Published by: Larry Bloomfield & Jim
following are our current e-mail addresses:
E-mail = email@example.com
We have copied the original
Tech-Notes below as it was sent out. Some of the information may be
out of date.
by: Larry Bloomfield & Jim Mendrala
= firstname.lastname@example.org or J.Mendrala@ieee.org
Note - 042
does what it can, but genius does what it must!
Mission: Sharing experiences, knowledge, observations, concerns, opinions or
anything else relating to Electronic Cinema, DTV, etc., with fellow engineers
and readers. We do hope that everyone will participate with comments,
experiences, questions and/or answers. Please
note Jim Mendrala's new E-mail address. Phone numbers and other stuff that used
to be up here is now at the end of this newsletter. We now have over 480
subscribers & growing.
This is YOUR forum!
Past issues are available at: WWW.SCRI.COM
Thanks for the
latest Tech Note; very interesting, as always, and I enjoyed reading it.
sorry to say, three, if not all four, of the four viruses (etc.) you (by
forwarding) warned about are hoaxes. I'm sorry to see nice folks get trapped by
this, but, along with Spam, another nasty thing that happens on the 'Net is
false chain messages scaring people by warning about nonexistent viruses. It's
enough of a problem to have at least two web sites devoted to the topic:
second of these has less info. (BTW, let me know if these URLs didn't appear
correctly and usably.)
virus warning is valid unless it gives very specific info about exactly where
the warning can be verified. At least, one won't make such mistakes twice!
regards, and best of luck!
Nicholas Bodley email@example.com
Tech Note #41, we sent along a message about possible viruses.
It originated from Ralph P. Manfredo, President & CEO - Broadband
Networks Corporation (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org -- Web: www.bbnc.com).
We printed the following: "Ed
Note -- BBNC is a Santa Clara based company.
Larry has done some contract writing work for them and while there did
indeed discover that they had virus problems.
(Norton Anti-virus discovered them.)
It is not difficult to understand Ralph's concerns.
Although he never saw any of these viruses, out of past experience with
these folks and first hand knowledge they are reputable, we're passing this on
for your consideration."
response, we received the following from: Don R. Barbin Jr., Field Application
Engineer, TeraLogic, Inc., Wake Forest, NC.
appreciate your newsletter. Please don't let it turn into a source of
misinformation. The credibility is certainly jeopardized when it includes
articles such as: (he then quoted to article from Manfredo)"
did not verify that every WARNING mentioned was a hoax but was familiar with
most of them. The correct information can be found at the US Department of
Energy's web site at http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/CIACHoaxes.html.
up the good work and don't let the inclusion of off the topic
diminish its value."
Note: Based on first hand
experience at BBNC, we posted the message.
We apologize if any of it was incorrect or misleading.
Coordination- The key to successful Communications
the football season just around the corner and the National political
conventions not far behind, the temporary use of additional frequencies for a
multiplicity of reasons will raise it's ugly head and the whole idea of
"special" and "temporary" begins to take on a really
significant measure of importance irrespective of the service, NTSC or ATSC.
and parcel with this scenario is the need to interface with one of
broadcasting's most essential people who does probably the most thankless job in
the business, and that's the guy who dons the cap of area frequency coordinator. It goes without saying that there's never enough frequencies
or channels available for the mundane, day-to-day operation of a station or
network. Add to this, the FCC's seeming relentless on-slot of whittling away
what is still available, makes doing what he does, nearly impossible.
what happens when a special event comes to town, like an NFL football game or a
major political convention, and the job of providing all the support
communications falls on your shoulders? You've
got to come up with frequencies and do so without impacting anyone else's daily
operation. Well, Good luck!
the most important factor is to hope and pray that the local area frequency
coordinator has done his or her job, followed with a supplication to the
"Force" that the local broadcasters have propitiously espoused
supporting the frequency coordinator's efforts to keep the records current and
accurate. If you come up on the
positive side of all this, you stand a slim chance of unabated success, but
don't hold your breath.
the job of maintaining these very large databases is a Herculean task, in and of
itself, and one without pay, it is probably one of the most important in
broadcasting. Unfortunately, there is no software available to help the
coordinator make sense of the RF usage at "special" events. The software provided to the coordinators by the SBE was
designed to keep track of permanent facilities, and not itinerant events.
