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Welcome to the September 2021 issue of

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Managing Media in the Cloud p. 12

equipment guide www.tvtech.com | September 2021

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contents

September 2021 volumn 39, issue 9

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NAB Show to Reflect on Year of Adjustment and Adaptation

Amid safety protocols, show will try to help answer pressing questions about what lies ahead By Susan Ashworth

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Eye on NAB Show Tech

Here are just a few of the new products available for demonstration at this year's show.

12

Even in the Cloud, Managing Assets Doesn’t Get Any Easier

No one size fits all By Adrian Pennington

16

Restoring Over-the-Air TV in New York City After 9/11

From Empire to One WTC, broadcasters ensured viewers were not left in the dark By Doug Lung

20

20 Years Broadcasters Will Never Forget

After 9/11, some NYC TV stations made Armstrong Tower their temporary home By Frank Beacham

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people

For more news analysis, trend reports, industry events and the latest product and technology information, visit www.tvtech.com.

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editor's note

equipment guide 24 user reports audio/intercoms • Lawo • Calrec • Blackmagic Design

• Comrex • Grass Valley • Clear-Com • Riedel


editor's note

Adaptation

Vol. 39 No. 9 | September 2021 FOLLOW US

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Do you remember where you were on March 11, 2020? That was the day acknowledged by many to be the inflection point for the COVID-19 pandemic. On that day, among other events, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus to be a worldwide pandemic, the NBA cancelled its season and the stock market plunged 1,200 points. To quote NPR, it was the “day when everything changed.” In our corner of the world, it was also the day when the NAB Show was cancelled. At the time, it seemed inevitable since everything else was shutting down as well. We also didn’t know at the time when things would get back to “normal.” Eighteen months later we’re still waiting for a sense of normality and have settled for the often banal expression “new normal.” Despite this, the NAB Show will go on next month in Las Vegas, albeit in a reduced format, with a (understandably expected) smaller roster of exhibitors and attendees. This is the first step back to what is hoped for a fullfledged show next spring that will more likely resemble the shows of the past. The theme of this year’s show is “Adaptation,” and the experiences of the past year and a half have demonstrated how important that attitude is in the media and entertainment industry. When stations, sporting and public facilities shut down, broadcasters adapted quickly to the changing scenarios where “to Zoom” quickly became a verb and production crews put into practice the lessons learned about producing remotely and adopting more automated workflows. “This industry, as with most, has had to rethink its approach to doing business and in some cases even reinvent,” said Chris Brown, executive vice president and managing director of global connections and events for the NAB in this month’s cover story. “No doubt that has been challenging but it has opened new opportunities.” Those opportunities will be on full display at this year’s show as exhibits and conferences explore the ever-changing media landscape that came into full focus over the past 18 months. As for maintaining a safe environment for attendees, the NAB has committed itself to adapting the latest protocols and adhering to the guidelines established by the city of Las Vegas, which prides itself on being the meeting place for the world’s businesses and industries. NAB’s recent decision to require that all attendees be fully vaccinated can only help strengthen that commitment.

One World Trade Center

Best of Show Awards If you are exhibiting at next month’s NAB Show, you already know about the upcoming deadline for the Best of Show Awards, but we have now updated the awards program to add “Best in Market” to give companies that are not exhibiting also a chance to enter. The program is open to all manufacturers of TV and Pro Audio products and services, regardless of exhibitor status at major events.

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September 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

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SUBSCRIBER CUSTOMER SERVICE To subscribe, change your address, or check on your current account status, go to www.tvtechnology.com and click on About Us, email futureplc@computerfulfillment.com, call 888-266-5828, or write P.O. Box 8692, Lowell, MA 01853. LICENSING/REPRINTS/PERMISSIONS TV Technology is available for licensing. Contact the Licensing team to discuss partnership opportunities. Head of Print Licensing Rachel Shaw licensing@futurenet.com MANAGEMENT Senior Vice President, B2B Rick Stamberger Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance Head of Design Rodney Dive FUTURE US, INC. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036

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UPDATE

Deadline for these awards is Sept. 23. To enter, visit: https://future.swoogo.com/nab21.

ADVERTISING SALES Vice President, Sales, B2B Tech Group Adam Goldstein, adam.goldstein@futurenet.com

All contents © 2021 Future US, Inc. or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein.

Like March 11, 2020, everyone remembers where they were on Sept. 11, 2001 as well. This year marks the 20th anniversary of that fateful day, which had a significant impact on New York-area broadcasters. In this issue, we look back at the days following 9/11 and the tireless efforts of broadcasters to return TV and radio signals to the air. Frank Beacham and Doug Lung, who both reported on these efforts two decades ago, examine how broadcasting changed on that day and how important the efforts of local broadcasters, including the late John Lyons, were in adapting to the disaster and establishing a presence at One World Trade Center. Tom Butts Content Director tom.butts@futurenet.com

CONTENT VP/Global Editor-In-Chief Bill Gannon, william.gannon@futurenet.com Content Director Tom Butts, tom.butts@futurenet.com Content Manager Terry Scutt, terry.scutt@futurenet.com Senior Content Producer George Winslow, george.winslow@futurenet.com Contributors Gary Arlen, Susan Ashworth, James Careless, Gary Eskow, Steve Harvey, Craig Johnston, Bob Kovacs and Mark R. Smith Production Manager Heather Tatrow Managing Design Director Nicole Cobban Senior Design Directors Lisa McIntosh and Will Shum

Please Recycle. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. The manufacturing paper mill and printer hold full FSC and PEFC certification and accreditation. TV Technology (ISSN: 0887-1701) is published monthly by Future US, Inc., 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002. Phone: 703-852-4600. FAX:703-852-4583. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to TV Technology, P.O. Box 848, Lowell, MA 01853.


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nab show preview

NAB Show to Reflect on Year of Adjustment and Adaptation Amid safety protocols, show will try to help answer pressing questions about what lies ahead By Susan Ashworth

LAS VEGAS—Change will be afoot when the 2021 NAB Show returns to Las Vegas, Oct. 9-13. Masks will be ubiquitous. You’ll need proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to even get in the door (sidebar, p. 10). And the results of the once-in-a-lifetime shift that the media industry faced over the last 18 months will be on full display. After the disruption of the past year, the National Association of Broadcasters has the opportunity to help the industry answer pressing questions. How do you stand out in a sea of content offerings? How do you effectively go about monetizing that content? What’s the best way to assess what worked— and what didn’t—over the past 18 months?

RETHINK OUR APPROACH “This industry, as with most, has had to rethink its approach to doing business and in some cases even reinvent,” said Chris Brown, executive vice president and managing director of global connections and events for the NAB. “No doubt that has been challenging but it has opened new opportunities,” he said, adding that the pandemic forced content

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creators to tighten their focus on serving the needs of the customer, whether that is the consumer, content creator or distributor. “The entire dynamics of the industry have evolved around a new view of media consumption,” he said. “The options are many and the appetite for content has never been greater.”

“The industry is no stranger to change, but this past year has taken the concept to a new level.” CHRIS BROWN, NAB

So where do we go from here? To stay relevant, companies in this environment must rethink their view of the customer and their view of the product they deliver. “Few can afford to stay in their original lane,” Brown said. The NAB Show will attempt to help its attendees to highlight a path ahead through a series of educational sessions, exhibits, pavilions and conferences.

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As the world has changed, so have the logistics of this year’s show—indoor exhibits will be held in the Central and North Halls only, with outdoor exhibits in the LVCC Silver Lot. The NAB Radio Show and NAB SMTE (Sales and Management Television Exchange) will take place in the Westgate. So broadcasters may be asking: how does the industry go about capitalizing on all that was learned during the pandemic shutdown— while working remotely and trying to expand this workflow into a more continuous and efficient system? “Prior to COVID, some organizations already had simplified ‘one-off’ situations like a graphics operator working from home,” said one industry insider and a frequent contributor to TV Tech. Then news organizations at the start of the COVID experience added dozens—sometimes hundreds—of additional workflows in order to facilitate a true end-to-end environment but outside a conventional workplace. All this change has led to a few technology shifts—improved codec efficiencies, communications that involved hybrid cellular and internet-based solutions, enhanced remote accessibility and security over conventional ISP paths, increased adoption of cellphone camera video, bonding for LTE or 5G con-


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nab show preview

One of the newest additions to the LVCC is the LVCC Loop, which connects the LVCC New Exhibit Hall with the existing campus (North/Central/South Halls), and reduces a 45 minute cross-campus walk time to approximately 2 minutes.

nectivity, and more. “Many of these, while in place or in use for occasional services, now had to be ruggedized for near full-time use,” the industry insider said.

EMPHASIS ON INNOVATORS Recognizing this shift, the NAB rallied around the theme of adaptation for 2021. “The industry is no stranger to change, but this past year has taken the concept to a new level,” the NAB’s Brown said. Through the show floor and a series of educational offerings, the NAB Show is placing special emphasis on innovators and other companies driving change. CineCentral, a new destination on the show floor will showcase changes in preproduction, production and post and will look at how content creators are employing the new technology, from VR to improved workflows. Another new destination— the Future of Delivery—will have an on-floor theater focusing on 5G, mobile delivery, streaming, LEO satellite and other technologies impacting the future of distribution and delivery. The show will also give attendees a 360-look at where things stand with streaming. When consumers in mid-2020 responded to scuttled social plans and countywide lockdowns with increased consumption of streamed content, content creators answered, offering fairly inexpensive subscriptions and exclusive content. Now, 18 months later, as subscriptions continue to rise, content creators are responding with new options like niche programming, bundled offers and VIP access. According to Nielsen, as of May 2021, streaming usage across all television homes has climbed to 26 percent of all time spent on TV. Add broadcast programming to that

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September 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

NAB President Gordon Smith will mark his final NAB Show, stepping down at the end of the year after 12 years as leader of the association.

pool and streaming/broadcast combined now account for half of all television time. When production ramps back up and new content enters the space, that will drive additional traction, said Brian Fuhrer, senior vice president of product strategy for Nielsen. Other estimates surmise that the number of homes with televisions that are watching streaming services will hit 33 percent by year’s end.

