The Society of Broadcast Engineers

The Association for Broadcast and Multimedia Technology Professionals

Ennes Workshop Abstracts

Topics vary from workshop to workshop.

Here Comes Ethernet® AVB !

Ethernet has been around since 1973, and you’re probably aware of many companies who have struggled to make it work for audio and video applications.  But those are proprietary systems where often Box A can’t talk to Box B.  So IEEE, which owns the Ethernet standard, has been working on a re-write of the Ethernet standard called 802.1BA AVB, and the AVB is for audio and video bridging.  Audio is easy on AVB, even hundreds of channels. Video is harder to network than audio.  And, with the progression from HD to 3G to 4K, it’s going to be even harder, not easier. On the other hand, 40 gigabit data networking (and 100 gigabit) are also coming soon. There’s even a “Generation 2” of AVB coming called TSN (“Time Sensitive Networks”). All these are covered in this presentation. Finally, this new standard may herald a new way to design, install and operate audio and video facilities.

Managing Social Media and Workflow for Broadcasters

Social media is of growing importance to broadcasters worldwide. Its uses in news, live events, promotions and advertising are ever expanding, and our ability as broadcasters to keep up, and properly manage content becomes more increasingly difficult. Learn how to implement a professional editorial workflow that can be used to manage the “how” and “when” content appears, while avoiding the “oops”.

Next Generation TV Master Control – out of the box or channel-in-a-box?

Here’s how you can respond to the “do more with less” industry trends without sacrificing your competitive edge. Eliminate the traditional, serial-based, cumbersome proprietary boxes within the broadcast chain and replace them with all off-the-shelf, IT-based components to provide High Definition play out, graphics, effects and switching. These software driven equipment platforms are proving to be just as reliable and more cost efficient when compared to their bulky hardware counterparts. Less IS more.

Case Histories in Lightning Protection and Grounding

This presentation will review the elements of a building’s wiring and grounding systems (including lightning protection) that pertain to power quality at communications facilities and improve up-time. Proper wiring and grounding, beyond those minimal requirements of the NEC, can greatly alleviate power quality problems in broadcast and public service communications facilities. These improvements can be very cost-effective, usually simple in description, and help prevent costly downtime and equipment damage. The presentation concentrates on actual experiences at broadcast facilities where grounding and lightning protection were of paramount importance in maintaining system availability. Case histories of several communications facilities will be discussed, including proper and improper grounding and bonding, with liberal use of on-site photographs to show what these systems and devices look like in actual installations.  

Emergency Alert Broadcast in the Digital Era

Last year another round of update of the Emergency Alert System was completed by implementing the Common Alert Protocol over network fed by FEMA servers. The system evolved fast and the list of stakeholders is expanding fast. At the same time that technology changes, transmission of the alert is now expanding from the old FSK format to the new format, that being HD radio. This presentation will discuss what has been done lately, where the Emergency Alert System is today, and what can be expected in the near future.

TV and Radio Broadcast Structures

This session reviews the evolution of the standards for the design, evaluation, analysis, and inspection of guyed and self-support tower structures. Following this will be an explanation of why tower engineering is such a specialized industry, as well as how the various aspects of design, evaluation, analysis, and inspection differ from other types of engineering. This discussion will also address why it is important to retain qualified companies to engineer these structures, along with investigating failure in these towers.

Spurs – Your Fault or Not?

If you are told by your owner that he has just purchased one or more stations in the area and wants them all consolidated onto one site, what do you do besides run!

This presentation reviews the basic concepts of putting a multi-station transmitter site together with respect to inter-modulation products. This includes how much filter is needed for various types of antenna systems, how intermodulation products are formed, how to measure them, how to mitigate them and finally, what to do about ‘RITOIE’.

Efficient Codec Design, Internet Anomaly Correction and Embedded Cellular Technology Make Single Modem ENG Practical

The Internet has become attractive as a conduit for ENG – it is readily available almost anywhere, and the costs are reasonable. A big problem with the Internet and broadcasting has always been data rate, and maintaining acceptable video quality during periods of heavy data use and throughput bottlenecks, when there are not enough bits to go around. This presentation explores single modem ENG, and how it can benefit those who wish to use today’s technology as a springboard to increased Electronic News Gathering capabilities.

