozens of the field’s foremost experts. Featuring everythingfrom basic principles and formulae to the latest technologies and engineering trends, this hands-on resource offers practical and up-to-date coverage of all major broadcast technologies for radio, TV and related fields.

The SBE Broadcast Engineering Handbook features in-depth tutorials that stress key topics throughout, complete coverage of radio and television technologies, and is written from the perspective of the broadcast engineer. More than 50 authors have contributed their expertise to the ten sections of the book. These authors, recognized authorities in their fields, have volunteered their time to create this valuable resource. The handbook has been deftly assembled by Jerry Whitaker, CPBE, 8-VSB, editor-in-chief. He is vice president of standards development for the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) in Washington, DC, and also the author or editor of more than 40 technical books. Mr. Whitaker is a Fellow of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

The book covers every aspect of broadcast engineering in seven sections: Regulatory Issues, RF Transmission, DTV Transport, Information Technology Systems, Production Systems, Facility Issues, Broadcast Management, plus three reference annexes.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) is the only organization devoted to the advancement of all levels and types of broadcast engineering. With more than 5,100 members the SBE provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and the sharing of information to help members keep pace with a rapidly changing industry.

The book is available from the SBE Bookstore. SBE members can purchase the book at the member discount price of $159 through the SBE Bookstore. The book is also available through www.mhprofessional.com and online retailers for $199.

SBE Members Chernock and Laird to Receive NAB Engineering Awards at 2016 NAB Show

Richard Chernock, chief science officer at Triveni Digital, and Andrew Laird, CPBE, former vice president and chief technology officer at Journal Broadcast Group, have been named the 2016 recipients of the NAB Engineering Achievement Awards. They will be honored at the NAB Technology Luncheon on April 20 in Las Vegas. Additionally, the Digital Leadership Award will be presented to Adam Symson, senior vice president and chief digital officer at The E.W. Scripps Company.

Established in 1959, the Engineering Achievement Awards are given to individuals who are nominated by their peers for significant contributions to advancing the state of the art in broadcast engineering. In 2015, the Digital Leadership Award was established to honor an individual at a broadcast station, group or network who has had a significant role in transforming a traditional broadcast business to succeed on digital media platforms.

Richard ChernockThe 2016 NAB Television Engineering Achievement Award
Richard Chernock is the chief science officer for Triveni Digital, where he has been employed since 2002, following a 20-plus year career with IBM. Chernock has been heavily involved with industry activities regarding digital television broadcasting and currently serves as chairman of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) Technology Group on ATSC 3.0. The group is overseeing the creation of the next-generation broadcast transmission standard. He is also a prolific evangelist and educator on ATSC 3.0, publishing papers and making presentations at many conferences and tradeshows worldwide. Chernock previously served as chairman of the ATSC Technology Group that oversaw the development of enhancements to the DTV standard, including the ATSC Mobile and ATSC 2.0 suite of standards, the recommended practice on audio loudness and numerous others.

Andy LairdThe 2016 NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award
Andrew Laird, CPBE, recently retired as vice president and chief technology officer for Journal Broadcast Group. Laird began his career in the 1960s developing audio processors and designing and building radio facilities. He worked in the 1970s and 1980s as a studio design consultant and chief engineer for a variety of customers and radio groups. Throughout his career, Laird participated in important industry activities and played a crucial role in the evaluation and standardization of the system for digital AM and FM radio broadcasting in the U.S. through his work with the NAB co-sponsored National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC), where he most recently served as the co-chair of the Digital Radio Broadcasting (DRB) subcommittee.

The SBE congratulates these two members on this prestigious recognition.

SBE Files FCC Comments on AM Improvement

The Society of Broadcast Engineers filed comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s further notice of proposed rulemaking and the combined notice of inquiry in the AM Improvement Docket, 13-249. Its comments focused on a single issue first raised in the SBE’s comments filed in the proceeding in 2014, but not addressed by the FCC in its October 21, 2015, first report and order: that of ambient noise in the AM broadcast band specifically, and in the Medium Frequency bands generally. The SBE’s comments note that the Commission has made, and is currently examining additional short-term improvements in AM broadcasting in this proceeding. Although those short-term initiatives may be necessary to help the serious economic conditions for AM broadcasters, they are not going to lead to any meaningful, long-term improvement in MF AM broadcasting. To do that, the SBE asserts, the Commission is going to have to be willing to implement some difficult regulatory reforms that it has not addressed to date. It must develop and commit to a regulatory plan that, over time, will reduce the levels of man-made noise in the MF bands, and more broadly in the bands below 30MHz.

