Post NAB Show Commentary, part three

On Sunday of the NAB Show, The Next Big California Shakeout was the subject using Metapub. While some claim that funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is funding Big Bird, Nova, Arthur, or All Things Considered, that is far from the fact. CPB funds smaller market stations whether it’s PBS or NPR stations.

The context for this was developing metadata for digital and traditional radio stations that use HD Radio or Radio Display Services. Currently many radio stations display mostly “static” information, such as talent, song information, and other information. Some vehicles with RDS encoders can match album IDs against what is being received, since RDS currently broadcasts text on on HD Radios.

The Metapub system is a real paradise for coding, since it uses XML and other technologies to pull information from the NPR hub.

This process changed last year using a new system called Radio DNS, that almost acts as an Electronic Programming Guide (you know like what you can retrieve on your set-top box or how the old Prevue Guide used to work) This process enables producers to push out little bits of information within 24 hours in advanceto poll the Metahub

On Monday, a very interesting subject of news gathering was discussed. The use of replacing your existing microwave Electronic News Gathering to build your own 4G network. How this works, from the speakers and from questions asked by yours truly is replacement of boxes in your ENG vehicles, choppers, and alike and certain radio equipment at the receiving sites, the studio to transmitter links or STLs and the equipment inside the station. Basically it uses the same radio spectrum but from what I know it’s basically being transmitted over IP.

Basically 4G is also known as Long Term Evolution or even better Wi Max. If you think of it in the simple context, WiMax is like a large scale WiFi and if you can build a strong internal WiFi then this is how WiMax/4G/LTE can be done.

Because it’s a data network, you can bundle other thing such as the IFB, the prompter, video and audio on the same channel. Traditionally most live trucks required seperate radios for IFB, return feed from the station (whether it was an open OTA feed on a two way radio; or a simple antenna receiving the station’s transmitter pictures or in some cases IFB signals are basically using “music on hold” from the station’s PBX system.) A lot of field cameras that are using Panasonic’s P2 camcorders are PCMCIA based cards to record uncompressed video. These same slots can support a modem and you can now do liveshots (albeit rough not be the be all, end all) on the camera. You also see better pictures (real HD video) from the field because reporters are uploading packages from USB enabled modems on edit notebooks that get fed via FTP drops over their IP network.

The latter two requires broadband mobile Internet. With this innovation, your mobile bills are cut suddenly using the same technology but you own it instead.

In one slide, CNN had replaced their DC ENG network with receivers at multiple locations but fed back to their base over fiver.

More stations are moving to IP and engineers are more savvy to IT according to these speakers. The concern of a completely IP based ENG operation could have unintended consequences. You could theoretically cram a bunch of  feeds more than the system could handle. However according to the folks that did their talk, automation and self intelligence can prevent too many feeds from jamming in if you had all six live trucks plus your copter coming in and the system being overloaded. One feed could take precedence if it went that far.

iPAWS was another interesting subject.

#Shift Happens or #Shift is Happening

Nice choice of words, Cisco!

On the Tuesday of the NAB Show, Cisco’s evangelist spoke for nearly 45 minutes speaking about the future (or the “shift”) to Software Defined Networking.