Broadcast industry consultant finds value in software for sfn planning
BALTIMORE, April 9, 2020 – Acrodyne Services continues to see interest from the US consultant community for its PROGIRA® plan broadcast network planning software as ATSC 3.0 planning accelerates for NextGen TV. Broadcast industry consultant Kessler and Gehman Associates (KGA) is one customer that is seeing a quick return on investment as more US broadcasters strategize their NextGen TV futures.
PROGIRA® plan is a powerful tool used worldwide to help consultants and their end customers design broadcast TV networks for optimum reception probability, a significant improvement over other planning solutions that only address field strength predictions. In recent months, Acrodyne has seen increased US sales as broadcasters move past repack and begin planning their ATSC 3.0 deployments. It is widely expected that many of these systems will take advantage of the OFDM foundation of ATSC 3.0 to transmit content using single-frequency networks (SFNs) that position multiple lower-power transmission sites around a market. That is a stark change from the typical tall tower, high power ATSC 1.0 TV systems that are designed using simpler coverage predictions.
“ATSC 1.0 was planned using long-established methods for a single use case – the tall tower, high power system. The modeling assumed directional rooftop antennas were used throughout an entire broadcast market, and field strength predicted to be above minimum threshold meant that coverage was achieved, which was clearly not true in practice.” said Andy Whiteside, General Manager of Acrodyne Services and President of Dielectric. “NextGen TV opens up a broader set of reception options that cover fixed and mobile systems. The ATSC 3.0 standard’s enabling of SFNs makes content delivery to these systems possible although predicting reception is far more challenging, requiring the use of a powerful modeling toolset.”
Whiteside points out that broadcasters are deploying NextGen TV in conventional tall tower, high power systems as well as SFN systems. PROGIRA® plan allows prediction of reception in both deployment methods for the wide variety of modulation and coding options the new standard permits. Consultants like KGA have increasingly turned to PROGIRA® plan and its sophisticated analysis toolset for ATSC 3.0 SFN planning. PROGIRA® plan helps consultants plan networks with multiple transmitter sites that are carefully designed to reinforce each other for consistent market-wide reception, whileavoiding self-interference. The software also helps users understand reception conditions and network timing requirements for mobile viewers. This is a key value proposition of NextGenTV, since the 6MHz channel can contain multiple PLPs (Physical Layer Pipes) chosen and coded for different reception environments.
“We purchased PROGIRA® plan for a variety of projects around spectrum planning and optimization, but there’s no question that the main scope is for ATSC 3.0,” said Ryan Wilhour, Consulting Engineer at Kessler and Gehman Associates.“The main benefit is the amount of time we save in planning SFN sites. The software interfaces with the FCC LMS database and exports studies to TV Study for final FCC presentation. It automatically defines the appropriate antenna patterns and network timings. We no longer have to manually pull in antenna patterns, apply them to contours one by one, and evaluate if they remain within allotted coverage areas. The software integrates seamlessly with ArcMap geographic information systems (GIS) as well, and allows me to very quickly generate contours and their population counts. Other tools I have used are very limited when it comes to integration with professional GIS programs.”
Wilhour points to an SFN project in San Francisco that is modeling potential reception plans for several UHF TV channels. According to Wilhour, working closely with Dielectric for new antenna designs, the PROGIRA® plan software helps him thoroughly analyze coverage contours around the entire market, and carefully exclude populations that lie just outside of each boundary. That exacting precision returns a substantial amount of time to the KGA team that they can then devote to other projects. Beyond SFN planning, Wilhour is using PROGIRA® plan for other broadcast projects, including a studio-to-transmission microwave path profile for an existing ATSC 1.0 system.
KGA is also experiencing a quick ROI on their purchase, as PROGIRA® plan has delivered a revenue-generating benefit. “There is no question that we are finding new business and making money by using this software,” said Wilhour. “We have one client that is looking at ATSC 3.0 SFN plans for all major markets, and they understand the requirement for accurate coverage models. We can start with the basic metric analysis and then provide very detailed theoretical data that will help them accelerate network buildouts, from identifying proper antenna patterns to gaining construction permits. This software opens up many new business opportunities.”
About Acrodyne Services
Acrodyne Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinclair, provides service and support for Broadcast transmitters throughout the world. This includes the large installed base of transmitters sold by Acrodyne Industries (Ai) over its 40-year history, as well as products manufactured by Rohde & Schwarz, Harris, Comark and others. The staff of Acrodyne Services offer a combined total of over 150 years of experience in the design, manufacture, installation and support of all types of TV transmitters. www.acrodyneservices.com.
Offer includes three free months of Carousel Cloud digital signage software,” Frontline Responder” templates, and technical support to launch a digital signage system
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, April 9, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed many healthcare facilities into COVID-only treatment centers, and forced the opening of temporary facilities to address larger outbreaks. To show appreciation for frontline organizations, Carousel Digital Signage is offering a free package to help facilities communicate important messages in waiting areas, walkways and other public-facing spaces. The offer extends to healthcare facilities as well as essential businesses in operation.
