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Highlights from SBE at NAB 2015

Society of Broadcast Engineers was on hand for its annual event, SBE at the NAB Show

LAS VEGAS�Over 100,000 people made their way to Las Vegas for the 2015 NAB Show, but there was more going on in and around the Las Vegas Convention Center than the NAB�s annual convention. Throughout the LVCC floor and just next door at the Westgate Resort, the Society of Broadcast Engineers was on hand for its annual event, SBE at the NAB Show. More than 165 SBE members partook in the festivities, which included the Ennes Workshop, committee meetings and the Spring Membership Meeting.

The Broadcast Engineering Conference�s Ennes Workshop, which was open to all NAB attendees, took place in the South Hall of the LVCC on April 11 and focused largely on the emergence of IP. Presentations included a tutorial on router configuration from SBE board member and director of engineering at Educational Broadcast Services in the Office of Information Technology at Texas A&M University, Wayne Pecena, and �The All IP Radio Station� by Barry Thomas, Wilks Broadcasting�s director of engineering.

�Many radio stations today are largely �all IP,�� said John Poray, SBE executive director. �This includes business networks, production, playout, routing, distribution and more. The large crowd the SBE/Ennes program generated is an indication of just how important the topic is to radio engineers.�

Over the next couple of days SBE committee meetings took place on certification, education and frequency coordination, as well as a board of directors meeting and SBE Certification Exams.

It all led up to the annual Spring Membership Meeting on April 14. The agenda for the Membership Meeting included acknowledgement of certification awards, Cris Alexander and Ralph Hogan�s elevation to the rank of Fellow, and updates from several committees.

SBE also updated members on its request to the FCC regarding modernization of rules covering 450/455 MHz remote pickup (RPU) systems. The commission has begun a rulemaking to update certain portions of the Part 74 rules for Remote Pickup Broadcast Stations. Prompted in part by SBE, it did propose to allow broadcasters to use any type of digital equipment. But the commission also said that no rule change is needed to provide channel applicants more flexibility in interpreting center frequency assignments; SBE had hoped for such a rule change.The FCC declined the SBE�s waiver request to allow digital emissions in the RPU band while the rulemaking is in progress. This means an applicant would have to request an individual waiver to use digital modulation until the final rule is in place.

The SBE hopes in the coming months the FCC will adjust its rules to allow for digital modulation as well as allow station identification for Remote Pickup Broadcast Stations in the same manner they do for Part 90 users (Land Mobile Radio Services).

SBE�s Government Relations committee also provided members a brief update on negotiations with the Department of Defense on sharing 2 GHz spectrum.

�The outcome of some of these legislative issues that SBE has been involved with� they affect our members,� said Joe Snelson, president of the SBE. �These are important things to continue to work on. Hopefully by our fall national meeting we�ll see some movement on those fronts.�

The fall national meeting will take place from Oct. 13-15 in Madison, Wis. Over the summer the SBE will also hold elections for officers and board members. Ballots close on Aug. 20 with the results announced Aug. 21.