Broadcasting & Cable
Special report reporting blankets lineups
"Special Report" graphics blanketed screens Friday (March 22) as broadcast and cable news nets dropped regular programming to cover the submission of the "Russia probe" report from special counsel Robert Mueller to the Justice Department.
The next move in terms of making some or all of the findings public is up to a familiar figure in communications circles, Attorney General William Barr, who will reportedly review the report and summarize principle conclusions for Congress as early as this weekend.
Mueller was investigating whether Russians interfered with the 2016 election, colluded with the Trump Administration to do so, and whether the President attempted to obstruct the investigation by firing FBI director James Comey.
Barr is a familiar face, both at the DOJ, where he was attorney general under George H.W. Bush, and in communications circles, where he was a Verizon Communications executive and a member of the Time Warner board. Barr filed an affidavit in the AT&T-Time Warner legal case (Justice unsuccessfully challenged the deal and is still challenging it), taking issue with DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim's characterization of a meeting about the deal where Barr was also in attendance.
News nets will be on Barr watch this weekend, since the Attorney General said some conclusions could be shared with Congress as early as that, according to CNN.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said DOJ had informed him and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that the report had been submitted.
He said that signaled that there was no disagreement between Barr and Mueller over what should happen next, otherwise he would have to have been informed of that disagreement.
“I will work with Ranking Member Feinstein and our House Judiciary Committee colleagues to ensure as much transparency as possible, consistent with the law," he said.
One prominent Republican said the report should be made public, and ASAP.
“After nearly two years, the special counsel has concluded his investigation, and I look forward to reviewing Attorney General Barr’s report carefully, when it becomes available," said Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. "I fully expect the Justice Department to release the special counsel’s report to this committee and to the public without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law.”
“Now that Robert Mueller has completed his investigation, it’s clear that Attorney General Barr must hand over all of his findings and documentation to Congress," said People for the American Way executive VP Marge Baker. "To the greatest extent possible, Americans deserve to see the results of an investigation into the attempts to subvert our democracy. Our elected representatives have a constitutional obligation to review every single aspect of the Mueller investigation and to make sure that the public knows exactly what role the president and his allies played in Russia’s campaign to meddle in our elections."
“The Mueller report should be released to the public. This decision is not about politics but about protecting our democracy. Now is the time to do the right thing," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). "The American people deserve the truth.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, signaled he was convinced, as is the President, that there was no collusion, and said making the conclusions public would help that process.
"Now that he’s wrapped up his investigation, Attorney General Barr must provide Congress and the American people with the findings to finally put an end to the speculation and innuendo that has loomed over this administration since its earliest days," he said.
"As Donald Trump said, 'Let it come out,'" said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). "I call on the Trump administration to make Special Counsel Mueller's full report public as soon as possible. No one, including the president, is above the law.”
John Goodman, Sara Gilbert in cast of hit comedy
ABC has ordered season two of The Conners, a spinoff of Roseanne. The comedy averaged 9.5 million total viewers and did a 2.2 in those 18-49.
The Conners came to be after Roseanne was cancelled following star/executive producer Roseanne Barr’s racist tweets.
“We are proud to be continuing the story of the iconic Conners family,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. “This team is fearless in their willingness to tackle contemporary issues with humor and heart, and I have no doubt they will continue to outdo themselves.”
The Conners shows a working class family dealing with parenthood, divorce, dating, aging and financial pressures. “Through it all – the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails,” said ABC.
The series stars John Goodman as Dan Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner-Healy and Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy.
Guest appearances in season one included Matthew Broderick, Juliette Lewis, Katey Sagal, and Mary Steenburgen.
The Conners is from Werner Entertainment and executive produced by Tom Werner, with Sara Gilbert, Bruce Helford, Dave Caplan, Bruce Rasmussen and Tony Hernandez also exec producing.
‘Grey’s’ consistent on ABC while ‘Station 19’ goes up
CBS won the Thursday primetime ratings, as its March Madness hoops offerings across prime gave the network a 1.0 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 5 share. In second was ABC at 0.9/4.
NBC got a 0.7/3 and Fox a 0.6/3.
Telemundo and Univision both did a 0.4/2.
The CW rated a 0.3/2.
CBS’ first night of March Madness action last year did a 1.7.
ABC had Grey’s Anatomy at a flat 1.4 and Station 19 grew 13% to 0.9. For the People slipped 17% to 0.5.
NBC had Superstore at 0.9 and AP Bio at 0.5, then Brooklyn Nine-Nine at 0.6, all three down a tenth of a point. Will & Grace skied up 17% to 0.7 and Law & Order: SVU posted a level 0.8.
On Fox, Gotham and The Orville both did a 0.6, Gotham flat and Orville down 25%.
The CW saw Supernatural post a 0.4 and Legacies a 0.3, both shows flat.
Pushes well past predecessor millimeter-wave auction
The FCC's auction of continues to rake in the bucks, at $926.3 million already well topping the take from the previous 28 GHz auction millimeter-wave auction--the FCC's first-ever--after only six-plus days of bidding--the 28 GHz auction drew a little over $700 million in over nine weeks of bidding.
New York and L.A. continue to lead, with bids on licenses there of $23,206,000 and $17,855,000, respectively, with Chicago in distant third with $8,624,000.
The millimeter-wave (high-band) auction opened March 14 and is being held in two phases. Initial bidding (clock phase) is on generic spectrum, with a follow-on auction (assignment phase) among the winners for specific frequencies.
The clock auction means the FCC continues to raise prices automatically after each round, so long as there is more demand than supply, until there are not bidders left, high bidder at that point wins.
Currently--after round 18--there are 124 license blocks where the price is increasing after each round because demand exceeds supply. Of the remaining blocks--two blocks in each Partial economic area--either the demand equals supply (644) or is less (76), so the price does not go up in the next round.
Bidding is currently in three, one-hour rounds, but the FCC could boost the number of rounds or shorten their duration if and when it wants to goose the bidding.
The initial license periods are not to exceed 10 years. There are also build-out requirements—so the spectrum can't be warehoused but must be used as advertised. Bidding credits were available for rural service, small businesses and tribal lands, capped at $25 million.
The 24 GHz spectrum is divided into a lower and higher portion, the lower (24.25 – 24.45 GHz and 24.75 – 25.25 GHz) being licenses as two, 100-MHz blocks and the upper (24.75 – 25.25 GHz) licenses as five, 100 MHz blocks.
The FCC earlier this year completed auction 101 (28 GHz spectrum), the first millimeter-wave auction, which brought in $702,572,410 for 2,965 licenses. The 24 GHz auction comprises 2,909 licenses divided up by partial economic areas.
Both auctions are intended to free up more spectrum for next generation (5G) broadband, part of the FCC's Spectrum Frontiers proceeding.
FCC chair Ajit Pai announced this week that the FCC next month will release a public notice seeking comment on the third millimeter-wave spectrum band auction of the year.
Docket swells with input
Turns out there is much interest in the FCC's congressionally mandated review of the TV content ratings system, driven in part by the followers of groups familiar in the fight for what they see as the need for more family-friendly programming--Parents Television Council, Concerned Women for America.
At press time, it was the busiest FCC docket in the past 30 days with 1,747 comments.
In the recent appropriations bill ending the government shutdown, there was requirement that the FCC study the effectiveness of the content ratings and its industry oversight board, with a directive to report back by mid-May.
Among the questions the FCC wants answered on the ratings system generally are (comments are due March 12 and replies March 19): "Are programs with violent, sexual, or other content that may be inappropriate for children being rated accurately? Are both the age and content-based ratings being correctly applied? Are the ratings being applied consistently, or is programming with similar content being rated differently? Is there a type of program content (e.g., violence or sexual content) that is particularly subject to being rated inaccurately or inconsistently?"
Among the questions it wants answered about the monitoring board are:
"Has the Board taken steps to respond to concerns raised about the accuracy of ratings being applied to television programming or any other issue raised by the public? Has the Board complied with the commitments it made regarding the TV Parental Guidelines? Are the ratings being applied to the video programming the Industry committed to rating? What steps has the Board taken to improve the accuracy of the ratings? Has the Board undertaken any enforcement efforts to ensure that the Industry is applying the ratings and doing so accurately?" Does the Board respond to comments submitted via [its] website and, if so, in what way? What other steps, if any, should the Board take to improve its responsiveness to public concerns about the TV ratings?"
Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America and one of the President's guests at his announcement this week of new speech conditions on educational grant money, told the FCC in her comments that the ratings are " routinely abused to peddle violent, lewd, and salacious content," and said that "CWA supporters want to urge [The FCC] to take a more active role to help protect families against this coordinated assault by entertainment companies."
Among other roles he will head up content protection for TV, digital, assets
Apparently, what's good for General Motors is good for the new Fox.
Fox has tapped Jeff Taylor to be EVP and chief litigation counsel for the company, which has re-launched as Fox Corp. following the March 20 close of Disney's purchase of its 21st Century Fox assets.
In addition to litigation, Taylor will oversee labor and employment, content protection, as well as compliance for all Fox Corp. operations, which includes the broadcast and cable networks, regional sports channels, digital platforms, and its TV station group.
Taylor, who will report to chief legal and policy officer Viet D. Dinh, was most recently deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer for GM and, before that, general counsel for Raytheon's defense systems arm.
"[Taylor] will be an invaluable leader of the law and policy team as FOX continues to grow and evolve," said Dinh.
Gregg Araki comedy premiered on linear March 10
Starz has made all 10 episodes of original comedy Now Apocalypse available for subscribers on its non-linear platforms, including the Starz app, on demand and on streaming site StarzPlay, as of March 22. Starz also put the pilot on Starz.com, its YouTube channel, Reddit and Pride Media platforms, Pride.com, Out.com and Advocate.com.
The show premiered March 10.
Now Apocalypse stars Avan Jogia as Ulysses, who is struggling to figure out his life in Los Angeles. Ulysses grows increasingly troubled as foreboding dreams “make him wonder if some kind of monstrous conspiracy is going on — or if he is just smoking too much weed,” according to Starz.
Kelli Berglund stars as Carly, Beau Mirchoff as Ford, and Roxane Mesquida as Severine, all of whom are in search of love, sex and fame.
Indie filmmaker Gregg Araki created the series. He executive produces along with Steven Soderbergh and Gregory Jacobs. Araki directed all ten episodes. He wrote them alongside sex columnist Karley Sciortino, who is consulting producer.
“Gregg Araki has created a vibrant world filled with relatable characters and relationship storylines and we have found that many fans want to consume this content as soon as possible,” said Carmi Zlotnik, president of programming for Starz. “We are giving this audience every opportunity to dive into the crazy world of Now Apocalypse and ride the roller coaster of the season at their own pace.”
Also said goal of 'net re-regulation should be to prevent bad ISP behavior
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, said that the goal of new internet regulation, which he said he generally supports, should be to prevent bad behavior by ISPS, not to re-enshrine the Title II telecom definition suited to monopoly telephone companies, his Democratic counterparts on the House Energy & Commerce Committee are trying to do.
He also said it is time to have a serious debate about breaking up or regulating Edge Providers--removing liability carve-outs for third party content, for example--who he said engage in de facto speech regulation.
That came in an interview for C-SPAN's Communicators series, which airs this weekend.
While Walden signaled Title II was a nonstarter, he said they should and ought to be able to agree on no blocking and throttling and "even" no paid prioritization, that last which is a grayer area who see it as a potential service differentiator--Dems argue there is not enough competition if a consumer didn't want paid prioritization as part of their service and that paid prioritization is a way to non-neutralize the net.
Walden didn't presume to speak for all the Republicans--he is ranking member of the committee--but he did not hold out hope much hope that Dems could get any on his side to vote for a Title II-based bill, which is currently before them in the Save the Internet Act.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) , who was also interviewed for the series, signaled that Title II definitely needed to be part of new legislation.
"I think you would see an overwhelming 'no' vote on our side if they want to put brand new, and virtually unlimited, powers in the hands of the FCC," said Walden. "The current bill would exclude much of Title II, as the 2015 Open Internet order rules it is trying to restore did, but that order also included a "general conduct standard," which would allow the FCC to regulate virtually anything it concluded impeded a neutral net.
Walden said it was kind of ironic that in an age of Donald Trump, the House Communications Subcommittee chair Mike Doyle would want to give the Trump FCC such "unbridled" power." "I think it would go too far over time and have a chilling effect," he said.
Walden said he thought the Federal Trade Commission was capable of regulating the internet using its authority over holding ISPs to their user agreements. ISPs have generally pledged not to block, throttling or anticompetitively prioritize in the absence of rules.
Asked to react to WWW founder Tim Berners Lee's comment that "we don't have the Web we wanted," Walden said it depended on how you described it. He said that it had brought the world innovations in education and business and social interaction and connectivity, but that then there were the downsides of "criminal and elicit behavior" and "degradation of civility" because it allows people on social media "thinking they are somewhat anonymous so they can say really mean and harsh things and bully others."
Then there was the issue of privacy. He pointed to edge provider data tracking and use. He said it was time for a privacy law that "gives parents and users of the internet to have transparency and accountability."
He wasn't ready to go down the path of the EU's GDPR privacy framework, citing the cost of compliance. He pointed out that some companies are choosing not provide content in Europe, including some U.S. newspapers, because of that cost, which he estimated at $3 million.
Walden also said there had been some decline in start-up investment in Europe post-GDPR. "I think they went too far," he said.
Walden also said California's privacy law--which goes into effect next year--was over the top, but maybe there was something the feds could take from state laws to find the right balance.
Walden was not ready to say a firm no on potential regulation of speech online. "That's an interesting topic," he said. He pointed out he has a journalism degree and a self-proclaimed "First Amendment/free speech advocate. But he said the country was already seeing de facto regulation of speech by "edge providers, not the ISPs."
He brought up the issue of alleged 'shadow banning" on Twitter and questions about the algorithm and decisionmaking by social media platforms. He expressed his concerns about anti-conservative bias, which he said clearly exists in "enormous measure" in Silicon Valley, and the question is whether it gets subtly integrated into the algorithms and decisionmaking as to what gets put where. "I think those are important questions for Congress to look at."
As to whether The Edge be broken up, he pointed out that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has recently suggested he may agree with Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) about the need to break up the Biggest Tech. Walden said he didn't know if he was there yet, but he was ready to consider whether The Edge was the common carrier (to which Title II regs apply) and that the issue of regulating or breaking up the edge was ripe for debate and "deep consideration...Are we seeing monopolies before our eyes."
He also talked about the Sec. 230 waiver (in the Communications Decency Act) that exempts them from liability for third-party content posted on their site, something Democrats and Republicans are both re-thinking.
Markey (D-Mass.) one of the staunchest fans of the return of Title II-based regs on the 'net, told C-SPAN that restoring the rules was just another way of protecting nondiscrimination, so no company can tell a Web user where to go, as it were.
While Republicans often point out that ISPs did not start blocking and throttling after the rules were repealed, Markey said that is because with the challenge to the reg rollback still in a federal appeals court, "right now they are not doing anything that is anti-consumer or anticompetitive."
Markey said the goal of the Save the Internet Act was indeed to restore Title II and treat the internet as a telecommunications service and he said he thought there was a good chance to build momentum would build for doing so. He took a little off that, saying he was saying, once the bill passes the House, as it is expected to do, that it was "impossible" to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.
The episode, which airs on C-SPAN March 23 at 6:30 p.m. ET and March 25 on C-SPAN2 at 8 a.m. and 8 pm ET.
With data from iSpot, Inscape and Tubular
American Idol and The Voice have long been the gold standards for music-focused reality competitions, but earlier this year a new entrant threw a weird monkey wrench into the arena: Fox’s The Masked Singer, hosted by Nick Cannon and featuring judges Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke — and a procession of celebrity competitors hidden behind hilariously elaborate costumes.
We wanted to see how the established shows and the upstart compare when it comes to the sponsors footing the bills, as well as viewership trends.
Below, a look at some advertising insights according to iSpot.tv, the TV ad measurement and attribution company. Note that it’s hard to draw a direct comparison between ad dollars spent and impressions generated because NBC's The Voice and ABC's American Idol only began their latest seasons recently while Masked Singer finished up its debut season at the end of February. But we’ve included a summary thus far.
The Masked Singer: 116 brands spent an estimated $39.4 million advertising during the first season, generating over 1.7 billion TV ad impressions.
The Voice: 168 brands have spent an estimated $46.4 million since the still-in-progress season began on Feb. 25, generating over 2.7 billion impressions.
American Idol: 152 brands have spent an estimated $34.9 million since the still-in-progress season began on March 3, generating over 1.8 billion impressions.
For American Idol and The Voice, automakers top the list of industries generating the most impressions, while for The Masked Singer, it’s movie studios (which also appear in the top five most impressions-generating industries for the former two shows and is the only industry on all three shows’ top five lists, not counting the networks’ own promo pods).
As for gender breakdown, while American Idol and The Voice have slightly larger female viewership (around 52% female for both), The Masked Singer audiences skewed a bit more male.
We also worked with Inscape, the TV data company with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 10 million smart TVs, to check out the audience crossover and other shows watched by viewers of the three shows. A note about methodology: You have to do more than just flip past a station with your remote to count as a “crossover viewer” in Inscape’s system. For the data below, the minimum viewing threshold is 10 minutes.
The biggest crossover was between American Idol and The Voice, with 43% of American Idol’s audience also checking out The Voice. Also notable is that nearly the same number of Voice fans have also tuned into both The Masked Singer and American Idol.
When it comes to other shows watched by these viewers, topping the list are Ellen’s Game of Games, World of Dance, Little Big Shots and America’s Got Talent. It would seem that if you’re a fan of one of these reality singing competitions, you’re likely to be watching the others — plus a lot of other reality competitions — as well.
We also examined trends around online video, using data from social video analytics company Tubular Labs. Note: the date range for the data below is for Jan. 1 through March. 19.
The Masked Singer has posted more videos across social platforms than the other shows — 688, compared to American Idol’s 438 and The Voice’s 435. But when it comes to video views, American Idol and The Voice dwarf The Masked Singer. Interestingly, although both American Idol and The Voice seem to prioritize putting videos on Facebook over YouTube, for The Voice it’s YouTube that’s generating more views. And The Masked Singer has put far more videos on Twitter than Facebook or YouTube, but it’s YouTube that’s grabbing the most eyeballs for the nascent series.
