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L.A.W.N. operation made easier by new network control platform



GTX24HHB

STOW, OHIO — Alteros, an Audio-Technica company, has introduced two new handheld transmitters — the GTX24HHP live performer handheld and GTX24HHB broadcast handheld (shown) — along with remote and network control software platform that makes it easier to set up and operate the GTX Series L.A.W.N. (Local Area Wireless microphone Network) Ultra-Wideband (UWB) wireless microphone system.

WIRELESS MIC SYSTEM

A 6.5 GHz digital system, the GTX Series L.A.W.N. UWB system offers immunity to radio frequency spectrum regulatory changes, bandwidth loss and channel crowding, resulting in interference-free performance, even in the most demanding live broadcast settings, the company says.

The L.A.W.N. system enables operation outside the crowded UHF spectrum, free from database registration, licensing, complex support equipment, and even RF frequency coordination. It supports repeated deployment, from studio-to-studio and location-to-location, of 24 simultaneous, low latency (<3ms), 48 kHz/24-bit audio channels in any indoor or outdoor broadcast or performance environment, according to A-T.

HANDHELD MIC TRANSMITTERS

Available this summer, the GTX24HHP “performer” and GTX24HHB “broadcaster” microphone transmitters join a product line that includes the GTX3224 control unit, GTX24 bodypack transmitter, and GTX32 transceiver.

Intended for live performance, the GTX24HHP “performer” wireless handheld mic features a lightweight, ergonomic design that accepts popular thread-on microphone capsules using a 1.25-inch /28-thread pitch. This allows performers to select their preferred mic sound and performance from a wide range of manufacturers, including new Audio-Technica capsules.

The GTX24HHB “broadcaster” wireless handheld mic includes a dedicated “flag mount” section and incorporated “talkback button,” while incorporating interchangeable mic capsule mounts for maximum sound and performance flexibility.

According to Alteros President and CTO Jackie Green, “Modern facilities and systems are taking advantage of IP-based networking technology to reduce operational costs, simplify workflows, ensure … production quality, and even simplify equipment setup and operation.”

The Alteros R&D team worked closely with key professionals in the live, touring and broadcast markets to identify their desired workflows, interfaces and functionality.

The resulting Ethernet-based system allows easier setup, control, monitoring, naming, and network and clock management via a sophisticated user interface that can be accessed directly or remotely on multiple device platforms.

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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.

ERIC SMALL

We are sad to report that Eric Small, co-developer of the Optimod FM processor, founder of Modulation Sciences Inc., and holder of several patents, is dead at the age of 71.

On March 15, Small was leaving a Publix grocery store in Delray Beach, Fla., around 5:09 p.m., when the driver of a car lost control and accelerated towards the store. The car struck Small first and then crashed into the Publix, according to the Palm Beach Sheriffs Office report. The driver and Small were transported to Delray Medical Center, where they both died from their injuries.

WIRELESS USE ABOVE 600 MHZ

We mention last week about the discontinuance of use of frequencies above 600 MHz for wireless use. The Federal Register published a rule late last week that requires consumer disclosure, including specific consumer alert language, regarding changing requirements for selling wireless microphones operating in the 600 MHz band. 

The mandated alert message is written to advise consumers that wireless microphone users must cease operations in the 600MHz band no later than July 13, 2020, or earlier if their use could interfere with wireless operations in the band.

This rule will become effective April 11.

[Read: Was the Incentive Auction Necessary?]

FM TRANSLATORS FOR AM UPDATE

AM stations that filed for FM translators in the January 2018 window, who were deemed to be”singletons,”i.e. their applications are not predicted to cause interference to any other translator applicant, must file their “long-form” applications (form 349) during a window from April 18th through May 9.

PIRATE OPERATORS — BE READY FOR MORE FINES

Pirate Radio operators continue to operate with disregard to FCC rules. The current $10,000 maximum fine for operating an unlicensed station isn’t a big enough deterrent. Now Congress is taking the first steps to boost the maximum fine for pirate radio to as much $100,000 per day, per violation with a maximum fine allowed by law of $2 million.

Under the proposal, the FCC would be required to conduct at least twice-a-year enforcement sweeps in the top five radio markets — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas — for the purpose of “identifying, locating, and terminating such operations and seizing related equipment.”

And as for the rest of the year, Congress would direct the FCC that it wouldn’t be allowed to “diminish regular enforcement efforts.” And as for any equipment seized from alleged pirates, the law would give the Enforcement Bureau the authority to destroy it within 90 days from the date that it was taken away from an unlicensed broadcaster.

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The company is asking for Special Temporary Authority to advance its understanding of 5G and network potential in the millimeter wave bands

STAMFORD, Conn. — Charter Communications is going ahead with more tests of fixed wireless in the 28 GHz band, in and around the Los Angeles area. The cable company is asking the FCC for Special Temporary Authority to advance its understanding of 5G technology and network potential in the millimeter wave bands, according to fiercewireless.com . The application lists Ericsson as the manufacturer of 25 units to be tested.