The FCC noted earlier in the docket that “AM radio is particularly susceptible to interference from electronic devices of all types, including such ubiquitous items as TV sets, vehicle engines, fluorescent lighting, computers, and power lines. The noise on the AM band that is caused by those sources is only expected to increase as electronic devices continue to proliferate.” The SBE suggested that this increase in noise is not inevitable. However, it is a serious and worsening problem. Citing the aggregate effects of Part 15 and Part 18 unlicensed devices, the SBE notes that the FCC does not have any practical ability to address the interference potential of unlicensed devices past the point of sale. Reductions in field staff available to conduct spectrum enforcement have made enforcement in interference cases involving unlicensed devices unavailable in the future. The only source of regulatory reform that has a meaningful chance to positively affect the noise floor over time are the regulations that create obligations on manufacturers and importers and dealers, prior to the point that the consumer deploys it.

Citing a study by the LBA Group, AM reception is dependent on the desired signal being typically some 26dB above the ambient noise level. The AM band is subject to AM coverage distortion, increasing noise threats, and interference from the proliferation of wireless systems, electronic devices and low-frequency radiators that distort AM signals more now than as recently as 10 years ago. The electric power grid has expanded, bringing noise contributions from corona, arcing, and other modes. AM stations have increased power to raise their signal-to-noise ratio in an attempt to preserve their coverage areas, often interfering with other stations. But there is a limit to power increases, both economically and technically, and those limits are now reached in many cases.

The SBE argues that AM listeners have media options, and that RF noise will make them exercise those options. When an RF lighting device or a Part 15 intentional radiator causes interference to their receivers, AM listeners receive interference. They will not suffer it; They will simply utilize different media. The SBE urges the Commission to commence an interference management plan for the AM band, based on rules that limit RF noise before it becomes an issue, not after the fact, and those rules have to be enforced. The FCC should also study current ambient noise in the MF band, with an eye toward updating older studies on the subject. This will permit a reasoned analysis of the Commission’s Part 15 and Part 18 rules and thus contribute to a controlled RF environment over time. The SBE suggested that AM broadcasting will never get better in the worsening RF noise environment in the bands below 30MHz without some regulatory relief.

Read the SBE’s filing.

Pecena presenting day-long session on IP Networking for Broadcasters August 30 in Los Angeles

Wayne Pecena, a member of the SBE Technical Presenters Group, is presenting IP networking to broadcasters on August 30.  Thank you to SBE Chapter 47 and NBC Universal for working together to bring this program to their area. The cost for members of the SBE is $49. 

This full-day intensive class will focus on TCP/IP based networking fundamentals in an Ethernet environment. Topics covered will include understanding RFC’s, TCP and UDP fundamentals, IP addressing, IPv4 subnetting, an introduction to IPv6, switching fundamentals, VLAN use, routing fundamentals, quality of services (QoS) Basics, and networking security concerns.

Emphasis will be placed upon understanding and applying IP subnetting techniques, understanding when to switch, and understanding when to route in an IP network. Where appropriate, the application focus and practical use cases will be oriented towards a broadcast technical plant. Theoretical principals will be reinforced through practical exercises, network use cases, and a design practical to close out the day.

Class size is limited, so reserve your spot today!

Free Webinar on IP Microwave STL’s presented by DoubleRadius

The FCC abolished the last link rule opening up Part 101 licensed frequencies to broadcasters. New frequencies have opened up that can be used for reliable STL’s. These frequencies, like 950mhz, 7ghz, and 13Ghz are licensed frequencies but with the ability to run high speed bi-directional data rates. These frequencies have the ability to provide up to a gigabyte of bi-directional throughput to your transmission sites.

Taking place June 27, this webinar will inform you on these new licensed frequencies and the design do’s and don’ts for these frequencies. The webinar also looks at a live path profile showing what can be done today.

DoubleRadius-logo-coatedClick here for more information and to register for this Webinar by SBE.

Thanks to DoubleRadius for allowing us to make this webinar free to members of the SBE!

