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The Things You’ll See at NAB

Posted by Kirk Harnack [TWiRT] on Apr 3, 2015 12:06:00 PM

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TWiRT 252New ways to talk with listeners - and share their video calls; IP-audio codecs keep getting smaller and better; same goes for FM transmitters with a new rack-mount 10 kilowatt model; the FCC proposes office closings for a modest savings, but will they be at NAB? Drones are hot for broadcasters and the FAA. Plus we look at who’s getting some big honors in Las Vegas next month. Chris Tobin and Kirk Harnack look forward to NAB in a couple weeks.





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Kirk: This Week in Radio Tech, Episode 252, is brought to you by Lawo and the new crystalCLEAR virtual radio console. It's the radio console with a multi-touch touchscreen interface.

By the new Omnia.7 FM or HD and streaming audio processor, with undo technology. Omnia.7 is a mid-priced audio processor with the sound and features you love.

And by the Axia Fusion AoIP mixing console. Fusion, where design and technology become one.

A new way to talk with listeners and share their video calls. FM transmitters keep getting smaller with a new rack mount 10-kilowatt model. The FCC proposes office closings for a modest savings. Drones are hot for broadcasters, and the FAA. Plus, we're looking at who's getting some big honors in Las Vegas next month. Chris Tobin and Kirk Harnack look forward to NAB 2015.

Hey, welcome in to This Week in Radio Tech. I'm Kirk Harnack, your host. Glad that you're here. I'm glad to be here. This is going to be an interesting show. This is a show where you get to hear our opinions, whether you want to or not.

Along with me, to also give me an opinion, and maybe disagree with me on a few things, I hope he does, because I need to be set straight here, is Chris Tobin. Chris, the best dressed engineer in radio. Hey, Chris. How are you doing?

Chris: Hello, Kirk. I'm doing well. Yes, we have to have a give and take in conversations, positive and negative, and go at it verbally. I did that before.

Kirk: I'm a little... you know, I know I espouse popular opinions, but I'm a little tired of you agreeing with me on so many things. You really need to put up a front there. Take the rebel stand.

Chris: Fair enough. I'll take a rebel stand. No problem. I'll complain to Tom Hart that doesn't talk enough. Oh, I'm sorry. That's the wrong topic.

Kirk: All right. Our show is brought to you by the folks at Lawo and Omnia and at Axia, and we will tell you about the folks at Lawo in just a few minutes.

So, seriously, our show today... you know, we're just a couple of weeks away from NAB, I guess about two and a half weeks away from the start of the show. I've got to be there a few days early, and a lot of folks do, whether you're setting up for a booth, or you're there for the Association of Public Radio Engineers, for their convention, Public Radio Engineering Conference. There are a number of things that actually start in just about two weeks from now.

So we're going to look at some of the new gear and the new technologies that are coming out that have been announced by manufacturers, and we're going to look at some of the sessions that... the engineering sessions. Who's speaking, what may be a news-making thing. And we're going to get into all that in this hour of This Week in Radio Tech.

Chris, I forgot to ask you to give me the two-sentence weather report for New York City, where you are.

Chris: The weather report? Well, today actually was overcast skies. A high of 52 was reached. Rain throughout the day. It actually was rolling showers. It would rain for a spell, stop, you'd be fooled and think that you could get away without an umbrella. And then suddenly, halfway through your trek to the office, or maybe to the delicatessen, it starts to rain again. I think it's... there's some sprinkles in the air right now again. But it was very warm today, so actually got to see a lot of people shed their overcoats and enjoy some of that warmth, even though it rained.

Kirk: Boy, it's been raining all day here in Nashville, too. They had some serious weather out in Oklahoma. Did you see those towers that were damaged?

Chris: Yeah. Well, there was this huge...

Kirk: KOMA?

Chris: It was a huge weather front rolling from the west to east. I think two days ago it started, in the Midwest. And they were talking about hail, severe rain, and possibly some snow accumulations in the northern states. So, yeah, we're getting it this way. It's probably getting weak, but it's still enough to be annoying.

Kirk: You know, whenever you've got more... the bigger the temperature difference, then the more violent the air masses collide, the violence of the weather that's produced. I don't have any more details about that, but there have been pictures on Facebook about the KOMA towers. One of them is partially toppled over, and I'm not sure about the others. But anyway, I've got problems there at KOMA.

Hey, so let's chat for just a minute about Lawo, one of our sponsors, and their console offering that's really interesting. And then we're going to jump right into NAB 2015.

By the way, if you are... Chris, I don't know if you have a chance to look at the chat room, but oftentimes I don't.

Chris: I will.

Kirk: But if you can pay attention to the chat room and see if there are any questions there, comments, we'd like to hear about them.

Lawo. Lawo is a sponsor of This Week in Radio Tech. And the product that Lawo would love for you to know about is the Lawo crystalCLEAR audio console. Now, I've talked to Mike Dosch, who works at Lawo now, about the crystalCLEAR console, and got a demo from Mike a year ago at NAB.

If you want to see that, basically the same demo that I got, you can go to the Lawo website. Now, that's spelled L-A-W-O. Don't go to L-A-V-O. It's L-A-W-O. German company. L-A-W-O dot com. And look for their radio products, and look for the crystalCLEAR virtual radio mixing console.

Now, they do have a Crystal console. That is a regular hardware console. It uses the same DSP engine, but it's got a hardware surface that sits on your tabletop, like a traditional console. Look for the crystalCLEAR console. And that's the one we're talking about, and that's the sponsor of this part of the show.

The crystalCLEAR console is a touchscreen-based console. I've got to tell you, this is kind of near and dear to my heart, because... yeah, I know I was a dreamer. But 22 years ago... 20, maybe 25 years ago, I was dreaming of a touchscreen-based console. As soon as I saw the first touchscreens ever, I thought, "Man, what if you could, like, put faders on that, and push them up and down, and not just have a little console, but you could have a huge touchscreen."

And I was thinking about this long before the technology caught up with it. But now they have big recording studio mixing consoles that are multi-touch, fast-acting, and let you virtualize an entire recording studio-sized console.

Well, the folks at Lawo have done this very effectively for a radio station mixing console, with all the things that a radio station needs. It's not designed for studio mixing, for making a record. It's designed for radio stations.

So you can have eight faders on the screen at the same time. You can have 24 different inputs to the DSP mixing engine. And these faders onscreen, they're easy to touch, easy to move. You feel very sure about moving them up and down on the screen.

And then your buttons, your on/off buttons and your talk to a source, talk to whoever's on the air, privately like a backfeed. Whether it's a codec or a hybrid or a talent, somebody across the desk from you, or in the next room, you as the operator of the console can just push a button and talk back to that person.

The crystalCLEAR console lets you touch 10 places at once. If you're smart enough, if you can run 10 fingers at once, that's fine. But more typically, you might be touching two or three things at once on the console. Fader, a couple faders up and down, an on/off button, talkback button. And you just touch them and move them up and down, and it behaves just like you think a virtualized console should.