RF Power Meter Selection

This session explores how to select the correct RF power meter when using different types of modulation.

Does it Make Sense for My Station to Convert to an Energy Efficient FM Transmitter?

As stations are facing increased electric costs, looking for ways to keep these increases at bay are ever more important. Transmitter and HVAC energy costs are the most significant single on-going cost factor in a transmitter site. This presentation compares the total cost of operating a transmitter site with different transmitter efficiencies. Attendees will learn how quickly the return on investment will be realized in a high efficiency transmitter, and if it makes sense for their stations.

The Future of ENG Technology

This presentation explores the evolution and future of ENG contribution technologies. Topics include ultra compact, low cost cellular bonding technologies, their advantages, disadvantages and future developments.

CAP, Next Generation EAS — and You

Now that the FCC has released its Fifth Report and Order on the Emergency Alert System and has published new rules that effect EAS participants, it is important to understand exactly what CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) and the next generation of EAS (Emergency Alert System) are and how they will impact the operations of radio and television stations.

Although the Commission has re-defined, eliminated and refined some aspects of EAS, how to apply the intent of the new rules and accomplish the mission of alerting the public to dangerous and life-threatening situation needs to be discussed. New tools are available to meet many of the public needs in this area, but they may complicate the tasks mandated to broadcasters.

This presentation will explore and explain the appropriate sections of the new FCC rules, the responsibilities of stations, the requirements for manufacturers, and the roles of stakeholders in the entire emergency alerting proposition.

The Four Essential Pieces of the Radio Automation System Puzzle: How to select the correct system for your stations

Choosing an automation system for your stations can be a monumental undertaking. How do you evaluate the several different pieces which must be properly placed together to insure a correct working environment? The picture becomes more clear when broken down into four essential workflows and matched against the past, present and possible future plans therein. These workflows (production, playlist creation, on-air and integration) are analyzed in detail and helpful lists for each topic are further delineated. Also presented is an easy to follow guideline to aid in creating a starting point for automation system evaluation.

IP over Satellite in Broadband Communications

If you transmit program material or receive program material, most systems and components use IP encapsulation. Video and Audio as IP is more and more the standard from studio to transmission, including television, AM, FM and Satellite. This presentation explores how satellite can be used to efficiently and effectively support broadband communications (i.e., voice / video / data) independent of the satellite band used (C/Ku/Ka). There will also be discussion on how two way IP can support transmitter / remote site interface and EAS CAP reception in areas where terrestrial IP is not available or not reliable.

De-centralization and Virtualization – the Future of Radio Automation

This session focuses on the future of radio audio delivery and automation systems starting inside a facility and move outwards to remotely located content and control protocols. It will look at how current technologies such as AOIP, network based process control, virtual desktop environments, WAN applications, cloud computing and SNMP monitoring can be adapted and combined to create a new model for building, deploying, integrating, controlling and monitoring automation systems in a local, regional, national or worldwide environment.

Tomorrow’s STL Today

In late October 2011 the FCC abolished the rule which stopped broadcasters from using Part 101 licensed frequencies for Point to point connections to the Transmission sites and opened up 18Ghz,11Ghz, and 6Ghz to the broadcast world. This presentation explores the advantages of having these new frequencies available, including a discussion on carrying multiple channels of audio, both analog and HD to remote sites on a single dish.

Sending Video Fast and Inexpensively

Uploading to the Internet is a problem. Bandwidth is constrained. And getting more expensive. The problem is compounded when trying to send large video files. This presentation reviews some of the ways latakoo is confronting this through a combination of compression, bandwidth optimization, and a sharing platform that simplifies the video file transfer.