The company is asking for the STA for 180 days, starting at the end of March. The goal of the tests is to develop techniques and to gain a greater understanding of fixed wireless broadband systems in the millimeter-wave bands.

Charter is also seeking permission to conduct more tests to study coverage, capacity and propagation in the 3550-3700 MHz CBRS band. Their latest application calls for outdoor fixed wireless experiments in Lexington, Kentucky, using 19 different models of equipment, according to the same article. “Charter plans to continue testing in rural communities to investigate further how to expand the speeds and services it delivers,” the company said.

Charter has also shown its support to the FCC for the opening of the 5.9 GHz band for unlicensed use as soon as possible, noting the 5.9 GHz band’s size, location and capacity would be ideal for “next-gen” technologies.

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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.

ATSC 3.0 NEWS

The Next Generation of Television Broadcasting (ATSC 3.0) is gearing up to get started. The ATSC committee is putting the final wraps on all the standards and the FCC voted on March 5th to authorize the transition.

One of the sticking points still to be worked out is how the service will actually be rolled out. The Commission has already determined that it will be voluntary.

Because ATSC 3.0 is not backward compatible with our current system (ATSC 3.1) stations will be required to transmit both formats at this time. Stations implementing the new transmission will initially have to simulcast both ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 with in-market TV station partners. One channel would transmit both stations ATSC 1.0 signal and the other channel would transmit both stations ATSC 3.0 signal.

TV REPACK AND RADIO

As a large number of television stations start their transition to new channels per the Television Repack, radio stations that share space on a television tower need to sit down with television engineers and map out the construction time table and decide what their options are for staying on the air during the construction work on the tower.

Some may have to construct temporary sites on another tower, which would create expenses that where not in the stations budget. The good news is that Congress is working on a bill that first of all increases the reimbursement to television stations for their construction and will also have funds available to help offset any expense incurred by radio stations.

Now is the time for radio stations to get a plan in place and not get caught at the last minute on this project.

WIRELESS EQUIPMENT

In addition to the situation discussed in the article above, all users of wireless equipment (microphones, IFB systems, in ear monitors) are reminded that because of the TV repack the frequencies above 608 MHz are no longer available for use by wireless devices. While the deadline is 2020 cell companies that received the use of these frequencies have already begun to bring their systems online.

The problem is not just for broadcasters, but churches, theaters, convention centers, stadiums and anyone that use wireless systems will be effected.

Engineers should check all their wireless devices and if any are above 608 MHz, replacement units will have to purchased. Several of the major wireless manufacturers are offering rebates for upgrading to new units.

REVIEW OF SMPTE ST2110 STANDARD

SMPTE ST2110 is a standard that will be a major part of ATSC 3.0. It is designed to allow each part of the signal to be in a different stream. This means video, audio channels, and ancillary data will all be separately routable, allowing recipients to ask for exactly what they want, and get only that.

This differs from ST 2022-1/2/3/4: MPEG-2 Transport Stream over IP and ST 2022-5/6: SDI over IP, which are “multiplex” standards, where the video, audio, and ancillary data signals (plus blanking and padding) are wrapped up into a single IP stream.

ST 2110 is broken down into six different groups:

  • 2110-10: System Timing
  • 2110-20: Uncompressed Video
  • 2110-21: Traffic Shaping Uncompressed Video
  • 2110-30: PCM Audio
  • 2110-31: AES3 Transparent Transport
  • 2110-40: Ancillary Data

We encourage you to watch a most informative tutorial by SMPTE Fellow John Mailhott, CTO Infrastructure Imagine Communications.

CHIEF OPERATOR RULES

FCC rule 73.1870 states that the “licensee of each AM, FM, TV or Class A TV broadcast station must designate a person to serve as the station’s chief operator. At times when the chief operator is unavailable or unable to act (e.g., vacations, sickness), the licensee shall designate another person as the acting chief operator on a temporary basis.” In addition, “the designation of the chief operator must be in writing with a copy of the designation posted with the station license.”

This designation (with the most current information) can be posted with the station license at the control point and/or placed in the additional documents folder under the basic station tab on the their online public file site.

The basic requirement of the chief operator is to “Review the station records at least once each week to determine if required entries are being made correctly. Additionally, verification must be made that the station has been operated as required by the rules or the station authorization.”

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Pai Welcomes NTIA Spectrum Study

Will explore 3450-3550 MHz band’s suitability for commercial wireless services

WASHINGTON — “We are fully committed to collaborating with NTIA to ensure that the U.S. continues to lead the world in advanced wireless technologies as we chart the course to our 5G future,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement Monday.

Pai was reacting to the announcement that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s has selected the 3450-3550 MHz band for a feasibility study exploring the band’s potential for commercial wireless services; this spectrum is currently used for federal purposes, according to Pai’s statement.

[Read more: “NTIA Offers Expanded Federal Government Spectrum Use Reports ”]

“The commission, working together with NTIA, has already made the 3.5 GHz band available for wireless services and we recently initiated a process to consider whether all or parts of the adjacent satellite spectrum can also be made available. Altogether, this could unleash a contiguous block of hundreds of megahertz of valuable spectrum for new technologies and services, including 5G,” Pai said.

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