So Little Time, So Much To Learn

World-class learning opportunities abound in NAB exhibits and technical sessions.

Most NAB visitors attend the event in search of knowledge and hands-on experience with the latest examples of the state of the art. Some come to shop. Some come for school. Limited hours make it difficult for one person to do both successfully. Many consider visiting exhibits to be the best use of their time. Others have found the most beneficial learning opportunities are in the many technical sessions. Most sessions are in LVCC meeting rooms and require more than an “Exhibits Only” badge to attend. There are several badge and pass levels. A SMART Pass grants entry to everything including star-studded Signature Session Luncheons. Passes limited to sessions and workshops with access to the best minds behind the scenes cost significantly less.

The NAB breaks its technical sessions out into a Conference Program, New Media Expo, and Post/Production World with its Authorized Certification Prep Classes. The Conference Program includes the Broadcast Engineering Conference, Broadcast Management Conference, Creative Master Series, Media Finance and Investor Conference, Media Management in the Cloud, Online Video Conference and a Technology Summit on Cinema. Specific details of all conferences and sessions are listed here.

The Broadcast Engineering Conference (BEC), is also known as the SBE Ennes Workshop. The BEC runs from Saturday April 11 thru Thursday April 16. Most BEC sessions throughout the week are in meeting rooms S219 and S218 and are typically the most likely of interest to broadcast engineers.

Saturday events are held in S219

Wayne Pecena, KAMU Director of Engineering

Wayne Pecena, KAMU Director of Engineering

On Saturday April 11 from 8 AM to 6 PM in S219 is the Broadcast Engineering Conference SBE Ennes Workshop. This year’s theme is “The All IP Facility.”

A three hour tutorial on Router Configuration starts at 8 a.m. Wayne Pecena, Texas A&M University – KAMU Director of Engineering will present valuable information.

Designing networks and configuring routers is science and art. This year, Wayne will build a network from the ground up. He will show how to add access points and implement practical security. He will also explain what can be learned from routers traffic and use patterns. Focus will be on router selection and on features and functions most beneficial in a broadcast setting. Registration requires a Conference Flex Pass or SMART Pass.

John Poray, SBE Executive Director

John Poray, SBE Executive Director

At 9 a.m. SBE Executive Director John Poray will make Ennes Workshop Opening Remarks.

At 11 a.m. Saturday “The All IP Radio Station” presented by Barry Thomas, Director of Engineering with Wilks Broadcasting in room S219.

Saturday from 11:20 AM - 11:45 AM is “Studio Lighting Update,” presented by Jay Holben, Director/Producer with Adakin Productions. He will present a summary of new studio lighting technology and how revamping the studio can help in many ways from comfort to color accuracy and electrical efficiency.

From 12:30 p.m. - 1:10 p.m., John Lyons, Asst VP/ Director of Broadcast Communications at The Durst Organization will look at what is happening in New York’s New RF Environment. From 1776-feet above what was once "radio row" and towering over the tip of Manhattan, One World Trade Center is again becoming the center of broadcasting transmission in New York. The process is complicated, creative, and ever so interesting.

Saturday from 1:10 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. Stan Moote, IABM Advisory CTO will explore “Why Everything TV must be IP.”

IP appears to be a powerful driving force that promises the cost benefits of using standard IT products. Numerous vendors are pushing papers, presentations and demos focusing on IP as a technology for broadcasters. What often isn’t presented are the overall hazards vs. benefits. This presentation steps back from the death of SDI hype and explores reasons to consider going IP, where IP is used now and the repercussions of jumping in without considering what a tangible end goal is.

Thomas Edwards, Fox VP Engineering & Development

Thomas Edwards, Fox VP Engineering & Development

From 1:40 p.m. until 2:10 p.m., Thomas Edwards, Fox VP Engineering & Development will present “Beware of SDI Skeuomorphs.”

A "skeuomorph" is a derivative object that retains ornamental cues from structures that were necessary in the original. Digital composite, for example, is a skeuomorph of analog. While SMPTE 2022-6 packetizes the SDI bit stream, perhaps there are more advantages to letting go of SDI and moving forward. It is the things that IP can do that SDI can't that we should be concentrating on; for example separate elementary essence streams, device registration and auto-configuration, and the use of video codecs.

From 2:10 p.m. until 2:40 p.m., Cisco Systems Inc. Content Provider Architect Peter Chave will present information on Software Defined Networking (SDN).