THE STREAMING EXPERIENCE OTT looks to be fairly stable, said one broadcast industry insider, with perhaps one exception: broadcasters are judging the competitive nature of the streaming services they offer across the more traditional “big four” networks to stay relevant, such as trying to mirror the model set by Disney+. Other broadcast groups are making adjustments in

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an effort to meet changing demands, he said. In response, the Streaming Experience in the Central Hall lobby will look at connected TV advertising, video quality and content bundling strategies alongside demonstrations of more than 50 streaming video platforms and devices. “The Streaming Experience will provide a first-ever look at the full range of streaming offerings and the experience offered,” Brown said. Several other technologies are expected to grow in 2022 too. New 5G applications will be expected, as well a transition to products like PCoIP, next-gen intercom products, and a renewed emphasis on software-defined systems and cloud-based playout products. Others are looking ahead to efficient means of monetizing content to best take advantage of digital platforms. “One priority we want to explore further is an efficient workflow to decorate our video streams with appropriate SCTE markers,” said David Burke, senior vice president and chief technology officer for the Gray Television station group. “[We want] to cleanly indicate the start, end and duration of all commercial breaks, particularly during live or breaking news, so that we can maximize the inventory fill and revenue potential on our digital platforms.” According to Brown, what makes this year exciting is not just that it has been a while since we have been able to come together, but it is that there is so much possibility. “The industry has been resilient and has set itself up for great success going forward,” he said. “I think it will be emotional for everyone to finally be together and it will represent an important milestone for all involved.” l To register for the show, visit nabshow.com.


nab show preview

Health and Safety at the NAB Show venues will be allowed to opt out of the state’s mask requireMultiple indicators show a strong eagerness among the NAB ments as long as everyone is vaccinated. Show community to return in person, said Chris Brown, execu“This is cutting edge. There’s no other venues in the country tive vice president and managing director of global connections that are doing this,” Sisolak told and events for the NAB. the Associated Press. “I think But NAB said it is also it is going to get more peokeenly aware of health and ple wanting to go to an event safety concerns tied to the because they know that when spread of the COVID-19 they walk in that arena, or that Delta variant, Brown said. In stadium, everybody’s vacciresponse, the association is nated.” putting what it calls a comThe NAB is currently finalprehensive, data-driven plan • Air Circulation • Contact Tracing izing a series of protocols that in place that prioritizes safety • Enhanced Cleaning • Face Coverings • No-Contact Policy • Exhibitor • First Aid will maximize the safety of atand creates a productive • Spacing Measures Recommendations • Screening • Touchless Registration tendees. According to Brown, environment. • Screening • Vaccination Status • Personl Hygiene this process has involved In mid-August, the assoconsultation with health and ciation announced that all safety experts, gathering feedattendees and participants must Check nabshow.com for the latest updates on its COVID-19 safety protocols. back from a range of exhibitors provide proof of COVID-19 vacand attendees, and review of the safety measures recommendcination to enter the convention. Attendees will not be required ed by national and local health authorities. to wear masks, however. This follows an announcement on August 16 by Nevada’s Gov. Steve Sisolak who said that large indoor z Susan Ashworth

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media asset management

Even in the Cloud, Managing Assets Doesn’t Get Any Easier No one size fits all “A hybrid cloud deployment the media lives, and is processed, using a media integration both on-prem and in the cloud. platform provides a low-risk In some situations, hybrid transition by moving operations will be required LONDON—As the cloud is increasingly operations in-line with regardless as it may be applied to media production, the lines bebusiness needs allowing more cost-effective to tween ground-based and cloud-based media them to pivot between work on-prem before environments are becoming blurred. The local and remote opmoving assets to the asset management system provides the glue eration depending on cloud. between them but perspectives on the best requirements,” he said. “Migration could way to use it are changing. begin with archive or “Even if you think you know what cloud short-form digital workstorage might cost, be sure you’re updated COST flows, then move onto on all the recent facts, variables and combiCONSIDERATIONS complex workloads once the nations of services before making a move in The cost of cloud can be a organization understands the either direction,” advises Karl Paulsen, CTO minefield. Among other things, new ‘physics’ of working in the of Diversified. “Like SAN storage, cloud is an costs vary based on where the cloud,” says Lincoln Spiteri, vice evolving and frequently changing environphysical data centers are geoCTO Julian FernandezCampon, CTO, Tedial president of engineering, Dalet ment.” graphically located. “It’s a bit Flex. “Users should be aware of We asked experts at a number of vendors to like going to the smorgasbord,” both the advantages and limitations that come offer guidance toward the migration of assets, says Paulsen. “Many items are à la carte.” with working on the cloud. Lessons learned the cost of storage and MAM’s crucial role in Fees include monthly access, retention should be used to optimize workflow.” orchestrating this. All agree that no matter the time, storage volume and/or the use of inherSimon Eldridge, chief product officer for long-term advantages of cloud production a ent capabilities of the store itself. There are SDVI similarly recommends taking a specif“big bang” move is unlikely to pay dividends. hidden costs for deletion of content. ic use case and getting that up and running Paulsen says, “Use it once and quickly—a before starting a process of iterating and optishort term ‘put it there and take it back out’— BIG BANG OR PIECEMEAL APPROACH mizing. “Don’t try to do everything at once— and you’ll have one price. Leave it there for a “Anyone involved in technology migration iteration leads to transformation,” he says. lengthy period of time—another price. Need projects will probably tell you that it’s much “The value of that quick win, coupled with the rapid access to an archive? You can watch easier building systems from scratch than experience the team will gain from that initial previously expected low-budget costs to take migrating existing workflows to new systems migration will accelerate the process of imoff like SpaceX launching multiple satellites piecemeal,” says Raul Alba, Avid’s director plementation for the next use case, one at a time.” of solutions marketing. “But the which will be logically selected It stands to reason that media and enterreality is different. From our debased on its returned value tainment companies need to have a good unployment experience, we’ve and business impact.” derstanding of the assets they ingest and how found a ‘tabula rasa’ apTedial believes the these will be used. This information drives proach [i.e. starting from cloud has had a major decisions about how to optimize storage in scratch] isn’t always impact on traditional terms of hot, cold and archive storage tiers, right because a return MAM workflows and which directly impacts costs. needs to be made on makes the case for “MAM platforms should fully support past investments, or a Media Integration cloud storage to balance out storage costs because entirely new Platform. CTO Julian and timely media access,” says Spiteri. “For workflows will cause Fernandez-Campon example, low-bitrate proxies enable low-cost too much operational explains that this allows access to archives. Source assets should be disruption. This means broadcasters to have the pushed to archive storage as soon as possible hybrid workflows will be same workflows running while lower bitrate mezzanine formats are a important for several years, on-prem or in the cloud, as the good option for editing.” allowing every company to applications are integrated and Geoff Tognetti, senior vice president and transition to the cloud at their Geoff Tognetti, SVP & GM multiple storage locations will GM for the content management business own pace.” Content Management Business Unit, Telestream be transparent to the platform. unit at Telestream offers four questions each A hybrid scenario implies that By Adrian Pennington

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media asset management organization has to address to “accurately estimate” cloud storage costs: • What percentage of your existing content footprint should be migrated (typical cloud migrations we’ve seen range from 30–75% of current LTO storage, not counting copies)? • Understand your cloud provider’s tiering policies and how those relate to your lifecycle rules on premise. • What media format do you want to use for the assets that you store in the cloud, i.e., your production format, a separate mezzanine format, proxies, etc.? • Estimate the impact on your current production workflows (number of drives/ data movers dedicated to migration, offhour scheduling, etc.)

THE ESSENCE OF METADATA Metadata is absolutely crucial, regardless of whether located in the cloud or on-premises. “Metadata is what drives the life of an asset from original bits and pieces to delivery of a final product, control workflows, targeting the right audience,” says Pavel Potuzak, CEO of Aveco. Having media stored anywhere is pointless if you can’t find it quickly when you need it. “If you can easily find and retrieve only what you need, you’re saving both time and money,” says Alba. “Having an adjustable data model, with time-based metadata and a sophisticated search interface is key to making media management systems efficient.” But creating metadata takes a lot of effort. “Here the AI-driven media analysis services of global cloud providers really excel,” Potuzak adds. “The quality of such metadata is amazing, yet behind the silicon-based intelligence there needs to be the carbon-based one to QC and/or correct the results.” In addition to object or technical metadata that is mostly considered in a cloud storage environment, you also have to consider other descriptive metadata such as transcripts and visual logs. “Cloud access makes it easier to generate and preserve this data, and the ability to relate it with media files can save a lot of time in post,” informs Russell Vijayan, business manager for Digital Nirvana. “While such metadata is enhancing process speed, reducing time to market and improving overall efficiency, there’s still no considerable data available to determine whether the current price points of storage could be justified. For the most part, high-volume users with a clear cognitive metadata plan and usage would stand to benefit.” “Strong” metadata gives organizations the ability to “track and understand the value of