The Masked Singer
- 316 videos uploaded to Twitter resulting in 32.8 million views
- 205 videos uploaded to Facebook resulting in 12.4 million views
- 167 videos uploaded to YouTube resulting in 89.4 million views
Here is The Masked Singer’s most-watched video so far with 3.9 million views, 3.1 million of which occurred within the first few days according to Tubular’s analytics.
- 153 videos uploaded to Twitter resulting in 29.1 million views
- 194 videos uploaded to Facebook resulting in 338 million views
- 91 videos uploaded to YouTube resulting in 85.5 million views
Here is American Idol’s most-viewed video so far with 16 million views, 4.1 million of which occurred in the first seven days according to Tubular’s V7 rating.
- 154 videos uploaded to Twitter resulting in 14.5 million views
- 183 videos uploaded to Facebook resulting in 118 million views
- 98 videos uploaded to YouTube resulting in 163 million views
Here is The Voice’s most-watched video so far (6.4 million views) that was posted just a few days ago.
Has been involved in Administration spectrum, broadband efforts
President Donald Trump has nominated Michael Kratsios to be U.S. Chief Technology Officer.
He is being nominated to be Associate Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and upon confirmation will then be designated the CTO.
It won't be a big jump. Kratsios is currently the deputy CTO as well as deputy assistant to the President for technology policy at the White House, a post he has held since President Trump took office.
The post has been vacant since the exit of Megan Smith in 2017.
Kratsios has been involved in the Administration's initiatives to expand broadband, particularly in rural areas, and to free up more spectrum for 5G.
Before joining the White House, he was principal at Thiel Capital, investing in and advising tech companies.
Kratsios was getting bipartisan shout-outs.
Aneesh Chopre, who has named by President Barack Obama as the first CTO in 2009, said: "I applaud President Trump’s selection of Michael Kratsios to serve as the next U.S. CTO. He has demonstrated sound judgment on prioritizing policies that will enhance American competitiveness in the jobs and industries of the future, and for working collaboratively across the public and private sectors to spark breakthroughs."
“President Trump's decision to nominate Michael Kratsios as United States Chief Technology Officer puts a knowledgeable leader at the helm of American technology," said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. "Michael and I have worked together on a number of White House priorities including the American Broadband Initiative, National Spectrum Strategy Executive Order and National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science. Additionally, we have served together on the National Space Council and we continue to support innovation in the United States and to protect the intellectual property of American businesses. I look forward to working with Michael in his new role.”
“We support the critical technology priorities the administration has outlined for our country: from artificial intelligence to 5G and rural broadband access, to quantum computing, STEM education, and advanced manufacturing," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "Technology innovation has been an important driver of America’s productivity and competitiveness throughout its history, and these initiatives will ensure the U.S. continues to grow and thrive.”
“The President has made an outstanding choice in selecting Michael Kratsios to serve as U.S. Chief Technology Officer," said Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) President Jeff Joseph. "Kratsios brings valuable experience and knowledge of technology policy issues from his time serving as Deputy Assistant for Technology Policy at the White House and his work in the private sector. His appointment to this important role at this critical juncture will help drive U.S. leadership in the global technology ecosystem as he works to shape policy surrounding emerging technologies, maintain our nation’s edge in research and development, and advance solutions that promote continued innovation."
Executive had been president of Fox's syndication division since 2009
Meidel's exit had been expected since there are redundancies in the sales and distribution divisions at Disney. Janice Marinelli oversees Disney global content and distribution reporting to Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney's direct-to-consumer and international units.
Meidel joined Fox for the second time in 2007 as president of MyNetworkTV. He then folded Twentieth into his portfolio in 2009. While there, he oversaw both first-run sales and development as well as sales of off-network comedies, such as Last Man Standing and Modern Family. In 2012, first-run moved to the Fox Television Stations and out from under Twentieth's purview.
Meidel had worked at Twentieth before, having been named president and chief operating officer of Twentieth Television in 1992. In 1997, he became chairman of Universal Television. He departed that company after NBC acquired it in 2004. In 2001, he was named president of programming for the domestic television division, launching Dr. Phil and The Insider.
Meidel got his start in the industry in 1979 as a sales representative at Paramount. He worked there until 1992, climbing the ranks to executive VP and general sales manager.
Meidel was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2018.
The Immersive Digital Experiences Alliance (IDEA) will launch at the 2019 NAB Show with the goal of creating a suite of royalty-free specifications that address all immersive media formats, including emerging light field technology. Founding members, including CableLabs®, Light Field Lab Inc, Otoy, and Visby, created IDEA to serve as an alliance of like-minded technology, infrastructure, and creative innovators working to facilitate the development of an end-to-end ecosystem for the capture, distribution, and display of immersive media.
BOTHELL, Wash. — March 21, 2019 — The Immersive Digital Experiences Alliance (IDEA) will launch at the 2019 NAB Show with the goal of creating a suite of royalty-free specifications that address all immersive media formats, including emerging light field technology. Founding members, including CableLabs®, Light Field Lab Inc, Otoy, and Visby, created IDEA to serve as an alliance of like-minded technology, infrastructure, and creative innovators working to facilitate the development of an end-to-end ecosystem for the capture, distribution, and display of immersive media.
Such a unified ecosystem must support all displays, including highly anticipated light field panels. Recognizing that the essential launch point is to create a common media format specification that can be deployed on commercial networks, IDEA already has begun work on the new Immersive Technology Media Format (ITMF). ITMF will serve as an interchange and distribution format that will enable high-quality conveyance of complex image scenes, including six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF), to an immersive display for viewing. Moreover, ITMF will enable the support of immersive experience applications including gaming, VR, and AR, on top of commercial networks.
Recognized for its potential to deliver an immersive true-to-life experience, light field media can be regarded as the richest and most dense form of visual media, thereby setting the highest bar for features that the ITMF will need to support and the new media-aware processing capabilities that commercial networks must deliver. Jon Karafin, CEO and co-founder of Light Field Lab, explains that "a light field is a representation describing light rays flowing in every direction through a point in space. New technologies are now enabling the capture and display of this effect, heralding new opportunities for entertainment programming, sports coverage, and education. However, until now, there has been no common media format for the storage, editing, transmission, or archiving of these immersive images."
"We're working on specifications and tools for a variety of immersive displays — AR, VR, stereoscopic 3D, and light field technology, with light field being the pinnacle of immersive experiences," said Dr. Arianne Hinds, Immersive Media Strategist at CableLabs. "As a display-agnostic format, ITMF will provide near-term benefits for today's screen technology, including VR and AR headsets and stereoscopic displays, with even greater benefits when light field panels hit the market. If light field technology works half as well as early testing suggests, it will be a game changer, and the cable industry will be there to help support distribution of light field images with the 10G platform."
Starting with Otoy's ORBX scene graph format, a well-established data structure widely used in advanced computer animation and computer games, IDEA will provide extensions to expand the capabilities of ORBX for light field photographic camera arrays, live events, and other applications. Further specifications will include network streaming for ITMF and transcoding of ITMF for specific displays, archiving, and other applications. IDEA will preserve backwards-compatibility on the existing ORBX format.
IDEA anticipates releasing an initial draft of the ITMF specification in 2019. The alliance also is planning an educational seminar to explain more about the requirements for immersive media and the benefits of the ITMF approach. The seminar will take place in Los Angeles this summer.
More information about the launch event at the 2019 NAB Show is available from jessy@ImmersiveAlliance.org.
Further information about IDEA is available at www.ImmersiveAlliance.org.
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Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/IDEA/190321IDEA.docx
Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/IDEA/IDEAlogo.jpg
Photo Caption: IDEA Logo
Attend the IDEA Launch Event at the 2019 NAB Show on Monday, April 8 from 5-7 p.m. in Room N113
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NextRadioTV has deployed a large-scale MediorNet real-time signal network from Riedel Communications to serve as the backbone for the broadcaster's brand-new audiovisual infrastructure. The 204-node MediorNet system has been installed in the new NextRadioTV facilities on the Paris campus of the Altice Group, which acquired NextRadioTV in 2016, to support signal distribution, routing, and processing over a single decentralized real-time network.
WUPPERTAL, Germany — March 21, 2019 — NextRadioTV has deployed a large-scale MediorNet real-time signal network from Riedel Communications to serve as the backbone for the broadcaster's brand-new audiovisual infrastructure. The 204-node MediorNet system has been installed in the new NextRadioTV facilities on the Paris campus of the Altice Group, which acquired NextRadioTV in 2016, to support signal distribution, routing, and processing over a single decentralized real-time network.
"Our move to the Altice campus gave us a tremendous opportunity to build technical facilities from scratch and to establish a common infrastructure for all our TV and radio channels," said Antoine Robelin, Technical Director at NextRadioTV. "The scalable, state-of-the-art technology integrated into these new facilities gives us added agility in producing and broadcasting events from across our remarkable portfolio of 24/7 news, documentaries, and live sports. In addition to supporting flexible day-to-day operations, our Riedel gear gives us the ability to take advantage of mature and reliable network technologies that will eventually support a smooth transition toward IP."
The MediorNet installation at NextRadioTV includes 18 MetroN core fiber routers and 186 MicroN high-density media distribution network devices distributed across the campus. The MediorNet backbone leverages a new cabling infrastructure, including a wealth of previously installed dark fibers, to address factors including long distances between production studios/control rooms/technical rooms and the need to be able to scale up quickly and easily to new requirements. MediorNet's decentralized concept was also very valuable in managing a smooth and incremental move from the former building to the new one. Dark fibers in both buildings were used to create the real-time network, which further facilitated the migration process. The flexibility of the Riedel equipment even enabled NextRadioTV to design and implement new galleries while the new installation was underway.
"We are really proud to see our MediorNet technology at the heart of this brand-new broadcast technology showcase in Paris," said Franck Berger, Riedel Communications General Manager, France and Africa. "With MediorNet, NextRadioTV is equipped to embrace innovations such as decentralized routing while taking a thoughtful and gradual approach toward IP-based networks and workflows. The Altice campus installation demonstrates how an investment in Riedel equipment can yield valuable results immediately and as a broadcast organization evolves."
# # #
About Riedel Communications
Riedel Communications designs, manufactures, and distributes pioneering real-time video, audio, data, and communications networks for broadcast, pro audio, event, sports, theater, and security applications. The company also provides rental services for radio and intercom systems, event IT solutions, fiber backbones, and wireless signal transmission systems that scale easily for events of any size, anywhere in the world. Riedel is headquartered in Wuppertal, Germany, and employs over 500 people in 20 locations throughout Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas.
All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/Riedel/190321Riedel.docx
Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/Riedel/Riedel-NextRadioTV.zip
Description of Photos: NextRadioTV is deploying a large-scale MediorNet decentralized routing solution from Riedel to serve as the backbone for the facility's brand-new audiovisual infrastructure.
Link to French translation: www.wallstcom.com/Riedel/190321FR.html
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Visit Riedel Communications at the 2019 NAB Show in booth C6537
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ChyronHego today announced that the NBA's Washington Wizards have used the company's Coach Paint telestration tool successfully throughout the 2018-19 season to enable the clear, concise communication of key coaching points to players during pregame video presentations. Specifically designed for coaches and athletes, the ChyronHego tool engages, illustrates, and informs with high-end telestration techniques similar to those used on professional sports broadcasts.
MELVILLE, N.Y. — March 21, 2019 — ChyronHego today announced that the NBA's Washington Wizards have used the company's Coach Paint telestration tool successfully throughout the 2018-19 season to enable the clear, concise communication of key coaching points to players during pregame video presentations. Specifically designed for coaches and athletes, the ChyronHego tool engages, illustrates, and informs with high-end telestration techniques similar to those used on professional sports broadcasts.
"Using ChyronHego's Coach Paint, our staff can quickly and easily enhance video to demonstrate and reinforce coaching points," said Jimmy Bradshaw, video coordinator, Washington Wizards. "The tool is simple and intuitive, making it easy to use familiar visual effects to help players understand key concepts going into a game. It has become an integral part of our pregame routine."
Along with flexibility and ease of use, Coach Paint provides tight integration with all the Wizards' third-party video systems, in turn supporting a highly efficient workflow. The ChyronHego tool is used by sports teams and leagues around the world to teach advanced concepts, reinforce correct technique, and simulate game situations.
"The Wizards are among several teams in the NBA that are pioneering in their use of telestration," said James Clarke-Reed, head of sports performance and technology solutions at ChyronHego. "The team's video analysis process meets the high standard we see on broadcast television, and level of quality and accuracy can only help the coaching staff and players to achieve success."
Further information about ChyronHego and the company's products is available at www.chyronhego.com.
# # #
ChyronHego, a portfolio company of Vector Capital, is a global leader in products, services, and solutions for the sports technology and broadcast markets. ChyronHego's sports technology division specializes in creating, analyzing and distributing sports data and sports video, as well as empowering the visualization of this content for a wide range of applications. ChyronHego offers some of the industry's most widely deployed sports technology solutions — including TRACAB™ optical and wearable sports tracking systems; and Coach Paint for video analysis. Headquartered in New York, ChyronHego also has offices in Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Norway, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Mexico.
For more information on ChyronHego, visit www.chyronhego.com.
All trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/ChyronHego/190321ChyronHego.docx
Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/ChyronHego/ChyronHego-WashingtonWizards.png
Photo Caption: ChyronHego's Coach Paint telestration tool used by Washington Wizards.
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Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT) today announced that China Central Television (CCTV), the Chinese state broadcaster, has selected Harmonic's advanced media server for UHD playout. By simplifying the delivery of UHD channels for CCTV, Harmonic enables a more vivid television experience for more than a billion viewers.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — March 20, 2019 — Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT) today announced that China Central Television (CCTV), the Chinese state broadcaster, has selected Harmonic's advanced media server for UHD playout. By simplifying the delivery of UHD channels for CCTV, Harmonic enables a more vivid television experience for more than a billion viewers.
"As more and more consumers purchase UHD TV sets, it's important that we satisfy the demand for higher resolution content," said Song Wei, director of broadcast department II，Broadcast and Transmission Center at CCTV. "After using Harmonic's media servers for years, we knew it would provide the reliability, workflow simplicity and operational savings needed to successfully launch our UHD channels."
Harmonic's market-leading Spectrum™ X media server is renowned for reducing the complexity of broadcast workflows by merging multiple capabilities, such as file, baseband, and transport stream ingest, with integrated channel playout. Relying on the modernized, software-based playout solution, which supports both SDI and IP environments, CCTV is able to deliver UHD content with the utmost efficiency and quality. Combined with Harmonic's Spectrum MediaCenter storage, the solution also provides CCTV with reliable file system and communication management.
"As one of the biggest broadcasters in Asia Pacific, CCTV is at the forefront of innovation by testing new technologies, and this deployment is a great example of its commitment to bringing outstanding video experiences to viewers," said Tony Berthaud, vice president of sales and services, APAC, at Harmonic. "Harmonic's Spectrum X media servers are driving the industry transition to UHD architectures through playout flexibility and rock-solid reliability."
Harmonic will showcase its flexible, scalable and agile software-based solutions for video streaming, broadcast and cable access at CCBN 2019, March 21-23, in Beijing at booth 2201. Further information about Harmonic and the company's solutions is available at www.harmonicinc.com.
# # #
Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT), the worldwide leader in video delivery technology and services, enables media companies and service providers to deliver ultra-high-quality broadcast and OTT video services to consumers globally. The company has also revolutionized cable access networking via the industry's first virtualized cable access solution, enabling cable operators to more flexibly deploy gigabit internet service to consumers' homes and mobile devices. Whether simplifying OTT video delivery via innovative cloud and SaaS technologies, or powering the delivery of gigabit internet cable services, Harmonic is changing the way media companies and service providers monetize live and VOD content on every screen. More information is available at www.harmonicinc.com.
Harmonic, the Harmonic logo and other Harmonic marks are owned by Harmonic Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.202comms.com/Harmonic/190320Harmonic.docx
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The video-streaming market continues to experience rapid growth. To take advantage of the opportunities this brings, content providers and pay-TV operators need scalable, cost-effective content-delivery solutions that ensure a flawless quality of experience across all screens, whether delivered over managed or unmanaged networks. At the 2019 NAB Show, Broadpeak® will demonstrate its CDN, Cloud PVR, ad insertion, multicast ABR, multiscreen via satellite, and local video-caching solutions. Additionally, Broadpeak will showcase how it's leading the charge for better QoE and efficient content delivery by supporting ultra-low latency, Android TV, and 5G technologies.
The video-streaming market continues to experience rapid growth. To take advantage of the opportunities this brings, content providers and pay-TV operators need scalable, cost-effective content-delivery solutions that ensure a flawless quality of experience across all screens, whether delivered over managed or unmanaged networks. At the 2019 NAB Show, Broadpeak® will demonstrate its CDN, Cloud PVR, ad insertion, multicast ABR, multiscreen via satellite, and local video-caching solutions. Additionally, Broadpeak will showcase how it's leading the charge for better QoE and efficient content delivery by supporting ultra-low latency, Android TV, and 5G technologies.
Innovations for Operators:
Broadpeak® envisions "IPTV DASH" as the future for pay-TV operators. This concept consists of merging the worlds of traditional TV and connected devices to capitalize on their respective benefits while removing their drawbacks. The use of ABR formats to address all screens and all services (i.e., live, VOD, Cloud PVR) is the cornerstone of this approach. Through the implementation of multicast ABR in MPEG-DASH (or HLS) format, operators can benefit from the greater flexibility offered by OTT combined with the scalability and low latency offered by IPTV. IPTV DASH supports a wide range of premium applications, including:
• Cloud PVR: With Broadpeak's solution, operators have a simple, scalable, and flexible approach to delivering time-shifted TV services, including start-over, catch-up TV and impulsive recording on all screens, with the possibility of recording and watching seamlessly with any device.
• Ultra-low latency: Broadpeak's nanoCDN™ multicast ABR solution enables ultra-low latency on every screen. New features for nanoCDN will be demonstrated at the 2019 NAB Show, such as Common Media File Format and chunked transfer encoding, which further decrease latency for OTT live streaming.
• Device synchronization: Leveraging nanoCDN, operators can synchronize the devices that are receiving live content within a home network in ABR format in order to avoid echo effects that impact the user experience. This capability is especially useful in bars, restaurants, and common facilities, where several screens display the same content.
• Server-side ad insertion: Operators can quickly boost monetization by deploying a CDN with first-class multiscreen Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) capabilities, using manifest manipulation techniques that come together with ABR formats. At the 2019 NAB Show, Broadpeak will show how operators can deploy dynamic targeted advertising for live and VOD workflows, and how this technology can be used to deploy Emergency Alert System messages on all screens and on all services (including VOD).