SDN is as a very useful tool to abstract network infrastructure and simplify end-to-end management of increasingly complex systems. We will highlight what SDN means and what is actually scripting, automation or orchestration as well as what is just pure marketing.

At 2:40 p.m., Kevin Gross, AVA Networks Media Network Consultant will present “Implementing AES-67: Audio over IP in the Station and Studio.”

AES67 was published in September 2013 promising interoperability between audio over IP systems from different manufacturers. Eighteen months later we take a look at what actual interoperability opportunities have been created by the standard, who is offering what products, how you make connections using AES67 and what type of network infrastructure is required to support these connections.

At 3:10 p.m. the topic will change to the evolution of synchronization requirements in the live network system era.

Consultant Paul Briscoe will look at the synchronization challenges moving to a networked topology presents. It explores how SMPTE 2059 (PTP) Precision Time Protocol-based network reference distribution works, and how it applies to both legacy applications as well as networked systems. Finally, how a legacy SDI reference infrastructure evolves to incorporate SMPTE-2022 media flow and network-delivered references is examined in detail.

Charles Meyer, CTO Production at Grass Valley

Charles Meyer, CTO Production at Grass Valley

At 3:40 p.m., Charles Meyer, CTO Production at Grass Valley will discuss “Workflow in the All-IP Facility.”

Broadcast workflows are all about time. As IP/IT technology moves deeper into studios and facilities, understanding the relationship between time and video production requirements is essential. As technology evolves, computers and networks become faster. Fast enough that they might as well be real time. Live production is real time. Playout is near real time. Editing may be non-real time. By considering these workflows and their time requirements, it is possible to target the appropriate technology for a given workflow, analyze the benefit, and determine what IP/IT technology is suitable, if any.

Mark Hilton is VP of Infrastructure Products at Grass Valley.

Mark Hilton is VP of Infrastructure Products at Grass Valley.

At 4:10 p.m, Mark Hilton VP of Infrastructure Products at Grass Valley will present “Using SDN to Manage IP Infrastructure in a Broadcast Environment.”

Software Defined Networking (SDN) has caused, and is still causing, a revolution in the IP industry. How may it benefit the broadcast industry? This session will explore the promise and limitations of a SDN controlled infrastructure whether it be traditional SDI or IP based components. Interoperability, state of the industry standards, open source software and a practical approach to leverage this and other IT centric technologies will be discussed with the goal of providing a prudent roadmap going forward for today's broadcaster.

The SDN presentation will be followed at 4:40 p.m. by “The IP-Facility: A Reality Today,” presented by Mo Goyal P.Eng, Director, Product Marketing at Evertz Microsystems, Ltd.

As SDI moves to IP, the key factors driving the change are demands for higher quality content (HD, 1080p, and now Ultra HD 4K), more HD/SD services, and content delivered to multiple platforms (TV, tablets, PCs, and phones). This session will cover how one broadcaster decided to build for the future with a high capacity packet core and is on-air today.

Steve Lampen, Belden Multimedia Technology Manager.

Steve Lampen, Belden Multimedia Technology Manager.

At 5:10 p.m., Belden Multimedia Technology Manager Steve Lampen will present “Interconnecting the All-IP Facility: The Physical Layer.”

Learn how to "maximize the performance" of the twisted pairs, fiber OPTICS, wireless and other new technologies moving into TV facilities. And, as bandwidth increases and critical quarter-wavelengths get shorter and shorter, there's no question that lack of experience will be a major contributor to network failure. This presentation will provide view from the top of the icebergs you are heading for and how to guide yourself around them.

Saturday certification prep in north rooms

In Post/Production World on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:15 p.m., Avid will host a Certification Prep Class in meeting room N264. Next door from 10 until 6:15 p.m. in room N262, Adobe will hold “Intro to Adobe After Effects Certified Training.”

At 12:30 on Saturday are Post/Production World Boot Camps for Apple Final Cut Pro X (N256), After Effects Essentials for Video Editors (N254), GoPro (N257). An In-Depth session titled “BlackMagic Cinema Cameras Workshop will be held in room N261 from 12:30 until 3 p.m. Another Boot Camp entitled “Creative Lighting Techniques for Any Budget” will be held from 3:30 until 6 p.m. in meeting room N261.

Post/Production World also is holding a session “In-Depth: Modern Camera Movement, from 3:30 until 6 p.m. in room N257.

At the Technology Summit on Cinema, an hour-long session “Navigating Big Color: Lessons and Opportunities for the Future – Part 1 will start at 2:15.

