Weekly Tech Reminders: Repack, AWARN, ABIP & More

An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes
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The following is excerpted from the Alabama Broadcasters Association's weekly e-newsletter, Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes. Thanks to Larry Wilkins, who puts together the content and has shared it with Radio magazine readers. To subscribe to the newsletter, send an email to lwilkins@al-ba.com, and he will add you to the database.

TV REPACK UPDATE

Phase 1 of the television repack will end this week. Nov. 30 is the last day for those stations assigned to Phase One to change frequencies. If your station cannot meet the Nov. 30 date, contact the FCC regional coordinator.

Dec. 10 is the last day for stations in Phase One to file License to Cover Application on FCC Form 2100, Schedule B.

Stations in Phase Two can begin test on Dec. 1 and must be complete by April 12, 2019.

AWARN

The Advanced Warning and Response Network, utilizing ATSC 3.0 Advanced Emergency Alerting, represents a major upgrade to America's emergency communication system. AWARN uses next-generation terrestrial broadcasting to deliver rich-media, geo-targeted public alerts. AWARN wakes up devices, delivering alerts even when the cellular network is jammed, or the power grid is down.

The U.S. broadcast standard for mobile television, the ATSC A/153 Mobile DTV Standard, uses Internet Protocol (IP) at its core. The use of IP allows the new application to be flexible and extensible. Data delivery, non-real-time delivery, and electronic service guides are all included.

CLASS A PROTECTION DECEASE

As part of the FCC's AM Revitalization program, the commission has proposed to revised interference protections for Class A AM stations in the United States. One proposal is for daytime hours, two are for protection during the "critical hours" periods and two are for protection of Class A AM stations at night.

Class A stations operate on clear channels with 10 to 50 kW.

ABIP

Does your station participate in the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program?

Each State Broadcasters Association has an agreement with the FCC to conduct these alternative inspections. Once a station has been inspected and issued a Certificate of Compliance, the Commission has stated it will not make “random inspections” for a period of three years. The only exception would be for complaints filed against your station and/or reported safety violations.

In addition, the Alternative Inspection is a great educational tool. With the rapid changes in technology and FCC rules, this affords the station to be sure it is up to date on technical and legal items. The inspection is conducted by an independent contract engineer hired by the Association with the approval of the FCC.

For more information contact Larry Wilkins, Alabama ABIP Inspector or your state broadcasters association.

NEW TECHNOLOGY FROM INTEL

As broadcast media migrates to IP two of the major concerns are latency and QoS. Intel has introduced Optane Technology, based on 3D XPoint memory media, along with the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (Intel RST) driver.

When this new memory media is installed between the processor and slower SATA-based storage devices (HDD, SSHD or SATA SSD), the computer can store commonly used data and programs closer to the processor. This allows the system to access this information more quickly, which can improve overall system responsiveness.

This new technology is built to address the need for non-volatile memory. Traditional DRAM is a volatile memory technology that serves as your computer's “short-term working memory.” Optane will accelerate your PC’s accesses to non-volatile data. In your PC, non-volatile data is your computer's "long-term memory" that persists even when the PC is powered off.

The two memory technologies serve different purposes in the PC memory hierarchy, so Intel Optane memory complements DRAM, rather than replacing it entirely. A computer with both Intel Optane memory and DRAM can access programs and data faster, providing additional performance and responsiveness.

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