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assets, drive asset lifecycle to help manage are managed with a wide range of automatcost and ensure that correct assets are located ed workflows. Once these systems sit in the and moved through production workflows,” cloud, they become collaboration platforms, according to Spiteri. expanding their utility.” Generally speaking, the more metadata that He adds, “Modern MAM systems cannot can be added automatically the better. The always fulfill every use-case and this is where most important point, says Fernandez-Camit’s important that they offer integration tools pon is the concept of “Metadata Aggregation” and open APIs to create a truly business-drivfrom multiple sources. “This provides a stanen ecosystem.” dardized metadata model to combine multiple Avid’s Alba acknowledges that the term metadata sources and provide business "MAM" can be associated with “comvalue.” plex, expensive and hard to Eldridge asserts that as soon maintain systems” but says as you move to the cloud, that’s not the case in practhe data universe of “what tice. “In fact, our users tell can be automatically us these solutions are generated and collectmore important than ed by the system just ever both because of explodes.” the amount of media Contextual, timeand metadata being based metadata is managed, and the numgenerated by QC or ML ber of outlets to which tools that have analyzed it needs to be delivered. the content, he says. MAM is an essential part That metadata can assist of making media production operators looking to segment workflows efficient.” or make compliance decisions. Potuzak believes MAM is Time, cost and performance a well-established term with Pavel Potuzak, Aveco CEO data can inform decisions boundaries blurred enough around which tools you use and for what already. “After all the PAM, DAM and others purpose. I would rather hesitate to introduce cloud “Tagging data can be used to assign costs (CAM),” he says. “MAM shall continue doing at a granular level based on process, asset, what it does now—manage metadata, media project or network,” Eldridge said. “Rather and workflows of all kinds. It shall do it across than being considered as a sidecar to the premises and cloud and extend to all delivery content, metadata becomes a critical driver of channels, not only linear and VOD. It enables your supply chains and an output that helps people to work anywhere, anytime and on any you further optimize.” client platform.” A further point worthy of consideration is that cloud relegates the once painful, THE EVOLUTION OF MAM time-consuming and labor-intensive process Eldridge is specifically referring to a of media migration to history. That’s a mis“cloud-native supply chain model,” which is conception, asserts Tognetti. “Just as moving the natural evolution of MAM, according to from one LTO version to another was inevSDVI. It argues that traditional MAMs were itable, so is moving from one cloud vendor built around fixed capacity infrastructure and to another. Cloud storage providers have no heavily customized around use cases—thereincentive to facilitate any migration outside fore unfit for the agility required of cloud of their products.” production. The solution for this, he says, is to look for “Today’s media enterprises don’t want to agnostic content management that provides worry about capacity planning or constraints, tools “to automate the migration process and they want to pay only for the services for all vendors” through cost-effective and they consume,” he says. “Perhaps most imnon-disruptive workflows while serving the portantly, they need to be able to predict cost lifespan of content. easily in order to support good decision-makM&E organizations need a scalable and ing. They need to allocate those costs accuelastic platform that allows them to rapidly rately to fully understand the profitability of build, deploy and iterate on its supply chains the products they make.” as business needs evolve. Call it a MAM if you Dalet’s Spiteri, agrees: “MAM systems are like but asset management has never been morphing to media supply chain management more important. l systems, where a wide range of media types

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rf technology

Restoring Over-the-Air TV in New York City After 9/11 From Empire to One WTC, broadcasters ensured viewers were not left in the dark

A

site for all the transmitters, GE—which owned to handle orders, get finance aps we observe the 20th NBC at the time—rolled in generators with provals, start FCC filings, and deal anniversary of 9/11 this UPS in trailers until the utility company could with the other paperwork needed month, I want to focus bring in more power. Transmitter manufacto get things moving. As soon as on how New York City turers found transmitters and antenna manLong Island MacArthur Airport broadcasters recovered from the ufacturers—notably Dielectric—used material opened, I headed to the site. tragedy and their eventual move they had on hand to fabricate antennas. When I arrived, what I found to One World Trade Center. My Customers in other parts of the country acwas the most amazing band of involvement with other broadcepted delayed deliveries in order to prioritize people—engineers, contractors, cast engineers on the emergengetting New York broadcasters back on the manufacturers, electricians, tower cy restoration of over-the-air air. Telemundo’s station, WNJU, was fortunate crews, plumbers—all working broadcasting at Alpine—with EXPERTISE because we had an IOT transmitter in storage together with a single purpose to John Lyons at Durst and New Doug Lung in Brooklyn that was supposed to have been get broadcasters back on the air. York broadcasters on proving the installed at the World Trade Center. Daily Just remembering those people and the energy viability of One WTC for TV broadcasting— meetings solved problems like where to put there still chokes me up a bit 20 years later. and with construction of the first station on the antennas, power availability, how to fit What made the experience more poignant is the air from One World Trade Center were the cooling systems on the roof, and other that most of the people working at the site had certainly the highlights of my 50-year career mundane but necessary issues to make sure lost friends on 9/11. Getting TV back on the air in broadcast engineering. the facility performed as well as it could. was one small way to honor those people. On that morning, I was getting ready to Anyone who has built a TV transmission At Alpine, equipment that normally took leave my townhouse for my office at Telefacility knows how long it takes. At Alpine, months to deliver showed up in a week or mundo in Hialeah, Fla. when I got a call about five stations—WNBC, WABC, WPIX, WNET two. When there wasn’t enough power at the a plane striking the World Trade Center. My and WNJU—were back on the first thought was it was a small plane, like one air just weeks after the loss of that crashed into it before but after turning Fig. 1: The final configuration at Empire State Building included the World Trade Center. WCBS on the TV and watching the news it became some antennas below the mast. kept a backup facility at the clear this was worse. Much worse. WNJU, WPXN and WNYW (Fox) Empire State Building so was When I got to my office, after verifying that had antennas mounted in between the “wings” below able to get back on the air imGene Pfeiffer, the transmitter engineer at Telethe mooring mast. mediately from that location. mundo’s WNJU, had been delayed getting to the transmitter site that morning and was safe, I started looking for a site where we could get EVENTUALLY EMPIRE back on the air. The Alpine Tower in Alpine, N.Y. Alpine wasn’t the ultimate seemed like the best choice and I soon found solution. Returning to the out other broadcasters had the same idea. Empire State Building was the Charles Sackermann and his engineers best way to restore full covat Alpine Tower Company were working on erage, but finding room there plans to put broadcasters in a building next for all these stations’ antennas to the famous tower. I also called vendors and transmitters wasn’t easy. to see what equipment was available and It involved some creative soludetermine how quickly they could get it to the tions, like essentially hanging site. Remember this was analog TV, so we had a temporary low VHF panel anwaveform monitors, stereo generators, distritenna out a window. The final bution amplifiers, video and audio processing configuration included some gear and patchbays. antennas below the mast. WNJU, WPXN and WNYW (Fox) had antennas mounted WORKING TOGETHER in between the “wings” below WITH A SINGLE PURPOSE the mooring mast (Fig. 1). I was ready to go to Alpine to help, but I used CAD drawings of the travel was difficult as all flights were groundbuilding to design the analog ed, and my office seemed like a better place

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rf technology with some unique designs for up to antenna system for WNJU using a a 2,000-foot tower that could fit in a standard wide cardioid slot antenna small area. Unfortunately the right facing the northeast to cover the combination of finances and politics major part of the audience and a never came together to allow a sepafill in panel antenna in between the rate broadcast tower. “wings” to cover the southwest. The wings were used to minimize overlap between the two antennas where NEW HOME out of phase signals would cancel. As the design for One WTC Fortunately the southeast overlap evolved, room was made for broadFig. 2: To test broadcast signals from One WTC, Jeff Birch at CBS provided a area was mostly over water. Getting cast antennas on the spire. Several van for testing and Bill Beam from Ion built the test panel shown here. the antenna line in place wasn’t different antenna designs were probest, a compromise. There wasn’t room for easy—it had to go through a shaft which for posed to accommodate the needs of broadcastWNJU’s DTV antenna at Empire, so WNJU fire prevention reasons had to be bricked off ers and their FCC contour limits. The original built out a facility at the Richland tower site after the line was run. designs had the antennas inside a radome but at West Orange, N.J. which for awhile, operBroadcasters had already started broadthis would have made maintenance difficult. ated with a DTS (distributed transmission casting DTV prior to 9/11 from a broadband Financially, the cost to build out a new facility system) transmitter at 4 Times Square to fill panel antenna WNBC installed and there at One WTC didn’t make sense to many broadin coverage in Queens and Long Island. was a desire to get DTV back on the air. For casters as the Empire State Building site was Before the new World Trade Center design a while, WNBC-DT after 9/11 operated with “good enough,” especially since most viewers was finalized, MTVA (Metropolitan Television a 1 kW Comark transmitter and an Andrew watched the stations via cable. Association) and the Television All-Industry AL-8 slot antenna mounted on the roof at 30 The equation changed in 2016 when the FCC Committee, consisting of most New York City Rockefeller Center. WCBS eventually installed announced the spectrum incentive auction area broadcasters, considered developing their a broadband panel antenna at Empire that which would require many stations to change own broadcast tower site. Numerous locations served five other stations (WNBC, WWOR-TV, channels with the commission covering the were evaluated, including Governor’s Island WABC-TV, WPIX and WNET). costs. At the same time, studies were launched and Liberty Science Center (New Jersey), along Due to limited space, this antenna was, at to look at designs and costs for improving the

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rf technology antenna system at the Empire State Building. With the limited space at Empire, One WTC started looking more attractive. At One WTC, John Lyons, assistant vice president and director of operations for New York City real estate company Durst—which jointly owns One WTC with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—threw out the original designs for multiple antennas on different channels and came up with a simplified antenna system with only two UHF antennas using RFS panels that allow variable polarization—a 40-panel array near the top of the spire, 96-panel array lower on the spire—and some additional antennas for VHF TV. Lyons was able to convince One WTC management to eliminate the radome. Finally, with the advent of solid-state transmitters, no analog transmitters, and elimination of separate rooms for separate stations, he was able to fit everything on half of the 90th floor. This greatly reduced the overall cost and made One WTC more attractive. One concern was that signals from One WTC would not penetrate the “midtown mountain” of skyscrapers and coverage to the north would suffer compared to the lower, but

more centralized, Empire State Building. As Frank Beacham describes in his column in this month’s issue, MTVA decided a test was needed to see how well One WTC would perform in Manhattan and surrounding boroughs. Fig. 3:The author at the base of the spire prior to starting testing in 2015.