Unlike the ubiquitous NAB lobbyburger, food sold in the Lower and Upper South exhibit halls comes from some interesting local restaurants.

Unlike the ubiquitous NAB lobbyburger, food sold in the Lower and Upper South exhibit halls comes from some interesting local restaurants.

Drones invade ghost town

Two all-day off-site sessions start Saturday morning with “Drones Workshop: Aerial Videography Field Trip for Beginners Flyers” followed by “Aerial Videography Field Trip for Advanced Flyers” on Sunday. Both start out in room N252 at 8 a.m. Registration includes round-trip transportation from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Nelson, NV, lunch and onsite small group instruction. A separate registration of $495 is required.

These are all-day Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Aerial Video with Drones Workshops. It is expected that all attendees will have some experience flying a camera drone. This workshop will cover Safety and some of the basics, but the majority of the focus will be on higher level, shot-specific techniques. Attendees are invited to bring their own drones to fly during the free-fly portion of the event.

Attendees will ride an air-conditioned coach to the colorful ghost town in Nelson, NV. A series of stations will be set up with video production equipment and several flavors of video drones, large and small. Attendees will also experience several focus sessions including Heavy Lifter cinema-copter demos, working as part of a two-person camera drone team, FPV goggles, and advances monitoring tools. There will be an optional free-fly session at the end of the day. An advanced session begins Sunday morning at 8 a.m. in room N252.

Sunday Broadcast Engineering Conferences

Sunday starts in room S219 at 9 a.m. with the Broadcast Engineering Conference Keynote by Sam Matheny, EVP and CTO with NAB.

Toru Kuroda, Science & Technology Research Laboratories, NHK

Toru Kuroda, Science & Technology Research Laboratories, NHK

From 9:30 a.m. running until 3 p.m. in room S219 is the BE Conference “Next Generation Television.” It starts with “UHDTV Roadmap for Ultimate 8K from 4K” presented by NHK’s Toru Kuroda at 9:30.

At 10 in S219 is “Comparative Field Tests of DVB-T2 and ATSC” presented by Kelly Williams Sr. Director, Engineering and Technology Policy at NAB.

Also at 10 a.m. in room N236 is the Broadcast Management Conference “Focus on Leadership.”

“Advanced Radio Technology” sessions will be held in room S227 from 9:30 a.m. until Noon.

Meanwhile back in S219 at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, several people from the Korean Broadcasting System will present “The New Phase of Terrestrial UHD Service: Live 4K UHD Broadcasting via Terrestrial Channel.” At 11, “Implications of High Dynamic Range on the Broadcast Chain for HD and Ultra-HD Content” will be discussed by a group from Ericsson. It will be followed at 11:30 by “12-bits Is Simply Not Enough for HDR (High Dynamic Range) Video” presented by Alan Chalmers, Professor of Visualisation at University of Warwick.

Sung-Ik Park. Senior Researcher at ETRI.

Sung-Ik Park. Senior Researcher at ETRI.

Next Generation Television continues at 1 p.m. in room S219, with “Hardware Implementation and Complexity Analysis of Layered Division Multiplexing (LDM) System for ATSC 3.0” presented by Sung-Ik Park, Senior Researcher at ETRI, Heung Mook Kim, ETRI Korea, and Pablo Angueira, Associate Professor UPV/EHU.

Tony Jones, Head of Technology, TV Compression, at Ericsson.

Tony Jones, Head of Technology, TV Compression, at Ericsson.

At 1:30, Mats Ek, Technical Director at Progira will present “Planning Urban Mobile and Portable Coverage in Future ATSC 3.0 Using SFNs” at 1:30. “Overcoming Limited Bandwidth: Using Mezzanine Feeds for Transmission Efficiencies,” will follow at 2:00 p.m., presented by Tony Jones, Head of Technology, TV Compression, at Ericsson.

Tim Laud is senior engineer at Zenith Electronics.

Tim Laud is senior engineer at Zenith Electronics.

At 2:30, Tim Laud, senior engineer at Zenith Electronics LLC presents “Futurecast: Next Generation Broadcast TV (NGBT) Broadcasting System.” At 3:00 in room S219, NAB’s Skip Pizzi will present an “Overview of the ATSC 3.0 Effort.” Skip will be followed by a presentation from Triveni Digital CSO Rich Chernock titled “Inside ATSC 3.0: What’s Happening Where?”

At 3:30 on Sunday, Luke Fay, Senior Staff SW Systems Engineer with Sony Electronics will discuss “TG3/S32, Specialist Group on Physical Layer.”

