A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

May 2000


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Contents

Chapter 48's Next Meeting
The December Meeting
Upcoming Meetings And Happenings
Job Postings
Colorado Frequency Coordination Moves to Web Site
2 GHz Realignment
Chapter 48 on the Web
Renew Now To Avoid Losing Member Benefits
Tech Tips
How To Survive A Heart Attack When Alone
Borg Humor
Chairman's Corner
www.broadcast.net Features NAB Interviews
ARRL Board Endorses Certification Program
Contact The SBE
Sony MAV-555 Product Introduction
Clark Introduces Their Own Stage Boxes
A New Use For RDS
SBE Resume Service
Sign Up Now For Leader Skills Seminars
Membership Drive In High Gear
Etc.

Chapter 48's Next Meeting...

...will be held January 19th at KUSA at 6:30pm.

Chris Noland, Account Manager and Michael H. Waidson, Video Application Engineer with Tektronix will be presenting at KUSA on January 19th at 6:30pm on digital video. The deployment of digital TV is full of new issues and new ways to test have to be developed. Mike and Chris will cover the new concepts that will be required to ensure your success and help you create the future of television.

The evolution of digital processing allows for the compression of video signals which involves new test procedures to be developed. There are fundamentally two test methodologies for MPEG-2 Transport Stream: a) Protocol Analysis which involves checking bits of information which carry sync, program clocks, packet identifiers, etc. which are created by the encoder and used by the decoder to extract the appropriate information for a particular channel. If these bits are encoded incorrectly the decoder may not be able to assemble the output video channel and will produce MPEG defects or the infamous blue screen. During the seminar we will show the MTS200 MPEG-2 protocol analyzer which can be used to monitor the MPEG-2 transport stream for errors. b) Picture Quality of the compressed picture can no longer be established by color bars or other static test signals since redundant information is removed by the compression algorithm. Therefore moving images have to be used to assess the picture quality of the MPEG2 encoder/decoder system. However picture quality is a subjective matter dependent on your eye brain relationship to viewing an image. We will investigate the possibility of doing real-time picture quality analysis on moving pictures.

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The December Meeting

By Rome Chelsi

Howard McClure and the fine folks at Itelco provided us with a comprehensive overview of 8VSB characteristics and Itelco's approach to exciters. Howard additionally provided us with insight into the ATSC/53 & ATSC/54 specifications.

The highlight was a view of a DTV transmitter being readied for shipment from Itelco's Westminster facility. Chris Noland of Tektronix was on hand to provide us with a demonstration of the latest 8VSB and MPEG test gear. Chris will be our presenter at the January meeting at KUSA - make sure you attend this one.

Howard has been very active in the IEEE Broadcast section and provided insight into the IEEE activities. As you may well know, IEEE is a Standards Development Organization, whose members work on developing technologies, and promulgates many of the standards affecting our industry. We may try to put together a joint session some time next year.

If you would like to reach Howard, the phone number at Itelco is 303.464.8000 SMPTE/SBE Looking for Volunteers:

The chapters have openings for volunteers to assist with planning and organizing chapter activities and helping out with some of the administrative efforts. The SMPTE chapter is in need of board members to help out with finance and other duties. And we can always use help with putting on meetings. Please contact either Fred Baumgartner at 303-486-3946, baumgartner.fred.m@tci.com , or Rome Chelsi at 303.428.8300, romec@compuserve.com .

Be sure to join us on Wednesday, January 19, 2000 for a visit with Chris Noland of Tektronix. He'll be demonstrating DTV test equipment. We'll meet at the KUSA, Channel 9, studios at Speer and Logan at 6:30 pm.

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Upcoming Meetings And Happenings

Wednesday - May 17 Meeting will be a "no-host" lunch at the Rodizio Grill, 8545 South Quebec, C-470 and Quebec, at 11:30 am. Come by, have lunch and share a story or two. Rumour has it that Dave Porta may get roasted!

Wednesday - June 21 (Tentative) The folks from Jampro will be on hand to talk antennas. Location, the AMFM Inc. studios in the Tabor Office building, 1200 17th Street, 23rd floor. Park in the building for just a few dollars.

Friday - July 7 Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the August 18-28 local window.

Wednesday, July 19 Annual World Famous Picnic Lunch at Lookout Mountain, KWGN TV2 transmitter "on the deck".

August Meeting - To be announced

Friday - September 22 Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the November 10-20 local window.

...and we're working on: a tour of the new KDVR Fox 31 studios in Denver, a tour of the new mostly digital Clear Channel radio studios, and a visit from the folks at Leader Instruments, compliments of Burst Communications.
Stay tuned!

