“I know I’m in a room of builders, doers, problem-solvers and people who make things happen,” NAB EVP/CTO Sam Matheny said to attendees of the SBE National Awards Dinner.
“It can be intimidating, but at the same time it’s invigorating,” said Matheny, as he recalled the NAB and SBE have been partners for more than two decades. In 1992, SBE provided content for “SBE Day” at the NAB show, which grew into the World Media Expo from 1993 to 1996. “That turned into the relationship we have today” where the SBE has become a permanent part of the NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference, according to Matheny.
He noted the great need for engineers to keep up with changing technologies and highlighted the SBE’s first certification program in 37 years ago. “One of things I love about engineers” is the personalities. He then added, and “a fundamental desire to share.”
Matheny discussed NAB Labs projects like the AM all-digital testing in Seattle this week. Participants are gathering the data and preparing to present that to NAB Radio Board members, who will determine if they want NAB to press the case for all-digital AM at the FCC, according to Matheny.
He also discussed new TV testing in Baltimore to determine what mobile, fixed and indoor reception is like. In the last digital transition for television, the industry “went from standard definition to high-def” and is now looking at ATSC 3.0. “Being on an IP platform, in my opinion, is probably one of the best” moves we could make in broadcasting, he said.
Overall, “broadcasting is in a wonderful place,” with the NAB and SBE enjoying a good relationship, according to the executive and engineer. “I do think we have a bright future. The golden age is upon us, not behind us,” noting broadcasting has “the best delivery and the best content,” with the “highest levels of engagement.”
Matheny cautioned however, “we can’t stand still.” His advice to engineers is to “keep solving, sharing” and innovating.