Chris Tobin and Kirk Harnack bring some of the best of NAB 2014 live from the NAB Central Exhibit Hall. One after another, engineers and company execs answer questions and share with us what’s hot at this year’s NAB.
Special thanks to Broadcast Electronics for hosting TWiRT in their terrific stand at NAB, and providing Internet connectivity for our video feed.
Don Backus, BE AudioVault
Frank Foti, Telos Alliance
Mike Erickson, Wheatstone
Greg Shay, Telos Alliance
Chuck Kelly, Nautel
Leif Claesson, Telos Alliance
Tom King, Kintronic Labs
Vincent Defretin, Sound4
Shane Toven, Wyoming Public Media
Andrea Toven, Smiling Dog Systems
Jason Wisnieski, Telos Alliance
Barry Mishkind, The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource
And many more!
Watch the Video!
Read the Transcript!
Kirk: This Week in Radio Tech Episode 208 is brought to you by the five brands of the Telos Alliance, supporting radio, television, and Internet broadcasters with high performance equipment for compelling audio quality and consistency. On the web at Telosalliance.com.
We're live in Las Vegas at NAB 2014. Chris Tobin and Kirk Harnack-- me--are bringing you engineers and company execs one after the other in this fast paced Highlights of NAB Show. We'll find out what's hot this year and what your fellow engineers are asking and talking about.
Hey everybody, it's This Week in Radio Tech. I'm Kirk Harnack your host, glad that you're along. We're not in the usual place, are we? We're live at NAB as, what's the name of this building?
Chris: Las Vegas Convention Center.
Kirk: This is my co-host Chris Tobin, the best dressed engineer in radio.
Chris: No, no, today it's you.
Kirk: No, no.
Chris: You have the lights one yours.
Kirk: I'm just lucky that the guy I flagged down was the same size as me.
Chris: Oh, aren't we lucky.
Kirk: Yeah, we're all lucky I suppose. This is This Week in Radio Tech the show where we talk about everything from the microphone to the light bulb at the top of the tower, the big flashing beacon. We should get a beacon company on here, that'd be cool.
Chris: Oh, boy that'd be fun. Those LED beacons are great.
Kirk: I wonder if they bring a beacon over, there's a plug over there.
Chris: We won't see anything, one big bright light.
Kirk: Oh yeah, that's true. We're having fun with this show because we're going to be interviewing lots of fun folks, engineers and vendors, and people who invent stuff.
[Chris holds up iPad]
Kirk: What's that?
Chris: Can you see it?
Kirk: Oh yeah.
Chris: It's reflecting, it's not a matte finish.
Kirk: Not a matte finish. It's one of our doings.
Oh yeah, let's get right to it. We're going to jump right to it. Our show's brought to you by the Telos Alliance. Thanks very much to Frank Foti and the whole crew, Tim Carroll and everyone, for sponsoring This Week in Radio Tech. We're going to get right to the fun stuff here.
Hey, not you. We said, "Fun stuff," and Chris Crumm [SP] from Commerce jumps in here. Hey, can you come back in a few minutes.
Chris: Yeah, I'm going to come back, pretty soon.
Kirk: Okay, good. All right, let's bring in this fellow. This is Willis Chung from GJI.
Willis: Hello, how's it going? Looking sharp.
Kirk: It's going good.
Willis: I like your suit, your shirt. I mean, I've got this little t-shirt with a giant DJI logo.
Kirk: This is Elvis Day, you didn't get the memo?
Willis: No, I didn't get the memo.
Kirk: Am I the only one who got the memo?
Chris: Yes, you were. I got the coversheet.
Kirk: I'll bet Andrew Zarian sent the memo out just to me, "Hey, Kirk, dress up like Elvis, everybody else is."
So DJI is this company that makes these awesome cool quad-copters.
Willis: Quad-copters, hexa-copters, octa-copters, and this year we announced our handheld gimbal that's able to up to 16 pounds.
Kirk: That's a lot.
Chris: Sixteen pounds?
Willis: Sixteen-one-six pounds.
Kirk: So you may be asking, "Why is a helicopter, drone, and camera firm on This Week in Radio Tech?" Because it's fricking cool, that's why. There's some pretty good broadcast applications for this technology. So Willis, I'm sorry I interrupted you. Go ahead and tells us more about DJI and your helicopters.
Willis: Sure, this year we announced the new Phantom 2 Vision Plus which enables a three-axis gimbal, so now you can use that 14 megapixel camera on the quad-copter, the Phantom Copter and take pictures and smooth video, 1080p, so people such as agriculture, the fire department, and just people fixing roofs, or anything. It's good for any application out there.
Kirk: There are some YouTube videos that-Well, there's already a tower crew on the tower, but the helicopter goes up the tower and looks at stuff.
Willis: Yes, it's great for inspection. You get a live feed straight to your phone, Android or iOS, and you can take pictures, videos, download it straight to your phone while your copter's still in the air.
Kirk: I've been on towers before and I have dropped a wrench, now could the quad-copter bring a little wrench back up to me?
Willis: The quad-copter's able to carry the payload, so I guess you're able to use it for that application as well, so that's how awesome it is.
Kirk: It might weigh a pound. Is a pound too much?
Willis: A pound is totally fine.
Kirk: How much will that quad-copter carry?
Willis: We've had a few stress tests for it. I don't have an exact amount, but I'd say a pound is no problem; I don't have an exact number.
Kirk: Now most folks carry either a GoPro camera or do you have your own camera?
Willis: We do, we have the Vision camera.
Kirk: Okay. Engineers just love technology and so many engineers love remote control. What is it about remote controlling stuff that's just so--
Willis: It's like a video game.
Kirk: Yeah, in real life.
Willis: In real life, you get to control it and everything, you're playing Call of Duty in real life. You see the object fly around.
Kirk: Years ago I got one of those A.R. Parrot helicopters and the first thing my wife says is, "You could put somebody's eye out with that."
Willis: All right, well I wouldn't recommend you go full throttle with ours. You should totally take it slow. It's a tool; I don't want to say it's a toy. Aerodrone's fantastic, I love their products as well and you can actually go full throttle and it's fine, because it's Styrofoam, it doesn't hurt. For our products it's more of a tool and you can use it for all kinds of professional applications.
Kirk: You didn't bring one of them with you did you?
Willis: I did not. I was not told to bring one with me, but yeah, that would have been good.
Kirk: Sorry. So if folks want to see your product the DJI, is it the Phantom?
Willis: Yes, there's the Phantom, there's the S100, S1000, and the new Ronan which is the handheld gimbal.
Kirk: Okay, what's the website?
Willis: It's www.dji.com.
Kirk: Oh, that's easy, dji.com. Check it out, have a lot of fun and then there's videos galore on You Tube.
Willis: Oh, yeah, Vimeo, YouTube and we just put up like ten different ones, so we're constantly updating that.
Kirk: You've seen the Superman video haven't you?
Willis: That was amazing, that was out of control, yeah.
Kirk: A little green screen, some hands out there, mix that with the DJI footage.
Willis: Yeah, I know. That was awesome.
Kirk: Thanks for stopping by, Willis, I appreciate it.
Willis: Of course.
Kirk: I know that you engineers are going to find ways, you're going to find a need, "Yes, I need this to inspect towers, yes. And I have to practice with it many hours on Saturdays."
Willis: Yeah, it's a good excuse for your wives.
Kirk: There you go. Thanks again Willis, I appreciate it very much, take care.
Willis: All right, thank you, you guys, good luck.
Kirk: All right, Chris Tobin and I are here at NAB 2014 and we've got a number of people who are just ready to be interviewed. Who's next?
Chris: Fran or, no we've got Lucas.
Kirk: Hey, Lucas, come on in.
Lucas Clarke: How are you doing, Kirk?
Kirk: I'll tell you what, I'm going to let you interview Lucas about what's cool and new at Inovonics.
Chris: All right, fair enough. Welcome, Lucas.
Lucas: Thank you, sir.
Chris: So you know what we're going to do, you're just going to tell us about Inovonics, their broadcast products and how broadcasters use your stuff, then I have a few questions after that. How's that?
Lucas: Yeah, absolutely. Well Inovonics makes a number of different product lines. We make RDS encoders, RF monitoring, and now Internet radio monitoring , and also audio processing.
Chris: Excellent. Internet radio monitoring, I'm curious, what exactly is the application? I know what the words say, but I'm a radio station, I have a web stream, what am I monitoring? Why am I doing this? What do I get out of the box?
Lucas: Yeah, good questions. Basically what you're doing is you're monitoring your performance. You're making sure you don't have audio drops, you don't have data loss, because there's a number of different things that go into a stream. You've got your main encoder, you've also got the content delivery network. It's important to be able to monitor not just one, but both of those ways of delivering the stream.
Chris: So you're monitoring the stream, all the parameters, the metrics, how do I retrieve that information? Is there a web server built in? Do I have an email account that comes out? How do I know? Say it's 2:00 in the morning and the stream is dropping out audio, do I get alerted?
