Broadcast Industry News
Broadcasting & Cable
Warns Commerce from backing off SEP Joint Policy Statement
ACT|The App Association, Apple and others representing $100 billion in R&D are calling on the Department of Commerce not to withdraw U.S. support from a 2013 Joint Policy Statement on standard essential patents (SEP). The Department of Justice withdrew at the beginning of the year.
That came in a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Andrei Iancu, head of the Patent and Trademark Office.
Standards essential patents are ones for technologies that are essential for the functioning of a baseline technology, like Qualcomm chips in smart phones.
Apple and The App Association said the 2013 statement "fully allows for appropriate monetary remedies if patent infringement is proven, while also recognizing appropriate limits for exclusionary relief when the SEP owner has instead promised to grant fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) licenses."
Stepping back from that statement could hurt the rollout of 5G, chill the development of connected devices, and more, they say.
Commerce has said that the “presence or absence of good faith during negotiations can be a factor in the setting of remedies for infringement of FRAND-encumbered SEPs." But Apple and company say that, as the 2013 statement recognizes, SEP injunctions can disrupt commerce and product development, so it should be tough to get an injunction.
"Any guidance that focuses on negotiation conduct without also expressly recognizing that the key factors weigh against SEP injunctions would both fail to faithfully reflect U.S. law and constitute poor innovation policy."
This is real cooking, mistakes and all. Ayesha invites you into her kitchen as she prepares six dishes. Plenty of real-time interaction with her viewers (and her stage crew!).
AYESHA CURRY’S LIFESTYLE BRAND AND CONTENT PLATFORM, HOMEMADE, AND AWARD-WINNING BELIEVE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, LAUNCH NEW CONTENT INITIATIVE,
Unilever brands, Hellmann’s and Best Foods, join as launch partners for real-time cooking series at ShopHomemade.com
(New York, NY – December 5, 2019) – Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning entertainment company, Believe Entertainment Group, and Dola Media, Inc., come together with Ayesha Curry, bestselling cookbook author, restaurateur, and founder of lifestyle hub Homemade, to launch a new content initiative, “Homemade Unfiltered,” that premiered in late November 2019 on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and ShopHomemade.com.
“Homemade Unfiltered” gives viewers the opportunity to cook alongside Ayesha Curry, in real time, with six episodes rolling out through mid-December. Each episode will feature Ayesha’s modern take on a classic recipe, including the Ultimate Fried Chicken Sandwich, Mexican Street Corn, Red Velvet Cupcakes, Oven Baked Chicken Tenders with a Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam, Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles, and Jalapeno Deviled Eggs. Dishes from the series will integrate either Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise, premium offerings from presenting sponsor Unilever. Links to the recipes will be made available in advance, so that fans can shop for all the ingredients they need before cooking along with the videos.
Beyond real-time cooking, additional episodes will feature an ever-expanding range of lifestyle topics and pro tips, including style, beauty, fashion, design, health and more.
“‘Homemade Unfiltered’ is going to be a fun, communal cooking experience,” said Ayesha. “No fancy edits. No pre-prepared dishes. This is REAL cooking as it happens, with mistakes and all, just as if you were really cooking with me in my kitchen.”
Believe Entertainment Group, in partnership with Dola Media and AC Brands, executive produce and physically produce the series, with Believe Entertainment Group responsible for bringing the project and its partners together.
“Social media has conditioned consumers to desire – and actually expect – direct, personal connections with their favorite public figures,” said Evan Fleischer, president, Believe Brand Studio at Believe Entertainment Group. “So, together with Ayesha, we developed a format that not only delivers on that desire, but takes it one step further: viewers feel like they’re actually there, at home with Ayesha, cooking right alongside her.”
“Homemade Unfiltered inspires people and families to make great things with their hands, hearts, and minds, without the pressure of being perfect. We are thrilled to help bring this format to our brand and media partners,” says Anthony Hemsey, Dola Media co-founder.
Ayesha will share the series on her social channels, a community of more than eight million followers across all platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
For recipes and further details for “Homemade Unfiltered” visit https://shophomemade.com/ and follow Homemade (Facebook and Instagram) and Ayesha Curry (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram and YouTube) on their social channels.
Believe Entertainment Group, a New York City-based entertainment company, recently earned an Academy Award, Emmy Award and Annie Award for Dear Basketball, an animated short film with Kobe Bryant, scored by the iconic John Williams, and animated by Disney legend, Glen Keane. Additionally, in April 2019 Believe held its second premiere at Tribeca Film Festival with a new feature-length documentary entitled Between Me and My Mind, centered around Trey Anastasio, the lead singer and co-founder of the band Phish, in partnership with Stickfigure. Believe partnered with country superstar, Martina McBride, and Luminary to launch a new podcast in September 2019, titled Vocal Point with Martina McBride.
Other stand-out BELIEVE projects include: The LeBrons, a multi-season animated kids series with NBA champion, LeBron James; In the Booth, a four-season follow-doc series with DJ/producer Tiësto; Tiger Beat Entertainment, a young-adult pop-culture digital video series with Jennifer Lopez; Money Where Your Mouth Is, a two-season “guys knowledge” game show with comedian Jay Mohr; Uncorked, a celebrity-driven food series featuring MTV’s Steelo Brim and guests like Mel B and Darren Criss; and Poker Nights, a scripted short-form comedy series featuring SNL’s Chris Parnell.
BELIEVE’s studio division has produced premium content for Time Inc., MGM Television, Yahoo, Comedy Central, STX Entertainment, Hulu, CBS, TruTV, Fuse, and Verizon, among others. Further, BELIEVE stands at the forefront of building premium content partnerships with the world’s leading brands, including: Intel, Chick-fil-A, Sprite, Nike, P&G, HP, McCormick, J&J, Microsoft, Marriott, Progressive, Moët & Chandon, Campbell’s, McDonald’s, U.S. Army, Dell, Clorox, and more.
Believe Entertainment Group is represented by CAA.
Ayesha Curry is a chef, restaurateur, New York Times Bestselling author, host and Executive Producer of ABC’s “Family Food Fight” and was featured on the prestigious 30 Under 30 list by Forbes Magazine. Her accessible approach to cooking has made her one of the most sought-after experts in food and lifestyle, and has amassed over 8 million avid social media followers and subscribers. The face of today’s modern “mompreneur," Ayesha is the founder of Homemade, a lifestyle brand and content platform for all things home and has her own line of cookware, bedding, jewelry, kitchen textiles, and meal kits. Ayesha is the co-founder of the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation which ensures an equal road to success for all kids. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her three kids, Riley, Ryan and Canon, and husband, Stephen.
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 5 DECEMBER 2019: Media asset management software provider IPV has confirmed details of new growth capital that will enable it to further expand the global reach of its acclaimed MAM product, Curator. The £4m Series A round was led by SME-focused venture capital firm Mobeus Equity Partners, with additional ongoing finance secured from Calculus Capital.
Mark Fagan, IPV CEO said, “Multiple industries are rapidly expanding their use of video but are facing significant challenges during the content creation process. Curator makes it easy to remotely edit, collaborate and publish high quality video content – enabling customers to ensure consistency of messaging and sustained audience growth via digital, online and mobile platforms.”
This capital will enable IPV to deliver the benefits of Curator to an even wider audience, expanding into areas of digital marketing, customer experience and enterprise video management.
IPV has built a market-leading client base that includes leading players such as HBO, Monster Energy, NASA, Nintendo, PGA Tour and Turner who use Curator to manage and create significant and complex video content across their organisations, wherever in the world their creative teams are based.
Rowan Grobler, Investment Manager for Mobeus, comments: “We are delighted to be leading an investment round into a business with a best-in-class product and a senior team of proven operators that, with further capital to support the sales and marketing function, will be well-positioned to target the digital marketing market both in the US and UK.”
Calculus Capital Co-Head of Investments, Richard Moore, said, “After the great progress of our initial investment, we’ve been proud to watch IPV transform itself into a globally recognised, leading video management platform with a notably enhanced client list. We are delighted to continue to support the company as video continues to grow exponentially as Curator is ideally placed to meet the substantial demand of this sector.”
IPV is a media asset management software provider whose flagship product, Curator, allows leading brands to intelligently create, search and automate video content at game-changing speeds. Based in Cambridge, UK, its customer base includes some of the world’s most successful broadcasters, content creators and aggregators, and blue-chip organisations active in markets ranging from retail to space exploration.
When it comes to attracting engaged and highly attentive viewers, there is nothing better than live sports. Ads that can be viewed during the biggest games gain premium exposure to a highly valuable, deeply engaged audience. This is especially true for highly-sought-after annual playoff games.
When it comes to attracting engaged and highly attentive viewers, there is nothing better than live sports. Ads that can be viewed during the biggest games gain premium exposure to a highly valuable, deeply engaged audience. This is especially true for highly-sought-after annual playoff games.
These days there is more competition to capture sports fans who can choose from a range of devices and platforms. Fans can now flit from screen to screen, diverting their attention and impacting overall engagement and attention. For brands and agencies looking to stand out among the crowd, the answer is simple – advanced advertising.
There are two key questions to consider when considering an advanced advertising solution:
- Can your campaign target your brand’s audience across multiple devices at just the right moments?
- Can you quickly and efficiently execute against your target audience in real-time?
The Addressable Advantage in Athletics
You may ask, “How can I ensure that my ads are being seen by the right viewers at the right times? After all, live sports garner thousands of hours of attention from audiences throughout every year.” The reply is that addressable advertising gives brands an opportunity to be strategic, relevant and dynamic with their ad budgets, connecting to custom audiences through selected demos, devices, platforms, locations and even behavioral attributions.
It all starts with the technology. With addressable advertising, the ad is sent to a DISH set-top box or dynamically inserted into a live stream via Sling TV, and delivered only when the TV or device is on and turned to the channel. This eliminates wasted impressions and offers greater efficacy and precision than linear buying, so you can be confident that you are fishing only where the fish are.
With addressable, not only can you advertise in-game during the most-watched sporting events, you can also reach your avid sports viewer regardless of when, where or how they are watching across devices. Plus, brands and agencies can receive robust campaign analytics and visibility into true attribution and ROI.
The Programmatic Push in the Playoffs
Programmatic advertising is another area of great value to advertisers. It offers bidding on live inventory in real-time, through private, automated contextual auctions on Sling TV. Advertisers can buy live impressions in the NBA games, college football, Monday Night Football – you name it – within seconds. Programmatic buying helps eliminate below-the-fold or wasted impressions, as well as fraud and safety concerns. Ads are dynamically served full-screen across multiple devices in an efficient, simple and brand-safe manner.
The AdPro (Addressable-Programmatic) Potential
Programmatic buying offers advertisers real-time access to live sports, including NBA finals or college Bowl games, as well as premium programming such as red-carpet events or hit TV shows.
An agency can target live sports viewers through AdPro auctions regardless of network, daypart or device. Combining the power of real-time automation with advanced addressable technology, it’s easier than ever to reach the right audience with the right ad at the right time through controlled, brand-safe private marketplaces.
Programmatic addressable is a way to hit the highly engaged viewers that everyone is looking to reach at scale and in real time. It’s a winning strategy.
Be Smarter with Sports
While there are a myriad of challenges for brands, agencies and data vendors looking to tap into the passion for live sports, there are solutions – new, proven ways to better reach the +17 million devoted fans who watch the NBA tournament and other immensely popular sporting events. Reach the highly-engaged sports enthusiast with advanced advertising.
TOKYO, JAPAN & SHENZHEN, CHINA – December 5, 2019 - Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV), Japan’s leading multi-platform entertainment powerhouse, is proud to announce that the company has released its first smart phone game arising from the highly popular animation IP HUNTER × HUNTER. The game was developed by Lantu Games and has been officially released in China on Tencent Platform. This marks the first time that Nippon TV’s International Business Development division has created a game from the many IP’s that they distribute as content for viewing platforms.
HUNTER × HUNTER is originally a manga written by Yoshihiro Togashi on “Weekly Jump”, a weekly manga magazine with over 50 years of success in the competitive industry. Nippon TV created the animation version that started airing in 2011 to immediate success, not only in Japan, but also has been sold to almost 200 territories globally.
Additionally, China was no exception to the global enthusiasm, and Nippon TV answered the heightened need for a smart phone game of HUNTER × HUNTER. The high attention toward the game has been eminent through the number of pre-registrations that exceeded over 8,210,000 people in China before its launch.
HUNTER × HUNTER continues to be a very popular IP, and its business has expanded from the original manga to animation and feature film (created, aired/streamed and distributed by Nippon TV which is a member of the Production Committee), to many other fruitful businesses that span from multiple successful merchandize realizations to even cafes.
Nippon TV is looking for new partners in other territories including Asia, Europe, USA and others, to develop local versions of HUNTER × HUNTER smart phone games in their territory. Please contact Nippon TV International Business Development at [email protected].
Mr. Sho Shimada, Sales and Licensing, International Business Development for Nippon TV said:
“HUNTER × HUNTER is phenomenally popular and enjoyed all over the world, including China. We believed that this highly successful IP would be very suitable content for an action game and it has been a dream of ours to create this for the fans. We are very pleased to have released the first smart phone game after several years of detailed development and preparation with our Chinese partners. I am confident that the fans in China will enjoy the world of HUNTER × HUNTER even more through this exciting new game. Nippon TV values the strength of this IP and we are also strategizing to find new opportunities with partners interested in creating their own version of the HUNTER × HUNTER game in their territory.”
ABOUT HUNTER X HUNTER GAME
Title of the game: HUNTER × HUNTER “Lieren” (Lieren is Chinese for hunter)
Publisher: Tencent Games
Licensor: HUNTER × HUNTER Production Committee
©POT (Yoshihiro Togashi) 1998-2011
HUNTER × HUNTER “Lieren” is a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) that reproduces the intriguing story and fantastic world of the HUNTER × HUNTER animation. In addition to being able to enjoy battles with the animation characters in this game, original elements such as sub stories and quests are also one of its most attractive features.
ABOUT NIPPON TV
Nippon TV is Japan's viewer ratings champion, topping all timeslot categories for five consecutive years and garnering the largest profits in the country's broadcasting industry. One of the biggest successes for the nation's finest producer of all genres of programming is Dragons' Den, a globally successful business show format that has more than 35 versions in territories across all continents of the world. The Emmy Award-winning version, Shark Tank, airs in the US. Following closely are the successes of scripted formats Mother and Woman -My Life for My Children-, whose Turkish versions have become mega-hits that have gone on to sell in nearly 40 territories around the world. As formats, Mother has also been sold toSouth Korea, Ukraine, and France, while Woman has likewise been acquired in France. With well-established businesses that span VOD / live-streaming engineering, animation, movies, events, fitness clubs, eSports, android creation, and digital mixed reality, Nippon TV is leveraging its coveted platform to revolutionize digital media in an ever-changing industry. Launching a channel in Southeast Asia named GEM through a joint venture with Sony Pictures Television Networks and leading the Japanese digital content market through its subsidiary Hulu Japan, Nippon TV is steadily solidifying its presence and brand as a global media powerhouse.
‘Survivor’ ticks up on CBS as castaways get family visits
Fox won Wednesday ratings with a robust The Masked Singer. The network scored a 1.2 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 6 share. That topped the 0.9/5 that NBC put up.
The Masked Singer fell 5% to 1.8 and the premiere of the Denis Leary Christmas comedy The Moodys got a 0.7. About a dysfunctional family celebrating the holidays, Fox airs two more episodes Dec. 9 and 10.
NBC had The 87th Annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center from 8 to 10 p.m. at 1.1 and Making It at a flat 0.5. Christmas in Rockefeller Center did a 1.3 last December.
CBS did a 0.8/4 and ABC a 0.6/3. CBS had Survivor up 9% at 1.2 as the contestants saw visiting family members and SEAL Team was down 13% for a 0.7. A SWAT repeat closed out prime.
ABC had The Goldbergs at 0.8 and Schooled at 0.6, both down a tenth. Modern Family got a 0.9 and Single Parents a 0.6, before Stumptown posted a 0.5. The latter three were flat.
Telemundo and Univision both scored a 0.4/2. Telemundo had El Sultan at 0.3 and El Final Del Paraiso and El Senor de los Cielos both at 0.4. All three were level with last week.
Univision had Ringo at a flat 0.5. La Rosa de Guadalupe and El Dragon were both down a tenth, Rosa at 0.4 and Dragon at 0.3.
The CW did its usual 0.2/1, with Riverdale and Nancy Drew both at a level 0.2.
Likens President Trump to oppressive monarch, threat to Constitution
Saying she wished the President's actions had not put her in that position, a somber looking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took to the televised podium Thursday to announce the House would proceed with drawing up articles of impeachment against President Trump, likening him to King George III, against which America rebelled to produce its experiment in democracy.
To a flurry of camera flashes and whirs, Pelosi stepped to the microphone to associate President Trump with an oppressive monarch and suggest he was an ongoing domestic enemy to the Constitution, the integrity of elections and the nation's security.
The speaker said she was asking committee chairs to draw up those articles, which would make President Trump only the third President to be impeached (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were the other two, with Richard Nixon resigning under the threat of certain impeachment and likely conviction).
The House must vote to improve the articles, then, if so, the Senate will hold the trial and have the ultimate vote on whether or not to remove the President--a very unlikely outcome given the Republican's control of the Senate and support of the President, or at least opposition to impeachment.
First quoting and then taking her cue from the Declaration of Independence, Pelosi said:
"In the course of today's events, it becomes necessary for us to address, among other grievances, the Presidents failure to faithfully execute the law."
She said the Constitution anticipated the potential return of a monarch in the form of a president who might be bribed by a greater interest to betray his trust.
Pelosi used some of the same language justifying impeachment articles that were used by the Democrats' witnesses--three law professors and constitutional scholars in a Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing the day before.
As had concluded those academics in no uncertain terms, Pelosi said the facts were uncontested that the President had abused his power for personal political gain at the expense of national security by withholding aid and a meeting until an announcement of an investigation into his political rival (former Vice President Joe Biden).
Pelosi cited that hearing testimony from the Democratic witnesses in announcing her decision--the Republican witness said there was insufficient fact evidence to support impeachment.
New York-based programs launch Jan. 6
E! said it has hired Lilliana Vazquez and Scott Tweedie to co-host its two new New York-based morning news shows.
The new shows, scheduled to launch on Jan. 6, are E! News at 7 a.m. ET/PT and Pop of the Morning at 11 a.m. ET/PT.
The shows will focus on pop culture, lifestyle and entertainment stories and will originate from the Comcast building at 30 Rockefeller Center and replace reruns of E! original prime time shows.
E! News will be more light-hearted, while Pop of the Morning will that a more in-depth and irreverent approach, according to the network, part of Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit.
“After spending 19 years in morning television, I know the importance of waking up with hosts you truly connect with and want to share your morning with. We’re excited to introduce you to that team,” said Tammy Filler, executive VP and editor-in-chief of E! News. “With many years of entertainment reporting experience, Lilliana Vazquez and Scott Tweedie are well-respected, seasoned hosts, who have fun, relatable TV personalities with undeniable chemistry. They are the perfect pair to join the news team as we continue to build our presence in New York.”