“As crowded hospitals, pop-up healthcare/ICU tents, test sites, and other COVID-19 focused organizations interact with an influx of patients, family and community members, digital signage will make visitors feel welcomed, connected, and informed as they navigate their way through unfamiliar surroundings,” said JJ Parker, CEO of Carousel Digital Signage. “We want to help our frontline organizationsprovide accurate, up-to-date information and messaging without unneeded costs and technical concerns.”
Carousel Digital Signage is providing a three-month subscription of Carousel Cloud, a SaaS-cloud-based CMS, along with “Frontline Responder” templates to create and deliver emergency messages unique to each facility. Carousel Digital Signage will also provide creative and technical support services, with insight on using existing infrastructure and consumer devices with Carousel Cloud software. That includes leveraging traditional TV screens and Apple TV devices, which Carousel Cloud automatically configures as media players once connected.
Carousel will also provide a specialized training course that focuses on key software features and capabilities, ensuring that that time-constrained service providers can quickly implement digital signage. Training includes an overview of Carousel’s robust alerting capability, which can update all signage displays instantaneously as situations change. Trainees will also learn how to use Carousel software and manage digital signage content from onsite and remote locations.
“Because COVID-19 service providers have more important things to focus on, we designed training materials and set-up procedures to get from ‘zero to signage’ with the least amount of time commitment,” Parker said. “Once Carousel is configured, facilities can add displays in the indoor and outdoor areas where they most need to communicate.”
In addition to hospitals and healthcare facilities, Carousel Digital Signage is offering the package to essential government facilities and businesses, including grocery stores, pharmacies, take-out restaurants and manufacturing businesses with critical supply chains to manage. Organizations and those that work or communicate with them can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Additional detail, including a signup portal for frontline organizations, can be found at https://www.carouselsignage.com/signup/covid.
About Carousel Digital Signage
Carousel is Digital Signage Content Management Software that is easy to use, scalable, and reliable. With a deep feature set and strong technology partnerships Carousel gives you the most value in digital signage. Carousel Digital Signage is a division of Tightrope Media Systems. You can reach the Carousel team at (866) 866-4118, or visit www.carouselsignage.com.
Online event will combine new solution introductions with private 1:1 meetings
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, April 8, 2020 — Audio over IP innovator Barix will present its latest broadcast products and host individual meetings with broadcasters, audio professionals and systems integrators as part of the company’s “Virtual NAB Booth” from April 20-22, 2020.
“As we won’t have the opportunity to meet broadcasters and partners in person in Las Vegas as usual this year, we have created a version of the Barix booth in our office – with everyone staying 2m apart, of course,” said Manuel Merki, Head of Marketing at Barix. “Just as we would at the physical event, we’re offering both an open product tour at our booth and private meetings, but online. We’re always happy to talk to clients one-on-one at any time of the year, but with users and integrators actively planning their projects for when the world opens back up, this is an excellent time for them to learn about our new products and discuss their needs with us.”
Barix will present its latest broadcast product news on April 20 in three sessions, allowing attendees around the world to choose the most convenient time for their region: 10:00am CEST, 2:00pm CEST and 1:00pm EDT (10:00am PDT). Topics will include the new M400 SIP Opus Codec, uncompressed STL solution and Silence Monitor audio assurance device, as well sneak previews of upcoming new products.
The company is also offering one-on-one, online meetings with customers and prospects to privately discuss specific topics, projects and products of interest. Time slots are available April 20, 21 and 22.
To reserve a spot in the broadcast webinar or schedule a one-on-one meeting, please visit www.barix.com/virtual-nab.
Barix: We Move Audio (www.barix.com)
Barix supplies simple and reliable solutions and components to systems integrators and end users worldwide. We move high-quality audio across IP networks, adding value to customer solutions for nearly two decades with hundreds of thousands of devices installed worldwide. Background music distribution with dynamic advertising insertion for retail shops, bars and hotels; public address solutions for schools and public spaces; and intercom and entry systems for facility surveillance, protection and security are among the many applications of Barix solutions. Barix also supports OEM projects for a number of Global 500 listed companies serving many industries worldwide.
New MoJo app allows local governments, businesses, houses of worship and other organizations to maintain communications with their communities during COVID-19 crisis
St. Petersburg, Florida, April 8, 2020 — CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for broadcast and live event productions, is taking steps to help local organizations maintain communication with their communities in throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Leveraging a special mobile journalism (MoJo) app developed by partner Mobile Viewpoint, local businesses, governments, houses of worship and non-profit organizations can now directly and cost-efficiently live-stream important services and messages to their customers and communities.
In addition to bringing communities and local organizations closer through MoJo, CP Communications will offer backend services from at-home production facilities in Florida and New York to incorporate graphics, translations and other services to ensure messages reach the widest possible community audiences.