Now, it's got all the things that a console is supposed to have. You've got a Program 1 bus, a Program 2 bus, Record bus. It has automatic mix minus to feedout, to sources that need a mix minus, like a codec or a hybrid.

It has a panic button that, if you're the operator of the console, and you've made some changes, and you're not quite sure what you did, you just want to get the console back to how it's supposed to work, hey, there's a panic button built in. You touch that, console's back to how you started your shift, or how it's supposed to be set up.

Of course, the audio quality... I mean, I don't have to tell you. It's just perfect. Beautiful, high-quality analog dual converters, high-quality sample rate converters for AES audio, and it features Ravenna and AES 67 AoIP compatibility by using the network interface jack that's on it.

Hey, you need some redundancy? Well, it's got the availability of two power supplies. So you can have redundant power supplies. Big time of day clock, and... like I said... oh, and mic processing, too. If you need to process your microphones, if you want to, that's built in. DSP for microphones, and for external sources, as well.

So check it out, if you would. The crystalCLEAR console from Lawo. If you're going to NAB, stop at the Lawo booth, have Mike Dosch give you a tour of this console.


If you want to see how they do that, go to the Lawo web page, look at the crystalCLEAR console, and there's a link to a video there, where you can get your own view of how this console operates.


Check it out. Thanks to Lawo for sponsoring This Week in Radio Tech.


Okey dokey, Chris. Man, I don't know where to start. There are a lot of things that we can start with. I kind of thought we'd start with a couple of the new products that are now going to be introduced at NAB.


Chris: Great.

Kirk: And one of them that has my eye in particular is... working for Telos, I get a lot of... I give a lot of thought to... okay, so we take phone calls. We put them on the air. What's the future going to look like in terms of putting listeners, people who want to interact with us in the broadcasting world, what's it going to look like, putting people on the air, talking to them, interacting with them? Whether it's a talk show or a music show, where people are just calling in for requests or dedications. How do people want to interact with their broadcaster?

And I want to point your attention to the people at Broadcast Bionics. They're going to have a new product at NAB called Broadcast Bionics Virtual Director. Now, I'll just tell you what they say about this. Now, I know the folks at Broadcast Bionics. Dan McClellan and the whole gang there. They've been experimenting with new ways to get callers, whether they're calling in on a cell phone, a landline phone, whether they're calling in on Skype. To get them involved with the program.

Virtual Director lets you share YouTube clips in social media. So you can... you know, let's say you've got a morning show. You do a quick clip, you pop it on YouTube, and then you share it to social media, all with just a couple of button presses. You don't have to go to your YouTube account and... they try to consolidate all of this.

Also, your tweets. You can share certain tweets that have certain emotional responses, or follow a certain line of talk. Of course hashtags have become part of identifying that. But they also have some ways at Broadcast Bionics to look for similar topics or emotional connections with whatever they're talking about on, say, the morning show.

Then you can also integrate video with it, as is becoming popular at some radio stations, where you have cameras, typically USB cams, in the control rooms. And of course the switching, the video switching, happens automatically. So it follows who's talking. And so you can put a video stream on the air through this Virtual Director. They've actually had that for a while in the Phone Box 4 product.

And then all the metadata that goes along with running a radio station, you can also put this out on your stream. So from your own website, from a station's website, you can really put what looks like a video production out there, along with social media and weather forecast, and your Twitter and your Facebook. This can all go on there, and interactions with callers.

So, Chris, that's kind of the setup. Now, am I crazy for thinking that in the future, hey, people may not use a regular telephone to talk to their favorite radio host?

Chris: I would agree. I definitely can see that happening. Actually, I was working with a group of folks this weekend on a sports show that was aired both on radio and was streamed on the Internet, and they were actually taking calls... the host was working with people who had FaceTime on their iPhones. And they were talking back and forth. And the audio came out of the phone, and it just went to the board to do its thing. But I thought it was pretty interesting. That was their way of trying to get people involved and interact.

Yeah, I could see it happen. And reading up on the Broadcast Bionics approach with Virtual Director, makes total sense. Your investment probably is minimal, but you can get so much out of it. I think it's cool.

And then also, the cameras switch, too, when you speak, so it keeps track of who's doing what. So you can do it in automatic mode.

Kirk: You know, this idea of camera switching... I actually first saw this some years ago. I guess probably seven or eight years ago in, of all places, Riga, Latvia. Now, I know this wasn't the first place to do it, but I was looking for a commercial solution to get this done, and what I saw in Riga was a PC running Linux, and it had a four USB board in it. You know, I/O board, and the four cameras plugged into it.

And then it was just running some proprietary Linux software that somebody with a company had written just to do camera switching. It didn't incorporate in the social media, and audio was separate. Oh, well, they had to run audio into it, associate four audio inputs.

By the way, when you get into this notion of camera switching, I know in Broadcast Bionics, if you want to, you can use a LiveWire IP audio driver in the Broadcast Bionics box. So you don't have to run four different audio feeds, clean feeds of microphones, or however many mics you have, you don't have to run that to the Bionics computer. You can just run the IP audio driver. And I would imagine that if a manufacturer's making a system like this, if they don't do it now, they're going to. Because people want to do AES 67, LiveWire, whatever it may be.

So that's... I've got to believe that... sure, people are going to listen to radio for years to come. But, they also may want to... hey, they may be at their office, and want to have a computer going, or an iPad, and see their host.

Chris: Or maybe the family's in the car, Dad's driving to a vacation spot, and the kids are in the back seat trying to be entertained by their favorite DJ on their favorite radio station. And if they have a phone that's got a camera on it, they decide they're going to interact with the audience and have some fun. That's something you can do.

Kirk: Oh, there you go. Yeah. Yeah.

Chris: Yeah. Small details.

Kirk: Well, you're just right. Not just the cameras... this is a... you make a great point. So we're going to need ways to not only incorporate audio from listeners onto the air. We're going to need ways to incorporate video.

Chris: Right.

Kirk: And that means... that implies a setup... hey, maybe not unlike the GFQ setup we're talking through right now. You've got to be able to bring video in conveniently, so it's not a lot of setup for the board operator. And sure, the audio from that video call goes on your radio station, but the video from that video call can also go in a box on the screen on your website, on your video feed.

Chris: Yeah. Well, here you go. Here's... we're talking products, right? We're talking new things. Last month, I was up in Boston at a sports network, helping to install a VX phone system. And they happened to be testing out a Skype device from the company NewTech.

Kirk: Ah, yeah.

Chris: You may be familiar with their products.

Kirk: Yeah.

Chris: You know, Tricaster. And basically what it is is a Windows 8 computer running Skype. And then what they did was, in 1 RU chassis, they put in the SDI video I/O, so that it makes it professional. It's the same thing you would do if you took a laptop, or any other computer, and took a Max Tracks or a Black Magic converter box, and took the video recording. So they just put it in one neat package, and added a few other bells and whistles and software.