Demo of Next-Gen CDNs for 5G Content Delivery
5G networks are the future of content delivery in the mobile-operator world. At the 2019 NAB Show, Broadpeak® will demonstrate how it is actively participating in the definition of 5G standards and developing caching solutions and tools for optimizing resource management allocation for mobile networks, using either multicast or unicast depending on the popularity of the content.
Demo of Broadpeak and Telstra Innovative Device Detection and LTE Broadcast/HEVC Enabling Solution for Mobile Networks
At the 2019 NAB Show, Broadpeak® and Telstra will demonstrate an innovative solution that optimizes video quality and efficiency over fixed and mobile networks. The joint solution combines Broadpeak’s umbrellaCDN™/BkA100 analytics with Telstra’s intelligence in mobile sports apps and real time network awareness.
The solution dramatically increases video streaming quality and efficiency for telco operators while providing the best possible QoE for end users.
Multicast ABR for Satellite
Broadpeak's nanoCDN™ multicast ABR technology for satellite is at the heart of the ready-to-deploy, cost-effective solution for OTT delivery, allowing operators to address scalable multiscreen streaming with transmission over satellite.
Photo Link: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/Broadpeak-CDNandTVEverywhere.jpg
Photo Caption: Broadpeak's CDN and TV Everywhere
Innovations for Content Providers:
Package, Protect, and Deliver Video Content in All ABR Formats
Broadpeak's BkS350 Origin Server and Packager improves multiscreen video delivery on managed or open internet networks through unique, on-the-ﬂy packaging and cache-management capabilities. At the 2019 NAB Show, Broadpeak® will showcase its BkS350 Origin Server and Packager, which supports all streaming formats and a wide range of applications, including live, VOD, cloud time-shifting, start-over, and catch-up TV. The BkS350 platform can be run on hardware or virtual machine, providing operators with maximum deployment flexibility. By providing an easy migration path from QAM to IP distribution, the BkS350 increases video-delivery efficiencies and cost savings.
Reduce CDN Costs With Local Video-Caching Technology
As broadcasters and content providers look to lower CDN costs, Broadpeak's BroadCache Box offers a unique solution that leverages local video-caching technology. Using BroadCache Box, broadcasters can dramatically reduce CDN costs while boosting subscribers' QoE by deploying local caches into telecom or cable operators' networks. Since the content is streamed from a location closer to end users, latency and network congestion are reduced, resulting in higher video bit rates, faster start times, and uninterrupted viewing sessions.
Photo Link: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/Broadpeak-BroadCacheBoxLocalCache.jpg
Photo Caption: Broadpeak® BroadCache Box Helping Broadcasters Dramatically Reduce CDN Costs While Boosting Subscriber QoE
Enhance Content Quality With umbrellaCDN™ With CDN Diversity
Broadpeak's umbrellaCDN™ CDN selector allows content providers to choose the best content delivery networks for streaming their content. At the 2019 NAB Show, Broadpeak® will highlight new video-analytics features and CDN Diversity, a groundbreaking feature of umbrellaCDN that allows content providers to dynamically take into account the instantaneous quality of several CDNs as a service, combine their contributions, and deliver the content at a quality level exceeding what would be achievable with the best CDN alone.
Photo Link: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/Broadpeak-umbrellaCDN_CDNselector.jpg
Photo Caption: Broadpeak's umbrellaCDN™
Broadpeak Presentation at the 2019 NAB Show:
On Tuesday, April 9 at 11:40 a.m. PDT at the Connected Media|IP Presentation Theater (NAB Stand SU11621), Broadpeak product manager Damien Sterkers will give a presentation titled "How to Erase the Latency Gap Between Broadcast and Live HTTP Video Streams Thanks to Multicast ABR Technology." His presentation will examine how operators can decrease latency for multiscreen video streaming down to only two seconds in order to increase viewer satisfaction and ensure sports fans can enjoy live action in real time.
About Broadpeak® (www.broadpeak.tv)
Broadpeak® designs and manufactures video delivery components for content providers and network service providers deploying IPTV, cable, OTT, and mobile services. Its portfolio of solutions and technologies powers the delivery of movies, television programming, and other video content over managed networks and the Internet for viewing on any type of device. The company's systems and services help operators increase market share and improve subscriber loyalty with superior quality of experience.
Broadpeak supports all of its customers worldwide, from simple installations to large delivery systems, reaching capacities of several million of simultaneous streams. The company is headquartered in Cesson-Sevigne, France.
All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/190320Broadpeak.docx
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Broadpeak® 2019 NAB Show Exhibitor Preview
HQPro1000 “sets new level of price/performance”
Calibre’s new HQPro1000 4K/UltraHD scaler/switcher is receiving its first public showing at Prolight + Sound (2-5 April, Messe Frankfurt, Hall 4, Stand B35).
The first in the company’s HQPro series along with the new HQPro1050 remote controller will be available for Q2/2019 delivery.
Addressing market requirements
“The HQPro1000 is the result of an extensive market research effort that revealed a real need for higher performance at lower price points,” said Willy Tsai, Managing Director at Calibre UK. “There is a whole market segment that is not being catered for – and we believe the HQPro1000 responds to what those customers are looking for by setting a new level of price/performance. It features extensive functionality that has traditionally been associated with a high price – and delivers it at a much more affordable level.”
Modular, scalable and future-proof
Designed for professional ProAV and LED large venue applications, the HQPro1000 features a modular architecture composed of the base unit, two optional input cards and one optional output card.
The base unit includes two 4K HDMI 2.0 inputs, one 4K HDMI 2.0 output plus a confidence monitor output and genlock connectors.
The initial release also includes an input card featuring a 4K HDMI 2.0, 4K Display Port 1.2 and a 3G-SDI interfaces greatly expanding the number of supported sources. The initial release also includes a card with four 2K HDMI 1.4 outputs allowing for splicing up-to four LED walls. Future releases will include 12G-SDI and HDBT input and output cards.
The optional cards allow customers to configure the unit according to their specific requirements as well as providing a straightforward, cost-effective upgrade path should their needs change.
Designed with the user in mind
The HQPro1000 supports four layers that can be sized, positioned and mixed anywhere on the output display. Switching is achieved through seamless transitions, cuts or ultra-fast switching. Scaling is provided by Calibre’s best-in-class low-latency proprietary HQUltra technology supporting 4K50/60 4:4:4 RGB formats – a high end feature only found in much more expensive 4K switcher/scalers. Additional features include vertical and horizontal flips, support for input area-of-interest (AOI), EDID and HDCP management, freeze and full colour control. A future software release will add support for streaming video using the H.264 codec.
In order to ease the unit operation 10 presets are also included, allowing users to store and easily recall different screen layouts. Each preset stores the source, size and position, and all other attributes associated with each layer. The size, position and priority of all layers stored in each preset can be previewed on the front panel’s colour graphic display in a wireframe format.
In addition to the HQPro1000, Calibre will be introducing at Prolight + Sound the HQPro1050, a dedicated remote controller for the HQPro1000. The HQPro1050 communicates with the main unit via the LAN interface and allows uses to fully control the unit from a remote location.
Users can also fully control the unit from the front panel, any computer or mobile device via the built-in webpage interface and soon to be released set of API commands.
“With the proliferation of screens and projectors; growing connectivity complexity; the increasing sophistication of viewers; and the fact that displays are becoming increasingly mission-critical in a range of applications - customers are demanding flexible, powerful, easily upgradable tools with which to manage them,” said Tsai. “The HQPro1000 is Calibre’s response to those needs. The range of features it offers, together with its high performance, makes it uniquely suited to the challenges of managing today’s – and tomorrow’s – displays.”
Fifteen years after the show premiered, film set to debut
HBO will debut the original movie Deadwood Friday, May 31. The film is based on the HBO series of that name that premiered in 2004. In HBO’s words, “The indelible characters of the show are reunited after a decade to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds reopened as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.”
The cast includes Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Paula Malcomson, John Hawkes, Anna Gunn, Dayton Callie, Brad Dourif, Robin Weigert, William Sanderson, Kim Dickens and Gerald McRaney. Jade Pettyjohn joins the cast for the movie.
The Deadwood series lasted three seasons and totaled 36 episodes. It was nominated for 28 Primetime Emmy Awards and won eight.
It is executive produced by David Milch, Carolyn Strauss, Daniel Minahan, Gregg Fienberg, Scott Stephens, Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant. Milch is writing the project.
Said some may be doable while protecting TV signals
The National Association of Broadcasters said it may be able to live with some of the proposals Microsoft has offered up in the FCC's ongoing white spaces proceeding, but the FCC needs to vet them first.
The FCC this week wrapped up some changes and resolved some petitions to reconsider the framework for opening up more broadcast and broadcast-adjacent "white spaces" spectrum for unlicensed wireless devices, but some issues remain that go beyond that proceeding.
While NAB and Microsoft disagree on a number of issues, including how effective remote sensing technology is in preventing interference to broadcast signals. But in a letter to the FCC, NAB said after discussions with the computer giant, it agrees the FCC should at least seek comment on some of Microsoft's suggestions for boosting operations in rural areas while protecting licensed operations and asked the FCC to launch a new rulemaking to do that.
"NAB agrees that the Commission should pursue certain, but not all, changes Microsoft is seeking, as long as the Commission takes important steps to protect licensed users," the association said in a letter to the FCC Thursday (March 21).
The FCC unanimously approved the opening up of white spaces, with an emphasis on their ability to close the rural digital divide. So, NAB's willingness to consider ways to boost rural broadband positions it as on the right side of that issue.
Specifically, NAB says that, as Microsoft proposes, it 1) may be possible to allow for higher power limits in less congested (rural) areas; 2) may be possible to permit device operations at higher points above average terrain (up to 500 meters) in rural areas without materially increasing the chances of harmful interference; 3) may be possible to allow fixed TV white spaces (TVWS) operations on movable platforms--school buses and farm equipment, for example, but not aircrafts, ships or satellites--so long as there is a location check every 60 seconds; and 4) to support the use of TVWS for narrowband IoT.
But, NAB also told the FCC it strongly opposes Microsoft's fifth proposal--to authorize higher power operations on the first-adjacent channel to broadcasters licensed service. That is one proposal NAB does not want the FCC considering yet, much less adopting, at least not until there is a new generation of receivers, which is years down the line.
“Today, the NAB submitted a letter to the FCC, urging them to consider a further notice on several key TV white spaces issues," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "We appreciate the discussions and collaboration with NAB over the past months that have led to this point, and echo their call to the FCC to move forward with key TV white spaces issues to close the broadband gap.”
Kevin Costner stars as ranch owner with turf wars going on
Paramount Network drama Yellowstone returns for season two June 19. Taylor Sheridan and John Linson created the series. Kevin Costner stars as John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States.
Season one averaged 5.1 million total viewers. It had nine episodes.
Also in the cast are Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bently Cole Hauser and Kelsey Asbille.
Paramount mentions Yellowstone’s “shifting alliances, unsolved murders, open wounds, and hard-earned respect,” and the Dutton ranch’s border conflicts with a neighboring town, an Indian reservation and America’s first national park.
The show is co-produced and co-financed by 101 Studios. Executive producers are John Linson, Art Linson, Taylor Sheridan, Kevin Costner and David C. Glasser.
Flex includes free, ad supported programming
Comcast said announced Xfinity Flex, a new $5 a month streaming product available to broadband customers within its service area.
Flex comes with more than 10,000 free, ad supported movies and TV shows and live TV from providers including ESPN3, Xumo, Pluto, Tubi TV, Cheddar and YouTube.
Flex subscribers can also add streaming services such as Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime and those programs will be added into an integrated platform and accessible via a voice remote.
Users will be able to upgrade from Flex to an Xfinity X1-based pay-TV video package.
The service is also designed to make the TV the dashboard for internet services including home security cameras and thermostats, the company said.
“Xfinity Flex will deepen our relationship with a certain segment of our Internet customers and provide them with real value,” said Matt Strauss, executive vice president, Xfinity Services for Comcast Cable. “For just five dollars a month, we can offer these customers an affordable, flexible, and differentiated platform that includes thousands of free movies and shows for online streaming, an integrated guide for accessing their favorite apps and connected home devices, and the ease of navigating and managing all of it with our voice remote.”
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – March 20, 2019 – TVU Networks, the global technology and innovation leader in live IP solutions, today announced a partnership with KT Corp., the largest telecom company in South Korea, to bring UHD broadcast over KT’s 5G enterprise network. Under terms of the agreement, KT and TVU Networks will work collaboratively to establish an enterprise 5G network and related broadcast capabilities in Korea.
KT, formerly known as Korea Telecom, showcased the world’s first trial 5G services during the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in February 2018. KT also broadcast live the last concert of K-pop group Wanna One on its IPTV service, Olleh TV, earlier this year. The broadcast was delivered through set-top boxes and mobile devices using the 5G network. KT is expected to launch the network’s full-scale commercialization in April.
This recent partnership marks a major step in TVU Networks’ continued commitment to 5G technology. The company has been at the forefront of 5G from the very beginning, with its transmitter product line supporting 5G. TVU Networks continuously collaborates with regional providers around the world in their 5G deployment efforts, looking to implement that technology within its video over IP solutions.
“We’re thrilled to be part of such a pioneering effort that reflects our own continued commitment to the power and possibility of 5G,” said Paul Shen, CEO, TVU Networks. “Video is now what most people watch on their smart phones, but to take the quality of services offered and accessibility of video to the next level requires the low latency, high speed, and ultra-connectivity that 5G provides. The backbone of the 5G network pairs perfectly with our ability to acquire, manage and deliver the ultimate 4K video over IP.”
TVU Networks will work closely with KT to provide 4K UHD broadcast technology and services that meet KT’s 5G device standards. KT will provide technical support such as device standards and a testing environment.
Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), one of Korea’s three major broadcasting companies, is working with KT to develop the broadcast capabilities of this new 5G network. SBS is a customer of TVU Networks and introduced TVU Networks’ capabilities to KT. Assisting SBS in these efforts is TVU Network’s Seoul-based reseller iCRAFT.
“We’re clear that 5G networks will be critical as we provide our customers with the optimal mobile video experience,” said Park Hyun-Jin, Senior Vice President of KT’s 5G Business Unit. “The data capacity, speed and low latency in the network will enable innovations unlike anything we’ve seen before. We know that TVU Networks is the ideal partner to take this next step in our company’s evolution. And we’re positive our customers will agree.”
TVU Networks has over 2,500 customers in more than 85 countries. The TVU Networks family of IP transmission and live production solutions gives broadcasters and organizations a powerful and reliable workflow to distribute live video content to broadcast, online and mobile platforms. TVU has become a critical part of the operations of many major media companies. The TVU Networks suite of solutions has been used to acquire, transmit, produce, manage and distribute professional-quality live IP HD footage as an integral part of news, sports and major global events. For more information about TVU Networks solutions, please visit www.tvunetworks.com.
Comedy airs on Pop in the U.S. and CBC in Canada
Comedy Schitt’s Creek will be back for its sixth and final season on Pop TV in 2020. Shooting begins on the new season in a few weeks. There will be 14 episodes.
Season five is currently airing on CBC in Canada and on Pop in the U.S.
Eugene and Daniel Levy created the show. The cast includes them, Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy, Chris Elliott, Emily Hampshire, Jennifer Robertson, Noah Reid, Dustin Milligan, Sarah Levy and Karen Robinson.
“Schitt’s Creek is that rare zeitgeist show that creates incredible fandom, catalyzes culture, and receives best-of-television critical praise for its intelligence, character development, laughter and heart,” said Brad Schwartz, president of Pop. “Schitt’s Creek has given all of us a joyous gift that, in my opinion, places the show among the very best. Everyone at Pop could not be more proud than to have been associated with what Dan Levy and Eugene Levy created alongside this amazing cast and crew. While we will miss this gem with all our heart, we are thrilled that the show will end its run exactly as the show’s creators intended.”
Commissioned by CBC, Schitt’s Creek is produced by Not A Real Company Productions Inc. The executive producers are Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Andrew Barnsley, Fred Levy, David West Read and Ben Feigin. The show is produced in association with CBC and Pop TV and distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
“Dan and Eugene have created a brilliant and irreverent series that has struck a powerful chord with audiences in Canada and around the world, fuelled by stellar writing, sharp humor, an outstanding cast and a wardrobe for the ages,” said Sally Catto, general manager, programming, CBC. “The show’s reversal-of-fortune storyline has been mined not just for comedy but to share an empowering message about acceptance and authenticity.”
Eugene and Daniel Levy, father and son, shared a statement with fans.
“We are very excited to announce that Schitt’s Creek is coming back for a sixth season on CBC and Pop in 2020! We also wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that we’ve decided season six will be our last. We are so grateful to have been given the time and creative freedom to tell this story in its totality, concluding with a final chapter that we had envisioned from the very beginning. It’s not lost on us what a rare privilege it is in this industry to get to decide when your show should take its final bow. We could never have dreamed that our fans would grow to love and care about these characters in the ways that you have.
“We are all so excited to begin shooting these last fourteen episodes and can’t thank you enough for the overwhelming love and generosity you’ve shown us. We hope you continue to enjoy the rest of our fifth season as we prepare to shoot our sixth!”
Drops for both ‘Empire’ and ‘Star’ on Fox
CBS and Fox split the Wednesday ratings crown, both posting a 1.1 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 5 share. That beat the 0.9/4 put up by ABC.
NBC was at 0.8/4.
Telemundo and Univision both did a 0.4/2.
The CW was at 0.2/1.
CBS had two hours of Survivor down 7% at 1.4. SEAL Team closed out prime at 0.7, down a tenth of a point from its last fresh airing.
On Fox, which won the previous Wednesday race, Empire fell 15% to 1.1 and Star lost 9% for a 1.0.
ABC had The Goldbergs up 9% for a 1.2 and Schooled off 10% for a 0.9, then Modern Family at 1.1 and Single Parents at 0.7, those two down a tenth. Whiskey Cavalier grew 17% to 0.7.
NBC had a Voice repeat from 8 to 10 and the Michael Buble special Buble at 0.6.
On The CW, Riverdale did a 0.3 and the All American finale a 0.2, both shows flat.
Look to put 'viral' pressure on uncommitted Democrats
Net neutrality activists are planning a protest next week in advance of an expected vote on net neutrality rule legislation, including trying to make the live stream of the vote go viral.
