News & Press
The IEEE Broadcast Technology Society (BTS) Hosts the “IEEE Broadcast Society’s ATSC 3 Roadshow” at PBS TechCon 2019
This course will develop a fundamental understanding of the ATSC 3 digital transmission system's Physical Layer, provide attendees with practical application ideas and update them regarding the progress of the spectrum repack and ATSC 3 deployment. Attending the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society's ATSC 3 Roadshow will earn attendees SBE credit towards re-certification and can facilitate preparation for the upcoming SBE ATSC 3 Specialist Certification exam.
ABOUT BTS: The IEEE Broadcast Technology Society (BTS) is an International membership organization open to everyone in the broadcast technology industry. The BTS mission is to serve the needs of its members; to enhance their professional knowledge by keeping them informed of the latest research results and industry trends, and provide enriching educational and networking opportunities.
TWEET THIS: The kick off for the BTS ATSC 3 Roadshow will be @ #TechCon19 in Las Vegas on Sat, April 6. You can register for the one day course @ https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/?eventid=2556266 #BTSATSC3Roadshow
BTS is Proud to Sponsor the IEEE Try Engineering Summer Institute
IEEE offers a great Summer Camp program, Try Engineering Summer Institue for high school aged children with an interest in becoming future Engineers. BTS is a proud Sponsor of this important program for the 2nd year! The goal of the program is to spark enthusiasm in engineering and technology in the next generation of the problem-solvers and difference-makers, and position these innovators for long-term success in academics and in life.
Organized in two-week sessions each summer, on three dynamic college campuses across the United States, the TryEngineering Summer Institute unites students from around the world-- co-ed, between 12-17 years old -- to:
- engage in hands-on design challenges
- experience the work firsthand with behind-the-scenes tours with real-life engineers
- discover not just what's happening today, but what's coming tomorrow, through conversations with renowned guest speakers and incredible Summer Institute counselors
IEEE BTS Explores Changes in Audio Technologies
Smart Speakers, 5G, Spectrum and more receive attention
James E O'Neal, Oct. 10
The first day of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society’s 68th three-day Broadcast Symposium drilled deeply down into emerging “disruptive” technologies as they affect the broadcast platform.
INVASION OF THE SMART SPEAKERS
Heading the list was the rapid rise of “smart speaker” technology and their deployment in the consumer environment. In his presentation “The Broadcaster’s Place in the Smart Speaker Ecosystem,” the NAB’s Senior Director of Technology, Education and Outreach Brian Savoie noted that even though smart speakers were launched only about three years ago, their acceptance and popularity is really unprecedented.
“The adoption rate has been very rapid,” said Savoie. “It’s likely to be faster than that of any other consumer device in history.”
He noted that the smart speaker is becoming a gateway for connecting with many services that consumers routinely use, and advised broadcasters that “Alexa is coming to the car” and they needed to make plans to get on that platform. “A hybrid voice-controlled radio was demonstrated at the Orlando Radio Show a couple of weeks ago. It’s coming.” He added some broadcasters could already be ready without knowing it. “If you’re streaming, you may already be on the platform.”
SPECTRUM SHARING, 5G, PIRATE BROADCASTERS, AND MORE
First-day “disruptive” presentations ran the gamut from methodology for sharing of 2025–2110 MHz spectrum between the U.S. Department of Defense and television ENG crews to 5G wireless broadband technology and its possible impact on conventional over-the-air broadcasting. Hybrid over-the-air/internet broadcasting was also on the radar, with one presenter providing information on initial testing of methodology for transmitting not only sight and sound, but also smell, taste, and touch content to provide a completely immersive experience.
Even the first-day luncheon keynote address followed through on the theme with a slightly different aspect of disruptive technology — the concept of storytelling — with Dolby Laboratories’ Chief Scientist Poppy Crum, describing how new and changing media technologies have the potential to change the way storytellers interact with their audiences, and even the storytelling methodology itself.
Activities wrapped up with a presentation on “Pirate Radio and FCC Enforcement” from Charles Cooper, director of the FCC’s Field Division of the Enforcement Bureau. Cooper stated that enforcement of pirate operations has a very high priority at the FCC, and noted that during the past year, 242 notices of unlicensed operation had been issued, and that the highest possible monetary penalty had been issued in the case of a Florida pirate operation.
“We also referred several cases to the federal courts for equipment seizure,” he said.
The conference continues on Wednesday with sessions on AM/FM digital-only broadcasting, ATSC 3.0 and UHD television, and connected car radio.
IEEE BTS Fall Broadcast Symposium Gets Down to Business
For the 68th time, the opening gavel came down and the annual IEEE Broadcast Technology Society’s Fall Symposium got underway with opening remarks by the society’s president, Bill Hayes, and event co-chair Bob Weller describing the day’s conference theme of “Disruptive Technologies in the Broadcast Space.”
“Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, the cloud, immersive technologies and are all examples of these,” said Weller. “Keeping broadcast front and center on the automobile dashboard in the face of Pandora and other streaming services has become a focus of the radio side of our industry. This means offering more choices, and we’ll be hearing about all-digital AM and all-digital-FM implementations that do just that, as well as a panel session on the connected car.”
The three-day symposium is being held at the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va., just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital.
