and topics to watch at the NAB Show:
question attendees will be asking at NAB: ‘Where’s the best swag?’
far along is the industry toward interoperability of various IP audio systems?
Is that goal achievable, or even desirable? The Broadcast Engineering
Conference features an entire track of presentations on Sunday afternoon just about
IP for radio.
What is Digital PowerRadio’s big idea to improve HD Radio? The company
promises substantial improvement in digital signal coverage radius and quality through
changes in the baseband receiver chip. Its paper is part of a Monday
What plans does The Durst Organization have for broadcasting at One
World Trade Center in New York? John Lyons of Durst, a past recipient of Radio
World’s Excellence in Engineering Award, will talk about this in what is likely
to be a well-attended Tuesday session.
Can the alerting community convince broadcast
management, and not just engineers, to buy into a public/private warning partnership?
EAS expert Richard Rudman of the Broadcast Warning
Working Group will discuss that Wednesday.
How far along is our industry at incorporating its new platforms into
its business models? In other words, when will the familiar mental divide between
our on-air product and our “non-traditional” platforms disappear, to be
replaced by a conversation in which all of these are treated as equal parts of
a multi-platform, cross-channel media infrastructure?
are radio managers saying about a possible future where AM and FM radio are not
necessarily standard in every car dashboard? When, exactly, might we confront
that scenario in new car models?
are the implications of recent regulatory actions on LPFM and translators? A
Tuesday morning management session looks at that as well as copyright, move-ins
and allotments; the panel features several broadcast attorneys plus the FCC’s
Will Harris Broadcast and Geo-Broadcast Solutions
succeed in getting approval for its geo-targeting ZoneCasting concept anytime
What specific regulatory and technology options will come out of the AM
revitalization discussion headed by Commissioner Ajit Pai? When was the last
time AM radio had such a vocal proponent on the FCC?
Who will show up in which booths? An annual rite for the equipment sales
fraternity is to see who has moved around. Look for Cam Eicher and John Bisset at
Telos (plus Geoff Steadman and the rest of the team of the recently acquired
25-Seven Systems). Find Don Backus at BE; Ted Nahil at SCMS; Mary Ann Seidler
(back) at Tieline; Jim Thomason (back) at Harris Broadcast; and John George and
Bob Groome at RF Specialties.
if you see Geoff Mendenhall at Harris Broadcast, congratulate him on his recent
retirement and his launch of an RF systems consultancy, at which he’ll continue
to work with his former employer.
How deserving is Leonard Charles of NAB’s special
Service to Broadcast Engineering award? (Answer: Very.) “Chuck” is Midwest
director of engineering for Morgan Murphy Media and a leader in numerous
spheres: EAS and alerting; the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and its
Broadcasters Clinic; the Society of Broadcast Engineers; and the NAB TV
Technology Committee, among others. A gentleman and a worthy recipient.
there be startling radio technical innovations on the show floor?
Look through the exhibitor listings in this issue and you know to expect
further exploration of apps and mobile (products for listeners, of course, but
also for radio engineers and managers); more products aimed at the online
streaming market and the growing sports radio segment; products for HD Radio
quality control; more FM transmitter choices in the lower-power range; and at
least incremental improvements in field codecs, automation and other
traditional product classes.
of which: In what direction is codec design heading? What role will HD Voice
play for codec manufacturers? You’ll recall we asked these and other questions
in our recent special report on codec trends. (Read them all at radioworld.com/codecs.)
vendors will announce new partnerships? Crown Broadcast and the Ecreso arm of
WorldCast Systems recently announced one; and I know of another that will be
announced on the first day of the show.
Is this the year radio gets more seriously into video content creation?
One manufacturer expressed surprise to me that radio stations had not more
fully embraced products that help them create compelling video online. That surprised
me because video clearly is a “hook” for new media offerings these days.
Who will take home Radio World’s covered “Cool Stuff” Award? We’ll
announce them on the last day of the show, and introduce you to them in our May
you in the desert.