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A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

October 1998


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Contents

The September Meeting
Chapter 48's Next Meeting
1998 SBE / SMPTE / SCTE Meeting Schedule
Tools and Toys for Creative Success
Fujitsu Announces New Technology
Echostar Communications
Chairman's Thoughts
Service That HVAC!
Tower Registration
Board Elects Newest Fellow
DTV Broadcast First
SBE / SMPTE Job Postings
Plan Ahead
National Meeting in Seattle
New Building in Chicago
Etc.

The September 1998 Meeting

Fred Baumgartner

The Third Annual SMPTE/SBE Technology Conference was held in Studio E-2 of the NDTC. We had four excellent speakers and a world class set of presentations concerning the cutting edge of audio, servers, and opportunistic data in the broadcast environment. Much of the information, in particular Steve Lymon's from Dolby and Randy Hall's presentation covering the proposed SMPTE 12 channel audio solutions for digital environments were very pragmatic and useful. I wish we could hit the highlights of the lessons learned in those several hours into the newsletter, but space would simply not allow.

Mark Gray finished off the day with a very thought provoking analysis of where the industry is and where it will go in terms of broadcast playback equipment in general. It was one of those presentations that made you completely rethink your current construction plans. And William Zou's presentation on opportunistic data made you think about revenue opportunities with DTV.

The presentations were reasonably well attended. As usual, there was the unexpected. Sony had Con Air set up in the HDTV demo room, with full surround sound. To my ears, the DVD system with surround was awesome, but the Hollywood types could have done more with it. I'll bet as more 5.1 systems make it to the home, the sound tracks on movies will improve dramatically for the home theater environment. Also, Darth Vader, the super- sized digital mobile truck was on site, and ad hoc tours were available over the lunch break.

Join us on Wednesday, October 21st for a visit with Brad Torr (remember him from DYMA days?) as he presents the Quantel solution for transporting and otherwise working on digital TV in the DTV broadcast station. Lunch at 12:00 Noon at the National Digital Television Center at 4100 East Dry Creek Road, brief business meeting and Brad!

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Chapter 48's Next Meeting...

...will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 1998 at TCI's National Digital Television Center. Lunch in the Digital Diner start as 12:00 noon. No technical program is planned.

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1998 SBE / SMPTE / SCTE MEETING SCHEDULE

Wednesday 21 October - 12:00 Noon at NDTC.

18 November - Elections SBE - VAC (Video Accessories Corporation) New facility in Louisville tour. Time TBA.

19 November THURSDAY - Real Coverage Mapping presented by Al Jason, sales manager for Jampro Antennas (www.cmbe.com). Ah, a good old terrestrial RF topic.

16 December - No Meeting

1999 Schedule

20 January - Dennis Roundtree of Industrial Power Systems will cover back-up power systems. Location TBA

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Tools and Toys for Creative Success

The 15th Rocky Mountain Film and Video Expo is slated for October 14th and 15th at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center at I-70 and Chambers Road. A joint effort of Burst Communications, Inc., CEAVCO Audio Visual Co., Film Video Equipment Service Co., and Waxman's Industrial Network, Inc., the Expo will feature over 150 exhibitors displaying the latest in equipment and technology.

This year's show features over 20 "Short Takes", quick presentations held right on the exhibit floor. These sessions cover a wide variety of timely subjects, including production, post production, audio, digital technology, and business issues such as marketing and financing. "Short Takes" are so popular the Expo has doubled the curriculum of free sessions.

The film and video industry continues to sizzle in the Rocky Mountain area, especially in Colorado. Benefiting from the booming area economy and an incredible influx of high-tech businesses, already well-entrenched media and communications companies ccontinue to grow. The Expo is the must-attend industry event in the region.

For more information, contact ExpoMasters at (303) 771-2000 in Denver.

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Fujitsu Announces New Technology

>> 10/20/98 11:50 SBE Chapter 2

Fujitsu Ltd. announced that it had developed a new technology that it calls alternate lighting of surfaces for high-resolution plasma display panels. These panels are expected to be suited to high-definition television displays. The technology incorporates a new plasma structure and drive method that displays upward of 31 million dots and 1000-plus scan lines -- more than double the 480 scan lines in current plasma display panels. The company has applied for a number of patents related to the new technology.