“The ability to communicate important information rapidly and accurately, regardless of the user’s chosen technology or platform, is paramount in these uncertain times,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications. “One of the simplest and most affordable ways to achieve these is through the power of mobile devices and the Internet. We have introduced this special service to help organizationsdeliver press conferences, city council meetings, company announcements and worship services to their communities at a low cost and without technical burdens.”
The MoJo app has long been available to help journalists and content contributors cover breaking news, interviews and live events by turning smartphones and tablets into content acquisition systems. The system uses Mobile Viewpoint’s H.264 codec to encode live video and stream to multiple platforms, including social media outlets and control rooms. Users have the flexibility to connect external cameras(such as a GoPro), and manage and monitor streams in the cloud using Mobile Viewpoint’s LinkMatrix control and management center.
The MoJo app directs users to the Webstreamur platform to login once installed on a mobile device. Live streams begin automatically upon clicking the “Live” button, along with supporting applications such as location-based push messaging and text chat functions. Once users connect to MoJo at the front end, the streams automatically populate within CP Communications’ network operation centers in Florida and New York, where the company’s technical teams can offer additional professional services.
“We utilize a secure data center at each location where we can control, manage and schedule content on behalf of the user if needed,” said Heitmann. “The app is a free download, and the user requires no investment in on-site equipment or facility infrastructure to capture and stream live video. We are available to add or assist with any services needed to help these organizations cost-effectively communicate important and timely messages to their local communities.”
CP Communications invites local organizations to reach out for more information, and help them quickly launch new local live streaming services. Representatives can email CPSales@cpcomms.com for more information.
About CP Communications
For more than three decades, CP Communications has provided high-quality, cost-effective live event production solutions to major broadcasters, sports leagues and teams, and event and production companies. Our solutions include access to experienced professionals, state of the art equipment, and innovative technologies and techniques for wireless audio & video content acquisition, transport and delivery. Our culture of innovation, coupled with the highest quality assurance standards and passion for customer service, promote collaboration with our clients to determine the best custom solution for each live event.
Manufacturer’s representative enhances its professional DSP range to serve new business verticals, strengthening its value proposition as a supplier of complete high-end AV solutions
Toronto, April 7, 2020 — Xilica®, a global leader in digital signal processing technology for AV, IT and installed sound, continues to add proven talent to its global channel partner network with the appointment of Quantum Sales and Technology as Manufacturer’s Representative for Arizona, Hawaii, southern California and southern Nevada. The partnership raises visibility of Xilica’s broad range of digital signal processors, control and networked AV tools throughout the region, and enables Quantum to supply complete high-end audio-visual solutions to systems integrators serving corporations, convention centers, national restaurant chains, and other enterprise-level end users.
Quantum represents several of the AV and pro audio industry’s most recognized brands, including Sennheiser, Neumann, Roland, Lowell, and Tascam. While Quantum has offered DSPs before, it lacked solutions that could flexibly serve a broader base of installed AV projects.
“Xilica offers a DSP range that helps us serve the AV/IT enterprise segments,” said Omar Arnold, principal of Quantum. “This effectively positions Quantum for project wins with installers focused on business integration. We’re no longer number 10 in conversations about larger scale jobs; we have been moved to the front of the line, and it’s a great place to be.”
In business for nearly two decades, Quantum differentiates itself from competitors through its focus on complete solutions and customer service versus simple box sales. As Arnold explains, the Quantum team emphasizes education and promotion on its entire product line, and focuses on interoperable solutions between its vendors. He is especially excited about pairing Xilica Solaro Series DSPs with Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Ceiling 2 beamforming microphone, which ensures that end users maintain pristine, high-quality sound for online meetings.
“The strengths that Xilica has when paired with our other vendors opens up a world of opportunities for Quantum, especially in corporate AV, hospitality, and education,” said Arnold. “In general, Xilica adds value to our high-end audio message, as their DSPs are among the few to support full 24-bit 96kHz audio. Our customers get much higher audio fidelity and improved dynamic range, along with Dante interoperability. This means we also have a solution for large restaurant chains and hospitality environments that want excellent audio quality and flexible IP networking.”
Quantum anticipates developing training and education initiatives around Xilica products both in person and online. Quantum currently offers about six webinars a month for dealers and integrators. In addition to Xilica’s DSP range, Arnold looks forward to communicating the value proposition behind Xilica Designer software, which offers integrators a drag-and-drop, universal platform for AV project design and management.
Xilica® is an award-winning manufacturer of innovative, next-generation digital signal processing solutions for AV control and command applications including conference, corporate, hospitality and leisure, retail and transportation. From its headquarters in Toronto, Canada, Xilica sells and supports products worldwide in over 75 countries, gaining rapid acknowledgement for its all-modular, ultra-small-format and high-performance product ranges that solve critical business challenges.
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