TESTING THE SYSTEM I designed the test configuration and methodology for the test. Unlike conventional FCC field measurements which required multiple readings at 30-foot antenna height on grids or radials, the system I put together used four antennas, two horizontally polarized and two vertically polarized with the same polarity antenna orthogonal to each other on opposite corners of a van roof mount. This system measured the signal about 8 feet off the ground and the different antennas provided some space diversity (Fig. 2). No time was wasted raising and lowering a mast. While broadcast facilities at One WTC were being built, the broadcasters lost in the attack

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on the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11 were not forgotten. John Lyons remembered them during the events launching the new broadcast facilities and the electricians and workers placing the new antennas left messages on the base of the spire memorializing them. If you look closely in the photo of me (Fig. 3) at the base of the spire prior to starting testing in 2015 you can see some of the inscriptions below the rigging and transmission lines to the test antennas. WNJU was the first station to begin broadcasting from One WTC on June 23, 2017, using a Rohde & Schwarz 108 kW transmitter, (Google “Telemundo 47 y NBC retornan al World Trade Center” for a video of the event). If you look quickly you might see me on the right of the group in front of the transmitter. WNJU was joined by six MTVA member stations who had participated in the measurements and eventually five other full-power and low-power TV stations. Other stations have construction permits for the site. The design of the system with two UHF antennas and two combiner systems has proven itself as it allowed stations to switch between the two systems to stay on the air as new stations were added to the combiner and later during the July 2019 repack channel change. In this article I mentioned a few of the people who played a role in restoring broadcasting in New York after 9/11. There are many more I didn’t mention that were key to the effort. Every TV engineer in New York was active in the recovery, if not in getting the broadcast facilities restored but also in making sure cable companies were able to get TV station programming and news reports from Manhattan out to the rest of the world. Network and station groups provided the people and support that was essential and manufacturers’ engineers and installers were there as well. The recovery effort from 9/11 is a testament to the dedication of the broadcast community, stations and suppliers alike, to provide the public with news and entertainment. As always, I welcome comments and questions. Email me at dlung@transmitter.com. l


media tech

20 Years Broadcasters Will Never Forget After 9/11, most NYC TV stations made Armstrong Tower their temporary home

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circle to save modern day broadhen the massive casters after 9/11. The 102-story antenna mast atop Empire State Building, opened the north tower of in 1931, was at the time the the trade center tallest building in the world and a crumbled into rubble on Sept. 11, natural place to install broadcast 2001—20 years ago—the on-air antennas. Its 1,250-foot peak, signals of most major New York originally designed as a mooring City broadcasters went with it. for dirigibles, was soon converted The disaster was pure chaos, and to an antenna mast. six broadcast engineers lost their Early on, the building’s 85th lives that historic day. It has taken EXPERTISE floor became a hotbed of broadmost of the past 20 years since to Frank Beacham cast activity. It was home to RCA’s get signals back on the air from experimental television station, the World Trade Center site. which began broadcasting shortly after the The whole two-decade saga not only tested skyscraper opened. Eventually, “Empire” television technology to the maximum debecame home to nearly all of New York City’s gree, but brought broadcasters back to their television stations, remaining so until comhistorical roots. After the terrorist attack, pletion of the 110-story World Trade Center unable to quickly relocate antennas to the in the early 1970s. crowded spar at the peak of the Empire State Empire’s 85th floor was also home to Building, television broadcasters turned to Edwin Armstrong’s FM radio laboratory. By another broadcast landmark—radio pioneer 1935, it was clear that Armstrong’s “statEdwin Armstrong’s 425-foot tall FM radio ic-less” FM system worked well—perhaps too tower on the Palisades Interstate Parkway in well. Jealous, RCA chief David Sarnoff claimed Alpine, N.J. he needed the space for television and ordered Armstrong—who wanted to begin EMPIRE’S EARLY DAYS an FM broadcasting service in New York—to Before 9/11, Armstrong’s Alpine tower was remove his equipment and vacate the Empire home to a variety of communications services State Building. for government, industry and a radio station. Armstrong’s eviction from Empire left the Post-9/11, New York City TV stations WNBC, inventor undeterred in his quest to bring high WABC, WPIX and WNET installed temporary fidelity FM radio to New Yorkers. After purantennas onto Alpine; and yet, in the scramchasing 11 acres of land in Alpine that overble to get back on the air, few current-day looked the New York metropolitan landscape, broadcasters realized the grand irony of Armstrong built a massive three-armed steel choosing Armstrong’s historic mast, once the tower in 1937 and soon launched the nation’s site of America’s first FM radio station. first FM radio station. What began as a defining moment for Armstrong’s independent FM radio venAmerican broadcasting in the 1930s came full

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Armstrong Tower in Alpine, N.J.

ture, however, would lead to a legendary feud with rival Sarnoff. After World War II, with the launch of commercial television on the horizon, a lengthy patent battle ensued between Armstrong and Sarnoff’s RCA and NBC network. The vicious conflict would eventually destroy Armstrong. It led to the radio pioneer dressing in a suit, overcoat, scarf with gloves jumping to his death from his New York City apartment in 1954.

AFTER 9/11 Coverage of the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath became the longest uninterrupted news event in the history of American television. Major U.S. broadcast networks were on the air for 93 continuous hours with the story. It was the first time since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that the television networks announced there would be no television commercials or programs for an indefinite period. Broadcast executives widely felt that it was an inappropriate time for entertainment programs to be shown when so much death and destruction was being seen live on television. Over time, the people, along with the broadcasters, recovered. In 2006—five years after 9/11—cement for the foundation began being poured for the new 104-floor One World Trade Center site near the fallen twin towers. The Durst Organization, one of the oldest family-run commercial and residential real estate companies in New York City, partnered with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2010 to lease the management rights to offices and the spire at the 1,776-foot tall building. State-of-the-art antenna facilities would be rebuilt to accommodate broadcast


media tech and telecommunications. ROBUST AND ENVIRONMENTALLY (See Doug Lung’s column on FRIENDLY p. 16 for more details.) In 2015, One World In the summer of Trade Center, costing a 2016, construction of the whopping $3.9 billion, was 408-foot spire to hold the completed and the late antennas began. Weighing engineer John Lyons, who 758 tons, it has the capacity was then Durst’s director to handle every TV and FM of broadcast communicaradio station in the New tions, supervised testing York market. The entire VHF and UHF transfacility uses the latest techmission for real-world nology and is environmenconditions. In the spring tally friendly, with a beacon of 2015, test antennas of light visible from miles were installed and TV away. It’s robust, too—the John Lyons, Durst’s Director of Broadcast signal measurements were Communications, played a pivotal role in core of the building is made taken at 200 test points of ultra-high strength getting broadcast transmission facilities installed atop World Trade Center One. as the antennas were concrete. At 14,000 pounds horizontally swiveled per square inch, it is the in increments to confirm the transmission strongest ever poured in New York City. parameters. The testing by the Metro TV AlAll TV antenna hardware was designed to liance (MTVA), made up of a group of 11 New be ATSC 3.0 and repack-ready. A range of othYork TV stations, verified the experimental er antennas are mounted on the communicaantenna results. By the end of 2015, the first tions rings that encircle the main spire. There four TV stations had signed leases for the are services available for GPS, ENG, SDL, new building. two-way radio, mobile and studio transmitter

links. The first repacked TV stations on the new tower included WCBS, WNBC/WNJU, WPXN, WNET, WWOR, WLIW and WNYW. A spokesman for the Durst Organization said there are currently two UHF master antennas, one VHF high-band master antenna and one VHF low-band CH2 antenna on the spire at One World Trade Center. The Broadcast and Broadcast Support Facilities occupy space on four levels of the building. Six UHF TV stations, one VHF high-band TV station and one VHF low-band station now broadcast from the tower. Durst will not provide an updated list of all the names of broadcasters on the tower. However, Keith Dumanski, senior manager of Public Affairs and Business Intelligence at Durst, did say, “We are in negotiations with potential licensees.” One engineer speculated the lack of transparency in providing information is for security reasons—with Durst not wanting to advertise their high concentration of broadcast tenants in a location that was once a terrorist target. l Frank Beacham is an independent writer based in New York City.