Fight for the Future said it is expecting that the House Energy & Commerce Committee will schedule that markup on the Save the Internet Act as early as next week.
If so, it wants to get out ahead of the vote to put pressure on Democrats still not on board. It created a widget that will allow Web sites to embed the live stream of the hearing on their home pages or blogs.
FFTF plans top put the stream on BattleForTheNet.com and will share it widely on social media.
It also said it plans to hold in-person protests at the district offices of four Democrats who have yet to co-sponsor the bill and a fifth that has indicated a willingness to compromise via amendments.
The Save the Internet Act would restore the Title II-based net neutrality rules rolled back by the FCC in December 2017. It is essentially a return of the Democratic effort in the last Congress to nullify that decision, only in this case by affirmatively restoring the previous Open Internet Order and its rules against blocking, throttling, paid prioritization and anything else the FCC concludes leads to a non-neutral net, at least in terms of access.
Said they are "making it happen"
FCC chair Ajit Pai told smaller cable operators in Thursday (March 21) that they have "taken the risks and helped build out broadband to thousands, millions of people across the country."
He said those are the people yearning to be connected and those smaller operators, on the front lines of rural rollouts, are "making that happen."
He was speaking at the America's Communications Association summit in Washington.
ACA president Matt Polka credited Pai's regulatory light touch with encouraging his members to invest in rural broadband rollouts and closing the digital divide, with Pai drawing lengthy applause at his introduction for a Q&A with Polka, as he did when Polka pointed out he had committed to staying on as chairman.
The chairman said that since his Restoring Internet Freedom order was adopted in December 2017, the predictions of the "end of the internet," or "having to pay five dollars per Tweet," or "the internet will work one word at a time," "ginned up by Beltway special interests have not panned out.
In fact, Pai said the FCC had been keeping a list of those doom and gloom predictions, and "every one of them has been proven false." (Polka interjected the irony of all those folks "freely using the internet to criticize how they can't freely use the internet").
Critics of the chairman's deregulatory move say that ISPs are simply biding their time since it would be a political miscalculation to immediately exercise their freedom from rules preventing blocking, throttling or paid prioritization.
Pai came armed with some statistics, however, including that broadband speeds were up over 35% from December 2017 to December 2018. He said millions more are benefitting from fiber infrastructure investment.
Polka said said one of the messages his members would be taking to the Hill was that they would continue to insure their subs had access to the internet.
Pai said getting broadband to America is not a Republican or Democratic issue, something Polka also talked about in his opening for the morning session.
Polka gave Pai credit for helping ease poll attachments. In turn, Pai said ACA's advocacy was instrumental, including Polka's testimony to Congress that attachments were 31% of the cost of building out plant.
Ties it to in-home, invitation-only trial
T-Mobile continues to push for its merger with Sprint by emphasizing the uncarrier angle, particularly when it comes to becoming a disruptor in home (fixed wireless) space.
The company sent out an email Thursday trumpeting its new pilot home internet test, available to a limited number of its existing customers "by invitation only."
It said they should get about 50 Mbps for $50 a month, with "no data caps, no annual service contracts, no hidden fees and no equipment costs."
T-Mobile has been billing the merger in Washington has a chance to provide new in-home competition to the "Big Cable" broadband providers, a goal of the FCC, which is vetting the deal. It is also positioning the test in rural and underserved areas. Closing the rural digital divide is another FCC priority.
T-Mobile outlined its in-home plans to the FCC in this filing.
T-Mobile points out that at its current LTE capacity, it can only support about 50,000 homes ("50" seems to be a key figure in this trial), but that "with the scale and capacity of the New T-Mobile, we would cover more than half of U.S. households with 5G broadband service in excess of 100 Mbps by 2024!"
“Two weeks ago, I laid out our plans for home broadband with the New T-Mobile. Now, we’re already hard at work building toward that future,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere. “We’re walking the walk and laying the foundation for a world where we can take the fight to Big Cable on behalf of consumers and offer real choice, competition and savings to Americans nationwide.”
Producing original programming has become a challenge that media companies are facing head on
"The competition has grown fiercer in recent years. But the key factor isn’t which service has the best show of the moment, but a matter of whether a tech company can learn how to be a media entertainment company faster than the media entertainment companies learn how to compete in tech." -Amanda Lotz, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
An exceptional number of words are published each month—each week even—hailing, anticipating, and critiquing Netflix. The company offers an incredible story: first as the David that slew the Goliath of Blockbuster, then the nimble upstart that improved nearly all aspects of watching television—initially in the U.S., now increasingly around the world. Netflix broke into an industry with exceptional barriers to entry and a long history of keeping others out. Regardless of whether it dominates in the future, it should be credited with forcing massive innovation on the television industries.
The landscape of television only grows more complicated as news of other tech companies developing television series now makes headlines, particularly Apple while others have eyes trained on services announced by Disney and WarnerMedia. Many are uncertain of the distinction between tech and media companies as boundaries blur in this complicated competitive landscape. Perhaps Netflix is neither a tech nor media company, but both. Netflix is a tech company that has entered the media industry and its biggest asset, and limitation, is that it thinks and operates like a tech company.
At first—back in 2010—the upstart tech players such as Netflix and the legacy media industries achieved a détente as each offered something the other needed. Netflix supplied the studios with new licensing revenues just as the 2008 recession, an ascendant cable sector, and new tech adoption drew away audiences and threatened the advertising dollars they had long commanded. The studios supplied Netflix with the programming it needed to convince viewers that a better television experience was available for a modest monthly fee.
By the end of 2014, the détente wavered as the two sectors crossed into each other’s businesses. Netflix quickly proved adept at developing its own series, and with an audience now accustomed to streaming television, the legacy industry focused innovation on developing its own internet-distributed services such as CBS All Access and HBO Now, and to some extent, redeveloping Hulu.
The competition has grown fiercer in recent years. But the key factor isn’t which service has the best show of the moment, but a matter of whether a tech company can learn how to be a media entertainment company faster than the media entertainment companies learn how to compete in tech. Various hiring announcements make clear that tech is developing the assets to win much faster than the media entertainment industry.
Producing compelling programming is a gamble at best—it is not a venture that necessarily advantages experience, and all the money in the world doesn’t guarantee a hit. The media entertainment industry’s decades of entrenched knowledge of how things worked when broadcasters were the only game in town give it no advantage. Understanding what made for a successful broadcast series is of little use to today’s competitive environment, and understanding a market on fire with cable originals a decade ago is little more help.
The key advantage of the tech companies is their lack of knowledge about how things used to work. They can hire a few execs away from the television industry for their network of contacts and insight into how to manage creative talent. Those execs go to work in tech companies that have very different approaches to audiences and what can be known about their tastes and preferences. Tech companies understand that data can be used to find better ways to operate media industries and are doing so far faster than the entertainment industries are embracing these tools.
Media execs governing companies earning profits and returning value to stockholders are reasonably aggrieved when new tech competitors that are barely breaking even—or even losing money—enchant investors. Indeed, they are not being held to the same standard. But those investments are about the long game and come from a perception of continued and significant change in these industries. Investors recognize that tech companies competing in media entertainment are developing tools that will redefine the media businesses far more profoundly than the significant change already experienced.
Entertainment media is an unusual business in all sorts of ways, but assuming the art or creative will win out ignores the reality that we now live in a world overflowing with shows, songs and stories that would capture our attention or passion if we could just find them. Telling a good story still matters, but having the tools to know who wants that story and to put it in front of them are every bit as crucial as the tools to make the stories. Also, experience matters. A lot. And probably far more than constant opining on the relative merits of different pieces of intellectual property acknowledges. Companies moving into entertainment from tech bring with them new paradigms about using data and maximizing experience.
Of course this is a long battle in which there can be multiple winners, and we remain in early chapters. The future may look very different if media companies start poaching tech talent, installing them at the C-level of corporate structures, and allowing them to reset priorities and “how we do things.”
TRESemme, Maybelline, Paramount integrated into Bravo series
Three clients from media agency GroupM have been integrated into the new season of Project Runway on NBCUniversal’s Bravo.
The season launched last week, with the second episode scheduled for Thursday.
TRESemme is the exclusive hair care partner for Project Runway. The brand’s global stylist, Justine Marjan will appear throughout the season.
Maybelline New York is the exclusive cosmetics partner for this season of the series. The brand’s makeup artist, Grace Lee, will offer tips during all episodes of the show.
Paramount, which will be releasing the Elton John biopic Rocketman later this year, will be sponsoring a custom challenge calling on the designers to create a 1970s look. Rocketman costume designer Julian Day will be a judge and video and pictures from the film will help contestants capture its atmosphere.
Some of the sponsorships spilled into other parts of the NBCU portfolio. In February, when TRESemme styled a fashion show for designer Christian Siriano, it was covered on E! News.
“Bravo offered our clients unique and powerful brand integration opportunities that are embedded in Project Runway’s storyline,” said Lyle Schwartz, president of investment, GroupM. “As television media consumption and consumer expectations about advertising evolve, innovating non-interruptive and highly relevant brand messaging becomes highly valuable, but the key is fit between brand and content, which we’ve brilliantly achieved with TRESemmé, Maybelline New York, Paramount Pictures and Project Runway.”
In addition to its exposure within each episode of Project Runway, TRESemme has a social content program with a custom Instagram video series to drive fans online to show them how to create looks from the show at home.
Maybelline’s Lee will be featured in digital editorial and custom social content, providing fans with assists from one of the industry’s top makeup artists.
O'Rielly pushes to include FAANG activities in local franchise reviews; ACA's Polka: outlook dim for telecom rewrite soon, despite value
America's top trust-buster and the FCC's #2 Republican commissioner offered different perspectives on how the government should treat antitrust cases - especially in the media industry - during their presentations at the America's Communications Association (née American Cable Association) Summit on Wednesday (March 20) in Washington.
Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim suggested that courts should "bifurcate trials," with one segment evaluating the transaction and another phase offering a remedy. He warned that, "Defendants, not the public, should bear the burden of proof of whether [a merger or acquisition] does likely harm to competition" and he urged that "courts should be careful in the future."
Delrahim's remarks came less than a month after the U.S. Court of Appeals tossed out the Justice Department's attempt to stop the AT&T merger with Time Warner. A chastened Delrahim acknowledged that, "Our market definitions change."
"There is a lot of convergence of different forms in your industry," he said. "We look at the facts of the market as well as the changes in technology." Delrahim cited an upcoming Department of Justice workshop on May 2-3, which will examine advertising in the digital age, noting that the goal is to identify how antitrust lawyers should look at the ways in which "advertising dollars are moving to different locations."
During a Q&A session with ACA president Matt Polka following Delrahim's formal remarks, the assistant AG emphasized that when it comes to competitive issues, "We look at it in conjunction with the FCC.
"We work closely with them based on statutory mandates," he said. "What we do is provide predictability for the business community."
O'Rielly Cites Standards that 'Stink,' Emphasizes Marketplace Changes
"His standards stink," said FCC commissioner Michael O'Rielly, describing Delrahim's approach when the six-year veteran commissioner sat down with Polka. "That's the issue. We have to modernize how we examine the marketplace, across segments. Everyone is in the same market. The big tech companies are trying to steal everyone's lunch."
O'Rielly contended that the DOJ's stance is: "We don't plan to change."
"I think that's wrong," O'Rielly continued. "My purpose in being critical publically is to get them to change their approach." In his conversation with Polka, O'Rielly amplified his view that, "Everyone is in each other's business. No one feels comfortable about the sand underneath their feet. Reprising an observation from his earlier prepared remarks, he said that, "Other than FAANG [Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google], everyone is under pressure.
"It's more dynamic and difficult going forward," O'Rielly added. " All types of providers are figuring out what they want to be in this business."
That was a theme of the Commissioner's speech to the group, in which he emphasized the need for better local awareness and oversight of new unregulated entrants competing entrenched cable operators.
"Your companies have invested heavily to meet the immediate and long-term commercial and consumer demand for broadband speeds and capacity, despite a vastly changing marketplace and revenue streams," he said. Playing to the ACA audience, O'Rielly lamented that, "You have been under constant attack by those pointy-headed liberal advocacy groups hell-bent on driving profit margins to zero."
He reminded the group that federal funds to facilitate broadband deployment, can be "used to bring an artificial, subsidized, government-blessed competitor to overbuild your network."
"This is much worse than a lack of coordination among government agencies...; it amounts to government agencies actively harming privately funded broadband deployment," he said.
O'Rielly's sweeping review of cable issues include retransmission consent and the C-Band spectrum reallocation plans.
Noting that ACA’s first three regulatory and legislative priorities are "Retrans, Retrans, and Retrans," he echoed his theme that the FCC is committed to "removing existing Commission rules and regulations that no longer make sense in the current competitive media environment."
"Now it’s time for more substantial reform to be done at a far quicker pace than previously imagined," he said, emphasizing that "the entire government oversight model for video services needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom."
"Except for the top one or two video providers, the days of selling traditional programming packages are evaporating, with little likelihood of returning. Some providers have already stopped offering video services altogether. To put a finer point on it, we are now at the point where the OTT marketplace is already maturing, which is likely to result in consolidation and aggregation within the so-called FAANGs," he said.
With that change looming, O'Rielly insisted that local franchising authorities must become more sensitive to the marketplace realities.
The Commission has an "urgent obligation" to identify issues in which local franchise authorities "should be appropriately preempted by federal law."
Citing the FCC's 2015 "Section 621" proceeding about LFAs' role, O'Rielly called for an evaluation of whether local agencies should be allowed to scrutinize mergers, transactions, modifications, or even renewals with the goal of enacting new or renewing old fringe benefits, especially if traditional video services are dissipating.
"How can local franchise authorities obligate the use of certain accounting practices or practice rights-of-way discrimination?" he asked. "What reasoning can be found to continue PEG [Public access, Education and Government] channels or institutional network mandates? It’s extremely unlikely that any of these burdens will ever be applied to OTT providers, and therefore they serve as discriminatory burdens and create unfair market distortions."
O'Rielly, in his discussion with Polka, said that the Commission should considering letting operators offer skinny bundles.
"Old burdens, old principles no longer do," he said. "You need flexibility in offering services to customers."
As for the ongoing review of C-Band spectrum, O'Rielly made "the same commitment to you that I made to broadcasters."
"If you don't get greedy, your needs will be fully addressed," he said. "The key is not having a knee-jerk reaction in opposition while the complex issues are being considered and resolved."
O'Rielly suggested that the process may lead to "an enormous opportunity." He said that the 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum plus expansion of unlicensed services in the corresponding uplink band at 6 GHz "provides the best chance to expand current WiFi and other unlicensed operations."
"It will allow those of you who want to grow or introduce wireless offerings to do so without the expense of purchasing spectrum at auction," he said.
'96 Telecom Act Update 'Needed' But Unlikely; STELAR Process Underway
At a news media update during the ACA conference lunch hour, Polka elaborated on ACA's approach to the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization and evaluated Congressional action to update the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
Polka pointed out the changed circumstances now that so many networks are providing direct-to-consumer online feeds, such as CBS All Access. He emphasized that, "The paradigm of the bundle is changing because there is more than one way to get the programming."
"I feel confident there will be changes this year," he said, without offering specific revisions.
In response to a query from Multichannel News about the prospects for an omnibus revision of the '96 Telecom Act, Polka said he "wondered if there is political will to update an out-of-date law."
Citing his other comments about the changing marketplace, he said that such a revision is "definitely needed" and vowed that "We won't give up," but he foresees no timetable.
Split, gently, from NAB, others over state of content ratings
There is a bit of a schism in the video distribution industry over TV content ratings.
The FCC is currently conducting a congressionally mandated review into the effectiveness and accuracy of the guidelines (assigning a rating to shows from TV-Y to TV-MA), which various groups have criticized.
The National Association of Broadcasters, NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, and the Motion Picture Association of America are all on the same page, which is that the ratings are useful and reliable and the criticism misplaced. "The record ultimately illustrates that, while some may disagree with certain ratings or seek to go beyond the narrow focus of this proceeding, the overarching system continues to serve parents and respond to public concerns," NAB et al. told the FCC in its reply comments this week.
But the National Religious Broadcasters finds that too easy an answer, as it pointed out in its comments.
"The record in this proceeding appears to reveal a disconnect between major industry leaders who produce and distribute content and parental voices who wish to navigate content offerings as truly informed consumers."
While NRB joins NAB et al. in its sensitivity to First Amendment concerns about the government getting into the TV content ratings business, and is also wary of "regulations that end up offering much more burden than real benefit. Such has happened in other cases, including the current well-intentioned, but ultimately counter-productive 'Kid-Vid' reporting regime." The FCC is reviewing that reporting regime as well.
NRB also told the FCC this week that concerns expressed by the Parents Television Council, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America and others should not be ignored.
For example, NRB cited a PTC filing detailing increasing violent, sexual and "profane" programming, "hazardous" content that "appears to be rated incorrectly, inconsistently, and in a manner that seems to concerned parties to lack transparency and accountability."
NRB also says it fears that could be a lowering tied that sinks all boats. "If parents and families, perhaps disgusted by lowered decency standards or feeling betrayed by inaccurate parental guidelines, abandon television broadcasting as a reliable source of family-friendly information and entertainment, then our member stations may suffer."
Ultimately, NRB navigates something of a middle course, putting in a plug for kinder, gentler programming, though NAB et al. says the result of such an FCC inquiry should not be to alter content. "While there may be programming that PTC and other groups disfavor, audiences have more video choices than ever before," they told the FCC this week as well. "The rating system is not—and should not be—designed to influence the content of programming."
The FCC is required to report back to Congress on its findings by mid-May.
The specific instruction from Congress -- in a provision of the appropriations bill that ended the government shutdown -- was: "The FCC is directed to report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate within 90 days of enactment of this Act [Feb. 15] on the extent to which the rating system matches the video content that is being shown and the ability of the TV Parental Guidelines Oversight Monitoring Board to address public concerns."
Tech employees generally critical, but employees of relevant platforms, not so much
Amidst criticism of the slowness of social media platforms to remove the New Zealand shooter video, a new poll shows that while tech employees generally agree with that criticism, employees of the relevant platforms see it quite differently.
That is according to a survey March 15-18 of 3,074 users of the anonymous Blind app.
That survey found that, while, overall, 68% of respondents said "no" when asked: "Have Facebook, Google (YouTube), Reddit and Twitter done enough to stop the spread of violent content online?" Only 32% said yes.