Dr. Uma Jayaram, Principal Engineer and Managing Director of Engineering at Intel Sports will be joining the Broadcast Technology Society as a Keynote Speaker on Virtual Reality, Thursday, October 11, 2018 at the 2018 IEEE Broadcast Symposium
IEEE Broadcast Technology Society
Margaux Toral, Society Promotions & Marketing Manager
IEEE BTS AND SBE PARTNER WITH ATSC TO EDUCATE INDUSTRY ABOUT NEXT GEN TV
WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2018 – The IEEE Broadcast Technology Society (BTS) and the Society of
AM Revitalization Is Still a Work in Progress ; Here’s the practical context for the latest revisions
In late March, further progress was made in incrementally easing some of the regulatory challenges faced by AM radio stations. This latest batch of new rules, which covers an array of mostly AM “moment method” proof-of-performance related issues, became effective with the publication of the adopted rule changes in the Federal Register.
The text and background for the changes can be found in the FCC’s Third Report and Order in MM Docket No. 13-249 (https://tinyurl.com/yb46glg9); I’ve summarized the changes for you at the end of this article.
Radio World readers know that these new rules are a continuation of the FCC’s AM revitalization efforts, which are intended to ensure their continued viability of the AM band. The First Report and Order in MB Docket No. 13-249 (https://tinyurl.com/ychdnwwz) started it all by opening the companion FM translator process, modifying principal community coverage requirements, eliminating the “ratchet rule,” easing the MDCL implementation process, and relaxing the AM antenna efficiency standards. With more AM-friendly rule changes likely in the future, it’s worth taking a moment and reviewing impact of the first R&O and the drivers for AM station relocation and the potential benefits and challenges of collocation.
As has been discussed in Radio World, the AM radio business model increasingly has become challenged by competing services, a rising noise floor and shrinking effective coverage reach. Meanwhile, the rug is almost literally being pulled out from under existing AM stations as rising real estate values and more lucrative land uses pressure these stations to either find a new transmitting location or go dark.
Developing a brand-new site is fraught with time- and cost-intensive processes such as local permitting, legal contracts, environmental concerns and other hurdles. Often the involved costs and timeframes far exceed the costs of on-site engineering, equipment and construction. As a result, station collocation at an existing AM antenna site is becoming the most attractive option.
The collocation of an AM station with “non-AM” towers, such as FM or TV towers, is often possible, but requires a bit of forethought and may not always be a practical option. Typically, these towers are not base-insulated, so a properly designed skirt wires system must be installed on the host tower to accommodate the AM operation. Depending upon the tower height and the involved AM frequency, some skirt systems can become complicated, and involve tuned and detuned (isolating) sections. Also, insulators will have to be installed in the existing guy wires, (for guyed towers), and a suitable ground system still has to be plowed in.
The often “simpler” option to consider is the use of existing AM transmission sites since much of the necessary infrastructure is already at hand. Of course, the existing tower heights and ground system radial lengths must be compatible — for instance, diplexing a 630 kHz station into a 1590 kHz station may not be feasible because of the big difference in wavelengths. On the other hand, the involved frequencies must not be too close either, due to practical filtering considerations.
A non-directional station can, of course, look at collocating at another non-directional station’s site. Or in the alternative, a non-directional station can share a tower at an existing directional site. This requires the de-tuning of unused towers at the host site in addition to the customary diplexing system filtering hardware and matching system.
A directional station seeking a host will look for another directional station since the necessarily larger acreage is already available at an existing directional site. Of course, you still need to evaluate existing towers at that site to assess whether the heights are compatible and the geometry (tower layout) can accommodate the design needed for your station’s pattern from this new vantage point. Sometimes you can add another tower or towers to an existing site to make things work — and quite often (from a local zoning standpoint) it can be easier to add towers to an existing site than to try to develop a new site from scratch. One caution — even if the tower heights and geometry seem to work, careful consideration has to be given to the involved filter circuits; some situations do not lend themselves to practical (or achievable) solutions.
Site selection and the business case go hand in hand, and the cost implications of collocation are numerous and sometimes complex. What lease terms are available? What replacements, repairs or upgrades will be needed at the site for successful collocation? Are there environmental issues that could become a shared responsibility? An experienced broadcast communications lawyer should be sought to answer these and other related questions.
In all these scenarios, the site location and geometry of the host tower array must meet the tenant’s purposes while still satisfying FCC-mandated (day, night and sometimes “critical hours”) protection of other stations. The site must also be able to provide the desired coverage into communities of interest as well as the station’s city of license. Fortunately, aspects of the FCC’s signal protection requirements and, to a greater extent, principal community coverage requirements and antenna efficiency have been revised under the FCC’s First R&O, providing greater flexibility for site relocations. Other potentially more significant rule changes remain under consideration in the FCC’s “Further Notice".
RELAXED RULES FOR AM PROOFS
Skipping back to this article’s beginning topic — the Third Report and Order’s rule changes — the FCC relaxed the partial proof rules for conventionally proofed antenna systems by reducing the number of measurement radials required. You need to only measure eight points on each radial that includes a monitor point.
For arrays proofed with Method-of-Moments technique, the FCC eliminated the biannual sample system recertification requirement. (Recertification is only needed when sample system equipment has been repaired or replaced.) They also clarified the base region model shunt capacitance assumptions that can be used in a MoM proof, eliminated the need for a surveyor’s certification when an existing AM array’s towers are involved for a new station or design (as long as no new towers are added or the existing geometry changed), and deleted the requirement to take new reference point measurements when the same array and pattern is being relicensed.
“Stay tuned” — more changes are likely and warrant our attention and comment as they are being considered.
Dr. Poppy Crum, Chief Scientist at Dolby Laboratories will be joining the Broadcast Technology Society as a Keynote Speaker on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at the 2018 IEEE Broadcast Symposium
IEEE Broadcast Technology Society
Margaux Toral, Society Promotions & Marketing Manager