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A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

February 1998


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Contents

The January 1998 Meeting
Chapter 48's Next Meeting
Upcoming Meetings of SBE Chapter 48 / Rocky Mountain SMPTE
Local Broadcast Channel Blocked During EAS
1998 SBE Certification Exam Date
Update of EAS Image
ISDN Experience
SBE Youth Membership Catagory Proposed
SBE Publications
SBE/SMPTE Job Postings
PDX Radio Waves
Wavelet CODEC's High-Quality Compression Enables New Market Video Applications
Sony Sees Slow HDTV Growth
Etc.

The January 1998 Meeting

We headed north to downtown Denver for our first meeting of the year to the studios of KXKL, etc. at 12:00 noon on Wednesday the 14th of January.

The business meeting was held first in the station's conference room. There was conversation on a number of topics, including the state of the Colorado Broadcast Frequency Coordination effort (now largely handled by the folks at HSE Communications at (303) 798-1700), the SBE/SMPTE RSVP line (at (303) 836- 7787) for meeting information and DTV.

Randall Ansley, Domestic Sales Manager for Larcan-TTC in Louisville, Colorado, informed the group of the availability of a DOS program to aid television engineers with their DTV channel assignments. A free copy of this disk is available to all SBE and SMPTE members for the asking. Call Randall H. Ansley at Larcan-TTC at (303) 665-8000, e-mail to LARCAN-TTC@USA.NET or write to Larcan-TTC, 950 South Taylor Avenue, Louisville CO 80027.

Randall says that it appears that many TV stations are taking a "wait and see" attitude about DTV, in some cases installing relatively low power DTV systems to meet the FCC mandates. It would seem that most viewers will consider converters to allow continued use of their NTSC receivers after stations begin to convert to digital.

Following the meeting, it was tour time. Our host was KXKL/KVOD/KRRF Chief Engineer Bill Harris who took the group around the station where considerable construction is now underway to add in the most recent acquisition of Chancellor Media, 96.5 KXPK.

We hope to see you at our next meeting on Wednesday, February 18 at 12:00 noon at the National Digital Television Center at 4100 East Dry Creek Road. After lunch and a brief business meeting, our program will be from Bob Brandt, President and owner of Fibox.

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Chapter 48's Next Meeting...

...will take place on Wednesday, February 18, 1998. Meeting time is scheduled for 12:00 noon with business and program portions starting at 12:30. Meeting location will be the National Digital Television Center at 4100 E. Dry Creek Road, Littleton.

This month we will present Mr. Bob Brandt, president and owner of FIBOX. This is the company that is bringing hiagh quality fiber optic transmission of audio to radio and television stations around the country. They have been written about in Radio World and have received multiple awards from the NAB. This presentation will feature cutting edge technology which may be in your future captial budget plans. Plan to attend this informative presentation!

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Upcoming Meetings of SBE Chapter 48 / Rocky Mountain SMPTE

Wednesday 18 Feb -- 12:00 noon - National Digital Television Center at 4100 East Dry Creek Road - Bob Brandt, president/owner FIBOX.. These guys are bringing high quality fiber transmission of audio to radio and television stations. They have multiple awards from NAB and as seen in Radio World. This is very cutting edge stuff and probably will be part of your 1999 capital budget!

Wednesday 18 March -- 12:00 noon - National Digital Television Center at 4100 East Dry Creek Road - SMPTE Nomination Committee formation.

April - To Be Announced

Wednesday - 20 May -- NOTE TIME 4:00 pm - Itelco USA, Inc. 7575 West 103rd Ave Suite 110 Westminster (North on 36 to 104th/Church Ranch exit left, first street south of Hwy 36 past Amoco Station, turn right west, first set of red brick buildings) Tour of assembly and test area for high-power digital transmitter area. They do Solid State and IOT transmitters.

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Local Broadcast Channel Blocked During EAS

Leonard Charles - SBE EAS Committee Chair

With the FCC release of the second EAS Report and Order, there is a renewed concern by television broadcasters over cable system blockage of their channel during EAS alerts and tests. Despite comments making a strong case against such blockage under any circumstances, the Commission continues to allow it. The strongest plea came from the NAB which "...is primarily concerned because providing emergency information is a key component of most broadcast stations, and cable television operators may not provide emergency information that is as useful to the viewer during an emergency as broadcasters provide." The NAB is also concerned that the cable interruption may come at the same time as more detailed information is being broadcast by the local TV station.

Though the FCC did not prevent local TV station channel interruption, they did make provisions for agreements between broadcasters and cable systems to prevent such blockage. Paragraph 11.51(g)(4) states: "Cable systems and wireless cable systems may elect not to interrupt EAS messages from broadcast stations based upon a written agreement between all concerned. Further, cable systems and wireless cable systems may elect not to interrupt the programming of a broadcast station carrying news or weather related emergency information with state and local EAS messages based on a written agreement between all parties."

