C-band TV Satellite Contribution, Occasional Use Declines

The percentage of hours devoted to occasional use (OU) satellite uplinking via C-band transmission fell in 2013 compared to the previous year, while the percentage of hours spent transmitting via Ku-band OU uplinks and mobile satellite service, grew, according to a new report from Northern Sky Research, NSR.

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Northern Sky Research is out with a new report examining the contribution and occasional use satellite market as relates to television.

The report, “Contribution and Occasional Use TV Markets, 2nd Edition,” found that C-band OU hours fell from 36% to 32%, Ku-band grew from 62% to 65% and MSS ticked up from 2% to 3%.

Overall, the number of hours devoted to OU satellite transmission grew from 1.1 million in 2012 to 1.16 million last year.

Ka-band OU hours did not even account for one percentage point, the report revealed.

For this year’s report, NSR dropped reporting analog satellite TV contribution and OU uplinking, and focused on digital television contribution and OU uplinking of digital SD, HD, 4K and 8K video — a sign of the evolution of the TV industry.

The types of contribution and OU applications covered in the report include longer, planned events such as sports, and short, breaking events such as news.

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Cordillera To Put IP News Uplinks To The Test

Cordillera Communications will begin evaluating the performance of small, highly portable IP satellite uplinks next year to determine whether the technology can augment, or perhaps ultimately replace, more traditional approaches to ENG contribution.

KBZK and KXLF, both Cordillera Communications stations, have deployed JVC GY-HM650 ProHD with IP contribution capability.

KBZK and KXLF, both Cordillera Communications stations, have deployed JVC GY-HM650 ProHD with IP contribution capability.

The broadcast group, which is owned by Evening Post Industries and operates 13 TV stations in seven states, including seven in Montana, plans to acquire an IP satellite uplink that is small enough to fit into a vehicle, such as a Toyota RAV4, and satellite antenna that can be mounted to the vehicle’s roof rack, says Any Suk, VP technology at the station group.

IP satellite uplinking can complement the JVC GY-HM650 ProHD newsgathering cameras with built-in IP connectivity, which have been deployed at KBZK and KXLF, Cordillera’s CBS affiliates in Bozeman and Butte, Mont., respectively, says Suk.

An IP uplink offers an alternative to line-of-sight microwave links, which can be hard to establish in the mountainous terrain within the stations’ coverage area, he says. However, at least for the initial trial of IP satellite uplinking, other Cordillera stations will be chosen.

Suk says “the jury is still out” on whether or not this approach can ultimately replace traditional ENG trucks, but added that the systems offer some distinct advantages. “You can go to those valleys, literally where you need to put a satellite truck [for a live shot], and you can roll in with a news car,” he says.

“They are also less expensive on the capital budget side than an ENG truck,” he adds.

In the Intermountain West, it is not uncommon to find dead spots in cellular coverage, which contributes to the desirability of an IP satellite uplink, he says.

Cordillera is “taking a hard look” at systems offered by On Call Communications for the trial, says Suk.

(Note: In July, I reported that the ABC Owned TV Stations group is using IP satellite connectivity to ensure quality of service for its IP newsgathering from the field. See: “ABC: Ka-band Making IP Newsgathering Work.”)

WBRZ Goes Live With New Set

WBRZ, the Manship Media-owned ABC affiliate in Baton Rouge, La., unveiled a new, high-tech studio Nov. 17 designed to improve how the station delivers news.

The station’s production services, engineer and news team under the leadership of general manager Rocky Daboval worked with Devlin Design Group on the new news set.

The set, which can be changed as required, features multiple video walls. “Graphics and maps will be projected to help viewers understand important stories,” said Chuck Bark, director of news.

Take a look at the new set here.

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2014 SMPTE Gathering Sets Attendance Record

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers is out with attendance numbers for the SMPTE 2014 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition showing that this year’s event set a record for paid admission.

The event attracted about 2,000 attendees from 31 countries, and paid registration was up 11% from the 2013 event, SMPTE said.

American Society of Cinematographers Names Award Nominees

P.J. Dillon, Jonathan Freeman and Anette Haellmigk are among the nominees for the American Society of Cinematographers’ 29th Annual Outstanding Achievement Awards.

ASC AwardsThe full list of nominees for an episode of a regular series, include:

  • P.J. Dillon for Vikings, “Blood Eagle” (History);
  • Jonathan Freeman, ASC for Boardwalk Empire, “Golden Days for Boys and Girls” (HBO);
  • Anette Haellmigk for Game of Thrones, “The Children” (HBO);
  • Christopher Norr for Gotham, “Spirit of the Goat” (Fox);
  • Richard Rutkowski for Manhattan, “Perestroika” (WGN America); and
  • Fabian Wagner for Game of Thrones, “Mockingbird” (HBO).

In the Television Movie, Miniseries or Pilot category, the nominees are:

  • David Greene, CSC for the TV movie The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime);John Lindley, ASC for the Manhattan pilot (WGN America);
  • David Stockton, ASC for the Gotham pilot (Fox); and
  • Theo Van de Sande, ASC for the TV movie Deliverance Creek (Lifetime).

Winners will be announced on Feb. 15, 2015, at a gala held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

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Trebek, Pogue to Host Tech Emmy Awards

Jeopardy! game show host Alex Trebek and Yahoo Tech star David Pogue will host the 66th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, Jan. 8. 2015, from the Bellagio Ballroom at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Alex Trebek

Game show host Alex Trebek, shown, and Yahoo Tech star David Pogue will host the Tech & Engineering Emmy Awards at CES in January 2015.

