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An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes

The following is from the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s weekly e-newsletter, Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes. Thanks to ABA’s Larry Wilkins. To subscribe to the newsletter, email lwilkins@al-ba.com.

TRANSLATORS FOR AM UPDATE

Last week we made mention of the change in the FCC rules covering permissible locations for FM translators used by AM stations. As a follow up, here is a more detail description of the change.

Basically the FM translator can be located any place where the translator service contour of 60 dbu (1 mV/m) is within the 2 mV/m contour of the AM station or 25 miles from the AM transmitter, whichever is more.

Even if the station’s 2 mV/m contour only extends about 12 miles out, you will be able to locate a translator at any point as long as the edge of the translator service contour remains within 25 miles of the AM station.

FM translators are still limited to 250 watts ERP and are still subject to interference scrutiny from existing stations (full power, translator and LPFM).

[Read: FCC Schedules Auction for Mutually Exclusive Translator Applications]

THUNDERBOLT 3

If you going to connect any external device to a computer, normally it would require some type of a port. Most common is USB (Universal Serial Bus), but there are others such as Firewire, Mini Display Port and Thunderbolt.

Computer hardware developers are working towards a “one type port fits all” system. Thunderbolt 3 is the latest version of Thunderbolt, and it uses the same design as the familiar USB Type-C connector.

Thunderbolt 3 allows for connection speeds up to 40Gbps, double the speed of the previous generation, USB 3.1 10Gbps, and DisplayPort 1.2. It also offers USB speeds of up to 10Gbps, and it can connect up to two 4K displays, outputting video and audio signal at the same time. It also supports DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, and 10GbE fast networking. Plus, Thunderbolt 3 is backwards compatible to Thunderbolt 2.

TELEVISION REPACK UPDATE

The Television repack is underway with the first phase of stations due to be completed by 11/30/18. If you are keeping a playbook we have compiled a database with all the television stations in Alabama along with their status in the repack schedule.

We ask that all television engineers review this list and let us know of any errors or changes. It is available here and will also be updated and posted on the ABA web site shortly.

NAB SHOW NEWS

The National Association of Broadcasters annual convention is coming up April 7th – 12th at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It appears from all the reviews, that this year will focus on everything IP! Great advancements are being made by all vendors to create, transmit and receive everything via IP.

If you have never been to an NAB Convention, this should be the year to go. Not only will you be able to view, first hand equipment and services from over 1700 vendors but also you can network with 100,000+ other broadcaster professionals like yourself.

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Each week, more Americans tune into AM/FM radio than watch TV or use smartphones, tablets and computers

NEW YORK — Let’s shut out the gloom and doom about our industry for just a bit.

According to Nielsen’s second quarter 2017 Comparable Metrics Report, radio remains the top way to reach consumers across all media platforms. Each week, more Americans tune into AM/FM radio (93%) than watch television or use smartphones, tablets and computers. At the same time, streaming audio offers consumers even more ways to listen across many of those same devices.

“…To really compare apples to apples, we need to consider AM/FM radio (both over-the-air stations and their online streams) alongside all forms of streaming audio (apps and websites that stream both music and talk) and turn to comparable metrics,” writes Brad Kelly, managing director for Nielsen Audio in this article . “This allows us to go in-depth with audio use and evaluate listeners, using three basic concepts that can be applied across all media: how many, how often and how long. When viewed through these comparable measures, we can see how AM/FM radio and streaming audio stack up.”

· AM/FM radio continues to reach significantly more people each week than any other medium in the U.S. at 228.5 million adults 18+ compared with 216.5 million for TV (live, DVR and time-shifted), 204 million for app/web on a smartphone, and 127.6 million for video on a smartphone. Broadcast radio’s weekly reach of 228.5 million also outpaces the 67.6 million using streaming audio, 35.9 million using satellite radio and 20.7 million consuming podcasts.

· Americans use radio five days per week, compared to three days for streaming on smartphones and tablets and two days for streaming on a computer.

· By understanding the reach (how many) and frequency of use (how often) for each form of audio, the time spent (how long) for both radio and streaming audio can be calculated. When comparing gross minutes (the total time spent summed for all p18+ users) radio outpaces streaming audio by a factor of 14:1 in an average week.

“Adding up the total minutes for AM/FM radio and streaming audio equates to more than 202 billion minutes per week, with AM/FM representing 93 percent of total weekly minutes compared with roughly seven percent for streaming audio,” writes Kelly.

Note: Nielsen’s Q2 2017 Comparable Metrics Report uses audience measurement data from an average week during the second quarter of 2017. AM/FM radio data is sourced from Nielsen’s RADAR and National Regional Database systems. Streaming audio data is sourced from Nielsen’s Electronic Mobile Measurement (EMM) panel and is inclusive of sites and internet applications used on smartphones, computers and tablets which are specifically designed to provide audio content for both music and talk.

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