But you could take that device and the Bionics product, integrate them together in your studio, and just as I was saying, you've got the kids in the car talking on a Skype to the studio, talking to their favorite DJ. Well, maybe they're doing a musicians interview? Justin Bieber's in the studio. Let's talk. Now you can see him. He can see you. And that even creates more value.

Kirk: Yeah.

Chris: There you go.

Kirk: Yeah.

Chris: So for about $15,000 retail... well, maybe $16,000, if the prices I was looking at are correct for retail, you've got yourself an interactive video/audio infrastructure that can just take you to the stars.

Kirk: And of course, TV stations can do this kind of thing now. But you want this to be to where a radio station board operator can do this. At the same time, that person's talking on the air.

Chris: Yeah.

Kirk: So you want this to be almost as easy to use as a phone system. "Oh, yeah, hey, Justin Bieber's calling in on the private line on FaceTime." And to have that incorporated... Of course, there are a lot of different players here in this game that don't talk to each other. I mean, FaceTime doesn't run on a PC, right? And...

Chris: Right, right.

Kirk: So...

Chris: Well, that's why I'm saying you can still... you know, Skype is ubiquitous. So in the case of coming up with a platform, the goal is to come up with a work flow that makes the money for you, that gives you the competitive edge in the marketplace. And then after you've figured out the work flow, then you move to what devices can make it happen. That's why I was just pointing out this... what'd they call it? Let me see. It's called Talk Show, from NewTech.

So, yeah, I'm thinking mixing and matching. I'm not even looking at the sub-level, Level 2 of can I interoperate between the two because they have different protocols? I'm just thinking in terms of, I've got a console. We'll say we'll use an Axia console in my studio. I know it talks through Broadcast Bionics, so I'm all set, covered there.

Oh, but the Skype device, that's all it is is a straight audio and video. The video can go into my other device. The audio can go into a node. There we go. The operator still, work flow-wise, can still make things happen. Because you put Virtual Director in automatic mode, and you're off to the races.

Kirk: I see that. You mentioned... I didn't know the brand name of it yet. I knew NewTech was making this Skype professional thing, Talk Show. It's now shipping, as of just a month ago.

Chris: Yes.

Kirk: February 2nd, Talk Show is now shipping. Interesting. But... did you say... did you know a price of it, this Talk Show?

Chris: Well, I saw a price somewhere... oh gosh, now I probably screwed myself up again.

Kirk: Oh, here it is. They're saying introductory price of $4000.

Chris: There you go. That's what it... yeah, I saw a number of, like, $3875 to $4000.

Kirk: Yeah.

Chris: I got to see the... not beta unit, but actual production model, about two months ago, in use, and I thought it was pretty cool.

Kirk: Now, I take it that somebody calling into this NewTech Talk Show, which is a professional Skype, can handle several calls at once? Or it's just a one-to-one proposition?

Chris: I was told it can do several calls. I did not get to sit in on the session when they were testing it. The engineers were doing the test from Florida with their guys on location. But they told me that they believe it can, but the software might not be set up yet, because they weren't shipping at the time. Also, it supports Dante.

Kirk: Gotcha. Yeah. So it's got AoIP built in.

Chris: Right. So there you have the working... the building blocks for something that makes sense. And what's nice about this approach is it's built in a form factor that's already designed to do what you want, rather than you cobbling together a Linux box, a Matrox, Black Magic converters, and everything else, and trying to make things happen.

Kirk: And since it's running in a Windows environment, it's going to be able... I mean, if... Dante's not so popular in radio as it is in TV and live audio and such. But it undoubtedly, just with proper checking out, it could run IP drivers from WeekNet, probably drivers that will come along from AES 67.

Chris: Yeah.

Kirk: And LiveWire drivers, which run on Windows 8. So, yeah, it can do that. It should be able to do those other things, too. Great.

Chris: And just remember, it's doing SDI video. So if you're doing a video studio, you're already going to be HDSDI. So you're just plugging it into your SDI switcher. So until things get really crazy great with AES 67, you stick with your SDI imbedded audio and you're fine.

Kirk: Yeah. Gotcha. Gotcha. And this is what I wondered about: would it take calls from regular Skype clients? You know, like what you and I are using right now, just the free software. And the answer's yes, that's the whole purpose of it.

Chris: Yes.

Kirk: Is to get broadcast-style video out of regular Skype calls. Cool. All right. That's interesting. We will look for that from NewTech at the NAB show. Since they're just now shipping, I'm sure they'll really be showing that off at NAB.

Chris: I would hope so.

Kirk: Yeah. Next, I want to move on to... we got time? Yeah, we're in good shape. I want to move on to another product. Now, you know I love IP audio codecs. You do, too. You're in that business.

Chris: Yeah.

Kirk: So WorldCast is showing off a new IP audio codec. I'm not sure how many things are different about it. It's a smaller form factor. It looks like... I'm not sure if it's half-rack size, but it may be. It's called the APT SureStreamer.

And it does handle, this is interesting, it does handle 88 kilohertz of audio bandwidth using a 192-kilohertz sample rate. And so this means that it can carry composite FM that is coming in out of the stereo generator and going into an FM exciter, it can carry that digitally from one place to another over IP.

And the company also makes these exciters that are from Acresso. Am I saying that right, do you know?

Chris: Yes, yes. The transmitter manufacturer.

Kirk: Yeah. So they... hopefully they'll be able to talk directly to those. Directly to the digital modulator, thus eliminating any further conversions from A to D, or sample rate conversions. They're going to go from some point on the inside of this APT SureStreamer into an FM exciter. So that should be cool.

Chris: Yeah, no, it's a great box. I think it is a half-rack size, from what I can tell. But I read up on it recently, because I got an email a couple months back. It's actually a perfect little box. It's designed to offer you a solution that doesn't require a very large capital investment, but still get the benefits of the SureStream product, which is a... I call it divergent IP pathways.

And also, I think you can plug in a Bluetooth USB transmitter or Wi-Fi to create one path, and just do your traditional wired or wireless Ethernet path, as well. It's pretty cool.

Kirk: You know, there's been a lot of interest... I work for a company that also makes IP audio codecs and FM audio processors, so we know something about baseband composite. And, well, in fact, I guess it was Frank Fode that, almost 14 years ago, hooked up with Nautel to make a digital interface between a processor and an exciter. It was called D-set.

Never really took off, but they proved that it worked, and they proved that it sounded fabulous to have a direct digital connection without going to baseband, even an AES representation of baseband. This was a digital signal. But between the two.

Anyway, if you... the engineers have been talking to me about, hey, can I do composite over IP? And that way I can have one audio processor at a central location and feed a number of transmitter sites. And that arrangement is popular certainly in a lot of other countries besides the US.