Chris: I guess the question is, diagnostics and alarming, what options are there?
Lucas: Yeah, absolutely. You've alarms for audio loss, data loss, and Internet loss. Those can be either contact closures, email, SMS, and you can even specify what types of alarms go to different personnel. You can have up to ten different personnel get alarms. The general manager can get the audio alarm, the engineering guy can get the audio alarm and the data alarm.
Also, it will actually email the monthly, weekly, and daily logs of all the alarms that happened, so if you're having issues with your content delivery provider or maybe your encoding server's rebooting Sunday morning at 12:00 and nobody knows, you'll see that history of events. You can then take it and deal with it.
Chris: Excellent. Now, two more questions. The first question, does the box have a web server built in or a web browser that you can remote into? Say, it's Sunday morning, I get an email alert that there's a problem, can I log into the box and look at graphs and other things and query.
Lucas: Oh yes, it's got a built in web server that's a responsive website, so basically it works on your phone, it works on a PC, whatever, it scales so you can actually just look at your logs. You can see the audio levels. By the way, the audio levels are measured in dBFS. Streaming levels can be all over the place and if you use this unit you can actually look at other folks' stream and see how close you are to that level and make sure that you've got really consistent levels, so that's a big deal.
Chris: Yes it is. Now remember, dB Full Scale is the digital reference for VUs and everything else, so if you're getting dB Full Scale set up on your equipment, usually minus 20 is actually 20 VU in the old days, just as a point of reference. That's the SMPTE standard. If you want to do the other standards there's minus 18 and few others, but we'll go with SMPTE.
The second question is what's the list price of that box?
Lucas: The list price is just under $1,000, $990. You can fit two in a rack. A lot of folks have more than one stream and this is a dedicated box, so it stays on your stream no matter what. Even if the power goes out it'll tune right back to your stream.
Chris: I'm an FM station; I want to monitor my FM signal in a similar vein as my web, what's the latest on that front?
Lucas: Normally you would do that with a mod monitor, but we also have a brand new rebroadcast receiver, so that's a big product for us at the show. I can certainly tell you a little bit about that if you like.
Chris: Please do.
Lucas: The new rebroadcast receiver that we have is called Aaron. We're calling it a premium rebroadcast receiver, because it's designed for really difficult and hard case reception scenarios. It'll rebroadcast your signal either in two modes, either composite pass where it just takes the whole signal and re-spits it out, or we have stereo regeneration mode.
Now this is good for very low noise output where it just takes the left and right audio off air and then re-stereo encodes it with RDS, with any other data that you want to put in there. It's got alarms, audio failover backup. It can also default to your web stream, which is really handy if you've got both of those going on.
It also has a nice web GUI interface that will actually let you listen to the output off the receiver. So if you're a big network station and you've got a central hub and you're translators are halfway around the country and something happens you don't have a way to listen to that, but with this unit you just log on with your tablet or whatever onto the web page and you can listen to the output of the receiver which is very, very cool.
Chris: Excellent. All right, I know there's a lot more. I've used Inovonics products over the years, so they're really good stuff. The website is inovonics.com?
Chris: Excellent. All right then, I think that does it for now. Lucas, thank you very much.
Lucas: Thank you, sir, my pleasure.
Chris: This Week in Radio Tech continues with our next guest stepping up to the booth, actually the table here at NAB.
Kirk: We're going to go through the radio transmission chain from content, to transmission, to antennas.
Chris: Oh, no.
Kirk: We're going to start with the content.
Chris: Content, you're a content provider? You make it possible to provide content.
Don: Well, content facilitator.
Chris: Oh, facilitator, listen to you.
Kirk: So this is Don Backus. Don's been around. You've been around a while, haven't you?
Don: I've been around a while, yes I have.
Kirk: You used to work at the Enco [SP] Company and now you're over with B.E.
Kirk: I've got a couple of B.E. automations. They just sit there and chug right along.
Don: That's the point, we don't want an exciting automation system, we don't want an exciting transmitter, they should just work.
Kirk: I prefer the phrase "play out" or "play out delivery system."
Don: I agree.
Kirk: Because automation implied too many things that it's not, but it is automation if you want it to be, I suppose.
Don: It can be and then there's sometimes when it makes absolutely perfect sense to automate, if you're doing a satellite program, NPR , you're running a under writer announcement that's delivered at the bottom of the hour it's a great place to take people out of the equation and have the machine run it.
Kirk: I'm going to back you out, would you tell us what's kind of new? What's coming along in automation that folks are interested in?
Don: Okay, well we're shipping Version 1030 of AudioVAULT right now, the A.V. FleX interface. We're really excited about that. It's very attractive, a lot of tools under the hood. We have introduced a new app at the show this year, the A.V. FleX UI app and it allows you to control your audio vaults from an app on an Android or iOS device anywhere in the world. You can control the hotkeys and you get feedback, which is really nice, when are playing a cut--I'll pull it up here really quick--when you're playing a cut you actually get feedback on the playlist, you can see all the cuts that are playing, you can see the timing.
[places smart phone app in front of camera] There you go. Then we also have hotkeys, the quick start keys right, so you can control this. This and talking on your phone and you've got a radio station not in box anymore, but a radio station in a third of a pack of smokes
Chris: Excellent. For those of audience who are not here, what's the website for you guys?
Don: We also manufacture a full line of transmitters, I just want to point that out, the SDXE. We introduced our new SDXE which is an exciter with the finest audio specs out there, from 60 watts to 500 watts. In the booth this year we also have a 40,000 watt FMT transmitter, so we've kind of have a pretty wide range in the booth this year, from 60 watts to 40,000, so we're happy to be here.
Chris: Excellent, so it's B.E. With B.E. we can facilitate programming through the automation system and get it to the listener with transmitters.
Chris: All right, make sure you go to the website for more information. Thanks, Don.
Don: Thanks, guys.
Chris: You're welcome.
Kirk: Okay, we've got a guy who's been on the show before. He's a good friend of engineers everywhere. I think you introduced me to FidoNet like 30 years ago.
Chuck: Oh, forever ago, and CompuServe. We were doing CompuServe remember, the Broadcast Professionals' Forum.
Chris: 8901175 [inaudible 14:40]
Chuck: Wow, what a good memory.
Kirk: I'm going to let you two talk. There's been a ton of buzz about something called a GV, tell Chris about it.
Chuck: Okay. When Nautel decided to come out with a new HD radio transmitter we discussed, "What one thing are we going to optimize the transmitter for?" We decided the one thing the industry really needed was efficiency. Between all the things we changed from LD MOSS to super-efficient power supplies, to the MER algorithm we have called "HD PowerBoost," to a brand new algorithm that automatically balances things, crazy, but what it does is it gives us about 15% better efficiency in HD. It's not often that you can see that much of a difference, 15%.
In a 40-kilowatt transmitter we can do 40 kilowatts of minus 20 and we can do it at 70% efficiency. At minus 14 injection level we can do 36 kilowatts at 57% efficiency. Those are pretty crazy numbers. We're talking about a total temperature change from the input air temperature to the output air temperature of 11 degrees Celsius.
Chris: That's certainly not a 4CX15,000 that's for sure.
Chuck: No more, it's been really, really fun and we're delighted. Yesterday, as bad as my feet hurt here, I was floating above the ground, because we have won two awards for the new GV Series and new award for our new television series of transmitters, so we're just thrilled.
Chris: Excellent, so those of you that have facilitation systems and now need a transmission method to get out there, check out the Nautel site. Nautel.com, right?
Chuck: Nautel.com. I will also mention, since we talked about content for a second, all these transmitters have a little built in mini automation, so if you actually want to play audio out of the transmitter there's an automation built in. We play WAV files and MP3 files on the USB jack on the back of the transmitter.
Chris: Now, you see that would be for broadcast continuity planning, otherwise known as disaster recovery, so think about that.
Chris: So you have two different options now, two choices, you can go back to your dealers with, Nautel and the other guy we just spoke with.
Chuck: That's right.
Chris: Okay, so I'm just going to be fair balanced and equal about everything.
Chris: Excellent. Chuck, thank you very much. We appreciate it and we'll see you later.
Chuck: Fair enough, my pleasure. Have a great show, thank you.
Chris: Yes, definitely. Well, Mr. Elvis, please step back to the table.
Kirk: Hello. We're going to have the antenna part of this now.
Kirk: At least the AM antenna part. Tom King, come on in. Tom's not been on our show before. This is Tom King.
Tom: No, I was here once before in Australia's.
Kirk: Oh, that's right, you were in Australia.
Tom: Yeah, the SMPTE Show last summer.
Kirk: So everybody who's been in radio doing engineering has heard of Kintronics. I have bought so many capacitors and a few coils, and things from Kintronics. Once in a while I've been lucky enough to work at a station that actually had a real professional cabinet that you guys had put together. Usually it's just some lash up with these small markets.
