NAB Show 2024 BEIT Sessions Part 1: ATSC 3.0 And TV RF

A full-time chief engineer in good relationships with manufacturer reps and an honest local dealer should spend most of their NAB Show time immersed in BEIT sessions. It’s an incredible opportunity to learn from and personally question indisputable industry experts.

The problem with NAB Shows is that there’s not enough time for one person to ingest and digest all the technical information and stimulus at the show. More than 1000 NAB Show 2024 exhibits will be open a total of 31 hours from Sunday through Wednesday. No individual can see and understand everything in every exhibit in 31 hours without lunch and breaks. Most full-time visitors have about 24 hours to investigate new products relevant to their TV endeavor.

Some serious shoppers spend more than an hour in particular exhibits, and they spend a couple of more hours doublechecking the competition. No engineer investing in the next 4-7 years of their career at their station can afford to make a technology selection blunder. One size does not fit all. Every station and facility has special needs and reasons and that often only the DoE understands. It's often up to the DoE to point station management in the right direction.

Many Chief Engineers and DoEs attending NAB usually spend some NAB time in station group engineering meetings and socializing with industry friends usually only seen at trade shows. NAB is a social, learning, and shopping experience for broadcasters like no other. What can be more fun than visiting NAB as a station CE, authorized and prepared to cut CAPEX purchase orders? I've never made more friends. Most of them I already knew. Some gave me a gold pen to sign the PO. Others bought me dinner. The best did both.

In addition to surveying exhibits for potential future capex purchases, a wealth of valuable technical information of interest only to TV transmitter engineers is always explained and disseminated by industry experts in The BEIT Conference Sessions. Many industry experts are exhibitors allowed time to thoroughly explain complicated new technologies and answer questions in BEIT Sessions. BEIT is a far superior valuable information venue than a noisy exhibit booth.

Excluding walking, breaks and lunch, about the best a visitor can hope to spend on the exhibit floor is about 25 hours, and this year both levels of South Hall are open. Google Maps says the walk from South Hall to the middle of West Hall is 0.6 mile. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says, “Walk time between the West Hall to the existing North/Central Hall can take up to 25 minutes,” and I can verify that. The LVCC is 4.6 million square feet. Zigzagging the exhibit halls is easy and a waste of time, energy and shoes. The sprawling LVCC is one of the few busy venues in Las Vegas without people movers. Prepare to so some serious walking and do not wear new shoes.

Time Management

The best approach to spending your time most wisely at the NAB Show is the process of elimination. Use lists of exhibitors, sessions, and seminars to decide who and what you don’t need to see and cross them off. That approach gives everyone due diligence and it also works with the BEIT sessions. Because there are often two concurrent BEIT sessions presented in two different rooms, there are more hours of BEIT sessions than there are exhibit hours.

This BEIT Sessions story is divided into two installments. This first installment covers ATSC & TV RF. The second installment covers Streaming, Wi-Fi, AI & Other.

TV RF on Saturday, 13 April

The BEITC Opening session starts at 10AM in West Hall Rooms W220-221, and will be presented by Lynn Claudy, NAB Senior VP-Technology, and Sam Matheny, NAB Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. The Opening Session will include a formal welcome, a keynote address, and the presentation of the NAB Best Paper Award honoring the author(s) of the best paper published in the NAB BEITC Proceedings.

Next on the BEIT schedule at 11:30 AM is Applications of ATSC 3.0 Technology in rooms W222-223. This session is a panel of speakers, moderated by CBS-TV’s Director of R.F. and Transmissions Engineering Rick Ackermans.

Speakers include Fred Engel, CTO at PBS North Carolina, Niakam Kazemi, Principal Product Architect, Technology at Sinclair Broadcast Group; Sangsu Kim, Advanced Technology Sr. Director at ONE Media Technology; and David Neff, GM at Anywave Communications Technologies. Topics include ATSC 3.0 and Wireless Emergency Alerting at 11:30AM, Dynamic Ad Insertion through Data Distribution as a Service System (DDaaS) at 11:50AM, and Translators for ATSC 3.0 at 12:10PM.

Patrick Diamond’s 2023 BEIT BPS backup GPS session is an ATSC 3.0 milestone.

Patrick Diamond’s 2023 BEIT BPS backup GPS session is an ATSC 3.0 milestone.

At 1:30PM in rooms W220-221 are sessions about the Broadcast Positioning System (BPS) as a part of Government and Industry Collaboration on BPS, moderated by NAB’s Sam Matheny. Speakers will include Patrick Diamond with Diamond Consulting, Andrew Hansen, Principal. Aviation Modeling, System Design and PND with USDOT/OST, and Jeff Sherman, Research Scientist with NIST.

The panel will discuss how BPS can provide an authenticated to UTC sime signal with 25-50ns precision to provide precision to power grids, telecom networks and financial industry transaction time stamping for government compliance.