By contrast, a majority, in some cases strong majority, of employees of those companies who took the survey said yes, they had done enough. Among Google employees it was 59.86% "yes"; for Twitter employees, that number was 62.5%; for Facebook it was 63.87%, and for Reddit, 69.23%.
The Blind is a social network for tech employees, claiming a base of over 50,000 employees from Microsoft, 36,500 from Amazon, 14,500 from Google, 11,300 from Facebook, 9,800 from Uber, 8,500 from Apple, 6,300 from LinkedIn, and 5,200 from Salesforce, among others.
Cartoni's new Master 25 is a robust, yet lightweight fluid head designed to support the latest cameras complete with long lens, viewfinders, prompters and pan bar controls for new studio production as well as OB/ENG/EFP applications, with a payload capacity of up to 30 kg (66 lbs). It will make its debut at NAB 2019.
Rome, Italy (March 21, 2019) – Cartoni, the Italian leader in premium camera supports for the broadcast, film and pro-video industries, is proud to announce the launch of the new Master 25 fluid head at NAB 2019 (Central Hall, Booth C9020). The Master 25 is a robust, yet lightweight fluid head designed to support the latest cameras complete with long lens, viewfinders, prompters and pan bar controls for new studio production as well as OB/ENG/EFP applications, with a payload capacity of up to 30 kg (66 lbs).
It continues Cartoni’s line-up of premium yet affordable products geared for professionals.
“The new Master 25 is the ultimate do-it-all head for ENG/EFP, studios and OB” explains Elisabetta Cartoni, President and CEO of Cartoni Professional Camera Supports. “Not only is the Master 25 completely compatible with competitor legs and even camera plates but it is also perfectly suited for the camera operators needs. That means the head can precisely track slow moving objects and whip pan in an instant. The new Master 25 will be displayed in the classy Black & Gold design of the famed Cartoni C20/C40 heads of yesteryear and is also available in grey anodized aluminum.
With a combination of perfect balance and a super-smooth, continuously variable patented fluid drag on pan and tilt modes, the Master 25 enables camera operators to be responsive to the needs of the production.
The lightweight (5 kg – 11 lbs) Master 25 features a tilt range of +/-90° and easy to use rings which allow the camera operator or grip to preselect the fluid drag and counterbalance on a numerical scale from 0 to 10. Both the pan and tilt brake levers are easy to reach, and the head features a convenient horizontal lock for setup.
With a 150 mm bowl, the Master 25 offers a wide and stable base on tripods or hi-hats. The head base includes four bolt threads for direct interface to most of the pedestals. Additionally, the camera platform is equipped with a sliding camera plate, compatible with competitor products such as the Vinten Vision 250, with standard 11 cm plate or 22 cm extra-long plate for balancing off-set camera configurations.
For more information on the Master 25 fluid head, join Cartoni at NAB 2019, Booth C9020 (Central Hall). Register for free by using code LV2933 before March 24, 2019.
National, local SVOD measurement included in deal
Nielsen and Univision said they signed a new long-term agreement for audience measurement.
The new deal includes national and local TV ratings plus Nielsen’s SVOD content ratings and out of home viewing.
Univision’s broadcast network, UniMas, Univision Deportes, Galavision, El Rey and 36 local TV stations are covered by Nielsen’s measurement and analytic services.
“As the leading media company engaging Hispanic consumers, Univision works with the major research and analytics companies in the business to ensure accurate and representative data on the media consumption of Hispanic audiences, as well as the impact it has on brand growth, regardless of the platform or connection that they are using,” said Roberto Ruiz, executive VP of research, insights and analytics at Univision. "Within this framework, our renewed agreement with Nielsen ensures accurate measurement as our audience continues to evolve across screens and platforms, in and out of the home. With an enhanced suite of tools we will deliver to our clients the whole picture of the unique, engaged audience they can connect with to generate brand growth messages—now with even greater clarity on local markets and radio. Furthermore, our agreement ensures that Univision remains at the forefront of innovative new technologies in a rapidly evolving media marketplace.”
The agreement comes at a time when Nielsen argues that using return-path information from set-top boxes and smart TVs is not enough to accurately measure viewership by minority viewers. Nielsen adds its panel information to adjust raw data and better represent viewing patterns.
“Whether it’s to watch futbol, the latest telenovela or the local news, U.S. Hispanics have a very special relationship with Univision,” said Peter Bradbury, executive VP and managing director of Nielsen’s National Sellers Group. “We are honored to extend the special relationship that exists between Univision and Nielsen. This collaborative agreement is built on the mutual and shared belief that we succeed when our clients succeed and our commitment to deliver metrics that help monetize and power their business.”
• Solution natively delivers live 4Kp60 encoding on a single FPGA card or accelerates existing HD software and hardware codec workflows by a factor of 4x.
• PERSEUS Plus provides up to 50% compression efficiency at 4x the density of previously available solutions coupled with broad consumer device support.
• PERSEUS solution offers support for FFmpeg workflows and is available as a bundle with the Xilinx Alveo™ card for private cloud and on-premise deployment.
London, UK and San Jose, US – 21 March 2019 – V-Nova, a leading provider of video compression solutions, and Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) the leader in adaptive and intelligent computing, today announced the availability of PERSEUS XSA, an easily-deployable plug-and-play encoding accelerator for existing live or VOD encoding pipelines and PERSEUS XDE, a native encoding solution running entirely on FPGA. Both solutions are available for Xilinx’s Alveo cards and deliver unparalleled video quality and processing density in private or public clouds.
Xilinx Alveo Data Center accelerator cards are designed to meet the constantly changing needs of the modern Data Center, providing up to 90x performance increase over CPUs for common workloads, including machine learning, video transcoding, and database search and analytics. Xilinx FPGA platforms are broadly deployed across leading cloud platforms including AWS, Alibaba Cloud and Huawei as well as leading video service providers like Twitch.
PERSEUS Plus is a codec-agnostic video compression technology that can be added to any standard encoder such as AVC/h.264, HEVC, VP9 and – in the future - AV1. PERSEUS Plus was designed from the ground-up to deliver next-generation compression efficiencies at much lighter overall processing, further boosting the advantages of FPGA-based solutions.
PERSEUS XSA is designed with hyper-scale live encoding operators such as e-sports operators and social networks in mind. The solution is compatible with all major server hardware and existing software encoding, leveraging PERSEUS Plus to enhance the underlying codec and providing a 4x increase in the number of channels or streams per server. Alternatively, adopting the XDE solution enables even greater density and 4Kp60 real-time transcoding on a single Xilinx Alveo card.
“The extreme processing capabilities of our FPGA solutions only matter when paired with IP that can truly leverage it” said Sean Gardner, senior marketing manager, Cloud Video, Xilinx. “PERSEUS Plus is the perfect example of that, and we’re excited about the potential this solution has to deliver a higher-quality video experience to millions of users whilst saving millions for the operators serving them. For services delivering thousands of streams a day these savings are transformative.”
“We are really proud to announce the availability of PERSEUS XSA and PERSEUS XDE.”, Guido Meardi, CEO and co-founder at V-Nova, said, “The explosion of streaming services across the globe requires the best efficiencies in every part of the delivery chain. The combination of our PERSEUS Plus technology and Xilinx FPGA simply enables best quality video per bit, in the most cost-efficient way. This is valuable to all service providers and especially those that are looking to scale on cloud platforms, where the combination of V-Nova PERSEUS Plus and Xilinx FPGAs is ready to provide this step-change in the video quality and processing cost trade-off that can redefine the bottom line for video service operators.”
The bundled V-Nova and Xilinx solution is an industry first being able to enhance quality and accelerate throughput of existing large-scale software transcoding deployments, allowing both a reduction of 4x in transcoding cost and 4Kp60 real-time transcoding on systems that until today were only capable of HD transcoding.
Los Angeles, March 21, 2019: Bitmax, the digital media management and licensing company, today announced the launch of its new content orchestration and management system - Maestro. The newly minted Maestro platform represents a leap forward for Bitmax Content Provider customers and Distributor Platform partners.
In addition to powering all of the internal supply chain workflows at Bitmax, Maestro includes the ability to log in and initiate orders and the ability to track asset packages across the supply chain. From Avails creation and customization to auto ingest of asset package elements, and carriage confirmation to royalty processing, Maestro is a powerful integrated system that will make it much easier to plan and execute monetization strategies. In concert with the Bitmax licensing team, the Maestro orchestration engine allows Bitmax clients to evaluate their total monetization strategy by pre-planning for any title or catalogue, moving seamlessly from transactional to view-based SVOD, and/or to ad supported AVOD. The system directs processing workflows based on the target platforms, including ad marking, artwork and metadata enhancements, and more.
Maestro also has hooks into the Bitmax PayPanel TM reporting and royalty processing solution. With a growing market of AVOD OVPs and vMVPDS, DTC channels and streaming options, Bitmax customer’s use cases have informed and helped shape the development of Maestro. The company promises a steady stream of new features and functions released throughout the year.
Recent customer announcements such as Gravitas Ventures turning over operations to Bitmax underscores the marketplace interest for a comprehensive solution that makes onboarding content and asset packages as seamless as possible while providing a heightened level of transparency and monitoring features.
Jim Riley, Bitmax CRO commented “While the M&E marketplace continues to experience major disruption, our Content providers and Distribution partners have been vocal about the shortcomings of legacy solutions. Our Maestro system reimagines content management in this new era, enabling ‘content orchestration’ to monetize assets across business models and consumption platforms.”
Bitmax is a time-proven leader in digital media management and licensing, with decades of expertise supporting leading content owners and digital distributors the world over. The company is made up of professionals from all areas of the digital content supply chain who are skilled in new tech solutions and are committed to customer service excellence.
Bitmax reduces the friction and complexity inherent in the digital content supply chain by utilizing smart online tools and systems. Their products and services are designed to help customers optimize today’s evolving business models including, TVOD, SVOD, AVOD and Direct to consumer (DTC), at a fraction of the cost of legacy providers.
For more information, please visit www.bitmax.net.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Clare Plaisted/Sally Reid
+1 703 300 3054/+44 (0)7801752224
CBS, Syndicated TV Top Net Lists, Followed By Amazon, Netflix
CBS, with 61, and Syndicated TV collectively (55) topped the list of most-nominated networks for Daytime Emmy Awards, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said Wednesday.
Right after them came streaming services Amazon Prime Video and Netflix with 49 nominations each. Then came NBC with 38, ABC with 35 and PBS with 31, ahead of YouTube.com (20), Disney Junior and Nickelodeon (16 each), HBO (12) and Disney Channel (10).
A complete list of nominated networks and programs is here at the NATAS site.
The nominations were announced on CBS' The Talk. The 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be handed out on Sunday, May 5, in Pasadena, with the Daytime Creative Arts Emmys being awarded on Friday, May 3.
Days of Our Lives on NBC, with 27 nominations, led all individual programs, followed by ABC's General Hospital with 25 and CBS' duo of The Young and The Restless with 20 and The Bold and the Beautiful with 12, followed by YouTube’s Giants (11), HBO's Sesame Street (9) and Amazon’s After Forever (8).
Dino Dana (Amazon Prime), The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated) and The Talk (CBS) each had eight nominations, as well, and Amazon Prime's The Bay The Series had seven.
The Daytime Emmy Awards recognize outstanding achievement in all fields of daytime television production and are presented to individuals and programs broadcast from 2 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the 2018 calendar year.
Chesapeake Systems, the premier workflow solutions architects for highly advanced media technology systems in media and entertainment, has added industry veterans Chris May and Peter Price to the company’s Northeast team. May serves as Director of Business Development and Price has assumed the role of Director of Solutions Architecture.
“Chris and Peter bring the ideal complement of skills and experience to further the value we bring to our clients,” says CEO Jason Paquin. “They both have a thorough understanding of the business and creative needs that face our clients, along with extensive technical and product knowledge to continue to elevate and optimize today’s media workflows for future demands.”
As Director of Business Development, May focuses on helping media organizations understand their business needs and best practices amid the generational shift in how content is produced, acquired, distributed, archived, consumed and monetized. With over 21 years of experience that includes time at Spectra Logic, Levels Beyond, Digital Strategies, Turner Sports and CNN, May integrates technical, creative and business perspectives to facilitate progress on all fronts.
“We’re at the vanguard of a fundamental change in the entire digital media supply chain that includes the way creators and consumers interact and experience content,” notes May. “Chesapeake has a truly rare ability to bridge the gap between content creators and IT departments. I’m excited to be on board.”
A lifelong artist and musician, Price brings to his role over 20 years of experience in video post-production and broadcast systems, with a focus on IT media systems integration. He previously worked at YouTube, HBO, CBS Sports Network, and Reuters News, as well as a handful of boutique post production facilities in New York and Los Angeles.
“I was drawn to Chesapeake’s reputation – on both the client and vendor sides,” says Price. “Their expertise in M&E workflow and production is universally respected. I look forward to digging into innovative solutions that produce efficiencies and savings for clients.”
Both May and Price joined Chesapeake at the end of 2018, and report to Paquin. This Northeast expansion follows Chesapeake’s growth over the past two years in the West, with the addition of Los Angeles-based Senior Systems Engineer Drew Hall and Account Manager Sarah Shechner, and reinforces the company’s dedication to providing unparalleled expertise and support to its customers across the nation.
Finalizes tweaks and changes, responds to recon petitions, to White Spaces order
The FCC has sent the signal that allowing the so-called white spaces between TV channels to be used for fixed and mobile wireless devices are ready for prime time.
That came in a report and order adopted Wednesday, March 20. The FCC also resolved a number of petitions to reconsider (recon) the TV White Spaces Order that initially opened up the spectrum to broadband.
Specifically, the FCC finalized its reconsideration proceeding and its database accuracy proceeding so that broadband providers can invest in rural connectivity.
The FCC is permitting the use of white space devices (notably computers), both fixed and mobile, in unused channels, ch. 37, guard bands between broadcast and wireless spectrum and between uplink and downlink spectrum in the 600 MHz band--which they are sharing after the incentive auction.
It is part of the FCC's focus on freeing up more spectrum for advanced wireless and closing the rural digital divide, which computer companies argue "white spaces" play a key role.
Microsoft, Google and other computer companies on one side and the National Association of Broadcasters on the other have been at loggerheads over the issue. Microsoft has been pushing for as much spectrum as possible, saying that remote sensing technology can seek out and avoid TV channels in real time, preventing the sort of interference NAB said current remote sensing technology has not been proven to provide.
NAB wanted the FCC to vet the sensing technology before opening the floodgates, as it were.
The FCC order does require that white spaces devices include internal geolocation capability, both for outdoor and indoor use, and that the devices automatically provide coordinates to the database that is meant to map out the TV frequencies to avoid.
That is a victory for NAB, which sought the geolocation, and a defeat for Microsoft, which suggested the automatic capability was not necessary. The FCC took a little off it by denying NAB's request that it tighten geolocation accuracy requirements.
“NAB appreciates the FCC’s decision to strengthen its white spaces rules. Requiring automatic geolocation in white spaces devices will help increase accuracy and protect television viewers from harmful interference.”
NAB wanted the FCC to require a wired connection between a remote geolocation source and a fixed white space device, rather than a wireless connection, but the FCC sided with Microsoft on that point, and also said it would not limit the distance between that remote location and the device, something else NAB wanted.
NAB had asked that the FCC require the devices to identify their height above ground, but the FCC declined to do so.
White space device makers have until six months after the rules are adopted to bring their technology in line with the new rules, but the FCC said adding geolocation will require recertification. It was initially going to allow the change without recertification, but concluded that "incorporating an internal geo-location capability into a fixed white space device would necessitate hardware modifications, resulting in a device that is not electrically identical to the originally approved device."
NAB challenged the FCC's decision to allow use of low-power fixed devices within a TV station's contour because the potential for interference is greater than the FCC suggests. The FCC was "not persuaded that permitting such operation poses a significant threat of harmful interference to adjacent channel television reception."
And while NAB wanted the FCC to limit antenna heights to 30 meters, the FCC will allow taller antennas in areas of less congestion.
“We are excited to see the Commission using its authority to remove regulatory barriers so that every American can participate in the digital economy," said ACT-The App Association president Morgan Reed. "Today’s action furthers the FCC’s unfettered commitment to bridging the digital divide and will better position the United States as a leader in the networked economy. Our membership represents small to medium-sized app developers across all 435 congressional districts. In particular, many of our members are located in rural areas that traditional networks cannot reach. TVWS-enabled wireless connectivity, along with all the Commission’s work related to wireless infrastructure deployment, will allow these small businesses to grow and contribute to local economies.”
“This action shows that the Commission has been listening to the concerns of rural Americans, and we appreciate their continued commitment to bridging the rural broadband gap," said Connect Americans Now executive director Richard Cullen. "While this vote is a step in the right direction for internet service providers and equipment manufacturers eager to use TV white spaces technology to bring broadband to rural areas, there are still a number of outstanding regulatory barriers.
"“We encourage the Commission to build on this momentum by immediately issuing a Further Notice of Rulemaking to address the outstanding regulatory issues hindering TV white space technology’s deployment."
New suite of cloud software services and tools power both traditional and OTT video offerings
Los Angeles-based Frequency says Studio “brings all participants in the video ecosystem together into the same place. Studio is a set of services and tools that manages the whole video pipeline from logistics to presentation and monetization.”
Studio features an integrated suite of tools serving both content providers and distributors, enabling them to manage, package and distribute VOD and linear channels.
A full-featured broadcast scheduling system is included, as well as access to Frequency’s distribution footprint of more than 15 million households.
“With the help of Frequency Studio, our subscribers get access to professional online video content, integrated into our ‘Horizon 4’ next-generation TV experience,” said Enrique Rodriguez, executive VP and CTO of Liberty Global, in a statement. “Personalized streams of content are available via the set-top box and via our Horizon GO mobile app platform, complementing our VOD or Replay TV programs. We’ve received great customer feedback in the markets where we have launched this service as part of Horizon 4.”
Added Frequency CEO, Blair Harrison: “As more viewers get their TV over-the-top, the key to giving them a great content experience is to offer them more choice. Studio was built to connect video creators with distributors as frictionlessly as possible.”
Want to know how it would spend extra funds
Leading Democrats on the House Energy & Commerce Committee want to know how the Federal Trade Commission would use the money if it got extra funds to help protect consumer privacy.
That comes in a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons and in the wake of a Feb. 26 Protecting "Consumer Privacy in the Era of Big Data" hearing during which the issue of more funding was discussed.