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Job Postings

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
ROMEC@compuserve.com

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Colorado Frequency Coordination Moves to Web Site

After more than ten years of operation as a stand-alone, dialup bulletin board system, the Colorado Broadcast Frequency Coordination Committee database is being relocated to the Denver SBE Chapter 48 Web site. The URL is www.broadcast.net/~sbe48. Just click on the "Frequency Coordination" box and you will be presented with a short menu which will allow you to download the database in either an Excel 97 worksheet or a tab-delimited text format. The database is currently being updated from several sources, and will continue to be on a regular basis.

The BBS was started by the then active CBFCC as a service to both the Front Range broadcast users as well as a resource for visiting broadcast and network entities. Many of the details of the earlier efforts and acquisition of computer equipment for the BBS system are now part of history. However, many of the costs of newer gear and the monthly phone line charges have been borne by SBE Chapter 48. The system operator for the BBS for most of its operational life has been local engineer Jeff Brothers, who now divides his time between TV engineering and government contract work.

A recent review of BBS activity showed that with the onset of easy access to the Internet, usage had dropped dramatically. It was clear that former users of the system were now getting the information they sought by other means. It had been many months, years, in fact, since the CBFCC had met or held elections, and the SBE chapter had assumed most of the financial burden of frequency coordination needs in the region. With a well-constructed chapter Web site and the competent services of Webmaster Eric Schultz, the decision was made to move the database to the Web site and discontinue the BBS. The phone line will be disconnected and all BBS operations will cease as of May 31, 2000.

While the folks at HSE Communications have continued to handle coordination duties for frequencies above 1 ghz, coordination below 1 ghz has been in a state of flux for several years. Wayne Wicks, best known for his services to the "Papal Pool" during the Pope's visit to the area a few years ago, is unable to continue as area coordinator due to his increased responsibilities at work. Several people have expressed an interest in providing their services, and we should have an announcement soon. Meanwhile, if you require coordination, for an FCC application for example, contact HSE Communications at (303) 798-1700. They will forward your inquiry to a small committee of folks who are handling the <1ghz duties until an official coordinator is named.

Chapter 48 and Rocky Mountain SMPTE wish to extend our thanks to Jeff Brothers for his untiring and diligent maintenance of the BBS for these many years. Through hard drive crashes, FidoNet foulups and other challenges too many to mention, he kept the BBS 'on the air'. Jeff, we salute you!

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2 GHz Realignment

Everett E. Helm W7EEH CPBE
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Frequency Coordinator: Oregon and SW Washington
everett@helm.net

It now appears that the 2 GHz BAS band will get realigned into 7 channels of 14.5 MHz width, replacing the 17 MHz wide channels in use today. Channel A1 will be auctioned off for Mobile Satellite Service. (MSS) Most of the equipment in use now will operate on the new band plan, with modifications. I'm told that the normal subcarriers in use for ENG at 4.83, and 5.8, will be fine. Transmitters will have to be re-channeled, and many receivers may have to be replaced, or at the very least have modifications on the IF bandwidth. What remains to be determined is when this will take place, how it will take place, (in regions, or nationwide) and who is going to pay for it. I suspect that since the plan utilizes wider channels in the same band as the current use, that the MSS folks will make a case that it will not cost anything to move the existing users. The FCC has held that the MSS folks will have to reimburse the expenses to relocate the displaced existing users.

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Chapter 48 on the Web

The Denver SBE Chapter 48 Web site is available 24 hours a day at: www.broadcast.net/~sbe48. Look for the new frequency coordination section, which allows downloads in two different formats (and online searches if you have MS Office 97). There are also some pictures from NAB 2000 in the gallery, featuring a number of the fine folks, who by their sustaining memberships and advertising, make this newsletter possible.

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Renew Now To Avoid Losing Member Benefits

If you have not renewed you membership in the Society of broadcast Engineers yet, you can still do it and preserve your benefits of membership, including insurance coverage, access to the SBE Job Line and discounts on workshops, seminars and books. Renewal forms were mailed in early February. If you have not received yours, contact Scott Jones at the SBE National Office at (317) 253-1640 or kjones@sbe.org .

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Tech Tips

by George Guida

Satellite Antenna Aiming

After talking with Craig Lough at Westwood One recently, this previously used trick reoccurred to me. Since ABC is moving all their analog audio to digital on Satcom C5, a lot of us may be moving satellite dishes. Getting them aimed dead on can be quite a chore if a spectrum analyzer isn't handy. This idea may help. This idea assumes you have a satellite TVRO receiver at your disposal, analog not digital. Here's a list of what you'll need: Extension cord with multitaps for powering at least two items, a short piece (+/- 12 feet) of RG-6 with F-Fittings on both ends, a set of allen wrenches, open end or box wrenches or adjustable wrenches, an analog TVRO receiver, a TV and a short piece of RG-6 to connect from TVRO to TV.

