Weekly Tech Reminders: EAS, Net Neutrality, HD Radio & More

An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes
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The following is from the�Alabama Broadcasters Association�s�weekly e-newsletter, Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes. Thanks to ABA�s Larry Wilkins. To subscribe to the newsletter, email�lwilkins@al-ba.com.


We are excited to announce that the FCC's Pubic Safety and Homeland Security Bureau officially approved the Alabama EAS State plan on Nov. 29. This has been a work in progress for a good while, and I thank everyone that had a part in putting this plan together.

The approved state plan is available here.


When you go online you have certain expectations. You expect to be connected to whatever website you want. You expect that your cable or phone company isn't messing with the data and is connecting you to all websites, applications and content you choose. You expect to be in control of your internet experience.

When you use the internet you expect net neutrality.�

Net neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked.

Without Net neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors' content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment � relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open internet.


From time to time the issue concerning the legality of rebroadcasting a HD stream over an analog FM translator is raised.

Although this practice is not specifically addressed in the FCC rules, the Commission has granted licenses for a large number of translators rebroadcasting an HD-2, HD-3 and HD-4 streams around the country.

The commission has stated "With the advent of digital audio broadcasting, each primary station is capable of broadcasting multiple individual programming streams. Because each FM translator can rebroadcast the signal from only one such digital subchannel, it is logical to conclude that each digital subchannel, rather than the primary station's signal as a whole, constitutes a "signal" for the purposes of the technical need rule".�

When applying the technical need rules in the context of the FCC Form 349 (for a new or modified translator station), the Commission requires applicants to certify that they do not have "any interest in an application or an authorization for an FM translator station that serves substantially the same area and rebroadcasts the same signal as the proposed FM translator station."�

Part 74.1232 further states...."An authorization for an FM translator whose coverage contour extends beyond the protected contour of the commercial primary station will not be granted to the licensee or permittee of a commercial FM radio broadcast station".


High-Definition Multimedia Interface better known as HDMI was released in 2002 by major electronics manufacturers, including Hitachi, Philips, Sony, Toshiba and others. HDMI was the first uncompressed all-digital interface that carries audio and video signals.

The original version HDMI 1.0 included a maximum bandwidth of 4.95 Gigabits per second. That supported 3.96 Gb of video information (1080P @ 60Hz/UXGA) as well as 8 channels of Audio (192 KHz, 24 bit), and some ancillary information.

Now the HDMI forum has officially rolled out version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification. The updated HDMI Specification can now support higher video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, and resolutions up to 10K. Other new features include support for dynamic HDR formats and a bandwidth capability of up to 48Gbps.

Key to supporting the new 48Gbps bandwidth is the Ultra High Speed HDMI cable. This new cable helps deliver high-bandwidth dependent features, including uncompressed 8K video with HDR.