Weekly Tech Reminders: EAS, SES & Transcoding - Radio Magazine

Weekly Tech Reminders: EAS, SES & Transcoding

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.

ETRS FORM ONE

As reminder all broadcast, and cable operations are required to file form one of the EAS Test Reporting System on or before Aug. 27.

The form is the same as last year and will self-populate a good portion of the information. Filers can access ETRS by visiting the ETRS page of the Commission's website at https://www.fcc.gov/general/eas-test-reporting-system.

Use the same login information as you did last year. Form two will be filed on the day of test (September 20th, 2018). Form three will have to be filed no later than Nov. 5.

All EAS Participants - including Low Power FM stations, Class D non-commercial educational FM stations, and EAS Participants that are silent pursuant to a grant of Special Temporary Authority are required to file.

SES TO COVER C-BAND REGISTRATION COSTS FOR STATIONS

NAB has announced that SES, a C-band satellite operator, is offering to reimburse broadcast stations for the cost associated with the FCC filing fee required for C-band dish registration. NAB strongly urges stations to take advantage of this opportunity and register all C-band earth station dishes promptly while funding is available.

As you may know, the FCC is considering allowing new uses of the C-band, such as mobile uses. It is likely that only registered C-band dishes will be protected from service disruption.

NAB encourages stations to register all C-band earth station dishes by Oct. 17, 2018 to ensure that they are eligible for protection going forward.

You may contact SES directly for further information at FCCregistration@ses.com or by phone at (609) 987-4300.

TRANSCODING... A NECESSARY EVIL?

In digital audio, the term transcoding simply means the process of converting one digital format to another. Transcoding isn't just limited to audio either. It can be used for just about any type of digital media where conversion takes place, such as video, photos, etc.

There are quite a few reasons to convert between formats, but one of the main ones is to do with compatibility. For instance, you might have a song that is in the WAV format. Not all portable devices support this format, so you may need to transcode to one that your device can play, like MP3.

If you are short on hard drive space or simply want to store your songs in a more compact way, then transcoding software is a useful tool to use. Compared to uncompressed audio formats like WAV, lossy formats such as WMA, MP3, and AAC all offer a way to store the same songs at a fraction of the size.

All this sounds like a good thing.....but you can't get something for nothing.

While transcoding is useful, the quality of the audio can suffer in certain circumstances, like the conversion from one lossy format to another. If audio quality is important, then only transcode from lossless to either lossy (e.g. WAV to MP3) or another lossless format.

Most lossy formats, such as MP3 compression are destructive, the files are permanently changed, and it is not designed to allow recreation of the files to their uncompressed state.

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