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TAB’s Annual Meetup Features Tech and Regulatory Updates

Largest broadcast association convention in U.S. offers educational opportunities, networking

For broadcast engineers, Texas Association of Broadcasters annual convention, touted as the largest U.S. state broadcasters convention, is an opportunity to get caught up on issues and tech from Aug. 7–8, at the Renaissance Austin Hotel, in Austin, Texas.

“Texas broadcasters are facing much the same kind of issues as their counterparts across the country, but certainly the growing population, accelerating demographic shifts and the impact of the incentive spectrum auctions are of major concern,” said TAB President Oscar Rodriguez.

This year’s convention has depth and breadth in its session offerings.

“Nearly half of the 35 programs are technology oriented. Topics range from Ultra HDTV [4K] and spectrum re-packing implications for FM and TV stations, to AM revitalization and multiplatform metadata,” explained Rodriguez.

He added, “The balance of the program focuses on competing in the media marketplace, growing revenue, addressing regulatory concerns and strengthening management skills.”

Techies with a mind focused on “what’s next?” will want to attend “Gravity,” during which Al Kovalick of Media Systems Consulting will examine the “eight key forces helping to define” the future of the media facility.

“The word ‘future’ is tossed around quite a bit in the program, but implicit in the discussions is the recognition that the future is here and broadcasters can continue to dominate the media marketplace if they lead in technology and fight for sound regulatory policy,” Rodriguez said.

Those with an eye on the weather and potential emergencies will benefit from attending on “Station Disaster Planning” and “EAS/CAP Status Update.”

Many sessions will explore how regulation practically impacts broadcasters. “FCC Regulatory Compliance” and “DC Regulatory Update” give overviews, and “CALM Act Compliance” offers more targeted advice. “Repacking’s Impact on TV and FM Radio” and “Beating the Spectrum Auction Gavel” will give an idea of what the spectrum auction will likely bring.

AM is a current hot topic, and TAB caters to those interests with two specific sessions: “AM Digital-Only Test Results” and “Directional AM Maintenance.”

Many forecast digital and streaming radio as the medium’s future, and the convention would be remiss in not addressing these delivery methods. “Future of the AM/FM Car Dashboard,” “Don’t Get Run Over by the Digital Bus,” “State of the Art Streaming Radio” and “FM Radio-Enabled Smartphone Primer” all look to the implications of changing tech and consumer wish lists on the radio industry. 

“Beyond Tape: AJA’s Ki Pro Rack and Automated Workflows” and “Managing Multiplatform Metadata” look at increasing workflow efficiency.