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A place to share ideas and articles concerning computers, radio & television broadcast engineering and production
Curated by David Hall
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Cable giants don't like the FCC's push to redefine 'broadband'

Cable giants don't like the FCC's push to redefine 'broadband' | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
You may like the FCC's proposal to upgrade the legal definition of broadband, but your internet provider probably doesn't. The industry's National Cable
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Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, January 26, 11:32 PM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this article.  We'll see how long the FCC can hold out against commercial interests with big bucks at their disposal.  The FCC position has merit.  The cable industry is based largely on revenue enhancement. Aloha, Russ.

Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 27, 12:00 AM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this article.  While I applaud the FCC's position on "net neutrality", I don't think commercial cable companies will follow suit, especially when large amounts of money and political influence are involved.  The demand for mobile broadband services is too strong to just "shoo away" large ISPs and cell phone giants such as Verizon, AT &T, Sprint, and a host of media companies with strong cash reserves.  I'm waiting for the inevitable pressure from Congress to force the FCC to "reevaluate" it position. The average customer will surely lose.  If you can't pay, you can't play. It's all about profit and little else.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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The FCC's possible reclassification of ISPs signals hope for net neutrality

The FCC's possible reclassification of ISPs signals hope for net neutrality | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
The FCC is preparing a regulation change to enforce net neutrality, despite lobbyist and legislative interference. Learn how this affects providers and users of cloud-based services.
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 22, 9:45 AM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this look at the net neutrality issue. Presently, the FCC wants wants all customers to have access to the "cloud" without having to pay extra fees to their ISPs.  This would benefit not only large businesses such as Netflix but also help smaller companies deliver their programs at comparable speeds to their enrolled customers.  However, the plan to eliminate a "two-tiered" level of service may not be accepted by Congress.  We'll just have to wait and see what the new Congress decides.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Why color levels go wrong in different color spaces - The Broadcast Bridge - Connecting IT to Broadcast

Why color levels go wrong in different color spaces -  The Broadcast Bridge - Connecting IT to Broadcast | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
We're dedicated to keeping broadcast professionals abreast of the latest technologies.
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TVTechnology: Low-Level RF Signals Allow Hackers to Grab Data From Laptops

TVTechnology: Low-Level RF Signals Allow Hackers to Grab Data From Laptops | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
TVTechnology As anyone who has tried to use a portable AM or shortwave radio near a computer knows, computers emit a variety of RF signals over a wide range of frequencies.
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 17, 10:11 PM

Your laptop, tablet, or PC can send rf emissions into the VHF/UHF range, even if you disconnect the device from a power source.  According to Alenka Zajic, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech's school of Electrical and Computer Engineering, hackers can pick up these weak signals and steal personal information from your digital device.  About all you can do now is to be aware of any strange power supplies or devices near your computer station and make sure your anti-virus/malware software is current.  The age of privacy is over.  Thanks to reporter David Hall for this illuminating and somewhat disturbing article.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource 1-15-15

The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource 1-15-15 | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
Information and resources for the broadcast engineer and manager.
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 17, 10:14 PM

Although the bdr focuses on problems experienced by broadcast and audio engineers, much of the general information about the broadcast media is also applicable to issues faced by Amateur Radio Operators and other electronic enthusiasts. The articles are short, well-written, and most alway interesting.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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What's that hissing, cracking, buzzing noise? | EEP

What's that hissing, cracking, buzzing noise? | EEP | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
The corona discharges in insulation systems result in voltage transients and can be visible in the form of light, typically a purple glow
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 8, 12:02 AM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this excellent tutorial on corona discharges and their effect on the rf spectrum.  Since I live on a tropical island (Hawaii Island) with lots of rain and salt air, corona discharge is a huge rfi problem.  The local utility does its best to keep salt spray washed away, but the constant tropic air and northeast trade winds make this an arduous task.  Sometimes, I can see the discharges at night--something akin to the sailor's "St. Elmo's Fire." Spectacular, but bothersome.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, January 11, 12:28 AM

Coronal discharges are a major source of radio and television interference. In a tropical setting, such as my home on Hawaii Island, the noise from coronal discharge is enhanced by salt air and frequent showers.  Although the local electric utility tries to keep insulators clean, it's a losing battle.  When I travel to work early in the morning after a particularly windy or smoggy day (volcanic haze), I can see the electrical flashes from the power line insulators.  Sailors call this phenomenon "St. Elmo's Fire."  Aloha, Russ.

