NAB2002 Pick Hits
Jun 1, 2002 12:00 PM, Compiled By Kari Taylor, associate editor
Pick Hits Panelists
At NAB2002, 10 Pick Hit winners were selected by a panel of radio industry professionals. These companies' products were chosen as "hits" because they offer significant technological improvements and serve everyday applications. Every year since 1985, our panel of industry experts roam the show floor searching the exhibits to find those special products worthy of the BE Radio Pick Hits trophy. In case you missed them at the show, here are the products the panel chose this year.
Portable digital audio recorder
This portable recorder handles linear and MPEG audio files. With no moving parts, this solid-state recorder uses Compactflash cards that allow more than eight hours of mono audio at MPEG Layer 3 on a 256MB card. The removable card can be read by standard PC card readers for file transfer. Flashman features include record/playback in stereo and mono; 32kHz, 44.1kHz and 48kHz sampling rates; marking during record and playback; S/PDIF in and out; more than five hours of operation with alkaline batteries; and optional rechargeable batteries with external loading station.
+49 0 811-55-17-0
fax +49 0 811-55-17-55
POTSto ISDN codec
This codec uses a standard analog phone line to connect with any Zephyr Xstream ISDN codec. Spectral Band Replication coding delivers reproduction of voice and music. A broadcaster can use a standard analog phone line in the field to connect with the Zephyr Xstream ISDN codec in the studio. A custom DSP-based modem extracts bit-rate from real-world lines and prevents audio loss from retraining. With its built-in mixer, this product is useful for grab-and-go remotes. The DSP mixer section has mic and line inputs with selectable dynamics processing by Omnia, plus independent receive audio, headphone and monitor mix outputs. A built-in Web server and Ethernet port lets the user interact with this codec using a Web browser on a laptop.
Sound Choice Furniture:
This new series of stock studio furniture offers quality materials throughout. Vented cabinets have curved corners and countertop edges are rounded. A standard color choice is available. Various riser heights are available for the rack turret. The cabinets are 19-ply, 1" thick plywood and do not use particleboard or melamine. The countertops are solid-surface Avonite. No cabinet assembly is required. All surfaces are fully sealed with no laminate to crack, chip or peel.
Optimod 8400 version 2.0 w/IBOC:
Version 2.0 implements new low-delay processing on all presets, plus improved DSP algorithms that increase punch and presence. The 8400 was first introduced in 2000, and periodic software upgrades have maintained the 8400 as Orban's flagship FM processor. With version 2.0, talent can listen off the air through headphones without hearing any echo in their voices. This software retains and improves on Orban's technology and increases audio quality. The IBOC path provides multiple outputs to drive analog and digital transmission chains while using a single processor and control surface. Existing 8400s can be upgraded to version 2.0 software and the IBOC capability.
Broadband FM antenna
This antenna is a multi-station, side-mounted antenna platform that accommodates 10 or more stations. Its design incorporates three-stage transformation, shape-factored elements and feed-point reactance compensation. The antenna features a continuous solid-contact, interbay connection system designed to eliminate typical wear-and-tear bullet failures. The antenna is available for existing structures or a new site-specific design. This product features encapsulated, pressurized feed points that improve antenna reliability in inclement weather. A long support stem reduces tower distortion effects, and it's built of materials that provide resistance to environmental-related corrosion. Its mean gain is computer optimized and is a function of design frequencies. Axiom models are typically center fed and incorporate rigid coax harnessing.
The first LED-based flashing red beacon for marking towers and other FAA obstacles, the new lamp meets all FAA, Transport Canada and ICAO requirements. Designed primarily as a replacement unit for 300mm incandescent red flashing beacons in existing installations, the L864 flashing red beacon mounts to standard bolt patterns and requires no additional wiring, controllers or monitors. It uses high-flux LEDs and uses 90 percent less energy than standard incandescent beacons that consume a minimum of 1,240W. Its design optimizes LED performance, resists shock and vibration and provides 360-degree visibility, while minimizing unwanted ground-lighting effect. The L864 flashing red beacon carries a limited five-year performance warranty.
Digital AM monitor
This addition to Belar's line of Wizard broadcast monitors offers full PC-based remote indication and control. Special metering algorithms set at the front panel allow the AMMA-2 to monitor conventional AM or controlled-carrier transmissions with accuracy. The DSP-based monitor operates over medium and short-wave bands with harmonic and IM distortion residual effects below 0.1 percent at all carrier frequencies and modulation levels as much as 99 percent.
This exciter provides linear performance for mask-compliant IBOC coverage. At every stage (up-conversion, RF and audio inputs/outputs, user ergonomics and remote control interface) this product offers features designed for added functionality and simplicity. The exciter and transmitters are useful when a transmitter needs to be replaced but the broadcaster isn't ready to initiate IBOC service. When operating a Harris common amplification analog/IBOC transmitter with an analog exciter, simply add an IBOC exciter and audio processing in the future.
This 10-channel mixing console operates on ac or battery power for studio or on-the-road applications. The input compliment includes two mono, three stereo and a separate stereo tape return channel. All stereo channels feature separate gain controls for mic and line inputs. It also has three-band EQ on each channel, two aux sends and inserts on all mono channels. The mixer features gold-plated XLR mic connectors on all mono and stereo channels, as well as discrete mic preamplifiers on all microphone inputs. It offers balance 1/4" stereo jacks and balance controls on all stereo channels. At its largest dimensions, the unit measures 8.5" � 11.75" � 2.875".
This antenna is a cost-effective solution for low-power IBOC conversion aimed at Class A and similar power stations. It produces a digital IBOC signal using a separate antenna, but without requiring additional aperture. It does not require a 10dB coupler to inject signal onto the analog as is done with high-level combining. This means the 90 percent loss to the digital signal and the 10 percent loss to the analog signal is avoided. The antenna requires no additional tower space because the unit allows the digital antenna to be mounted directly to the feedline of the existing full wave spaced antenna. It will not affect the tuning of the existing analog antenna.
Executive Vice President
Radio One Philadelphia
Sr. VP projects and technology
Corporate Director of Engineering
VP Radio Engineering
VP Radio Engineering
East Brunswick, NJ
Vice President of Engineering
Michael Patton and Associates
Baton Rouge, LA
Strategic IT Solutions
Liberty Township, OH
Pick Hits Rules
Products must be new and must not have been shown at a previous spring NAB convention. In some cases, distinguishing a new product from a modified one is difficult. For Pick Hits purposes, a new product is one with a new model number or designation.
2. Products must have some positive effect on the intended user�s everyday work. Judges search for equipment to be used on a regular basis. Products should provide new solutions to common problems.
3. Products must offer substantial improvements over previous technologies. Unique circuit architecture need not be included, but some new approach or application must be involved in the product�s design.
4. The price of the products must be within reach of their intended users. The judges seek products appropriate to a range of facilities.
5. The products must be available for purchase within calendar year 2002. Equipment must be on display on the show floor, currently (or imminently) in production, and some type of product literature must be available. Judges take the exhibitor�s word on availability dates. Products demonstrated in private showings do not qualify.
6. The editorial staff of BE Radio serves only to moderate the final selection process. It has no vote or influence in determining the winners.