Maine Public Broadcasting Installs Maxiva Exciters

Maine Public Broadcasting has upgraded its RF plants network-wide to GatesAir Maxiva M2X exciters, GatesAir said today.


Installed in all five of its GatesAir transmitters, the Maxiva M2X optimizes the ATSC digital TV signal across all Maine Public Broadcasting VHF and UHF systems while assuring regulatory compliance, the company said.


“The Maxiva M2X significantly optimizes the transmission envelope, and also improves the auto-correction capabilities of our GatesAir transmitters,” said Maine Public Broadcasting VP and CTO Gil Maxwell, in a GatesAir press release.


The GatesAir RTAC software is integrated into the Maxiva M2X. It provides real-time adaptive correction that improves signal quality and mask filtering to maintain FCC compliance.


The Maine Public Broadcasting network of stations includes WMEA in Biddeford; WCBB in Portland; WMEB in Bangor; WMED in Calais; and WMEM in Presque Isle. Each uses a GatesAir TV transmitter.

Telemundo Elevates Vanessa Pombo to VP

Vanessa Pombo.

Vanessa Pombo has been promoted to VP of Production Management and Business News at Telemundo Network, the Spanish-language network announced today.

Pombo, who will report to Luis Fernandez, EVP, News, Telemundo Network, will manage domestic and international broadcast news operations, production and post-operations. One of her responsibilities in the new role will be to head up an effort to enhance the quality of Telemundo News broadcasts, the network said.

She also will be responsible for identifying new trends in news gathering technology and exploiting additional revenue streams for the News Department’s shows.

WATC Automates STL, Off-Air RF Signal Monitoring

Scott Wills, director of engineering at WATC in Atlanta, has begun using Qligent Point to monitor the station’s studio-to-transmitter ASI link and off-air RF signal.

WATC, an independent station in Atlanta, has begun automatically monitoring and recording its broadcast signal with Qligent Point, the company announced today.

The station is using Qligent Point to monitor its ASI stream from the WATC studios to its transmitter site as well as its off-air RF signal being transmitter, according to Qligent.

The Qligent Point makes low bitrate video recordings to document what is broadcast on WATC’s channels 57.1 and 57.2. Using a PC at the station, personnel can search and view proxies or thumbnails. They can access the content remotely via a web browser, Qligent said.

The recordings give the station proof of its transmitted video, audio, closed captions and EAS alerts. Qligent Point also automatically alerts station engineers and other key personnel of any failures, such as picture freezes or audio drop outs, via text notification.

Scott Wills, station director of engineering, also noted that Qligent Point makes it easy to stay on top of CALM audio loudness levels and closed captions.

More information is available on the Qligent website.

Brand Connections

Wheatstone Appoints SCMS As Exclusive U.S. Distributor for PR&E

Wheatstone has appointed Southern Coastal Marketing Services (SCMS) as its exclusive distributor in the United States for the Pacific Research & Engineering (PR&E) brand, including its audio consoles and networking gear, the company announced today.

A week ago, Wheatstone acquired PR&E assets and intellectual property from GatesAir. SCMS was one of Wheatstone’s dealers in the company’s early days as a console manufacture. One of Wheatstone’s goals with the PR&E acquisition is to restore the PR&E console brand under its umbrella.

More information is available on the company’s website.

KABC Outfits New Chopper With Super Zoom Lens, Map Overlay

KABC has added the Shotover F1 6500mm zoom lens to its Air8 HD news copter.

ABC O&O KABC Los Angeles has added  Xtreme Vision and SkyMap7 powered by the Shotover F1 Live to its Air7 HD news copter, motion picture and broadcast camera system developer Shotover announced today.

“By utilizing the Shotover F1 Live as the centerpiece of the Air 7 HD news helicopter, we are providing unparalleled viewpoints into breaking news events,” said Rob Elmore, KABC VP and news director.

XTREME Vision uses an advanced zoom lens with a 6,500 mm focal length, and SkyMap7 provides a frame of reference for viewers when visibility is limited by weather, smoke or mudslides.

The SkyMap7, which uses technology from Churchill Navigation and is integrated into the F1 Live, is a moving map system that makes it possible for reporters in the air to identify ground locations and addresses quickly during fast moving assignments via location-specific video overlays, the station said.

Helinet Aviation manages the KABC chopper.

What’s A Microservice And Why Does It Matter?