Vazquez has been a style expert and contributor to Today, E! News, Wendy Williams, The Talk and Rachael Ray Show. She’s also appeared on Access Hollywood and Access Daily.
Australian Scott Tweedie has been on Dancing With the Stars Australia, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Network 10’s morning show Studio 10 and was a host of The Loop, a weekly music program..
Studio to develop TV shows, films, live events
MRC said it bought film, television, live stage and related ancillary rights to the Eloise children’s books written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight.
The studio said it will work closely with Handmade Films, the Thompson estate, Knight and publisher Simon & Schuster to develop the property.
As streamers spend billions to add original content to their platforms, kids programming is one of the genres subscribers appear to be interested in.
“We are honored to be entrusted with bringing Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight’s beloved Eloise to life for a new generation of children, as well as all her ardent admirers throughout the years,” said MRC Film co-presidents Brye Adler, Jonathan Golfman and MRC Television president Elise Henderson. “We are thrilled to be once again partnering with Handmade and cannot wait to see what mishaps and adventures Eloise gets herself into.”
Handmade Films’ Trudi Francis will serve as an executive producer on all productions.
Eloise, first published in 1955, is about a child living in the Plaza hotel in New York with her dog Weenie and turtle Skiperdee.
“Eloise is a beloved, multi-generational little girl who has had over 60 years of great fun and adventures,” said Francis. “We are very proud to have been involved with Eloise since 2003, working with the late Kay Thompson’s family, Hilary, the team at Simon & Schuster and Stephen Miller at The Plaza Hotel. We have always ensured we respect the fond memories of existing fans, and now look forward to introducing her to a whole new generation, with our friends at MRC, with whom we are delighted to be working with again on a project very dear to us.”
‘Rossen Reports’ consumer segments to air on Hearst TV stations
Jeff Rossen, formerly of NBC News, is joining Hearst Television as chief national consumer correspondent, a new title within the local broadcaster. A former contributor to Today, he will work out of New York.
Rossen created Rossen Reports at NBC and grew it into a robust consumer reporting brand. Rossen Reports will air on Hearst Television’s broadcast, digital and mobile platforms.
“Jeff has brought relatability and trustworthiness to his impressive array of assignments, establishing a brand as America’s premier consumer reporter,” said Barbara Maushard, Hearst Television senior VP, news. “Jeff and Rossen Reports are a perfect fit for our efforts to bring to local viewers throughout the country stories that are impactful and relevant to their lives; Rossen Reports is an ideal complement to our growing investigative reporting initiatives, as underscored by our recent launch of a Washington-based investigative unit.”
For over a decade with NBC News, Rossen was a contributor to Today, NBC Nightly News, Dateline NBC, NBCNews.com, and the division’s mobile platforms. Rossen was also a rotating anchor for Weekend Today and MSNBC. He departed NBC early in 2019.
“Jeff is a unique talent with unbridled energy and creativity,” added Jordan Wertlieb, Hearst Television president. “We are very excited to have Jeff as part of Hearst Television and the opportunity to grow Rossen Reports across our portfolio.”
Rossen worked at WSYR Syracuse, WJBK Detroit and WABC New York earlier in his career. “Hearst Television is making a true commitment to original reporting that resonates with viewers and improves their lives,” he said. “There is no better partner to expand and grow the Rossen Reports brand, to develop new programming, and to innovate. Given Hearst’s wide array of platforms and its forward-thinking executives, I can’t wait to build an amazing team and get going.”
Criticized by Dems for policies, one Republican for process
The FCC and its Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, took hits from both sides of the aisle in an oversight hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee Thursday (Dec. 5).
Democrats were particularly pointed in their criticisms of the commission over broadband mapping, internet deregulation, merger approvals and the funding cap on the Universal Service Fund, among other issues.
House Energy & Commerce Committee ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) signaled that what the communications regulatory agency had was a failure to communicate.
Walden did not appear happy that he had to learn from a press release that the FCC was establishing a new nine-billion-dollar 5G rural subsidy fund, including a billion dollars for precision agriculture. He said it sounded good, but he had a lot of questions, including where the $9 billion is coming from and about the fact that there are still not accurate maps to show where broadband is and isn't.
"We expect to have a little more notice and a little more communication on some of these big announcements," he said, adding that that might have addressed some of the questions the FCC would be getting at the hearing.
Walden also signaled he did not appreciate not getting a heads up from Pai on his proposal to repeal the T-Band spectrum auction and retain it for public safety, a proposal Walden floated at the last FCC oversight hearing. He said he had not been taken up on his outreach on that offer, "so I must say I find it interesting that just last week the chairman called on Congress to repeal the T-Band auction mandate, which was not coordinated or discussed with me and my staff despite our efforts to find a solution."
Said it was voted first, analyzed later
FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is telling Congress that the commission's approval of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger was essentially a back-room deal with her Republican colleagues approving the meld before the FCC had fully analyzed it, followed by a political rewrite after the analysis was completed.
That came in testimony in an FCC oversight hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee Thursday (Dec. 5).
She told the panel that the merger, "by any metric," would raise prices, lower service quality, and impede innovation.
But she suggested the FCC was not going by metrics when the three Republican members made their decision to approve it. Rosenworcel and fellow Democrat Geoffrey Starks voted against the deal.
'[T]he FCC made this decision behind closed doors with an unacceptable lack of transparency. Three of my colleagues agreed to the transaction months ago without having any legal, engineering, or economic analysis from the agency before us. Then, once the agency finally had analysis produced by expert staff, key parts of the decision were rewritten by the FCC’s political leadership behind closed doors," she alleged. "This took place after a slew of meetings between FCC leadership and the merging companies and after the Department of Justice expert that had been tapped to lead our review had left the building."
Rosenworcel said the FCC should have to make public the initial draft of the item so Congress, the courts and the public can see what changed, and why.
Rosenworcel spent much of her prepared testimony reading the FCC the riot act, saying: "I wish I could report that this agency was promoting competition and protecting consumers. I wish I could report that this agency was abiding by its mission to promote public safety. I wish I could report that this agency has a long-term spectrum plan to set this country up for 5G leadership globally with a guarantee that all communities are connected here at home. I wish I could report that those most at risk of falling behind in the digital age were seeing new opportunities as a result of our efforts to extend the reach of communications to all," but clearly indicating that the current FCC's policies had failed to "meet this moment."
Adoption of over-the-top video fuels growth
Data science company 4C said annualized advertising spending running through its Scope by 4C platform has topped $2 billion.
In the third quarter, budgets directed through Scope increased 650% as spending on over-the-top, connected TV and e-commerce advertising grew.
The Scope platform helps marketers to build plans, manage audiences, execute campaigns, and measure outcomes across channels including TV, OTT, digital, social, and e-commerce. Brands can use Scope to extend their reach via direct inventory integrations with Amazon Advertising, Facebook Instagram, LinkedIn, NBCUniversal, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter as well as supply-side platforms such as clypd, FreeWheel, SpotX, and Telaria.
“We’re seeing the video and commerce landscapes organize into media environments that closely resemble those in digital, and more new channels are coming online all the time. At 4C, we’ve built the end-to-end technology that bridges these closed ecosystems and helps marketers achieve business results,” said 4C CEO Lance Neuhauser.
Will transition to counselor role
Comcast senior executive vice president David Cohen, the company's chief diversity officer, is stepping down from that operational post at the end of the year, but will remain a top adviser to the company and CEO Brian Roberts.
That is according to a Comcast filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which must notify the agency of the departure of top officers.
"On December 5, 2019, David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast, announced that he will step down from his operational responsibilities effective January 1, 2020, and then transition from Senior Executive Vice President to Senior Counselor to Comcast’s Chief Executive Officer beginning December 31, 2020," the filing said.
Cohen, who joined the company in 2002, has overseen corporate communications, government relations, regulatory and public affairs, corporate administration, real estate and security,
Karen Buchholz, senior VP of administration, will succeed Cohen as chief diversity officer.
Buchholz, who has been with the company for 19 years, has been deeply involved with Comcast's diversity inclusion initiative.
Various Comcast D.C. execs with lead duties in legislative, regulatory, legal will remain in place, reporting to Tom Reid, general counsel.
Said FTC should subpoena records
Almost three dozen privacy and child advocates want the Federal Trade Commission to subpoena records from various companies, likely including Google, Disney, Viacom, and others, before it makes any changes to its COPPA Rule, which enforces the Child Online Privacy Protection Act.
That is according to a copy of their comments to the FTC. The FTC is currently deciding whether and how to change that enforcement in the wake of complaints about how content providers target that audience with information and/or advertising and in turn, collect data from those kids.
COPPA requires operators of web sites targeted to kids or with actual knowledge that kids are using the site to obtain parental permission to collect, use or disclose personal information of anyone under 13.
The groups are not suggesting some specific malfeasance, just saying the FTC needs to collect more information before taking action, given ongoing concerns about data collection.
Groups calling for the subpoenas include the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Reports, the Campaign for a Consumer-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy.
"As kids are spending more time than ever on digital devices, we need the full power of the law to protect them from predatory data collection -- but we can't protect children from Big Tech business models if we don't know how those models truly work," said CCFC executive director Josh Golin. "The FTC must use its full authority to investigate opaque data and marketing practices before making any changes to COPPA. We need to know what Big Tech knows about our kids."
PARIS, DENVER, SINGAPORE, SAO PAULO, SYDNEY, 05 December 2019 – ATEME, the emerging leader in video delivery solutions for broadcast, cable, DTH, IPTV and OTT, announced today that CJ Hello, the largest cable operator and a leader in Korea’s media industry, has successfully deployed its TITAN Live software solution for MPEG-2 HD transcoding for delivery of high-quality video services to its viewers.
TITAN Live is a hardware agnostic, real-time multi-channel/format solution designed for processing SD, HD and Ultra HD content for any screen. TITAN Live enables CJ Hello to deliver a premium experience to its customers while providing the following major benefits:
· Lower OPEX: based on ATEME’s High-Efficiency MPEG-2 (HE-MPEG-2®), CJ Hello is able to save bandwidth and add additional HD channels to existing transponder
· Flexible operations: ATEME’s software is server-agnostic and can run on any private/public and on/off-premises cloud infrastructure with the same benefits and value proposition.
· Future-proof solution: TITAN Live benefits from ATEME’s continuous research and innovation in video quality, allowing for future evolutions of the solution
Kim Hongik, CTO, CJ Hello commented: “Having initially implemented ATEME’s TITAN solution to virtualize our traditional hardware-based technology last year, we are now pleased to choose ATEME again to deliver high-quality video services to our viewers. Its solution has the best video quality and offers more efficient MPEG-2 bandwidth saving than any other vendor while also providing unparalleled support, a flexible system architecture and operational simplicity.”
Boyang An, sales director, ATEME added: “Trust and loyalty are the essential building blocks for forming a long-term relationship with customers. By being chosen by CJ Hello again proves we have understood its priorities and the need to provide content of the best quality to its current and future audiences in millions of homes across Korea.”
Cypress, CA, December 4, 2019 – With some of the biggest names in sports scheduled to appear and workshops covering the most pressing technology topics, the 14 annual SVG Summit, is an integral event for those involved in sports production for broadcast, venue operations, college or team operations, asset management and digital/OTT.
FOR-A Corporation of America will be among the vendors at the Summit, which runs from December 16-17 in the NY Hilton Midtown in Manhattan. The company will showcase its comprehensive product integration with its range of video production switchers, video servers, graphics, playout, and all-in-one production systems at the company’s booth.
FOR-A’s SVG Summit booth will include: the HVS-490 HANABI switcher, Variant Systems Group’s Envivo Studio production suite and Envivo Replay sports and live event replay solution, ClassX content creation and graphics playout solution, and the ODYSSEY Insight video server.
The compact HANABI HVS-490 opens the door to more affordable 4K production. HDMI 2.0b specification support provides 4K output to a multi-viewer. Offering exclusive features, including MELite™ technology, which extends the switcher’s 2 M/Es to offer 6 M/E performance, the HVS-490 is designed for use in any live environment, including mobile shoots, events, and in-house corporate productions. The switcher provides users with event memory and macro functions, as well as integrated frame synchronizers and multi-viewers. It will be shown with its control panel, the HVS-492OU operation unit.
Just introduced at NAB 2019 in April, Variant Systems will showcase the new Envivo Studio in the FOR-A booth. Envivo Studio is an all-in-one live production system that includes a clip player, still store, shot box, live switcher, internal keyer, coaching review tool and powerful capabilities, including VDCP control, 24hr loop record inputs, and slow-motion replay.
Variant’s Envivo Replay, a complete replay solution, will also be on hand. Envivo Replay is packaged in an intuitive user interface with continuous multiple iso-channel recording capabilities, simultaneous clip storage of multiple angles to clip bins, playlists for highlights playback, built-in branding capabilities, direct publishing to social media platforms, and support for high speed super slow-motion cameras. Envivo Replay and Envivo Studio offers a complete live event workflow with FOR-A’s HANABI series of video switchers.
Both Envivo systems will be shown with a Dante audio interface, enabling the systems to support uncompressed, multi-channel, low latency digital audio over a standard Ethernet network. Studio and Replay also support NDI (Network Device Interface), a free protocol for Video-Over-IP.
A demo of the latest ClassX solution of 2D/3D character generation and live motion graphics and playout software integrated with FOR-A video switchers will also be part of the booth. ClassX’s graphics suite of solutions is popular with universities, digital signage, live event, and sports production applications. FOR-A is the exclusive distributor of ClassX in North, Central and South America. The agreement provides broadcasters and live event producers with the ability to create and play out ClassX real-time broadcast graphics integrated with FOR-A video switchers.
ODYSSEY’s Insight Production Server, a multi-channel playout system, will be on display as well. Available in a two- or four-channel configuration, the Insight server offers Web interface for control from any device with a web browser (no installation required). It provides a wide range of supported wrappers and codecs for media contribution and video play out with time delay playback.
Dante is a registered trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd.
NDI is a registered trademark of NewTek, Inc.
ViacomCBS to spend $13B on content annually
Viacom and CBS announced the completion of their merger, creating ViacomCBS.
The new company will account for 22% of U.S. TV viewership and invest more than $13 billion in content annually.
“This is a historic moment that brings together two iconic companies to form one of the world’s most important content producers and providers,” said Bob Bakish, president and CEO of ViacomCBS.
“Through the combination of CBS’s and Viacom’s complementary assets, capabilities and talented teams, ViacomCBS will create and deliver premium content for its own platforms and for others, while providing innovative solutions for advertisers and distributors globally,” Bakish said. “I am excited about the opportunity we have to serve our audiences, creative and commercial partners, and employees, while generating significant long-term value for our shareholders.”
Both CBS and Viacom are controlled by the family of Sumner and Shari Redstone. Shari Redstone, chairman of the new company, reportedly pushed for the merger.
Viacom and CBS were combined in 1999 and were split again by Redstone in 2005. At the time, Viacom with its youthful cable networks, was seen as the growth stock, while CBS, a more traditional broadcaster, was seen as the tortoise in the race.
But CBS maintained a high-rated broadcast network and raked in billions in retransmission and reverse compensation revenue. It also jumped into streaming early, with CBS All Access and a Showtime over-the-top product.
Viacom meanwhile struggled as young viewers left its networks in favor of more digital entertainment. Its ratings and ad revenue dropped and, without a broadcaster or big sports franchise, it had little leverage with cable and satellite distributors.
As the TV industry turned to streaming, a wave of mergers took hold in the media business in order to build scale to compete with Netflix and Amazon.
On Viacom’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call, Bakish laid out the benefits of combining with CBS.
Viacom and CBS have announced a series of management moves, in most cases eliminating executives with overlapping roles and responsibilities. He said there are opportunities for revenue synergies in distribution, advertising, content licensing and streaming. Those synergies are above $500 million in cost savings management is promising.
After CBS and Viacom reported earnings, Wall Street was concerned about spending on streaming content. Some of Bakish’s comments alleviated some of those worries.
“We are now a little more hopeful that a fresh perspective for the newly combined company can take a harder look at whether the returns from this incremental planned spending justify the investment,” said analyst Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson in a research note.
Since the merger was announced, Viacom and CBS have announced a series of senior management moves, largely designed to eliminate executives with duplicate functions.
Bakish, who ran Viacom, was named CEO and Joe Ianniello, who was acting CEO of CBS, is staying on to run the CBS-branded assets.
Former Showtime executive Christina Spade will be executive VP and chief financial officer and Christa D’Alimonte was named executive VP general counsel and secretary. She held a similar post at Viacom.
Nancy Phillips joined the company from Nielsen and will be executive VP, chief people officer.
On the content side, senior executives will include David Nevins, formerly chief creative officer of CBS and CEO of Showtime, and Chris McCarthy, president of MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo.
Nevins will oversee CBS Television Studios, the CBS Television Network’s entertainment division, Showtime Networks, Pop and programming for CBS All Access. He will also oversee CBS’s interest in The CW as well as BET, which is led by president Scott Mills.
McCarthy will be president of entertainment and youth brands, ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks. He will be adding Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel and TVLand to his portfolio.
The company’s digital businesses will be led by Marc DeBevoise, who had been president and COO of CBS Interactive. He becomes chief digital officer of ViacomCBS and CEO of CBS Interactive, adding Viacom Digital Studios to his portfolio.
Kelly Day continues as president of Viacom Digital Studios and Phil Wiser, chief technology officer of CBS, will be CTO for the combined company, reporting to DeBevoise.
Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV will continue to run the ad-supported streaming service acquired by Viacom earlier this year.
On the revenue front, Ray Hopkins, president of television networks distribution for CBS, will be president U.S. Network distribution for ViacomCBS.
Jo Ann Ross, who had been president and chief advertising revenue officer of CBS, takes a similar title for the combined company. John Halley, who had been executive VP and chief operating officer, ad solutions, at Viacom, will be chief operating officer, advertising revenue, and executive VP for Advanced Marketing Solutions, reporting to Ross.
Armando Nunez, president and CEO of CBS Global Distribution group and chief content licensing officer, becomes chairman, global distribution and chief content licensing officer for ViacomCBS.
Paula Kaufman continues as the combined company’s head of global consumer products.
‘Best of the best’ are back, and compete all alone
Survivalist series Naked and Afraid begins on Discovery Jan. 5. Each contestant is forced to find food, water and shelter, and make fire to survive. Discovery said the new season brings “the best of the best” together, with every contestant having previously appeared on Naked and Afraid or Naked and Afraid XL.
While the survivalists have been paired up in previous seasons, they compete alone this season.
“Dropped in Amazon jungles, the Balkan Mountains, or the African savannah with nothing and no one to watch their backs, tensions are at an all-time high as Naked and Afraid veterans take on the most intense challenge yet – surviving 21 days completely and utterly alone,” said Discovery.