Despite this much of the information contained in many of the databases
across the country tends to be old, outdated, incorrect or just not there,
making any kind of "special situation" requiring their use, next to
impossible, but, even still, it's far, far better than nothing at all.
help you with your best shot in all of this, touch base with the area's
frequency coordinator. If you don't know who or where he is, you can find out
through the Society of Broadcast Engineers web page, which is updated quarterly
by Scott Jones at www.sbe.org
of the many volunteers who maintain a frequency coordination database and the
wearer of many other hats, Karl Voss have been involved in this kind of work for
many years. Voss, in addition to
being an Engineering Communications Supervisor at KPNX-TV in Phoenix, AZ, he's
also the SBE Frequency Coordinator for the state of Arizona and the Frequency
Coordination Consultant to the NFL.
has worked as a consultant to the NFL in helping frequency coordinate the past 4
Superbowls. Voss says:
"The NFL recognized the need to frequency coordinate all football
events and its requirements are the same as what the SBE does to coordinate
itinerant events. The NFL is writing a piece of software to SBE specifications
to help coordinate any itinerant events."
software is currently under test at this time.
"When it has been checked out thoroughly," Voss said, "it
will be made available to any SBE coordinator that wishes to use it to
coordinate itinerant events. In
this way, the SBE gets tools to help its coordination of itinerant events, and
because the NFL generates many of these events, both groups benefit." As any software project, there will probably be certain
changes/updates as required.
from the software, Voss told Broadcast Engineering that: "The most
essential things that should be coordinated are each and every 2-way radio
frequency, microwave system and all wireless mics and cameras." Voss pointed out: "It
doesn't seem necessary when you are talking about only a few milliwatts on these
units, but when you end of with a dozen or so, it begins to make a big
difference." "Some of the
wireless cameras," Voss added, "operate at low power in the two Gig
range and can cause pure havoc with other links, like say from a blimp."
remember that everything that can transmit carries with it the ability to
interfere with something else. No
matter how insignificant a device may seem or that its low power, if it
transmits, coordinate it! With the cost of wireless devices plummeting, the need
for frequency coordination has never been more important, especially at
"events" (political conventions, sporting events, etc.).
the last few Superbowls, many users think "low power" devices do not
need to be coordinated." Voss
says: "This is far from true." When many, in some cases hundreds, of
wireless devices converge at an event," Voss added, "even low powered
devices need to be coordinated."
rent or bring any equipment with you to the special event site until you have
done a site survey to see what is there and what you will need.
Before you touched base with the area frequency coordinator, it would
help to have some basic information available.
You could fax or e-mail this information prior to your conversation, as
it would help make things go much smoother when you do speak.
possible, send the frequency coordinator the name of the event, its location and
include a brief description of what it is.
Try to include the first date and time the frequencies are required, the
date and time of air, and when you'll no longer need the frequencies.
Provide your company name with complete address, one or two contact
person's voice and fax numbers as well as e-mail address.
This will get you hero status in their book.
Don't forget the back up person in case the primary is unavailable for
really easy to do frequency coordination on an itinerant event. Here it is in a
nutshell. Make the request via a
WEB based request page, probably at the SBE WEB page.
This request will be E-mailed to the coordinator, where the coordinator
will import the request into the coordination program.
The coordination program will pre-filter the request, flagging any
frequency that cannot be used at the requested venue because of any number of
coordinator will mark the remaining frequencies as used at the event and e-mail
a response to the requesting user. As
frequencies are marked "used" on a per request basis, local users will
be protected by entering their requests first.