And the answer's yes, you can. There are becoming several ways to do that. One interesting thing to note, though, is if you want to just sample the composite at some reasonable bit depth, and linearly transmit that from Point A to Point B and C and D and E, that's a pretty high-bandwidth signal. That is... well, I mean, compared to video. But it can be anywhere, depending on exactly how you do it, anywhere around the neighborhood of 5 to 12 megabits per second to do that.

Now, that's if you sample it linearly and transmit it linearly. And because you're sampling the whole baseband, you can't just run that through AAC or something like that. You can't just do psychoacoustic bitrate reduction on that. You may be able to do some... what's the non-cycle acoustic? You know, just a math bitrate, delta... I don't know what it's called. Anyway. So there's a lot of bandwidth involved, and there's no error correction... there's no error concealment available.

So what companies are going to be looking at doing is sampling the audio in some kind of way, with some corrective data, and send that to the transmitter site, and then rebuild the stereo at that end. At least, that may be another technique. I think several companies are working on this. Some already have things out there. But people are going to have different ideas about how to make this work well, and give you some bandwidth, some bitrate choices, as to how to make it work well too.

Don't you think so, Chris?

Chris: Yeah. I think it's going to be great. The wonderful thing with IP, and what we're all learning very quickly, is it's an infrastructure, it's a technology that's been around for so long that's beginning to mature at certain levels that the broadcasters can just plug and play.

And for those of us who go a little bit farther and decide to be more on the edge, or the cutting edge, bleeding edge, if you'd like. Those of us who like to experiment, take arrows in the back with technology, the IP platform has reached a point now where you can do that. You can experiment and not totally lose your shirt.

And I think the composite over IP approach makes a lot of sense in many places. It's just a question of the willingness to properly design. Just like you pointed out, if you're going to do linear, you're going to have no error concealment. You have to have a few things around you to make sure that something makes up for it. Or, if the manufacturers come up with a way to create error correction level that makes sense for that, then that's great.

But yeah, I think it's exciting. Anybody who has the wherewithal to take advantage of it, or at least try one of their transmitter sites with it, should definitely consider it as a tertiary link, just to test it out, listen to it, and compare.

Kirk: So one more hardware subject I want to cover before we take a break, and then, after the break, move into some sessions, shows, and some industry news. News has come out about Broadcast Electronics. They've come out with a new transmitter, the STX10. It's a 10-kilowatt FM transmitter. Of course, offers the ideal combination of audio quality, reliability, redundancy, serviceability, and efficiency in a compact design. Okay, great. We've been hearing that for 50 years about transmitters.

But it does have an efficiency greater than 70% from AC in to RF out. Chris, I remember when FM transmitters, when solid state FM transmitters, were a fairly new product, and you were lucky to get 50% efficiency, AC in to RF out, right? Because it was at the... transistors were actually less efficient at FM frequencies than was a tube, a Class C amplifier.

So, Chris, do you know much about how these transmitters have gotten more and more efficient in terms of power consumption?


Chris: The efficiency... I think the efficiencies are coming from... yeah, you're right. The early days, your 50%, 52%, you'd sit there and go, "Well, my tube transmitter can do 65 or 70%. What are you talking about? This is crazy. This technology's not going to go anywhere." Fast-forward to today, and all of a sudden it's flipped.

I think what you're seeing is the efficiencies, I was told last NAB, when I was talking to one of the transmitter manufacturers, they were saying it's a combination of the transistors that are coming from the market, their designs, the mosfets, and what do they call it? LD mosfets, and there's a few others. The technologies that are being used for other radio bands, or other radio frequencies, they're able to apply to broadcast FM. And that's where they're seeing a lot of the success.

The efficiencies are in that design. And then there's other designs, they've come up with new ways of modulation, power supply efficiency. There's a few things. But the transistors, mosfets, LD, there's a whole slew of them. If you talk to anyone at Nortel or at BE or Continental, they'll tell you the details. Harris will be more than happy to tell you. And it's interesting technology. That's where it's coming in. That's where the efficiencies are coming in.

This particular transmitter, the SDXX -- SDX10 -- is a 19-inch rack, it fits in. Thirty-inch depth. So that's a server-depth rack. But you can pretty much put it in a crate, put it in a case and ship it to your station for emergency backup. It's pretty cool.

Kirk: And we've been used to an emergency backup transmitter of a kilowatt size. Or, in more recent years, maybe two and a half, three kilowatt size. This is 10 kilowatts.

Now, it's not... yeah, it fits in a rack. No, it's not in a suitcase size, but it'll fit in a crate, and... or in the back of a pickup truck, or in... it'd probably fit in the trunk of your car, if you had a decent-sized trunk or an SUV, it'll fit in the back of that.

Chris: Probably.

Kirk: Yeah.

Chris: Well, also keep in mind, it's hot swappable modules, and it's designed... the internal RF combiner for the RF modules is designed to watch when you pull a module out so the RF changes. It auto-adjusts the impedances. So you don't have to go off the air. It's a hot swappable arrangement. So that in itself gives you the opportunity to build in redundancy or find ways to protect your audio product. It has dual power supplies. It also has extra features for additional power supplies, if I read correctly. I have some questions for the guys when I see them, because I'm curious. It makes... the great thing is it also has an IP spigot. So you can actually plug in your Ethernet into this, connect it, and make things happen. So...

Kirk: You know, I'll tell you, 10, 11, 14 years ago, Steve Church said, "You know, someday everything's going to have an IT... " A... yeah. Network connection.

Chris: That's it. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I think what's happening now, and this is what's great about going to NAB, is you think about... as I said earlier, I'm all about the work flow. You think about your work flow at the station, the radio or TV station, and you say, "Okay, what do we do now? How do we do this?" And maybe the transmission facility, you haven't really looked at lately, because it's out of sight, out of mind.

These are the things you have to look for. Ethernet connection. Hot swappable modules. Auto-adjusting combiners, so that when you just switch modules, your RF doesn't abruptly change. So if you're in a combiner system and a community antenna system, you've got to... you know, you make changes, you disrupt everybody else, not just you.

So these are things to think about when you're looking at this new stuff. It's not just, "Hey, it's a new thing. It fits in a rack." But it's also about how it works or integrates in your system.

Kirk: The news came out about this, the E10 kilowatt transmitter. And congratulations to them for designing and building this. But other manufacturers also have very efficient designs now, and more and more compact.

One of my radio stations, it's an overhyped Class A. We've got 1300 FM watts coming out of two rack units. And the exciter... no, the exciter's external, but this one's an amplifier that's 2 RU high, and blows a lot of air through it. Sounds like a jet engine. But it's 1300 watts of FM coming out of it. Amazing. Amazing.

Hey, so coming up, here's what we've got coming up. You know, there's some news came out this week that the FCC Field Bureau Offices, a bunch of them are going to be closing. Now, what can that mean for broadcasters? Can we skate by with some violations? Or does it mean that more pirate stations may be coming on the air? What does that really mean? We'll talk about that in just a few minutes.