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Echostar communications

EchoStar Communications announces they will begin interactive broadcasting to personal computers via satellite in the fourth quarter of this year. Initial programming will include music related shows, along with traditional talk or chat rooms. Business, information, news and movie channels will follow shortly. PC owners would have to install a specially designed PCI card, and perhaps a separate dish from the one used for DBS to receive the scheduled programming.

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Chairman's Thoughts

George Shank, Chapter 105

It seems as though the relentless heat is getting to everyone and everything it can. Broadcast transmission equipment is failing, tempers are short and no where is the effect as pronounced as it is in the Engineering  Departments of Radio and TV Stations. Recently, a member of the sales department at my station made a crack that the engineers must not be working because he never saw us sweating. The problem is, he is at one location and we are at another. They hardly see us at all. It's been tough to maintain a professional appearance, attitude and demeanor in all this heat. And remarks like that are no help.

As I pondered the effects the weather is having on engineers and the equipment we take care of, I also considered the idea of what makes us professionals at what we do. I won't go into all the definitions of a professional. Some say experience. Others would say it's credentials you have hanging on office walls. But I think before you can call yourself a professional, you have to be committed to the profession you work in. Not for the monetary rewards or even the rare compliment you may receive; but strictly for the satisfaction of doing what you enjoy, and doing it well.

That seems to be getting increasingly hard to do, in this age of consolidation; with owners and managers wanting the engineers to do everything but real engineering. It's on those occasions when someone makes a wise crack or fails to appreciate the work you've done that professionalism kicks in and keeps you motivated. I think we have a great group of professionals in our local SBE hapter. It's the encouragement I've received from my peers that has kept me motivated to remain in broadcasting, while other have abandoned it for more lucrative professions. It's my motivation for attending as many SBE gatherings as I possibly can. The opportunity to network with other professionals who appreciate what you do; because they do it too! I hope that it's yours as well. Join us every chance you get, and bring a fellow broadcaster. Take part in chapter projects and leadership.

Get SBE Certified. Encourage young people to join our profession. Encourage fellow engineers. Be a professional!

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Service that HVAC!

Chapter #3

The time has passed when you have now discovered which air conditioners in those remote microwave sites should have been serviced last February or March. If you had to install a new unit at one of your sites, be sure and mention to your service man that the unit will be running all season long (assuming your building is well insulated). A kit can be installed that turns on a crankcase heater in cold weather, assuring proper lubrication of the compressor. It doesn't cost an arm and a leg, but it will lengthen the life of your air conditioner. If you want to get ahead of the curve on preventative maintenance for the next big event, you may want to check the caulking and insulation on your shack, plug any holes found, then stock up on DCon or other rodent chow before the weather makes the little varmints want to come inside out of the cold. You may want to look at the access road too. A bit of grading or a load of gravel could make a difference this winter.

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Tower Registration

Mike Szabo, Chapter 70

About a week ago someone asked me if I was aware that the Tower Registration Number had to be posted at the base of the tower. Although the January - February '97 filing window for Ohio has long been closed, some people are still not clear on this subject. It seems that this rule has slipped by unnoticed, even though it is stated at the top of Form 854R - the Registration Certificate. I thought it would good to devote this month's column to the subject. Section 17.4(g) of the Commission's Rules states that, with the exception of certain historic structures, "the Antenna Structure Registration Number must be displayed in a conspicuous place so that it is readily visible near the base of the antenna structure. Materials used to display the Antenna Structure Registration Number must be weather-resistant and of sufficient size to be easily seen at the base of the antenna structure." The Commission's rules also do not prohibit multiple postings of the Registration Number. If the Number is not accessible (visible) when perimeter fences are locked, an additional posting at the entrance gate is required. An inspector will most certainly check to be sure the station is in compliance with this rule. The number(s) must be posted. Before leaving the subject of Antenna Registration, everyone should also be aware that immediately upon receipt of Form 854R the tower owner must provide a copy of the form to each FCC Licensee using the structure. If you are leasing tower space and have not yet received a copy of the Registration Certificate, it would be wise to contact the owner and ask for your copy. For detailed information on this subject visit the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau on the Web at: http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/antenna/.