This season includes Luke McLauglin (North Carolina), Gary Golding (California), Lacey Jones (Illinois) and Max Djenohan (Washington).
The show is produced by Renegade 83, an eOne company. David Garfinkle, Jay Renfroe, and Mathilde Bittner are executive producers. For Discovery, Gretchen Morning and Michael Gara executive produce.
Will instead create $9 billion rural 5G fund
FCC chair Ajit Pai says he plans to propose pulling the plug on the Mobility Fund Phase II program and instead create a 5G Fund that would put up to $9 billion toward Universal Service Fund support for 5G mobile wireless in rural areas.
He plans to circulate a notice of proposed rulemaking to that effect early next year, according to an FCC official speaking on background,
The FCC has been migrating its phone subsidy program to broadband, and is now going to migrate its Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) subsidy program to focus on the next generation of that wireless technology. That's because the FCC said the carrier data that was supposed to help the FCC target that Mobility Fund money could not be relied on.
That new 5G rural subsidy will be in the form of a reverse auction, which means bidders vying for money according to how inexpensively they could get the job done while meeting various service benchmarks.
The chairman said at least $1 billion of that fund would go toward precision agriculture, which has also been an avowed priority of President Trump.
The Phase II Mobility fund was to have gone to 4G LTE in unserved areas, but a report the FCC has just released found that data submitted by providers to help the FCC target those funds were not sufficiently reliable to proceed with that Mobility Fund Phase II.
"Specifically, FCC staff conducted thousands of speed tests to measure network performance and concluded that the MF-II coverage maps submitted by certain carriers [it named Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and T-Mobile] likely overstated each provider’s actual coverage and did not reflect on-the-ground experience in many instances," the FCC said.
The report recommended pulling the plug on the Phase II program and issue an enforcement advisory on submitting bad data.
“5G has the potential to bring many benefits to American consumers and businesses, including wireless networks that are more responsive, more secure, and up to 100 times faster than today’s 4G LTE networks,” said chairman Pai in a statement. “We want to make sure that rural Americans enjoy these benefits, just as residents of large urban areas will. In order to do that, the Universal Service Fund must be forward-looking and support the networks of tomorrow.
"Moreover, America’s farms and ranches have unique wireless connectivity needs, as I’ve seen across the country. That’s why I will move forward as quickly as possible to establish a 5G Fund that would bring next-generation 5G services to rural areas and would reserve some of that funding for 5G networks that promote precision agriculture. We must ensure that 5G narrows rather than widens the digital divide and that rural Americans receive the benefits that come from wireless innovation.”
New auxiliary power connector enables support for entire line of high-performance AJA KONA audio and video I/O cards
Sonnet Technologies today announced the launch of the Echo™ Express SE IIIe, the newest member of the company's award-winning Echo Express family of Thunderbolt™ 3 to PCI Express® (PCIe®) card expansion systems. The Echo Express SE IIIe is a compact desktop chassis that enables the use of up to three high-performance PCIe cards with computers equipped with Thunderbolt 3 ports. Replacing the popular Echo Express SE III, the SE IIIe supports AJA's complete family of KONA audio and video I/O solutions, including KONA 5, and has been upgraded with the addition of an auxiliary power connector to support cards that require more power to operate, and a new cooling fan for quieter operation.
"A portable video capture and playback setup is a necessity today for most video pros, and the Echo Express SE IIIe, with support for AJA KONA PCIe cards, provides great flexibility. The new auxiliary power connector is an exciting addition, allowing professionals to harness the power of Thunderbolt 3 connectivity with AJA KONA 5 with a smaller form factor PCIe card enclosure."
- Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems
What It Does:
The Echo Express SE IIIe enables users to connect three PCIe cards to computers lacking PCIe card slots. The SE IIIe features three x8 PCIe 3.0 slots, accommodates full-height, half-length+ (up to 7.75 inches long) PCIe cards, and connects them to a computer's Thunderbolt 3 port via the included 0.7-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable. With the addition of the auxiliary power connector, the SE IIIe now supports popular pro video I/O cards that were previously incompatible due to their extra power requirements. The SE IIIe provides two Thunderbolt 3 ports, with one reserved for connection to the computer, while the second supports daisy chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices plus two 4K monitors or one 5K display, or a single USB device. The system provides up to 15W of power to any connected peripheral or host.
Why It's Important:
Many pro video and audio users depend on notebook and laptop computers for their work, relying on outboard equipment connected to their computer — such as video capture and playback and audio DSP devices, for example — for connecting additional inputs and outputs, and processing data. Frequently costing much less than standalone devices, PCIe cards — originally designed for use in desktop computers — often mirror the functionality of outboard equipment, but cannot be installed into a portable computer. Sonnet's Echo Express SE IIIe enables users to save space and money by mounting three PCIe cards in a compact, portable enclosure, and connecting them to their computer through a single cable. The SE IIIe now features a Noctua NF-R8 redux-1800 fan, known for its low-noise operation, making the Sonnet chassis more suitable for use in noise-sensitive environments.
How It's Unique:
The Echo Express SE IIIe is the smallest multislot Thunderbolt-to-PCIe card expansion system available. It is also the only compact desktop Thunderbolt 3 expansion system with the auxiliary power connector required by certain PCIe cards — such as the AJA KONA 5 — in order to operate, a feature previously limited to Sonnet's full-size Echo Express III-D.
When You Can Get It:
The Echo Express SE IIIe (part number ECHO-EX-SE3E-T3) is available now at the suggested retail price of $499.99.
More Context: https://www.sonnettech.com/product/echo-express-se3e/ | www.sonnettech.com.
# # #
About Sonnet Technologies
Sonnet Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of Thunderbolt™ 3 to PCIe® card expansion systems; external graphics (eGFX) solutions for pro users and gamers; pro media readers; docks and adapters; and network, storage, and other interface cards for pro users in the audio, video, and broadcast industries. Sonnet's Thunderbolt expansion products enable the use of pro audio I/O and DSP cards, pro video capture and transcoding cards, GPU cards, network and storage interface cards, and other high-performance PCIe cards with Thunderbolt technology-enabled computers. For more than 30 years, Sonnet has pioneered and brought to market innovative and award-winning products that enhance the performance and connectivity of Mac®, Windows®, and other industry-standard computers. More information is available at www.sonnettech.com.
All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/Sonnet/191203Sonnet.docx
Link to French translation: www.wallstcom.com/Sonnet/191203SonnetFR.pdf
Link to Japanese translation: www.wallstcom.com/Sonnet/191203SonnetJP.pdf
Link to Spanish translation: www.wallstcom.com/Sonnet/191203SonnetSP.pdf
Link to Photos:
Image Caption: Sonnet Echo™ Express SE IIIe Thunderbolt™ 3 to PCIe® Card Expansion System
Link to Photos:
Image Caption: Sonnet Echo™ Express SE IIIe Thunderbolt™ 3 to PCIe® Card Expansion System Inner Assembly, With PCIe Cards Installed (Sold Separately)
Video Link: https://www.sonnettech.com/product/echo-express-se3e/techspecs.html#videos
Video Caption: Sonnet Echo™ Express SE IIIe 3-Slot Thunderbolt 3 Expansion System Quick Product Overview
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Wireless giant says streaming service has had a big impact
Verizon Communications CEO Hans Vestberg told Fox Business Network Wednesday that its promotional offering of a free year of streaming service Disney+ to unlimited data wireless customers has already had an impact, calling it a “win-win” for both companies.
Disney launched Disney+ on Nov. 12, and said more than 10 million people signed up for the service initially. Vestberg didn’t reveal how many Verizon customers took advantage of the 12-month promotion, but said it has had a “very big impact.”
“We can partner with anyone, and we partner with the best brands and, of course, Disney+ is a win-win,” Vestberg told Fox Business Network's Mornings with Maria host Maria Bartiromo. “...I think we both are very happy with the, sort of, the start of it.”
Disney has predicted that Disney+ could attract between 60 million and 90 million customers by 2024. In addition to the Verizon promotion, Disney offers a free seven-day trial of the service -- normally priced at $6.99 per month -- to customers who sign on for the first time.
The service launched with about 500 films and 7,500 TV show episodes at launch, with plans to expand that over time. Original programs like The Mandalorian -- the latest offering in the Star War universe -- have attracted strong viewership.
Looks to refresh LPTV ancillary service docket
The FCC's Media Bureau is seeking comment on whether analog LPTV stations should be able to continue to program an analog radio service after the deadline to switch to digital.
While full power stations were required to go all digital in 2009, the FCC allowed LPTVs to continue to broadcast in analog until 12 months after the completion of the post-incentive auction repack, currently on track to meet its July 3, 2020 deadline, which means LPTVs would have to make the digital switch by July 3, 2021.
Some analog LPTVs (operating on ch. 6) use their spectrum to program an ancillary audio service available on the FM dial (87.76 MHz) and want to continue to be able to continue to deliver that analog signal after the mandatory transition to digital.
The commission has sought comment on the issue before, but citing the approaching deadline and "recent developments," said this week it wanted to refresh the record.
The FCC wants to know if its supplementary service rules mean that the ancillary analog service is OK even after the deadline, whether, in that case, the FCC could limit the number of such services--say, applying only to existing services--whether such rights could be transferred, or whether, alternatively, an analog service is not consistent with the designation of digital as being for the provision of "advanced television services."
Finally, if an analog audio service is consistent with that digital mandate, can the FCC subject it to the fee of 5% revenue currently levied on ancillary services.
The FCC is providing commenters 45 days to weigh in, with 30 days for initial comments and another 15 for replies.
CRANBURY, N.J. — Dec. 3, 2019 — A leading children's hospital in the Midwest uses an 80-port Draco tera compact KVM matrix switch at the heart of a state-of-the-art monitoring system for epilepsy patients. Designed and installed by Micromed, a global provider of neurophysiology solutions, the system enables 24/7 monitoring of patient rooms from a centralized epilepsy monitoring control room as well as nursing stations.
The hospital operates the largest and most comprehensive pediatric neurosciences program in Wisconsin and ranks among the nation's best. The hospital's inpatient facility includes 22 patient rooms equipped with high-definition video cameras and advanced patient neuromonitoring capabilities. For the design of the new facility, Micromed sought technologies that would give doctors and nurses the ability to monitor patients from a central control location. It was important that medical teams feel immediately comfortable with the system, so it needed to be as easy to operate as possible with minimal training.
"IHSE's KVM switches and extenders are a key differentiator for Micromed and an essential element in the turnkey solution we offer to hospitals and neurophysiology practitioners. At this particular hospital, the IHSE equipment has turned out to be the ideal solution to meet the requirements of its new facility," said Jeremiah Johnston, operations and field support manager for Micromed. "Not only does the KVM system reduce the amount of equipment needed in the epilepsy monitoring control room and patient rooms, but hospital staff can access recordings from either. This allows them to share the workload when they are at their busiest and deliver the level of care that each patient deserves."
The advanced KVM system allows clinical staff to control cameras remotely and access all patient monitoring equipment throughout the day and night to ensure the safety and continuous care of epilepsy patients. In the epilepsy monitoring control room, observers use personal workstations — each equipped with a keyboard, mouse, and two monitors — and wall-mounted screens that deliver latency-free access to all central computers and monitoring cameras throughout the hospital. Medical staff are able to view and control the monitoring system and cameras remotely. In addition to the 80-port Draco tera compact switch, the IHSE solution includes Draco vario and Draco compact extenders. The switch and extenders, together with computers and support equipment, are installed in a main server room to maximize reliability and security. Together with the room-based equipment, the system supports several portable monitoring trolleys that can be quickly set up wherever needed and controlled remotely.
"Micromed is well known for its tailored neurophysiology solutions based on state-of-the-art tools and technologies. They're the perfect partner to help us grow our market share in the medical device and healthcare sectors," said Manny Patel, president and COO, IHSE USA. "The large scope of this installation is one more outstanding example of how our KVM solutions can add tremendous value and offer powerful new efficiencies in a healthcare setting."
More information about IHSE USA's products is available at www.ihseusa.com.
# # #
Founded in 1982, Micromed is a medical device company delivering solutions in neurophysiology worldwide. Partnering with hospitals, sleep labs and research centers on a global scale, Micromed manufactures and markets high-quality, cost-effective and clinically relevant neurodiagnostic solutions for use on adult and pediatric patients. The Micromed product portfolio ranges from routine, ambulatory and video EEG to ECoG, SEEG, PSG, EP and EMG for clinical and research applications, in addition to a full line of accessories.
About IHSE USA
IHSE USA is a leading provider of KVM (keyboard, video, and mouse) products supporting long-distance signal extenders and switching for DVI, HDMI, VGA, SDI, USB, audio, and RS-232 serial data. For 30 years, IHSE has been developing new and innovative ways of supporting next-generation products for KVM and signal extenders. IHSE technology is deployed worldwide by public and private organizations in industries such as broadcasting, post production, government and military, medical, financial, and oil and petroleum. The company offers a complete line of DVI and HDMI video extenders over Cat-X or fiber-optic cables for mission-critical video and data access.
All trademarks appearing in this document are property of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/IHSE/191203IHSE.docx
Photo Caption: Micromed has selected IHSE KVM solutions to support advanced monitoring for leading hospital's epilepsy monitoring units.
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Sister site to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable hits the web
Future plc, the global platform for specialist media, today announces the launch of Next TV — a new digital brand covering the dynamic video streaming business.
The advent of streaming has led to the rise of video giants such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and OTT video subscribers have tripled between 2015 and 2019, now at 590.4 million globally. From the industry’s leading voices in TV business news — publisher of Future brands Broadcasting+Cable and Multichannel News — Next TV is the new go-to resource for news, information and industry insight for leaders in streaming, data and technology.
“We are delighted to be launching Next TV as the industry is reinventing itself. We will tackle the myriad challenges and significant opportunities related to the TV industry's migration to digital and streaming video,” said Randi Schatz, vice president/market leader for Future’s Media & Entertainment brands.
Next TV features compelling editorial and video content on the services, programming, people, platforms and technology giving a complete 360° view into the streaming business. In addition, Next TV will also offer unique marketing, advertising, exclusive events, and experiential marketing opportunities.
“Video streaming is a true watershed event that cuts across the world of technology, the TV Industry and even popular culture with new challenges and opportunities for professionals and consumers alike. Next TV will focus on this new industry with timely reporting and insightful analysis,” said Bill Gannon, Vice President and Global Editor-in-Chief at Future.
In addition to the new website Next TV is launching a new weekly SmartBrief newsletter bringing streaming media professionals the top curated industry news from today’s most prominent media outlets.
Network news digital chiefs discuss the challenges of getting users on the go
Key figures in digital news took the stage for the session Streaming the News: The Legacy Brands Rebrand at the TV of Tomorrow Show in New York Dec. 4. John Finley, executive VP of development at Fox News, said streaming platform Fox Nation was not set up to compete with Fox News Channel. "We wanted to create a complementary experience for what we called originally our superfans," he said. "What the audience seems to want out of Fox Nation is not necessarily the news channel news programming at all."
Finley said the new network had 700 original hours out of 4,000 total in its first year. He mentioned how sports content plays well on the streaming platform, and not so much on the cable channel.
Christy Tanner, executive VP and general manager at CBS News Digital, said CBS All Access subscribers live stream news content "heavily" on the platform.
"We have the best of both worlds within our ecosystem," she said. "A paid product and an AVOD product."
Albert Lewitinn, formerly head of live programming at MTV and VH1, moderated the panel.
Chris Berend, executive VP of digital at NBC News, said NBC News Now offers more live content than its cable news brethren. It keeps on the middle of the road on news too. "When we have veered a little bit to the let with MS[NBC] talent, we get feedback immediately," he said, "saying, 'I don't want that.'"
Berend suspects news consumers will want more and more opinion-free news. "We think we can absolutely make a very healthy business doing incredibly deep coverage down the middle," he said.
The panelists spoke about how branding can get lost when news is consumed on social platforms, one noting how users often think a network news story was in fact produced by Apple News or Facebook. Kaizar Campwala, VP of business operations and insights, ABC News, spoke about social media's essential role in delivering news to users. "Social media is one of the really important ways people connect with breaking news," he said. "We spend a lot of time looking at this."
Facebook, he said, is not a retention platform for ABC News, but is nonetheless a valuable way for people to connect with ABC News content.
Berend spoke about Quibi entering the content game. NBC News is partnering with Quibi on daily programs, he said, to reach consumers wherever they are, and to learn more about how to best connect with users on the move.
"If it works, great," he said. "If it doesn't, I think we're going to learn a ton."
Fox’s Tuesday shows shoot up
NBC won the Tuesday ratings race, with How the Grinch Stole Christmas leading to a 0.8 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 4 share. ABC and Fox both got a 0.7/4, and CBS did a 0.6/3.
Special Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas got a 1.0, as did The Voice, which was down a tenth. Making It posted a 0.5, same as the night before.
ABC had the specials Brad Paisley Thinks He’s Special at 0.8 and the two-hour CMA Country Christmas at 0.7.
Fox had The Resident up 33% at 0.8 and Empire up 17% at 0.7.
On CBS, it was drama reruns.
The CW scored a 0.4/2, with The Flash up a tenth at 0.5 and Arrow at a level 0.3.
Univision posted a 0.4/2 and Telemundo a 0.3/2. Univision had Ringo at a flat 0.5 and La Rosa de Guadalupe and El Dragon at 0.4. La Rosa went up a tenth and Dragon was flat.
On Telemundo, it was El Sultan at 0.3, up a tenth from its premiere. El Final Del Paraiso was at 0.4 and El Senor de los Cielos at 0.4, both flat.
Nevada City, California, December 4th, 2019 – This year more than any other, video streaming - both live and on-demand – has gained a foothold in mainstream consumer viewing. One streaming technology pioneer, Telestream, is responding to these seismic changes within the broadcast and electronic media industries with a renewed emphasis on multiplatform and multiscreen content delivery.
But are broadcasters keeping pace with market drivers? Telestream’s CEO, Scott Puopolo, sounds a cautionary tone as he prepares to contribute to the IABM Annual Conference 2019 in London. “The evidence is irrefutable,” states Puopolo. “Research shows that for the increasingly influential post-millennial consumer audience (or Generation Z), 24 percent of viewing takes place on a TV set, down from 48 percent in 2015. Over the same period, viewing on mobile devices has jumped from 19 to 36 percent of all TV viewing among teens*.”
“Some commentators suggest that new streaming services are costing their parent companies dearly, but to us the risk and potential cost to broadcasters of not embracing streaming workflows in a whole-hearted and ambitious way is far higher,” stated Scott Puopolo.
While making these observations, Puopolo accepts that there is a fundamental need for technology companies to work with broadcasters to develop new infrastructure and business models. “In this environment, tech firms need to be international beacons to shine a light on knowledge and ideas in the broadcasting world irrespective of the channel of delivery, and yet there is one over-riding issue that is being overlooked by many broadcasters,” stated Scott Puopolo.