If the event coordinator is not also the SBE coordinator, the event
coordinator will work with the SBE coordinator to make sure there are not any
changes in the local frequency usage.
did say: "The most important information you can provide, are all the
frequencies, how when and where they'll be used and if there are any alternate
frequencies available you could use."
large part of the coordination process is the education of users. Voss said it was his experience that when people find out
that an event is being coordinated, they are usually more than willing to work
with the coordinator. He concluded
by saying; "We just need to get the word out." LB
From the San Diego SBE chapter electronic newsletter, at
http://www.sbe36.org/ Marge Baldwin, KGTV Chief Engineer reports that KGTV
started equipment testing of DTV broadcast on UHF Channels 25-1 (standard
definition) and 25-2 (high definition) at 7:29 PM on Monday, September 12 and
became San Diego's first DTV station. If
you are the first in your market or have something unique to report, let us
know. We'll run it.
Tek (or should we say GVG) is on the move again
few left over from before the big announcement about GVG spinning off from Tek
is the announcement from Tektronix & Accom: "Tektronix and Accom have
announced an OEM alliance that will provide customers with one more choice in
high quality effects systems and will be offered from Grass Valley Products. The
alliance includes an OEM agreement under which they will integrate Accom's DVE
products with Grass Valley switchers for a total production solution."
Dveous becomes GVeous!
Data Systems & Tektronix (probably GVG now): "In response to a growing
trend towards facility automation have announced a joint marketing agreement.
Both companies will jointly offer mid to high-end broadcasters and video
customers an expandable DST digital video archive from Ampex that is fully
compatible with Tektronix's new network-attached storage architecture."
you are interested in either of these areas, it is suggested you contact your
local salesperson. LB
One Less Wire Service
if the news organization is at a digital or analogue station, their success and
"look" is directly related to their ability to "get the
story" and present it to their audience in a timely fashion.
As of the first week in August, broadcasters choices have narrowed down
to one less service from which to draw from, United Press International (UPI).
should be aware of this, as it may possibly impact how their newsrooms get their
various feeds. In a conversation
with Arnaud de Borchgrave, UPI's President and Chief Executive Officer, de
Borchgrave told Broadcast Engineering: "To fulfill UPI's contractual
commitments with broadcasters, the Associated Press will take over United Press
International's broadcast news customer contracts serving more than 400 US radio
and television stations in the United States." Of the 400 UPI subscribers,
352 - 346 radio stations and six television stations - are not currently AP
asked why, De Borchgrave said that the numbers of broadcasters have diminished
over the years from about 1,200 radio and television station back in the 1970s
to near four hundred in recent times. "We
are getting out of the broadcast news business in an effort to reposition our
self in more specialized markets. The deal fits the company's new focus.
What UPI is doing is transitioning out of the traditional conventional
news agency business and positioning itself for the 21st century.''
De Borchgrave said 47 news people involved with broadcast services
throughout the United States would lose their jobs as a result of the deal.
joint press release said that the sale was effective immediately, but did not
disclose a purchase price. De
Borchgrave told Broadcast Engineering, during a telephone interview, that the
move to AP services would take about 90 days or less.
AP now serves some 3,700 radio stations and more then 800-television
stations with print, audio, video and graphic services.
Borchgrave mentioned that in his career, he's seen the news business go from the
Morse key, which he used when he reported stories from "darkest
Africa," to the Internet, from teleprinters at 60 words per minute to
satellite phone and laptops with wireless uplinks and downlinks."
Under his direction, "UPI is headed into out of the-box thinking for
over-the-horizon directions." De
Borchgrave said: "I'm afraid
that all these bells and whistles have not enhanced our understanding of the
world around us." The way news
is handled is boring! Too much time
is devoted to sensationalism and many of the stories are milked for every drop.
