A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

November 2000


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Contents

Chapter 48's Next Meeting
The Chairman's Corner
PDX Radio Waves
Does HQ Have Your Current E-Mail Address?
Scott Studios And Computer Concepts Merge
Zenith DTV Transmission Seminar
FCC Head Blasts TV Broadcasters As 'Spectrum Squatters'
FCC Visit
The End User
You Just Might Be A RF Engineer If
Top 20 Signs You've Been In TV Too Long
Security Sense
Registration Among Hams
Industry's First Supervisory Circuits To Operate At 220 nA
Etc.

Chapter 48's Next Meeting...

...will be held Tuesday, November 14th at 6:00 PM

Location: Columbine JDS, 1999 Broadway 42nd Floor

Directions: Columbine is located in Downtown Denver in the tower at 19th and Broadway. Enter the building at 19th & Welton (Which is also 19th and Broadway)...

Topic: Video and Audio Streaming - The Broadcast Experience

Join us for a "round table" discussion on the subject of streaming audio and video. An open discussion will be led by Richard Tyrell-Ead, Director of Operations and Engineering for Columbine and Steve Peck, Senior Sales Executive. We expect a good turn-out for a hot topic that will explore experiences, problems, and needs for this important area of development.

Refreshments and Sandwiches provided by Columbine JDS

We expect to adjourn at approximately 7:30 pm.

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The Chairman's Corner

Ron Vincent, SBE Chapter 48

I'd like all SBE members to remember that we will be holding elections for new officers for the chapter at the November meeting.

We want to recognize the Rocky Mountain Film & Video Expo 2000 sponsors. Thanks to Burst Communications, Ceavco Audio Visual Company, Film/Video Equipment Service Co, Inc, the ExpoMasters, Inc. for marketing and sponsoring a great show. Also, thanks to all the many exhibitors. As reported, the Expo is the largest regional show of its type in the country. The knowledge was there for the asking and it was great sharing with others in the industry. This year's attendance is being reported at approximately 1800 - an increase from last year. Your interest in this Expo will help it continue to be a success. Mark your calendars for next year's date, October 10th & 11th, 2001, same location. See you there!

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PDX Radio Waves

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

NAB RADIO IN SAN FRANCISCO The term "Radio Broadcaster" is rapidly taking on an extended meaning, as was clearly evident at the Fall NAB Radio Show in San Francisco. The floor and the sessions were dominated by discussions of internet broadcasting and commerce. There were several manufacturers showing "Internet Radios". The "Kerbango", for example, is a standalone table-top AM/FM/Internet Radio with an LCD screen, which can directly tune in internet broadcasters using any broadband connection. Others, such as the Acer iRhythm (which I won in a contest) are 900 MHz-based remote internet tuners and receivers piggybacking on an existing PC, and can also remotely access audio files on the host computer's hard drive. The initial fear and loathing among some broadcasters about the future impact of internet radio on their audience has largely given way to opportunity, as more and more radio broadcasters stream on the net. Several studies presented at the show suggested that internet radio listeners reduce their time spent listening to broadcast radio only slightly, and are listening to the streams of local broadcast stations nearly half the time. Time-spent-listening (TSL) to streaming audio appears to impact TV usage much more than radio.

Of bigger concern to local broadcasters is satellite radio. Both XM and Sirius announced that they were nearly ready to commence regular on-air operations. Both are expecting to offer up to 100 formats, including such narrowly- targeted offerings as sci-fi radio dramas, bluegrass, reggae, and whoever-is- hot-this-week-with-teens, all-the-time. Car radios with the capability to receive both services should also appear late next year. In the major metro areas, both will rely on a network of terrestrial repeaters for fill-in coverage. XM is said to be planning about 1,500 such units. Broadcaster enthusiasm for IBOC-FM may actually be waning slightly, which is not helped by the emerging likelihood that current transmitters with Class C RF amplifiers may not have sufficient linearity to pass the IBOC digital sidebands. Some might be modifiable to Class A operation (with far less power and efficiency); others will need to be replaced or combined with an IBOC sideband transmitter.

ERI was already showing an IBOC-optimized FM combiner. I sensed continuing strong broadcaster support for IBOC-AM, with its quantum leap to 15 kHz stereo. I heard from several sources that now is the time to buy AM stations - the possibility of a rebirth of music on AM with IBOC could greatly increase their value. The 48 kbps PAC-encoded audio for IBOC-AM is considerably better (less image shifting, swishing, and graininess) than the earlier efforts of USADR, but it still sounds "synthetic".