“If you plot the rate at which new media viewing platforms are being created and look at the cost of illuminating those platforms with broadcasters’ rich content, then only the companies that radically alter their streaming workflow strategies can afford to stay in business,” he stated. “At Telestream, we are working with many linear multi-channel broadcasters that seek to create an OTT network that is directly comparable with linear television in terms of quality of service and experience. The transition from OTT being a novelty to having the same consumer expectations as the linear TV experience in your living room is massive.”
So, does Puopolo believe that broadcasters really understand the potential offered by video streaming technology today? “Some do, but others don't,” he responded. “In fairness it isn’t purely a technology challenge but one of business models too. More smartphones are sold every year than PCs, TVs and cars - there is a lot of change to understand and absorb as networks get faster and devices smarter,” Puopolo observed.
“Until we acknowledge this revolutionary change in post-millennial consumer preferences and adopt a very different approach to multi-platform delivery workflows, there is a danger that broadcasters will let the most tremendous opportunity of our generation slip through their fingers,” Puopolo commented.
“At Telestream, we can make it very straightforward to publish more content. Assuming our customers have content of a quality they can monetize, their impediment is the ability to get it to their audience without having to capitalize their infrastructure in order to do this. This is Telestream’s OptiQ story. We need to create thousands, or even tens of thousands of narrowly focused channels that people are prepared to pay to view. How can we democratize content and the viewing experience – that’s the OptiQ challenge,” Scott Puopolo concluded.
Lisa Whelchel hosts show about intriguing collections
Season two of Collector’s Call, MeTV’s original series, starts up Sunday, Jan. 12th. MeTV will have 26 episodes. Lisa Whelchel, who played Blair on The Facts of Life, hosts.
The show sees Whelchel meet with the biggest collectors of pop culture memorabilia to give viewers an inside look at rarely-seen private collections, ranging from “the precious to the priceless,” said MeTV.
“Lisa is the perfect host to call on these amazing collectors and introduce viewers to their treasured collections,” said Neal Sabin, vice chairman, Weigel Broadcasting Co., which owns MeTV. “She brings a special charm to each collector’s world that makes this series a unique original program with heart and soul.”
Professional appraisers put an estimated value on the collectibles, and try to tempt the collectors to sell.
Among the items viewers will get to see in season two are the original concept drawing for Star Trek’s USS Enterprise, rare Batman costumes worn by star Adam West, guitars signed by the Eagles and Bruce Springsteen, a massive sneaker “vault” containing over 300 pairs of iconic shoes, an Italian Stallion robe signed by Rocky star Sylvester Stallone, the very first-edition Barbie Doll, handwritten lyrics and notes from Elton John and songwriter Bernie Taupin, and vehicles from the James Bond film franchise.
“I’m thrilled to be back for another season and explore new and amazing collections,” said Whelchel. “For as much as I’ve found collectors have in common – a deep passion for collecting, the thrill of hunting down new pieces and a real excitement to share their collection with others – it’s amazing how different the collections are.”
Label founder Andre Harrell to executive produce
BET Networks said it is planning a three-part miniseries about Uptown Records that will be executive produced by the label’s founder, Andre Harrell.
Uptown Records was launched in New York in 1986 and played a role in the careers of hip hop, soul and R&B talents including Heavy D & The Boyz, Russell Simmons, Lyor Cohen, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Father MC, Al B. Sure, Christopher Williams, Teddy Riley, Notorious B.I.G. and Sean “Diddy” Combs.
“We are proud to bring the story of Uptown Records to life and celebrate the indelible imprint the label has made on the industry, transforming the sound, face, and business of hip-hop and R&B,” said BET Networks president Scott Mills. “We look forward to partnering with music industry titan Andre Harrell and powerhouse producer Jesse Collins on the Uptown miniseries, bringing viewers premium content that reflects and celebrates Black excellence.”
Uptown is scheduled to premiere on BET in 2020. In addition to Harrell, the show is executive produced by Jesse Collins for Jesse Collins Entertainment. Jesse Collins Entertainment previously produced to high-rated music series for BET: The New Edition Story and The Bobby Brown Story.
Scripts are being written by Charles Murray, Carlito Rodriguez and Barry Michael Cooper.
“I am thrilled to partner with BET Networks and Jesse Collins Entertainment to share my story, the rise of Uptown Records and successful black entrepreneurship, and the management and cultivation of some of the most iconic artists to come out of the late 80s and 90s hip hop, R&B, and soul music era,” said Harrell.
Talks about need for uniformity, and not discouraging innovative options
Former Republican Federal Trade Commission acting chair Maureen Ohlhausen, co-chair of the 21st Century Privacy Coalition, said that federal privacy legislation is needed, but needs three "key attributes," essentially outlining the Republican view of what is needed in government-mandated comprehensive privacy protections.
That came in testimony at a hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday (Dec. 4) on such legislation.
The three musts of any bill, she told the committee, were: 1) consumer visibility into a companies data collection, use and sharing practices as well as choice "regarding" those practices "calibrated" to the sensitivity of the data; 2) uniform protections and rights throughout the digital economy; and 3) strong enforcement that provides consumer protections form harmful practices, but still allowing companies " to provide and develop innovative products and services that consumers want."
Those would include requirements for meaningful consent for data use, again calibrated to the sensitivity of data, and "certain rights of access, correction, and deletion where appropriate....Striking the right balance in categorizing data as sensitive or non-sensitive is crucial for consumers and essential for an effective privacy law," she said.
Ohlhausen argued that federal legislation should preempt "a proliferation of different state privacy requirements [that] would create inconsistent privacy protections for consumers."
She said that by uniform protections she meant applying the law to all entities, tech companies, ISPs, and retailers. "Striking the right balance in categorizing data as sensitive or non-sensitive is crucial for consumers and essential for an effective privacy law," she said.
On the enforcement front, she said that the FTC needs fining authority for first-time violations--currently it is only triggered by second offenses. She also said the FTC should have limited rulemaking authority. Currently its power is to file suit and/or secure settlements for anticompetitive or false and deceptive conduct.
She does not favor private rights of action, but says state attorneys general need to be empowered to enforce the federal law. She said private rights of action often primarily benefit lawyers while providing little actual relief to victims and could divert resources from compliance to litigation.
"Providing the FTC and state AGs with enforcement power, backed up with civil fining authority and expanded resources, represents a far better approach for consumers," she said.
Peacock platform strategy session set for Jan. 16
Comcast said it will host a meeting for investors and analysts to discuss NBCUniversal plans for its upcoming Peacock streaming service on Jan, 16 at 4 p.m., after the stock market closes.
The Walt Disney Co. and AT&T have held similar meetings to lay out their direct-to-consumer strategies and provide estimates for how many subscribers they expect to get and what the financial implications will be.
Previously Comcast has said that Peacock will be ad supported and available free to pay-TV subscribers, but more recent reports said the company is considering making it free to all consumers.
“I think the most important thing to think about as you're thinking about Peacock and its role inside NBCU and broader Comcast is we're not doing the same strategy that Netflix and people chasing Netflix have adopted,” NBCU CEO Steve Burke said on Comcast’s third-quarter earnings call in October. “We're primarily working with the existing ecosystem and doing a lot of AVOD activity. And what that's going to do, we think, is make the -- is cut the investment pretty substantially because I think we're going to get to cruising altitude much more quickly than a subscription service.”
The company decided to keep the streaming rights for The Office rather than sell them again to Netflix which has them now.
Comcast is also rolling out a Flex streaming platform for its broadband-only customers.
Move follows acquisition of majority of Viz Media Europe
John Easum has been named head of AT&T’s Crunchyroll anime unit in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The move follows the acquisition of a majority of Viz Media Europe Group by Crunchyroll, part of AT&T Otter Media.
The transaction is designed to bring together Crunchyroll’s anime brand and global platform with Viz Media Europe’s network of partners, distributors and licenses in the region.
Easum has been an adviser for Crunchyroll since 2018. Earlier in his career, he spent 12 years at Viz Media, including five years as president of Viz Media Europe. In 2012 he founded One Bridge, a Tokyo-based consultancy.
In his new job, Easum will report to Brady McCollum, head of global operations and international for Crunchyroll.
Kazuyoshi Takeuchi, president of Viz Media Europe is stepping down and will continue as an adviser to Viz Media Europe. He will also be president of a new company that will own Viz Media Europe’s publishing licensing business.
“This is an important moment in Crunchyroll’s history, indicative of our commitment to growing the global anime and manga communities. Through this acquisition, we now have operations and expertise at scale in EMEA to grow the value and audience of our collective IP across streaming, broadcast, theatrical, home video, manga, games, events, ecomm and more,” said Joanne Waage, general manager of Crunchyroll.
“As we move into this next chapter, we can think of no person better-suited to guide our strategy and team in EMEA than John Easum, who brings more than 25 years of experience growing the anime and manga industries internationally and who has served in leadership positions previously at Viz Media Europe and Viz Media USA,” Waage said.
Easum’s assignment is to expand Crunchyroll internationally, managing new and existing content distribution deals and discovering new growth opportunities. He will split his time between Paris and Berlin.
With the transaction closed, Crunchyroll will now have offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Chisinau, Paris, Berlin, and Lausanne.
“I have a deep history with Viz Media Europe, and I am grateful for the opportunity to again lead a very talented team under a new strategy that I strongly believe will take our company to the next level,” said Easum. “Collectively, we will be in a much stronger position to bring the global anime and manga communities comprehensive 360-degree experiences around the content they love; beyond streaming into broadcast and home video, publishing, consumer products and licensing, events, gaming, and much, much, more.”
Shogakukan and Shueisha Group will retain a minority stake in Viz Media Group. The companies also own Viz Media Europe’s publishing license business through a new company called VME PLB SAS. The new company will continue to introduce and license manga for EMEA and South America.
And more from Promo Mojo, our exclusive weekly ranking of the programming networks are promoting most heavily
B&C has partnered with always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv to bring you a weekly chart we call Promo Mojo: exclusive data showing the top five TV promos ranked by ad impressions. These are the shows networks have been promoting most heavily to drive tune-in (our data covers the seven-day period through Dec. 1).
On the strength of 432.8 million TV ad impressions, Fox’s promotion of college football — specifically, the Big 10 Championship Game — takes first place.
Other very different sorts of competitions round out the list, with Discovery hyping Man Vs Bear in fourth place and Food Network giving some love to Holiday Wars in fifth. Hallmark Channel lands in third to promote its Countdown to Christmas Fantasy Game (an online companion to the network's original holiday movie airings) with a $20,000 grand prize — and even CBS's Evil, in second place, involves a face-off (against good, of course).
Notably, the Hallmark spot earns the highest iSpot Attention Index (136) in our ranking, getting 36% fewer interruptions than the average promo (interruptions include changing the channel, pulling up the guide, fast-forwarding or turning off the TV).
Ad agency renews local TV and audio data pacts
Nielsen said that it has expanded its relationship with Minneapolis-based ad agency Marketing Architects.
Marketing Architects will be adding a suit of measurement and planning tools including Nielsen Media Impact, with TV, radio and digital data.
The agency also renewed the local TV and audio measurement services it gets from Nielsen.
“We have a 22-year history of helping companies reach major milestones, and television has been a key marketing channel for our clients,” said Chuck Hengel, CEO of Marketing Architects. “We invest our own capital into each TV campaign, so we are excited to see how Nielsen’s enhanced Local TV ratings will impact our upfront decision-making when it comes to client campaigns. We’re also looking forward to using advanced national planning tools such as Nielsen Media Impact to accelerate monetization opportunities for our valued clients within the changing and competitive landscape.”
Nielsen Media Impact provides information on historical media behavior and predictive analytics in order to forecast the impact of media campaigns. It also helps define target audiences and cross-media planning tools.
“We are delighted to expand our relationship with Marketing Architects,” said David Hohman, managing director, Nielsen Media Demand Side. “We are pleased to offer the full suite of our sophisticated measurement and planning capabilities, and we look forward to supporting Marketing Architects as they continue to move their performance brands forward and accelerate upward growth for their clients.”
Globecast has further strengthened its management team in Asia with the appointment of Tan See Chai as Head of Sales – Distribution.
Globecast has further strengthened its management team in Asia with the appointment of Tan See Chai as Head of Sales – Distribution.
Beginning at the start of January 2020 and based in Singapore, See Chai will report to Shakunt Malhotra, Globecast Asia MD. See Chai is responsible for sales of Globecast’s permanent distribution services to broadcasters, cable operators, news agencies, corporations as well as other relevant organisations across Asia and Asia-Pacific. This will include identifying and pursuing new business as well as maintaining and growing relationships with existing customers.
Malhotra said, “We are pleased to welcome Tan to this important role. He has huge experience across the satellite industry, in particular, and this will come to the fore in this multifaceted position. As well as liaising with new and existing customers, he will also work closely with our Singapore-based operations and engineering group – where one of our three global Media Centers is located – as well as liaising with key personnel in other Global Business Units located around the world.”
See Chai has over 25 years’ experience in the industry and was most recently Director of Sales with Telesat, a position he held for the past 30 months. In that role he was responsible for major satellite capacity sales across the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to that, he held a range of positions with Globecast, the last as Senior Director of Sales – Head of Occasional Services for Asia, a job he held for five years. He has also worked for Verestar and Echostar International, among others.
See Chai said, “I’m genuinely excited to be appointed to this important position with my extensive experience across the industry being recognised as being invaluable to the role. I already have extensive experience with the company and I look forward to helping Globecast attain further growth across its distribution business.”
SINGAPORE, TOKYO, LONDON – December 4, 2019 – Nippon TV, Japan’s multi-platform entertainment powerhouse and The Story Lab, global investor, creator and distributor, have announced plans to enter into a co-development partnership. These two key industry players will work closely together to create and develop non-scripted formats for international sales.
The partnership will focus on generating new entertainment formats with fresh creative perspectives, that are scalable and returnable across multiple territories, with the distribution being managed by both Nippon TV and The Story Lab internationally.
Nippon TV has seen several format successes of late, from its rating blockbuster gameshow BLOCK OUT in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, to its hit scripted series roll-out of Mother, and Woman – My Life for My Children.
Such strategic, global creative collaborations is a key area of focus for The Story Lab, as it continues to go from strength to strength in building a versatile slate of original entertainment properties, on the back of other co-development deals, producing shows, such as social experiment reality series You Are Not A Loan and dating series Undercover Twins.
The first project arising from the partnership will be announced shortly.
Ms. Shigeko Cindy Chino, Associate Managing Director, International Business Development for Nippon TV, said: “Matching up with The Story Lab was meant to be. Our shared vision of blending our values to create formats with global appeal has been a mutual agenda for a long time. With their support and expertise, we anticipate an explosive chemistry between The Story Lab’s global reach and Nippon TVs time-proven creativity.”
Ms. Fotini Paraskakis, EVP of Entertainment for Story Lab, said: “We are delighted with this collaboration. Nippon TV is a great partner for The Story Lab, as we continue to focus on expanding our content pipeline offering, with forward-thinking creative and commercial partners from across the world”
ABOUT NIPPON TV
Nippon TV is Japan's viewer ratings champion, topping all timeslot categories for five consecutive years and garnering the largest profits in the country's broadcasting industry. One of the biggest successes for the nation's finest producer of all genres of programming is Dragons' Den, a globally successful business show format that has more than 35 versions in territories across all continents of the world. The Emmy Award-winning version, Shark Tank, airs in the US. Following closely are the successes of scripted formats Mother and Woman -My Life for My Children-, whose Turkish versions have become mega-hits that have gone on to sell in nearly 40 territories around the world. As formats, Mother has also been sold to South Korea, Ukraine, and France, while Woman has likewise been acquired in France. With well-established businesses that span VOD / live-streaming engineering, animation, movies, events, fitness clubs, eSports, android creation, and digital mixed reality, Nippon TV is leveraging its coveted platform to revolutionize digital media in an ever-changing industry. Launching a channel in Southeast Asia named GEM through a joint venture with Sony Pictures Television Networks and leading the Japanese digital content market through its subsidiary Hulu Japan, Nippon TV is steadily solidifying its presence and brand as a global media powerhouse.
ABOUT THE STORY LAB
The Story Lab is a global investor, creator, producer and distributor of premium entertainment content, headquartered in London with offices in 25 markets, including Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Singapore, Paris, Moscow, Hamburg, Madrid, Sydney and Mumbai.
Since 2015, The Story Lab has been distributing successful prime time TV shows and films, whilst also delivering strategic content production, partnership and monetization solutions to advertisers, platforms and global partners. The strategy has already yielded results, with shows including Ninja Warrior, Game of Clones and No Sleep No Fomo among the catalogue that The Story Lab has co-created and owns the rights to, with several scripted and non-scripted projects in development in a number of markets.
The Story Lab is part of the Dentsu Aegis Network and it currently consists of 300 entertainment, marketing and investment professionals across the world. http://storylab.com/
O'Donnell anchors special report, CBSN to stream
According to the network, which announced its plans late Tuesday (Dec. 3), the network will provide "comprehensive" coverage all day on "the CBS Television Network, CBSN, CBS News’ 24/7 streaming news service providing coverage for more than 20 digital platforms."
It was not clear how much of the hearing, which begins at 10 a.m., was going to be on the broadcast network, but it will be streamed live on CBSN.
Joining O'Donnell for coverage on the special report are chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett, chief Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, and White House correspondents Paula Reid and Ben Tracy from London (traveling with the president).
CBS This Morning will provide context with interviews and reporting from CBS News Washington correspondents. 60 Minutes correspondent John Dickerson will join with historical perspective and analysis.
CBSN and CBSNews.com coverage will be led by CBSN anchors Vlad Duthiers, Anne-Marie Green, Reena Ninan, and Tanya Rivero with analysis from CBS News reporters Christina Ruffini and Olivia Gazi, and CBSN contributors Keir Dougall, Molly Hooper, Rikki Klieman, Rebecca Roiphe, Leslie Sanchez, and Antjuan Seawright.
Said dropping them does not square with its franchise commitment
The D.C. City Council has joined Baltimore in urging Comcast not to drop Starz and related channels from its system on Dec. 10 as planned.
The D.C. Council has passed a resolution similar to one passed by Baltimore--it even cited Baltimore's resolution--that said Comcast has an obligation to maximize diversity on its cable systems and urged it to do so.
But while Baltimore stopped at issuing a general sense of the council that Comcast needed to comply with its franchise requirement on diversity, D.C. went further.
It pointed out that Starz, Starz Edge, Starz in Black, Starz Comedy, Starz Cinema, and Starz Kids and Family, would be removed from Comcast packages, and said "it is the sense of the Council that Comcast should maintain Starz channels and associated on demand content in its packages until the contract issues are resolved."
Citing the need to manage programming costs, Comcast told viewers it would be replacing Starz and Starz On Demand in its cable packages with EPIX channels and told viewers that still wanted Starz they would need to buy it a la carte for $12 per month, though that might only last until the end of the month.