The FTC has said it could use more funds, and many in Congress think it needs them given the revelations about Facebook and Google and other edge providers, as well as the fact that it is not responsible for both edge and ISP privacy.
That funding would likely come in a larger privacy bill both sides of the aisle have suggested is needed.
In a letter to the FTC, E&C Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Consumer Protection Subcommittee chair Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) asked how the FCC would "deploy resources" under three scenarios: $50 million more, $75 million more, and $100 million more.
“A series of recent high-profile privacy incidents [they cited Google, Facebook and Amazon] have caused significant concern to consumers and this Committee,” Pallone and Schakowsky said in a joint statement on the letter. “For every high-profile case, there are many more that do not get attention in the press and therefore may not be prioritized by the FTC. Nevertheless, consumers may face significant harm from these less well-known privacy and data security incidents.”
They want answers from the FTC on the following questions by April 3:
1. "What resources would the FTC require to dramatically boost its enforcement activity with respect to privacy and data security? How would the FTC deploy new resources if it were to receive an additional $50 million for consumer protection and privacy? How about an additional $75 million? How about an additional $100 million?"
2. "If Congress were to direct the FTC to hire technologists to aid in case development, enforcement, rulemaking and/or policy recommendations, what resources would the FTC need to fulfill its consumer protection mission, and how would the agency deploy those new resources?"
3. If the FTC received notice-and-comment rulemaking authority with respect to privacy and data security, would the FTC require additional resources to develop and update new rules without detracting from the agency’s enforcement activity?" (Currently, the FTC's enforcement power is primarily limited to suing those it alleges have been false and deceptive or anticompetitive, then going to court or settling the matter in a consent decree.)
4. What would the FTC be able to accomplish with 100 new attorneys focused on privacy and data security that it cannot do with current resources?"
Democratic senators want new rules limiting clauses
More than a half dozen Democrats have asked the Federal Trade Commission to take the point on noncompete clauses and issue a rule limiting their use. The clauses have long been a standard for broadcast employees, particularly on-air employees in which a company invests to build a brand, though a number of states have passed laws to limit them.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a big critic of the clauses, led a group of six colleagues to call for the rule in a letter to the FTC Wednesday (March 20).
The letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons backstops a petition for rulemaking filed by a coalition of unions, consumer groups and others seeking a prohibition on the clauses.
The senators see the clauses as undercutting leverage for workers to negotiate for better wages or working conditions.
"Powerful companies have forced workers in almost every industry – from the drilling rig business, to sales and marketing, to sandwich making – to sign these insidious little clauses," they said. "In all, an estimated 30 million American employees and independent contractors are currently subject to a non-compete clause."
Legislation has been introduced, but the senators clearly recognize that a faster route in a divided Congress would be by FTC fiat, though the FTC's rulemaking authority is another bone of contention, so neither route is any fast track.
In addition to Blumenthal, signing on to the letter were Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
Currently, workers are suffering serious anti-competitive harms from the proliferation of non-competes in the economy. It is not enough that the Federal Trade Commission shares our concerns about these actions. It must act decisively to address them.
They want a response within 30 days.
Ten episodes for series inspired by Kaling’s childhood
Netflix has ordered a coming-of-age comedy from Mindy Kaling about what Netflix calls the “complicated life of a modern-day, first-generation Indian-American teenage girl.” The series is inspired by Kaling’s childhood.
Lang Fisher is co-creator and showrunner. Netflix ordered 10 episodes.
Universal Television is producing the series. Executive producers, besides Kaling and Fisher, are Howard Klein and David Miner.
Kaling is a producer, performer and author. Her film Late Night premieres June 7.
She broke out at the 2002 New York International Fringe Festival with her play “Matt and Ben,” a satire about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck that she wrote with Brenda Withers. She wrote for The Office and was in the cast as well.
LAS VEGAS, MARCH 20, 2019 — Miller Tripods Ltd., a leader in the production of innovative camera support solutions, will showcase a full lineup of new products at NAB 2019 (Booth C8721), including the 75 Sprinter II 2 Stage Carbon Fibre Tripod, the debut of its HDC Tripods, a new line catered for cinematographers, as well as two new camera plates.
“We are excited to debut this innovative product lineup to broadcast and cinema industry professionals at this year’s NAB show,” says Charles Montesin, global sales and marketing manager, Miller Camera Support, LLC. “Our new products have been designed to meet the high-quality standard that our customers have come to expect from Miller.”
75 SPRINTER II 2 STAGE CARBON FIBRE TRIPOD
The 1620 75 Sprinter II 2 Stage Carbon Fibre Tripod brings the stability, torsional strength and reliability of Miller’s well-proven 100mm ball leveling 100 Sprinter II tripod into a new 75mm version. The 75 Sprinter employs Miller’s patented design, which enables the leg stages to be adjusted independently or together via two adjacent leg locks. These locks are conveniently located at waist height to eliminate the need for the user to bend down or stretch up, which is crucial when speed and occupational health count.
With four spreaders to choose from, the 75 Sprinter is capable of meeting various project needs. From its standard Sprinter II ground spreader (Cat #470), which has many years of proven reliability, to its new carbon fibre (Cat #994) or alloy construction (Cat #933) mid-level spreader, which are fully adjustable, lightweight and provide maximum height range. Miller is also offering a new variant, a competitively priced alloy construction spreader (Cat #593), which offers less functionality compared to the more expensive options available.
NEW HDC TRIPOD RANGE FOR CINEMATOGRAPHERS
The Heavy Duty Cine (HDC) range of single stage tripods have been designed specifically for cinema shoots and are available in three sizes — tall, standard and short with various mounting platforms, including Mitchell base, 150mm or 100mm, and can be configured with a ground or mid-level spreader. The tripods in this line are designed with alloy construction and have a black coating to minimize reflections off the legs during a shoot, a feature widely requested by users worldwide.
The HDC Tripods all feature rotary leg locks to reduce slippage and integrated stainless steel foot spikes to protect against corrosion. These tripods carry a payload capacity of 95kg (209lbs) and pair well with Miller’s Cineline 70 and ArrowX Fluid Head as well as a brand-new upcoming line of fluid heads that are specifically designed for cinematographers. The HDC Tripods feature integrated transport clips that make it easier to pack away the gear. Available now, there are 18 variations of HDC tripods to choose from.
AIR, DS AND COMPASS X SLIDING RANGE EXTENDED
Miller also developed new camera plates, which enable additional sliding ranges to suit specific rigs, providing more flexibility for its Air, DS and Compass X Fluid Heads. Available in two versions, 120mm sliding range for larger-format broadcast and production cameras, and a 30mm version for DSLRs. The new 1207 camera plate provides an extended sliding range of 120mm, compared to the standard 1204/5 camera plates range of 60mm. The increased flexibility allows greater versatility in the balancing of various camera rigs. In order to cover various shooting needs, Miller has developed a short camera plate, 1209, that features a sliding range of 30mm, specifically designed to fit smaller cameras most suitable for DSLR’s when used in “on tripod video mode” and handheld photography during the same shoot.
About Miller Camera Support Equipment
Founded in 1954, Miller Camera Support Equipment designs, manufactures and delivers professional fluid heads and tripods to the film and television industry, providing support for the world’s leading camera operators. Celebrating more than sixty years in the industry, Miller is a longtime, global leader in the field of contemporary camera support and holds the first patent for fluid head design for film cameras, which it obtained in 1946. Today, Miller’s tripod and camera support systems are in daily use in electronic news gatherings (ENG), electronic field production (EFP), and digital video applications by the world’s leading networks, production houses, corporate, educational and government institutions in more than 65 countries. For more information, call +61 2 9439 6377 or visit www.millertripods.com.
Says as currently constituted, meld is not in public interest
Add Dish to the list of those looking to block Nexstar's effort to buy the Tribune stations Sinclair failed to snag. That came in a petition to the FCC to deny the deal this week, the deadline for such filings.
The deal would make Nexstar the nation's largest station group with 216 stations either owned or to which the company would provide various services.
As are cable operators, Dish is primarily concerned with the size of the new company and its impact on the prices Dish pays to carry their important local TV station signals. NCTA-The Internet & Television Association also said the deal should not be approved absent conditions, but stopped short of petitioning to deny it. But there was not too much daylight between its position and Dish.
"Substantial further consolidation in the broadcast industry threatens to harm localism and consumers, necessitating a careful review of whether this transaction serves the public interest," it told the FCC, a review of the deal as structured fails.
Dish said since a retrans impasse holds the threat of losing both the Nexstar and former Tribune stations, it would more likely "capitulate" to higher retrans demands from the station than if they remained separate companies. It also said the simultaneous loss of all those stations would have greater "reputational" effects on the company, extending the harm of blackouts beyond the markets where they occur.
Dish said that if the FCC does decide to approve the deal, it must first determine that Nexstar's Joint Sales Agreements (JSAs) do not run afoul of FCC prohibition on joint retrans negotiations among non-commonly owned stations in a market.
Nexstar has announced deals with Tegna and Scripps or 19 of 21 stations it is spinning off to comply with duopoly rules and the national audience reach cap, but Dish said the FCC needs to ensure those are "arms length" deals, which was one of the concerns about the Sinclair-Tribune deal that caused the FCC to designate it for hearing, essentially killing it.
Dish also said the FCC should require Nexstar to terminate its JSAs. The FCC under FCC Chairman Ajit Pai reversed the FCC's "strict scrutiny," as it were, of such sidecar deals as counting toward ownership limits, but Dish said whether or not they were an effort to skirt the rules, as the previous FCC presumed, "[s]ince JSA stations can command rates that are close to those exacted by Nexstar and higher than those received by their peers, for all practical purposes these stations behave as if they were one with Nexstar in the retransmission market, and they succeed in that market as if they were one."
That argument is unlikely to hold sway with the FCC's Republican majority.
Without those conditions, said Dish, the deal should be denied.
$71.3B transaction creates content behemoth, while Fox Corp. focuses on news and sports
After a 15-month rollercoaster ride that saw a deal reached, challenged and reached again, the Walt Disney Co. closed its $71.3 billion purchase of certain 21st Century Fox assets, creating an even more powerful content juggernaut in Disney, while a smaller Fox concentrates on live news and sports.
Disney had first agreed to purchase the Fox assets -- including cable channels FX, FXX and National Geographic, the 20th Century Fox movie and TV production studios and Fox’s 30% interest in online video pioneer Hulu - for $52.4 billion in December 2017. But that deal was challenged by Comcast just a few months later in June, with the cable and content giant lobbing in a $65 billion unsolicited offer for the businesses. After a month-long battle of bidding one-upmanship, Comcast dropped out of the battle in July, after Disney increased its price to $71.3 billion.
“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us—one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said in a press release. “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”
With the deal closed, Disney will face the challenge of integrating the Fox assets into its vast content stable as it readies to launch its second direct-to-consumer streaming service later this year -- Disney +.
That could mean layoffs -- some analysts have predicted that more than 3,000 people could lose their jobs at the beefier Disney due to redundancies.
Fox added new members to its board of directors -- including former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
So far investors didn’t react much to the close -- it had been expected for months -- with Disney stock up slightly (it was trading at $110.40, up 40 cents each or 0.8% early March 20) and Fox was down a bit. Fox, which will keep its cable news operations -- Fox News Channel and Fox Business -- its broadcast network, 28 TV stations and its sports channels, fell a bit (it was priced at $39.47 each early on March 20, down 88 cents each or 2.2%.
Fox is expected to be active in beefing up its TV station portfolio -- although it sat out two big station auctions for Cox Media and Nexstar stations. The focus on live sports and news also is expected to drive advertising revenue gains in the future.
For Disney, the Fox asset buy solidifies its new strategy in the ever-changing media landscape. With content from the Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel universes, and sports from its broadcast and ESPN networks, adding Fox content ranging from the X-Men to The Simpsons will only further cement its bonds to young male viewers. Disney is expected to unveil its overall strategy, including more detailed information on Disney +, at a scheduled Investor Day meeting on April 11.
LAS VEGAS, MARCH 20, 2019 — FingerWorks, the number one live telestration software used by professional sports broadcasters, has partnered with neo 360, a revolutionary touchscreen technology video control company, to bring a new feature to the world of sports analysis. Combining the best of both companies’ technologies — FingerWorks’ ReVu solution with neo 360’s touchscreen control units, the resulting interface provides users with a complete telestration, graphics and touchscreen solution for seamless on-air broadcasts. FingerWorks will demonstrate this latest system at the 2019 NAB Show (Booth SL6412).
Using the real-time telestration features of FingerWorks’ ReVu solution, live sport and e-sport analysts can access imported clips and backgrounds from the event. Broadcasters can also control and manipulate these videos directly using FingerWorks’ interface and neo 360’s touchscreen capabilities. By merging live clips and still image ingest into one seamless operation, the FingerWorks ReVu offers an ease of operability.
“Combining our telestration technology with neo 360’s touchscreen control unit provides sports analysts with one unique product that gives them the ability to control direction, speed and playbacks with ease,” says Bryan McKoen, owner, FingerWorks Telestrators. “We are excited to share this groundbreaking interface with other industry professionals at this year’s NAB show.”
The software provides a customizable user interface with more than 100 tools and supports 4K using NDI or 12G SDI streaming. With neo 360’s all-in-one video encoder and player, analysts can now manipulate video speed and direction with simple swipe-and-tap control features. Sports analysts can also use this technology to pause and present frame-by-frame video playback.
“With Fingerworks leading the live telestration industry for over 20 years, we were thrilled about the partnership opportunity to create a revolutionary, all-in-one system,” says David Borish, CEO & co-founder of neo 360. “The combination of these two powerful technologies has created a state-of-the-art solution that modernizes the world of sportscasting.”
A video of the new solution in-action can be found by clicking here.
About neo 360
neo 360 launched in 2016 and developed their patent-pending video player and encoding technology after finding fault with sub-standard video control. neo 360’s technology transfers to two applications utilized in the broadcast and security industries. One application, Capticast, allows security professionals to view and control security video on any PC. The other application, neo 360’s collaboration with FingerWorks ReVu provides sportscasters with the ability to use telestration, graphics and touchscreen video control live on-air.
About FingerWorks Telestrators
Since 1998, FingerWorks Telestrators has defined live Telestration for professional sports broadcasters. FingerWorks enhances an analyst’s ability to reach its audience through real time touchscreen Telestration with a variety of standard and customer supplied graphic elements. It’s easy to learn, easy to use, and the FingerWorks support team provides unmatched service and technical support. For more information on FingerWorks Telestrators, visit https://telestrator.com/.
Oprah Winfrey to exec produce series slated for premiere next year
OWN has ordered Cherish the Day, an anthology series from Ava DuVernay. DuVernay also produces Queen Sugar for OWN. The network went straight to series with the project. Creator DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey will executive produce, along with Tanya Hamilton and Paul Garnes.
Each season will chronicle the romance of one couple, with each episode spanning a single day. The season-long narrative will reveal significant moments in a relationship that “compel us to hold true to the ones we love, from the extraordinary to the everyday,” said OWN.
Cherish the Day is scheduled to premiere in winter 2020. Tanya Hamilton of Queen Sugar is showrunner and will direct the pilot.
“OWN is home. I’m honored to create television for a network headed by an artist with spectacular vision and unbridled passion for the stories that we want to tell,” said DuVernay.
Cherish the Day is produced for OWN by Forward Movement and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television.
“Ava is a visionary storyteller. She brings so much care, so much heart, so much love to the art she creates,” said Winfrey. “I’m excited to continue collaborating together with our very first anthology series for OWN.”
OWN is a joint venture between Winfrey’s Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc.
‘The Village’ opens so-so on NBC
NBC won the grand prize in Tuesday ratings, as This Is Us led the net to a 1.3 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 6 share. That beat the 0.7/3s that ABC and Fox got.
Ellen’s Game of Games got a level 1.2 on NBC and This Is Us, with Kevin figuring out his future with Zoe and Toby learning to love his stricken newborn, was also flat at 1.8. The Village, about a Brooklyn apartment building and its lively residents, premiered at 0.9.
On ABC, it was American Housewife down 20% at 0.8 and The Kids Are Alright off 25% at 0.6, then Black-ish down 25% at 0.6 and Splitting Up Together at a flat 0.6. The comedy block last had new episodes in late February. The Rookie fell 25% to 0.6.
Fox had MasterChef Junior up 14% from premiere at 0.8 and Mental Samurai starting out at 0.7. Rob Lowe hosts that competition series.
The CW did a 0.4/2. It was The Flash at a flat 0.5 and Roswell, New Mexico up north 50% at 0.3.
Telemundo and Univision both did a 0.4/2.
Deal contingent on Tribune close
Nexstar has struck deals to sell all but two of the stations it is spinning off as part of its deal to acquire Tribune. Scripps is buying eight stations in seven markets for $580 million.
That is in addition to the deal struck with Tegna, which will pay $740 million for 11 stations, totaling $1.32 billion in total, something north of initial expectations.
The deals are contingent on FCC approval of that Tribune deal.
Nexstar has two other stations in Indianapolis it says it also plans to divest.
Scripps will get WPIX New York (CW), KASW Phoenix (CW), WSFL Miami (CW), KSTU Salt Lake City (Fox), WTKR/WGNT Norfolk (CBS/CW), WXMI Grand Rapids, and WTVR Richmond.
“As with our prior acquisitions, we announced the Tribune transaction after developing a comprehensive regulatory compliance plan for required station divestitures and a detailed integration plan that will result in significant synergy realization," said Nexstar CEO Perry Sook. "The proposed divestitures announced today mark an important step in fulfilling Nexstar’s commitment to regulatory bodies to divest certain television stations in order to comply with the FCC local and national television ownership rules and to obtain FCC and Department of Justice approval of the proposed Nexstar/Tribune Media transaction."
12-channel control surface to be unveiled
Arrakis is reprising its DARC console announcement from last year, this time with the DARC Surface 12, a 12-fader control surface.
Tha DARC Surface 12 is designed to work with Arrakis’ DARC Virtual Console controller software and an AoIP network. It is Dante- and AES67-compatible.
Included is an LED meter bridge. Small OLEDs are used for channel displays and LED switches for switches. Faders are conductive plastic.
There are two output busses. Arrakis’ Simple IP AoIP I/O hardware package is available for the DARC Surface 12 though it will work with most any AoIP hardware.