The TG3/S33 presentation will continue at 4 p.m. with Youngkwon Lim, Research Engineer and Principal (Director) at Samsung presenting ATSC 3.0 Management and Protocols. At 4:30. Madeleine Noland, LG Electronics Consultant will present ATSC 3.0 Applications and Presentation.

At 5, S. Merrill Weiss will present “TG3/S35, Specialist Group on ATSC 3.0 Ecosystem."

Jay Adrick, Technical Advisor, GatesAir

Jay Adrick, Technical Advisor, GatesAir

At 5:30, Adam Goldberg, Principal at AGP LLC will discuss ATSC 3.0 Security. The NGTV sessions will conclude with a presentation on “Advanced Emergency Alerting System,” by Jay Adrick with GatesAir. All Sunday ATSC 3.0 tutorials will occur in room S219.

A Broadcast Engineering Conference reception will be held on Sunday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in room S225.

Monday sessions

Larry Oaks, VP Technology at Meredith Corporation

Larry Oaks, VP Technology at Meredith Corporation

More Broadcast Engineering Conferences are scheduled for Monday-Thursday. On Monday, “The Future of AeroJournalism in Broadcast News” will be presented in S228 at 10:30 a.m. “UAVs in Broadcast” sessions will continue in S228 until 3 p.m., led by BEC Session Chair Larry Oaks, VP Technology at Meredith Corporation.

Hitonari Nakada, Head of Technical Engineering Department at the NexTV-Forum.

Hitonari Nakada, Head of Technical Engineering Department at the NexTV-Forum.

On Monday from 10:30 – Noon in room S219, is the UHD 8K and 4K Trchnology sessions, chaired by So Vang, VP Advanced Technology at NAB. Hitonari Nakada, Head of Technical Engineering Department, Next Generation Television & Broadcasting Promotion Forum will present “Japan’s Initiative of UHDTV to 2020.”

Monday afternoon, room S219 will be the venue of a series of “Technical Regulatory Issues for Broadcasters,” presentations lead by Session Chair and CBS Radio Engineer Kim Sacks. The regulatory sessions concludes with “Examples of RF Exposure Problems” and “Panel Questions and Answers” at 5:45.

David Brender, National Program Manager, Copper Development Association.

David Brender, National Program Manager, Copper Development Association.

Get Grounded

A couple of BEC sessions are recommended tutorial for all broadcast engineers. “Grounding Systems: Why are they Mission Critical?” will be presented at 11:10 on Monday in room S227. A second grounding session “Guidelines for Grounding of Communications Facilities” will be presented at 9 a.m. on Tuesday April 14 in room 228 by David Brender, National Program Manager, Copper Development Association.

IEEE BTS to Host Tutorial on RF Radiation Safety

IEEE Broadcast Technology Society (BTS) will host a tutorial session titled "RF Radiation Exposure Safety Standards, Practices, and Regulations." Wavepoint Research President Eric R. Wandel along with Robert Cleveland from EMF Consulting, who is also a retired Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expert on RF safety, will co-chair the three-hour session, scheduled for 3 p.m. in room S228 of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Tuesday sessions

Tuesday features BEC sessions on “Broadcast Facilities” in room S228 from 9-Noon, hosted by Robert Russell, Journal Broadcast Group D of E.

Following the 9 a.m. “Guidelines for Grounding of Communications Facilities” presentation, other “Broadcast Facilities” sessions for TV are “Foolproof Aiming of Large Parabolic Dishes” at 10:30, and “TV Repack: RF and Antenna Transition Strategies” at 11. It will be followed by ‘Making Signals with SMPTE 2059 Networked Genlock” at 11:30.Room S228 becomes the venue for “Radio Connectivity” sessions Tuesday afternoon.

Tariq Islam, Director of Advanced Technology at NAB

Tariq Islam, Director of Advanced Technology at NAB

Also on Tuesday, room S227 will be the site of the Broadcast Engineering Conference “Broadcast IT Infrastructure.” Sessions run from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and will be hosted by Tariq Islam, Director of Advanced Technology at NAB.