So you guys talk about it.
Tom: We do work in the big markets, too, where they do things right.
Kirk: Yeah. I know you guys have had some exciting international projects going on, because people are still doing AM and long-wave, and stuff there, and short wave. So chat about that and you're going to get Frank Foti on next.
Chris: All right, the first question everybody always asked me when I'm working with AM facilities is who do the antennas get connected to the transmitter and we always say it's a phaser cabinet. Most facilities I've been in, I'm fortunate to say, I've worked with your products, the blue cabinet everybody knows.
I guess the best thing to do is from your experience with Kintronics and over the years, what would you say is the best practice should be applying or looking to when they talk to, say, your company or looking to connect their antennas to their transmission facility?
Tom: Well I think based on the fact that we're in the midst of a digital transmission and the fact that audio bandwidth is what creates market for stations, as far as we're concerned, we believe that stations should be looking at maximizing their audio bandwidth to have the loudest, best fidelity presence on the air. There are ways to accomplish that using the techniques that we used for HD radio.
There's no reason why a station should be thinking about changing their antennas system only when they're thinking about digital. They should be looking at it from the standpoint of even best analog performance, because it starts at the base of the tower and it goes to the combined RF power amplifiers stage of the transmitter, including the phase shift that goes through the final filter network of the transmitter. All that has to be included in the actual design and the end result is a much robust sounding station and that's what I think station owners need to be looking at today.
Chris: Okay, I totally agree. In two of the facilities I've worked in over the years we did do the best tuning, broad banding of our antennas, they were directional arrays, so we really had to work on it and that lead us to digital. We found out that being proactive and making sure that the analog audio was broad banded and everything was in place our digital conversion costs were actually about 30% less.
So what you're saying makes total sense, so if you want to have an AM station that really performs, makes money for yourself, does everything else, broad band the audio, make it possible for people to really hear you, fill the bandwidth in that radio, because you've got AM manmade noise that you've got to work over. Then when you decide to go digital for more improvements the cost will be less most likely.
Tom: That is correct.
Chris: Excellent. All right. Tom, I appreciate it. Kintronics.com, is that the right site?
Tom: Kintronic, www.Kintronic.com. Excellent, that's Tom King.
Tom: Also, I would encourage stations if they're sitting on valuable property to start thinking about selling their property and moving and we have all the tools to allow them to do that.
Chris: Even better. All right, Kintronic.com. Thanks again, Tom.
Tom: Thanks a lot.
Chris: What are we changing around here?
Kirk: Chris, I've got Frank Foti next. I'll grab the mike here.
Chris: You'll take this one.
Kirk: Yeah, I'll take this one if you don't care. Will that be all right?
Chris: That's all right, he's your boss.
Kirk: He's my boss, that's right. Hey, you're watching This Week in Radio Tech Episode Number 208, we are live, at least if you're watching live, at the NAB 2014 show at the Los Vegas Convention Center in Las Vega, Nevada.Let's bring in Frank Foti, El Padrino. How are you doing?
Frank: [imitating the God Father] The cook has to see this Spanzinni [SP] business I notice the tag it all the time. I'm drinking more ice tea than I used to.
Kirk: [laughing] I could never control myself.
Frank: Kirk, where did you get this jacket? I mean, does it say Porter Wagner on the back?
Kirk: No, there's was a guy behind the Stratosphere Hotel and he had some girls around him. When I showed up the girls scattered. I like the suit but he started running. I tagged him three blocks later, I knocked him down and got the suit.
Frank: You know what, folks? He's been here all week. I hope you had the bistro or the prime rib somewhere.
Kirk: Frank, you have a position at Telos, now you've been in it for a couple of years as CEO, so we're getting some excellent guidance and you've taking the course of the Telos Alliance and giving us a business plan, an attitude, and a purpose that is really agreeable. It's a great environment to work in, but it's also a great business environment. When our business is good it's always good for our customers and maybe vice versa, what we do good for the customers is good for our business environment.
Frank: Well, Kirk, you hope that it's that way. It might have taken me a couple of years, but I think we've got ourselves in a good place. We've got a great staff. One of the things that I made, let's say, a promise to myself was to carry the culture of Telos going forward or try to keep it the same that it's always been. This year is the 30th year that Telos has been at the NAB, in 1985 Steve Church showed the Telos 10 here. Back at that time he was building them by hand and back then Telos was Steve. A few years later it was Steve and I about ten other people and now we've got this huge exhibit here and all that other kind of stuff.
But to the point that you asked, we were able to identify a number of people in the company, like yourself, that wanted to basically be given so rope, if you will, and run with it. You have and people like Marty Sacks has with Axia. We've seen some great stuff with Cornelius as he's helped me carry a lot things with Omnia.
Now Denny Sanders has been able to be involved in that area. We've got a major home run hitter in Tim Carroll and the gang at Linear Acoustic, anything sort of what, five technical Emmy awards. There's going to be some exciting things with regard to 25-Seven in the not too distant future, but deeper within the company we've been able to identify some people that have stepped up and are doing some great things. Our Chief Operating Officer, Scott Stiefel [SP], who actually has come back to the company. Scott began working with us, what, 20 years ago as an engineer, then he went away and come back, and he's now our Chief Operating Officer.
We're very fortunate, a lot of great things going on. We've had an exciting week out here in Las Vegas and some even more exciting things yet to come.
Kirk: Let ask you about the industry as a whole, instead of just the Telos Alliance. We seem to have our finger on the pulse here. What are you seeing in the radio and now even the television industry, are we coming out of a slump? Does it feel like people are building studios and moving forward like they've been holding off in the last few years?
Frank: Well, there are some people that are, but one of the things that we were always able to do, we did some of our best growth during the downturn. That's because we retrenched and we saw to it that during recessions we had major projects going on. During one of the recessions, I think the original Omnia was in development. During the next recession Axia was in development, such that when the recession ended we were there with new--
Kirk: Ready product.
Frank: Right. In the case of Axia that was disruptive technology. The birth of audio over IP came from Telos or the Telos Alliance.
So to answer your question, I keep my ear on the pulse, but I do believe that independent of where the business landscape might be you can make things or break things on your own. We've been able to grow our business and our company during tough times. But there seems to be a little bit less turbulence in the air right now.
Kirk: Whatever the new now is it seems to be people are accepting it and moving ahead with it.
Frank: Yep, is sure does.
Kirk: Frank, thank you for your time and I really appreciate it, good to see you.
Frank: Thank you, Kirk, good luck.
Kirk: We're also talking to Leif and Vincent about some audio processing.
Frank: Actually yeah, this year Omnia has been quite busy. I'm sure Leif's got some interesting things to talk about with the Omnia 9, Omnia 11. We had some new interesting things, let's see, there's an Omnia NPX tool on Omnia 7, audio processor on Omnia Voco which is a voice processor. We even have an Omnia 9XE streaming processor. So the munchkins in Omnia land have been rather busy.
Kirk: I want to follow up on one of the things you said, do we have a mod monitor now?
Frank: That we do.
Kirk: That is so cool. What's it called?
Frank: It's called NPX Tool.
Kirk: It has been available in software for people to run on their own, but now it's a real box.
Frank: It's a real box and we see a lot of functionality from that box. One of the things that has been brought to our attention here at the show, and I guess it came up at the NRSC meeting the other day, was there's a fairly large concern about time alignment in FM between the analog channel and the digital channel. Quite honestly, it's something I've been wanting to see get standardized for quite a while, so we can it automatic, so I'd about this time next year we will probably have that problem licked.
Kirk: Cool, time alignment, that's important too. Thanks again, Frank, I sure appreciate you.
Frank: Good luck.
Kirk: All right, you're watching This Week in Radio Tech on the GFQ Network. We've got next, I want to bring in a couple of engineers who are here.
Shane and Andrea, can you both come in? I know Leif had to run off. We'll get Leif and Vincent as soon we can. Greg Shay is going to join us, too, about AES67.
Kirk: Okay, we've got a couple of folks who are really in the trenches. I mean, you're on Facebook taking pictures from towers, right?
Shane: Oh yeah, I take pictures of transmitter sites group on Facebook.
Kirk: Oh yeah, that's right.
Shane: It gets to be an adventure sometimes going out to some of these mountains.
Kirk: I really said it too quickly, Shane Toven, Director of Engineering at Wyoming Public Radio and Andrea Toven.
Kirk: And what are you doing, supporting him or doing your own stuff?
Andrea: Oh, a little bit of both, yeah.
Shane: I think I can count on one hand the number of couples in broadcast engineering that I know. It's a rare commodity and I'm really pleased.
Kirk: I've thought about seeing if my wife would be my partner when I do engineering, because she's a nurse and that might be important.
Have you ever had to bandage him up?
Andrea: No, he's been smart enough.
Shane: Yeah, I've drawn blood at transmitter site, but usually nothing critical.