Comcast's contract to carry Starz programming ends Dec. 31 and it has yet to reach a carriage deal beyond that date.
Comcast is currently being sued by Byron Allen over what he alleges is discrimination in non-carriage of his networks. The Baltimore City Council cited Allen in its resolution, saying in one of its "whereas" clauses: "According to recent press reports, Comcast is in active disputes with 22 programming channels that offer content particularly viewed by diverse audiences, including 23 of Byron Allen’s collection of channels, Starz, and BeIN Sports."
Comcast has also been the target of multiple diversity complaints from BeIN.
Comcast argues that it has a strong program diversity record and that there were justifiable business reasons for why it did not carry the particular channels at issue in those cases.
“We are continuing to negotiate to try to reach a deal with Starz that makes sense for us and our customers," said Comcast in a statement. "Over the last decade, the video marketplace has evolved dramatically, with more and more streaming and direct-to-consumer offerings. Consistent with this trend, Starz makes its content available a-la-carte on Amazon Prime and Roku and direct to consumers through the Starz app. All we are asking for is the same treatment."
"No matter the outcome of the ongoing discussions, no Comcast customer will lose access to Starz since it is available on Amazon Prime, including through Comcast’s X1 platform (though not exclusively), and many other online outlets. At the end of the day, this is a routine commercial negotiation that raises no conceivable antitrust concerns.”
New ChyTV HD-EAS System Enables Highly Customizable Display and Presentation of Varied Emergency Information in Diverse Video Environments
LYNDONVILLE, N.Y. — Dec. 3, 2019 — Digital Alert Systems, the global leader in emergency communications solutions for video services providers, has partnered with DigIt Signage Technologies, provider of acclaimed ChyTV digital signage systems, to create an advanced emergency information display solution: ChyTV HD-EAS. Built on the tight integration of the companies' best-in-class technologies, ChyTV HD-EAS makes flexible emergency messaging available across all variety of sources, distribution formats, and delivery infrastructure. The first time at a major trade show, the solution will debut at The Video Show, Dec. 4-5, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on the DigIt Signage Technologies Stand 312.
"Tight integration with an EAS system such as Digital Alert Systems' DASDEC is a natural fit for our ChyTV digital signage solutions, and it opens up new opportunities for our customers," said Vinny Biondolillo, director of ChyTV sales support for DigIt Signage Technologies. "Leveraging the ChyTV crawl feature and integrated digital audio switching capabilities, ChyTV HD-EAS allows users to deliver emergency information to viewers in the simplest and least disruptive manner. In addition to providing complete flexibility in positioning the visual text and graphics of an EAS message over programming, this solution allows graphics to be fully customized based on unique event codes."
Digital Alert Systems and DigIt Signage Technologies have a long history of partnering to offer compelling bundled solutions to customers across the enterprise, government/public sector, and international video provider markets. By integrating the DASDEC™ series of Emergency Alert System/Common Alerting Protocol (EAS/CAP) encoder/decoders with the ChyTV HD digital signage systems, the two companies give users a one-stop solution for advanced, customizable emergency information displays. Users also gain the opportunity to leverage a broader range of Digital Alert Systems' emergency information content partners.
While ChyTV HD-EAS offers convenient tools for versatile placement of messaging and easy audio switching, it also boasts global applicability. The solution supports virtually any video distribution format (NTSC, PAL, HDMI, HD-SDI, IP, ATSC, ISDB, DVB, etc.), any source (live or recorded video), and any type of architecture (in-house cable, enterprise/campus video, broadcast TV). As a result, it is deployable virtually anywhere in the world.
"We look forward to showcasing this versatile new solution at The Video Show, as its unique capabilities align well with the requirements of government/military users, as well as organizations in the corporate and education sectors," said Ed Czarnecki, senior director of strategy and regulatory affairs at Digital Alert Systems. "ChyTV HD-EAS makes it easy for organizations worldwide to bring their audiences sophisticated emergency information."
Further information about Digital Alert Systems and its products is available at www.digitalalertsystems.com.
# # #
About DigIt Signage Technologies
DigIt Signage Technologies manufactures and distributes several different models of video graphic systems that are branded as ChyTV. These ChyTV systems are very high-end graphic systems designed specifically for broadcasting at TV stations, PEG channels, government, municipalities, military facilities and local cable dedicated community channels. DigIt's entire staff have been working in the television graphics industry for over 30 years. In addition, DigIt Signage Technologies designs and provides high-end quality text and graphic turn-key systems for Digital Signage applications that require on-time scheduled messages, graphics and videos to a single or infinite number of digital signage displays.
More information is available at www.chytv.com/.
About Digital Alert Systems
Digital Alert Systems is the leading innovator of next-generation Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and Emergency Alert Systems (EAS) for radio and television broadcasters. In 2009, Digital Alert Systems merged with Monroe Electronics, whose EAS products are the widely accepted standard for CATV. From its headquarters in Lyndonville, New York, Digital Alert Systems provides R&D, manufacturing, sales, and customer service for all Digital Alert Systems and Monroe Electronics One-Net™ brands and maintains its hard-earned reputation for quality, reliability, and service to valued customers around the world.
More information is available at www.digitalalertsystems.com.
All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/DAS/191203DAS.docx
Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/DAS/DAS-ChyTV_EAS_Solution.jpg
Photo Caption: A first look at ChyTV HD-EAS, the advanced emergency information display solution from Digital Alert Systems and DigIt Signage Technologies.
Said Atlanta stations left issues out of issue ad filing form
The FCC has admonished WPCH-TV Atlanta (Meredith) and WSB-TV Atlanta (Georgia Television LLC) for failing to include "certain requests to purchase political ad time" for non-candidate issue ads in their public files.
The admonishment, which is a black mark that goes on their permanent records, resolves a half-dozen complaints filed by Issue One and the Campaign Legal Center dating from August 2017.
The FCC resolved similar complaints in a recent order clarifying the political ad disclosure requirements for issue ads and resolving a number of other complaints. The FCC did not admonish all the stations in that order because it said the rules had been unclear, but it did admonish stations if their conduct was clearly inconsistent with the rules, which it said was the case with the two complaints resolved Tuesday (Dec. 3).
The FCC also said that the stations had filed National Association of Broadcasters disclosure forms for the ads, but just had not filled them out correctly, according to the complainants. The station owners had countered that their disclosure obligations were misstated and the files were substantially complete.
But the FCC concluded that both Meredith and Georgia Television had failed to meaningfully disclose any of the issues of national importance related to the ads.
Broadcasters are currently challenging the FCC's clarification order.
Jameela Jamil returns as host
TBS ordered a second season of comedy game show The Misery Index.
The network said the series has reached 28 million viewers across linear, VOD and digital so far during its inaugural season.
Host Jameela Jamil will return, along with panelists Brian “Q” Quinn, James “Murr” Murray, Joe Gatto and Sal Vulcano. The panelists are members of The Tenderloins comedy troupe and stars of Impractical Jokers on truTV. Both TBS and truTV are owned by AT&T.
Inspired by the card game Sh*t Happens, the show rates unfortunate but funny events based on a misery index created by therapists.
“Jameela and The Tenderloins have wholeheartedly translated the most miserable of mishaps into absolute amusement, giving the audience and contestants permission to be entertained by these misfortunes,” said Brett Weitz, general manager for TNT, TBS, & truTV. “We couldn't be more excited to continue our relationship with these five brilliantly talented comedians."
The Misery Index was developed by Andy Breckman with Ben and Dan Newmark for Grandma’s House Entertainment.
Calls it product of one-sided sham investigation
The House Intelligence Committee has released the report on its investigation into whether President Trump used his office to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election. Yes, definitely, the report said, a report the White House dismissed as the equivalent of the "ramblings of a basement blogger."
The report, based on months of evidence-gathering including testimony in televised hearings--said there was a months-long effort by the President to "subvert U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermine our national security in favor of two politically motivated investigations [into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter] that would help his presidential reelection campaign."
"Those watching the impeachment hearings might have been struck by how little discrepancy there was between the witnesses called by the Majority and Minority," said Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in the report's preface. "Indeed, most of the facts presented in the pages that follow are uncontested."
The report's release comes the day before the House Judiciary Committee holds its first impeachment-related hearing Dec. 4, which will be televised and streamed.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham dismissed the report.
“At the end of a one-sided sham process, Chairman Schiff and the Democrats utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump," she said. "his report reflects nothing more than their frustrations. Chairman Schiff’s report reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing.” Stephanie Grisham
TAG Video Systems Continues International Expansion by Appointing Graphic Image Technologies as its Distributor in South Africa
Provider of software-based, IP Multiviewers, Probing and Monitoring solutions grows presence in key region
Tel Aviv – December 3, 2019 -- TAG Video Systems, the world leader in integrated software-based IP Probing Monitoring and Multiviewer solutions has appointed Graphic Image Technologies (GIT) as its distributor in South Africa. GIT, located in Johannesburg, provides customers with best-of-breed products from world-leading suppliers designed to leverage the latest technologies for future-proof, flexible solutions. The appointment marks the latest milestone in TAG’s growth initiative that includes expansion into new and growing global markets as well as a increase in the company’s sales force over the last 18 months. Abe Zerbib, TAG CEO, announced the appointment from company R&D headquarters in Tel Aviv.
“TAG was established in 2008 and has always offered software-only and all-IP solutions,” explains Zerbib, “The industry is finally catching up with us and the Company is undergoing a tremendous growth surge as the market realises the remarkable benefits and potential that our MCM-9000 platform offers. We are delighted to appoint GIT our distributor in South Africa. GIT is a company that recognises the value TAG brings to Production, Playout, Distribution and OTT applications and has the capability to support customers in all four disciplines.”
Initially established as a leader in real-time media Probing, Monitoring and Multiviewing for distribution and OTT applications, TAG has now brought its expertise to Live Production and Playout. Today, with the acceleration of SMPTE ST 2110 replacing SDI within broadcast facilities, IP is enjoying even greater acceptance in the market, offering increased scalability and flexibility while enabling new capabilities such as remote and collaborative production. The TAG MCM-9000 platform is the world’s first system that combines monitoring of compressed and un-compressed signals all within the same system and on the same screen for all four primary video applications. This unsurpassed breadth and depth of monitoring and probing of uncompressed media signals in an IP environment has cleared the path for TAG’s unprecedented growth on the global stage.
“We are thrilled to partner with TAG and introduce this unique technology offering to the local South African market,” says Mark Chertkow, Managing Director at GIT. “Moreover, as the industry migrates towards IP, we’re excited to have the opportunity to offer our customers a future-proof solution and support TAG, a pioneer in IP technology.”
TAG’s cross-application solution is currently supporting over 40,000 channels successfully in facilities around the globe.
TAG Video Systems is the world leader in 100% software based integrated IP Multiviewing, Probing and Monitoring solutions. Introducing its first IP solution in 2008, today TAG supports over 40,000 channels across the four primary broadcasting applications - Live Production, Playout/Master Control, Distribution and OTT. Its solutions allow Broadcasters and Content Distributors the greatest scalability and flexibility available in the market today. The 100% software platform supports both compressed and uncompressed formats, including MPEG TS, JPEG2000, SMPTE 2110, SMPTE 2022-6/7, and HLS. TAG's solutions run on standard off-the-shelf hardware (COTS), providing state-of-the-art IP monitoring and analysis tools combined with highest quality UHD Multiviewer available on standard and mobile device displays. For more information: www.tagvs.com
TAG Video Systems contact:
Europe: +33 1 86 26 94 00
US : +1 315 646 8400
Desert Moon Communications
+1 – 845-512-8283
Tracy Morgan, John Early, Rose Matafeo, Ahir Shah featured
HBO Max, the upcoming streaming service from AT&T, said it greenlit four standup comedy specials, two featuring talent from the Turner cable channels.
Tracy Morgan of The Last O.G. and John Early of Search Party, two TBS shows, headline two of the specials.The others feature rising stars Rose Matafeo and Ahir Shah.
“We are incredibly proud to showcase this expansive range of comedic talent on HBO Max,” said Suzanna Makkos, executive VP of original programming, comedy and animation, HBO Max. “From legends to newcomers, this impressive slate of specials will complement the library of premium stand-up specials that HBO has become known for.”
HBO Max previously announced a partnership with Conan O’Brien and Team Coco to create specials. O’Brien will host two specials and curate three others. HBO Max also purchase the rights to a special featuring comedian James Veitch produced by Team Coco.
Co-production with Channel 4 will air in U.K. in 2020
AT&T upcoming streaming service HBO Max will be the U.S. home for a new British drama being co-produced with U.K.’s Channel 4.
The five series has the working title of Boy and is set in the 1980s during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in London. It was created by Russell T Davies.
The cast includes Olly Alexander, Nathaniel Curtis, Shaun Dooley, Omari Douglas, Stephen Fry, Neil Patrick Harris, Keeley Hawes, Callum Scott Howells, Tracy Ann Oberman and Lydia West.
HBO Max and other new direct-to-consumer services have been ratcheting up their original programming in order to compete in the streaming wars against industry leader Netflix.
“It is our delight to be collaborating with the talented Russell T Davies” said Jeniffer Kim, senior VP of international originals, at HBO Max. “He has crafted a beautiful coming of age story, exploring the excitement of new friendships and self-discovery during a period when there were so many unknowns. Russell’s mastery is so evident throughout and with Nicola’s producing expertise and Ch4’s collaboration, we at HBO Max are thrilled to partner in sharing this moving story.”
The series is being produced by RED Production Co., part of StudioCanal. Peter Hoar is the director, with Phil Collinson produce. Davies and Nicola Shindler of RED executive produce.
“This was an astonishing decade, when a sudden new virus meant life became more stark, vivid and precious than ever before,” said Davies. “I’ve carried these stories with me for years, and it’s an honor to find them a home with HBO Max.”
Principal photography on the project began in October. It is scheduled to air in the U.K. next year.
Area native had been station’s general sales manager
Nexstar Media Group has promoted Paula Jackson to VP and general manager of its broadcasting and digital operations in Tri-Cities, Tenn., effective immediately.
Jackson, a life-long resident of Johnson City, Tenn., has worked at the Nexstar stations in the market for 20 years, most recently serving as general sales manager.
She reports to Mike Vaughn, senior VP and regional manager of Nexstar Broadcasting, and replaces Kenny Lawrence, who was promoted to GM of Nexstar’s Spartanburg operations.
“Paula is the ideal executive to lead Nexstar’s Tri-Cities operations and I am very pleased that we are able to promote her to the role of vice president and general manager,” said Vaughn.
“As a highly-qualified sales professional who has worked for two decades at WJHL and been a lifelong resident of the Tri-Cities area, she’s lived and worked in the community and is exceptionally familiar with the needs of its viewers and advertisers,” he Vaughn said. “She’s an innovative and experienced sales executive and an expert at creating, developing and executing exceptional local multi-platform solutions for the advertising and marketing clients of WJHL-TV, ABC Tri-Cities, and WJHL.com. We are very much looking forward to working with Paula in her new role.”
Jackson started her sales career in 1998 as an account executive with Nexstar in the Tri-Cities. She helped the station open two new news bureaus/sales offices in the market and expand its local show Daytime Tri-Cities. She also helped launch a cross-platform initiative “High School Standouts” that salutes community student athletes.
“I’m thrilled to be taking my career to the next level at WJHL and within Nexstar Broadcasting. It is my professional goal to be leading the broadcasting and digital operations in Tri-Cities, where I have spent my entire career in sales. This is a wonderful opportunity and I am grateful to Nexstar for this promotion,” Jackson said. “I’m fortunate that WJHL-TV, ABC Tri-Cities and WJHL.com are strong operations with a legacy of outstanding journalism and service to the community. I look forward to continuing to work alongside our dedicated staff in this new role.”
WUPPERTAL, Germany — Nov. 28, 2019 — Riedel's Artist-1024 digital matrix intercom system and Bolero wireless intercom system are supporting state-of-the-art communications capabilities within Videe SpA's innovative new 4K HDR OB van, OBX VIDEE. The Riedel systems provide the power, density, and flexibility critical for pioneering remote production operations.
"Videe SpA is well known for its ability to leverage cutting-edge technologies to achieve the performance and functionality essential to demanding remote productions," said Giuseppe Angilello, Italy Sales Manager, Riedel Communications. "With Artist and Bolero, we've delivered on both counts to bring clear, flexible, and reliable communications to Videe's new OB van. As a true, native 4K unit, OBX VIDEE has the power and sophistication to support the most challenging projects — and the ease of use, compact size, and straightforward configuration of our intercom systems make them an ideal fit."
OBX VIDEE is a triple-expanding mobile production unit that can support up to 30 cameras. Based on client requirements, the van can be configured with dual control rooms or as one large, 75-square-meter production area that can accommodate up to 36 onboard team members. The OB van was engineered for the future by Videe and systems integrator Chromaline, with a design that meets each and every production demand with the best, most intuitive, and most efficient technical solution. As a top-end OB production system, OBX is ideal to provide host broadcasting services for major live sporting, music, cultural, and entertainment events worldwide. Integrating smoothly into the van's IP infrastructure, the Artist and Bolero systems along with 36 RSP-2318 SmartPanels, on board OBX VIDEE play a critical role by enabling clear communications tailored to the requirements of each production.
"The Riedel name is synonymous with reliability, efficiency, versatility, and usability in the intercom domain, and the company is a longtime Videe partner," said Bruno Mercuri, Videe SpA President and Founder. "We choose and rely on Riedel because of the company's innovative approach and its constant commitment to developing the best technologies for broadcast requirements. That´s what Videe expects from its providers because that's what Videe is expected to provide to its own clients."
Paola Montanari, CEO at Videe, added, "OBX introduces a new era in the broadcast industry and a truly innovative production approach that combines high performance, premium comfort, and full reliability. Uncompromisingly. We love challenges, and we enjoy riding the wave of innovation. Riedel's philosophy and its products align very well with our own priorities and values."
Further information about Riedel and the company's products is available at www.riedel.net.
# # #
About Riedel Communications
Riedel Communications designs, manufactures, and distributes pioneering real-time video, audio, data, and communications networks for broadcast, pro audio, event, sports, theater, and security applications. The company also provides rental services for radio and intercom systems, event IT solutions, fiber backbones, and wireless signal transmission systems that scale easily for events of any size, anywhere in the world. Riedel is headquartered in Wuppertal, Germany, and employs nearly 600 people in 24 locations throughout Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas.
All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
Ever-adapting and always looking ahead, Videe is a reliable and independent group formed by Videe SpA (Pordenone, Italy) and Videoidea Videe S.L. (Madrid, Spain). For over 30 years, the company has been the technical partner of broadcasters, TV production companies, and public and private enterprises. With proven experience in the national and international TV market, a highly skilled team, and a constant pursuit of the best technical solution to meet every client's request, Videe specializes in live filming and transmission of TV programs; engineering, integration and setup; co-creation of original content; and live filming of major events. More info at www.videe.it. More information about OBX can be found at https://obx.videe.it/en.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/Riedel/191128Riedel.docx
Photo Caption: Videe SpA has equipped new 4K HDR OB van with Riedel's Artist and Bolero intercom systems.