In addition, the FCC said they will promptly issue a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking focused on whether the Commission's rules are adequate to permit broadcasters to provide their audiences with important local emergency information without interruption by EAS messages provided by cable systems.

For more information, see paragraphs 34 and 35 in the Second EAS Report and Order at or go to the SBE web site at and click on the EAS Committee banner.

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1998 SBE Certification Exam Date

Plan now to become SBE Certified and receive the recognition you have earned in your profession. Register today to take a SBE Certification Exam. Exam dates for 1998 have been released. For more information about SBE Certification, see your Chapter Certification Chairman or contact Linda Godby- Emerick, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 253-1640.

April 7, 1998 at the NAB Convention - Las Vegas
Application Deadline: February 20, 1998

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Update of EAS Image

Chapter 124

A suggestion was made for TV EAS tests that during the especially long Required Monthly Tests, the old tired EAS slide should be retired and the TV production department should develop a PSA showing emergencies, then progress to listeners hearing the EAS messages on radio and watching the crawl on a TV screen. This could be a great time to create an excellent EAS promotional campaign instead of the dull old slide. Let's see who can come up with the best idea.

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ISDN Experience

Chapter 124 - Portland

At the current two studio buildings for the American Radio Systems stations in Portland (KUFO/KBBT and KUPL/KKJZ), we installed Telos Zephyr ISDN units. ISDN is so slick. Telos has a demo ISDN number that you call to see if your unit is working correctly. It seems only to be a CD player in the repeat mode, but when the CD is playing in Cleveland, and sounds great in stereo in Portland, it's impressive.

Some observations: no dial tone, no ringing, and no busy signals - it just won't connect; ISDN long distance rates are two to three times higher than analog and only AT&T, Sprint, and MCI offer it. You need to dial two numbers using the same line for the best sound, doubling the long distance charges. We were warned by the AT&T long distance person not to forget to drop a call, lest it stay connected over a weekend and burn up $1800+. Everybody has a different "setting" they like (L2, L2 Mono 128, L3, L3 Stereo, L3 JStereo, etc.), and the units won't achieve "lock" unless they are the same. In the L3 mode there is a half-second delay.

We used the KUFO ISDN line and Global Satellite Network's Zephyr (before ours arrived) to have the guest for their October 27th Rockline program in our studio while the host, Bob Coburn (again), and the rest of the show are in L.A. On the air, you couldn't tell that the guest wasn't in L.A.

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SBE Youth Membership Catagory Proposed

At the last meeting of the SBE Board of Directors, a proposal was introduced by Membership Chairman Robert Hess outlining a program that would involve high school-aged youth in SBE for the first time. The goal is to educate young people about broadcast engineering and careers in the field with the hope that it will help stimulate the flow of young people into broadcast engineering. Few high school students are choosing broadcast engineering as a career, yet the demands of technology require a steady flow of new broadcast engineers to meet the needs of stations. Engineering managers are finding it harder to hire qualified individuals to fill entry level positions. By offering high school age students Youth Membership in SBE, the Society can provide information and resources to help develop interest, enthusiasm and knowledge in the science and art of broadcast engineering, and thereby, increase the number of students who go into post-secondary education with interest in entering broadcasting's technical fields.

The Board of Directors would like to receive written comments and ideas from you about the Youth Membership proposal. E-mail your comments to John Poray at jporay@sbe.org or mail them to Youth Membership, SBE, 8445 Keystone Crossing, Ste. 140, Indianapolis, IN 46240. The Membership Committee will review all comments and make a recommendation to the Board for action during its April 1998 meeting in Las Vegas. If approved, the program could begin as early as September of 1998.

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SBE Publications

How to Order:
Credit card orders may be phoned or faxed. Phone: (914) 761-1100. Fax: (914) 761-3115. Libraries and booksellers may order at the member price. The discount per title for 5-49 copies is 25%; for 50 or more copies, 33.3%.

SMPTE Standards for Motion Picture Production and Presentation
Published 1996. Under one cover: 21 motion picture Standards covering 16-mm and 35-mm camera apertures, physical film dimensions, audio records, time and control code, telecine scanning areas and projection parameters. If purchased individually, these documents would sell for over $200.00. 91 pp., 8 1/2 x 11, Softbound Member Price: $30.00; Nonmember Price: $45.00

Composite Digital Television: A Primer
Published 1996. Edited by Stanley N. Baron, NBC. Contains 30 papers divided into three sections. The first section introduces the basic technology behind composite digital television and its implementation. The second section discusses signal distribution and testing and measurement. The third section deals with production and recording technology and describes D-2, D-3, and D-5 tape formats and integration of digital sound and video. The appendix includes a list of pertinent SMPTE standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines. 204 pp., 8 1/2 x 11, Softbound Member Price: $30.00; Nonmember Price: $40.00

The Convergence Continues . . .Computer Technology and Television: The Proceedings of the 1996 SMPTE Advanced Motion Imaging Conference
Published 1996. Contains the available papers from SMPTE's 30th Advanced Motion Imaging Conference (Seattle, Wash., February 1-3, 1996.) The broad topics are Storage, Generation and Authoring Tools, Delivery and Distribution, and Presentation and Display. The volume is bundled with a supplement containing five papers that were presented at the conference but were not included in the original proceedings. 210 pp., 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, Softbound Bundled with 64-page supplement Member Price: $30.00; Nonmember Price: $40.00

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SBE/SMPTE Job Postings

KSL has positions available in the Salt Lake City area, contact the KSL's job line at 801-575-5780.

