Posts Categorised: Sam Matheny

“Joint Keynote Address” featured several past winners of the NAB Engineering Achievement Award

LAS VEGAS — New to NAB Show this year is what organizers called an “unconventional keynote session.”

Sunday morning, NAB convened several past recipients of the NAB Engineering Achievement Award to participate in a panel of mini-keynotes. NAB EVP and CTO Sam Matheny acted as moderator, and participants were asked to address “the single most important challenge for the future of broadcasting.”

The participants were: E. Glynn Walden, Entercom consultant; John Turner, principal engineer, Turner Engineering Inc.; Ben Dawson, president of Hatfield & Dawson Consulting Engineers, LLC; Laurence Thorpe of Canon U.S.A.; Ronald Rackley, VP of duTreil, Lundin & Rackley; Ira Goldstone, executive engineer at FOX Studios; Thomas Silliman, president of Electronic Research Inc.; S. Merrill Weiss, president of Merrill Weiss Group; Frank Foti, executive chairman of the board for The Telos Alliance; Mark Richer, president of ATSC; Tom King, president and CEO of Kintronic Labs Inc.; Robert Seidel, vice president of CBS Engineering and Advanced Technology for CBS Television Network; Andy Laird, retired VP of engineering/CTO emeritus for Journal Broadcast Group; Richard Friedel, EVP and GM of FOX Network Engineering and Operations; John Kean, consulting engineer for Cavell Mertz & Associates; and Rich Chernock, chief science officer for Triveni Digital.

As part of the session, Rackley used his time to promote the cause of updating interference standards to reflect modern challenges.For those who could not attend the “Joint Keynote Address: Previous Engineering Award Winners,”

the following is a transcript of remarks delivered by Rackley.

I am grateful for having been able to enjoy my work every day over the past 45 years that I have been a consulting radio engineer, but there is one area of unfinished business that I would like to see receive serious attention while I am still around — revising the requirements of the FCC rules to recognize that it is not the 1930s anymore when it comes to the environment of noise and interference in which AM stations broadcast.

Fortunately, we have the AM revitalization rulemaking that is being considered by the FCC for that, and an FCC chairman who would like to see it taken seriously.

The comments that have been filed with the FCC in the rulemaking contain a lot of well thought-out scientific analysis of both the limitations on AM station coverage due to noise and man-made interference today and how proper administration of revised station-to-station interference standards could help.

But, those comments sit there on the record unheeded — with the rulemaking process at a stalemate — because of pushback from broadcasters that was inspired by the severity of some of the rule changes that were initially proposed by the FCC. Many comments prepared by expert consulting engineers support compromise standards that I think address the controversies well.

I believe the time has come for those with differing perspectives on questions having to do with how AM stations should protect each other from interference to meet together and iron out good solutions, aimed at optimizing AM radio service to the public day and night, that are acceptable to all.

I am going to be so bold as to suggest that the NAB might be able to play a pivotal role in pulling such an effort together. Thank you.

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The Pilot Pitch Prize is geared toward startups whose solutions serve broadcast and digital media

WASHINGTON — NAB’s Pilot is launching a competition for startups to receive seed funding and support.

The Pilot Pitch Prize is specifically for new companies focusing on technology that could help broadcasters, according to the announcement. Specifically, the “program is geared towards startups whose solutions serve broadcast and digital media through operational efficiency, audience engagement, measurement, content distribution or enhanced user experience,” Pilot says.

Companies will “be required to demonstrate initial progress with the product, a potential revenue model or customer base, along with a realistic plan for growth, credible financials and the right team to scale.”

The application window is open through the end of April, and Pilot will announce the five finalists in June. The finalists will receive mentoring.

Those selected will then go on to pitch their ideas live at NAB Show New York , Oct. 17-18 at the Javits Convention Center. Three winners will be chosen by judges who are business executives from digital media companies.

“NAB is committed to supporting innovation in the broadcast industry from the start of an idea through its development and proliferation throughout the marketplace,” Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Sam Matheny said in the announcement. “PILOT Pitch Prize is our latest approach to support budding startups.”

According to the release, winners will receive a Simple Agreement for Future Equity contract including $50,000 and the opportunity to participate at the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas, among other prizes. Also, the first 100 qualified applicants will receive a pass to NAB Show New York.

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Sam Matheny and Joe D’Angelo addressed the future of radio technology at event in Switzerland

GENEVA — More than 120 delegates attended the recent Digital Radio Summit — part of the annual EBU Digital Radio Week — to hear from EBU members and others about the present and the future in radio technology and innovation, according to tech.EBU .

For those readers in the states that perhaps wonder just why we cover European radio so much, it’s because broadcasters over there are in many ways ahead of us and we can learn something about what will happen in North America by seeing what happens there.

A primary theme running through the summit this year was “user experience,” including automotive and voice control. Questions that kept coming up included: How can radio compete with the user experience offered by other audio services? What can radio do to go even further? And how can broadcasters actually drive change, rather than be swept away by it?

Are we asking these same questions enough in the US? The good news is that US broadcasters were in attendance and spoke to the assembly. Sam Matheny, CTO of NAB , said that broadcasters were currently fragmented, but trying to work with global companies — and that coming together and using scale to leverage change could be the winning tactic. He also pointed out that something as simple as using the same words on a global scale would help to drive this change. 

Matheny reminded attendees that in times of crisis, people continued to turn to radio as their primary source of information, as witnessed during tragic events such as Hurricane Harvey in the US or the Tōhoku earthquake in Japan. It was this reliability of broadcast over mobile networks that drove the NAB push to get broadcast receivers in mobile phones, said Matheny, according to the same article.

Radio remains of vital importance in cars and accounts for a huge proportion of listening hours through the world. The experience of radio in cars is evolving, though. 

Joe D’Angelo of Xperi called these changes “table stakes” that radio must offer to keep its prominence in the dashboard. Presentations from Xperi and Audi illustrated that graphical branding and information about what is on-air enriches the radio user experience, and Audi issued a call to action for broadcasters to provide logos, content and metadata to feed their increasingly sophisticated and capable in-car media surfaces.

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