There are three wide band data carriers on what would be TV channel 21. Get the dish as close as possible to where it should be. Tune TVRO receiver to channel 21 and use the offset adjustment to find one of the data channels. One of the three will be pretty powerful, try to get on that one. What will happen is the television screen will go black. Again, use the offset to get the screen as black as possible. There most likely will be sparkles. That's OK. Adjust the dish aiming for the least amount of sparkles, also at the same time checking adjustment of the offset to keep the screen as black as possible. When you have the dish close, mess with the polarity of the LNB. Twist it to get the blackest screen possible. (Newbie Note: Have handy a set of allen wrenches to loosen the friction screws holding the LNB in place.) Now check the aiming again, adjusting the offset for the most black. Once you are confident it's the best possible, lock everything down lightly and replace the TVRO receiver with the receiver you plan to use. Power down the TVRO before taking the RG-6 off. Then connect the coax to the intended receiver, then power up, just to be safe that the LNB doesn't take a spike.

If you are using a Starguide receiver (and who isn't these days?) wait for total power up. Press Enter, left arrow, Enter, left arrow, Enter. You should see a 'signal strength' screen. Anything above a reading of 5 (EB) should be OK. The higher the better. Now lock everything down permanently and watch that the signal strength doesn't change drastically. You could also reattach the TVRO while locking it down so you can see any changes real time. The signal strength reading on the Starguide takes about 2 seconds to scan, so it isn't the best way to try peaking the dish. Sidebar: Craig told me that C5 may be biting the dust soon and they are talking about trying to slide in another bird somewhere over the center of the US for better signal nationwide, instead of using a satellite parked somewhere over Thailand as we do now. What a relief. Editor's note: George is Director of Engineering Nassau Broadcasting, North

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How To Survive A Heart Attack When Alone

Let's say it's 9:17 PM and you're driving home from the transmitter (alone of course) after an unusually hard day on the job. Not only was the work load extraordinarily heavy, you also had a disagreement with your boss, and no matter how hard you tried he just wouldn't see your side of the situation.

You're really upset and the more you think about it the more uptight you become. All of a sudden you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home, unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far.

You've been trained in CPR but the guy that taught the course neglected to tell you how to perform it on yourself.

Many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack. Without help, a person whose heart stops beating properly begins to feel faint and has about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.

However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.

A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.

Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a phone and, between breaths, call for help. You'll be giving yourself CPR with this technique.

Tell as many other people as possible about this, it could save their life!

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Borg Humor

Here's some Borg stuff-

BORG Taglines-

The Borg assimilated my race and all I got was this stupid T-shirt.

We are Pentium of Borg. Precision is futile, prepare to be approximated.

At Borger King we do it our way. Your way is irrelevant.

Borg DOS 6.0... Assimilate drive C:? (Y)es, (O)k or (F)ine.

Fudd, of Borg: "Be vewy, vewy quiet. I'm assimiwating wabbits".

#1 BORG Hit Parade "We all sleep in a single subroutine".

We are Rambo of Borg. Yo! Assimilate 'dis!

Letterman of Borg: Top 10 reasons why resistance is futile:

McBorg : Over 50 million assimilated!

We are Buffy of Borg! Prepare to be, like, TOTALLY assimilated, ok?

We assimilate prunes. They make us go.

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Chairman's Corner

by Ron Schacht
Chapter 2

In speaking with colleagues at other stations around the country and noticing the various job postings in the business, it becomes obvious that the broadcast engineer is a dying breed, both literally and figuratively. As people either retire from the business because they have reached "that age" or retire from life altogether, there are very few replacements coming in to take over. If you take a look back forty or fifty years, each radio station had at least one engineer and some, especially fifty years ago, had several. When television hit, the stations employed a full complement of engineers at both the transmitter and the studio. Most of the engineers from this era were WW2 veterans. They were Signal Corps, airmen, shipboard cw guys and the like. Most were either hams or soon became hams. With the military radio background and the GI schools, broadcasting was the place to be. Broadcasting had a mystique about it even if a full time radio engineering position paid only $35 a week.