Kirk: So I notice both of you--and if I put my badge on, I'm A.P.R.E.-- you're both highly involved with A.P.R.E. that stands for?
Shane: Yes, the Association of Public Radio Engineers.
Kirk: And they always meet a little bit before NAB.
Shane: Right every year we put on the Public Radio Engineering Conference, which is the Thursday and Friday just prior to NAB, so if you're in public radio or if you're interested in what the public radio community is doing it's a great place to be. We have all sorts of vendors who will come and speak and it's a great time.
Kirk: You really had a packed house.
Shane: We did, we must have had about 80 engineers attend this year.
Kirk: By the way, if you're speaking to them it looks like 800. It's scary.
Shane: Yeah, Kirk, you actually joined us this year. That was a wonderful presentation you had.
Kirk: Thank you for inviting me. We had a panel about AES67.
Kirk: What does that mean for interconnecting all these digital AoIP systems?
Shane: Exactly, it's not a total solution, but at least people can talk a common language. You still lose a little bit of the custom functionality, but at least you're talking to each other.
Kirk: So engineers in the public radio realm, it they're not already an A.P.R.E. member or interested where should they go to check it out?
Shane: Go to the website at apre.us, there's information how to join with the Association of Public Radio Engineers and information about the public radio engineering conference that we hold every year. In fact, for members of A.P.R.E. I just posted all the content from last year's conference. I plan to post the content from conference from this year's conference as well soon as it's available.
Kirk: Yeah, I owe you a PowerPoint, I'll get to it.
Kirk: Andrea, what have you two seen here at the show that you go back to your room and you're talking about? What's interesting?
Andrea: Oh, everything.
Kirk: It's a little bit overwhelming sometimes.
Andrea: Yeah, sometimes you need blinders or something. I don't know, what has popped out to you?
Shane: What did you think of the new stuff over at the Nautel booth?
Andrea: Oh yeah, the GV. We're looking at possibly looking at those to put it in a couple of sites.
Kirk: And that's a transmitter that's more efficient.
Andrea: [inaudible 00:30:52] I believe so.
Shane: Yeah, much, much more efficient.
Kirk: I think you get more RF out than the A.C. that goes in, it's fabulous.
Shane: Yeah, soon your power company will be paying you to install one, yeah.
Kirk: Hey, there's an idea. Pick up all the RF from your other stations and put that back in the A.C. system.
Shane: There you go.
Kirk: And get higher ratings for yourself because you'll lower everybody else's. Maybe we shouldn't do that.
Kirk: Hey, thanks a lot for joining us, Shane and Andrea Toven. Oh, Andrea, you've got a badge here that says, "Smiling Dog Systems." All right, what's that about?
Andrea: The badge or the--
Kirk: Smiling Dog.
Andrea: Smiling Dog Systems is our contracting company.
Kirk: So you're not busy enough being the director of engineering for Wyoming Public Radio?
Shane: I spend most of my time doing that and she goes out into the field or spends time in the shop doing work, just various engineering things. We actually sell component electronics online.
Andrea: Small parts kits on Amazon right now and looking towards expanding that.
Kirk: So if I want a one-end 914 diode and they don't have it at Radio Shack, I can get one from you?
Shane: Oh, yeah.
Kirk: And probably more esoteric.
Shane: We have a lot of other things, yeah.
Andrea: [inaudible 00:31:59] at Radio Shack.
Kirk: It's a little hard, I'm having a hard time finding 5532 ICs lately.
Andrea: I've got them.
Kirk: All right, good deal. Thanks a lot for joining us.
Kirk: All right, take care. Shane and Andrea Toven, husband and wife team from Wyoming. Let's see, we're going to bring in Leif Claesson real quick right now. Hey, Leif, come on in.
Leif: Hi, Kirk, how are you doing?
Kirk: You are a popular figure in the Internet. It's good to see you.
Leif: Thank you, likewise.
Kirk: Leif is the designer of . . .
Leif: Quite a few things now, but radio wise there's Omnia 9, Omnia 9XE, and MPX Tool. Previous things were Breakaway, Octimax, Volume Logic, kind of a long list of things by now. Then there's the Aeromax, and Aeroair, and AERO 1000, and AERO 2000 from Linear Acoustic on the TV side.
Kirk: I'm running a little short on time here, so if you had to pick one thing that people are asking you about and you're talking about--
Leif: Omnia 9.
Kirk: What are they liking? What's the technology in there that's attractive to people?
Leif: The big one, I would say, is Undo, because it's something to finally put an end to the loudness wars or a least make loudness wars livable. I guess loudness wars are a fact of life by now. It even makes a recording like Metallica's Deaf Magnetic from 2008--
Kirk: I've heard this comparison here.
Leif: I know, it's been crowned as the winner of the loudness award. You'd think everyone else would have put their weapons down already, but at least it now makes it sound tolerable. It removes most of the distortion, adds some dynamics back in and makes it rock the way it should.
Kirk: So you're fixing the content that stations are having to use and then processing it the way they want.
Leif: Indeed, because if you're playing anything made after the year 2000 then it's going to be compressed and overly clipped and distorted already on the CD.
Kirk: [in old man's voice] That's why I don't like this new-fangled music. I like my old music from the '80s.
Leif: Exactly, you and me both, but you can only listen to Steely Dan so many times before you need some new music as well.
Kirk: Although that is a great example of music that sounds good, it's not over processed.
Leif: They're well recorded. It's kind of scary when you think about the fact that they're recordings are all from the '70s and they sound fricking excellent. They you compare it to something today where it seems that the better technology gets the worst the quality of music.
Kirk: I know, I know.
Leif: What's with that?
Kirk: So if people want to find out more about your technology and the Omnia 9 and the MPX Tool and other things, I guess they go to--
Leif: The starting point would be Omniaaudio.com/9.
Kirk: Good deal. Leif, thanks so much for joining us, I appreciate it. We'll do another whole show with you explaining more about Undo and that technology.
Leif: Oh, that'd be great.
Kirk: All right, Man, take care.
Leif: Thank you, Kirk.
Kirk: You're watching This Week in Radio Tech, show Number208 live from the NAB 2014. I'm Kirk Harnack along with Chris Tobin. Hey, Chris.
Kirk: Got anybody interesting to talk to?
Chris: Yes, I've got Greg Shay to come over.
Kirk: Okay, all right. Greg, come on in.
Greg: Kirk, your talk was on AES67?
Kirk: Yeah, 67 is what we're going to talk about. Do you want to chat with him about it?
Kirk: Okay here, I'll give you the mic. Do you need headphones?
Chris: I'm good.
Kirk: Oh, you're good.
Greg: You're good?
Chris: Good to see you again.
Greg: How are you doing?
Chris: Greg and I had the opportunity to sit on a panel recently back at AES in New York City. You're still working with the AES67, right?
Chris: Give us a little synopsis of that.
Greg: Sure. As you may know the standard was published in September. One of the big questions was how well it was going to be adopted and accepted by all the major manufacturers. It' been very encouraging that all of the major implementers of audio over IP ourselves--our system of course being Livewire-- Ravenna, Dante, Wheatstone, all the major players have announced support for it, so that's like the first hurdle. Now the second hurdle and what we're looking forward to is the first Plug Fest when we're going to have all of the manufacturers get together and everybody try to talk to everybody else. It's a little bit of keeping each other honest and a little bit of just discovering, "Oh, we didn't realize this."
Chris: Plug fests are done by a lot of manufacturers for other products as well, audio codec, transmitters and stuff, just to get an idea when you're doing interoperability not just independently.
Chris: AES67, so everyone knows, is the approach or the attempt to make IP devices and the IP networking of consoles and stuff compatible or interoperable. So if I have a Livewire device and I want to talk to a Wheatnet device the hope is AES67 would allow us somehow to cross that bridge.
Chris: Okay. I just want to make sure, because a lot of people always ask me, "What is AES67?" So I just wanted to make sure we had that.
Greg: I was going to say, one way to look at it is AES67 was not inventing something new, something different. Essentially a lot of the audio over IP systems are very similar just some of these minor differences, so what AES67 ended up being is, basically you restrict all these other options, let's all pick this basic set, and everybody do this one particular set. In our case we had to add a detail or two. If everybody does the same meet in the middle, then we'll all be able to talk to each other.
Chris: So you could almost say it's like the MIDI protocol that musicians use?
Greg: Yeah, exactly.
Chris: Because I use MIDI for some newsroom applications, actually it was kind of wild what we did with it, but because of that set of parameters we were able to actually use it with the newsroom automation system and people are like, "You're using a MIDI controller to do this stuff with your automation?" "Yes." "Wow." I guess AES67 could be considered the same thing.
Chris: This is cool. When does the plug fest take place, in the spring, fall?
Greg: We're planning on August, basically after I.B.C. It looks like it may be sponsored by Swedish Radio. Again, we consider this to be really important, because here are the major customers.Of course, you know how standards are, customers love them, vendors are sometimes not so sure, so if you have the major customers standing up and saying, "Look, this is important and we are saying it's important." In fact customers begin to say things like, "We're not going to buy it unless it's AES67." That gives the pull through, you have to pull the standards through.
