EAS violations are happening more than you think. Here are some tips –

As an ABIP inspector, I continually find violations at stations regarding EAS.  What’s puzzling about this is that the rules are straight forward, and the EAS devices do most of the work for you! 

One of the first issues I usually find is with logging.  The device keeps an electronic log, which is all well and good.  But I recommend that station personnel print this log once per week for two reasons.  First, you can sign the paper copy, meaning that you looked at it and paid attention to it.  Second, I, at least, find it easier to print the log and then compare it to a calendar to see if anything is missing for a given week.  If you find, for example, that you did not receive a RWT in a given week from your second monitoring source, you need to find out why (maybe the station made a mistake and did not send a test that week), and you need to log the reason for the missing test.  Printing and signing the log forces you to put it in a folder.  Therefore, appending the log when you find something wrong becomes a simple matter. 

The next thing I find are stations monitoring the wrong monitoring assignments.  Note the word ASSIGNMENTS.  The stations you monitor are assigned, usually by a committee associated with your State Broadcasters Association.  EAS is a daisy chain, with some stations higher in the pecking order and others below them.  If you are monitoring the wrong stations, you may not properly receive crucial data and break the chain.  Check with the Broadcasters Association to find out who you should talk to, and make sure you are monitoring the correct stations.  If you cannot receive one of your assignments, you need to inform the Committee.  They will suggest other stations for you to monitor so the chain isn’t broken.  And if a monitoring assignment needs to be changed, the Committee will send you a note to this effect and inform the FCC of the monitoring change.  If the FCC were to inspect your station, they will look to see what stations you are monitoring.  If they are incorrect, this is a violation and your station may be subject to a fine.

Next, you need to be polling the FEMA CAP server.  I have run into one station where their corporate IT department will not unblock the FEMA CAP server, so they cannot receive it.  This is a violation of the rules.  If their IT people don’t seem to understand the regulation that monitoring the CAP server is a requirement, alternative measures, such as installing a separate DSL service, must be implemented. 

And, of course, you must send a Weekly Test every week – with the following exceptions.  You do not need to send a RWT in a week when a RMT (Required Monthly Test) is run, or if you activated EAS for any reason.   And the RMT must be forwarded within 60 minutes of receiving the test.

Any questions you have can be answered in 73 CFR Part 11 of the FCC rules.  It is available on several online sources and is worth the time to read it.

Tom Ray, CPBE, DRB, AMD 

Tom’s views do not reflect those of the SBE, or its Board of Directors.

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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!

TV broadcasters – looking for an online reference you can access anytime? SBE members save $20

One of the courses on SBE UniversityTelevision Video and Audio – a Ready Reference for Engineers, is being offered at a discounted rate for SBE members only through June 30. The course, which can serve as an online reference guide, gives the television engineer a solid grounding in the various aspects of video and audio for television, and to serve as a ready reference to the pertinent standards. This course provides an overview of video and audio for television, from the dawn of analog television broadcasting to today’s digital television transmission.

NTSC_Figure 2This course is for anyone who needs a good grounding in television video and audio, from the relative newcomer to the field who needs to learn all about how television video and audio work, to the seasoned engineer who needs to know something about digital. It also serves as a ready reference for the working engineer.

Topics include NTSC video and transmission, component video, analog resolution and aspect ratio, digital video, digital scanning formats, other SD and HD video characteristics, baseband signal interfaces, video compression for DTV, video storage, analog audio, digital audio, digital audio compression for television and audio storage.

The special rate for SBE Members is $79 (normally $99). The cost for non-members is $149. Act now to save money, and don’t forget, you will always have access to any of the courses you purchase on SBE University, including any course updates that are made.

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!

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!

Is it time for a new engineering position in the broadcast industry?

“The Broadcast IT Engineer”

The impact of the Information Technology world has certainly been felt in the ranks of traditional broadcast engineering for several years. Whether radio or TV, the systems we depend upon daily have become or will become more of an IT looking environment than the baseband audio and video world that has embraced broadcast engineering for years.

Is it time for a new engineering position in the broadcast industry? Will the “Broadcast IT Engineer” become the new job title for the broadcast technologist of 2013 and beyond? Or maybe this already is the new engineering position and we have simply not fully acknowledged in our industry and our own career progression.

How does someone entering the industry obtain the knowledge and skills of broadcast engineering and IT to successfully accomplish the demands of this position?  Is an experienced IT professional better suited for this role by learning the traditional diverse broadcast engineering skills? Is an experienced broadcast engineer better suited for this role by learning the necessary and diverse IT skills?

Who is best suited for the coming norm of the broadcast plant in the “IT Cloud”?

What are your thoughts?

Wayne M. Pecena, CPBE, CBNE

SBE Board Member, Chair – SBE Education Committee

 Wayne’s views do not reflect those of the SBE, or its Board of Directors.

How Broadcasters can benefit from Media Asset Management

Broadcasters have the opportunity to hear from Theresa Regli at The Real Story Group to understand not only the different components of a Media Asset Management (MAM) system, but also to help them identify their own requirements more clearly.  In addition, understand how various MAM system services work, find out who some of the particular MAM vendors are and the different industries they focus on, and differentiate among alternate architectures and approaches. This Webinar by SBE takes place May 16, 2013 at 2 p.m. Eastern.  Learn  More

Ennes Workshop tomorrow at the NAB Show

The Ennes Workshop at the NAB Show takes place tomorrow, April 6, 2013.   The lineup includes:

Time  Click here for Topic Abstracts       Click here for Presenters’ Bios
8-10 a.m.  Streaming Media Tutorial  Jan Ozer, Author
9-9:10  Opening Remarks  John L. Poray, CAE
10:10-10:25  “Talkin’ ’bout my generation” – Media Consumption Patterns – Myths and Realities  John Footen Cognizant Technology Solutions
10:25-11:10  Audio Video Bridging  Steve Lampen, CBRE Belden
11:10-11:40  Mobile Devices Location and Authentication Technologies; What they are, and how they could benefit Broadcasting  Lionel. J. Garin, PhD. Qualcomm Atheros, Inc.
11:40-12:45  Lunch  
12:45-1:30 p.m.  Making Integrated Production Systems (IPS) Work  Dr. Andrew Cross NewTek, Inc.
1:30-1:55  Cable…Moving to IP  So Vang Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.
1:55-2:15  Case Study of an Internet Video Delivery Solution  Paul Adrian latakoo
2:15-2:35  Meet Granville Klink  James E. O’Neal TV Technology Magazine
2:35-3  Fragmentation – the Challenge New Media Faces Reaching Customers  Jake Sigal Livio Radio
3-3:30  AES X192  Kevin Gross AVA Networks
3:30-4  Multicasting in a Unicast World  John Maniccia Octoshape
4-4:25  Providing an OTT Service – How Skitter Works  Robert Saunders Skitter
4:25-5  MPEG-Dash Tutorial  Kevin Streeter Adobe Systems Incorporated

Understanding IP Multicast in a Broadcast Environment

Webinars by SBE continues to offer IP networking training in the next webinar titled “IP Networking, part 6 – an Introduction to IP Multicast“.  Taking place April 25, 2013, the webinar explores Multicast terminology, the addressing utilized, switching and routing in a multicast IP network and more.  Wayne Pecena, CPBE, CBNE, who is presenting the webinar, will provide practical implementation examples to deliver AoIP and IPTV content in order to illustrate the theoretical concepts presented.