While interviewing Imagine Communications CTO Steve Reynolds for today’s NAB Hot Topic feature article, “IP, Virtualization To Drive Workflows At NAB,” the conversation turned to microservices and their role in virtualizing a broadcast function in an on-premise datacenter or in the cloud.

For those unfamiliar with microservices, Reynolds defines them this way: “A microservice is an atomic software component. It is a very simple software component. In general a microservice does one thing.”

One good example of a microservice is an MPEG 2 decoder object. “All it does is decode an MPEG 2 input and puts uncompressed video out the other side,” says Reynolds.

According to Reynolds, Imagine Communications has created about 1,000 of these microservices. In a datacenter or the cloud, microservices can be mixed and matched to achieve a desired workflow. “The essentially are Legos used to build a workflow,” he says.

The advantage of this approach is microservices or even an individual microservice can scale across many processors in a private datacenter or the cloud, he says.

Another approach is to image software that runs on COTS hardware to run on a virtual machine. “But that doesn’t take advantage of going to the cloud,” Reynolds says.

Those words aren’t written without a small bit of trepidation, because like anything else in this industry where there is a pro, there is certain to be a con, and I don’t really care to get in the middle of that.

But knowing there is a difference might give those attending the NAB Show something to talk about other than specs and when they arrived in Las Vegas while visiting the booths of IP vendors.

For those interested in learning more, a blog on the Imagine Communications website discusses the debate between the cloud-enabled vs. cloud-native approaches.

Bruce Anderson Takes Reins As Dejero CEO

Bogdan Frusina,  founder and CTO of Dejero, (left) and new Dejero CEO Bruce Anderson.

Dejero today announced Bruce Anderson as its new CEO. He is taking over from Brian Cram, who led the company for the past five years, the company said.

Originally from Zimbabwe, Anderson has 20 years of experience managing international businesses for multinational corporations, the company said. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science from the University of South Africa. In South Africa he is qualified as a chartered accountant.

According to Dejero his priorities will include the successful launch of new connectivity solutions in 2017 and expansion of the Dejero portfolio within the LATAM, EMEA and APAC markets, the company said.

Brand Connections

FCC Adoption of Next-Gen TV NPRM Garners Industry Praise

The FCC’s unanimous approval today of a notice of proposed rulemaking to implement ATSC 3.0 has drawn industry kudos.

The AWARN Alliance issued a statement this morning praising the action. “We … appreciate Chairman [Ajit] Pai and Commissioner [Mignon] Clyburn acknowledging advanced alerting as one of the key benefits of the new standard,” said John Lawson, executive director of the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance.

The association representing U.S. pubic TV stations also praised the development.

“We believe the new standard holds tremendous promise for enhancing the public service missions of public television — education, public safety and civic leadership — in addition to dramatically improving the viewing experience of our audience and providing critical mobile capability to first responders and the public as a whole,” said Patrick Butler, president of America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), in a statement issued today.

More information is available on the FCC website.




2017 NAB Show To Feature New IP Showcase Pavilion

Broadcasters and other media pros who want to see for themselves that IP-based technology from various vendors actually works together will get their chance at the new IP Showcase pavilion in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Together with the Joint Task Force on Networked Media, the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), EBU, IABM, the Media Networking Alliance (MNA), the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the Video Services Forum (VSF) are organizing the showcase, which will feature interoperating IP-based broadcast technology from many vendors.

Interoperability testing of SMPTE 2022-6 and 2022-7, four parts of the SMPTE ST 2110 standard, including those pertaining to video, audio, control and metadata, the SMPTE 2059-1 and 2059-2 profiles for the Precision Time Protocol and the AMWA NMOS-IS04 discovery and registration protocol will take place at the IP Showcase, says Matthew Goldman, SMPTE president and SVP of technology, TV and media at Ericsson.

More information is available on the NAB Show website.

And for more on IP at the show, read TVNewsCheck‘s Hot Topics feature on that topic here.

SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal Advances To STC International Award Round

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers’ Motion Imaging Journal will advance to consideration for the Society for Technical Communication’s International Summit Awards after earning a Distinction Award from four U.S. chapters of the technical communications society.

The regional awards from the New York Metro, Philadelphia Metro, Atlanta, and Rochester STC chapters were judged on technical content, achievement of purpose and technical execution, SMPTE said in a press release.

SMPTE will learn the fate of the Motion Imaging Journal in the international completion before the STC Annual Summit, May 7-10 in Washington, D.C., according to contest rules.The SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal, published nine times a year, provides insight into the technical world of motion-imaging science.

More information is available on the SMPTE website.