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eye on tech | product and services Powerlite TFU-WB-LP

CV420-30X

At the 2021 NAB Show, Dielectric will showcase its NextGen TV Powerlite TFU-WB-LP series, which features an extensive pattern portfolio and coverage optimization for single-frequency network (SFN) and LPTV applications. Announced in 2020, the new antenna system series is built with ATSC 3.0 in mind, offering a series of elevation gains, azimuth patterns with high front and back ratios and software tools to assist broadcasters in designing and deploying ATSC 3.0 SFNs. Dielectric’s Proposal Generator software will help broadcasters configure SFN systems that meet very specific network designs. Broadcasters can select the proper power level, directional pattern, height above ground level, and other pertinent design criteria for each SFN location. z For more information visit www.dielectric.com/antennas

Marshall Electronics will feature the CV420-30X 12G-SDI camera at its NAB Show booth. The new camera, which offers simultaneous 12G-SDI, HDMI and IP (HEVC/SRT) outputs, is well-suited to a variety of broadcast and professional AV workflows. It uses a high-performance Sony Exmor-R sensor to capture 4K UHD video at up to 3840x2146 60fps. The camera’s 30x optical zoom lens offers an extended zoom range from 4.6mm to 135mm, starting at just under a 70-degree horizontal angle of view to three degrees while maintaining image crispness from ultra-wide to ultra-long telephoto shots. The camera also offers exceptional low-light sensitivity. In addition to the SRT protocol, the camera supports DHCP, DNS, HTTP, HTTPS, IPv4, NTP, RTSP, TCP, MPEG-TS, RTMP and RTMPS. A single Ethernet cable to the camera provides up to UHD video, audio, control and power (PoE+). z For more information visit https://marshall-usa.com.

//Rogue Pro

CrewCom CB2 Wireless Intercom

DigitalGlue has expanded its next-generation creative. space storage platform with the release of the //Rogue Pro and will be showing the product line at the 2021 NAB Show. The small portable //Rogue Pro is designed to achieve the capacity and performance typically expected from multiple racks of servers and comes bundled with blazing fast hardware, intuitive software, and proactive support for one all-inclusive monthly or annual rate. Hardware components include: AMD’s 3rd Generation Ryzen 9 12-core 3.8GHz processor; premium Ultra 30dBA quiet graphene coated solid copper CPU cooler for superior thermal performance; up to 128GB DDR4 ECC 3200 MHz memory; eight 2.5” or 3.5” hot-swap drive bays; two onboard PCIe 4.0 M.2 Slots and other features. It is also specifically designed for efficient collaborative workflows. z For more information visit www.digitalglue.com.

At the 2021 NAB Show, Pliant Technologies will highlight the newest addition to its CrewCom line of products, the CrewCom CB2 professional wireless intercom system. Designed for small to mid-level applications, CrewCom CB2 is available in both 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequency options, as well as 900 MHz Oceania and 2.4 GHz CE compliant models. The intercom includes the CrewCom CB2 basestation and up to six CRP-12 two-channel radio packs. Users have access to two intercom channels and interconnectivity to industry standard two- and four-wire intercom systems. Two CrewCom CB2 basestations can be connected and the audio synched to create one system. Additional features include lightweight beltpacks, 7K audio quality, as well as compatibility with Pliant’s 6+6 Drop-In radio pack and battery charger and SmartBoom headsets. z For more information, visit www.plianttechnologies.com.

Magewell Cloud Magewell will feature Magewell Cloud multi-device management software at its NAB Show booth. It provides centralized configuration and control of multiple Magewell IP encoders and decoders as well as stream management features, such as protocol conversion and SRT gateway functionality. The free software offers integrators, administrators and IT staff easy configuration and management of multiple Magewell IP devices through an intuitive, browser-based interface while also providing workflow-simplifying stream management functions. Users can remotely configure device settings, monitor device status and trigger operational functions. Administrators can also group devices together and assign permissions for different devices or groups and simplifies one-to-many or many-to-many streaming with the Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) protocol by serving as an SRT gateway. z For more information visit www.magewell.com/magewell-cloud

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Blade 4 and GSX At its NAB Show booth, Wheatstone will highlight Blade 4, the first AoIP access unit to include routable audio processing, mixing, codecs and software apps in 1 RU, and the programmable AoIP console GSX. Blade 4 is Wheatstone’s fourth generation I/O unit for its WheatNet-IP Intelligent Network. Blade 4 can be integrated into any new or existing WheatNet-IP network.

GSX is the newest addition to the WheatNet-IP audio network and has soft switches, controls and displays for the ultimate in console surface adaptability. Designed to handle the fast-changing roles of modern broadcast studios, the GSX is a user-configurable surface with soft switches and controls similar to the LXE console surface but in a smaller footprint. z For more information visit www.wheatstone.com.


Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Blackmagic Design will showcase a new family of studio cameras, additional HyperDeck Studio models and Web Presenter 4K at the 2021 NAB Show. The two new compact all-in-one studio cameras are designed for a wide range of live production customers who need cameras with professional features that are also fast to set up on location. Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Plus (priced at $1,295) is designed as the perfect studio camera for ATEM Mini, with a 4K sensor up to 25,600 ISO, MFT lens mount, HDMI out, 7” LCD with sunshade, built-in color correction and recording to USB disks. The second model, the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro ($1,795 USD) is designed for professional SDI or HDMI switchers. Customers get all the features of the Plus model, as well as 12G-SDI, professional XLR audio, brighter HDR LCD, 5 pin talkback and 10G Ethernet IP. The new HyperDeck Studio is designed for broadcast, live production or multi-screen digital signage and features better design, upgraded codecs and support for more media types. All models now support record and playback to H.264, ProRes and DNx files, as well as PCM or AAC audio. Plus all models support SD Cards and UHS-II cards, with the Pro models adding extra SSD support. For ISO recording, there’s built in timecode and reference generators for syncing multiple units. The new Blackmagic Web Presenter 4K model has an upgraded Ultra HD resolution H.264 encoder for live streaming in native Ultra HD. It features a compact design that includes a 12G-SDI input with down converter, so customers can select to stream in 1080p HD or 2160p Ultra HD resolutions. z For more information visit www.blackmagicdesign.com.

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equipment guide | audio/intercoms

Taking Care of Business With Lawo mc² Consoles and VSM USER REPORT By Steve Hartley Freelance Audio Director/Engineer

AUKLAND, N.Z.—Before COVID-19, most of my work was 50/50 in New Zealand and offshore at major sporting events. Nevertheless, earlier this year I was the audio supervisor for the 36th America’s Cup sailing regatta in Auckland. At the time of writing, I’m still in Tokyo where I’m working for OBS as part of a Kiwi production team that produces the sailing telecasts. Then I’m off to the US Open Tennis Championships in New York, to work as an audio/comms engineer in the TOC. I was first introduced to Lawo in 2008, during the new studio and OB truck build for SKY TV NZ. Although rather new to our part of the world, Lawo was nevertheless chosen for its flexibility and versatility. I have been using almost the entire Lawo product range on most of my assignments ever since. My favorite console used to be the mc²66 Mk2: it was so robust and a treat to navigate. Now, I mainly work with the mc²56 Production Console, and occasionally also an mc²36.

THE SOUND OF YACHTS I find the GPC (General-Purpose Channel) functionality particularly useful to achieve some mundane tasks behind the scenes that would otherwise require a separate operator. On the America’s Cup production, for instance, we utilized GPCs to pan the yachts around the race course. We created two faders that allowed us to take each boat as a whole and to move it around

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Steve Hartley used the Lawo General Purpose console on the 36th America’s Cup sailing regatta in Auckland.

the sound image to create perspective for the viewer at home. It meant that if one boat was firmly left of center, and the other firmly on the right, we could place them there. We hope to enhance this function further by using Lawo’s VSM broadcast control system to decipher GPS data for a 5.1 version at the 37th America’s Cup. Immersive sound is clearly the future and being able to control it right at the sweet spot is key. The height speakers make a huge difference and provide you with the feeling that you are in the stadium. Similarly, WAVES plug-in integration has proved a lifesaver more than once. I was working on a studio show recently where the noise from the fans in the lighting equipment was extremely obtrusive, but WAVES solved our problem. I highly recom-

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mend it, especially for high-turnaround television. Native AES67/RAVENNA/ ST21010 support allows me to access audio on the network at any time, not least in rather novel workflows that went mainstream during the pandemic. One example is commentators working offsite, in a booth back at the network HQ, or directly from home. The A__UHD Core makes accessing all audio signals on the network easy and is also great for a flypack solution, as everything can be preconfigured at base, with minimal cabling onsite. In my line of work, I need to be flexible, think on my feet and leverage the technology provided by the tools at hand. There are a host of powerful functions in the mc²-series consoles, and when you add VSM to the mix, you can handle some cool tasks quite simply.

My favorite example is that with the help of some of our video engineers, we now leave audio routing for the submix truck to VSM. We use the mixer for monitoring and redundancy, and VSM takes care of the actual audio routing into the EVS machines. It has access to all direct outputs on the main consoles, providing intuitive touchscreen operation for the submix operators. I’m extremely fond of the flexibility provided by Lawo—and also of the team’s availability. l Steve Hartley is a freelance audio director/engineer with over two decades of experience working in audio. He can be reached on his mobile, +64 (21) 486846, or at stevehartleynz@gmail.com. For more information on Lawo products, call 888-810-4468 or visit https://lawo.com.


equipment guide | audio/intercoms

CBC, SportsNet Tap Calrec to Produce NHL in 5.1 SIMPLE `TONE’ BUTTONS

USER REPORT By Chuck Ibey A1 & Sound Guarantor Dome Productions

TORONTO—As an A1 and sound guarantor for Dome Productions, I’ve worked on some major shows as an audio mixer, comms person and guarantor. Dome Productions is one of North America’s leading production facilities providers, offering mobile production facilities, transmission services, studio facilities and full turnkey host broadcast services. Traditionally, most of our work has come from live sporting events, for which I’ve used a variety of audio consoles over the years, including most of Calrec’s consoles. Calrec consoles make largescale audio routing and mixing easy, specifically the Artemis and Apollo, which was especially important with the COVID-19 lockdowns.