People are tired of this. They
want to know the story and move on.
this in mind, De Borchgrave believes that the traditional media has three years
to adapt -- or die. "The
Internet is transforming our working lives…our private lives… the way we
deal with ideas. By giving up UPI's
declining broadcast services, will permit us to more fully devote our time to
our new direction."
back in our history, De Borchgrave mused, "UPI was a pioneer in the radio
news business, beginning a news wire in the 1930s that was written in a format
to be used by broadcasters." This
predated AP by over ten years. "In
the 1960s," De Borchgrave
continued, "We added an audio service that provided audio feeds from
newsmakers and our correspondents from around the world."
New UPI will focus it's attention to the anticipated one-sixth of humanity- a
billion people, who, they say, will be on the Internet by the year 2005 and
"UPI will be there with new products and services for the electronic
marketplace." The New UPI will
offer three services: The WebLine, Global Impact Net and Specialized Web
Newsletters. For additional
information about UPI, visit their web page at:
stations that have not had the AP experience have little to fear. Through its
local station and network members, AP news reaches more radio listeners and
television viewers than any other news source.
For additional information about API, visit their web page at: www.AP.org.
Note: Many of our readers are
broadcasting trivia buffs. If you
are interested in such things visit http://www.oldradio.com/
It has some really neat stuff. For
example: Although KFI-AM 640 kHz has always been located in Los Angeles, it had
its own antenna in San Francisco for many years.
Check it out.
Jim Mendrala, co-publisher of these venerable Tech Notes has been up to his ears
in alligators with all the electronic cinema things he's been doing.
He's been on an aeronautical pogo stick between the two coasts getting
things rolling for his company. He does have some very interesting things to
share with us and as soon as he has a moment to get them down on paper, we'll
certainly print them.
Craing Tanner has bailed from his position at ATSC to take a job with
Sharp Electonrics. Wonder if it is
something we said? Leo Hindery has
also left his post at AT&T (formerly TCI cable).
Lots of buying out and mergers going on in the industry.
Check out Broadcast Engineering for those stories and more. Larry
Note: The Editors and Publishers of
the Tech Notes wish to thank Des Chaskelson, Research Director of SCRI
International for his generosity in posting the Tech Notes on the SCRI web site.
Des Chaskelson, Research Director, SCRI International (email@example.com)
New Website with Industry Press Releases Plus New HDTV Survey
launched a new website last week (http://www.scri.com). The new site contains a
new Industry Press Releases section accessible to all -- check the current
releases from PixStream, Alcatel, Ciprico, Digibid, and many more. Also check
the trade show section for releases from RTNDA 99 and VidTrans 99.
addition, SCRI is getting ready to update the annual HDTV survey of TV Stations.
We invite your input to the questions tracked this year. Check out last year's
online survey at: http://22.214.171.124/ctuars.nsf/HDTV
Send any questions you think would be important to track to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tech Notes are published for broadcast professionals, and others,
who are interested in DTV, HDTV, Electronic Cinema, etc., by Larry
Bloomfield and Jim Mendrala.
We can be reached by either e-mail or land lines (408) 778-3412,
(661) 294-1049 or fax at (419) 710-1913 or (419) 793-8340. The Tech
Notes are sent (BCC) directly only to those who have asked to be
on the mailing list, however feel free to forward them, intact,
to anyone who you think might be interested. There is no charge
for this Newsletter, no one gets paid (sigh), there is no advertising
and we do not indorse any product or service(s).
The ideas and opinions are those of the individual authors.
We still administer everything manually.
We don't use any "majordomo" automatic servers.
News items, comments, observations, opinions, etc. are encouraged
and always welcome. We publish when there is something to share.
Material may be edited for brevity, but usually not.
Tech Note articles may be reproduced in any form provided
they are unaltered and credit is given to both Tech Notes and the
originating authors, when named.
If they are to be used by a publication that normally compensates
their writers, please contact us first.