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Warns against wrapping tech companies in red tape and overly-restrictive regs
The Consumer Technology Association has offered up its recommendations for comprehensive consumer privacy legislation in advance of a Dec. 4 hearing on the topic in the Senate Commerce Committee.
A group of senators last week introduced a tough new privacy bill of rights bill, which will be one of the topics under discussion at the hearing, which is self-explanatory titled "Examining Legislative Proposals to Protect Consumer Data Privacy."
In a letter to committee leadership, CTA president Gary Shapiro said his association supports a federal approach that maintains consumer trust (some argue that trust will need to be restored), while still allowing for innovation-driving data collection.
While the Senate bill does not preempt state laws with stricter privacy protections, CTA recommends a preemptive federal law as the most effective way to achieve a consistent framework. "A bill that merely sets one standard and allows states to add different requirements on top of it will lead to both confusion and disparity for consumers," Shapiro told the senators.
CTA also wants protections to match the risk, saying sensitive data "may" require heightened protections. It also says enforcement should focus on "specific, concrete" harms.
Shapiro says privacy legislation should not wrap small businesses in red tape that constricts their ability to compete with larger companies, and should not legislate a private right of action for privacy violations, which he said would be a boon to trial lawyers and a bane to innovators and consumers, the latter because they would lose out on new services and products chilled by the threat of litigation.
Ahmed Best to host
Streaming service Disney+ will be adding a Star Wars-themed game show for kids to its lineup next year.
Star Wars: Jedi Challenge will test young contestants strength, knowledge and bravery in a series of obstacles and challenges as they try to reach the rank of Jedi Knight.
Ahmed Best, who was Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequels and a dancer and martial arts expert, will be the hols. He will be joined by a droid companion voiced by actress Mary Holland.
“Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge brings together the best of Star Wars – competitive spirit, harrowing obstacles and a hero’s triumph over challenges – in a totally new format for the franchise,” said Dan Silver, vice president, originals – unscripted content for Disney+. “A game show set in the Star Wars galaxy is a perfect fit for Disney+.”
The game show is executive produced by Lucasfilm, Dean Houser, and David Chamberlin and Mike Antinoro from Endeavor Content.
“This is definitely a kids game show like no other,” said Mickey Capoferri, Lucasfilm’s senior director of online content & programming. “The various challenges will test a Padawan’s connection to the Force in three locations -- a forest planet, on board a Jedi star cruiser, and inside a Jedi Temple -- immersing them and the audience in a fun, humorous, and exciting competition.”
Commission tentatively plans to allow optional conversion; NPRM seeks comments
The FCC tentatively plans to allow AM stations in the United States to convert their transmissions to all-digital on a voluntary basis, using the MA3 mode of HD Radio. The five commissioners in November unanimously approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes technical standards for all-digital AMs, including adoption of the NRSC-5-D Standard, and asks for comment on the impact of all-digital operations on analog stations and listeners.
The proceeding was prompted by a petition in March from Bryan Broadcasting Corp., as RW has reported.
Below are highlights of the 33-page NPRM. At press time the final text had not been published, but details had been published before the FCC vote and were not expected to change in substance:
The NPRM opens with background about the state of AM and its various challenges; the benefits of digital transmission; and the history of in-band on-channel technology including the hybrid (MA1) service mode.
It then described technical testing by NAB Labs (now Pilot), noting that field testing found that all-digital transmission resulted in a clearer, more robust signal, with greater daytime coverage than a hybrid signal, but that lab testing raised concerns about possible co-channel interference and the ability of all-digital signals using standard transmission equipment to stay within the HD Radio emissions mask.
The NPRM then detailed the experience of Hubbard Radio’s WWFD(AM) in Frederick, Md., which operates MA3 full-time under an experimental license. It noted that Hubbard experienced significant improvement in audio quality and signal robustness in the all-digital mode, but that its facilities first had to undergo considerable upgrades, and that the station continues to experience transmission issues that limit all-digital capabilities, such as the ability to transmit song and artist visual metadata.
The FCC then set out a list of areas it wants to hear comments about.
Regarding the predicted benefits of all-digital AM broadcasting, it asks dozens of questions about improved audio quality, auxiliary data, improved useable signal coverage, increased programming choices (such as music) and energy and spectrum efficiency.
It also asked for comment on potential interference, including adjacent-channel, co-channel, digital-to-digital and nighttime interference.
It set out proposed operating standards, including power limits, emissions mask requirements, a new carrier frequency tolerance standard, a notification requirement for stations converting to all-digital and EAS requirements, and asked for comments on all of that.
It further wants to know about the costs of conversion for AM licensees, the readiness of the public to transition to all-digital reception and the rule changes needed to implement the proposal.
Specifically about the potential benefits, the FCC tentatively concluded that all-digital operation would improve the audio quality of AM broadcasts. “Compared to hybrid mode, all of the modulated transmitter power is dedicated to the digital carriers, in theory resulting in a significantly more robust reception even in the presence of a stronger analog co-channel signal.”
But it listed some qualifications — for instance, that NAB Labs had reported some interference from bridges and power lines that caused the all-digital signal to drop out, and one instance of apparent nighttime interference to all-digital reception from first-adjacent stations operating in hybrid mode.
So it asked for input on numerous questions around signal quality, such as whether all-digital operation would provide listenable signals at relatively low signal strength levels or at the outer listenable fringes of the all-digital signal coverage, particularly where a co-channel signal is encountered. It asked about the reception capability of digital receivers over analog, as well as the impact of power lines and other potential noise sources.
Regarding the work by NAB Labs work and the reports from WWFD, the FCC said that this research “confirms the overall value and feasibility of all-digital broadcasting” but noted that those results have not been evaluated by the National Radio Systems Committee. And it asked whether certain areas need more research, including RF mask compliance, the effects of noise on all-digital coverage area and potential co-channel and adjacent-channel interference.
The NPRM then digs into other areas over 33 pages. Here’s just a sampling:
Auxiliary data — Backers say all-digital will let AMs provide services like stereo audio, song and artist ID, and emergency notifications with text and images. The FCC asked, among other things, whether it should allow flexibility regarding the use of additional channel capacity as it does with hybrid stations, and specifically whether there’s potential in the AM service for future multicast channels.
Signal coverage — Do people agree with the FCC that based on available evidence, an all-digital signal offers the potential of greater useable signal coverage than analog or hybrid? The commission also asked whether it should monitor that a station’s digital coverage corresponds to its previous analog coverage, and if not, what it should do.
Energy efficiency — Will all-digital operation offer greater energy efficiency and utility cost savings for AM broadcasters?
Spectrum efficiency — Will all-digital operation help realize the full potential of digital technology for spectrum efficiency? What are the implications of using current 20 kHz AM channel assignments in all-digital mode?
Interference — The NPRM’s many questions around interference include whether the existing framework for interference protection is sufficient, or whether there are concerns unique to all-digital that should be accounted for in rules governing groundwave and skywave protection of AM stations.
Will all-digital cause interference to co- and adjacent-channel analog stations? Shouldn’t all-digital present fewer interference concerns than hybrid mode?
Is the FCC right in thinking that co-channel interference is more of a concern than adjacent-channel? What does the industry think of existing research about the potential impact of all-digital signals on co-channel analog stations, in and outside their protected contours?
The FCC noted that when it first authorized nighttime operation for AM stations, it had stated that “the benefits of full-time IBOC operation by AM stations outweigh the slightly increased risk of interference …” The FCC asked whether that earlier reasoning applies to the potential for co-channel interference as a result of all-digital operation.
How might the likelihood of co-channel interference from all-digital stations be minimized; and how should the FCC resolve impermissible interference if it occurs?
What about digital-to-digital interference? Is it true that if all AM stations were digital, co-channel interference would be less, thus potentially increasing groundwave coverage for a given power level and carrier frequency? If the all-digital mode increases the power and bandwidth occupancy of the digital carriers, how might this affect adjacent-channel digital transmissions? What would be the impact of all-digital stations on hybrid ones?
Nighttime operations — Should the FCC allow AM all-digital at night, given that propagation characteristics vary markedly between daytime and nighttime? How would all-digital affect potential interference caused by skywave propagation? What additional study and testing might be needed?
Receivers and consumers — Are consumers ready? Is 55 million HD Radio-equipped cars a sufficient number? Are non-car receivers readily available and affordable? How many HD Radio receivers sold in the past are still in operation?
The FCC also wants to know about the impact of all-digital on listeners with analog-only receivers. “What is the estimated size of this audience, and their estimated frequency of use of such receivers? In a market with very few stations, a single station’s conversion to all-digital could reduce options for analog-only listeners.” Should the FCC require a station converting to all-digital to show that it is not the only full-service aural service within its community of license county? Would preserving the long-term economic viability of an AM station and the public benefit of improved service to some listeners justify the present-day loss of service to other listeners? Should the FCC require a converting station to notify its listeners, and in what way?
The NPRM also includes discussion about operating rules; emissions mask compliance (with the FCC noting that “the NRSC has not evaluated it and NAB Labs testing indicated that all-digital stations might have difficulty complying with it”); how signal power should be measured; what carrier frequency tolerance standard to adopt; the impact on EAS and TIS/HAR operations; the likely costs to station of converting; and other factors that might encourage more widespread adoption of all-digital broadcasting within the AM service.
The final NPRM text had not been published at press time, and comment deadlines were not yet set. The first deadline would be in or after late January. Search for “All-Digital AM Broadcasting Revitalization of the AM Radio Service” in MB Dockets No. 19-311 and 13-249.
Also, Kevin Wagner shows how to restrict building cooling space and save money
The post They Don’t Call Capacitors “Old Sparky” for Nuthin’ appeared first on Radio World.
We’ve written about electrolytic capacitors lately. I found a funny video of what happens when you mistakenly connect the “+” voltage to the negative terminal of an electrolytic in a simple flasher circuit. Take a look online at https://tinyurl.com/rw-work-cap (and don’t try it at home).
No identities of where this submission originated. After all, we’ve all probably experienced this or seen it happen to someone not respecting that “+” symbol.
While we’re on the subject of capacitor education, have you heard of ultra-capacitors? A brief tutorial explains the ultra-capacitor and its ability to store tremendous amounts of energy. Watch it at https://tinyurl.com/rw-work-cap2.
Also discussed is ESR, Equivalent Series Resistance, which we’ve covered in this column. ESR is a small internal resistance that limits current. In the case of the ultra-capacitor, the ESR is an amazingly low 7 milli-ohms! This means the ultra-capacitor can discharge hundreds of amps.
Capacitors of this size are used to dump hundreds of amps quickly; one application is handling the sudden stops and starts in electric cars. In the experiments in the video, you can see them used to vaporize bits of metal and circuit board traces. These are powerful components, not to be played with, as you will see. In addition to explaining some capacitor theory, the video demonstrates how dangerous innocuous components like capacitors can be.
Paul Sagi writes from Malaysia that the company SDRplay has released a software update that allows you to scan a wide swath of bandwidth using a software-defined radio. For those new to this technology, SDRs replace traditional components like mixers, filters and amplifiers inside a receiver using software on a personal computer to replicate those component effects.
This new software permits rapidly scanning in 10 MHz (or less) chunks over the SDRplay’s frequency range. It’s a software-defined spectrum analyzer! See www.rtl-sdr.com/tag/spectrum-analyzer-2 for more info.
Paul writes that years ago he had equipment on the bench and physically adjusted tuned circuits. Now that function is all handled in software, which makes sense; tuning a filter simply changes the mathematical function of the filter, and computers now have the capability to perform the math quickly enough.
My Telos colleague (and SBE board member) Kirk Harnack found a virtual bonanza for engineers at Home Depot! It’s a 22-piece reinforced spring clamp set, made out of fiberglass nylon. The best part? The set costs less than $10 for 22 clamps! These aren’t cheap clamps, either. They have non-slip grip handles and vinyl tips to protect the work they are gripping.
At homedepot.com, enter 302755768 in the search field to find this.
Readers who have seen my Workbench presentations for the SBE may remember using the spring clip on a clipboard to hold components while soldering. With the variety of sizes in this set, there’s a clamp for any size job.
You know how important it is to conserve your resources, even if it’s cool air. Kevin Wagner is the operations director for Eagle Communications in St. Joseph, Mo. Not long ago, Kevin invested in a new, smaller transmitter, and the upgrade left him with a large empty room.
The snag was that he was now cooling all that empty space. He needed an inexpensive means to reduce the size of the conditioned area. Sure, he could have built a wall, but what if a future tower lessee required the empty space to be cooled again? Fig. 2 show’s Kevin’s solution.
You see these plastic flaps used in refrigerated storage areas in supermarkets; they keep the cool air contained, but the overlapping flaps can be parted to permit entry into the cooled area. Plus, the fact that the plastic flaps are clear, you can see if someone enters the building while you are working.
These freezer curtain strip sets run between $80 and $200, depending on your size requirements. Search “freezer curtain strips” on Amazon or Google.
Readers enjoyed the EAS loop antenna project we told you about from Ken Beckwith, EMF field engineer. Several readers have inquired about the physics behind the wiring method used; Ken has been gracious enough to explain.
The question dealt with grounding the shield of the conductors. In Ken’s design, the shield on the wiring is the primary of a transformer that actually receives the AM signal. The wire conductors form the secondary of the transformer, and provide the signal to the RF connector going to the receiver. If the shield was not grounded, there would be no voltage generated in the loop.
Not everyone knows all the tricks and tips you’ve used for years. Share your ideas in the pages of Workbench — help other engineers while you qualify for SBE recertification credit. Send tips and high-resolution photos to [email protected].
John Bisset has spent 50 years in the broadcasting industry and is still learning. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. He holds CPBE certification with the Society of Broadcast Engineers and is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.
The post They Don’t Call Capacitors “Old Sparky” for Nuthin’ appeared first on Radio World.
Country devises scheme aimed at boosting DAB+ expansion nationwide
The author is project director for WorldDAB.
Today, there are more than 25 DAB+ audio services available to listeners in Poland, eight of which are exclusively available on DAB+ digital radio. That said, much of the radio landscape in the country has remained unchanged, and despite a number of stations launching on DAB+ in recent years, the geographical share of DAB+ in the country is the same as it was when it first launched just under five years ago.
However, as confirmed by KRRiT [the National Broadcasting Council of Poland] at the WorldDAB General Assembly 2019 at the start of November, all this is about to change as Poland prepares to resume the development of its DAB+ network over the next few years.
Poland’s (national and regional) public broadcasters are currently operating the only multiplex in the country, but as revealed at WorldDAB’s flagship event in Brussels earlier this month, a new, three-step expansion plan is set to start in October 2020 and conclude in October 2022.
As part of this plan, which for the most part will focus on highways and other main roads, population coverage is set to reach 68.2% by the end of the first, 77% by October 2021 and over 81% by the end of the third phase, in October 2022.
Speaking at the General Assembly, KRRiT strategy expert Krystyna Kuhn touched on KRRiT’s five-year regulatory strategy for the period leading up to 2022, pointing to the growth of DAB+ and the launch of two new multiplexes as one of the key priorities for the National Broadcasting Council of Poland.
DAB+ digital radio first launched in Poland in 2013, with two transmitters going into operation in Warsaw and Katowice — two the most populated agglomerations in Poland — and covering over 17% of population.
In October 2015, Poland’s DAB+ network included 24 transmitters in 17 locations across the country, covering over half (55.5%) of Poland’s population and a third of its territory, and it now seems the Polish radio industry is ready to take another step forward towards digitisation.
November also saw the first licences for regular transmissions on local multiplexes being granted for the cities of Warsaw, Katowice, Poznań, Rzeszów, Częstochowa, Toruń and Tarnów.
And despite an apparent lack of DAB+ marketing campaigns, the new international DAB+ logo is increasingly being used by key stakeholders in Poland, while the number of receiver sold in the country continues to grow — there are now over 100.000 DAB+ receivers in the market, excluding devices sold over the internet.
Brings flexibility to the way users manage, connect and deliver content for radio, says firm
Digigram says its IQOYA *VIP software brings flexibility to the way users manage, connect and deliver content for radio.
A scalable solution, IQOYA *VIP provides comprehensive audio routing along with IP audio streaming, encoding and decoding. It helps telcos and content delivery networks (CDNs) to design full end-to-end IP audio transcoding and routing functions, it opens doors to “radio-as-a-service” solutions.
In addition, says the company, by offering easy integration of IP streams, it adds value to automation system providers and radio stations.
IQOYA *VIP is hosted on a server in the cloud and brings studio facilities to one’s fingertips. It features simultaneous encoding/decoding, with transcoding capabilities, encoding of multiple audio streams, multiformat IP live streaming (including RTP/UDP, MPEG-TS, and Icecast/SHOUTcast) and stereo audio or multichannel I/O.
IQOYA *VIP runs under Windows or Linux. The service can be operated through a web GUI or a web service API. Once setup, it’s autonomous, hidden inside the system. When used as part of an automation system, IQOYA *VIP works just like any standard audio device.
For information, contact Digigram in France at +33-4-76-52-47-47 or visit www.digigram.com.
Launches year-end campaign on Giving Tuesday
Dec. 3 is Giving Tuesday, and the Broadcasters Foundation of America wants radio and TV people to get in the holiday spirit.
Today, the foundation is launching its year-end campaign for donations to support its mission to “provide an anonymous safety net” for broadcasters and their families in times of need.
This year, the 501(c)3 charity says it will grant at least $1.3 million in aid. This represents a sharp uptake in giving; since 2000, the BFA has given out about $11 million, and the association says the number of monthly grants it awards have “increased over 75% since 2015,” according to a press release. For example, in 2000 the foundation gave $61,000 to those in need, compared to $802,800 in 2016. Additionally, the BFA says it has awarded more than 500 emergency grants since 2015.
“Requests for assistance have escalated at an alarming rate over the past several years,” Broadcasters Foundation President Jim Thompson said in the announcement. “At this giving time of year, we ask every broadcaster to give thanks for their success and good fortune with a tax-deductible contribution that will help us continue our mission of providing aid to those in our business who need it most.”
The foundation requests tax-deductible personal donations be made out to the Guardian Fund and corporate contributions to the Angel Initiative. Bequests can also be made through the foundation’s Legacy Society.
Visitation and funeral details also announced
The post SBE President and Other Colleagues Memorialize John Lyons appeared first on Radio World.
Colleagues are remembering engineer John Lyons this week; and his memorial service details are now available.
As Radio World reported earlier, Lyons died unexpectedly Friday. In response to the news, Society of Broadcast Engineers President Wayne Pecena released a statement, calling him “a bigger-than-life icon of the broadcast engineering community in New York City.” Pecena said that Lyons’ “handprints were on all major New York City broadcast and communications facilities from Empire State to 4 Times Square.”