During the week, the FCC released a Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration on LPFM, which reinstated 3rd adjacent protections for stations that provide radio reading services for the blind, provided some level of protection for translator input frequencies, and provided expedited complaint resolution procedures if there are 3rd adjacent interference problems to any full-power station. These changes were partially in response to the concerns previously filed by NPR, whose board of directors met on the last day of the NAB convention. Despite heavy lobbying by the pro-LPFM forces, NPR announced just before press time that they will continue their opposition to the service. Several Senators apparently base their views on those of NPR. As a result, it now looks fairly likely that the Senate will pass an anti-LPFM bill (as a rider), before adjournment.

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SMPTE Members! Does HQ Have Your Current E-Mail Address?

From Rocky Mountain SMPTE chair Rome Chelsi

If you are not getting email notifications about local chapter activities, it is because you either do not have or have an incorrect email address on file with SMPTE. Please send your current email address to Daureen Matera at SMPTE HQ : dmatera@smpte.org. SMPTE then advises us of the change. You also should send updates to Rome Chelsi, Section Chair at romec@compuserve.com.

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Scott Studios And Computer Concepts Merge

[From the BERadio site (http://www.beradio.com/html/Homeset1.htm)]

Scott Studios Corporation of Dallas and Computer Concepts Corporation of Lenexa, KS, have announced that they have contracted to merge ownership of the two companies. Both companies create touch-screen digital-audio recorders for radio broadcast studios in a range of prices and features. All existing products of both companies will continue to be sold, serviced and supported, and each company will keep its own name. The best features of each will be added to other models. The Computer Concepts and Scott Studios combination are in 3,500 stations in the U.S. After the merger, Scott and Computer Concepts will have more than 100 employees in product development, sales and marketing, installation and training, customer service, and finance and administration. One-third of the employees are in Texas, one-third in Kansas and the rest are near customers across the U.S. to deliver the best service for the radio industry. Administration and most production will eventually be consolidated in Texas, but Computer Concepts support, software, training, research and development and sales office will remain in Kansas.

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Zenith DTV Transmission Seminar

Philip Titus PTITUS@media.utah.edu

Dear SBE Chapter presidents and members:

We have finally fixed a date for the Zenith Transmission seminar. We will be providing 2 different opportunities for an examination of the issues.

First, a one-day seminar, sponsored by DTV Utah and SBE Chapter 62, and given by Zenith Electronics Corporation. This seminar will cover the ATSC's digital television (DTV) VSB transmission system which has been selected by the FCC's new terrestrial broadcast standard for the United States. It will also cover the new COFDM developments. This seminar will run from 8:30am to 4:30pm on Wednesday, November 29th. A light luncheon will be provided.

Second, in addition to the seminar, Zenith will also present a non-technical equipment demonstration, especially designed for management and congressional representatives, to be held Thursday, November 30, 2000. Zenith engineers, Gary Sgrignoli and Steve Heinz, will teach the seminar and give the demonstration of commercial and consumer DTV transmission equipment as well as a comprehensive explanation of the COFDM issues. Because of the importance of the subject, we are strongly suggesting that you invite your state congressional representatives to attend.

Several tours have also been arranged that may be of particular interest to members of your chapter, station management personnel, and your congressional representatives, which will include a tour of KSL-TV's digital broadcast facilities and other telecommunications sites.

Space is limited and registration for the seminar closes November 15, 2000. We are in the process of putting together a flyer for you to share. When it is complete, I will email it to you. In the mean time, the information will be posted on our SBE web page located at www.broadcast.net/~sbe62. Give us a few days to get the stuff posted.

--Phil

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FCC Head Blasts TV Broadcasters As 'Spectrum Squatters'

By BOB BREWIN

(October 11, 2000) Federal Communications Commission Chairman William Kennard called TV broadcasters "spectrum squatters" who hoard "the most valuable resource of the Information Age" and urged Congress to start charging the stations fees to force them to give up one of the two channels they now occupy. Kennard, in a speech he gave yesterday at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York, said Congress allocated a second channel to broadcasters at no cost to allow them to broadcast digital TV (DTV) signals while at the same time continuing to air programs on their original frequency. He valued this free spectrum at $70 billion and called it "the biggest government giveaway since Peter Stuyvesant bought Manhattan from the Indians for $24." The broadcasters can operate on both channels until 2006 or until over-the-air DTV serves 85% of the U.S. market. "Given the way that broadcasters are dragging their feet at the moment," Kennard said, "we may not see that level of DTV penetration until 2025."