FM Directional Antenna Systems: Making the Impossible, Possible

With the FM band becoming more and more congested with move-ins, translators and boosters, directional antennas are becoming more and more popular. This paper explores how at first, consultants and broadcast engineers simply did the math for a directional antenna system without concern of whether or not an antenna could be built to meet the directional pattern. Examples will be shown of some these impossible patterns and will illustrate how a degree of reality has made the manufacturer’s job easier.

Audio Compression Misused: Are we squeezing the life out of sound quality?

This presentation reviews ways to gain all the efficiency benefits of compression technology, while making sure the audio stays pristine throughout the broadcast chain, all the way to the listener’s ears. In this session, attendees will hear some real-world examples of how audio compression has been used both to enhance and degrade audio quality. We will hear the striking difference audio quality can make in the impact of live news reports. We will also listen to some great songs originally recorded with the highest production values, and then hear the sad results when over-compression has squeezed the life out of the music.

Newsgathering Transmission Techniques

This presentation reviews the advancements in video encoding technology that allow transmission of high quality broadcast video at much lower data rates than before, specifically with the utilization of H.264 versus MPEG2. In addition, there will be a review of the advances in licensed microwave technology that allow much more robust transmission at higher data rates and provide better video quality from locations that were not previously possible. Additional discussion on how advances in bandwidth capacity of public access networks (Cellular and Wi-Fi) along with advances in the technology of bonded cellular transmission and compact size and portability of new products available have enabled new methods for newsgathering and producing live video. Finally, a comparison of strengths and weaknesses of licensed microwave transmission versus public network transmissions, plus examples of how utilization of a combination of both networks can provide the user with a flexible solution to fit multiple video transmission applications.

Designing and Implementing a Broadcast Facility Control and Monitoring System Incorporating SNMP

Broadcasters all over the world are discovering a new common language – the Simple Network Management Protocol, or SNMP. This heritage IP language has been around since the 1980s, but in recent years is being supported in more and more IP enabled broadcast equipment.

The purpose of this tutorial is twofold – first, to provide an introduction to SNMP. How it is structured, the elements, commands and functions that can be used, and the data that can be retrieved and controlled. We will examine the structure of the Object Identifiers, or OIDs, that act as the “addresses” of different data points in the target device. We will also explore the MIB file, which collects and organizes the OIDs for the device. The concept of the MIB browser software will be presented, and instruction given on how to use this powerful type of tool to analyze and plan SNMP communications at the site.

The second purpose of this tutorial is to examine in-depth the SNMP communications with at least two different target devices – one a well-known transmitter line, and at least one other device from outside the broadcast world – SNMP is found in many devices such as UPS systems, HVAC systems, IT systems, etc. We will examine the response of the equipment to the MIB browser and other software, and discuss the different ways to interpret the data that is returned and make it understandable to the users. Some time will also be spent examining how SNMP can be useful in coordinating actions and readings between two separate sites.

Trends in TV Infrastructure – Live APC; Audience Measurement and openGear

This session covers three topics, the first being audio watermarking for audience measurement. We’ll follow the history and explore the future of measurement techniques and implementation. The next topic provides the Engineer’s Guide to the process of automating control of news productions and explains the many benefits for adopting automated production control technology in your facility. Finally, the openGear terminal equipment platform. Among many other benefits, this equipment offers a wide selection of cards from partner vendors. In addition, the standardized frame platform and monitoring/control system ensures inter-operability between vendor offerings.

VoIP in the Real World: How I Quit Worrying and Learned to Live Without POTS

Your studios’ traditional phone service is going away. You need to find an alternative. What will replace POTS or ISDN service? It’s called SIP, short for Session Initiation Protocol. As with most new technologies, once you understand it and get some hands-on experience, you’ll wonder “Why didn’t we switch to this sooner?” This learning presentation defines the problems, proposes the solutions, and demonstrates how SIP talkshow systems are working at five different broadcast facilities.

The Advantages of Electromagnetic Simulation

In recent years, advances in electromagnetic simulation have made the process of developing broadcast components more efficient. Rather than taking an R&D concept and building iterating prototypes, this entire process can be instead be completed with electromagnetic simulation. SPX Communication Technologies has refined the practice of this technology to the point where broadcast components can be developed completely in a virtual environment. This paper will discuss the advances and advantages of electromagnetic simulation.