Lyons’ most recent and ambitious project was the design and buildout of Durst Corp.’s broadcast facilities at One World Trade Center. In 2016, prior to OWTC’s completion, Pecena remembered, the site hosted the SBE Education Summit, during which Lyons gave attendees a tour, which Pecena says was a special occasion and now a memory “to be cherished.”
Lyons was a longtime member of the SBE. Pecena noted that Lyons had served on the board of directors for four years and subsequently was elected a Fellow. Lyons and Pecena also shared the distinction of the Radio World Excellence in Engineering award; Lyons was named the third recipient in 2006, and Pecena joined the ranks in 2014, upon which occasion, Pecena recalls, “When I received that award, his email to me simply stated, ‘Congratulations to #11 from #3.’”
In response to a Radio World invitation, other colleagues have sent thoughts.
Warren Dyckman remembered Lyons as a friend and client of Hanson Broadcast Engineering for the fitout of the 1 WTC 90th floor and master antenna system. “John was always a great manager and always made time to facilitate and build and support not only on the work site but also on the teams bringing the technology and the broadcast clients to 1 WTC.”
Another colleague recalled his addition to trains. “He was a devout rail fan and took the train whenever he could,” said Richard Ross of Univision Communications. “I met him in the dining car of the Lake Shore Limited on route to Chicago some years back and he greeted with a usual insult ‘I didn’t know they let bums like you on the train,’ which reassured me all was well.”
Clay Freinwald remembered Lyons for his “wry humor and gracious ways.” Colleague Josh Gordon called Lyons “quick witted, incredibly funny and one of the best organized people I have ever known. I never understood how he could manage so many people, tasks and details and still have time to respond personally to small requests for details and decisions in near real time. He was a giant in our industry, yet very humble.”
Consultant Paul Shulins recalled “a real family man who was always full of energy and ideas. He spent countless volunteer hours running AFCCE meetings and working as the treasurer of that organization. He also helped so many fellow engineers as a mentor and advisor. We will miss you, John. When I look at the New York City skyline I will always think of you. There is no better honor.”
Fellow broadcasters and friends are invited to share their memories at DignityMemorial.com. That obituary page includes information about a visitation scheduled for Thursday Dec. 5 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Chas. Peter Nagel Funeral Directors in New York. His funeral is scheduled for Dec. 6, 11–11:45 a.m. and will be held at Maple Grove Cemetery, according to the website.
The post SBE President and Other Colleagues Memorialize John Lyons appeared first on Radio World.
When it comes to Alexa devices, Amazon may have outdone itself in September
The author is founder of Jacobs Media.
It used to be Apple’s big announcements were what captivated the tech industry — and the rest of the world. And not to take anything away from iPhone 11, but Apple’s been making a pretty cool phone with most of these features for some time now. There hasn’t been a lot of whiz-bang, oh wow! news coming out of Cupertino lately.
The action is happening over at Amazon, where new Alexa-ish products keep on rolling out. Surprisingly, media coverage of Amazon’s recent media event in Seattle paled in comparison to what Apple gets out of their new product extravaganzas.
But when it comes to Alexa devices, Amazon may have outdone itself in late September.
KEEP AN EYE ON VOICE
Of course, everything revolves around Amazon’s voice products as it continues its drag race with Google in this space. Oddly enough, Google does well outside the U.S. But here in America, it’s an Amazon-dominated landscape. (And where’s Apple when it comes to voice?)
That’s why it’s important for everyone in radio to keep pace with how “voice” is growing and changing — in much the way the industry was hyper-focused on social media and mobile just a decade ago.
That’s because “voice” is moving fast as a discovery/usage engine, and yet, many radio brands and companies are not thinking about it all that much. But they should be.
We’ve talked about Amazon’s Echo Auto product — the cheap (under $25) aftermarket add-on that brings Alexa into vehicles. It’s being distributed by “invitation only” (whatever that means). I haven’t gotten my hands on one of these yet (although I ordered mine back in the winter), but I know a number of you have. And you’ve been kind enough to give me your reviews of this new device.
KUPD’s visionary head of programming, Larry McFeelie, shot me a note after his Echo Auto showed up. Here’s his take:
“Quite frankly, it was a clunky experience and I’m not sure I understand the necessity for having Alexa available in the car. The unit comes with a mount that magnetically holds the Echo Auto and connects to your air conditioner vent. Then you have a power cable that sticks out of the side and they even include a cigarette lighter power charger with extra USB ports in case you have other items to charge. Even still, this felt like I was plugging things into things into things with cables hanging off of stuff. It just felt too ‘after market’ for my taste.
“The Echo Auto uses your phone (and Alexa app) for internet access and if your phone connects via Bluetooth, the Echo Auto can transmit its messages directly through your phone’s audio. So it’s not like it’s taking up your connection in the car, it just needs to be there to transmit messages through your phone. If you don’t have Bluetooth, they included a 3.5 mm auxiliary cable you can connect directly into the unit.
“Other than requesting ‘Flash Briefings’ and ordering more garbage on Amazon, I wasn’t able to find too many things that the Echo Auto could do … that my iPhone couldn’t. It’s nice to tell Alexa to ‘play 98KUPD,’ but I can just as easily hit the 98KUPD app on my phone. The unit came with a free audio book from Audible, but again, why couldn’t I just use the Audible app on my phone?
“Anyway, that’s my short, quick review on the new Amazon Echo Auto. I don’t think it will be taking the world by storm. Just my two cents.”
At times, it seems like Amazon may be throwing techie spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. That became evident at September’s event where several new “Take Alexa with you wherever you go” products were introduced. It’s hard to say which, if any, will still be around in a year or two. But that seems to be part of the Amazon game plan.
The first of the these new Alexa-powered peripherals is Echo Buds — earbuds that instantly connect you with Alexa (and apparently even Google Voice and Siri).
Yes, this is how Alexa gets in your head — literally. The buds are wireless, of course, with Bose noise reduction technology. (You can tap a bud to cancel the feature when you’re ordering a latte.) The price? About $130, shipping in time for the holidays, oddly enough.
The second product may have a ring of familiarity to it: Alexa-enabled glasses. Now, if this sounds a little like the ill-fated Google Glass from a few years back, we’re thinking along the same lines.
These Amazon glasses — dubbed Echo Frames — allow you to converse with Alexa without having to take your phone out or look at your wrist. As Wired suggests, this might allow you to interact with Alexa in places that are phone-inappropriate — movie theaters, gyms or at a restaurant (although that rarely stops people these days). Unlike Google Glass, you can get a prescription filled with Echo Frames, so you can actually see what’s in front of you while chatting with your favorite voice assistant. The price? $180 is the number, and Amazon will be beta-ing these eye wearables this fall.
And the other new Amazon gadget that resonated for me, sort of, is Echo Loop. I’ve tested similar products at CES these past few years, where you put a “ring” on your finger, wave it around, and things happen (the TV volume goes up and down, etc.). Amazon’s ring product is a little different. It has two mics and you speak into it to connect with your bud, Alexa. That seems a bit odd — speaking to a ring, but then again, Dick Tracy spoke into a watch, and now many of us do every day.
But Amazon isn’t just thinking gadgets with Alexa — they’re focused on personality. The Amazon team also announced that Samuel L. Jackson is now the first celebrity replacement voice for Alexa on Echo-embedded devices. At a cost of just 99¢, the star of many Quentin Tarantino films and endless Capital One commercials can tell jokes, set timers and even play music. It turns out there’s a clean and an “explicit” version of Jackson available, depending on your sensibilities and whether there are children or bosses around.
This is apparently the beginning of a personality program for Alexa, as other voices from the worlds of sports, entertainment and music — like Cardi B and Harrison Ford — will be available in Amazon’s updated version of ring tones for Alexa devices.
Amazon’s rush to “productize” Alexa makes you wonder what other products they’re cooking up that would go well with voice commands. That might mean connecting Alexa with things we do several times a day — eat. And thus, it’s not surprising there are rumors of food-related applications in the Echo pipeline, designed to combine some of our favorite activities.
Echo ’Za is one of these — a clever way of enjoying your favorite music or radio station while you scarf down a pepperoni pizza. You can definitely see a bidding war breaking out between Domino’s, Little Caesars, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s to see who will nail down the Alexa naming rights.
But my favorite rumored Alexa beta product is all about how many of us start our days — and no, I’m not talking about turning on a radio station. Perhaps the most mind-blowing Alexa application is rumored to be embedding its voice technology into coffee cups, items that many people carry around all the time, from Seattle to Sarasota.
I’m thinking Echo Caf could be the next breakout product for Amazon’s growing line of Alexa items, a unique way to combine our addiction to caffeine with our addiction to giving voice command orders to invisible devices and hoping for a positive result. Alexa, order me a “Skinny grande frappuccino.”
At CES in January, we’ll be on the lookout for the next line of Amazon Alexa products, with an eye — and ear — on how Google will respond, hopefully with clever, innovative products of their own. Maybe Amazon’s Echo Frames will signal the resurrection of Google Glass, which would make me happy. Mine has been gathering dust since I took the plunge back in 2014, spending an obscene amount of money to be one of the first to try on a pair of these techie specs. My Google Glass is still in great shape, hardly used, and well-maintained.
Make me an offer.
If you’re still reading, I made up those last two Alexa products. Who in their right mind would embed a voice assistant in pizza boxes or coffee cups?
This article originally appeared at https://jacobsmedia.com/blog.
Saluted for innovations and research into the possibilities of all-digital transmission on the AM band in the United States
The post Dave Kolesar to Receive Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award appeared first on Radio World.
Dave Kolesar, CBT, CBNT, has been named the recipient of the Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award for 2019–2020.
Radio World Editor in Chief Paul McLane said Kolesar, senior broadcast engineer at Hubbard Radio in Washington, D.C., is being recognized for his initiative in converting station WWFD in Frederick, Md., to full-time, all-digital transmission, the first AM station of its kind in the United States, and for advancing our industry’s discussion and awareness of the potential uses of the HD Radio MA3 mode.
The FCC in November proposed to allow all U.S. AM band stations to convert to all-digital if they wish, and it is taking comments on the idea now. “While many people have played a role in advancing voluntary conversion, Kolesar is recognized for advocating within Hubbard for the experiment, which necessitates turning off a station’s analog AM signal entirely, and then executing it over several years,” McLane said. “The experiences and findings at WWFD are an explicit part of the FCC’s NPRM text, and its project continues to produce insights that are likely to be of benefit to other broadcasters.”
Kolesar is transmitter engineer for WTOP(FM), Federal News Radio as heard on WFED(AM), and WWFD. He also is program director of The Gamut, the format broadcast on WWFD. Prior to Hubbard, he worked as an electronics engineer in the Information Technology Division of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. He holds Master of Electrical Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Physics degrees, both from Catholic University. The Dec. 4 issue of Radio World features an interview with Kolesar about his career and the digital initiative.
He is the 16th recipient of Radio World’s annual award. Last year’s honoree was Russ Mundschenk. Prior recipients are Andy Andresen, Mike Starling, John Lyons, Clay Freinwald, Jeff Littlejohn, Gary Kline, Milford Smith, Barry Thomas, Paul Brenner, Marty Garrison, Wayne Pecena, David Layer, Mike Cooney and Larry Wilkins.
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Tennessee city has the right mix to support company’s digital initiatives
iHeartMedia says its second major iHeartRadio hub will open in Nashville, Tenn., in the first quarter of 2020.
iHeartMedia Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman said the company plans chose Nashville to capitalize on the “city’s diverse pool of high tech and creative, ambitious talent.” The area is home to 20 universities and colleges, as well as tech start ups and Fortune 500 companies, from which iHeart likely hopes to hire.
The new location will house many members of the iHeartRadio digital product team who will collaborate on initiatives with teams in New York, San Antonio and Silicon Valley.
The media company says it’s already listed new Nashville-based positions in engineering, product development, data science and more, which can be found here.
In the announcement, iHeartRadio President Darren Davis said, “This is the right time to expand our digital team — and what better location than Nashville, given that music is at the heart of our business. Nashville’s technology ecosystem is thriving, and combined with the city’s rich history in music, entrepreneurial spirit and diverse culture, we believe this is the perfect location for us to extend our digital leadership and recruit highly skilled and passionate candidates for our second iHeartRadio Digital headquarters.”
Remembering two engineers and mentors who were friends and respected colleagues
Not long ago, two very well known broadcast engineers left us, both part of the U.S. radio technical community. Their lives were intertwined; and they died within days of each other.
Radio World gathered memories from friends and colleagues of Warren Shulz and Jeff Nordstrom.
“TOUGH, BUT FAIR”
Warren Shulz, chief engineer of WLS(AM/FM) and WFYR and WKFM(FM) in Chicago, passed away at the end of 2018 at age 72, following a long battle with prostate cancer. He was a 1964 graduate of the Chicago Vocational High School. Shulz later earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology from Purdue University. He retired in 2012 after 50 years as chief engineer of WKFM, WYFR and WLS(AM/FM).
Shulz was a lifetime member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Society of Broadcast Engineers, a member of the National Association for Radio and Telecommunications Engineers and the Audio Engineering Society. He was also a past board member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (radio division) and ham radio operator WA9GXZ. He enjoyed camping and riding his homemade electric bicycle.
Linda Baun, vice president of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, recalled Shulz as a regular at their annual Broadcasters Clinic.
“Warren would travel from his home to attend the clinic in his RV. I always received his posts after the conference, commenting on the caliber of the educational sessions — he was tough, but fair.”
Colleagues remembered Shulz acting as a mentor to those less experienced, always willing to share his time and expertise.
Art Reis of RadioArt Enterprises said, “Warren was a mentor to any who needed assistance. He famously helped out the CE at KFI Los Angeles, who was having problems with his Continental 317C, by sending him all his notes and documentation on the 317C he had here at WLS. The knowledge he got helped him greatly in solving his problems.
“Warren always had or took the time to help others, and he could go on for an hour or more on the phone helping out. I know because I was the beneficiary of quite a number of those phone calls. His knowledge was beyond that of almost anyone else I knew in the business back in the day. One of our compatriots in the business once told me, ‘If you’re going to get help from Warren over the phone, my advice is to pack a lunch.’ That was true, but we loved it. Sitting and learning at Warren’s proverbial feet was a true treat and a gift.”
Shulz was also known for the sound quality and competitiveness of his stations.
Bob Gorjance, a former Harris sales rep, recalls a story involving Shulz and Gary Shrader, then the CE of WCLR(FM).
“Gary bought a solid-state FM exciter and audio processor from me. Several days later, Warren calls and said he wanted to see me ASAP. When I stopped by his office, he asked me if I’d seen Gary lately. I nodded silently, yes. He then asked me if he had bought something from me. Again I silently nodded ‘yes.’ He said, ‘I want the same thing.’ I filled out the order form and silently pushed it over to him and he signed it.
“Warren had heard a big difference in the sound of WCLR, and wanted to stay competitive with Gary. A few days later, Gary called, asking if I had visited Warren.”
Jeff Nordstrom got to know a great number of engineers through his work as manager of the satellite equipment sales division of Harris/Allied. He suffered a heart attack last December at age 67, just a few days before Shulz passed away.
The two were close friends, first becoming acquainted through Nordstrom’s work for Harris/Allied.
Nordstrom started his radio career at Racine Park High School, and was an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie. He was a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers since 1973. He did a variety of jobs in radio, from disc jockey to chief engineer. Nordstrom worked at stations in Washington, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. In 1983, he joined Allied/Harris Broadcast in Indiana. He started working for Clear Channel Colorado in 2000, and later Westwood One, from which he retired in 2018.
Like Shulz, he was a frequent attendee at the Broadcasters Clinic and made regular presentations.
Nordstrom also loved gardening and a bit of farming. He enjoyed the Denver Botanical Gardens and looking at antique radio equipment, and was an active member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter American Theatre Organ Society. He also enjoyed riding his motorcycle.
Industry veteran Chuck Kelly recalled that Nordstrom had a great sense of humor, which sometimes extended to practical jokes. “I was always in awe of the technical operations at the Chicago stations. I on the other hand was employed by a poor AM-FM combo where nothing worked right, including the directional AM antenna system. I constantly lived in fear of an FCC inspection.
“One morning, the receptionist buzzed my office, letting me know that the FCC was waiting to speak with me up front,” Kelly continued. “I briefly thought of running out the back door, but finally decided to head up to reception and face the music. I was surprised to see Jeff Nordstrom in his motorcycle jacket, laughing in the lobby, when I came out. I don’t think he ever knew how petrified I really was.”
In this industry, paths tend to cross many times, Kelly said.
“So it was with Warren and Jeff. They both continued to impress me not only with their technical knowledge and skill, but with uncommon humility and warmth in careers lasting nearly 40 years. Losing these two friends leaves a void not easily filled.”
Mark Burg, assistant engineer, recalls Nordstrom for his attention to detail.
“My very first contact with Jeff was a phone call I initiated to him following a highly detailed parameter chart I made up to track legal and out-of-parameter readings of a three-tower AM directional near Oshkosh that Jeff had been engineer-in-charge of in the 1970s and early ’80s. It was during that discussion that he informed me that I had made a mistake and had made the chart too broad in the parameters. He highly suggested that I needed to trash that chart and start over.
“Ever since that moment, I have every effort to double-check my math, the facts and spellings. Jeff’s point has always stuck in my mind: Double check what you’re doing, even if it looks correct and great on paper. It’s the ‘practice’ and the implementation of that information that really matters.”
WBA’s Baun reflected, “Success has many meanings. In my opinion, success is measured in your willingness to give of yourself. Growing, caring and sharing with others that need your time and expertise is never a waste. The rich careers of Jeff and Warren made a difference to many in this ever- evolving industry.”
Station was offline for most of Nov. 27
The post Kentucky FM Bounces Back From Wednesday Tower Break appeared first on Radio World.
As if the day before Thanksgiving isn’t stressful enough, the engineering team at Kentucky’s WAKY(FM) had a nasty surprise when a strong storm snapped a small tower nearly in half, knocking the station off air.
Morning host Bobby Jack Murphy announced at 11:15 a.m. on Facebook: “WAKY Tower a victim of the high winds!” He also posted a photo of the damage, which he could see from inside the studio. It appears to be the station’s STL send dish.
103.5 FM was offline for nearly 12 hours; the station’s Facebook page announced its return to the air at 10:35 p.m. the same day.
During the interim, the station used its social media presence to alert listeners of alternate ways to tune in, reminding locals of WAKY’s simulcasts on 100.1 FM, 106.3 FM and 620 AM, as well as streaming versions available at wakyradio.com and the WAKY app and TuneIn.
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National Student Electronic Media Convention was held in St. Louis Oct. 31–Nov. 2
The post Student Broadcasters Convene at The Gateway to the West 2019 appeared first on Radio World.
College Broadcasters Inc. said it hosted more than 350 student and faculty attendees at the three-day 2019 National Student Electronic Media Convention in St. Louis last month.