Edward Fritts, chairman of the Washington-based National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), in a terse statement said, "Despite the best efforts of broadcasters, digital television's potential remains in part unfulfilled because of FCC inaction on several critical issues." The NAB said 135 stations are currently broadcasting DTV. "It is regrettable that Chairman Kennard has failed the test of leadership. Sadly, he is trying to shift the blame for a faltering DTV transition," Fritts said. "Congress gave the FCC authority to require all television sets to receive DTV channels, but it has not," Fritts continued. "Congress gave the FCC the authority to establish DTV/cable interoperability rules, but it has not. Congress gave the FCC authority to require cable systems to carry DTV stations, but it has not." The FCC intends to auction the portion of the airwaves currently used by broadcasters to air digital signals -- channels 60 to 69 -- next spring for advanced, high- bandwidth mobile telephone and data services. But companies that win that multibillion-dollar lottery can't use the spectrum until the TV stations shift their digital service back to their original frequencies in the channels 2 through 13 band. The new mobile licensees may have to pay the broadcasters to speed up that shift. Kennard said Congress could speed up the process by imposing a "spectrum-squatters fee" on broadcasters, starting in 2006.

Lawrence Grossman, former president of both NBC News and the Public Broadcasting System, agreed with Kennard's statements about the broadcasters, but added that he would have gone further in seeking fees from station owners for use of the spectrum. Grossman said he believes broadcasters should pay fees all the time for spectrum use. "If oil companies pay (the government) for drilling (offshore) and cable companies pay franchise fees, why shouldn't broadcasters? Right now there is no quid pro quo (for the spectrum)." That would also would eliminate the need for television stations to operate in "the public interest, which is a mirage, and we should not expect corporations to operate in the public interest."

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FCC Visit

From SBE Chapter Nine - Phoenix, AZ

Surprise, Surprise KSAZ had the pleasure of entertaining a surprise guest at 9:00 Am one Wednesday morning, the FCC. She was only interested in our compliance with the EAS requirements. She looked at our station logs, which included checking our received weekly tests documentation against her list of times the primary and backup sent their weekly tests. She revealed that she was stationed in San Diego and Washington called and told her that there was some funds left to do some inspections. But since Phoenix was so close, she should drive. She asked the master control operator to show her how to run a weekly test and where the instructions and procedure books were posted. She was curious to know if we had the old authenticator list. She told us everything was in order and left in a slight hurry without even saying goodbye or thank you as she went out the door.

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The End User

by Richard Jones, CPBE
Chapter 16, Seattle

In communications--Qwest Communications has taken over U.S. West and will now provide phone service for the Western United States (except California). What does that mean for us? According to sources inside the phone company, service will not show any significant improvement and could get worse due to the overwhelming numbers of people moving into our area thereby compressing our population. That puts pressure on a new company in its attempt to provide service.

COMPUTER STUFF - Those who have been in the TV biz for awhile may have noticed a major revolution taking place. It's becoming inescapable. Many television facilities are or have eliminated videotape recorders ENTIRELY. Many local station and networks have dumped their VTRs and put all programming and shorter spots on computer servers. This will continue as long as 'puters get more powerful. Bigger harddrives are probably the biggest motivators. Many hours of television programming can be stored on one or more harddrives. Many design adjustments have been made that allow for the portability and removal of harddrives. Program material can be moved from one computer to another. The Public Television Network transmits all of its programming from computers over satellite channels in digital form. All member stations use digital decoders upon reception allowing for clean feeds of its programming.

First, find a nice new picture you might like on the Internet. Position your cursor over the picture. Now right click (click the right button, once) Instructions will pop up in Windows 95, 98, NT. Choose the once that says "set as wallpaper". Exit and you will find a new pic with all of your icons placed over it. Other options will make themselves available. One important thing, you will have to rename the picture in your wallpaper directory so the next time you do the same thing it won't wipe out your original picture.

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You Just Might Be A RF Engineer If You/Your:

Give people directions with radio towers for landmarks.
Automobile has more antennas than a Channel 4 News Van.
Think your bedroom would look nice with some Smith Chart wallpaper.
Want a vector network analyzer for Christmas.
Idea of DC is anything below 100 MHz.
Idea of an ideal vacation is a visit to a radio telescope facility.
Still own a slide rule and you know how to work it.
Have at least four different kinds of coaxial cable in your workshop.
Asked to measure something and you give the result in wavelengths.
Rather talk about I/Q modulation techniques than sports.
Have a dog named Klystron.

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Top 20 Signs You've Been In TV Too Long