NAB Show Booth: N6211
Bass Impact Engine is a free upgrade for select processors
Processor developer and maker Orban has announced a bass enhancement tool for select Orban processors.
The Bass Impact Engine is designed to improve bass performance for Orban Optimod 8600i, 8600 FM/HD and 8700i processors. For units already in the field it will be available as a free firmware update.
The man himself, Bob Orban, explains, “Orban processors have, for many years, used a bass clipper embedded in the multiband crossover, which rolls off higher-frequency clipping products at 6 dB/octave and introduces a certain amount of non-optimal phase shift. … This was done to prevent intermodulation between bass and other program material. The new Bass Impact Engine replaces this older technology with a limiter that generates carefully time-aligned, bandwidth-controlled harmonics that minimize the peak level of the bass so that very low frequencies can actually exceed 100% modulation. It does so without adding objectionable distortion in the upper mid-bass and lower midrange frequencies.”
Orban President David Day adds, “Our goal is not to blow doors off cars or knock out windows with the low end. Rather, we want to make sure a station’s bass consistently sounds great, regardless of the material being played, and brings the proper ‘punch’ to music without objectionable artifacts.”
NAB Show Booth: N4120
Tennessee broadcaster’s new 10,000-square-foot headquarters is now open
Cookeville, Tenn.’s Stonecom Radio has opened its new 10,000+ square-foot facility, celebrating with a ceremony attended by broadcasters, politicians and Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Executive Director Whit Adamson, as well as listeners.
There are four on-air studios for the cluster’s country, lite rock, rock and news talk formats, and six production rooms. Systems include WideOrbit automation and Wheatstone consoles. The technology leader for the project was Chief Engineer Jeff Schroeder.
The new HQ features a meeting room that can be used by community organizations and nonprofits. The space is named in honor of Tennessee community broadcast advocates Bob Gallaher and Drew Huffines.
“Stonecom is led by a true team of broadcasters who are proud to serve the entire region they touch with their signal of each of the respective stations in the cluster,” said Adamson.
Stonecom Radio is led by President/General Manager Larry Stone. It consists of WCUT(AM/FM), WKXD(FM), WBXE(FM) and WLQK(FM).
U.S. broadcast officials describe a dramatically evolving competitive landscape during EBU event
Sure, digital radio continues to advance in the U.S. and worldwide; and the number of digital radios being purchased by consumers, especially in cars, is accelerating.
But David Layer, NAB’s vice president for advanced engineering, cuts to the chase: No broadcaster can afford to be complacent.
“There will come a time, and it will be sooner than we expect, when competition for listeners will be from more than just an audio streaming service or a podcast,” Layer said at the European Broadcasting Union’s Digital Radio Summit in Geneva in February.
Layer said U.S. radio broadcasters are starting to think about a transition from the current hybrid analog/digital technology to an all-digital implementation.
All-digital would bring a number of advantages to the FM bands too; but at this point, such consideration is more a long-term consideration on FM.
On the other hand, attendees were told, AM band services in the United States are facing immediate challenges both in competing with other services and in earning revenue. Layer described the use of FM translators by AM licensees. That relatively recent change is part of the FCC’s AM revitalization initiatives but also provides a potential transition opportunity, allowing an AM licensee to try all-digital broadcasting while continuing to serve its community on the FM band using analog radio.
Layer reported to the group that in July 2018, WWFD 820 kHz received experimental authority to become a full-time all-digital AM station, as RW has reported.
WWFD “The Gamut” is using an FM translator to reach listeners with analog-only radios. But any of the 60 million HD Radio receivers already sold in the U.S. could receive WWFD’s all-digital AM emissions. Layer showed an impressive video where the WWFD all-digital AM feed is playing through the factory-fit receiver of an Audi Q5.
SO GOOD IN A CAR
Thus, he said, WWFD looks and sounds like the most appealing music streaming service, blending vibrant, crystal-clear sound with crisp cover art and images on the dashboard. (WWFD broadcasts the metadata while the album art image is added in-vehicle by the Audi receiver through a Gracenote database.)
“Thanks to Audi for all the work that they’ve done in making radio so good in a car,” Layer said. “NAB is proactively engaging with automakers and others to imagine further possibilities that take advantage of both over-the-air radio technology and mobile broadband.”
One of those is radio customization based on user profiles; Layer imagines a time when consumers get into a vehicle and have their preferences, perhaps stored on their smartphone, available effortlessly on the dash and ready to use, no matter where they are.
In his opinion, radio broadcasters need to work to enable this kind of future vision. “And not just be on the sidelines while the world changes around them.”
“Let’s consider the Audi Holoride, a backseat virtual reality experience that ties the entertainment being consumed by passengers to the motion of the vehicle, resulting in a thrilling amusement-park-like experience. This kind of development is a wakeup call for radio broadcasters.”
Brian Savoie, senior director for technology education and outreach at the NAB, described a voice-controlled radio prototype developed through a joint project of NAB and the EBU. Savoie highlighted the role that voice-controlled devices can play in broadcasters’ development strategies.
He said the adoption rate for smart speakers in the United States is likely to be faster than that of any consumer device in history, including smartphones.
In Savoie’s opinion, the installed base already has provided opportunities for broadcasters to meet their audiences in new spaces and new ways, bringing a noticeable increase of in-home listening to radio streams.
“In the U.S., about 18% of smart speaker owners use their device to engage with local businesses,” said Savoie. “Broadcasters on an advertising-supported model should highly value this information.”
According to a Gartner forecast, by 2020, 70% of U.S. households will own a smartspeaker, though analysts expect the adoption curve eventually to flatten out.
Savoie said devices like smart smoke detectors are embedding high-end speakers and audio technology, allowing different classes of voice-enabled devices to proliferate in the home.
“This way, you won’t necessarily need a smartspeaker,” he concluded. “So when focusing on the opportunities that these types of technologies allow, simply looking at the smartspeaker may be too narrow-focused.”
A.I. IS IN THE CAR
Savoie also said Amazon is looking to extend Alexa into cars as part of their infotainment systems. Using various forms of A.I. — for example, face recognition — they could authenticate a user as soon as he or she enters the car, with no other action required.
The system could then download that profile information and personalize the experience, applying favorite, customized presets for environmental controls and, hopefully, radio presets, playlists and podcasts.
Since connected cars have different levels of internet access, Amazon is working on basic offline Alexa services that users should be able to access even when no wireless service is available.
“What impact could this have for radio?” Savoie said. “We all would like users to still be able to tune to a radio station even when they are out of internet connection. How to do that is something we are talking about. Broadcasters need to examine the services Amazon is developing, ensuring that radio’s place in this environment is properly understood.”
New live mics feature dual elements for redundancy
The post NAB Sneak Peek: Point Source Audio Doubles the Elements appeared first on Radio World.
Tested on live stage, the CO2 Confidence Collection microphones from Point Source Audio are dual-element wireless microphone with a number of features for broadcast use.
Besides redundant dual elements, they are IP 57 waterproof-rated with a nearly “unbreakable” that can be rotated almost 360 degrees — all featured in a slimline design. The omnidirectional waterproof elements are 3 mm and matched feature precisely matched elements to a near identical ±0.5 dB difference, according to the company. They can be nested to appear as a single element.
They are available in headset, lavalier and ear-mount and in black, beige and brown. Connections to wireless hardware are made with the company’s locking X-Connectors.
NAB Show Booth: C2357
The post NAB Sneak Peek: Point Source Audio Doubles the Elements appeared first on Radio World.
Read about the future of in-car radio, smart speakers, sports reporting gear, and more
The post Inside the March Issue of Radio World International appeared first on Radio World.
Together with Amazon, Commercial Radio Australia is seeking to improve smart speaker performance and ensure simple radio listening via voice-enabled devices. Read about how they are approaching this challenge in the March issue of Radio World International.
Radiodays Europe’s Rosie Smith looks back on 10 years of radio
Fraunhofer IIS explores possibilities raised by intelligent audio-processing technologies.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
- Radio Sputnik Delivers Polished Sound
- China Makes Its DRM Move
- Buyer’s Guide: Sports Reporting & Remote Gear
The post Inside the March Issue of Radio World International appeared first on Radio World.
Small mixer with SSL pedigree could find home with radio users
Solid State Logic has launched SiX, the latest in a new line of studio products that began with Fusion, which debuted last fall at AES.
Described as “a condensed professional console for use in the studio, post-production, on stage and for podcasting,” SiX packs some big desk features into a package small enough to fit into a backpack. It could find a home with radio production studios looking for high-quality audio production.
SiX offers two recording channels with SSL’s SuperAnalogue mic preamps, a one-knob version of the classic SSL Channel Compressor, a new two-band Channel EQ, inserts and 100 mm faders.
There is a two-knob version of the SSL’s G-Series Bus Compressor on the main mix bus and the company’s Listen Mic Compressor on the talkback. In mixdown mode, the unit can also serve as a 12-channel summing system.
Niall Feldman, SSL director of new products, noted, “The big challenge then was how to deliver those values and features in a compact product. Working with a great team and focusing on audio quality, workflow and flexibility, the resultant SiX mixer is one our proudest achievements.”
“SiX is everything an SSL console should be, but at a price point that makes the SSL audio pedigree more accessible,” opined James Gordon, CEO of Audiotonix, the company that owns SSL. “When Fusion launched last year, we hinted it was the start of a new line of studio offerings and SiX is step two of that commitment.”
NAB Show Booth: C3026
And brings it into the future of radio with AM HD Radio
AUSTIN, Texas — Sun Radio is a community-funded organization operating 11 noncommercial solar-powered radio stations (soon to be 13) in the Austin and San Antonio areas. We are also online with more than 132,000 weekly listeners all over the world, of which over 35,000 use the Sun Radio smartphone app and/or smart speakers.
Our primary mission is to save community radio, and our secondary focus is on being environmentally friendly in the process. There have been a lot of noncommercial stations in the San Antonio and Austin areas over the years, and with the exception of the two 50,000 watt FMs we are implementing this year, every one of the radio stations in our group was either off the air or slated for destruction at the time of our acquisition. All have been saved for the communities we serve.
Our mission also involves supporting the Austin music culture and supporting Texas artists. In addition, our operation is friendly to the environment by relying on solar power, hence the name Sun Radio. The San Antonio and Austin areas are among the fastest growing in the country, and we wanted to give these communities a real local voice without the burden of long commercial stop sets.
We’re really excited about our first AM station, KTSN 1490 in Austin. It was originally called KNOW and was put on the air in the 1920s. This was Austin’s first radio station and one of the first stations in Texas. When Sun Radio acquired KTSN, it was on the air but using an old 1 kW transmitter, limping along at about 60–70 percent power. Our first goal was to replace the transmitter with something modern, so we talked with Nautel at the NAB Show in Las Vegas to see what was available. Both Nautel and Xperi suggested we try an HD Radio-enabled transmitter.
When our new Nautel J1000 arrived, we couldn’t believe its size — it’s about the size of a microwave, a huge contrast to our old transmitter, which occupied pretty much the entire transmitter building.
Our engineers established a plan to get the Nautel ready to go on-air, and then quickly remove enough of the old transmitter to get the J1000 in place and on the air. This was accomplished with only four to five hours of down time, and we were back to our full licensed power!
IMPLEMENTING HD RADIO
Our next step was to implement the HD part of our signal. For this, we deferred to Nautel and their expertise. This part went very smoothly and with Nautel’s assistance, we got the J1000 fully set up and working correctly with our Inovonics processor.
When the HD Radio signal was first turned on, it took a few seconds to lock in — and our reaction was “Holy cow!” Our AM station sounds great in analog mode, and in HD it sounds like beautiful stereo. It’s great for our music format featuring local artists!
I was thrilled, and when Cole McClellan, our AM engineer, gets excited, you know it’s good. After our set-up and tuning process, McClellan said “I’ve never heard AM sound like that.”
Now that we have KTSN on the air with an amazing sound, we’re moving on to our next challenge.
We don’t own the land it’s on — we are just leasing it for now. We are working on getting historical protection for the station since it’s been there for about 90 years, but for now, the plan is to locate a new piece of land that meets our license requirements. We have seven years to get this done, and it’s going to be a challenge because our licensed coverage area is so small.
Once we have found a new spot for our transmitter, we’ll convert it to solar operation like our other properties. Our ultimate goal for KTSN(AM/HD) is to continue our focus on community based radio and for KTSN to be our flagship network station, feeding both our owned and operated translators via analog and HD Radio and to affiliated noncommercial stations soon to be fed off satellite. It will be a 100-percent solar-powered noncommercial network anchored by an AM built in the 1920s and an AM HD built in 2018.
Pretty cool, huh? That’s the plan.
For more information, contact Nautel in Nova Scotia at 1-877-662-8835 or visit www.nautel.com.
Companies have agreement to integrate premium live content
The post Westwood One, Google Partner in Voice Tech Deal for March Madness appeared first on Radio World.
In another sign of the growing role for radio content over smart devices, Westwood One said it is working with Google to make college basketball playoff content available as “natively integrated” into a voice ecosystem.
The network and Google announced a collaboration that integrates the Westwood One’s live NCAA March Madness programming on smart devices with Google Assistant. Westwood One, owned by Cumulus Media, is the network radio partner of the NCAA, while Google is its public cloud provider.
“Google Assistant users can listen to all of the upsets and buzzer-beaters with a simple voice command,” the companies stated in an announcement. “Google Assistant will take users directly to the live audio stream when they say, ‘Hey Google, play NCAA March Madness on Westwood One.’”
In announcing the agreement to integrate premium live content, the companies cited Triton Digital data that 19% of total listening hours to AM/FM radio streams occurred on smart speakers in January.
The announcement quoted Suzanne Grimes, EVP, marketing for Cumulus Media and president of Westwood One, saying, “Westwood One has the largest network of custom voice apps in the country, but this is the first time our content will be natively integrated in a voice eco-system.”
The post Westwood One, Google Partner in Voice Tech Deal for March Madness appeared first on Radio World.
Initiatives to help stations meet auto manufacturers’ minimum requirements
The author is project director for RadioDNS.
LONDON — RadioDNS Hybrid Radio exists because we think that the best experience of radio in the car dashboard is enabled by combining broadcast and IP together into one hybrid technology. We have a number of initiatives to enable widespread implementation of hybrid radio using our open standards.
The radio industry is characterized by its diversity, from stations that struggle to stay on-air to well-resourced stations with lots of content distributed over a diversity of platforms. There’s no consistent quality of metadata, and this frustrates car manufacturers who get consistency from services like Spotify, Pandora or iHeartRadio.
This diversity is our most complex challenge — both for RadioDNS as an organization and radio as an industry. Broadcasters are, rightly, anxious about a concentration of power to gatekeepers who can control metadata, potentially disintermediation and disconnecting them from their audiences.
But car manufacturers want to make sure that every station reaches certain minimum standards; a logo, a comprehensible station name, “now playing” information, album artwork. They are approached daily by companies offering to “repackage” radio to give it that consistency by “backfilling” the capabilities gap. To a car manufacturer, “gatekeeping radio” is initially a good thing.
RadioDNS’ technology standards prevent us from becoming an intermediary and no content flows through us. We sell nothing. We are a not-for-profit organization, governed by statutes and financed and run by our members. For broadcasters wanting to secure their place in the dashboard, supporting RadioDNS is the very lowest risk option.
But this fundamental “hands-off” approach to our technology design also means we can’t fix up inferior radio station metadata. We have absolutely no way, either technically or within our structure, to do that. If you broke it, we can’t fix it for you. When we meet automotive companies, they love that our standards will function for decades (much as RDS has), but don’t like that we can’t guarantee how many stations will provide quality content.
We have three initiatives to try and bridge this expectation gap without compromising our “no gatekeeper” approach to hybrid radio.
Our service provider certification program acknowledges that every automotive manufacturer will work with a third-party technology supplier to enable hybrid radio. We encourage manufacturers to use RadioDNS Certified solutions, which guarantees that “backfilling” is only used if a radio station isn’t providing content using RadioDNS. Xperi’s Connected Radio platform was the first to become certified.
“Project Logo” is our initiative to get every radio station to meet the automotive industry’s basic expectations, and you’d gather correctly from the name, the first expectation is a correct logo for every station.
Alongside the technical standards for getting a logo (and other content) from a broadcaster to a car, we identified that broadcasters and manufacturers want a common understanding of how content will be presented to drivers. Putting that in place protects the people with good intentions, and makes it easier to penalize those people with bad intent.
This approach is scalable, and avoids a concentration of power in one place. Each deal is effectively bilateral between the broadcaster and the manufacturer, but because it’s the same deal — the exact same words — there’s little legal effort involved with agreeing to it. The broadcaster can choose to control to whom they’re providing data, and measure their usage.
For us to meet our ambition for the terms to be universally used, we needed input from broadcasters and manufacturers, and we had a consultation running until April 12.
For us to meet our ambition for the Terms to be universally used, we need input from broadcasters and manufacturers now, and we have a consultation running until April 12. Look at the Terms, and see if you could use them. If you couldn’t, let us know why not. All the documents are available here.
In the United States, we are working with the National Association of Broadcasters, one of our founding members, to help every U.S. radio station provide RadioDNS Project Logo, either directly or by working with a partner listed here.
The NAB has brought their member broadcasters and manufacturers like Audi together for discussions and to test implementations of RadioDNS in the North American market. Both RadioDNS and Audi will be at this year’s NAB Show demonstrating RadioDNS in the dashboard of real vehicles. In Europe, we have a similar working relationship with the European Broadcasting Union, who are helping their members launch RadioDNS hybrid radio with their RadioManager platform, which can also provide metadata for voice assistants in smart speakers and in the dashboard.
The EBU also hosted a very engaging RadioDNS/WorldDAB workshop bringing together broadcasters and manufacturer to discuss their five most pressing issues in respect of radio in the car. In Australia we work with Commercial Radio Australia, and their RadioAPP platform now natively supports RadioDNS.
These partnership initiatives, as well as working directly with broadcasters, mean that RadioDNS is available for more than 80 percent of radio listening in many European countries, and is rising in North America and Australia.
SideCAR is software-based and equipment-agnostic
The post NAB Sneak Peek: Summit Technology Announces New Logger appeared first on Radio World.
A new player for many at the NAB Show will be Summit Technology Group. It’s bringing a software-based logger to the show, called SideCAR.
The company says that it, “designed SideCAR with a station’s engineering and management teams in mind to provide a means of regulatory compliance logging.” Besides compliance duties, Summit President Paul Stewart says, “Reporters and producers were using the product to create best-of-show airchecks, podcasts, or simply upload a select piece of audio to their website.”