Chris: Oh, cool. I.B.C. I think is September.
Greg: Okay, so maybe it's before. The date isn't set yet. At the AES in Berlin coming up in two weeks is the planning committee for the plug fest.
Chris: In any case, it's happening this year, most likely in the latter half of the year. That's great.
Chris: All right, well thank you very much, Greg. I appreciate it.
Greg: Very good.
Chris: That's Greg Shay, he's the chief science officer with Telos, just so you know. If you have any questions for him email him. Well that's it, that's all I can say.
Chris: Thanks, Greg.
Chris: All right, Kirk, what do we have coming up?
Kirk: We've never had Barry on the show before and sometime I want to have Barry on for the whole show.
Chris: Excellent, absolutely.
Kirk: I'll tell you what, do you want to talk to Barry?
Chris: Sure I can.
Kirk: All right, good. Come on in, Barry. Barry Mishkind. Because Barry was very encouraging to me to even start doing this podcast I kind of gave him a little freebee sponsorship from the B.D.R.
Barry: Right, the Broadcasters' Desktop Resource.
Kirk: Absolutely, so let's talk about that and what Barry's seen at the show that's pretty cool. Thank you, Barry, for your encouragement when we were getting the podcast going. I appreciate that.
Barry: All right.
Chris: Thanks for coming on, Barry. All right, the first thing we'll start with is the Broadcasters' Desktop Reference. Give us a little synopsis, when it was started, what was the motivation behind it, and what people can expect from it when they go to it?
Barry: Okay, it's Broadcasters' Desktop Resource, it's www.thebdr.net. It was an outgrowth of what I did at Radio Guide for eight years. I tried to get the information that people need to do the job, get it in a simple, direct, straight forward way. We really seemed to make most people like it the way it is. We're up to about 7,000 unique visitors a month, which is a whole lot of eyeballs. As I walk the floor a lot of folks say, "Hi, how are you? I love to read the newsletter every week. I love to see the site." The companies, the manufacturers, the vendors have really been great at sponsoring the site and keeping all the expenses paid.
Chris: It's a great site. I've used it on many occasions; I've referred it to other folks. So yeah, you've done an excellent job and the support you're getting is phenomenal.
Let's move on to where we are right now, which is NAB Las Vegas 2014. What have you seen at this show that seen at this show that you would say--I know everybody says, "What have you seen new? What stands out?" I've been noticing a lot of things that don't stand out are the old staples of the industry have just got a new face, but now more efficient.
We had Chuck on earlier talking about Nautel's ability to increase efficiencies on transmitters. A transmitter is nothing new, but the efficiency that's something new. So what have you noticed, if anything, around the north, south, and central halls?
Barry: Okay, what can I say? Tuesday's my lunch day, so I'm really sort of shy of on Tuesday and Monday everybody's got to pay for the carpet, so I wondered around, had some appointments, and I saw some things ranging from the Nautel GV, the Rohde & Schwarz with the glycol liquid cooling. They had actually sold one, it's being installed in Dallas right now.
Chris: Totally incredible.
Barry: Then of course you've got the other end of things with the B.E. folks and whoever. Oh, Gates Air, they're back as Gates.
I think that the fact that we can put our hands above a transmitter and barely tell that it's running, the Nautel or the Rohde & Schwarz, for instance, they run silent. When you think of all those transmitter rooms where you have to have the earplugs and try to exist and shot over your transmitter to give instructions to the guy working with you.
Chris: Yeah, the one that comes to mind is a FM 25K, it think it was. Yes, the Harris.
Chris: Kaboom, they're very loud, yes. But you're absolutely right, I did go by one of the transmitter manufacturers like, "Handle the top." "Wow." As Chuck was mentioning the temperature in/temperature out difference is now 12 degrees.
Chris: I said to myself, "Wait a minute, I remember the spec used to be anything around 80 degrees was normal, now it's 12 degrees." It's great.
Barry: Now a lot of you guys have to have heaters in your transmitter rooms.
Chris: Yeah, you can't exhaust the heat into the building anymore, that stinks. Anyway, listen, Barry, it's a real pleasure. We'll definitely have you come back and talk some more and do some more in detail.
Barry: Thank you.
Chris: You're welcome.
Barry: I enjoyed seeing you and hope your little show keeps going.
Chris: Oh, the show is going well. Yeah, my picture's in the Post Office, people love it.
Barry: All right, take care now.
Chris: Enjoy the show, safe travels home.
Barry: Thank you, you too.
Chris: All right.
Chris: Oh, Sound4.
Kirk: Yeah, Sound4. This is Vincent.
Vincent, what's your last name?
Vincent: Vincent Defretin.
Kirk: Vincent Defretin.
Vincent: Yeah, that's me.
Kirk: Good to see you. Vincent, you are Sound4, yes?
Kirk: Okay. Sound4 is fairly new to me. Maybe I've only heard of you for a couple of years, so tell us about Sound4.
Vincent: Yeah, Sound4 was established in 2007 and the goal was to do products around PCI Express card and open a new way of projects.
Kirk: Audio processing or streaming?
Vincent: We first started with audio processing then we added extra features. We do RDS encoder, we do program backup, we do audio over IP solutions, we do streaming. Also, we proposed as very nice voice processing, it's now in a box.
Kirk: That's what I want to talk to you about. You've talked about all of these things you can do, but we now have in cooperation with Omnia we have some specific products incorporating your technology and your hardware surrounded by our box and user interface. Tell us about the mic processor, everyone is asking about this.
Vincent: Yeah, the mic processor, it's a beautiful system. We can manage up to eight mics. [inaudible 00:44:15] you can divide ratios and create virtual studios, so it's very flexible. You can say, I need four mics in one studio and then one mic for a voice track, so create different virtual studios and play around. It's a good thing, we share presets, because it's a big change you have 10, 20 studios, "Do I have the right preset in my boxes?"
Kirk: Right, so you don't have to go manually put in a preset in every studio.
Vincent: Oh, yeah. If you're a new guy arriving you just do a setup and you're sure at each studio you get the presets, so that's fine. Also, we have a new way that's doing recall by defaults, because in all defaults guys are seeking the place at the same time, so why are you doing recalls each reset? So we can set a full configuration and then recall it. Very soon it will be recalled directly from the Axia mixer.
Kirk: Okay. One more product, we've been working with the Omnia 7 and this has your technology--
Vincent: And Frank's technology.
Kirk: Yours and Frank's?
Kirk: You mean you got down together and had a cup of coffee.
Vincent: Oh yeah, coffee and beer. Because Frank does crazy [inaudible 00:45:21] and Frank and I decided to take the best of what we do together and finally this Omnia 7 is coming. It was really needed, because between the 1, the 9, and the 11 there are no processing, so this is the target of this product. But it's not Omnia processor, we provide many functionality around and a very attractive price, so it's a good solution.
Kirk: Let me ask you about a little bit of history. Before Sound4 you were in involved in another processor that was very popular in France.
Vincent: In Europe.
Kirk: In Europe, yeah, and got some buzz around it, what was this processor called?
Vincent: It was I.D.T. and we did a very big system. We also launched the first FFT processor in real time. So yes, it was a huge success and now must of our engineers are at Sound4 now, so we continue.
Kirk: Perfect. Vincent, thank you so much, I appreciate it.
Vincent: Thank you.
Kirk: Now also on the stand with you, who is the other person on your team?
Vincent: Yeah, Camille is the head of engineering. He's is a very nice guy, he gets crazy ideas and together we do very nice things.
Kirk: It's good to have a partnership with you and you're company.
Vincent: Oh yes, and for us to too.
Kirk: Thank you very much, Vincent, take care. Bye.
Vincent: That you, Kirk. Bye.
Kirk: That was great, who's next? We have Geoff.
Chris: Now serving Ticket Two.
Kirk: I'll tell you what, how about you and Geoff talk. I'm going to go arrange some more.Geoff is the brainchild behind 25-Seven.
Geoff: I think it's fair to say.
Kirk: I love that name. What's 25-Seven? Well, think about it, it gives you and extra hour every day.
Geoff: If we could make a personal version of it I'd be a rich man. I would be the first customer.
Kirk: I'd pay money for that, too, yeah.
Geoff: Thanks, Kirk.
Chris: All right. Welcome, Geoff, to the show. It's good to see you again.
Geoff: It's good to see you.
Chris: Just for disclosure, Geoff and I do know each other from prior to this interview right now.
So 25-Seven, explain to the audience maybe how it started? What group of crazy people brought everything together? How many years ago? And then how it evolved over the years and where we are today?
Geoff: Sure. Well, 25-Seven Systems, the team actually existed before the company. In some ways creating the company was an excuse to get the band back together. Many of you may have known us from the Orban Audicy, we were the guys who made the AKG DSE-7000 and then the Orban Audicy digital workstations. It was such a great team; we've all worked together for so many years.