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Audio Toolkit Pro - Applications Android sur Google Play

Audio Toolkit Pro - Applications Android sur Google Play | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
A suite of useful tools and calculators when setting up a stereo. Includes:Tone generator
- Sine, square, triangle, sawtooth waves and linear, cubic, exponential...
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 4, 8:03 PM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this interesting article. Included in this post are useful tool, caluculators, and wave (sine, triangular, linear, and sawtooth) generators for the ardent stereophile.  Brodcast Engineers and Amateur Radio Operators will find some useful applications in this "Audio Toolkit-Pro", as well.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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TVTechnology: Applications for broadcast engineers

TVTechnology: Applications for broadcast engineers | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
TVTechnology Engineers need every advantage to be successful in today’s marketplace, and one of the newest items in the engineer’s toolbox is the smart phone. The variety of applications that smart phones can run can help engineers in everything from RF and data networks to security and beyond.
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 4, 8:08 PM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this article.  Thanks to modern digital equipment, especially the smart phone and the digital tablet, Broadcast Engineers won't have to lug pounds of heavy test equipment to evaluate a radio station's overall performance.  Your smartphone can serve as a basic "toolbox" for diagnostic testing and maintenance.  Great article!  Amateur Radio Operators will find useful material in this article as well.  More Amateur Radio apps are becoming available for smart phones and tablets.  Have fun! Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource 12/31/14

Information and resources for the broadcast engineer and manager.
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 1, 12:56 AM

Although The Broadcasters's Desktop Reference is mainly for Broadcast engineers and mangers, there is plenty of general information for all radio enthusiasts.  In this week's edition, discusses the collapsing LPFM market, T-Mobile gets fined $90 million for "cramming", and the FCC may be ready to make a decision on net neutrality.   Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Special Transformers for Industrial Applications | EEP

Special Transformers for Industrial Applications | EEP | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
A number of industry applications require specific industrial transformers: electric arc furnace, rectifier and converter transformers
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 1, 1:03 AM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this extensive introduction to special transformers for industrial applications.  Included in this well-researched publication is an examination of industrial transformers, electric arc furnaces, rectifier and converter transformers.  A little beyond my understanding, but interesting none the less.  If you want more than just the basics of transformers, this publication will supply it.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, January 11, 12:24 AM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this extensive tutorial on industrial transformers, electric arc furnaces, rectifiers, and converter transformers.  Great reference source for mechanical, electrical, and broadcast engineers.  Aloha, Russ.

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Handbook Of Electrical Science Vol. 1-4 | EEP

Handbook Of Electrical Science Vol. 1-4 | EEP | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
The Electrical Science handbook consists of fifteen modules that are contained in four volumes. The following is a brief description of the
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, December 27, 2014 3:38 PM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for showing me this text.  The Handbook of Electrical Science was developed for those maintaining nuclear power plants and contains almost everything you need to know about electric power generation and distribution.  This book can serve as a valuable resource for those working in the power, communications, or public service fields.  Amateur Radio operators should thoroughly understand the concepts outlined here.  The fifteen learning modules are clear, well-written, and easy to understand.  A must read for all ham radio operators.  Aloha, Russ

Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, January 11, 12:19 AM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this tip.  "The Electrical Science Handbook" contains just about everything you need to know about electricity and power generation.  I've recommended this publication to my fellow amateur radio operators (hams) and former colleagues in the broadcast engineering field.  A great reference source.  Aloha, Russ.

