The BDR

The
Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

... edited by Barry Mishkind - the Eclectic Engineer    

Inovonics Inc.

NAB 2013

Some comments on NAB 2013
(last update 4/18/13)
 

[4-11-13]  Here we are again. NAB ... the 2013 Version. According to the NAB 92,414 attendees from 155 countries came along to view the booths of over 1600 exhibitors.

This page will have some notes and information what is going on ... at least as much as can be assimilated by the owners of tired feet.

As Richard Rudman pointed out, the NAB was made a bit more intersting this year by a taxi drivers' strike. Noisy and road-blocking, it made the usual mess of getting in and out of the Convention Center a bit more silly than usual!

Day 0 - Sunday -

The annual Nautel Users' Group had the biggest turnout ever, with over 250 attendees. Nautel came prepared to give everyone some news and a good time.

Among the highights: Nautel's NVLT line of analog FM transmitters was filled out with 15, 20, 30, and 40 kW models. Also the Phone Home service is now ready to begin, with automated monitoring of station parameters, ready to supply needed parts and information. A software update to Nautel's GUI included the news that the GUI will become consistent across all the model lines.  The Nautel TV models were shown.

 

Of special interest was an appearance by Frank Foti to announce the new "Omnia Direct" digital connection to Nautel transmitters. The improvement is incremental, but audible, as it eliminates a D/A and an A/D conversion. And for those who are committed to the best possible audio, this is a way to take advantage of digital connections.

 
Finally, the RF Toolbox was updated with some new features.

Sunday afternoon was the second public meeting of the BWWG (Broadcast Warning Working Group). With attendees from the EAS receiver manufacturers and others, over two dozen met to consider how to improve the use of the EAS and reach out to more agencies. Due to the "Sequestration" ...four of the FEMA officials were connected by a phone bridge, to keep the contact and communication flowing between them and the broadcasters.

More reports will be found at https://eas.radiolists.net soon.

Over at the NRSC Meeting, some new standards for MDCL (Modulation-dependent carrier level) operation were formulated to help AM stations trying to reduce their power usage levels.

Just so there was some "extra" drama, a taxi-driver strike made everything just a bit interesting.

Day 1 - Monday

The doors open! ....

It was consecutive press conferences at Nautel and Omni, to publicly announce the collaboration.

There also was rumor of a new Omnia Audio Steam Engine, with EW3712 technology ... but staffers were trying to cool down expectations. 

Nautel, meanwhile displayed its move into the TV market with Nautel TV.

BW Broadcast was proudly showing off their V2 line of FM transmitters and the Arianne Sequel that they just added to their processor line.

Over at the Myat booth, they are showing a new FM combiner/filter that utilizes some new approaches to give a better and more stable load when multiple stations are on operating from one site.

Look at some of the folks we found on the floor:

Yep - CE's Dave Hultsman
made it for the 50 time!

Alan Alsobrook, Kyle Magrill, Todor Ivanov

Ron Rackley and friends

Wheatstone displayed some interesting 3D visual analysis of the audio in their system.

Belar has introduced some new features into the HD modulation monitor and spectrum analyzer.

Over on the regulation side, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai became the first Commissioner ever to moderate a discussion session. Aimed at revitalizing AM, the panel at the standing-room-only gathering discussed the hurdles AM operators face and what the hope the FCC will do.

Suggestions ranged from using Channels 5 & 6 to migrate AMers to digital FM, to more FM translators for AM stations (530 so far), to a mandated analog AM sunset. Others pointed out the urgent need for the FCC to make decisions in less than a decade, so efforts to solve some of the AM transmission issues can move along fast enough to help the industry. Pai seemed genuinely interested in more than pushing for more broadband Internet. Whether he can convince the rest of the Commission to take positive action is his next challenge.


Day 2 - Tuesday - our 21st Lunch Gathering

You just cannot blame us for being a bit focused on the Lunch Gathering. Stand by for more information on this - and some pictures. How nice it was to have Nautel, Comrex, Orban. and Axia Audio help with the program. 

