TV News May 2016

WHEAT:NEWS TV MAY 2016 - Vol 3, No.5

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ATSC 3.0 and Pearls of Wisdom

AnneSchelle

The theme for this year’s NAB show was, drum roll please, ATSC 3.0. The next-gen television standard has been churning its way through the standards-making process for some time, but FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s surprise NAB announcement put ATSC 3.0 on every party planner’s list for 2016. (Wheeler announced at NAB that he would put the petition for ATSC 3.0 out for public comment, which he did). We thought it was time to have a conversation with Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, a partnership of more than 200 network-affiliate TV stations that collectively invest in the future of broadcast. Here’s what she had to say.

WS: ATSC 3.0 is well on its way, so what should broadcasters be thinking about at this point in time?

AS: Broadcasters are deeply involved in setting the new transmission standard, so they’re already in the planning stages for a rollout. ATSC 3.0 is flexible and adaptable, and will allow local broadcasters to transmit in Ultra High-Definition. Broadcasters have petitioned the FCC to permit the new system to be used now, so we can begin bringing new capabilities like Ultra HDTV, targeted advertising, new options in audio, and even video-on-demand to viewers. By the time stations are “on-air” with ATSC 3.0, we expect to see major sports league coverage as well as premium content offerings produced in that higher UHD/HDR 4K format. Cameras eventually will need to be upgraded to UHD/HDR, as just one example. Broadcasters will want to start thinking about the implications of ATSC 3.0, especially if they’re doing a move to a different channel with a spectrum repack because they don’t want to put systems in twice.

About the new transmission equipment: it’s all software based. It’ll be upgradable with a key for 3.0. And so work that is being done now has to be done with future-proofing in mind. That would include understanding various compression technologies, how to enable transport systems, and also evaluating the exciter, the transmitter, the transmission line, and the antenna systems. Evaluating these systems for 3.0 now is going to save cost later on.

Continue Reading Pearls of Wisdom

WS: It all seems so familiar…

AS: It does, except broadcasters aren’t getting new spectrum or new converter box money like the last go-round. And, thankfully, what’s also different about this digital standard is that it is much more flexible and the infrastructure costs less. Because the new standard is IP-based, it can be adapted as technology changes. We’re going to be in a situation similar to that faced by wireless companies. Receiver manufacturers would include both ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 tuners in the TV set because it’s digital to digital, very similar to how you might have a 4G phone and when 5G comes out, the (5G) phone still works even though there are areas that don’t have 5G yet.

WS: Essentially, 3.0 puts TV on the IP map, right?

AS: As an all IP standard it’s very compatible with Internet technology today, which means it can scale across devices, and that’s important because consumers in homes are watching on multiple devices. My home is the perfect Petri dish of what’s happening. I have a daughter who watches on her cellphone and another who watches on her tablet and I’m watching on the big screen – and that’s pretty common. The standard is agnostic; it can transmit to all those. 3.0 leapfrogs over 2.0, and has a very robust advanced warning system, which has been tested by FEMA. By the way, we’re looking at home gateways that can receive the over-the-air signal and enable any wifi device in the home that has a video screen to receive the service. That’s a great way to deal with any backward compatibility issues.

WS: Pearl TV did a survey of consumers, and discovered something interesting about audio, a subject near and dear to us at Wheatstone. Tell me about that.

AS: Well, audio rated really high. It’s something consumers desire—improved audio. We asked them about the importance of immersive audio. We described it as what they would hear in a 3D theater, that kind of quality, and 66 percent rated it high appeal out of 500 men and women between the ages of 18 to 34. Personalization also came up, which would allow them to customize what they see and hear, like a particular announcer or language, and that came out 61 percent as high appeal.

WS: That’s some good news for those of us into audio. Thanks, Anne.

Your IP Question Answered

Q: We are starting our IP transition planning. I was told that audio over IP might be a good place to start. Why is that?

A: That’s true. IP audio is a very mature and robust technology that’s been operating in stations for more than 20 years. As you look around at the market, you will notice that many of the audio IP networks have evolved into complete, end-to-end systems. This is because standards such as AES67 hadn’t happened when IP audio first took off, and these systems had to be all things to all broadcasters. For example, our WheatNet-IP audio network is a complete studio environment with control surfaces, software, control panels, widget GUIs, audio controllers, and all the elements needed to run a broadcast facility today as a single integrated system — plus all the logic needed to control those elements. That gives you a solid foundation to make the transition over to IP. What’s more, now that standards like AES67 are starting to take form, you can be fairly confident that you’ll be able to grow the system.

Small Gestures

We saw more pinching and gesturing than usual this past NAB show. There’s just something about sitting down at an audio console, and being able to tap on bus assigns, adjust surround pan levels using your finger, and to “pinch” EQ for the precise amount needed.

Applying touchscreen GUI technology to today’s audio console has some interesting rewards in workflow, as we demonstrated with our IP-64 and the Dimension Three TV audio consoles in previous years, and now with our new LXE IP audio console this NAB show.

All three are IP audio consoles networkable through the WheatNet-IP intelligent audio network. The Dimension Three is available both with and without a built-in meterbridge touchscreen, while the IP-64 meterbridge is fully populated with multiple touchscreens. Our newest IP audio board, the LXE, has an optional menu-driven interface for a touchscreen monitor. By far, the biggest benefit of these designs is intuitive control. Actual console knobs and buttons are still very useful for tactile purposes, and that probably won’t change in the foreseeable future. But there’s just no substitute for being able to finally get your hands on some of those console functions through a touchscreen interface.