The Future of ENG Technology

This presentation explores the evolution and future of video transmission and distribution technology used for ENG. Specific topics include microwave versus cellular technologies, cellular bonding advantages and transmission over 4G networks, and citywide deployment of Wifi networks.

Open Control and Monitoring with Dashboard

The Internet has fundamentally changed the business model for broadcasters.  Ad revenue is no longer reliable or rising as it migrates online. At the same time, viewers demand access to what they regard as “their” content any time, any place, and on any device.   These trends act as a pincer on anyone responsible for a production facility with “do more with less, but don’t compromise quality” being the imperative. However, facilities still need to be controlled and monitored, so increasingly automated ways of doing so are required. This paper describes DashBoard™, an open solution for facilities control and monitoring. By reference to case studies, the author shows how DashBoard™ is being used to create custom workflows that combine ease of use with high levels of automation to effectively address the realities confronting content creators today.

Best Practices for Modern Transmitter Remote Control

IP based transmitter remote control is providing busy broadcast engineers with much needed relief in the form of better data, more granular alarm notifications and armchair access to multiple transmitter sites. Environmental monitoring and flowchart based automatic control functions increase up-time and protect equipment from extremes, while distributed I/O provides cost savings by eliminating long multi-conductor wiring runs. This presentation will present best practices for specifying, installing and configuring a remote control system. Special attention will be paid to efficiently upgrading legacy systems to IP. Simplified automatic testing of backup equipment will also be demonstrated through the use of active flowcharts.

HD Radio™ Broadcast System – 4th Generation                                       

As the HD Radio™ has achieved commercial acceptance, broadcasters are demanding more features in simpler, more robust and cost effective transmission solutions. Advances in Digital Signal Processing technology are enabling developers and manufactures to reduce the cost, size and complexity of the HD Radio Broadcast system while providing increased flexibility, advanced features and zero-defect, mission-critical reliability. The author will discuss the past, present and future HD Radio system roadmap along with the state of development, challenges and solutions for providing the next-generation HD Radio Broadcast System Architecture.

Filters-The Building Block of Combiners

This presentation will take the engineers through the basic design of a FM coaxial filter cavities.  I will start with the definitions and practical aspects of “Q” which is the holy grail of filter design.  From there I will discuss the parameters of both band pass and notch filters the building blocks of combining systems. 

How Cable Works

With a minimum of techno-speak, and lots of pictures and stories, here’s a basic primer on wire and cable, multiconductor, twisted pairs and coaxial cable, where they came from, why they were invented, and how they work.  Included is an overview of analog and digital signals, frequency and wavelength, resistance, capacitance, inductance, and the result of those three parameters, impedance.  There’s also a refresher on unbalanced and balanced lines, return loss, and skin effect.

Bridging the Gap between your all IP studio and Transmitter site

Educating Broadcasters on the growing need for IP connectivity between their studios and transmission sites. We will show them how they can piggy back IP solutions to their current analog and digital systems with out over loading the tower. We will also educate on what is working today and the options out there. Finally we will introduce a new smart redundancy manager that allows you to fail over before the failure.

The Basics of Audio over IP

Ten years ago, The Telos Alliance invented Audio over IP. As this technology has grown, with over 5,000 studio installations, it’s tiem for engineers standing on the sidelines to get involved. AoIP will save you money, time, and provide the ultimate flexibility. This tutorial will serve as an introduction to this technology, and offer inexpensive ideas on getting started.

The Importance of IP Addressable Equipment at Your Transmitter Site

This presentation we will explore the challenges presented to the reliable point-to-point delivery of streaming content over the open public internet. Then we will review the concepts, development, testing, and deployment of a redundant streaming system, and statistics on how technology meets those challenges in the real world.