We reformed under 25-Seven Systems when we came out with Audio Time Manager. We were really trying to solve an interesting problem of helping stations better deal with time on their live air by using time compression, so we built a real-time time compressor, kind of like a TiVo for radio. It's a very popular box and I've got stations that don't know how they did live radio without it. It's kind of all over the country.
Then we moved on to basically reinvent the profanity delay to take an old dog and give it a bunch of new tricks. PDM is our top selling unit and the killer app in it is a feature we have called PD Alert. When you press the dump button it captures a before and after audio file snapshot of what was dumped, what went to air, what didn't go to air, instantly emails it to the program director of the general manager, or the lawyers, or the FCC if you're so inclined, a glutton for punishment.
Chris: I will say that I have worked at a radio station where we did use that box and we did have two presenters or DJs on the air that, well, unfortunately they did hit the button, they did everything and those emails went out. It was entertaining because I was on the list as well as the program director and others, and just to it work and hear it going was, "Wow." What even more important was when the person was brought into the office to discuss what happened there's was no--
Geoff: There was no he said-she said.
Chris: Exactly. Actually it keeps you accountable and honest. I will say that.
Geoff: A lot of program directors have told me it's been a quality control tool. We've had some say that they've had sloppy board ops who were covering their behinds by just dumping, when they should just be paying attention, to cover their tracks. This way there's actually no way from them to pull it off the box, we didn't give them a delete key to take it off, so once it's one there and once it gets emailed out, you know, things stay on the Internet.
Chris: So there you go, if I'm and engineer for a station and I'm thinking maybe what I should be doing is talking to someone like yourself or whomever and say, "How do I apply this in my radio station?" And talk to the program director, because now what you can do is avoid having them point fingers at, "Well, it was engineering's fault. The console wasn't' working. It was a broken button, it's not me, it's somebody else." I'm only kidding; it's whatever you want to do with it.
But it's a great box, it does work. I've used it, so for full disclosure, it does work very well.
Geoff: We became part of the Telos Alliance last year, January 1st, 2013. It's been a great marriage and it was sort of visionary of Frank and Tim to bring us in. They wanted the team and my whole crew is in and we're doing some great things behind the scenes. I'm sorry to use the word synergy, but there's cross- pollinization between our engineers and the guys at the Telos. It's been a warm embrace. We're doing some very cool tech. Now we can start to use some of the piece parts we've developed within 25-Seven and put it in for the greater good.
Some of our delay management really belongs in the Omnia and we're working on these things right now. There's just so much more that we can do, it's an issue of scale. These guys really get it and it's been great. I'm very happy.
Geoff: It's a great show. I'd be remiss if I didn't drop the F-bomb on Chris' show.
Chris: The F-bomb on tour. Here we go the physical F-bomb, that's all I'm going to say. Use your imagination.
Geoff: By the end of the show there's going to be hundreds of these flying all over the floor.
Chris: Excellent. Geoff, thanks a lot. I appreciate it, we'll see you later. All right, Kirk, who do we have lined next? Does Tom want to come in? Who's next?
Kirk: No, we've got Joost [SP]. You know Joost, right?
Chris: I know Joost. It's good to see you, it's been so long.
Joost: It's good to see you.
Kirk: Is it the case that the camera's not picking up screens here, because of the reflection?
Chris: It depends on the angle.
Kirk: It depends on the angle, there we go, okay. So this is going to be called Telos Live. It's not available yet, of course, Luci Live is available absolutely today.
Chris: So it's the Luci engine rebranded as Telos Live.
Kirk: Exactly. This is live MPEG layer 2 from my office in Nashville.
Chris: Really, that's your office? That's your music?
Kirk: Yeah, we party 24/7.
Chris: Okay, now I understand a few things.
Joost: You can connect to Amsterdam, basically, through the Luci Live app if you like.
Kirk: I'll let you two talk about the technology.
Chris: All right. Well, welcome to the program, Joost, it's good to see you again.
As Kirk pointed out, talk about the technology. Luci Live's been around a while. I've been playing with it since 2004 or 2005, so talk about it, give people insight as to where you came from with it, why you did it. I remember the stories you told me, so tell us this.
Joost: So I can talk for the coming two hours, maybe?
Chris: Oh, no, sorry. We can't do two hours.
Joost: Okay, let's do the short version. We have our tenth anniversary this year, because we started in 2004 at the time with the mobile pocket PCs. Broadcasters were approaching us to ask if we could record MPEG-2 and send it out to the station via FTP, so we did that at that time.
Then, of course, the next step would be live imported from the field via the, at that time called UMTS, and we started making live applications for Windows Mobile but after a while also iOS, Blackberry, Windows, MAC. We cover all the platforms now with Luci Live.
Chris: Excellent, I can say from personal experience using Luci Live on all those platforms is it's probably the most intuitive application you'll ever come across, I'm pretty sure of it. It's works very well. I've used it in many places where most people said, "It's impossible." So I've had fun with it.
Also, one of the things that I always like to remind people is, if you're going to use your phone one thing you have to remember is cell phones or mobile phones these days, the audio interface is not as standard as you'd like it to be. As a result you come up with some very strange sounds and audio, but Joost and the folks at Luci have come up with a very nice design. I will say it meets both RFI specifications, proper crosstalk specifications, and it just works. It has the MIKI cable, MIKI-3 for black and MIKI white, so if you want white for your phone depending on your needs. It works really well, worth getting.
Joost: It has some very smart features. One smart thing is it has line input level and microphone input level. Basically you can connect it to a mixer output to record all [inaudible 00:54:59]
Chris: I actually have worked with a couple of radio stations recently where we've done that. They have their mixer output, there's a cell phone on the table and the mixer and people looking are, "What are you doing?" I'm like, "They're doing a live broadcast." "What?"
It's a black square, if you can see it in this graphic, I'm sure you can. There is electronics, so it is an active device with the line and mic input is ideal.
Oh, by the way, there a headphone jack for those of you asking to yourself, "Can I listen to myself on the return audio from the far end?" It's all right here, so with this and a phone you've got yourself a broadcast facility.
Kirk: So you're on the air.
Chris: You're on the air everywhere. Wait, Joost has one more thing.
Joost: I want them to look at this, because this is the most easiest software to use.
Chris: Oh, Luci For All, yes. I'm quite familiar with that.
Joost: Luci For All, just press the button and you're connected to any customized station you can do. At the moment we're streaming live to the Netherlands 6000 kilometers away and we could just do a live broadcast.
Kirk: I was so confused, I thought Luci For All called all radio stations.
Chris: No, this is great. I've already work with some people with this, it's cool. It has some great applications.
Kirk: Yeah, so has everybody.
Chris: Luci for All is the new multicasting device.
Joost: It reminds me of a movie where someone takes over all the broadcasting stations and says, "I'm going to nuke you."
Chris: There you go, a thermonuclear device.
Kirk: Joost, thank you very much. I do appreciate it, I'll talk to you later.
Chris: It's good to see you again, I'll talk to you later.
Kirk: Chris, I'll give you a little relief here for a minute and you can go have a cup of tea or finish that margarita.
Chris: Oh, you mean my rum.
Kirk: Bye the way you're watching This Week in Radio Tech Episode 208, live from the NAB Show 2014, glad you're here. With me is a fellow that--I guess I knew your software before I knew you.
This is Stu Buck with the company with the crazy name Arctic Palm and you're in Canada.
Kirk: What, were you drunk?
Stu: No, but Canada gets a little cold so we had the arctic side and we also had an office in Florida which has the palm side.
Kirk: Oh, now it makes sense. Well, one of your pieces of software right now is running at my stations in America Samoa. It's taking metadata from our automation systems, plus commercial advertising matter, and PSAs and putting it all in text form to put on the RDS.
Stu: We can do the RDS, we can do your website, we can do HD, we can do Twitter, we can do Facebook.
Kirk: You can push this metadata to all those different things.
Stu: All those different places. With our latest release there are two new little goodies in there with HD. We're doing the artist experience, so you now see pictures on radio and we're not calling it television.
Stu: One of the big things that we've seen over the last few years is people wanting to monetize their RDS and working with companies like Inovonics and ourselves we now have a now have a process where we will take your metadata, your commercial advertiser's message, put it in all of those places, and on the RDS side we'll pull it back in through the Inovonics 633, which allows us to verify back to the client that his metadata actually was broadcast on the air.
Kirk: Wow. And people paying want verification.
Stu: Yeah, absolutely. They won't take our word for it.
Kirk: We've only got another minute. You make a software product that works with a phone system that Telos makes.
Stu: Yes, we do. That we do.
Kirk: What does it do?
Stu: It's basically your call screening. You can screen all your calls. Your producer can take care of getting your calls lined up, sequencing them, communicating back and forth with the host. But it also links into our data casting, so your caller information can be going on the RDS, the displays. It also links it with our contesting package, so a simple click and we now have all you contest winner information ready for your receptionist to pick it up.