You're watching This Week in Radio Tech. Our show is brought to you by the folks at Omnia and the new Omnia.7 FM audio processor. What's the Omnia.7 all about? Well, let me tell you what the Omnia.7's about. It's about...

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But it's expensive. It's more expensive than my little stations can probably afford. So Leif Claesson, along with the engineering teams at Omnia, have come out with the Omnia.7. It is what you might call "popularly priced." Boy, I hope I get this right. I think it's $6000. $5995. I apologize if it's $1000 more than that, or $1000 less than that, but I think it's about $6000. $5995. I should know. Need to look it up.

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Oh, you know what? It's got this built-in speaker calibration tool. I don't know how that works. It's about to find out, because I just got my Omnia.7 shipped to me yesterday. It's here. It's at Harnack House. And I'm going to be trying it out and playing with it. So I'll let you know how that goes, all right? Let's check it out. Omnia.7, thank you for sponsoring This Week in Radio Tech.

Chris, I wonder if we might hit this topic of the FCC and their proposal to cut back a bunch of offices. Tom Wheeler, the chairman, has told lawmakers that the agency is financially strapped and they need to save money. And I'm looking for the number here. I thought I saw that they wanted to close on the order of, yeah, 16 field offices, and saving them $9 million a year without diminished productivity.

Hmm. Now... okay.

Chris: Nine million, huh? Wow, that's a big savings.

Kirk: Yeah.

Chris: Since you're spending over $13, $15 million in real estate at the headquarters that was a boondoggle in 1998.

Kirk: Yeah. Yeah. If these 16 offices are only costing $9 million, you've got to wonder, well, where's the rest of your budget going? How many people are in a field office? Is that usually a two- or three-man? And I don't mean that pejoratively. Is that just... is that a small operation? Or you think there's a dozen people, or... ?

Chris: Well, I remember in the day when I used to go to the field office here in New York City down on Varig Street. Everybody knows that name. Ooh, I just got people's hairs up. I remember going there, and there were quite a lot of persons in that place. You know, there was up to a dozen or so, if not more. But as far as field guys, the engineering or the technical folks, yeah, there used to be about eight, eight or more.

You know, the thing is with this whole field office closing, and saving money, and all this other stuff, which is all just, as far as I'm concerned, it's more about sugarcoating and smokescreen. Because the reality is, "Let's put together a tiger team," I think is what the comment was in one of these statements about what they're calling this reconfiguration. Tiger team of engineering specialists. People who have electrical engineering degrees, they said. And they're going to be deployed when there's a problem.

Okay, let's get this straight. You're going to come to an area that you've never been to before. You have no idea how the terrain is. You have no idea what the marketplace is like. You have no idea of anything about the broadcast environment. But you're going to come in and do enforcement or troubleshoot, whatever it is you've been called to do. I don't see that working right. And I just don't... because there are just too many variables when it comes to broadcast markets and what goes on in them.

Whereas if you're in the market, and you're associating with the broadcasters, you know what to expect. I'll give you an example. Here in New York City, several of the field inspectors have retired since then, but I could tell you that two or three of them who... one of them I still hear from, they knew everybody in the market, and they knew exactly what was going on, and why people did certain things. Let's use the phrase "loudness wars" on the FM dial.

And I remember back in the height of the loudness wars, and Frank knows this very well. So do Bob Urban and a few others. Eric Small is his name. So those are three big names people should remember. And there was a time when everybody in town was speeding. And at 75-kilohertz deviation, sometimes you speed. It's a number that's a little larger.

But I'll never forget this. At an SBE meeting, an FCC inspector was in the crowd, in the audience, and people were panicked. But he was like, "Don't worry. I'm good. I make my measurements before I call you. So you know what? If you're speeding or having a problem, I've already figured it out. I'll call you and say, 'Here's how we're going to work it out.'"

He made it real clear, he goes, "I understand finances, market dynamics. I get the business model. So if you guys have to all do a little extra to be competitive, to make that extra dollar, to make the budget, to make everything work, I get it.

"However, if you're going to start poking at each other, and call me up and say, 'Hey, that guy across the street's speeding. He shouldn't be doing it.' Then I'm going to come after you as well, and you, and you, and you, because you broke the rule of professional courtesy. But if you all can agree to speed at the same time, maybe I can just sort of accept it for a while."

I'll never forget that conversation. That was never on the record. It was never recorded. No transcripts are available. But it was an understanding in the market. And I can tell you, to this day, everybody knows not to say stuff. Just make a phone call. "Hey, Jack, I think you're a little too fast. Can we agree to maybe bring it back, and we'll all stay at this level?"

Get rid of the field office, and now what do you have? Gentlemen in Columbia, Maryland, where they want to have the Tiger team, gets a phone call from some who-knows-what person. "Hey, this station's doing XYZ with their spectrum. You've got to get out here and fix it." They will immediately look at it and go, "Yes, you're right. There's a problem. We've remoted in to our receive site. You're correct. Let's fly out and correct this and stop these people right away."

What does that do? It creates more havoc. It doesn't do anything. And that's what I see happening. You know, that's just my opinion.

Kirk: Yeah. Boy, part of the reason why we need FCC enforcement, investigations, is because we live in an imperfect world, right? We live in a world where equipment malfunctions and people use it incorrectly, sometimes maliciously, on purpose. And I've got to... of course, you've got to think that one thing we've got to investigate quickly and find out immediately and put a stop to it, is when people maliciously interfere with important broadcast services, things that use spectrum. Whether it be malicious cell phone jammers, or somebody messing around on aviation frequencies, right?

And then you have cases where... right here in Nashville, the Opryland Hotel was jamming people's Verizon hotspots. You know, their MyFi, that kind of thing, so that they had to... you know, their MyFi didn't work, so they had to buy hotel Internet.

Chris: Oh yeah.

Kirk: Yeah, yeah. They got fined over a half million dollars for those shenanigans. It's just... well, seems like...

Chris: I think it's just a ruse. It's ridiculous. And by the way, when you were talking about cell phone jamming and stuff, I remember many times that the FCC inspectors here at the New York City office used to tell me, the amount of broadcast enforcement they had to worry about was very small compared to the life safety stuff they did every day, which was the public safety, maritime, aviation, and all that stuff. So that's where you should be looking at what's going on and what the offices do. And if it's only $9 million an office or year, then maybe, yeah, maybe the moneys need to be looked at elsewhere, like at portals to the FCC headquarters.

Kirk: All right. I'm sure we could talk for a long time about that. Hey, let's see. Some of the other things going on. Good news: a friend of yours and mine personally, Tom King, is going to be receiving, Tom King of Kintronics, going to be receiving the 2015 NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award.

Chris: Excellent. Well-deserved.

Kirk: Yeah. Yeah. He'll be receiving that along with Richard... and is it Friedel? Richard Friedel? Receiving the Television Engineering Achievement Award. And also, Ray Conover, who will be receiving the Service to Broadcast Engineering Achievement Award. I had not heard of that particular award.