From Fred Baumgartner

20) Your dining room is set up for 3-point lighting
19) Your date says to pick her/him up in 45 minutes, and you wonder if she/he meant drop-frame or non-drop-frame
18) You replaced your trusty hemostat with a lavaliere clip
17) Your home movies are preceded by :45 bars and tone
16) You run into a guy who says he's gonna shoot the Governor, and you remind him to get some good B-roll
15) The photography on the 6:00 news makes you laugh
14) Your bathroom fluorescence are gelled with CTO
13) Your kids' names: Lowel, Mic, Bogen, little Chimera, and the twins: Ike/Gami
12) Your car CD mix cost you a fortune in needle-drop fees
11) You've prayed for the death of Bob Saget many times (ok, so maybe not just video people!)
10) You dream everything in chroma green
9) You asked the car salesman how much it would cost to get an aftermarket Tyler mount
8) You think the sonogram could use some rotoscope work
7) Your friends refuse to watch television with you anymore
6) Terms like "best boy," "key grip," and "second unit" no longer make you chuckle
5) Someone is describing a great new self-help book to you, and you say "just tell me the poster."
4) Twenty bucks for a roll of tape doesn't sound that unreasonable anymore
3) You see the latest Salma Hayek flick for the production values
2) After an embarrassing performance with your partner, you tell her/him you'll fix it in post
1) You thought, "Yeah, so?" after reading any of these

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Security Sense

by Clay Freinwald
Seattle Chapter 16

With all the violations of security taking place these days...here are some suggestions for improving things around the plant in the area of choosing new passwords for your various systems

1. Minimum length, 8 characters.
2. Words used should not be in ANY dictionary.
3. Words or phrases should not have any connection to the holder.
4. On second thought...don't use words.
5. No use of King James English permitted.
6. Use of passwords that require the use of character sets not normally found in the software in use is encouraged, provided the sysop pre-approves the use.
7. To prevent OTS (over the shoulder) security breaches, all password entries and related activity shall be done with the monitor turned off.
8. User must, prior to use, prove that the password chosen has not been used by any other user of common or networked systems.
9. Color passwords are acceptable, provided that they use a minimum of 32 colors.
10. Passwords must contain both upper and lower case characters as well as use at least 2 numbers, provided those numbers are chosen at random.
11. Common words spelled backwards are not permitted.
12. Failure to change passwords at least 2 days prior to the password change reminder will result in 30 days of 'time out' from any further applications requiring passwords.
13. Choices made during a full moon shall be considered short term passwords and must be changed prior to the next lunar phase.
14. All breaches of password security shall be investigated by the company INSECT (Investigative Nasty Security Electronic Culprit Team) unit.
15. Those requiring additional information on password security shall immediately be terminated as they pose an obvious security risk.

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Registration Among Hams

Chapter 124, Portland

The FCC deployed the ULS (Universal Licensing System) for the Amateur Service just under a year ago, although registration has been available far longer. The question of how many hams now were ULS-registered arose during the July 21st meeting of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators, held in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Not even the FCC officials on hand had an answer. After the meeting, RC Smith W6RZA of the Greater Los Angeles VEC crunched some numbers to see if he could supply an answer for his colleagues. Starting with the 717,629 licensees in the FCC database at that point, Smith subtracted the 31,449 licensees determined to be expired but are within the two-year grace period. Sorting on the Licensee ID Number field, Smith came up with 129,947 ULS registrants, or 18.9% of the remaining 686,180 licensees. The FCC's Steve Linn, N4CAK, says the Commission ran its own numbers and came up with a similar figure--although without subtracting for those within the two- year grace period. "The quick run done here looked at all active records; 717,314; and how many had Licensee ID numbers, giving 18.1%," Linn said this week. "Take out the licensees in the grace period and we're in the same ballpark." During his comments at the Dayton Hamvention FCC forum, Linn encouraged amateur licensees to register with ULS to "lock in" their FCC records. All amateurs must be registered with the ULS in order to file applications with the FCC, even for such routine matters as a change of address or a license renewal. Registration requires that licensees supply a Taxpayer Identification Number, or TIN-a Social Security number for an individual. Some amateurs have protested that requirement, citing privacy concerns, but the FCC has maintained that it's bound by the Debt Collection Improvement Act to require it.

Last month, the FCC announced that it has begun implementing the new Commission Registration System, or CORES. Registration in CORES eventually will replace ULS registration, although the FCC has not indicated just when the switch will occur. Those already registered in ULS need not register again in CORES, however. Visit the FCC's Universal Licensing System website at www.fcc.gov/wtb/uls.
(ARRL) (From: Amateur Radio Newsline, Copyright 2000. http://www.arnewsline.org)

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Industry's First Supervisory Circuits To Operate At 220 nA

Establishing a new standard in power consumption for supervisory circuits, Texas Instruments has introduced supervisors that operate at 220 nA, which is about one-fourth the power when compared to competing devices found on the market today. Designers can use this new TPS383x family of ultralow-power supervisory circuits with integrated delay time to reduce system power consumption and increase system reliability in applications using low-power digital signal processors (DSPs), microcontrollers and microprocessors.

These new supervisory circuits provide circuit initialization and timing supervision for applications using low-power processors to ensure reliable operation of the digital systems. The TPS383x family joins TI's portfolio of supervisory circuits and is designed for low-power processors with supply voltages of 1.8 V, 2.5 V, 3 V and 3.5 V.

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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.