Take a look for yourself at these touchscreens for the IP-64, Dimension Three, and LXE, our newest IP audio network control surface:

Pinch me! Who hasn’t dreamed of being able to pinch or stretch the right amount of EQ and boost or cut frequencies using simple smartphone gestures? Shown is one of several interfaces for the LXE IP audio console that can be viewed and manipulated on a touchscreen monitor.

EQ




Stay in touch with your inner console using touchscreens like this, located on the meterbridge of a Wheatstone audio console, for adjusting I/O layering, dynamics and EQ, and AUX sends and loudness.

Dynamics




This touchscreen on the meterbridge of a Wheatstone console shows how easy it is to adjust individual levels of each channel in the surround mix.

Pan




A few simple taps and a drag or pinch here and there is all it takes to command your studio's audio environment from this detailed touchscreen on the console’s meterbridge.

Layer Setup



Check out our Dimension Three and IP-64 product pages. Other products that feature touch screens are the Series Two, Series Four, and D-8EX television audio consoles, our new AirAura X-1 processor, and our new LXE IP audio console.

A Tour of Kim Komando's New Studios In Phoenix with Jim Hibbard
What is radio? What is TV? These days, the mediums are blurring. Many radio shows now offer video feeds. Likewise, many TV shows are offering radio-style coverage of shows. Kim Komando's cutting edge studios, which opened recently in Phoenix, point the way to what is possible. Here's a tour of the gear and how it works...

Interview with Kim Komando at NAB 2016

WhosBuyingWheat6682

Wheatstone

  • Electronica Infinita (Laredo, TX) purchased I/O BLADEs and a GP panel plus other accessories for a WheatNet-IP audio network.

  • KSJV-FM (Fresno, CA) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console and NAVIGATOR software through BSW.

  • Mohawk College (Hamilton, ON) upgraded to NAVIGATOR 3 software for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network.

  • CBC (Regina, SK) purchased an E-6 and an L-8 control surface, and WheatNet-IP network BLADEs through Marketing Marc Vallee.

  • CBC (Edmonton, AB) purchased an E-6 and an L-8 control surface, and WheatNet-IP network BLADEs through Marketing Marc Vallee.

  • Corus Radio (Cornwall, ON) purchased the MTR-64 metering application for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • CBC (Montreal, QC) purchased additional I/O BLADEs and GP panels for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network through Marketing Marc Vallee.

  • Loyalist College (Belleville, ON) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console and GP panels through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • Washington State University (Pullman, WA) purchased a WheatNet-IP audio network Scheduler program.

  • CBS’ KFRG-FM (Colton, CA) purchased a WheatNet-IP audio network BLADE and NAVIGATOR software.

  • Bloomberg Business Network (Washington, DC) purchased a Series Two audio console, ten L-8 control surfaces, an L-12 control surface, and WheatNet-IP audio network.

  • WRTI-FM (Philadelphia, PA) purchased an L-12 control surface and two M2 dual channel mic processors.

  • WCCB-TV (Charlotte, NC) purchased a Dimension Three Touchscreen audio console.

  • Soundfusion (Johannesburg, South Africa) purchased five IP-12 digital audio consoles for community radio projects.

  • KCRA-TV (Sacramento, CA) purchased a Dimension Three Touchscreen audio console.

  • WXIR-TV/FM (Rochester, NY) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console.

  • Radio Midday (Mumbai, India) purchased two IP-12 digital audio consoles through Horizon Electronics.

  • Entertainment Network (Mumbai, India) purchased two IP-16 digital audio consoles and six IP-12 digital audio consoles through Horizon Broadcast LLP.

  • KXLY-AM (Spokane, WA) purchased four IP-16 digital audio consoles, eleven TS-4 talent stations, nine WheatNet-IP audio network BLADEs, and four M4IP dual channel mic processor BLADEs through BSW.

  • Leighton Broadcasting (Grand Forks, ND) purchased four TS-4 talent stations for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network.

  • CHIN-FM (Toronto, ON) purchased an LX-24 control surface through Ron Paley Broadcast.


Audioarts Engineering

  • University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL) purchased seven Air-1 consoles through SBCS.

  • Broadcast World Philippines (Manila) purchased an Air-4 and Air-5 console.

  • ZHC Digital Equipment Co., LTD (Hangzhou, China) purchased an Air-4 console for a community radio development project in Nigeria.

Wheatstone Audio Processing

  • Rogers Communications (Toronto, ON) purchased an M4IP-USB four channel mic processor BLADE through Marketing Marc Vallee.

  • Emmis (Austin, TX) purchased five M4IP-USB four channel mic processor BLADEs.

  • Audio Solution (Taipei, Taiwan) purchased a VP8-IP multimode audio processor.

  • Recording Media & Equipment (Fort Lauderdale, FL) purchased an FM-25 audio processor.

  • Oakwood (Mississauga, ON) purchased an R-55e console.


VoxPro

  • Oakwood (Mississauga, ON) purchased a VoxPro surface

  • Liberman Broadcasting (Houston, TX) purchased two VoxPro 5 upgrades.

  • Niagra College (Welland, ON) purchased a VoxPro 5 through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • iHeartMedia (Tulsa, OK) purchased two VoxPro5 upgrades.

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