NAB2005 The Technical Sessions

March 1, 2005

Between the convention floor and the session halls, you will find plenty to do to fill your day. Produced in partnership with the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the Broadcast Engineering Conference enters its 59th year by presenting topics that cover the entire range of radio broadcast engineering.

A timetable of the BEC and other key events is on page 52. This is not a complete timetable, but includes the sessions and events that are most likely of the greatest interest to you, the Radio magazine reader.

A full week

The activities begin on Saturday, April 16 with the Ennes Workshop, which is arranged by the SBE. Fred Baumgartner, CPBE CBNT, and Lewis Zager arranged the agenda. The topic of the workshop is Building the Next Generation Master Control, and it will be held in room N110 of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). The session will include opening remarks from John Poray, executive director of the SBE. Three portions of the workshop have direct radio themes: Calculating Reliability, Fred Baumgartner, Leitch; Quality Master Control Room Audio Monitoring, Frank Foti, Omnia Audio; and Radio Master Control Design and Implementation, Steve Davis, Clear Channel Radio.

Sunday's sessions all relate to radio's future, with an emphasis on IBOC. The day's events begin with the Broadcast Engineering Conference Keynote by Lynn Claudy, senior vice president of science and technology for the NAB. The keynote will be held in room N112. The radio portion then moves to room N110 for an update on the latest activity of the NRSC from Charles Morgan, senior vice president of Susquehanna Radio and active member of the NRSC.

The remainder of the morning sessions cover the various aspects of surround sound for IBOC. The session, titled Surround Sound - A New Frontier for Radio includes presentations from Frank Foti of Omnia Audio, David Frerichs of Coding Technologies, Robert Reams of Neural Audio and Shigeru Aoki of the Japan FM Network.

After lunch, H. Donald Messer of the International Broadcasting Bureau will provide an update on International radio with a presentation called The DRM Digital Modulation System in the Mediumwave (AM) Band.

The Sunday afternoon sessions are all about IBOC. The session chairmen are Norm Philips of Susquehanna and Chriss Scherer, editor of Radio magazine. The scheduled presentations include Hitless Space Diversity STL Enables IP and Audio in Narrow STL Bands by Sunil Naik of Moseley Associates, Linearizing HD Radio Transmitters by Anders Mattsson of Harris, IBOC Considerations for Multichannel FM Installations by Henry Downs of Dielectric Communications, Split Level Combining Systems For HD Radio by Steve Fluker of Cox Radio Orlando, 4M Modulation and its Benefits on Digital Radio by Jerry Westberg of Broadcast Electronics, HD Radio Installation-Two Case Studies by Erick Steinberg of Susquehanna San Francisco and Max Turner of Susquehanna Indianapolis, HD Radio at Greater Media Boston by Paul Shulins of Greater Media, Improving Transmitter Linearity in FM HD Radio Using Digital Adaptive Pre-Correction by Tim Hardy of Nautel, and A New Approach To Digital Radio Broadcasting in The FM-Band by Derek Kumar of Digital Radio Express.

During the convention

Monday morning turns the attention to the tools required to evaluate digital systems. In room N110, Test, Measurement and Quality Control for a Digital Radio Plant includes IBOC Instrumentation Utilizing Novel Software Defined Radio Architecture by Eric Eckstein of QEI, Performance Measurements of Hybrid IBOC Signals by David Maxson of Broadcast Signal Lab, Practical Considerations in the Measurement of Power and VSWR in Broadcast Transmission Systems by Tim Holt of Bird Electronic, and Examples of AM Antenna Bandwidth from Over 50 Typical Cases by Ben Dawson of Hatfield and Dawson.

On Monday afternoon, the session IT in the Radio Broadcast Facility focuses on the trend of viewing all radio operations as a data transport system. Bill Gould of Moseley Associates presents New STL/TSL Solutions for LAN/WAN Extension to Transmitter Sites, Steve Church of Telos Systems discusses Studio Structures for Surround Broadcasting, William Eldridge of U-Turn Media covers IT Service Management Applied to Broadcast Facilities, Al Salci of Sierra Automated Systems and Engineering presents Data Transport for Audio, Tom Hallewell of Radio Free Asia delves into Information Lifecycle Management for Broadcasters, Ray Miklius of Broadcast Electronics describes Broadcast Infrastructure Engineering of the Future, Phil Owens of Wheatstone talks about Data Transport for Audio, Frederick Gleason of Salem Radio Labs provides tips on Empowering Your Audience: Creating Rich Online Archives for Talk Radio, and Ted Staros of Harris looks into Distributed Intelligence Applied to Routing of Audio and Control in a Radio Broadcast Environment.

Tuesday's morning presentations look at practical installations in the session Radio Broadcast Facilities. Topics include discussion of AM feeder design, a look at the Clear Channel LA consolidation project, challenging remote broadcasts, building the WOR facility and construction of the 4 Times Square New York tower site.

The session Leading Edge Technologies covers mostly TV topics, but there is one hidden radio gem called BRIC Technology - Responding to the Changing Telecom Industry with Reliable, Real-Time, Broadcast Audio Delivery on the Public Internet. Tom Harnett of Comrex provides the details.

The session Broadcast Technical Regulatory Issues on Tuesday afternoon leans toward TV in its scope, but the presentation Broadcast Auxiliary Service - A Frequency Coordination Primer by Tim Hardy of Comsearch and Wireless Device Interference to UHF Television by Bill Ruck should carry some radio relevance.

While the BEC continues through Thursday, the last radio presentations are on Wednesday morning during the Disaster Prep and Recovery session. The hurricanes of 2004 are a part of half the sessions including Hurricane Preparedness in a City Below Sea Level by Joseph Pollet of Entercom New Orleans, Disaster Survival and EAS by Roz Clark of Cox Tampa, and Disaster Recovery — Tales from the Damaged Side by Michael Patton of Michael Patton and Associates. In addition, Disaster Prep by Larry Gispert of the Hillsborough County Emergency Management office, and Disaster Preparation and Recovery: Designed into all Systems from the Start by James Kutzner of PBS should be interesting.

Outside the BEC

There are two sessions during the Broadcast Management conference that have technical relations. On Monday, April 18, the FCC Roundtable provides just over an hour to hear an FCC Commissioner field questions relating to the tough issues that broadcasters face.

On Tuesday, the session HD Radio: You Ain't Heard Nothing Yet will discuss the next steps that broadcasters and manufacturers should take in making HD Radio a viable transmission system for listeners.

Amateur Radio Reception
April 20, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Las Vegas Hilton Ballroom
Always a popular event at the convention, the reception draws attendees from all areas and interests. The event includes food and refreshments. A number of door prizes will be awarded as well. The event is sponsored by Heil Sound.

SBE Events at NAB2005

The Society of Broadcast Engineers has several events and meetings planned during the convention. SBE members are welcome to attend any of these functions, especially the membership meeting.

SBE Board of Directors Meeting
April 17
7:30 a.m. to noon
Grand/Royal Salon, LV Hilton

SBE EAS Meeting
April 18
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
N-236 LVCC

SBE Membership Meeting
April 19
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
N109 and N110, LVCC

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