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NAB Saturday: AoIP, EAS & More

Membership meeting, Ennes Workshop highlight SBE's week at the NAB Show

Radio World provides editorial space to the Society of Broadcast Engineers to share news of its events and priorities. Fred Baumgartner, CPBE, CBNT, develops the SBE Ennes NAB tutorial and traveling Workshop programs. Kimberly Kissel is SBE education director.

Since the inception of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the dissemination of information about the science, process, art and industry of broadcasting has been the biggest piece of our foundation. Developing our skills and expanding our knowledge probably is the single most important part of our personal professional development.

Shown talking about EAS at an SBE meeting last year are Clay Freinwald of Entercom, Gary Timm of Journal Broadcast and Wade Witmer of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Photo by Jim Peck Over the years, the SBE has expanded its educational efforts. This year the SBE added a full-time staff position devoted to member education with Kimberly Kissel; and you are seeing an increasing number of Webinars, publications and other educational opportunities to help make you better and more valuable in your profession.

One part of the SBE educational program is the Ennes sessions that travel the United States. The first traveling program of the year occurred in Miramar, Fla., and we are planning others for El Paso, Dallas, San Diego and Boston. These are not the same programs as the Ennes/SBE program held as a part of the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Most of our traveling Ennes programs include both a radio and TV track.

The largest attended live program of the year for Ennes is the full-day session held as part of the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Tightly packed, this program is done in conjunction with NPR and PBS. Beginning bright and early at 8 a.m. on the Saturday (April 10 this year), the program often draws about 500 people, mostly broadcast engineers, directors of engineering and above.

An AoIP ‘101’

Every year we program to answer what it is that broadcast engineers most need to know.

This year the answer is simple. First and foremost, audio over IP rapidly is becoming the mature, standardized, ubiquitous means of dealing with audio. Technology consultant Skip Pizzi has agreed to do a two-hour tutorial on the topic.

A tutorial about audio over IP is part of Saturday’s Ennes program. Those who have attended know that we almost always provide an early bird “101” presentation of some substance. The new book “Audio Over IP,” co-authored by Pizzi with Steve Church, is published by Focal Press; more than a few will be given away as prizes to early-bird program attendees.

After lunch, we have another long-form program as Terry Baun, director of engineering and operations for Wisconsin Public Broadcasting, a past president of the SBE and also known to readers of Radio World, has agreed to return with a two-hour program on “Management/Media Skills and the Future of Broadcast Engineering.”

Terry for several years offered programs on management for broadcast engineers and management; he has consulted with broadcast companies on several levels. Broadcast engineering, and radio engineering in particular, has been a challenging profession as the industry matures, consolidates and becomes a smaller piece of the media pie. The economic downturn has been difficult. Management and career skills may be more important than technical skills for the moment.

More SBE The society’s annual spring membership meeting will be held Tuesday, April 13, 5–6 p.m. in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, in one of the NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference rooms.

The society will recognize local chapter certification chairs for service; there will be prizes given away including a camcorder, several dinner gift cards and, to the first 100 in attendance, a level/screwdriver combination tool. The highlight of the meeting will be the presentation of the SBE Lifetime Achievement Award to an SBE member. The recipient will not be aware of the award until the announcement is made during the meeting.

SBE will hold other meetings that may be of interest. The list is below; events are at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel or the Las Vegas Convention Center. For exact locations visit

Saturday, April 10
Ennes Workshop, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. (Conference registration required)
Certification Committee Meeting, 6:30–11 p.m.

Sunday, April 11
Board of Directors, 8:30 a.m.–Noon
Education Committee, 2–4 p.m.
Frequency Coordination Committee, 2–4 p.m.
EAS Committee, 4–5:30 p.m.

Monday, April 12
EAS Meeting, 2–4 p.m., Conference Rooms 4 & 5

Tuesday, April 13
Certification Exams, 9 a.m.–Noon (pre-registration required)
Frequency Coordinators, 10 a.m.–Noon
Spring Membership, 5–6 p.m. The SBE/Ennes program speaks to other issues as well. Clay Freinwald of Entercom will update us on next-generation EAS and the Common Alerting Protocol. Richard Chernock of Triveni Digital will discuss considerations for adding mobile DTV to a broadcast station. We’ll have a SMPTE update from Peter Symes.

Hal Kneller of Nautel will discuss issues surrounding HD Radio and the power increase. Ralph Beaver of Media Alert takes on the topic of wireless mics after the DTV transition. Dan Holden of Comcast Media Center addresses the impact of 3D television on video and broadcasting; Greg Doyle of Diversified Systems Inc. talks about the reorganization of broadcast workflows.

Attendance requires full NAB registration; members of SBE can register for the show at a special “partner” rate, a savings of $100 off the NAB non-member rate. Register using the NAB online registration form, check the “Partner” box at the bottom and select “Society of Broadcast Engineers” from the drop-down box.

Travel to, and a night’s stay in, Las Vegas are more reasonable than in many years. With all that is changing in the profession and the bargain prices for travel, this might be the year you best attend the NAB Show and the Ennes/SBE sessions.

Note that programs also are made available online by the NAB at a lower price after the show is done. You might for instance consider Skip or Terry’s presentation for a special SBE meeting or your departmental training.

In the booth

SBE’s exhibit booth will be on the second floor concourse of the Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall, Lobby Booth 29. The location is just up the escalator from the South Hall main entrance, outside the entry to the exhibits on the second floor. This is the same location as in recent years (see for the location).

The NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference technical sessions will be nearby, in the South Hall second floor meeting rooms.

Be sure to stop by the SBE booth. We’ll have the new SBE CertPreview, SBE-published handbooks and many technical books from major publishers at discounted prices, plus an assortment of SBE logo items. Membership renewal and new memberships may also be transacted at the booth. SBE staff and national board and committee members will be there to answer your questions about membership, certification, educational programs and regulatory issues.

Booth hours are Sunday 2–4 p.m., Monday through Wednesday 9 a.m.–6 p.m., and Thursday 9 a.m.–2 p.m.