We had a pretty full house, and even spilled over into the central section of the restaurant. And as usual, we had a whole pile of door prizes, including one for everyone: a large portable coffee mug. Essentially it was the natural "companion" to the ceramic mug we gave away two years ago.

   

Back on the floor, there was news that the Telos Alliance (Telos, Axia Audio, Omnia, and their other brands) will be sending out a full studio and more in a bus on a one year tour of the US. The Broadcast Audio Fanatics Tour program starts in Pennsylvania over the summer.

Yellowtech is increasing its US presence with a California office. The German makers of microphone arms have more to show, and their microphone/recorder is definitely worth a look.

Broadcast Electronics was busy in their booth, showing off their new FM exciter, redesigned transmitters and, of course, the Commotion, social media suite for broadcasters.

The DEVA booth was a little hard to find in the back of the hall, but was a worthwhile trip. Todor Ivanov was pretty busy showing the large number of features built into his products. The DB4004 mod monitor and the Band Scanner GPS are really priced to where any engineer that wants to see exactly what his stations are doing needs to have at least one of these units.

Orban spiced up the afternoon with a showing the "The Wrecking Crew" ... a look at the group of studio musicians who possibly were behind the most hits in music history - from the Beach Boys to the Monkees, from the Mama's and Papa's to Nancy Sinatra, from the Ronettes to the Tijuana Brass.

The film was produced by Denny Tedesco, the son of one of the Wrecking Crew, Tommy Tedesco. It centers on a conversation among four of the members of the studio musicians, interspersed with audio and video from the 60s and 70s.

One of the reasons it is being shown in private settings like this is that the music rights for the movie are so high, they producers are still trying to gather enough money to cover the fees.

An interesting fact in the movie explains why the studio musicians were called the "Wrecking Crew." It seems that the old guard studio musicians, trained in the Big Band era, held the rather informal looking musicians who played the rock tracks as "wrecking" the studio music trade.

Inovonics Inc.

Day 3 - Wednesday

A change in plans?  Word is t`he FCC Chairman, Julius Genechowski, may stay on a bit longer in his post. This may or may not be good news for broadcast, as his focus has proven to be elsewhere. 

Some of the interesting things seen on the floor included in interesting display of multilingual EAS alerts and text to speech from Digital Alert Systems.

           Bob Tarsio               The Digital Alert Systems team          Jack Sellmeyer and friend

 

 

WorldCast and Crown have reached agreement for Crown to relabel and distribute the Ecreso line of transmitters in the US.

Crown will also handle parts and service support for the entire line. In the WorldCast booth, some very impressive stats were shown on the SureStream AoIP produce and the new Horizon NexGen codecs.

 

Just a short walk away, Tieline unveiled their Opus open source software for their Merlin and Genie products and claiming to provide very low latency - low enough to do remote broacasts and monitor live off the air.

 

A collaboration of Davicom and Broadcast Devices brings new software and diagnostic tools for FM RF installations.

 

And BDI also announced their acquisition of P Cube, Inc., formerly known as Passive Power Products. 

 

 

 

There was quite a lot of interest in the Inovonics new models, especially the 610 Internet Monitor.

 

Along with its siblings, the 610 is unbder $1k and provides extensive data about exactly is being broadcast (and FM, HD, and AM monitors were also on display) on air or on the Internet.

 

Audion, makes of VoxPro were in the Wheatstone booth showing off some very nice enhancements to their product, in the soon to be released Version 5.

Day 4 - Vendors' Day

They rolled in the cannons, to see if they can hit anyone today.  Usually, it is not so easy, as many vendors are "on the move," visiting one another.  This year, there seemed to be a few more attendees still milling around than in past years.

But it was a short session. The Show was scheduled to end at 2 PM the year - to give plenty of time to pack and head for the airport (or other transport) and home.

And then, just before two, Frank lit up the place. (Yes, Foti.  Yes, it was loud. Yes, it brought a lot of people over to the booth to celebrate the end of the Show. Yes, there were a lot of smiles.)
 

     

And onward home for everyone!

 

 

 

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