So a lot of people who we know. Some great people have gone on to receive that Radio Engineering Achievement Award. Frank Fode received that, I guess a couple years ago. So, cool. Tom King, congratulations to Tom.

Chris: Yeah, absolutely.

Kirk: Also, I don't know if he'll... Jerry Lewis is going to be receiving the NAB Distinguished Service Award.

Chris: Oh, that should be fun.

Kirk: Yeah. Yeah.

Chris: Something for people to check out in... those little radio world alerts we get, is an exhibitor viewpoint with Tom Hartnet from Comrex. They're just asking him a couple of questions. It's actually pretty cool. But what I like is that the last question... Tom's a good guy, all right?

Just for the record, we all know... whoa, look at that. We all know Tom. He's good people, and he knows his stuff, and he's a lot of fun to talk to about things. And if you want somebody to really rouse and get a good negative or positive response, or definitely put you in your place, Tom's the guy to talk to. He's fun.

But at the end of the conversation, they ask him about, "Is there anything else we should know or expect from the technologies that's going on, the trends in the world of broadcasting?" And at the end, he puts, well, because the USB modems are being phased out by phone carriers, they're thinking of introducing their own line of LTE modems with their products.

I thought that was interesting. Because he's right. The phone companies are getting away from USB modems. And if you're using devices that have USB ports to allow you to do that, you're going to be in trouble. I actually used an LTE modem this weekend for a two-hour broadcast, non-stop. It worked like a charm.

Kirk: Why are the cell phone companies doing away with this?

Chris: I think it has to do with cost, their control of the devices, and how people attach to their network. Because if you do embedded modems and embedded technologies, you have better control, and you can do better machine-to-machine or machine to business stuff.

Kirk: Well, and of course the nice thing about a USB data modem is that you have the choice of swapping it out. If you're in an area where Verizon doesn't cover very well, but T-Mobile does, then if the software's written correctly, you have the option of trying a different modem.

Chris: Yeah, they don't like...

Kirk: An embedded solution may not have that carrier-to-carrier flexibility.

Chris: No. No, actually, it doesn't necessarily have to. They can be more specific. And that's what I think they're trying to do.

Kirk: Um-hum.

Chris: Yeah.

Kirk: Hey, so one of the things that caught my eye is... let me get back to it here. I was just on it. Is... there's going to be a pavilion dedicated at NAB... I've got to go here. I've got to find a few minutes to get away from the booth where I'm assigned and get over there. The Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion.

Chris: Nice.

Kirk: Yeah.

Chris: That's going to be like last year, I was... which hall was I in last year? They had a huge, screened-in net...

Kirk: Oh, yeah, I saw that.

Chris: For the drones.

Kirk: I want to say that was in the central hall, in the rear part of the central hall.

Chris: Yeah, I think that's right. That's right. It was fun. It was fun. Got to check that pavilion out.

Kirk: In fact, I think it was the AR Drone people that had that set up, and they had a screened-in area, and a bunch of drones all moving around... they were choreographed. Like synchronized swimming. This was synchronized droning. And I want to know why my AR drone doesn't work as well as theirs.

Chris: You don't have the pilot's license.

Kirk: That's maybe it.

Chris: The special license.

Kirk: Yeah. But the pavilion is sponsored by DJI, which we know they make a fantastic drone that is very popular. And they're going to have sponsored presentations every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. And topics are going to include some of the new laws and regulations about drones and the use of drones for newsgathering.

And I just saw there was some good news about use of drones by broadcast organizations for newsgathering. And there's going to be perfectly legal, government-sanctioned ways to make sure that that's okay. I haven't read the details, but I'm... you know, I'm sure there's... there may be some certification involved for whoever's flying the drone, to make sure that they pass a test and know the rules about not doing stupid stuff with it.

Chris: Yeah. I think the drones can't be treated like model aircraft, model planes and stuff that people do in a park or the backyard. Because that's an environment that you control. You see. You're just working one-on-one, I'll call it. I've talked to some folks recently about the drones. I was talking to one of the local TV crew guys, and they were like, "You know, a drone would be great, but the problem with drones is if we're not careful and not pay attention, and that thing goes crashing into somebody, you've got liability issues." And you just can't have everybody just out there controlling it.

I thought it was pretty... you know, because covering a news event, you don't usually always have line of sight of you and the drone.

Kirk: There's some more information about this. Here's an article we found called "Rights, Drones, Amateur or Pro Production." They're going to be talking about all this kind of thing, and all the implications of these things, at the NAB show. I can't read all those to you right now. It wouldn't be fair. But certainly drones and legalities are going to be a huge topic at NAB, because you can sure gather some compelling video footage using a drone.

Chris: Oh, absolutely. I think there should be a conversation. There should be a lively conversation. I hope people are arguing back and forth pros and cons as to how to go about it. And I think, at the end of the day, I'd still probably prefer somebody to be somehow... I guess I'd say certified or trained on aviation techniques, or proper loss of line of sight or non line of sight use of a drone.

And the other thing... my fear is drone loses communications with the controller, what happens? What's it programmed to do? Does it just drop out of the sky? Does it... you know, does it call home? Does it have a pre-programmed GPS, it comes back to the place you've programmed? These are the things you have to talk about, because you're no longer in the park with the kids and flying a little helicopter over the ball field. I mean, I'm not trying to be flip about it.

But I think it seriously needs to be considered properly, and not just to say, "Hey, I have the right to do whatever I want," type of thing. It should be, hey, you're putting this piece of machinery in the air. There's a safety issue. We need to make sure we can find a way to make things right.

Kirk: And I wonder what happens. So right now, if you want to fly a drone and get high quality, stabilized broadcast pictures from it, it's going to be a decent-sized drone. It's going to take up a part of your desk. A DJI Phantom II is the bare minimum that's going to do something reasonable. And really, a lot of broadcasters are looking at much bigger drones than that. The 6-copter, the octocopter-size. Some pretty big machines that are on the order of $10,000 and even higher.

And if they fell out of the sky, went errant, could do a lot of damage. What happens? Because right now, you can buy drones that will fit in the palm of your hand, and they have four propellers on them. They're tiny, little bitty things. And they're, like, $29. Now, a little puff of wind, and they're all over the place, right? I mean, they're toys. They're toys.

But what happens when we get stabilized HD video coming out of the bottom of the drone that fits in your hand, and costs a couple hundred bucks? And if it gets lost, so what? It's expendable. Yeah, we've got a closet. We've got a drawer full of them in the ENG truck, right? What happens when it becomes like that? I'm just wondering what... does that change the rules, when this little thing couldn't do any damage if it tried? If you hit somebody with it purposely, they'd go, "What was that, a moth?"

Chris: Right. Right. Little nanobots. No, I mean...