3 hour online webinar offers affordable RF safety training

Strickland monitoring RF

The SBE RF Safety Course, presented by Richard Strickland of RF Safety Solutions, takes place at 1:30 p.m. ET on July 24.  Registration has been simplified so that attendees can participate from any location with Internet access. Among other topics, Strickland will discuss how to prove compliance at a broadcast site, the biological effects of RF radiation and the distinct differences between RF radiation and ionizing radiation, FCC and OSHA regulations and RF hazard protection equipment. 

A previous attendee of the course said, “Richard did a great job of providing examples, answering questions, and keeping the material interesting. I appreciate the ability to download slides for future reference.”

The course is designed for broadcast station personnel, including chief and assistant chief engineers, transmitter site engineers, ENG and SNG maintenance personnel and management that need to have an understanding of RF safety issues and regulations. For more information and to register click here.

Like it or not, we are all leaders. What kind of leader are you?

I came across an article that described how most managers are concerned with ‘what’ people do, and not ‘why’ they do it.  In other words, managers are more concerned with employee’s actions, rather than their internal motivations. To do this, leaders would need to take time to gain insight into where a person is coming from, and interact on a more personal level.  So, how do we do this?

One way I found is to explore different types of personalities, and understand how best to communicate and work with each personality type. By understanding your personality type, and that of those around you, you’ll have a basic understanding of what type of person they are and what they respond positively to. First, you would need to find out what personality type you are first, so you know how best to interact with the others. There is a leadership style assessment in the SBE Leadership Development Course, taking place August 13-15 in Atlanta, that does just that – helps you understand what type of leader you are, and how best to communicate with other personality types.

Other than understanding personality types, are there any tricks you have come across to deal with challenging people in the workplace?

Kimberly Kissel, SBE’s education director

Is your transmitter ready for summer? This will help –

As both radio and television broadcast engineers are expected to do more with less, being pro-active with respect to maintaining your transmitter and studio sites will guard against disasters. This is especially true when preparing your site for the summertime, after winter has taken its toll.

Webinars by SBE has a webinar on springtime maintenance to help you get ready for summer. Drawing from his experience as a chief engineer, and in writing Radio World’s popular Workbench column, John Bisset leads engineers through a series of inspections and tasks to prepare your site for warmer weather. Along the way, he offers some engineering nuggets to improve your maintenance efficiency as well.

This 2 hour webinar is available free to SBE Members, thanks to Broadcast Supply Worldwide.

New SBE University course helps broadcast engineers embrace media systems engineering

Philip Cianci, CSTE wrote an inspiring, informative course for the SBE on the challenges of a contemporary technologist who works in the broadcast or media industry. The online course, titled “Adaptive Media Systems Engineering“, offers techniques to ease the transition from Broadcast Engineer to Media Systems Engineer. Each chapter provides practical suggestions and solutions for the digital era. Subjects include an introduction to media systems engineering, the role of the media systems engineer, the importance of professional societies and standards bodies, project management techniques, the planning process, process improvement, organizational efficiency and more.

“The author uses lots of industry standards and relates them very well to the broadcast industry. This is a thought provoking course that guides the project engineer to new methods of managing the unmanageable task of today’s broadcast IT-centric projects.” – Paul Claxton, CPBE, CBNE, Course Reviewer

Free Webinar on IP Microwave STL’s – thanks DoubleRadius!

Broadcasters have been needing and asking the FCC for more channels and bandwidth for years now. We need more! With the growth of HD audio and video the need for reliable STL’s continues to grow every year.

In August of 2011 the FCC abolished the last link rule opening up Part 101 licensed frequencies to broadcasters. Finally the FCC has opened up new frequencies that can be used for reliable STL’s. These frequencies like 950mhz, 7ghz, and 13Ghz are licensed frequencies but with the ability to run high speed bidirectional data rates. These frequencies have the ability to provide up to a gigabit of bidirectional throughput to your transmission sites.

Taking place June 27, this webinar will inform you on these new licensed frequencies and the design do’s and don’ts for these frequencies. The webinar also looks at a live path profile showing what can be done today.

DoubleRadius-logo-coatedClick here for more information and to register for this Webinar by SBE.

Thanks to DoubleRadius for allowing us to make this webinar free to members of the SBE!