Kirk: So the station can sound on the air like it knows what it's doing?
Stu: That's the intent.
Kirk: That's the problem with our stations; we don't always sound like we know. Maybe we should get that for this show.
Chris: That would help out.
Stu: Yeah, we just released the version for the VX and thanks to some fine people at Telos we managed to get a VX unit in my office and we get to play with it a lot.
Kirk: So RDS and then you'll push this metadata out to lots of places, phone screening. What's one more popular product that you make?
Stu: Contesting. Basically with contesting there are three keys parts to it. One for the promotion department, they can schedule what contest, when they're going to run, and what prizes they're going to give away. Making sure that the on-air staff don't give away things that they're not supposed to. For the on-air staff a very simple module to capture the listener information, click the button, pops it out to reception, you come in with an electronic signature, take your prize, so there you go.
Kirk: At one station I gave away the manager's car and I probably wasn't supposed to do that.
Stu: And how long did you work there, not counting tomorrow?
Kirk: The website would be?
Kirk: Okay. Stu Buck, thank you so much, good to see you.
Stu: Thank you, Kirk, have a great day.
Kirk: All right, it's This Week In Radio Tech live from NAB 2014 in our final minutes here. We have a couple more.
Tom, did you find your son? Here we go, come on in here.
Tom: He's coming on in.
Kirk: Tom McGinley with CBS in San Francisco. Come on closer here. Jeff, come on closer. Okay, good deal. So Tom, I've known you forever.
Tom: Forever, back probably early '80s.
Kirk: Yeah, let's measure it in years, not wives.
Tom: Okay, well for you, I've been married to the same woman for 42 years, so there you go.
Kirk: Now, Jeff McGinley is on our crack support team here at the Telos Alliance.
Jeff: Yes, I am.
Kirk: Somehow you two are related.
Kirk: Anybody care to cross that bridge.
Tom: There's a female that's common in our lives.
Tom: Indeed. She's the angel of my life, by the way.
Kirk: This would be your bride?
Tom: That would be my bride and the mother of my child.
Kirk: Father-son. You couldn't keep him out of engineering or radio.
Tom: I couldn't, I tried to. She told me that if I got him involved in radio she would kill me and then she would divorce me.
Kirk: In that order.
Tom: In that order. But I managed to get him started actually in computers first, but he found his way into radio and nonetheless I couldn't prevent it. It's kind of contagious, and it's a disease, and once you get it you don't get rid of it.
Kirk: Tom, you've been in a lot of booths here and you've talked to a lot of people, is there a technology that people should be paying attention to? Is there something up and coming and rising? Is there a new and better way to do something we already do that's interesting to you?
Tom: Well, it's probably called AoIP, isn't that the new thing on the block? I guess I'm five years too late.
Kirk: Yeah, it's 14 years old now, but yeah.
Tom: Oh 14, oh okay. No, here on the floor what I've found is it's mostly existing products with enhancements that are out there. There's not too many brand new gee whiz, wow technologies that have broken through for the first time out here.
One item I did kind of take an eye on is the all liquid cooled FM transmitter by Rhode & Schwarz, that's kind of a breakthrough. We haven't seen that before.
Kirk: What kind of liquid? Is it alcohol?
Tom: I guess it's a glycol based thing or something like that.
Kirk: That doesn't taste nearly as good.
Tom: Not as good, no, exactly. But beyond that it's mostly enhancements. There's a lot of good stuff out here, no question.
Kirk: Of course in our booth we're talking a lot about voice over IP for telephony, getting off the POTS lines which are getting expensive and getting of the ISDN and the T1s, so moving into voice over IP.
Do you know something about that, Jeff?
Jeff: Absolutely, it kept me very busy last year. I was running around the country installing VX systems, so the voice enabled hybrid that we have is just amazing.
Kirk: Tom, you have an interesting mix in your life of adopting new technologies and yet being prudent and careful at the same time.
Tom: That's right.
Kirk: What advice do you have for engineers who are maybe scared of newer technology, don't want to learn about or what should they jump into? How do you measure that?
Tom: Well, I am the proverbial Doubting Thomas. I let the other folks be the cutting edge, bleeding edge first adopters, typically. I let a technology kind of season itself before I eat and pay for it.
But you've got to be judicious on that and there's still a lot of legacy technology out there that works really, really well and there's no sense leaving it behind if it's doing the job for you. If you're being left behind in any aspect of technology then you've got to look around and say, "Hey, what are these guys using that are leaping ahead of me." Then that's when you want to justify to your ownership, "I've got to spend some money and get updated here." But you've got to keep your eyes open all the time, because it's moving very, very fast.
Kirk: Some technologies offer the promise of saving a lot of money, like voice over IP. I have a friend in Nashville who could save literally $800 a month on nine phone line by going from POTS to voice over IP, but he's wary.
Tom: VoIP when it first started was a little shaky, I think everybody has to recognize that. I have waited myself to upgrade my own PBX at my own stations in Seattle. We're going to do it probably later this year.
Kirk: But that's a big investment you can't just change it because the technology changes on a dime.
Tom: It is, I'm going to save money by doing. It's stable enough now in my mind that there's no reason to wait any longer, absolutely.
Kirk: Jeff, will you be there to help him along the way?
Jeff: Yes, I will, absolutely.
Kirk: It's great talking to you guys, I appreciate it.
Tom: It's a wonderful show. You've got a great program here, my friend.
Kirk: Well thank you.
Tom: By the way, you are a great American.
Kirk: Oh, thank you. I hope you'll come and be on the show for an hour sometime.
Tom: Invite me and I'll be there any time.
Kirk: Okay, all right. Take care, guys.
This Week in Radio Tech, I'm Kirk Harnack. We have at least one more guest. We may have time for a couple more.
Come on in, Jason. I want to introduce you to an engineer, this is a show ostensibly about engineering. This is Jason Wisnieski. Hi, Jason.
Jason: Hi, Kirk.
Kirk: Jason works at the Telos Alliance. You're the guy behind a lot of the code for the products that we almost take for granted nowadays.
Jason: A lot of code, a lot of hybrids, a lot codec's, a lot of years.
Kirk: One of the things that Jason and I enjoy talking about, because he often has to correct me about my expectations in a new feature. When you add a new feature to a product--I don't know, what would be a good example? Okay, we added APTX to the ZIP1.
Kirk: Now this isn't a matter of just taking some code from the guys at CSR who own APTX and plugging it in somewhere.
Kirk: There's more integration that's needed.
Jason: Yes, more integration, more testing, more inter-testing. Yeah, everything you add gets exponentially more complicated.
Kirk: Why exponentially? What happens when you add a feature to an existing set of software, what do you have to think about?
Jason: Well, you have to think about how it interacts with everything that you've added before it. If you have one thing you just have to test that. If you have two things you have to test that and the other thing together. If you add three and you have to do one and two, one and three, three and two--
Kirk: Wait, is this like every bit you add to a crypto key doubles everything.
Jason: It doubles, exactly. Not all features interact like that, but most of them do and most of them do in ways that you wouldn't expect.
Kirk: So if we add APTX, which we did a few months ago, it's available now. If we add APTX we have to test it whether we're calling TSCP through the server or an RTP call, or an ASIP call.
Jason: Does it recover well? Does recover well from errors? Does it work with all these other codec's that hadn't tested against before, because we didn't have the APTX before?
Kirk: Got you, wow. One question that comes up a lot is people want interconnectivity between IP codec brands, so they have a Z/IP One, they want to talk to a Suprema IP, or maybe a MAYAH, or even a Barix box. I the mind of the user, and in my mind also for years, was the idea, "Well, if they both do MPEG Layer 2, what's the problem?"
Well, what is the problem? Why when two things have MPEG Layer 2 and they still don't work together what else is there to consider?
Jason: Not only are there different header types on Layer Two, because Layer Two's not a complete description of the codec, but there's also RTP format differences. There's different interpretations of the standards on which these things are based, because as standard as the might be they're still written in English.
Kirk: Okay, and English speakers sometimes have a hard time parsing what is meant.
Jason: Yeah, sure. Sometimes what is implemented popularly might not be by the letter of the spec or by your interpretation, so you have to go back and try again.
Kirk: This has caught Telos off guard a few times and other manufacturers, too, when they're ahead of us, but an early adopter sometimes gets to do things his own why, "Oh, let me interpret it this way and we'll do it this way." But then time goes by and other manufacturers settle on a different way to do the same standard and then they're not compatible.
Jason: Yes, exactly.
Kirk: It's a little frustrating, but it's going to happen.
Jason: Yeah, and we do the hard work, that's our business.
Kirk: Do you know how to fix that if you're a consumer of these products? Complain, and wait, complain and wait.
Jason: Well, first of all, we can't fix things we don't know about and we can't test absolutely everything, although we try. We can usually fix something quickly, but we're not going to release it before it's tested and tested and tested, so that's where the time comes from.