The event centered on radio and television, but also featured workshops and sessions on podcasting and mobile multimedia storytelling. CBI said these were led by industry professionals, faculty advisers and students; some of the professionals were prior student NSEMC attendees themselves.
In a press release, CBI President John Morris said, “It impressed me to see nearly a hundred workshops presented covering a wide range of topics, including programming, leadership, news, sports, podcasting, promotion and more.”
According to CBI’s Morris, the Midwestern city was selected to host the event because St. Louis “is a top 25 media market, has incredible delicacies and includes a depth of history and entertainment options.” Next year’s host city, Baltimore, is ranked as the 26th media market, and has a similarly long history and plenty of its own fantastic food (crab cakes, anyone?). The 2020 event is scheduled for Oct. 21-24.
The post Student Broadcasters Convene at The Gateway to the West 2019 appeared first on Radio World.
New broadcast transmission facilities atop One World Trade Center are just the most visible of his numerous accomplishments
The post John Lyons Dies; Helped Shape New York’s RF Skyline appeared first on Radio World.
John Lyons has died. He suffered cardiac arrest at home Friday, according to his family. He was 71.
Lyons was assistant vice president and director of Broadcast Communications at The Durst Organization.
He was responsible for the communications infrastructure of Durst’s multimillion-square-foot commercial portfolio and played a major role in helping broadcasters return to the air in New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack on the World Trade Center. Among his many accomplishments was leading the design and implementation of the redesigned master antenna at 4 Times Square and the new broadcast transmission facility at One World Trade Center.
In 2006 Lyons received the Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award; in 2017 he was honored with the NAB Television Engineering Achievement Award.
Earlier in his career he held engineering positions with several New York-based broadcast organizations and served two stints as chairman of the Master FM Broadcasters Committee at the Empire State Building. “He was a walking history of New York broadcasting,” said fellow New York engineer David Bialik. “In addition he changed the RF landscape of New York.”
Lyons is survived by his wife Natasha Lyons and sons Matthew, 26, and Constantine, 7.
He was former president and most recently treasurer of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers; he was elected Fellow of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and was active in the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, the NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference Committee and the Veterans’ Hospital Radio and Television Guild.
He was a devoted family man, and he made learning a lifelong pursuit. Among other things he was a licensed New York State Real Estate Broker and a member of the Real Estate Board of New York and the Building Owners and Management Association, and held a Certificate in Property Management from New York University.
Radio World described him in 2006 as “funny, brash, no-nonsense, unpretentious, sentimental … all characteristics we love in native New Yorkers.” He also enjoyed golf and competitive dancing; Lyons had met his wife in Siberia, while photographing a ballroom dance competition.
According to a biographical summary published earlier by Radio World, Lyons attended Brooklyn Technical High School and was a transmitter operator and studio engineer for radio station WRFM (later WWPR). He spent nine years as chief studio technical operator at WWRL and while there also worked as director of engineering at ZDK Radio in St. John’s, Antigua, a station he built and put on the air. He worked for WOR Radio as assistant chief engineer, then was moved by the company to WXLO (later WRKS) to be chief engineer, where he served for a decade.
During most of that time he was chairman of the Master FM Broadcasters Committee at the Empire State Building, coordinating the operations of 13 city FM stations with the broadcasters at Empire and the World Trade Center.
In 1990, he left WRKS to join DSI Communications (later DSI RF Systems), where he was senior project manager, responsible for communications facility build-outs, including TV and radio station transmitter facilities, two-way communications, point-to-point microwave and satellite communications systems. In 1994 he took a consulting position at the new Sony Worldwide Radio Networks, where he worked to establish and set standards for a nationwide satellite-programming network, built the studios and developed its operations system. With that established, Lyons moved on to WLTW with Viacom Radio (later Clear Channel Communications) as assistant chief engineer, and was promoted to become chief of the recently acquired WAXQ. He resumed his position as chairman of the Master FM Broadcasters Committee at Empire for four more years and was design engineer for many of the Clear Channel New York operations including the pioneer backup FM transmitting site at 4 Times Square for the five Clear Channel NYC stations.
After the catastrophic losses of Sept. 11, 2001, Lyons worked with the Empire State Building, 4 Times Square, broadcasters and contractors to restore broadcasting operations for all of the orphaned WTC stations. He designed transmission line runs, laid out transmitter plants and assisted the stations to return to the air as soon as possible.
In 2002 he was named manager of communications and broadcast operations at 4 Times Square for The Durst Organization and was responsible for removal of a 132-foot master FM antenna tower and its replacement with a 385-foot master TV and FM antenna tower, capable of accommodating all the TV and FM stations licensed to the New York metropolitan area. This facility also was capable of point-to-point microwave, spread spectrum, broadband, two-way, STL/TSL, RPU and ENG services.
In 2005 he became responsible for the communications needs of the entire Durst portfolio.
He also helped establish a state-of-the-art communications system for first responders in Durst skyscrapers in the wake of 9/11.
“His thumbprint is all over New York radio,” Radio World wrote in 2006, even before the new One World Trade Center and its showcase transmission facility were built.
Funeral arrangements were not finalized as of Saturday evening.
Radio World is gathering reader comments about the passing of John Lyons. Email [email protected]
The post John Lyons Dies; Helped Shape New York’s RF Skyline appeared first on Radio World.
Desires to make it easier and less burdensome for prospective licensees
The post FCC to Consider New Licensing Rules for LPFM/Noncom Stations appeared first on Radio World.
The Federal Communications Commission is ready to move on a new Report and Order that would make changes to the rules and processes surrounding licensing for LPFMs and noncom stations.
At its December meeting, the commission plans to consider an R&O that would tweak the licensing process for low-power FMs and noncommercial educational stations and build upon lessons learned from the most recent NCE and LPFM filing windows, said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a recent blog.
“[The changes] are designed to improve our comparative selection and licensing procedures, expedite the initiation of new service to the public, eliminate unnecessary applicant burdens, and reduce the number of appeals of our NCE comparative licensing decisions,” Pai said.
The media item, part of Media Bureau Docket Number 19-3, is the next step in the commission’s ongoing efforts to reexamine licensing procedures for noncommercial education and low-power FM stations. The commission most recently tackled the issue in February 2019 when it adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the same issue in an effort to improve the rules and procedures to select and license competing applications for new noncommercial educational broadcast stations and LPFM stations.
At that time, many commenters called for changes that would streamline improvements to FCC’s point award criteria, mandatory time sharing rules and tie breaking criteria.
The Report & Order is up for discussion at the FCC’s December Open Meeting on Dec. 12.
The post FCC to Consider New Licensing Rules for LPFM/Noncom Stations appeared first on Radio World.
Modify or eliminate, times have changed since the last rule change
There have long been strong opinions on whether or not the Federal Communications Commission should modify — or maybe outright eliminate — the radio duplication rule.
Now, the FCC is looking for comment on that proposal, which currently prohibits any commonly owned commercial AM or FM station from duplicating more than 25% of its weekly broadcast hours a week if the community contours of the stations overlap to a specific degree.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was released by the commission on Nov. 25. Now the commission is asking whether the rule remains necessary to service the public interest goals of competition, programming diversity and spectrum efficiency.
It was back in 1964 that the commission first limited radio programming duplication by prohibiting FM stations in cities with populations over 100,000 from duplicating the programming of a co-owned AM station in the same local area for more than 50% of the FM stations broadcast day. The current version of the rule was adopted in 1992 and since there have been considerable changes in the industry since then, the NPRM is looking for comment on what modifications should be made.
Specifically, the notice will:
- Ask whether the radio duplication rule remains necessary to foster competition and program diversity in light of significant changes to the radio broadcast industry since the current rule was adopted in 1992.
- Seek comment on whether the radio duplication rule remains necessary to promote spectrum efficiency, or whether current demands for spectrum now push radio broadcasters to maximize efficiency and supply varied programming to the local market.
- Seek comment on whether the rule should be modified or eliminated based on the changes that have occurred since adoption of the rule.
- Seek comment on whether and how the rule should be modified to reflect the current radio market if the commission determines that the radio duplication rule should be retained.
- Ask whether the rule should only apply to the FM band.
- Ask whether the 25% of total programming hours threshold should be raised or lowered.
- Ask whether the 50% overlap requirement should be raised or lowered.
“There are clearly circumstances in which some measure of program duplication in the same market is beneficial, such as rebroadcasting locally oriented programming that is often expensive to produce but is of particular interest to local listeners,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr when the NPRM was released. “At the same time, there aren’t always going to be compelling reasons to rebroadcast 100% of another station’s programming. But those decisions should be determined in the market by the listening public and not in the pages of the Code of Federal Regulations.”
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel concurred with the NPRM as well, but said that she hopes “any changes made do not lead listeners to find fewer voices and sources of local news the next time they tune in.”
Comments can be made via the FCC’s ECFS database using Media Bureau Docket 19-122.
Services integrate well with other modules from WideOrbit
The post User Report: WideOrbit Provides Podcasting for Federated Media appeared first on Radio World.
MISHAWAKA, Ind. — In the summer of 2016, we launched our podcasting network to augment our growing linear and live streaming businesses. As our network grew, we had several opportunities to monetize our podcasting content with deeper sponsorships and requests to target ads across episodes and devices. While our existing podcasting solution was sufficient for basic functionality such as hosting multiple podcasts, organizing content by station, and uploading feeds to podcast directories, it lacked the advanced functionality to keep up with the growing popularity of podcasts and the associated demand from advertisers. Furthermore, our staff felt the existing monetization software was not intuitive or user-friendly and required complicated, manual ad insertion.
In 2019, after testing multiple alternate podcasting solutions, we decided to expand our relationship with our long-time media operations partner, WideOrbit. Their WO On Demand product could provide Federated Media the necessary advanced monetization functionality to scale our podcasting business immediately. Transitioning over to WO On Demand was simple because WO Streaming had been our live streaming platform for many years and, on the linear broadcast side of the business, WO Traffic was our system of record for some time.
Because our staff was already comfortable with the WideOrbit interface and workflow, training for WO On Demand was simple and quick. The workflow is a natural extension from WO Streaming for both our end users as well as our engineers. In addition, we have the flexibility to manage and monetize our content in many new ways. Today, we can offer: ad insertion for podcasts at the show, station or network levels; streamlined file management to update intros, promos and sponsorships; Dynamic station ID tag insertion for an enhanced listening experience; and “Broadcast-to-Podcast” ability to auto-create podcasts from previously recorded original content.
WideOrbit has been a trusted and reliable partner on many levels. They continue to evolve their products as the media landscape shifts and I’m looking forward to improvements such as repurposing on-air content into podcasts with separate dynamic ad insertion; adding an embeddable player for our website, blog and social media; and reducing ad load by optimizing ad placement and balancing with content.
For information, contact WideOrbit at 1-415-675-6700, Option 2, or visit www.wideorbit.com.
The post User Report: WideOrbit Provides Podcasting for Federated Media appeared first on Radio World.
Learn about cybersecurity best practices in this new ebook
We see it every few months: A headline that a radio group or station has been hit by the latest cyber attack.
What we don’t see are the emails that then fly out from radio CEOs to their IT and engineering teams: “How do we make sure this never happens to us?” The latest Radio World ebook is intended to help radio technologists answer that question.
Is your network adequately prepared to defend against cybersecurity incursions? Where are the vulnerable points in a broadcast radio and streaming operation? What has our industry learned from recent ransomware attacks on several large radio groups?
Also, more and more makers of critical radio content management systems are building cloud architectures or cloud backups into their designs. What should radio managers and engineers know about these new offerings?
Veteran broadcast IT and networking expert Wayne Pecena provides a primer on the subject. We interview Chris Tarr of Entercom about best practices for cyber and ransomware protection. Consultant Gary Kline provides a list of questions that smart managers should be asking themselves. RCS and ENCO provide their perspectives as suppliers of mission-critical station systems. Read it here.
Including the challenges and practical implications of delivering broadcast audio to listeners via IP and mobile platforms
LONDON — The United Kingdom’s Radio TechCon Conference covered a diverse range of topics this year. Taking place on Monday Nov. 25 at the IET [Institution of Engineering and Technology] in Central London, individual sessions covered subjects, ranging from the strategic to the practical.
Supported by the IET and by various specialist broadcasting companies, including: Broadcast Bionics; Arqiva; Broadcast Radio; RCS; and Calrec, more than 100 people from the U.K. broadcast radio industry attended the event.
Over the years, Radio TechCon has developed a strong reputation for the range of content it offers and this year was no exception. From moving major broadcasting studio complexes, such as Virgin Radio, TalkSport and the famous BBC Maida Vale music studios, through to improving the user experience for broadcasters and coping with change in professional situations, there was something on offer for just about everyone.
Perhaps one of the most strategically important topics covered this year was that of platform development and the challenges and practical implications of delivering broadcast audio via IP and mobile platforms (5G), as these become increasingly important for listeners.
Broadcast delivery via IP delivery is, as one of the session presenters, Simon Mason, head of broadcast radio technology at Arqiva, points out, far more expensive than FM delivery, which in turn is similarly more expensive than equivalent DAB delivery. The core on-going difficultly for broadcasters is the need to deliver via multiple platforms, each with its own incremental costs.
Since the demise of the Sound Broadcasting Equipment Show (SBES), some years back, Radio TechCon has increased the number of trade stands open across the day and situated in the main refreshment area. These companies, including HHB; Vortex; and Luci were busy showing equipment and discussing services over lunch and between sessions.
At least one company, Systembase, used Radio TechCon for the public launch of its latest product. It has developed “SIPit pro” to allow SIP compliant codecs from a variety of manufacturers to easily communicate with each other.
The product not only removes many of the networking issues associated with AoIP connectivity, but also it provides one-time configuration, such that a SIP configured device can be moved from location to location whilst still retaining the same fixed ID, rather like a roaming mobile phone.
As part of its remit to support the U.K. radio and audio industry, the company behind Radio TechCon (TBC Media Ltd.) also runs a master class for those potentially interested in a technically-based broadcasting career and organizes a bursary scheme for attendance of the main Radio TechCon event.
This year a wide range of industry organizations supported the various elements of the bursary scheme. These included Cleanfeed; Bauer Media; The UKRD Group and the European Broadcasting Union, along with further support from the main event sponsors.
With such wide-ranging support from across the U.K. radio broadcasting industry, and a sell-out full house, quite clearly Radio TechCon remains an essential event in the U.K. radio calendar.
The NRTA radio division and Fraunhofer IIS work together on DRM in China
The post Chinese Broadcasters Collaborate with Fraunhofer IIS appeared first on Radio World.
Fraunhofer IIS has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s Administrative Bureau of Radio Stations of the Chinese National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) to strengthen the cooperation for the advancement of Digital Radio Mondiale in mainland China
According to Fraunhofer IIS, the MoU, which was signed at its headquarters in Germany, is based on “long-term mutual trust established in previous collaborations, and aims to further develop the cooperation with regard to the open terrestrial DRM standard, including technologies substantially developed by Fraunhofer IIS, such as the xHE-AAC audio codec and the Journaline text service.”
In addition, it says, the two parties will intensify their exchange of information on DRM technology, work on jointly promoting DRM technology, hold workshops on DRM technology, and conduct field trials to successfully drive the deployment of DRM in China.
“This MoU will further strengthen the relationship of Fraunhofer IIS with China’s broadcasting organizations and help both parties to collaborate even more closely on setting up the digital transmission ecosystems in TV, radio and the internet, introducing standards that deploy technologies driven by Fraunhofer IIS,” said Toni Fiedler, general manager of Fraunhofer IIS China.
“A new generation of information technology for the development of the radio and TV industries has brought unprecedented, profound changes and serious challenges,” said Binbin Luo, deputy director of the NRTA’s radio division.
“To drive the industry forward, we focus on cutting-edge technology and promote the development of best-in-class core technologies in key standards. The cooperation with the world’s leading standard research institutions such as Fraunhofer IIS will ensure the deployment of reliable, future-proof technology in China’s digital radio ecosystems.”
The post Chinese Broadcasters Collaborate with Fraunhofer IIS appeared first on Radio World.
French and Dutch-language public broadcasters come together to encourage the growth of digital radio
The author is communications manager for WorldDAB.
BRUSSELS — Addressing the audience at the WorldDAB General Assembly, VRT’s Paul Lembrechts acknowledged the changing nature of the radio industry in Europe, stating that the “digitization of the radio market is now a fact — it will replace the analog era in the foreseeable future.” He also highlighted VRT’s shifting focus toward DAB+ as the successor of FM.
RTBF CEO Jean-Paul Philippot echoed this view, explaining RTBF’s vision of an alliance-like approach in which all industry players take an active part in digital distribution.
Referring to cooperation on distribution and competition on content, Philippot stressed the market’s need for collaboration between public and commercial radio, the retail and automotive sectors, as well as international bodies and organisations such as WorldDAB and RadioPlayer Worldwide.
According to Philippot, this new “competitive cooperation” is what led to the creation of maRadio.be, a cooperative consortium bringing together RTBF and most of the private players, large and small, from the French-speaking Belgian radio sector. It also opened the doors to regular DAB+ services in French-speaking Belgium — a launch that was officialised and celebrated at the start of November.
Wallonia joins its Flemish counterpart in launching DAB+ digital radio, with VRT having done so at the end of 2018. Commenting on the current state of the radio industry in Flanders, Lembrechts highlighted the growing popularity of DAB+ among Flemish people, explaining that 55% of the population has already heard of DAB+ and 9% of all listening in Flanders happens on DAB+. This, he said, is three times more than when the technology was launched 12 months earlier.
According to Lembrechts, the increasing popularity of DAB+ in Flanders is primarily the result of good cooperation between the major Flemish radio stations and the Flemish government. But, he added, it’s also related to the general popularity of radio as a medium, pointing out that people in Flanders “listen to the radio for about 3 hours and 31 minutes a day.”
VRT’s CEO also stressed the importance of DAB+ in relation to the EECC directive, which requires new cars across the European Union to include digital radio capabilities from 2021 onward. According to Lembrechts,
DAB+ in the car forms an important part of VRT’s digital radio strategy, given that 39% of the 600,000 new cars are already equipped with a DAB+ radio.
As for RTBF, the public broadcaster for Belgium’s French-speaking community has been a strong supporter of DAB+ for the past decade. RTBF currently operates two DAB+ layers, broadcasting a total of 25 DAB+ radio stations (11 public radios and 14 private networks, which is an exception in Europe) — 10 of which are only available on DAB+. The broadcaster’s mobile coverage stands at around 98% of the population.
On stage at the General Assembly, both CEOs stood side by side to reiterate the various benefits of DAB+ digital radio, placing particular emphasis on the wide range of content available on DAB+, the improved sound quality offered by the technology, and its subscription-free model.
As DAB+ in Belgium continues to develop and reach maturity, it’s clear that Belgium’s French and Dutch-speaking public broadcasters are making sure that listeners across the country are able to reap the benefits of DAB+ digital radio.