As a service to SBE/SMPTE membership, technology positions in the Rocky Mtn. region are posted at no charge. Please send your posting to:

Rome Chelsi IHS Communications Prod. 15 Inverness Way East Englewood, CO 80112-5776 chelsi@ihs.com

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PDX Radio Waves

Michael D. Brown N7AXC CSRE
Brown Broadcast Services, Portland
Chapter 124

Smoke and excitement reigned at two disparate Oregon radio stations in recent weeks. In Coos Bay, 1420 KMHS apparently took a direct lightning hit. According to CE Robin O'Kelly, the strike melted coils in the ATU, popped the PA tubes, opened the plate transformer, and "unwound" the PA tank coils like they were watch springs. Meanwhile, in Portland, KBOO's 20 kW Collins fried a plate transformer. It was all smoke and no fire, but the xfmr was still too hot to touch nearly an hour later. The Ackerley Tower's fire system may have saved KBOO from a costly inferno, with a system that I highly recommend: Upon tripping of two out of three smoke/heat sensors in the room, a "shunt-trip breaker" pops, removing all power to the room. Simultaneously, the air handling system shuts down, and closes all dampers. The alarm monitoring company is notified, the fire department is dispatched, the outside door to the suite is unlocked, and the site manager is paged. The room is completely shut down, isolated from other suites, and starved for O2.

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Wavelet CODEC's High-Quality Compression Enables New Market Video Applications

A new video codec from Analog Devices, Inc. is expected to ignite the consumer market for integrated digital video recording, editing, and playback. Applications such as digital VCRs, TV set-top boxes with instant replay, a wide range of home video editing and other record and playback applications had been previously constrained by the cost and space of existing solutions.

The ADV601LC is expected to bring a new class of home video recording and media creation products to the consumer market. Applied Magic will bring a new disk-based digital video set-top box to the consumer electronics market later this year. It is anticipated that ADI we will bring the world's first digital video recording and multimedia creation platform to the living room market.

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Sony Sees Slow HDTV Growth

A year before HDTV's introduction, Sony Electronics president Carl Yankowski warns that the development of this category "is not a sprint, it is a marathon. It will take some time before we see a mass conversion to digital TV sets." During a recent press roundtable at the Sony Building in New York, Yankowski stressed that historical acceptance of other new technologies will hold true for HDTV. "HDTV will follow the normal curve that has been achieved many times in our industry in the past," he said. "Whenever we have a new technology, we always say, 'Wow, it's not successful unless it has 80% penetration over the next two years.' Remember, the migration from black-&- white to color TV took about 20 years." To those who are concerned about sales of analog big-screen TVs, Yankowski remarked, "Our current TV sets ... can receive a digital picture today with DVD, DSS or a converter box. Everyone should have confidence that if you buy a TV set today it will have the capability to receive a good digital picture through satellite. Today's sets are in good shape, and conversion will take some time."

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Society of Broadcast Engineers
Chapter 48

2950 South Birch Street
Denver, Colorado 80222


SBE Officers

Chairman
Andre' Smith (303) 871-4204
ansmith@du.edu

Vice-Chairman
Fred Baumgartner (303) 486-3946
Baumgartner.Fred.M@tci.com

Secretary/Treasurer
Bill Harris (303) 756-4843
BHarris4@IX.netcom.com

Certification Chairman
Fred Baumgartner (303) 486-3946
Baumgartner.Fred.M@tci.com


SMPTE Officers

Chair
Fred Baumgartner (303) 486-3946
Baumgartner.Fred.M@tci.com

Secretary/Treasurer
Rick Craddock (719) 634-2844

Managers
Myron Olinger
Dick Phannenstiel
George Sollenberger

SMPTE Govenor (National Liason)
Rome Chelsi


Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris.......(303)756-4843 email: BHarris4@IX.netcom.com
Garneth M. Harris..(303)756-4843
Andre' Smith.......(303)871-4204 email: ansmith@du.edu

Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Society, its officers, or its members. We regret, but are not liable for, any omissions or errors. The Denver SBE & SMPTE Newsletter is published approximately twelve times per year. It is prepared with a combination of text and graphic data. Submission deadline is 10 days before the last day of each month. Other SBE chapters are permitted to use excerpts if attributed to the original authors, sources, and/or the Denver SBE Newsletter.