The presentation will be the ninth consecutive year the Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards will have been presented during CES.

Click here for more information.

Effort To Promote OTA TV Takes Shape

There may be a whole generation of people in the United States that’s not sure whether or not HDTV is available for free over the air, but a coalition representing antenna and set makers, broadcasters and even consumer groups has set out to  change.

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Research suggests more than half of young adults do not know TV is available for free over the air.

TVfreedom, Antenna Direct and LG Electronics today announced the kickoff of a nationwide effort to promote over-the-air TV. The campaign’s major kickoff begins with the giveaway of 1,000 C2-V DTV antennas on Nov. 23 in Washington, D.C. at the Eastern Market, a popular tourist destination. A smaller event is scheduled for Nov. 20 in Toledo, Ohio.

To give the public an even bigger incentive to attend the kickoff, LG Electronics is making a 42-inch HDTV available for a raffle giveaway. The company also is providing 12 HDTVs  for the event to display over-the-air signals from area broadcasters.

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Antenna Direct will give away 1,000 model C2-V antennas in Washington, D.C. this weekend.

Antenna Direct, LG Electronics and TVfreedom, which counts NAB, network affiliates, station groups like Dispatch Broadcast Group, as well as special interest groups, like the Hispanic Institute, among its members, will demonstrate to those in Washington, how it is possible to receive more than 30 stations broadcasting news, weather, sports and multicultural programming over the air.

Robert Kenny, a spokesman for TVfreedom, says promoting the availability of free OTA television is important because so many people –particularly, younger adults who may have grown up in cable or satellite TV homes- don’t know that TV can be received for free with an antenna.

“We have done some surveys recently and found that among the 20- to 34-year-old age group more than 50 percent don’t realize they can get free over-the-air TV in their homes,” he says. “There is now an opportunity for many in that age group to access OTA and never sign up for cable TV.”

The campaign to raise awareness of OTA television will last a year with events scheduled in 25 U.S. cities, including Indianapolis and Huntington, W.V.

According to Kenny, the campaign is timely despite coming years after the completion of the analog-to-digital television conversion.

“With ever-increasing pay TV bills and more families feeling the pinch on their monthly budgets, this is a good opportunity to remind them that free over-the-air television is available,” he says.

Vector Capital to Acquire ChyronHego

ChyronHego has entered into a definitive merger agreement with affiliates of private equity firm Vector Capital under which a Vector affiliate will acquire all outstanding shares of ChyronHego common stock for $2.82 per share in cash.

The ChyronHego board has unanimously approved the agreement and recommended ChyronHego stockholders approve the transaction. The purchase price represents a premium of about 18% over ChyronHego’s average closing share price for the six months ending Nov. 14, 2014.

To learn more, click here.

CCW+SATCON attendance tops 11,000

Preliminary registration figures for CCW+SATCON, which concluded today in New York City, reveal 11,076 people signed up to attend.

This year’s CCW+SATCON, which focuses on media, entertainment and satellite communications technology, was the first to be managed by the National Association of Broadcasters since NAB purchased the convention from its previous organizer, JD Events, in December 2013.

The preliminary figure includes the number of people who registered to attend prior to and at the convention. NAB said the number was subject to final reconciliation. Verified attendance reported last year was 6,898 people, NAB said.

This year’s event saw 324 companies exhibit, a record for the event, an increase of 64 companies from 2013. Total exhibit floor space occupied at the Javits Convention Center for the event grew 13% to more than 52,000 square feet.

ONE Media Demos Next-Generation Broadcast Platform

ONE Media, the Sinclair Broadcast Group-backed venture developing a next-generation television transmission system, last week completed a demonstration of its new system for broadcast of OTA digital TV, mobile TV and data in Austin, Texas.

ONE Media logoA ONE Media spokesman said last week’s demo was conducted from KEYE-TV, the Sinclair-owned station in Austin. No special temporary authority from the Federal Communications Commission was required for the Nov. 4-5 demo because the station used  leased over-the-air TV spectrum from Dish Network, the spokesman said.

ONE Media, which has dubbed the system the “Next Generation Broadcast Platform,” NGBP, said the transmission demonstration produced “outstanding results” for broadcast of fixed, mobile and data services. NGBP transmits Ultra-HD, HD, mobile TV and data over-the-air.

The ONE Media spokesman said the company will begin a 24-hour-per-day, seven-day-per week test of the NGBP from KEYE-TV on the leased Dish channel before the end of the year.

According to a press release issued yesterday afternoon by ONE Media, the demo “confirmed the unique capability to deliver flexible waveforms carrying video and other streams of IP data into a development platform and operate as a gateway to serve multiple mobile devices.”

The demo and subsequent test of NGBP will provide confirmation to the Advanced Television Standards Committee (ATSC) of the system’s performance. NGBP is among the systems under consideration by ATSC for its ATSC 3.0 next-generation television transmission system.

“Rather than designing a broadcast television specific standard, ONE Media’s approach is to deploy an IP service agnostic platform which supports full 4K UltraHD and mobile broadcast television and also supports new one to many data distribution services, essentially future proofing broadcasters flexibility to meet future market demands,” said Kevin Gage, ONE Media’s EVP and CTO.

For more information, click here.