That BPS session will be followed in the same room with the NAB’s Broadcast Positioning System (BPS) Project Update and Lessons Learned from Market Trial, presented by Tariq Mondal, NAB VP, Advanced Technology. Mondal’s goal is to update visitors on the progress of BPS tests and market trials, and share the lessons learned from the BPS market trail phase. By the time of the 2024 NAB Show, NAB expects its partners to have tested the BPS time delivery performance of a live ATSC 3.0 station.

ATSC 3.0 Business Cases

The IEEE BTS: ATSC 3.0 Business Case and Monetization starts at 3 PM in W220-221 and is hosted by IEEE BTS. Speakers Mark Barrington with Barrington Technology LLC, Terry Douds, Broadcast Operations Supervisor at WOUB Public Media, John McCoske, CEO at SpectraRep and Liam Power with ONE Media Technologies will discuss topics from delivering radio within an ATSC 3.0 transmit stream to GPS/Geolocation services with the ATCS 3.0 TS. Targeted advertising, data for first responders, virtual ATSC 3.0 channels and other datacasting business models will also be discussed.

More TV RF on Sunday, 14 April

All Sunday BEIT sessions relevant to ATSC 3.0 and TV RF are in West Hall rooms W222-223. At 11:30 AM, two speakers from Humber College will outline the work done in the Humber B²C Lab test bed and present findings, and some of the latest R&D along with government and community reflections regarding positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) resilient solutions such as BPS.

In the same room following the Humber College presentation, will be a session on the BPS Mesh Network at 11:50AM and a session on Transmitting time and frequency data by using broadcast TV signals observed in common-view at 12:10PM. Speakers at these sessions include Vladimir Anishchenko, President, CTO, Avateq Corp.; Mark Corl, SVP Emergent Technology Development, Triveni Digital; Vatsa Dave, Research Assistant at Humber College; Georges Livanos, Professor, Humber College; and Judah Levine, NIST Fellow, Time and Frequency Division, National Institute of Standard and Technology.

TV RF on Monday, 15 April

Monday sessions bounce between W220-221 and W222-223. At 10:00 AM in W222-223 is Modern Tools and Techniques to Maximize Your Broadcast Antenna Investment presented by Jason Schreiber, RF Engineer at Sixarms. His paper presents results of using a drone-based measurement system to verify actual in-situation antenna radiation patterns for diagnosis and comparison to the intended specs and design.

At 10:20AM in the same room, An Innovative In-Service Antenna Monitoring System to Protect Your Antenna and Transmission Line will be presented, followed by Developing Media-Specific Traffic Profiles for Reliable Media Over IP Network Testing at 10:40AM.

At 11:30, sessions move to W220-221, beginning with Broadcast Operations: Network Management and Partial County Alerting, followed by Partial County Alerting (PCA): Targeting the broadcast of Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages at Noon.

Speakers include Adrienne Abbott, EAS Chair, Nevada State Emergency Communications Committee; Daniel Berc, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NOAA/National Weather Service, Las Vegas Weather Forecast Office; James Bloomfield, CEO / CTO / President, MNC Software; Tim Schott, Meteorologist/NWS Dissemination Services Lead, NOAA/National Weather Service Headquarters, Silver Spring, Maryland; David Stewart, Chief Engineer at Nebraska Public Media; and Ling Ling Sun, CTO at Nebraska Public Media.

The SBE Broadcast Technology Update will occur in rooms W220-221 at 1:30PM. Speakers will be Lynn Claudy, Senior VP –Technology, National Association of Broadcasters; Ernie Ensign, AVP, News Technology & Operations, Sinclair Broadcast Group; Jim Ragsdale, Executive Director, SBE; and Craig Wilson, Product Evangelist - Broadcast & Media, Enterprise | Market Solutions. Session moderators will be Tom Mikkelsen with Bipath and Stan Moote, CTO, IABM.

TV RF on Tuesday, 16 April

Building Out Broadcast Systems will begin at 10:00AM in rooms W220-221. Speakers include Rob Bertrand, Senior Director of Technology, WAMU; Nick Paulin, Product Engineering Manager, Electronics Research, Inc.; Tom Silliman, President & CEO, ERI, Dave Garner, VP and Director of Engineering, Hubbard; and David Layer, Vice President, Advanced Engineering Technology, NAB.

Rooms W220-221 will also be the venue of CDN Offload via Hybrid Delivery over ATSC 3.0 for Video Streaming at 1:30PM, presented by Liam Power with ONE Media Technologies. In the same room at 3:30PM ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Core Networks: Serving Diverse Use-Cases Across a Heterogeneous Broadcast and Supplier Ecosystem will be presented by David Francois, VP of Enterprise Strategy, The E.W. Scripps Company; Mark O'Brien, President, SpectraRep; John McCoskey, Chief Operating Officer, SpectraRep; and Denise Willsey, Director of Sales & Business Development, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Part Two of this report will summarize all other 2024 BEIT sessions of interest to TV engineers, excluding ATSC 3.0.

Use code BEIT05 for a FREE Exhibits Pass and $100 off the BEIT Conference. 

*Not to be combined with any other offer.

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