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Lightning Protection Risk Assessment Calculator | EEP

Lightning Protection Risk Assessment Calculator | EEP | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
Lightning Risk assessment Study is actually the measure of risk of a lightning strike and probability of damages. It assesses the lightening risks
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, December 23, 2014 3:13 AM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this excellent discussion on Lightning Risk Assessment. The risk assessment calculator should be useful for not only broadcast engineers, but also to amateur radio operators who wish to protect their homes and stations from lightning or heavy electrical surges. Good, useful information that could save your life. Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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5 most important features your new TV should have | Komando.com

5 most important features your new TV should have | Komando.com | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
Buying a TV is a big deal, so you want it to have features that will last. Here are four features you need and one you don't....
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AntennaSearch - Search for Cell Towers, Cell Reception, Hidden Antennas and more.

Search for the locations of cell towers and antennas to determine cell reception.
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Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, January 23, 1:45 AM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this helpful tool.  This tool could come in handy for travelers, hikers, amateur radio operators, and public service teams.  Aloha, Russ.

Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 23, 9:55 AM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this helpful item.  "Antenna Search" is a useful, practical tool for travelers, hikers, amateur radio operators, and broadcast engineers.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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FCC fines

FCC fines Viacom & ESPN $1.4M after broadcasting Emergency Alert System warning tones to promote a movie in 2013

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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 20, 11:56 PM

Considering how important the EAS is to this country, a stunt pulled by Viacom and ESPN is totally uncalled for. The world is tense enought without introducing more stress into the system.  I hope the fine "sticks."  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Welcome to VidOvation's White Paper Archive!

Welcome to VidOvation's White Paper Archive! | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 17, 10:00 PM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this glimpse of the VidOvation White Paper Archive. Topics range from the Fiberoptic Video User's Guide to Making Live Productions using IP Networks.  Great resource for anyone doing video and audio production.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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TV Fool

Locate TV transmitters, choose antennas, look at coverage maps, and optimize your HDTV setup. Learn about digital TV and how to incorporate it into your home theater system. Rediscover over the air (OTA) TV. Looking for something more accurate than antennaweb?
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 17, 10:20 PM

A useful and extremely helpful tool for those of us frustrated by the often frustrating behavior of HDTV signals.  The discussion on HDTV antennas is particularly good.  You don't need a fancy antenna to receive HDTV signals. A late model outdoor antenna will do just fine at a lower cost, especially if you have an outdoor antenna already set up. If you're the creative type, check out homemade HDTV antennas on youtube.  I've built a few out of steel coffee cans--they work well for urban areas.  Cost:  my labor and the initial purchase of the coffee container.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Tower Lighting, Public File, Time Brokerage Violations Draw FCC Penalties

Tower Lighting, Public File, Time Brokerage Violations Draw FCC Penalties | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
Stations are expected to keep the lights on at their towers, and three broadcasters who allegedly didn't do so have received fines.

KEMP BROADCASTING, INC. was fined $8,000 (reduced from $14,000 due to a history of compliance and evidence of corrective measures) for lighting violations at a tower in MOAPA, NV; DUHAMEL BROADCASTING ENTERPRISES got the same penalty ($8,000, reduced from $10,000 for a history of compliance) for lighting problems at a tower in RAPID CITY, SD; and OHANA MEDIA ...
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 11, 8:16 PM

Thanks to reporter Dave Hall for this timely reminder to broadcasters. In the old days when I got into commercial broadcasting (c1967), every station had an engineer who took care of maintenance, made sure the tower had lights and approved paint, filed license renewals, and provided fences and other security measures to protect the station from  the wandering public.  Nowadays, many stations use contract engineers, who may not be around when they are needed.  In the age deregulation, many basic tasks were grouped together under contract personnel or were ignored entirely.  I suspect these stations, which once had a good record of compliance and perhaps had a full-time FCC-licensed engineer on the premises, let this duty slip out of focus.  It seems this trend to deregulation has resulted in lapses in maintenance, logs/record keeping, and preservation of public files. This lapse in judgment is inexcusable. Many contemporary stations are more of a public safety hazard than a public service.  It's time  to realize that a FCC license is not a permit to steal from the taxpayers.  I place the blame on station owners who try to cut every corner they can to stay solvent. Cutting maintenance  is not an option.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Dish Unveils Low-Cost Sling TV OTT Service

   

Dish announced that its long-awaited Internet OTT service will launch by the end of this month priced at $20 per month.