Conquering the Open Internet – Reliable Point to Point Streaming on the Imperfect Internet

In this presentation we will explore the challenges presented to the reliable point-to-point delievery of streaming content over the open public interent. Then we will review the concepts, development, testing and deployment of a redundant streaming system, and statistics on how technology meets those challenges in the real world.

Advancement in Video Workflows

Like Non-Linear Editing systems and file-based video workflows, Software as a Service (SaaS) video services are revolutionizing video workflows, but many are stuck with the video workflows of yesterday.  SaaS video services replace the old model of expensive proprietary hardware, underutilized assets, tedious integrations, manual process, and high costs of support, with the new model of open design, automated, efficient and flexible workflows, and a lower total cost of ownership.

IP Networking for Broadcast Engineers

This presentation focuses on TCP/IP based networking fundamentals in an Ethernet environment. Topics include TCP/IP and UDP Fundamentals, IP Addressing, Sub-netting Basics, an Introduction to IPv6, Switching Fundamentals, VLAN Use, Routing Fundamentals, Quality of Services (QoS) Basics, and Networking Security Concerns. Where appropriate, the application focus will be oriented towards a broadcast technical plant. 

IP Workshop

IP networks seem to be everywhere. Although simple to understand and implement, some basic tips will prevent gotchas from spoiling your day. John Bisset explores Workbench Tips applied to audio over IP networks.

Adventures in 4K

4K is the next step in video.  There are many kinds of ‘4K’.  And there are different cables for 4K, such as coax, twisted pairs (Cat 5) and fiber.  Some of these can be networked, a different arrangement than the point-to-point wiring we have used for decades.  There are even more choices in the consumer/commercial worlds such as HDbaseT.  Are these all compatible?  Can you convert from one to another easily?  What are the performance limitations?  Distance limitations?  Cost limitations? 

FM LTE Interference

FM LTE Interference has been a hot topic recently, as AT&T is in a big push to roll out nationwide LTE coverage. Depending on where in the band a station is, they risk having their 7-9th harmonic create interference with nearby (within a few miles) LTE carriers. The interesting thing is that the bulk of the interference is the result of cabinet radiation from the FM transmitter in almost every single case… the FCC has no specification on cabinet radiation, so manufacturers are left to their own devices in this respect. The paper also presents a case study and shows some things that can be done to help minimize cases of LTE interference, as well as discussing some thoughts about trying to take on a big mobile carrier.

Advanced Concepts in Streaming – the Audio Cloud

This presentation will discuss streaming in connection with digital MPX, redundant streaming, network control and satellite replacement. We will also be discussing the advantages of MPX over AES, and using cloud-based distribution to replace satellite networks.

Futureproof Antenna Systems for ATSC 3.0 and Beyond

RFS can help broadcaster adapt to a changing environment with a portfolio of future proof antennas, filters and combiners that allow for frequency changes without replacement. Also, the portfolio features broadband arrays that allow for broadcasters to vary their respective polarization ratios, independent of that of other stations. This is known as Variable Polarization Technology (VPT).

VPT allows multiple broadcasters to share common antenna/transmission line and combiner infrastructure and yet be able to determine their own polarization ratios. This is critical in master array design for not all broadcasters are on the same schedule; technically or financially.  

Variable Polarization Technology is in the PCP and PEP UHF arrays and 662 VHF arrays and allows the broadcasters the flexibility of utilizing full horizontal polarization only, elliptical polarization or full circular polarization, all in the same array. Also, these platforms are designed such that if individual broadcasters want to change their ratios in the future, it is a simple change and in most cases done in the transmitter room with no change to the antenna system. This presentation will look at the underlying technology in both the antenna and high power filter/combining systems that allow for reuse even after a channel change.

Understanding and Achieving High Frame Rate Ultra HD

Broadcasters are always looking toward what’s next, and many have been asking for more powerful products that allow them do high frame rate Ultra HD, specifically for fast action live events such as sports. Ultra HD at 60 frames per second is the broadcast standard of the future. In this presentation, Bob Caniglia will explain the technology behind this standard, discuss what users need to consider in their planning phase, and how to evaluate new products to get the best possible ROI.