Kirk: Because at some point, we'll get to that, and will the rules get relaxed? I mean, you still wouldn't want to ingest one into a jet engine.

Chris: No, no.

Kirk: But it, you know...

Chris: Well, there was a story recently about two ENG helicopters somewhere that were chasing after a drone that was following them. I just read a quick story about that. That's crazy.

Well, yeah, what you're talking about is right, though. You've got these little things in the air that do cameras and stuff. So you're basically talking about what's known as... I think it's called the thrust to weight ratio. You know, there's certain principles of avionics you have to learn, or I think it's the... let me see. The second law of motion in Newton's laws.

So there's a lot involved when it comes to drones lifting up little devices that are going to be cameras that are going to be flying around. So you're right, you have the drone gnat, the one that just hits and you go, "What is this thing?" And then you have the one that's got the one-pound camera with the three-quarter inch CCD that hits you, and you're going to be on the floor bleeding.

I know it sounds dramatic, but it's true. You think about it. When I was at NAB last year looking at some of these drones, and right in front of me... I was at IBC looking at this drone that was used for one of the movies... I think they used it in one of the James Bond movies. This guy is definitely... he comes out of the sky and drops and hits you, you're going to get hurt. It's going to leave a mark. It's going to be serious.

Kirk: It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. And I sure hope common sense prevails. A lot like other things in aviation, if you're in what they call a "populated area," which east of the Mississippi is a whole lot of the US. But if you're in a populated area, the rules for how low you can fly a general aviation aircraft are different. They're 1000 feet above the terrain, at a minimum. But if you're in an unpopulated area, you can fly as low as 500 feet.

And maybe that's where this proposed limit of 400 feet altitude for a drone comes in. And, you know what? Well, I don't know how a drone operator knows if he's at 400 feet or 420 feet, but it's going to be interesting to see if technology is mandated to have an altimeter in there.

But then you're going to have hackers. "Oh yeah, you get this software you download and put in your drone, and yeah, you can fly it however high you want to." So that's going to be interesting. We'll see how it pans out. I just hope that, as broadcasters, television broadcasters, it'll be interesting to see if there are uses of drones for radio. I'd like to figure that out.

You know, tower inspection? A little bit. I mean, you can get some, a little bit of meaningful photography out of that. I think it's an exciting time. And, of course, they're such a great man-toy. Play with a drone. Love these things.

All right. Our show's brought to you in part by the folks at Axia, and the Axia Fusion console. By the way, our show, in case you just tuned in, is This Week in Radio Tech. I'm Kirk Harnack, along with Chris Tobin. We're talking about the NAB show coming up in a couple of weeks in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Las Vegas convention center. And the show is so big, it has spread out to other convention and locations around the city. So it really keeps growing and growing. Getting bigger all the time, and encompassing more and more technologies.

One of those technologies that have just been on the rise so fast, and the people at the front end of that technology, is Axia. Axia bringing the first usable AoIP technology to market in the form of LiveWire. Routable and low-latency, perfect for broadcast. Nothing else could do that before LiveWire came along. And now we have all these other formats that give you the same kind of benefits.

Well, Axia has a new audio console, and if you are in love with audio consoles, if you want to install an audio console or use a console that does its job so well that you barely have to think about what you're doing, check out the Axia Fusion console. First of all, it's pretty. We just got a bunch of pictures of the Fusion consoles installed in San Francisco at the Cumulus radio stations in San Francisco, and, I mean, these studios are gorgeous. Just beautiful. Different sizes of consoles, and different studios, and they have some of our smaller consoles at Axia in the newsgathering areas, the rack and the desk console.

But the Fusion console is... well, here's what happened. When the Element console came out, done wildly well. Sold thousands of them. And then we got some feedback from folks, and they told us, "Hey, we'd like a console that looks a bit more squarish. Square buttons. More metal look to it."

And so the engineers at Axia went to work figuring out, how do we make a console that... well, that has a metal top? We're not going to use paint to put the markings on them. We want this console to last and last and last. We don't want to look at a console that's 10 years old and see that the markings are rubbed off, and you can tell where the DJs have had their fingers and such.

So they figured out a way to laser etch all the markings, and then double anodize the metal after the etchings were made. And the result is the Fusion console and how beautiful it looks, how durable it looks, and how durable it is.

It's based in many ways on the design of the Element, which has proven itself now for 10 years out in the marketplace. But the Fusion console takes those design cues and improves them with the features that some folks have asked for. A lot of folks have asked for.

One of those features is a full-time dedicated OLED display, organic LED display, at the top of every fader channel that tells you, of course, the fader number, what source is on there, icons for, hey, are we talking back to the source? Is it a backfeed or not? And full-time confidence meters on each and every source.

That's big. You can look at your console now and see, hey, there's audio coming in from the traffic reporter. You can see what's coming in. You can also see what's going out of the Fusion console. You could have intercom capabilities on the Fusion console. You can have telephone control built right into the Fusion console. So many possibilities. Very similar to the options with the Element console. Now there are more options, and more durability, and just a great look.

So check it out, if you would. It's on the website. Lots of information there, including some videos that will introduce you to the Fusion console, and brochures, the manual's available online. We don't hide that behind a login wall. You can get the manual. Just check it all out. It's at TelosAlliance.com. TelosAlliance.com. Click on Axia, and then find the Fusion console, and click on that.

Audio over IP. Man, everybody's doing it, because it's the way to go. Axia was there first, and really has the stuff figured out. Thanks, Axia, for sponsoring This Week in Radio Tech.

All right, Chris. We just got a couple minutes left over. I wanted to mention... I'm sure you've got a couple things to bring up, too. A couple of the sessions I'm interested in going to, if I possibly can. "Protecting Our Assets: Cybersecurity and the Media." You know that hackers are trying to get into CNN, maybe get into your EAS gear at your radio station, create some havoc there.

There's also a very interesting session being sponsored by Cisco. They're presenting a session called "From Capture to Consumer: How New Content Dynamics are Affecting Broadcast Infrastructures." I think that's a big picture, 30,000-foot view sort of presentation, but I think that's going to be pretty interesting.

And the last one I'm interested in is this idea of the Internet of Things, and how so many things, as you mentioned, Chris, are getting an Ethernet jack on them, or they're Wi-Fi capable. The Internet of Things. My goodness, in my own house, we ended up... we've got 43 things on our network, and it's just amazing how that has just proliferated. And we don't even have a so-called "smart house" yet. Hey, when we eventually move into that realm, we'll probably add another 15 or 20 things to the network.

Chris, your thoughts? What you want to see at NAB?

Chris: Well, cybersecurity's interesting. I don't know if I'll attend the session, because it's... I'm somewhat on the fence about how people approach security in general in computers.