Why This Matters: The basic lineup will include ESPN and ESPN 2, but it doesn’t include any broadcast networks. Sling TV will feature networks from Disney/ESPN, Turner Broadcasting and Scripps Networks Interactive. The stripped-down bundle is targeted at price-sensitive and Internet-savvy millennials who don’t currently subscribe to a pay-TV service.

 

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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 6, 4:25 PM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this article.  The new reduced program service from Dish Network would cost viewers $20/month and would include the Disney Network, Turner Broadcasting, and ESPN sport.  The stripped down Sling TV OTT service would "target price sensitive and internet savvy millenials who don't currrently subscribe to a pay-TV service."  This project could work, considering the rising cost of cable tv service these days.  I cut the cable habit a few years ago and rely on over-the-air broadcasts for my news and entertainment programming.  All I needed was a decent deep-fringe TV antenna (my old Winegard antenna), a Radio Shack digital converter box, and my recent vintage Panasonic television.  If I really need a movie, I use Netflix or check out a DVD from the nearest public library for $1.  I don't need the high prices on a retirement income.  Besides, amateur radio fills up most of my spare time, along with gardening, home maintenance, and substitute teaching at a local high school.  Life is just too complex to be enjoyable.  For me, simple is best. Your mileage may vary.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Sound Meter PRO - Android Apps on Google Play

Sound Meter PRO - Android Apps on Google Play | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
Sound Meter PRO is professional sound meter for your Android. Sound Meter is also known as sound level meter, decibel meter (dB meter), noise meter, sound pressure le...
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 4, 8:18 PM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this article...fascinating stuff! It's amazing to consider what apps and a smart phone can do for engineers, audiophiles, and even Amateur Radio operators.  This android app on Google Play turns your android phone into a professional sound meter than can be used test auditoriums, classrooms, your home, and even your amateur radio station for excessive noise.  Nifty device!  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Alexander Gerst’s Earth timelapses - YouTube

Watch Earth roll by through the perspective of ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst in this six-minute timelapse video from space. Combining 12 500 images taken by ...
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 1, 3:14 PM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this fascinating timelapse video of the Earth from ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst aboard the International Space Station.  Simply stunning.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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dB or not dB? Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Decibels But Were Afraid to Ask Abstract | TechOnline

dB or not dB? Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Decibels But Were Afraid to Ask Abstract | TechOnline | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
TechOnline is a leading source for reliable tech papers. View the dB or not dB? Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Decibels But Were Afraid to Ask abstract for details on the dB or not dB? Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Decibels But Were Afraid to Ask tech paper.
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 1, 1:08 AM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this intriguing, somewhat complicated introduction to the study of decibels.  As the title says, you will learn all there is to know about the decibel, "but we afraid to ask."  These tech papers are well-written and will give you a firm grounding in the decibel, both in theory and in practice.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Trends in Technology: Streaming Audio Update

Trends in Technology: Streaming Audio Update | Broadcast Engineering Notes | Scoop.it
The options for streaming audio delivery continue to change as listeners consume audio on a wider variety of platforms
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, December 27, 2014 3:49 PM

Thanks to reporter David Hall for this streaming audio update from the editors of "Radio" magazine.  As more use is made of the Internet for radio and television broadcasts, there will be steadily increasing demand for broadband service, new audio streaming technologies, and receivers capable of using both Internet signals and over-the-air signals.  The article says full conversion of over-the-air signals to Internet systems will be costly, consume wide swaths of the rf spectrum, and will take years to implement.  Meanwhile, both Internet delivered programming and over-the-air systems will complement each other and create some new market niches for television and radio companies.  Hidden in this discussion is where then"new" broadband spectrum will be found.  Amateur Radio operators already know that--mostly from the 2 GHz to the 5.4 GHz frequency range, some of which is shared by Amateur Radio operators and various government services.  Be prepared to see these frequencies removed from amateur radio allocations as the demand for broadband services increases.  Use it or lose it.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).