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Board Elects Newest Fellow

The Society of Broadcast Engineers will welcome its newest Fellow inductee during the SBE National Meeting in Bellevue, Washington, October 28. Terrence M. Baun, CPBE, of Milwaukee, has been elected a Fellow of the Society. To be elected a Fellow, a member must have rendered conspicuous service to the Society or made a valuable contribution to the advancement of broadcast engineering. Baun is Immediate Past President of SBE and also serves as Certification Committee Chairman. A complete story about Terry will appear in the November/December issue of the SBE SIGNAL.

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DTV Broadcast First

Chapter 3

WKOW and COMARK Communications claimed another first in DTV broadcasting; full power Nminusone NTSC and DTV transmitters combined into a single antenna. The Madison Wisconsin station is now on the air with 2,500 kW ERP (peak ) NTSC on channel 27 and 172 kW ERP (average) DTV on channel 26. The two channels are combined in a Dielectric Communications combiner and sent through one transmission line to a dual channel Dielectric UHF antenna. Terry Kelly, Executive Vice President of WKOW owner Shockley Communications said that even though the combiner is a prototype device, it could have a lot of impact. He commented From our first digital signal tests, there appears to be minimal interference with (channel) 27 (NTSC). We have to do some careful electronic testing, but we are very encouraged by what we are seeing. COMARK supplied the analog and digital transmitters used at WKOW and worked with Shockley to implement the dual channel system.

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Job Postings

Electronic Specialist II
University of Colorado at Denver
Auraria Media Center
Temporary Full and Part Time Positions
available up to 6 months MAXIMUM
$15.65/hr

Provides technical support and repair on video, audio, multimedia display systems and audio-visual equipment to support classroom instruction.

Minimum Qualifications: Three years of technical experience repairing, performing maintenance, installing, modifying, calibrating, certifying and/or fabricating equipment and facilities related to the work assignment. Equipment and facilities may be primarily telecommunications equipment and facilites, precision measuring equipment or other electronic equipment and facilites. Ni phone calls please. To aply, mail resume and cover letter to: Auraria Media Center, Electronic Specialist, Laurence at 11th Street, Denver, CO 80204. You may also fax the same to: (303) 556-4544. Include Electronic Specialist on fax cover sheet. EEO/AA Employer.

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Plan Ahead

Chapter 67

The PUC has finalized and issued the timetable for the new Dallas area code (469). The start date will be July 1999. It will overlay the entire present 214 and 972 areas.

On December 5, 1998, 10 digit dialing will be mandatory for the 214, 972, and of course the new 469 when it comes on line.

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National Meeting In Seattle

Check out the August/September issue of the SBE SIGNAL for information about the 1998 SBE National Meeting in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue. It's being held in conjunction with Chapter 16's Electronic Media Expo, October 28-29. Although targeted for those in the Pacific Northwest, anyone may attend the event. It includes technical papers and a large exhibit hall - for free! Ennes Workshops and the SBE National Awards Dinner will both be held on Wednesday, October 28. There is a charge for the Workshop, which includes lunch, and tickets to the Awards Dinner are just $10. Craig Tanner, Executive Director of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, will be the keynote speaker. To register, visit the Electronic Media Expo web site at www.emexpo.org.

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New Building in Chicago

Chapter 67

PRIME GROUP of Chicago has been planning and will request zoning for a 2,000' $600 million building at 300 N LaSalle. The proposed building calls for about 65 stories of offices, a 30 story hotel, and 10 floors of luxury condominiums topped off with an observation deck, about 10 more stories of transmission equipment and capped by a 400' antenna. The Chicago 1,450' SEARS TOWER was the world's tallest building from 1973-1996 when the 1,483' Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur was completed. If this building is built, there will be lots and lots of research and studies to determine which stations will decide to relocate to the new site.

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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@carbon.cudenver.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@carbon.cudenver.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.