Tuesday’s “Broadcast IT Infrastructure” sessions start with “BT and Nevion Address IP’s Next Leap: The Modern IP Contribution Network” at 9 am in S227. It will be followed in the same room by “Channel-in-Box” at 9:30, “Implementing Ethernet Switch Security” at 10, “4K video on unlicensed 60GHz spectrum” at 10:30, followed by “SDN: Is that a Router Control System?” at 11. “Network Security for Broadcast Media Streaming” is scheduled for 11:30. After lunch at 1 p.m. in the same room, “Deploying a Nationwide Monitoring and Control System via SNMP” will be presented. It will be followed by “Video Contribution Management in the Cloud” at 1:30, “Troubleshooting IP Networks with Wireshark” at 2:30, “4K and IP Converge” at 3, and “IP in the Broadcast Plant: Practical BuildingBlocks” at 3:30. At 4 p.m., the topic in room S227 turns to “RF Matters,” chaired by NAB’s Skip Pizzi until 6 p.m. High power tunable filters, Modulation Error Rates (MER) and Digital Transmitter Monitoring sessions will be presented.

Many exhibits offer live demonstrations and light training.

Many exhibits offer live demonstrations and light training.

New tone Wednesday

Clyde Smith, Fox Network Engineering and Operations Consultant

Clyde Smith, Fox Network Engineering and Operations Consultant

On Wednesday, the tone of sessions changes slightly. S227 becomes the home of “Disaster Preparedness and Recovery” sessions, led by Clyde Smith, Fox Network Engineering and Operations Consultant. The most significant is “This is Not a Drill - Developing Actionable, Profitable Resilience Plans” which runs from 9:30 to 10:30.

Wednesday is also the day for an all-day “RF Boot Camp” session in room N232. The boot camp will be led by Garrison Cavell, president of Cavell, Mertz and Associates, Inc.

Wednesday afternoon until 6 p.m., room 228 becomes the site of multiple “Television on Multiple Platforms” sessions, led by SBE’s Fred Baumgartner. At the same time, Room 227 becomes the location of “Working with Metadata” sessions chaired by Louis Libin, Executive Director, Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance. Both sessions have powerful topics and speakers scheduled.

The Amateur Radio Operators Reception will be held in Westgate Ballroom B from 6 – 8 p.m.

Technical Thursday

Joe Snelson, VP Engineering, Meredith Local Media Group

Joe Snelson, VP Engineering, Meredith Local Media Group

Thursday’s tutorial sessions become more technically advanced as they wind down. Room S227 will be the venue for “Understanding Adaptive Bit Rate Technologies, led by Joe Snelson, VP Engineering, Meredith Local Media Group.

Presentations begin S227 with “Active Monitoring Agents for Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) Deployments” at 9 a.m., “Ultra-high-definition Quality of Experience with MPEG-DASH” at 9:30, followed by “Quality Driven Adaptive Bit-Rate Video Streaming” at 10. At 10:30, "Ensuring Video Quality in an IP Video Delivery System" will be presented and "Cloud-based ABR – Providing a Unified Managed Linear Service to All Screens in a Home" wraps up the Adaptive Bit Rate sessions and starts at 11.

Room S228 on Thursday morning is the home of “Radio on the Move” sessions chaired by David Layer, Senior Director, Advanced Engineering at the National Association of Broadcasters.

S222 Super Sessions

On Monday, April 13th a number of Super Sessions will all be held in meeting room S222. A session from 10:30 a.m. until Noon will explore “Constant Cravings - Using OTT to Win the Next Generation of Viewers.” From 12:30 until 1:30, Avid Presents A Conversation with Morgan Spurlock. A session from 2:30 - 3:30 is on “Social Media and the Business of Live Television.”

Meeting room S222 will be the site of more Super Sessions on Tuesday April 14th. AT 10:30 a.m until Noon is “Television's Transition to an All-IP Future - Why It's a Big Deal.”It will be followed at 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. with “Cisco Presents: From Capture to Consumer: How New Content Dynamics are Affecting Broadcast Infrastructures.”From 2:30 - 3:30 pm the session “Hollywood Preview: The Next Generation of Consumer Experiences is NOW “ will take place.

Tuesday’s Super Sessions will conclude from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in room S222 with the Super Session “Producing and Monetizing Content on a Global Scale.”

Meeting room S222 will continue to be the venue for more Super Sessions on Wednesday. From 10:30 a.m. until Noon, a “Broadband and the Internet of Things: Realities and Myths” will be revealed and explored.

From 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. will be the Super Session “Ericsson Presents: TV 2020 in the Networked Society.” At 2:30 the session in S222 will switch to “Protecting our Assets: Cybersecurity and the Media.” At 4:00 p.m.. Wednesday’s Super Sessions will conclude with “Achieving Advertising Agility.”

In the meantime, in your spare time, visit some exhibits. “So much to see, so much to learn, so little time” describes every NAB convention.

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