SideCAR uses ENCO’s enCaption speech-to-text engine and its performance should be near real-time, according to the company.
The company adds that it should integrate with AoIP equipment of many, if not most, manufacturers. It is also compatible with automation systems. SideCAR is scalable from a single station to networks.
NAB Show Booth: N2524 (ENCO)
The post NAB Sneak Peek: Summit Technology Announces New Logger appeared first on Radio World.
FM broadcast stations can be reimbursed from $50 million pool
The post FCC Releases Cost Catalog for FMs Impacted by Repack appeared first on Radio World.
How much can I receive? And what’s covered?
Those are the questions that radio broadcasters impacted by the TV band repack can now get answers to when it comes to being reimbursed by the federal government.
At its March Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission released a new Report and Order that concluded that FM broadcast stations, television translators and LPTVs are eligible for reimbursement if their facilities have been affected by a repacked television station (assuming the stations have been in operation for the prescribed amount of time).
The FCC formally released a catalog on March 18 that details potentially reimbursable costs for these three groups.
Last March, Congress appropriated $1 billion in funding as part of the 2018 Reimbursement Expansion Act (REA). Of the $600 million available in FY 2018 and $400 million in FY 2019, the REA clarifies that not more than $50 million be used to reimburse FM broadcast stations. For TV, the REA noted that not more than $150 million be used to reimburse LPTV and TV translator stations.
To help broadcasters keep track of what is potentially reimbursable, the Incentive Auction Task Force at the FCC released a catalog for these three groups. Specifically, the FCC adopted rules to reimburse both hard and soft expenses for FM stations who must replace or modify equipment as well as stations that must construct or upgrade auxiliary facilities in order to minimize disruption of service. Hard expenses include new equipment and tower rigging; soft expenses include legal and engineering services.
The goal of the cost catalog is to give stations a list of cost ranges for use as estimates when stations do not have vendor quotes, and to help them establish acceptable price ranges. These provide guidance only, the FCC clarified — they do not serve as price caps and stations can submit additional cost justification documentation if needed, the report said.
Limiting the options for radio stations was a concern expressed by National Public Radio early on in the discussion. NPR expressed general concern that an earlier version of the catalog limits the range of equipment and services that is potentially reimbursable.
“We reiterate that the cost catalog is a nonexhaustive list of equipment and services,” the report said. “It is intended to serve as a reference guide that will add structure to the process of claiming reimbursement by identifying the types of equipment and services that are most commonly required to construct new broadcast facilities, as well as their price ranges.”
For those pieces of equipment or services not specifically listed in the catalog, the reimbursement form provides flexibility for users to claim reimbursement for such reasonably incurred expenses.
This final version of the cost catalog also includes other changes, such as the modification requested by NPR that the initial price range proposed in the draft cost catalog for “lease negotiations or other legal matters” for FM stations should be equivalent with the range for LPTV and translator stations. That change is included in the final version of the catalog.
The FCC also amended the catalog to add a line for FM stations looking to purchase a combined HD importer/exporter, a relatively new product that combines an HD radio importer and exporter into one unit.
The commission also added a broader range of program management and consulting costs as part of the existing professional services category since “local public radio stations are likely to need ‘legal, engineering and consulting services to assist with overall planning, determining the specific steps needed to minimize disruption, and procuring equipment, labor and services,’” the report said.
The FCC also updated the catalog amounts for filing fees associated with certain Media Bureau applications that LPTV, translator and FM stations may need to file to implement the facilities changes required to remain on the air during the TV spectrum repack.
The post FCC Releases Cost Catalog for FMs Impacted by Repack appeared first on Radio World.
New car now features Google, Android, as well as access to FM and DAB
The post Polestar Says New Model Will Have FM Analog After All (But Still No AM) appeared first on Radio World.
We reported on Monday that the head unit of the Polestar 2 had no analog radio in the dash. Since then, Polestar has told us the YouTube clip we referenced “contains a mistake” from one of their representatives and that the vehicle’s infotainment system will indeed offer access to FM, just not AM radio.
The Swedish firm said they are trying to have “the clip and any related news corrected.” It unveiled the Polestar 2 at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show this month.
The pre-production model of the compact, electric automobile on show during the event revealed an infotainment system based on Android with Google Assistant, Google Play Store and Google Maps. The system offers access to FM, DAB and DAB+ radio as well as streaming audio content. For the United States market it will support SiriusXM satellite radio.
One of the first to reveal a complete Google system in the dashboard, the move ensures Polestar is aligned with the new European Electronic Communications Code (EECC), which requires all new car radios sold in EU member states to be capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio (in addition to any FM or AM functionality manufacturers may want to include) by 2020.
The post Polestar Says New Model Will Have FM Analog After All (But Still No AM) appeared first on Radio World.
New AoIP transport platform streamlines multichannel contribution and distribution
The post NAB Sneak Peek: GatesAir Rises With Intraplex Ascent appeared first on Radio World.
GatesAir says that its Intraplex Ascent will make its U.S. debut in Las Vegas next month. The “scalable, multichannel audio-over-IP transport solution” was introduced last September at IBC in Amsterdam.
Ascent offers a cloud-based, redundant transport platform for multichannel contribution and distribution, while eliminating the need for many separate codecs and auxiliary hardware components.
“GatesAir is taking the next logical step for our customers with direct integration into the IT infrastructure,” GatesAir Vice President and Intraplex Product Line General Manager Keyur Parikh said in a press release.
According to an announcement, Ascent is the first Intraplex system to live on a commercial-off-the-shelf x86 server, and it’s available as either a a 1RU server or a virtualized software solution. Both versions support up to 32 audio channels and are interoperable with most Intraplex AoIP codecs. This solution is also AES67 compliant and compatible with Ravenna, LiveWire+ and Dante AoIP networking solutions, GatesAir says.
Ascent enables users to manage multiple Secure Reliable Transport streams on one platform; SRT is a low-latency, open source streaming protocol that provides packet encryption and retransmission capabilities, GatesAir explains. Also, the platform features Dynamic Stream Splicing, which is a proprietary technology used to diversify SRT data across redundant networks, eliminating some packet losses and network failures.
NAB Show Booth N3303
The post NAB Sneak Peek: GatesAir Rises With Intraplex Ascent appeared first on Radio World.
Will touch on how to attract new viewers and updates in content development
The post Sports & Entertainment Influencer Series Kicks Off at 2019 NAB Show appeared first on Radio World.
The 2019 NAB Show has added another event to its program lineup, announcing the launch of the new “Influencer Series: Sports and Entertainment.” This two-day program will feature in-depth discussion on subjects that impact broadcasters, like how to attract new viewers and the development of content, and other parts of the sports and entertainment industries.
One of the speakers will be National Public Radio President and CEO Jarl Mohn. He will discuss how NPR has expanded beyond traditional broadcast and created digital content on multiple platforms. The “Fireside Chat With Jarl Mohn” will be moderated by Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein.
Vincent Sadusky, Univision Communications CEO, will also be on hand, describing how the network is growing to new platforms and attracting new audiences, as well as how it maintains its core advertisers and Spanish-speaking viewers, in the “Vincent Sadusky and Growing an Iconic Broadcast Brand” session.
In “Big Games Part II — Byron Allen: Playing to Win in the Digital Revolution,” Entertainment Studios founder, Chairman and CEO Byron talk about how his company handles the distribution of content on numerous platforms, including broadcast, cable, OTT and mobile.
Other participants include Ticketmaster’s Chief Commercial Office and Head of Sports Greg Economou; Jennifer Storms, NBC Sports Group chief marketing officer; Rich Orosco, Los Angeles Football Club executive vice president of brand and community; NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President Monica Gil; Director of Digital Engagement at the Football Association (England) Russell James; Facebook Product Management Lead, Co-watching Products Erin Connolly; and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises Executive Vice President of Sports Content Eli Velazquez.
The Influencer Series: Sports and Entertainment will run from April 8–9 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The post Sports & Entertainment Influencer Series Kicks Off at 2019 NAB Show appeared first on Radio World.
“I see radio broadcasters being very creative in dealing with so many new technologies and opportunities”
The post NAB Exhibitor Viewpoint: Christophe Poulain, WorldCast Systems appeared first on Radio World.
The spring NAB Show is approaching. Between now and then Radio World will conduct several short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the big annual trade show. Christophe Poulain is co-president of WorldCast Systems.
Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s NAB Show?
Christophe Poulain: 2018 was a successful year and our best ever year for our Ecreso FM transmitter line with many projects and tenders won worldwide. Our main achievement was with network operator, UpLink Network in Germany and the supply of around 800 FM transmitters including high power. Germany has the reputation of being a very demanding market when it comes to performance, quality, and reliability. We are obviously very proud. We are also very happy with the growth we have seen with our new company Connect, dedicated to network monitoring and management (NMS/OSS) software.
Radio World: What are you hearing from your customers about their business outlook this year? In what areas should we expect growth or the most interesting projects?
Poulain: In general, business looks good and I see opportunities all over the world. Our sales team will stay busy traveling the world addressing as many projects as we can.
Radio World: Stepping away from your particular segment, what is your feeling for the overall health of the radio industry?
Poulain: The radio industry appears to be in good shape in my opinion. The podcast audience is increasing and the kitchen radio is back home with smart speakers. I see major radio broadcasters being very creative and innovative in dealing with those new technologies and opportunities.
Radio World: You’ve been active in the monitoring, transmission and codec markets for more than 30 years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing users in this segment right now?
Poulain: I think it must be very difficult for broadcast engineers, users of our products, to deal with all the different available technologies, from AoIP, RF, IT gear, audio processing, SNMP… that’s a lot to learn and deal with. Making our products easier to configure and operate is one of our priorities in addition to offering professional training.
Radio World: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth?
Poulain: At our booth (N4124) we’ll be showing our SmartFM patented technology for Ecreso FM transmitters enabling users to save up to 40% on power consumption. It is an amazing and very innovative solution. We do not disclose a lot of technical details on our website and the show is really the opportunity to learn more about how it works. Even for engineers not using Ecreso transmitters, it is worth stopping by and learning more about SmartFM, a true revolution in FM. On the Ecreso side we will also be showing our new 3 kW compact FM transmitter.
Our new Audemat RDS Encoder is now shipping and has some unique features such as digital composite over AES to maintain the highest quality signal and compatibility with the pending RDS2 standard. Our U.S. customers will be able to easily replace their old FMB80 without pain as we kept most of the same commands for connectivity with automation software.
Also, our APT Mobile Surestreamer, which is a network mobile access point dedicated to remotes and compatible with all types of brands and types of codecs, including portable codecs from Tieline or Comrex. It is the perfect solution to keep low latency and zero packet loss.
And there’s the latest release of our KYBIO Media software (aka WorldCast Manager) which includes many significant software enhancements such as the temporal auto-correlation module, an improved root-cause analysis, a new default advanced control module for remote actions over connected equipment (using industry-standard protocols such as SNMP and others), and a complete remodel of the Audit Trail. This software platform stands out with its powerful modules yet very simple to deploy and use.
Radio World: Will you be attending any sessions or looking forward to any events?
Poulain: Some of my colleagues from R&D will probably attend some sessions. Others will participate in a couple events organized by our U.S. dealers. No doubt, it will be busy.
Radio World: You’re a show veteran, how has the show changed since your first visit?
Poulain: Indeed, my first NAB was in 2000. Apart from the fact that large groups no longer send big engineering teams, it has not changed much in my opinion and I am still very enthusiastic traveling to Vegas for this industry family event.
The post NAB Exhibitor Viewpoint: Christophe Poulain, WorldCast Systems appeared first on Radio World.
Alpha Media station is named to the Heritage class of the NAB Crystal Awards
The NAB’s Crystal Award recognizes community service, and many stations have received it through their hard work. But only seven have been honored with the Crystal Heritage Award, given to those that received the regular Crystal five times previously.
On April 9, KFOR(AM), owned by Alpha Media, will become the eighth. The recognition ceremony will take place in Las Vegas at the 2019 NAB Show “We Are Broadcasters” Celebration.
Radio World spoke with KFOR News Director Dale Johnson to learn about the station. When we reached him, his community of Lincoln, Neb., was in the midst of a polar vortex and temperatures were hovering around minus 20 degrees. Naturally, we asked how the station was dealing with the severe weather.
“We work closely with the Nebraska Community Blood Bank all year,” Johnson said. “But we have been stepping up our efforts to encourage people to donate blood. There’s been a shortage because many folks who have appointments to donate can’t get out due to the icy weather.
“Scott Young, a former KFOR employee, has been the director at the food bank for 15 years, so we have a good working relationship. And on a regular basis, we also invite someone from the Humane Society to join us on the air, and we get a lot of information out there about how to care for pets when the temperatures get this low.”
OUTREACH GOES BOTH WAYS
In today’s world of shrinking staffs, radio managers often are asked to do “more with less.” Johnson feels this is not possible.
“Actually, what you end up doing is less with less,” he said. “Sometimes you need to ask for help to bridge that gap. When I was young, my dad always taught me that asking for help was a sign of weakness; I’ve learned it’s not.”
Johnson himself needed help about three years ago, when a motorcycle accident cost him his left leg.
“I asked for help and I got it,” he said. “Many people gave me support and encouragement during my recuperation, in fact one of the cards I received from a listener said, ‘You’re the best friend I’ve never met.’ And when we need help for a project here at KFOR, we just ask people, and they show up. Often, they bring their friends, and soon we have enough to get the job done.
“Many people in Lincoln come from smaller towns, and they have great hearts,” he continued. “They bake pies for people. They send you a card on your birthday. So we have become a station that isn’t afraid to ask for help. We do it in a soft, Midwestern way, and people respond to that. We are seldom disappointed in our listeners, and we hope that they are seldom disappointed in us.”
Annually, since 1947, KFOR has run Operation Santa Claus, during which charitable agencies in the city are asked to find out which specific toys their kids want.
“We don’t just go buy some toys and hope they like them,” said Johnson. “Our staff goes to Target or another store to buy toys the children choose, and then we bring the gifts back, and the Nebraska National Guard helps us wrap them. The Guard delivers these to the agencies, and the agencies give them to the kids. If little Joey wants a particular dump truck, that’s what he get
POINTERS FROM A PRO
Radio World asked Johnson if he could offer any tips to managers who want to make a more meaningful contribution to their communities.
“The KFOR website is vital to our operation, and we are always posting announcements and photos there. Our owner is Alpha Media, and they remind us how important it is from a legal standpoint to make sure we have permission for every image we use online,” he said.
“But there’s no training for what we do on a daily basis,” Johnson said. “We lead by example, a quiet kind of leadership. We have three employees here, including myself, who have been at KFOR more than 30 years, and we just work to instill our ideals in the minds of the rest of our staff.
“Potential employees who share our views gravitate to us. The ones that don’t have a service heart usually move on because the station is not a good match for them.”
It’s possible to touch a community even with a partial live schedule. Parts of the station day are syndicated talk (Dave Ramsey, Ben Shapiro, Chad Benson), but topics from these programs, as well as a daily community interview feature hosted by Johnson called “Lincoln Live,” provide further ideas for the station’s public service efforts.
Cluster manager Julie Gade is involved in all aspects of these activities. She was quoted in the NAB’s award announcement noting that KFOR(AM/FM) have served the region for more than 94 years. “Our commitment to the community has never wavered. We are so proud of our team’s accomplishments both on and off the air.”
Says Dale Johnson, “Doing what we do is a privilege every day. We give back because people give back to us, and they trust us,” Johnson said. “We have a big stone to push up the hill every year, and every year we get it there.”
KFOR is a Class C AM property, 1 kW by day and night, with an FM translator to expand its coverage. The station will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2024. Its website is www.kfornow.com.
Ken Deutsch is a former broadcaster but says it was so long ago that the statute of limitations on that claim has just about run out.
Will showcase enhancements to the AES67/ST2110 audio gateway
Lawo has enriched its Power Core AoIP mixing engine and I/O node and will be debuting these new features at the NAB Show.
While Power Core was initially introduced as a DSP mixing engine and modular I/O system for Ruby radio consoles, the company explains that many broadcasters are using the system as a gateway between legacy audio formats and standards-based IP media networks. “The ST2110-30 standard ensures seamless interoperability of audio and video equipment in combined radio / TV broadcast plants,” it said in a release.
New Power Core features include: Dante card with dual-redundant ports and sample rate conversion; dual-redundant front-panel SFP ports for AoIP; choice of optical or copper network connections; ST2022-7 seamless protection switching; and twin active links to guard against audio loss.
Expandable, Power Core lets clients add more capacity with eight rear-panel card slots, which allow “a la carte” addition of analog, AES3, MADI and Dante interfaces, and a unique Studio I/O card that provides mic inputs and headphone and monitor outputs, added the company.
NAB Booth: N2503
No-frills virtual sound card aimed at affordable market
AudioScience describes the Hono VSC Basic as a low-cost version that does not sacrifice I/O. It has 64 x 64 AVB channels, 8 x 8 AVB streams and works with WDM or ASIO, allowing its use with computer-based audio processing applications. Stream-wise it will stream formats of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 channels.
With support for the IEEE 1722.1 Discovery and Control protocol, the VSC Basic can be configured using AudioScience’s Hono AVB Controller or third-party AVB controllers. It is 64-bit Windows-compatible and can run on Intel i210 Gigabit AVB Ethernet
AudioScience Product Sales Manager Nicole Santiago said, “The VSC Basic is anything but basic. This VSC still provides the same quality audio as the Hono AVB VSC with 64 channels in and 64 channels out at a more cost-effective price point for our customers.
NAB Show Booth: N5009
Latest version of the digital audio interface is designed for mobile market
Need a an above-average pocket preamp for on-the-go field recording, journalism, videography or podcasting? Check out CEntrance’s reduction of its MicPort Pro portable preamp, the MicPort Pro 2.
Recently teased at the NAMM Show in January, the petite single-input interface is for connecting to digital devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. A release says, “Smaller than a microphone, the interface is lightweight and was designed with frequent travelers in mind.”
It offers 48V phantom power and will connect to Android, iOS, Mac and Windows devices.
There are input, gain and monitor controls. A built-in rechargeable battery can be refreshed through the USB connection. CEntrance says the preamps are the company’s Jasmine preamps.
A Neutrik combo jack also offers a Hi-Z (1/4-inch) input for guitars.
NAB Show Booth: N5621