HOCKEY IN A BUBBLE Because of COVID, the world of live television broadcast has seen a decrease in live events, but the impact of the virus has also forced the industry to adapt to a new way of making television. We witnessed this last summer with the NHL Stanley Cup playoff “bubble” in Canada, and it continued into this past regular season of NHL hockey. No longer do we have two or three mobile television trucks with their own crews, microphones and cameras, but rather one truck providing a “host broadcast” style show. In Canada, CBC and Sportsnet made the decision to produce all regular season games and playoffs in discrete 5.1 audio.

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Chuck Ibey at Dome Productions worked on the 5.1 surround sound production of NHL hockey using Calrec Apollo and Artemis consoles.

That itself is a large undertaking, but we were also tasked with producing clean feeds and mixes for other broadcasters to use. In total, for a regular season hockey game, our transmission audio went from around eight to 62 total channels. The broadcast truck provided roughly nine different video feeds, each having between six and eight channels of audio. We

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had some overlap of course, so not every channel was unique, but in a routing sense this was a large organizational endeavor. The cherry on top of this workflow was that depending on the other broadcasters involved, that channel mapping could change from game to game. The tools that made this job easier above all others were the Calrec Apollo and Artemis consoles.

These consoles give me layers and layers of channels, which is comforting during large shows. When lining up the broadcast, playing test tones out our transmission path went from being a three-minute job to sometimes taking 30 minutes or more. It might seem like a simple tool, but audio engineers know that toning out a show on other consoles can be unnecessarily complicated. Calrec has simple “tone” buttons on all of the main outputs and a menu that allows you to mute and identify separate legs or stems of every output. Are you lining up with someone who requests a sweep, or a left/right identify? It just takes the push of one button, no issues. Calrec consoles are also versatile. I can send any audio source anywhere I need either internally or externally, downmixed, delayed, digital or analog—you name it. Beyond this, muscle memory is important when working in a fast-paced environment. Whether I’m used to reaching out with my left hand or my right hand to quickly grab the gain of an audio source, the console lets me build my layout however I want. It’s nice not being locked into a specific layout, which is just one of the numerous benefits I get working with Calrec consoles. l Chuck Ibey has worked in live broadcast television since he was 17 years old and in 2001 began working freelance at Dome Productions. He joined as a staff A1 in 2013 and has since worked on some of their biggest productions. He can be reached at chuck. ibey@domeprod.com. For more information contact Calrec at https://calrec.com.


equipment guide | audio/intercoms

Post for Gazpacho’s 'Fireworking at St. Croix' With DaVinci Resolve USER REPORT By Thor Legvold Owner & Main Engineer Sonovo

LOS ANGELES—Sonovo started in Norway in 2003 as a music mastering studio and later branched out into post production and music production, primarily for the surround and immersive audio market. After moving to Los Angeles in 2018 to establish an additional studio, Sonovo now serves clients on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world, including Norwegian art-rock band Gazpacho and their recent “Fireworking at St. Croix” performance. With the live stream complete and the recording slated for release this fall, I was tasked with creating 5.1 surround versions of the stereo tracks for a Blu-ray of the live concert footage, as well as delivering LP versions, streaming files and CD. Additionally, I performed dialogue cleanup for the interviews and mixed the bonus material.

IN SYNC WITH DAVINCI Having implemented Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve Studio and working with its Fairlight audio post page and a full suite of Fairlight panels, I completed editing, final mixing and delivery of the project, working from the stereo masters and stems provided by the band. DaVinci Resolve Studio’s busses allow multiple delivery targets on the same timeline, all in sync and with metering to match levels (stereo and 5.1). Having the stereo versions on

their own bus in DaVinci Resolve Studio provided an easy reference to match the timing, EQ and loudness, as well as preserve the feeling of the originals, while keeping everything in sync with the picture from the videographer.

across the extra content. This project’s workflow was made so much easier with the Fairlight Desktop Audio Editor. With one button press I could accomplish complex tasks that would require a lot of mousing around otherwise, saving valuable

with higher track and bus counts. l Thor Legvold is the owner and main engineer at Sonovo, dedicated to high-quality audio and bringing more women into the audio profession. For more information, contact Thor at post@ sonovo.no. For additional information, contact Blackmagic Design at 408954-0500 or visit www.blackmagicdesign.com.

buyers brief

Thor Legvold’s Sonovo used DaVinci Resolve Studio to create 5.1 surround sound versions for the Blu-ray of Gazpacho’s “Fireworking at St. Croix” performance.

Having separate timelines for different parts of the project, including dialogue edit, final dialogue mix, Blu-ray music mixes, bonus content mixes, etc., helped keep the project structured and allowed me to try different approaches and settings, all easily accessible up to final approval. Additionally, I appreciated having the ability to crossfade between the track layers, as well as having clip- and track-based effects, which allowed global and individual adjustments to get everything to sit right. I also tackled dialogue editing and cleanup of the bonus material, which included interviews of the band and the cover art artist, as well as alternate mixes of some of the songs. I matched ambiance and EQ and brought in room tone to provide a consistent experience

time. For example, flying clips around and performing slips, trims and adding room tone to a range was easy and effective. The jog wheel was key here, and the programmable macros allowed me to set up multistep workflows that could be initiated at the touch of a button. Mixing is more intuitive and alive when using a console with faders, allowing me to “play” the mix as it progresses and capture it via automation. I think it engages my brain differently when working with a control surface compared to using a mouse and keyboard. Having knobs and buttons to grab and dial while the mix is playing means I’m not interrupting my flow, which allows greater focus on the creative aspects. It might sound like a trivial improvement, but it is significant, especially when working with larger projects

Interra Systems Baton Baton from Interra Systems is an enterprise-class QC solution used by global telcos, broadcasters, post-production houses, IPTV and archiving companies working with file-based content. It is also a complete solution for loudness management needs for file-based workflows. It has options to fully customize the monitoring of all aspects of loudness and supports all the loudness specifications like CALM, EBU-R128, OP-59, etc. Baton can be coupled with Baton Content Corrector (BCC) that corrects a host of audio, video and metadata errors detected by Baton in the media files. This includes correction of errors like program loudness, loudness range, true peak, video signal levels, RGB gamut and a range of metadata corrections. z For additional information call 408-579-2000 or visit www. interrasystems.com.

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equipment guide | audio/intercoms

KPBS Stays Flexible With Comrex Codecs USER REPORT By Leon Messenie Director of Engineering KPBS

SAN DIEGO—KPBS is the public media outlet serving San Diego. We’re a dual organization, meaning we’ve got both a radio and a television market, and I’ve been overseeing them both as the director of engineering since 2001. Our reporters do both TV and radio. So, if you’re a reporter at KPBS, you’ll do a version of a story for radio, a version for television and a version for the web. Prior to the onset of COVID-19, we used Comrex gear for a variety of purposes. KPBS owns four LiveShot units, which we use to send live audio and video from remote locations back to our studio. We have a LiveShot unit installed in our satellite truck, and several portable LiveShot units that we’d send out with our news crews.

LIVE TV & RADIO Since our studio shut down in 2020, our nightly news television anchor has been broadcasting from her home with a LiveShot and a camera setup. Her background replicates the background in our studio, and she’s trained her family to stay off the home internet while she’s on the air (to preserve bandwidth). It’s been working well for more than a year. We also have 13 Comrex BRIC-Link II audio codec units that we use for radio to deliver high-quality audio from anywhere. For our radio anchors, we also needed to find ways for our reporters to broadcast from home. We created rack boxes with all the equipment mounted in it,

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KPBS engineer Kevin Birch working with one of the Comrex Liveshot units that have been key to their news production during the pandemic.

with carefully labeled connectors, so that our reporters just had to match up the cables with the ports. We had to adapt each box for the needs of all our reporters, because everyone was dealing with a different living situation and not everyone had the same amount of space. Setting up a BRIC-Link II is easy, and after the initial configuration, they’ve worked flawlessly. Because our reporters do both TV and radio news, we often use audio from our TV segments on the radio, as well as audio from our radio station in our television programming. We’ll often decode the audio from our LiveShot unit, then route it to our radio station, where we can use it live on the air.

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As for the reverse, while we try not to have audio-only segments on television (obviously, given that it’s a visual medium), it’s very useful to be able to route live BRIC-Link II audio to our TV station. For breaking news that needs to be covered as quickly as possible, it’s great to be able to use the same tools to get it done.

SWITCHBOARD TO THE STUDIO

the university’s security systems. Switchboard allows us to totally bypass all of those hurdles and deliver our audio faster. For us, our mission is news. Getting our anchors and reporters on the air, even when they’re stuck at home, is the way we keep our promise to our members. Being able to consistently deliver with BRIC-Link and LiveShot units has been a life saver. l

Both BRIC-Link and LiveShot are compatible with Comrex’s Switchboard, which allows us to connect between a remote location and the studio without re-entering information or dealing with network configuration. We’re hosted by the University of San Diego, so since we don’t control our IT setup, it can be a major task to deal with firewalls and

Leon Messenie is the director of engineering at KPBS and is a past member of the PBS Enterprise Technology Advisory Committee where he served as chairman for four years. He can be reached at www.kpbs.org/staff/leon-messenie/contact. For more information visit www.comrex.com.


equipment guide | audio/intercoms

EA Produces eSports in the Cloud With Grass Valley’s AMPP USER REPORT By Geoff Butler Competitive Gaming Entertainment Manager, Broadcast Technology Electronic Arts (EA)

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—EA’s esports division, Competitive Gaming Entertainment (CGE), selected Grass Valley’s SaaS platform, AMPP (Agile Media Processing Platform), for cloudbased production of EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Global Series and Apex Legends Global Series live competitive events earlier this year. We leveraged the AMPP Audio Mixer—along with several other tools within the GV AMPP ecosystem—to enable truly global, remote productions, crucially allowing our distributed teams to deliver live esports action to fans worldwide. For our recent FIFA Global Series events that ran from last December to this past May, we had competitors in Europe and beyond. EA’s crew was based in North America with our talent based in North America and the U.K., with additional support staff in continental Europe.

