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ATSC 3.0 Is Big at Ennes This Year

But program also features digital radio, drones and production in a carry-on bag

The author is a trustee of the Ennes Educational Trust Foundation.

Courtesy SBE On Saturday of the opening weekend of the NAB Show, the Society of Broadcast Engineers will present its annual broadcast engineering tutorial.

The Ennes (pronounced EN-es) Educational Trust Foundation sponsors and organizes the program. It is the 501(c)3 charitable, non-profit organization attached to the SBE that supports education through underwriting this and other workshops that travel the U.S. The Ennes Trust also sponsors scholarships, publications and other educational projects that benefit media engineers.

If you are a broadcast engineer of a certain age, you will have read some of Harold Ennes’ books on radio and TV systems and maintenance. The Ennes Trust builds on Harold’s tradition and dedication to education for broadcast engineers.

The program covers an entire day; the mantra is to cover what broadcast engineers most need to know in a given year. Speakers are invited (there is no call for papers), and are engineers who seldom present publicly but are deep into the technology.


Ever wonder why cell phones have an FM chip built in? Why the mobile network operators (NMOs) resist activation? How the front-end module (FEM) in a cell phone affects what they can and can’t do? Qualcomm’s Kent Walker takes us through “Cellphone 101 for Broadcasters.”

One of the more interesting presentations comes from Nautel’s Philipp Schmid. The research engineer digs deeply into the opportunities the evolving radio technologies present and how they can be used in creative ways. Radio is growing into a multimedia platform and maybe into an interactive platform tailored to a mobile world. My favorite part of this is how Philipp sees using the existing technologies and equipment in new ways.

ENNES TIMETABLE 8–8:35 a.m. What You Need for ATSC 3.0 — What’s Different From 1.0 8:35–9:10 a.m. Immersive & Personalized Audio in ATSC 3.0 9:10–9:25 a.m. SBE Executive Director’s Remarks 9:25–9:50 a.m. ATSC 3.0 PHY — Configurations/Coverage (Putting This Together) 9:50–10:10 a.m. Demo: A Practical Complete TV Production System in a Carry-on Bag 10:10–10:45 a.m. Signaling and Announcement Metadata — The next PSIP 10:45–11:15 a.m. Advanced Emergency Alerting in ATSC 3.0 11:15–11:45 a.m. Building Out an ATSC 3.0 SFN 1–1:20 p.m. SMPTE Century 1:55–2:25 p.m. IP Content Delivery for IP Broadcasting — STLs for ATSC 3.0 2:25–2:55 p.m. The State of and the Pieces of UHDTV 2:55–3:25 p.m. Cellphone 101 for Broadcasters 3:25–3:55 p.m. Digitizing Terrestrial Radio 3:55–4:30 p.m. Where the Rubber Meets the Cloud — Implementing Television in a Datacenter IP 4:30–5 p.m. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for News Gathering This year, television is getting a lot of attention as much of the current TV spectrum is up for auction and our TV friends will be moving around and performing antenna work; this probably will be inconvenient for a lot of FM broadcasters on shared towers for the next three years or so.

At the same time, TV is moving to a new standard, ATSC 3.0. What’s interesting for all broadcasters is that the new standard is multimedia and interactive. This fires one’s imagination as there are opportunities for radio and TV to work synergistically on every level from distribution to content.

The program also has some breath mints ranging from celebrating SMPTE’s centennial to pieces on UAVs.

Attendees of PBS Techcon and APRE’s technical program may attend, as may anyone with an NAB Show full conference registration. SBE members without benefit of NAB membership can receive a $100 discount off the NAB non-member registration rate. Use the discount code EP09. The code is also good for a free exhibits-only registration. The NAB charges a $25 fee for an exhibits-only pass after April 1.

The program lineup can be found at the SBE website or the NAB website.

For a list of other SBE events at the convention including certification and membership meeting info, see