When I got into this business in the early 60's, I was a kid with a ham license who was interested in electronics and music. Well, an interest in electronics could get you a job in a TV repair shop but not much else. But an interest in both electronics AND music led me to a radio station. In 1963, no body listened to FM so I adopted and was adopted by an FM station. The station billed a few hundred dollars a week playing a mix of standards, light classics, and classical. Since I was a ham, and somewhat technical, I was left to stick my hands into the gear and fix things. It made me happy and saved the station money by not making them call in a real "engineer" who worked hourly. Now that the business is money driven, these opportunities don't exist anymore. Stations simply don't want to trust the big cash facilities to some "kid", consequently, the door is not open for future broadcast engineers.

Secondly, there are fewer doors to open. With the consolidations, most of the entry-level radio stations have been gobbled up by large out of town groups. Finally, unless someone is a real "broadcasting groupie", why would a technical person want to get into a business that has you "on call" 365 days a year, all types of odd hours, and minimal wage? High tech today is computer and IT positions. They are also high pay with a normal workday and generally NO PAGER. If we want to perpetuate the broadcast engineer, we will have to work with management to lure prospects into our business. Encourage interns and pay a qualified person a competitive salary. With the present day shortage, management is aware of the salary, now we as engineers have to look for people who might still have that fascination with the business of broadcasting. Let them hang around the station, be it radio or television. Let them help with projects. Eventually, after working with a radio morning team or watching a chroma keyed TV weather forecast, they may be bitten by the bug. You will know when this happens...they will be at the station waiting for you and won't expect a paycheck.

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www.broadcast.net Features NAB Interviews

Be sure to check out the following URL for some real interesting mini-programs on BNetRadio from NAB 2000 with Dave Biondi:

http://www.bnetradio.com/NABinterviews.htm

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ARRL Board Endorses Certification Program

From Chapter 2

The ARRL Board of Directors has approved the development and implementation of an initiative to promote self-education by radio amateurs. The new ARRL Certification Program will aim to inspire amateurs to continue acquiring technical knowledge and operating expertise beyond that required to become licensed and give them a chance to test their own limits. Following up on the "2010 Vision" discussions at last July's Board meeting, ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, presented the broad strokes of the Certification Program during the Board's January meeting in Memphis.

At this point, the Certification Program only exists as a concept, with the details to be worked out, but plans call for having the program in place by later this year. The first step in putting the program in place will be to solicit the ideas of ARRL members, via a Web-based message board, on appropriate topics to be included in the initial rollout. "The idea is to make this program what members want it to be, and not something imposed from 'on high,'" Sumner said. "Many ARRL members believe there is a widening gap between what the FCC requires amateur licensees to know and what it takes to be truly knowledgeable about Amateur Radio," he continued. "Whether or not you agree, it's certainly true that those of us who took our FCC exams years ago have never had to demonstrate an understanding of current technology. We could use a new challenge."

The new Certification Program will offer participants an opportunity to earn credentials at various levels of depth and difficulty in different courses of study--perhaps in such areas as ionospheric propagation, receiver design, and Morse code proficiency.

The preceding is from The ARRL Letter of The American Radio Relay League.

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Contact The SBE

Questions and comments about SBE may be e-mailed directly to Executive Director, John Poray at jporay@sbe.org

Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc. 8445 Keystone Crossing, Suite 140 Indianapolis, IN 46240

Office: (317) 253-1640
Fax: (317) 253-0418
Job Line: (317) 253-0474

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Sony MAV-555 Product Introduction

Courtesy of Chapter 20

The new Sony MAV-555 is a MPEG based multi-channel editing disk recorder. Although virtual VTRs have been available for applications where VTRs were used, they have not satisfied the user's needs because of limited operational functionality. The MAV-555 VTR-style user interface makes it familiar and easy to operate. The control panel includes a color LCD display for monitoring video files. It also has a standard 9-pin control protocol for edit controllers. The MAV-555 provides frame accurate editing with optional real- time video effects between it's I/O channels. Simultaneous, multiple I/O channels allow multiple access to the same source material during recording, editing and playback. Scene searching is super-fast without frame drop-out, and digital jog sound makes que-up quick and accurate. The 4 channel audio is 20 bit/48 KHz AES/EBU digital.

Using 18GB RAID drives, the MAV-555 can store 10 hours at 30Mbps, 8 hours at 40Mbps and 6 hours at 50 Mbps Recording MPEG-2 4:2:2 Profile @ Main level, the record bit rates are file-by file selectable. The MAV-555 even supports 140 Mbps (HDCam) recording rates as the Super Motion system recorder. Mobile Sports can use the MAV-555 as a multi-channel Slo-Mo (or Super Slo-Mo). Since the MAV-555 can record and playback at the same time, nothing is ever missed, even during Slo-Mo replay. Since the MAV-555 has multiple output channels, simultaneous playback of key and fill graphic animations is easy. With an asynchronous interface board, the MAV-555 can even provide faster-than-real- time file transfer within a computer infrastructure. In addition, the complete audio and video file list is available via Ethernet with with a standard PC browser. The MAV-555 standard audio and video output is SDI. Optional SDTI, Asynchronous Network (FTP), and NTSC video and analog audio provide all the I/O interfaces needed. Disk based recorders are great for syndicated satellite, news or sports delay recording and other NTSC and DTV applications. The MAV-555 basic configuration starts at $56,700 and is the same size as a Sony DVR-20 D-2 VTR.