Internet of Things, though, I will check out. The Internet of Things is scary because we don't have the wherewithal, the thinking, in our day-to-day lives to protect ourselves. We don't pay attention to these things. The idea of a refrigerator on the Internet is nice, but we don't get any guarantee that there's proper security there. We already know that the universal plug-and-play issues with routers still exist, and yet we still plug in and connect. Get more critical infrastructure, I panic. I don't know what the best way is to approach it, but I'm very cautious.

In my home, the only thing that's connected to the internet are two computers, and both of them go through two different firewall approaches, and I've got all kinds of crazy stuff going on. Everything else is... that's it. It's old-fashioned. It's not connected to anything. You want the stove to work? You've got to go up to the stove and turn it on yourself.

Kirk: Yeah. Well, it's still that way at the Harnack house. And I don't know that I would ever need my stove connected. Although, come to think of it, my thermostats are accessible to... I'm not saying to anyone, but they're accessible to anyone with the right app and my password for my account to watch over those. You know, some nefarious person might try to freeze us out or burn us up.

But in a broadcast environment, where you might have all kinds of things, all kinds of Internet stuff, devices connected, hey, there could be malware installed in one of those hue light bulbs, right? Or as you mentioned, a router. You don't really know what's in a router unless you made the silicon yourself from your own sand, as some security experts would say. You don't know. So you just kind of have to trust what's there and go by reputation. But who knows?

Chris: Well, I think what really needs to be brought home to people, in broadcast especially... and I'll say from my personal experience working in two facilities where we had several... let's see. One, two, three, 75 workstations in one place, and then 35 in another? I mean, we had over 300 workstations across the landscape.

But the security measures we took on many levels were really straightforward stuff that's already available. It doesn't require anything new to be done. But it did require a different approach or change in the workflow.

Take, for instance, a newsroom full of networked computers. If they're a Windows environment, a lot of people have the tendency to let the users be administrators. Or they don't make them administrator, but they make them a limited user. The problem is, that computer still is accessing the network of computers. Whereas if you made that workstation only capable of seeing itself, and accessing only itself, its files, then if something did go wrong on that machine, only that machine is infected, and you can correct that with an image or whatever you choose.

These are things that I don't see done a lot. And then the other thing that irks me is, recently I talked to somebody, and I jokingly at lunch, I said, "Oh, is that a laptop issued by your company?" They said, "Yeah." I said, "I'm curious. How do you protect the data?" They were like, "What do you mean?" "Do you have a password?" "Well, yeah, yeah, it's a Windows password." "So when the machine boots up, it's the Windows splash screen for password?" And they go, "Yeah." Ah, okay. We all know you can get past that.

So these are the things that bother me, because it's like, that's not required... that doesn't require a special session to learn. Full drive encryption should have been done the day that laptop arrived at the office, and before it left the office. But nobody does that kind of stuff. That's what bothers me. That's what worries me the most, is that stuff.

Kirk: And the people at TrueCrypt, who were doing full drive encryption, are no longer. And the last version of TrueCrypt, the people who made it basically said, "Here's the last version, and don't use it."

Chris: Yeah. There are all different stories about what they meant by that. But I still use the True Crypt. And this netbook I have here is fully encrypted. So I don't panic if I lose it or leave it somewhere. And the password that you have to get into this is a very entropotic... entro... lots of entropy in it. But that's how it should be. That's how you should be working, doing this stuff. And I don't know why people don't.

Kirk: We don't have time to get into it this week in ChromeBooks, but I've got to tell you, the new ChromeBook Pixel is getting some great reviews despite the odd sized screen, and I've got to believe that the less stuff you carry around... of course, I realize that it's all in the cloud, and you're depending on other people, in this case, Google, to watch that stuff for you. But man, you can sure eliminate the virus problem, the malware problem, by using something that is fresh every time you turn it on.

Chris: Right, right. But there's your point. You have a third party managing your data or how you want to handle it. What mechanism is in place to understand what they're doing? What protections are you aware of? You know, it's like the Amazon file storage... they're fully encrypted, and they have all kinds of methods they use, and it works. It makes sense. But they're not the only ones out there. Not everybody does it that way. So these are the questions that should be asked and should be addressed.

Kirk: Well, we do know that in the future, these problems are solved. Because on Star Trek, they didn't really have a problem with hackers, and they... I don't know if they had computer viruses or not. So we know that all that's taken care of in the future.

Chris: Well, that's true. The Daytronics memory core is designed so that it knows how to get around that. It's artificial intelligence at its best.

Kirk: That's right. That's right.

Hey, Chris, it's been a blast. Thanks for participating and being with us, and pontificating about NAB 2015. I think we're both going to be really busy there. Oh, I'm giving three talks, one paper and two other talks, and panel discussions, and SBE stuff. Holy cow. It's going to be a busy time. Yeah.

Chris: Yeah, no, it'll be very busy. And I'll... and we'll be doing the show from there Thursday, right? Is that the plan?

Kirk: Yeah, that's the plan. That's in three weeks from now. Two weeks from now...

Chris: Three weeks.

Kirk: Oh, by the way, next... I mentioned earlier on the show, we've got some good shows coming up. Next week, the plan... I don't know if we're going to keep the plan, but the plan is that I'm doing a show from Atlanta, Georgia, at the facility where Dave Anderson is building new studios.

Chris: Oh, cool.

Kirk: So that, at the moment, is the plan. I hope I can keep that plan. The following week, we've got Jeremy Ruck, who was actually scheduled to be on today. He's going to be on the show. I'll be in Las Vegas, but I'll be at a friend's house. So we're going to have Jeremy Ruck on the show. He's going to talk about big-time consulting engineering, stuff that's way over my head.

And then, during the NAB show, the last day of the show, we'll do TWIRT from the NAB show for. We've just got to find some bandwidth. I don't know if Telos has enough. We may have it across the hall and somewhere else, anyway. We'll find some bandwidth and do this show from the NAB show floor in three weeks.

Chris: Perfect. That works. I like that idea.

Kirk: Yeah. It's going to be good. Going to be good.

All right. Hey, thanks a lot, folks. Thank to the folks who make the show possible. Please patronize them. Check out their offerings. The folks at Lawo and the crystalCLEAR virtual radio console, and Omnia, the Omnia.7, a very affordable, really powerful audio processor, and also at Axia, making the Fusion AoIP console. I think it's the best console ever, ever built. Features galore. Amazing stuff. And it's all audio over IP.


Thanks to Chris Tobin, IP solutionist. And Chris, if people do need to reach you, they know that if they've got an IP problem-television, radio, getting data from here to there, real time-you can help them out. Where they can contact you.

Chris: Yes. It's support@IPcodecs.com.

Kirk: Call support.

Chris: And our buddies at Cuni TV. Support@IPcodecs.com.

Kirk: Cool. Thank you very much. I'm at the Telos Alliance, and at some radio stations in Mississippi and American Samoa. So thanks a lot to Andrew Zarian for the GFQ network, and thanks to Suncast, who produced today's show.

We'll see you next week on This Week in Radio Tech. Bye-bye.

Topics: Broadcast Technology