Kirk: One more question, let's talk about the Z/IP One. This is our Zephyr IP, our Z/IP One codec. It's operates very, very automatically and nicely with other Z/IP Ones, but it's compatible in some ways with a variety of other IP codec's.
Jason: Yes, indeed.
Kirk: What's the magic that's in a Z/IP One? What do people go, "Ooh, Aw, that's pretty cool," about?
Jason: When it's Z/IP One to Z/IP One?
Kirk: Yeah, sure.
Jason: Well, it's nice that we have the automatic buffer control and the automatic bit rate control when it's on a fully Z/IP One call, so that you don't have to specifically dial in and know today what your connection's like. It's pretty much taken care of. You've got the error concealment for when it does fall down a little bit, you won't even hear it. With the directory server assist it can find your Z/IP One no matter where it's at.
Kirk: So you don't have to know that IP address of another Z/IP One?
Jason: You just give it a friendly name like a contact in your phone book and it's a familiar experience.
Kirk: So a voiceover artist at home with a dynamic IP address from AT&T, or Comcast, or Cox that doesn't matter if you're using our Z/IP server, which is free, to make a call?
Jason: Yes, correct. It's like the cell phone model, how of the phone numbers in your phone do you actually know anymore? You just pull their name up.
Kirk: Yeah, good point. Jason, we're out of time, but thanks for talking with us. I sure appreciate it.
Jason: My pleasure.
Kirk: Jason W. from our Cleveland office at Telos. Let's see, Mike Erikson's going to want to come in real, real quick. Mike, come on in. How are you doing, Man?
Mike: How are you?
Kirk: I'm good. it's good to see you. Mike is an audio processing expert from the friendly folks over at Wheatstone. You deal with the Vorsis processor.
Mike: That's correct.
Kirk: A few months ago we talked to Jay Tyler for a few minutes, he was down in Sydney, Australia. He chatted with us on our show. I'm glad you could come by today.
Mike: Thank you.
Kirk: Tell us what your customers are asking you about and talking about.
Mike: Well, to a person everyone who's coming to the booth has actually asked about the AES composite and that's been a big thing.
Kirk: Now, for those of us not quite up to speed tell me what that means, AES composite over what, digital IP?
Mike: We're able to send a composite AED signal out the AES pipe into the modulator of the transmitter, so basically what you're doing is you're eliminating the conversion back to analog from a digital processor and then back digital once you get it in a digital exciter. People sometimes get confused, they think this has something to do with HD, this does not, this is for analog traditional FM broadcasting. It's the last link in the circle of being able to have a complete digital chain from the source to the transmitter.
In the past what you've had to do if it came and you wanted to keep it digital you have to come out the left/right AES and you lost composite clipper and you had to deal with the stereo generator in the exciter. You just spend a whole bunch of money on a brand new processor and you couldn't use the stereo generator if you wanted to wanted a digital pass.
Kirk: This is a bit analogous to some stations--Think about it in the past when you only had analog options. With your STL you could shoot a composite signal to the transmitter site. Having your processor at the studio, shoot composite analog to the transmitter site and put it right on the air. Or you could shoot left/right analog audio, like with a Marty type system, shoot left/right and your processor had to go at the transmitter site. If you had stereo phone lines then your processor had to be at the transmitter site. When we could start shooting composite analog the processor could be at the studio.
Now when we're digital, most digital systems heretofore have been left/right audio, your processor had to go back to the transmitter site. So you're saying we can take the composite generated by the processor, still in a digital form, transport it over a fairly standard AES transport?
Mike: Well, there's going to be some new transport methods for STLs. If you're at your transmitter site and the processor's located at the transmitter site you can interface directly with a compatible exciter with composite AES. At the transmitter it eliminates having an D to A converter at the output and A to D converter on the input of the exciter, and ground loops and everything that can be associated with a coax cable that connects between two devices. Now you're going right in. It's as close to putting the actual processor into the transmitter as you can get.
Kirk: This AES signal, is it carried on balanced AES 3?
Mike: It's carried on the balance. There's a couple of things going on. Right now the transmitter manufacturers are carrying the left channel. There's talk about interleaving a left and right to a 384 Standard. There's also talk about using the other unused channel as a secondary backup source to the first channel. So the standard is pretty much there. Everyone's calling it different and people come in and talk about it different, Base Band 192, Omnia Direct, AES over MPX. Everyone's got a different way of basically saying the same idea. It's nice that everyone's on the same page with this and I think it's only going to allow the technology to grow. It's not going to die on the vine like C-QUAM or something else, where everyone was fighting over how to do this.
Kirk: Wow. If folks want to get in touch with you and help maybe get a further explanation of what you're talking about, how do they do that?
Mike: They can just log on to our website wheatstone.com. I'm available at Mike.Erikson@wheatstone.com. There's lot of information about it, both from Telos and from Wheatstone, and from Nautel, and B.E., basically anyone of those manufacturers can clue you in on what's going on.
Kirk: Cool. Mike, thank you for your time, I appreciate it very much. Give my regards to Jay, okay.
Mike: Thank you, Kirk. I will.
Kirk: Okay, all right. Kelly, did you want to come over and say hi to us?
Kirk: Hi, how are you doing?
Kirk: Do you go by Kelly as your first name?
Kelly: I do.
Kirk: I mean, it's your middle name, right?
Kirk: But you go by Kelly. Hang on I've got to tilt the camera up here. What are you, eight feet three? How's the weather up there? I bet you get tired of those jokes don't you.
Kelly: Oh, yeah.
Kirk: Kelly tell us about what you do really quickly, and what have you seen around here?
Kelly: I used to work at a community college taking care of the radio, television, high-end classrooms, so if it plugged in I got to fix it.
Kirk: You got to fix it, great. What have you seen at the show that's been interesting to you?
Kelly: Mostly it's been big breakthroughs last year, but the fine software things adjusted so the products are coming out so they really work this year.
Kirk: More ready for prime time.
Kirk: Is there any particular technology or a booth that's been interesting? Anything that's like, "Oh, I'm going to plan to buy this this year"
Kelly: The one that I found interesting, it's not ready to buy yet, is over in the 8K television. The camera they had last year was the big thing. It had 64 cables coming out, now it's down to two cable.
Kirk: For 8K television?
Kelly: For 8K, yes.
Kirk: Now 4K is going to be a standard and supposedly they're even finding out ways to broadcast it. 8K? I saw at this at the CES Show, but they're really talking about equipment for broadcasters now?
Kelly: Yes. That's going to change a whole lot.
Kirk: Do you think 4K and 8K will do better than 3D did?
Kelly: I think so. 3D's come about 10 to 15 years, it's a flash for a couple of years and then totally disappears.
Kirk: 3D always felt a little gimmicky to me, but 4K and this crazy 8K this is just picture that looks so realistic, it's unbelievable.
Kelly: Yes, I think we'll see it mainly in production, although they have a way to transmit it on a 6-meg channel, but I don't think we'll see it at home.
Kirk: The raw data rate with that stuff, though, is crazy, isn't it? What's 4K? Isn't it 3 gigabits per second?
Chris: Yeah, that's right.
Kirk: Then 8K must be what, four times that?
Chris: It's about four times, yeah.
Kirk: Oh, that's right, it's 12 gigabits per second, which won't fit on a ten gigabit link, so they're having to double trunk some links. Kelly, we're just about time here, we've got to go. Thanks for stopping by.
Kelly: Thank you.
Kirk: All right, take care. Chris, we've got to wrap up the show it's 20 after, good gosh.
Our show's been brought to you by the Telos Alliance, the folks right behind me here. You can go to the website at Telosalliance.com and if you would, sign up for the newsletter it's called Direct Current. We have a little blurb in there. Typically we have little engineering stories, tips and tricks, sometimes new product information or an alert about some new software you may want to download for a Telos, or Omnia, of 25-seven, or Axia, or Linier Acoustic product, so it's a good thing to get. It's called Direct Current, but just go to the Telos website telosalliance.com and sign up for it.
Chris, any parting words?
Chris: Yes, parting words. As mentioned by Mr. Kelly, 8K video, on our next episode I've have pictures to show and demonstrate something. You're going to flip out when you see them.
Kirk: Wow. By the way, it's about time TV's caught up. We've been doing 8K audio for years.
Kirk: I think we've got 16K, even 20K audio and TV's just getting around to it.
Chris: Exactly, TV's just getting around.
Kirk: We'll keep on top of it. Hey, thanks for being with us. I'm Kirk Harnack.
Thanks to Andrew Zarian back in the studio. I guess it's Andrew that's back there. He's been able to sleep for the last hour because we haven't had to switch cameras.
Chris: It's on autopilot.
Kirk: That's right.
Andrew : I've actually really enjoyed the show, Kirk.
Kirk: We'll see you next week on This Week in Radio Tech. Bye, bye everybody.