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Clark Introduces Their Own Stage Boxes

MUNDELEIN, IL (March, 2000) - Clark is proud to announce an addition to their vast line of products. Clark now offers their own stage boxes. Clark boxes are available in 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 24 and 32 channel boxes. These boxes are made of .060" steel so they are both light weight and durable. All boxes have a textured, baked enamel finish.

A unique feature of these boxes is that they are comprised of the chassis, top plate and two end plates. This makes field adjustments exceptionally easy! The end plates are taller than the boxes, providing perfect handles to carry the boxes with. Each box is the perfect height and width to fit under a standard truck or van seat.

These boxes are available prepunched and numbered, custom punched, custom loaded and/or custom loaded and wired. Pricing is available with a cable entry hole for wall mount applications or with a strain relief. Clark offers their stage boxes custom terminated with any length of cable and combination of connectors, including W1, W2, and FK37 (DT12) multipin connectors for a quick disconnect, modular system.

Please call your sales representative for pricing information. Visit our web site at: www.clarkwc.com. Clark Wire and Cable is a Sustaining Member of Chapter 48.

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A New Use For RDS

From Chapter 124

Speaking of subcarriers, pirate radio operators in England recently discovered how to hijack the RDS (Radio Data System), now in wide use throughout Europe. They have been transmitting continuous signals encoded with commands to force RDS-equipped car radios to switch to their radio station. The listener is permanently locked into the pirate station unless the RDS feature is manually switched off. (Source: BBC News) I know several Program Directors who would just love to unleash such a potent weapon.

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SBE Resume Service

Want to get your resume out to employers? Participate in SBE's new Resume Service, available to SBE members only free of charge. Call the SBE National Office at (317) 253-1640 or e-mail Scott Jones at kjones@sbe.org for a Resume Service participation form.

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Sign Up Now For Leader Skills Seminars

After three years of sponsoring five-day Leader Skills seminars for broadcast engineers, the Society of Broadcast Engineers, in cooperation with instructor Richard Cupka, is modifying the program for 2000. The shorter courses will make it less time consuming and expensive for people to attend. The program will be split into two separate courses.

Course I will be held June 7-9 in Indianapolis and will provide the essentials to understanding leadership styles of yourself and others. It will provide the technical individual the basics on how to manage other people successfully. Course II, to be held August 16-18, also in Indianapolis, will pick up where Course I left off, going into further depth and providing the participant with a solid foundation to manage others.

The cost for each course is $425, which includes instruction, materials and refreshment breaks. Transportation, hotel and meals are additional. Those wishing to attend Course II must have attended either Course I or any of the SBE or NAB sponsored Leader Skills programs held since 1965. Registration Forms are available in the March issue of the SBE SIGNAL and from the SBE National Office.

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Membership Drive In High Gear

The SBE Annual Membership Drive, "One New Member" continues through May 31. Each member is asked to recruit one new member during that time. New member prospects can be co-workers, friends and associates in broadcast engineering or a related field. Some great prizes have been donated by many Sustaining Members, along with the Grand Prize of a "Trip to Mars", as in Mars, Pennsylvania, the suburban area of Pittsburgh where the SBE National Meeting will take place, October 4. The winner will receive a round-trip air ticket from within the Continental US to Pittsburgh, two nights stay at the Pittsburgh Sheraton North Hotel, complimentary ticket to the SBE National Awards Dinner and admission to the Pittsburgh SBE Regional Convention exhibits and technical papers.

For more information, see the flyer mailed to all members in February, the March issue of the SBE SIGNAL or the SBE Web site, www.sbe.org.

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Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris........(303)756-4843 email: bharris4@ix.netcom.com
Garneth M. Harris..(303)756-4843
Andre' Smith.......(303)556-3549 email: asmith@carbon.cudenver.edu

Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Societies, its officers, or its members. We regret, but are not liable for, any omissions or errors. The Denver SBE and 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 or SMPTE chapters are permitted to use excerpts if attributed to the original authors, sources, and/or the Denver SBE/SMPTE Newsletter.