AUDIO IN THE CLOUD The beauty of working with cloud-hosted tools like Grass Valley’s GV AMPP is that your people can contribute to the show from wherever they are and we can bring in specialized talent to the production. We had two A1s (audio engineers) for our FIFA Global Series events, one here in northern California and one in New York. Connecting to AMPP from distributed locations was seamless and straightforward for our operators—it didn’t matter that

Geoff Butler used Grass Valley’s cloud-based audio mixer to deliver live esports to fans around the world.

they were thousands of miles away. Due to the restrictions and limitations caused by COVID-19, the M&E industry has had to adapt and innovate by adopting cloud-based workflows. We chose Grass Valley’s AMPP because we needed true broadcast-quality production for our eSports events. We had found it challenging to accomplish this using other available means because we couldn’t quite get the reliability and the quality that we needed. We had been punching shows using AMPP’s video tools first, including cloud-based switchers, and based on the success of these Grass Valley solutions, we were excited to try its cloud-enabled audio mixing. Until we deployed Grass Valley’s AMPP Audio Mixer, we used a mix of solutions for our audio workflows. With AMPP Audio Mixer, our audio professionals enjoyed a true cloud-first professional mixer.

WORKING INTUITIVELY Technical directors don’t require much of a learning curve for Grass Valley equipment. Even though the AMPP ecosystem is based in the cloud, it’s still the same to the operator, and the familiar menus and controls mean operators hit the ground running. The audio mixer has an intuitive feel as the GUI has all the same controls in the same places as a traditional hardware audio console. It has everything you’d expect to see, in the places you’d expect to see them. Our audio guys didn’t need training on AMPP Audio Mixer because they could take one look at the interface, and everything looks as anticipated—just on-screen instead of a physical panel. Later on in our FIFA Global Series, Grass Valley also added the MIDI control application to allow our audio engineers to control the audio mixer using a physical hardware surface instead of the software GUI. With that our

operators could move away from mouse and screen down to any MIDI-enabled hardware device. This flexibility means that our crew could use the AMPP Audio Mixer on equipment that they might already have sitting in their office or home. Working on a panel with motorized faders also means that any adjustments on the GUI would simultaneously move the fader on your physical panel, perfectly in sync. AMPP Audio Mixer helped us enhance our audio workflows throughout our FIFA and Apex Legends events—and allowed us to deliver truly exceptional live gaming action to our global fanbase. l Geoff Butler worked as a freelance director/producer for Pac-12 Network, NBC Sports and others before joining Electronic Arts (EA). He can be reached at dadrunning@gmail.com. For more information, call 514​​ 333-1772 or visit www.grassvalley.com.

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equipment guide | audio/intercoms buyers briefs Wheatstone Strata 32 Console The Strata 32 console lets you use one studio for many purposes by giving you the flexibility to quickly change mic feeds and configure IFB connections while cutting over from one show or newscast to the next. Unique to Strata 32 is its AoIP network, WheatNet-IP, which has SMPTE ST 2110 and AES67 support plus utility mixers at each I/O point that can be used to do online mixing or to segue remotely between feeds or to send the correct throw from the studio to talent on remotes. If it’s on the network, it’s routable, programmable and accessible, automatically. When a field reporter’s mic turns on, the WheatNet-IP audio network knows to automatically send a mix minus back to the field reporter’s headset for IFB. z For additional information call 252-638-7000 or visit www.wheatstone.com.

Switchcraft StudioPatch Series Bantam/ TT Audio Patchbays

NUGEN Audio Paragon NUGEN Audio Paragon is 3D-compatible, true convolution reverb software. Unlike other convolution reverbs, Paragon offers full control of the decay, room size and brightness without unwanted artifacts. This is achieved via resynthesis modelled on 3D recordings of real spaces. It provides an unprecedented level of tweak-ability, with zero time-stretching. Paragon features spectral analysis and precise EQ of the Impulse Responses (IR) and operates in up to 7.1.2 channels of audio, making it suitable for surround and immersive applications, including Dolby Atmos bed tracks. Paragon ST, a stereo version of the software, is scheduled for release this fall. Pricing: $599 USD z For additional information call +44 113 357 2250 or visit nugenaudio.com/paragon.

The StudioPatch Series Bantam/TT Patchbays utilize Switchcraft’s EZ Norm technology, allowing the signal flow of each channel to be instantly modified from the front of the patchbay using a standard screwdriver. They also feature user programmable grounds, making it possible to customize each channel’s grounding scheme with the flip of a switch. All Switchcraft patchbays are made in the Switchcraft factory in Chicago using high-quality Switchcraft jacks and are trusted in professional audio and broadcast studios all over the world. z For additional information call 773-792-2700 or visit

www.switchcraft.com.

DPA Microphones 4488 CORE DPA’s 4488 CORE Directional Headset Microphone features the brand’s popular 5mm round microphone capsule and accurate on- and off-axis frequency response for clear, concise intelligibility. Perfect for use in broadcast applications, the 4488 headset’s boom and locking system accommodates all head sizes and shapes. The mic has a unique three-point gripping system for a greater level of security and flexible ear hooks for continued comfort during extended use. Available in black and beige, DPA’s 4488 features a 90-degree adjustable cable guide for hiding wires, while the headset frame, boom and capsule are non-reflective for unobtrusiveness and ease-of-use for camera crews. z For additional information call 303-485-1025 or visit www.dpamicrophones.com.

RTS RTS Digital Partyline OMS (OMNEO Main Station) and DBP (Digital Beltpack) mark the beginning of a major new product family: RTS Digital Partyline. OMS is a uniquely versatile and cost-effective solution capable of interconnecting both wired/wireless and IP/digital/analog devices. OMS is available in five configurations to grow with the user’s needs—simply upgrade via software license updates. DBP is a four-channel/four-button wired beltpack that runs on PoE and connects using OMNEO IP technology. Its unique hybrid design supports both digital partyline and matrix keypanel modes. It is lightweight and ergonomic, with a full-color icon-based menu navigation for quick setup and intuitive operation. z For additional information visit products.rtsintercoms.com.

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equipment guide | audio/intercoms

Clear-Com’s Agent-IC Breaks Down Communication Barriers for DP learn it in no time, and I can set it up so I can speak to each of the departments I need to, but each of them can be on their own party line so they can stay on their channel and talk without disrupting other departments.

USER REPORT By Vinit Borrison Cinematographer & Filmmaker

TORONTO—As a cinematographer and filmmaker, Clear-Com’s Agent-IC has been a total game changer for the way my teams and I communicate on and off set. I’ve been looking for a solution like this for a long time, and now that I’ve used it for several of my film and TV projects, I can’t imagine working without it, especially during COVID. Agent-IC is a mobile intercom app that operates over 3G, 4G, LTE and Wi-Fi networks to connect to the main intercom system and permits the same communications access whether you’re on-set or on the other side of the world.

AGENT OF EFFICIENCY Agent-IC breaks down communications barriers, which allows us to work more efficiently and be more agile when adapting to evolving needs on set, whether it’s switching out equipment on a shoot, pre-rigging far-flung locations, or making immediate changes to how a scene is shot. This saves us not only time, but money. Ultimately, using Agent-IC has saved us time and money, reduced the overall equipment infrastructure, allowed for remote workflows, guaranteed social distancing and safety of onset team members, and has greatly contributed to my ability to keep working despite COVID restrictions. Needless to say, I do not see a future without Agent-IC. l

COMS FOR COVID COMFORT Because it’s also Bluetooth compatible, I can just use my AirPods. I’m always wearing them anyway to take calls, so being able to do that and stay connected to the production is amazing, and it eliminates the need for belt packs and switching between headsets to talk with different departments On set, we wear face shields and masks, so right now it’s even more difficult to wear multiple devices. Being able to use the phones everyone has in their pockets already is helpful, and by reducing the amount of high-touch, shared and wearable equipment, it adds a level of comfort for crew members in today’s circumstances. Off set, executives and clients who can’t come in but who are core contributors and shot callers for activities occurring on set, can download Agent-IC and

Cinematographer Vinit Borrison used Agent-IC during the pandemic to safely maintain communications.

be connected to our system and have real-time communications with everyone here. Aside from Agent-IC’s contributions to keeping TV and film operational right now, it’s provided countless other benefits that guarantee I’ll continue using it long after these restrictions subside. I shoot a lot of car commercials, for example, where we’re

often separated by quite a distance and sometimes lose communications. With this system, the director can be anywhere instead of driving around with us, and I can be talking to the chase vehicle and the vehicle that we’re shooting wherever they are. It’s a fantastic solution. Another huge benefit is how easily configurable it is, so those with no intercom experience can

Vinit Borrison is an awardwinning director of photography who has worked internationally for over 15 years. His body of work encompasses a variety of genres including music videos, commercials, documentaries, television series and feature films. He is constantly pushing boundaries with progressive technologies as an early adopter of 8K cameras, drone technology, lightweight gimbals and virtual reality/augmented reality cameras, including proprietary systems which he created and designed. He can be reached at vborrison@mac.com. For more information on ClearCom, call 972-393-3244 or visit www.clearcom.com.

twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | September 2021

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equipment guide | audio/intercoms

Riedel Keeps Pitt Athletics’ Live Productions Connected LEVERAGING HYBRID LEVERS

USER REPORT By Liam Sporrer Director of Broadcast Engineering University of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—My team and I support live game-day coverage of multiple sports for the Pittsburgh Athletics department at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) in Pennsylvania. Pitt Athletics events are broadcast on the ACC Network for ESPN and available for streaming. A critical component of those live productions is making sure everyone in our control room and venues are interconnected and can communicate with one another via intercoms. I obsess over the intercom setup and programming because it can have a big impact on the ability of our crew to function and navigate issues. Most issues during a live event can be fixed, but without the ability to communicate and coordinate operators and technicians, even small problems can create major production challenges.

ESSENTIAL COVERAGE When our old intercom system had reached its limit, we worked with NEP Integrated Solutions to install a new campus-wide communication system. The setup consists of multiple Riedel Artist matrixes and 1200 and 2300 series SmartPanel user interfaces, along with 24 Bolero wireless beltpacks scattered across campus. Riedel’s Director software coordinates configuration and management of all the matrixes into one, giving us the essential coverage, performance and functionality to orchestrate multiple simultaneous productions across different venues and

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The University of Pitt’s Riedel intercom system helps them orchestrate multiple simultaneous productions across different venues and control rooms.

control rooms. The system not only enables communication between team members at each venue, but it also ties into ESPN’s intercom system, supporting remote talent, including directors and producers. We organized the Riedel Artist system in a fiber-redundant hub-and-spoke configuration. As a result, we’ve got communications at the Petersen Events Center (basketball), where the university’s centralized broadcast production facilities are located, as well as at Charles L. Cost Field (baseball), Vartabedian Field (softball), Ambrose Urbanic Field (soccer) and the Fitzgerald Field House (wrestling, gymnas-

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tics and volleyball). The Bolero wireless intercom system relies on 18 antennas distributed across all four venues and Trees Pool (swimming and diving), which gives us total coverage in every nook and cranny and means we can use the Bolero beltpacks at any venue. The power and functionality of the Bolero beltpacks makes sideline reporting a breeze. It used to take a lot of time and effort to set up a separate wireless transmitter and wireless receiver. Now we just hand off the beltpack, and it gives reporters the functionality and control they need, plus the reliability and range of the Bolero network.

In terms of the user interface, there’s so much more granularity in how a panel can look and act compared to our old system. If we ever need to adjust some very particular piece of a signal, we can do it without needing an external processor card or other gear. And the Hybrid Levers on the 1200 Series SmartPanels are one of our favorite new features. They are much more intuitive than buttons—especially in live broadcast, when you’re constantly listening and fine-tuning things from moment to moment. We also rely heavily on Dante, so the fact that the broadcast production team can interface with Dante directly within Artist to move a variety of audio signals—from a hot mic for a director or producer to program audio—is a gamechanger. Going forward, Riedel gives Pitt Athletics the scalability to extend intercoms across more game-day operations and, as the university completes upcoming building projects, to tie in new venues and expand broadcast production operations to include competition at those sites. l Liam Sporrer joined the Pitt Department of Athletics Broadcast and Video Production team as the director of broadcast engineering in October 2017 to manage rapidly expanding technical needs for both the ACC Network and in-venue production capabilities. He can be reached at lsporrer@athletics. pitt.edu. For more information, call Riedel Communications at 410992-4976 or visit https://www. riedel.net/products-solutions/ intercom.


equipment guide | audio/intercoms buyers briefs

Shure ADX5D

Sonnet Technologies DuoModo

The dual-channel ADX5D portable wireless receiver sets a new standard in spectral efficiency. Groundbreaking performance features include wide tuning, low latency and High Density (HD) mode, ensuring solid performance in the most challenging RF environment. As an Axient Digital ADX Series wireless receiver, the ADX5D features ShowLink Direct Mode that allows remote control of Axient Digital transmitters without the need of external equipment.

The new DuoModo line of professional, modular Thunderbolt expansion systems is for both desktop and rack installations. It allows audio users to connect their computer with an Intel processor to a two- or three-card Pro Tools/HDX system plus a GPU card for a compact desktop or 2U rackmount, multitrack immersive audio editing system. In full-service project studios, users can mix and match modules with enclosures, connecting PCIe cards or a GPU to their computer without card slots, or mount a Mac mini in a desktop or rackmount enclosure with port and storage expansion.

z For additional information visit www.shure.com.

z For additional information call 949-587-3500 or visit www.sonnettech.com.

Telos Alliance Telos Infinity Virtual Intercom Platform (VIP)

Pliant Technologies CrewCom CB2 Pliant Technologies’ CrewCom CB2 Professional Wireless Intercom system is a full-duplex, install-friendly and feature-packed professional wireless intercom system. Suitable for small- to mid-level broadcast applications requiring a reliable intercom with excellent RF coverage and range, it is available in 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequency models as well as 900 MHz Oceania and 2.4 GHz CE-compliant models and includes the CrewCom CB2 base station and up to six CRP-12 two-channel radio packs to create a powerful but economical wireless intercom. CB2 provides customers with a choice of two intercom channels as well as interconnectivity to all industry-standard two- and four-wire intercoms. z For additional information call 334-321-1160 or visit https://plianttechnologies. com.

Infinity VIP delivers sophisticated comms virtually, making cloud-based media production workflows available on any device—smartphone, laptop, desktop or tablet. Users can also use third-party control devices, like Elgato Stream Deck, to control Telos Infinity VIP and it offers a variety of deployment options that can be scaled up to suit users’ varying requirements, from a few remote smartphone VIP instances to an enterprise solution requiring hundreds of instances. It’s available as a physical appliance, and users can also install systems of any size as cloud services, both on-prem and on platforms such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. z For additional information call 216-241-7225 or visit

www.telosalliance.com.

products & services marketplace DESIGNED FOR LARGE SCALE ENTERPRISES

POWERFUL MULTICHANNEL TRANSCODER

Tested to work with Atlas™, Wowza®, and Adobe Flash servers Adapts MPEG-2 streams to H.264 for Hotel, Cruiseline, University, Resort feeds Grooming for OTT, Mobile and IPTV Down converter ability to convert all HD services to SD Can be configured with 2, 4, 6 or 8 GPU’s

sales@dveo.com

+1 858 613-1818

www.dveo.com

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people on the move For possible inclusion, send information to tvtech@futurenet.com with People News in the subject line.

TAVIA PITTS Senior Vice President, Ad Sales

KEITH LAWSON

Senior Vice President, Brand Solutions BET

RON ROMINES

LEE ANN GLIHA

DAVID ROBERTS

Senior VP and Regional Manager Nexstar Media

Executive VP and CFO Nexstar

Head of Production ESPN

Nexstar Media has promoted Ron Romines to senior vice president and regional manager, overseeing broadcast and digital operations in various markets nationwide. He reports to Andrew Alford, Nexstar Media’s president of Broadcasting. Romines brings 30 years of broadcast experience to his new role, having served most recently as vice president and general manager of the company’s broadcast and digital operations in Charlotte, N.C. (DMA #22).

Nexstar has hired Lee Ann Gliha as executive vice president and chief financial officer. She will oversee all financial aspects of the business, including internal and external financial reporting, internal audit, compliance and controls, investor relations and treasury and capital markets functions. She also will take a role in strategic planning, business development, and mergers and acquisitions. She has more than 20 years of experience in M&E investment banking.

ESPN has tapped David Roberts to head its production of NBA programming, including event and studio telecasts. He is adding these duties to his current responsibilities, which include overseeing production for “First Take,” the 6 p.m. ET edition of “SportsCenter,” ESPN Audio content and ESPN digital shows, among others. His NBA responsibilities will include regular season, playoff and finals games, the NBA Draft, NBA Countdown and The Jump.

DOUGLAS RUSSELL

ERIC LUDGOOD

BENJAMIN ZORES

TERRY BRADY

NW Regional Accounts Manager TVU Networks

Head of Newsy E.W. Scripps

Head of Cloud Operations Dalet

Advisor Gravity Media

TVU Networks has appointed Douglas Russell as the Northwest regional accounts manager, North America Sales. His markets cover streaming, live events and professional sports. Russell has a varied A/V background, including senior-level engineering positions at Amazon Prime Sports and Keycode Media and field engineer at Raytheon. He also served as the director of operations for the live streaming company FlipOn.TV.

Award-winning news exec Eric Ludgood has been tapped to lead E.W. Scripps’ Newsy news streaming service. In the newly created role, Ludgood will be responsible for the overall leadership, editorial identity and programming for the national news organization. He will report to Kate O’Brian, head of the news group for Scripps Networks. Newsy provides news across multiple platforms and will launch over-the-air in more than 90% of U.S. television homes, Oct. 1.

Dalet has appointed Benjamin Zores as its new head of cloud operations, leading a team that is responsible for optimizing how Dalet deploys, upgrades, supports and maintains mission-critical cloud environments. He will ensure Dalet solutions operate at optimal capacity, efficiency and security. Prior to Dalet, Zores was director of cloud operations and infrastructure at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, where he designed datacenters and associated cloud-native software.

Gravity Media has appointed Terry Brady its advisor in the U.S., which the company says is a key market for growth. He will be responsible for reviewing the company’s standards and processes, ensuring the company optimizes its customer service. He will also review and drive the implementation and ongoing success of Gravity Media’s overall internal operations. Prior to joining Gravity Media, Brady was the director of remote production operations at ESPN.

BET has promoted Keith Lawson and Tavia Pitts to new senior ad sales posts. Lawson was named senior vice president of brand solutions and will lead brand solutions and ad sales production teams to support ideation and project management. Pitts was named senior vice president of ad sales and will continue to manage some of BET’s key clients, while having responsibilities for BET Her and BET Live. Lawson and Pitts report to Louis Carr, president of ad sales at BET, part of ViacomCBS.

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9000

Profile for Future PLC

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