IP-connected system delivers real-time data, alarms and other benefits to establish a comprehensive transmission linesystem monitoring capability
RAYMOND, Maine, March 28, 2019 — Dielectric, the leading maker of broadcast antennas and RF systems, will unveil its new RFHawkeye monitoring system at the 2019 NAB Show (April 8-11, Las Vegas Convention Center). Co-axial transmission line systems, an expensive and essential component of any broadcast system, are subjected to a wide variety of environmental and operational conditions that can lead to previously undetectable, but undesirable and potentially damaging, changes over time. This new IP- connected system now gives broadcasters a way to monitor the performance and condition of this critical part of the broadcast RF system in real-time, 24/7 and under full power.
“Undetected deterioration of line or elbow components has repeatedly been shown to result in extensive damage and down time,” said Dielectric’s VP of Sales, Jay Martin. “RFHawkeye performs continuous time domain measurements of the RF system while the station is on the air at full power, providing advance warning of deterioration to local or remote operators, enabling early corrective actions.”
RFHawkeye establishes a foundation for centralized monitoring of transmission line conditions by remote operators at the regional or group level. Additionally, RFHawkeye lays the groundwork for a future Dielectric managed service that can enable monitoring of the RF transmission line system on behalf of the customer.
“The key benefit of RFHawkeye is that it can discern small, undesirable, and potentially damaging changes in the transmission line from the small benign changes in the antenna 24/7, while the station is on the air,” said Martin.
Time domain data is available during full power operation, offering valuable information for the RF engineer to assess without taking the station off-air. RFHawkeye delivers readily accessible and accurate results since it continuously collects real-time data under real-world conditions, and compares it to the baseline measurement. RFHawkeye also detects arcs inside the line, and provides the time stamp plus the arc’s location.
Dielectric has installed a prototype of RFHawkeye at WGME-DT in Portland, Maine and will review results at NAB. Development of the final production version continues, and all attendees are invited to visit Booth C2213 to see the system in operation.
RFHawkeye installation is simple. The system consists of a line section, or monitoring point, and a 2RU proprietary data logger powered by proprietary custom software. The software collects and analyzes system performance data at the tower site.
The line section is inserted post-RF System (mask filter) inside the building, prior to the gas barrier, in a non-pressurized, controlled environment. That section monitors performance of the transmission line system beyond the transmitter and mask filter from a single monitoring point.
RF Hawkeye gathers data to produce a “characterization” of the normal ranges of operation of the system. This characterization allows the operator to define thresholds for individual components and monitor how the system performs over time. RFHawkeye sends an alarm or warning to system administrators over the IP network at the first sign of technical anomalies. From the software dashboard, users can recall a diagram showing the location of an issueon the transmission line run, the elbow complex, or the antenna input.
“Perhaps the gas barrier is failing above the elbow complex, or connectors are failing in the transmission line 500 feet up. RFHawkeye provides a pre-diagnostic heads-up to tell crews how far up the tower to climb, and where to pull the system apart for faster, safer inspections,” Martin added. “This pre-emptive approach inspires maintenance at the first sign of trouble, preventing costly downtime and catastrophic failures in the future.”
Martin notes that in addition to removing the high costs of periodic VSWR sweep services, RF Hawkeye could reduce insurance rates at TV stations by enabling more consistent maintenance. “A failure that goes unchecked over time can quickly contaminate or destroy an entire transmission system,” he said. “RFHawkeye will preserve capital investment in RF equipment.”
24/7 Monitoring Service Support available
As more broadcast engineers retire, Martin notes that RFHawkeye provides a modern IP-oriented solution to replacetraditional passive RF monitoring skillsets, and can support remote 24/7 monitoring support from Dielectric’s Raymond, Maine facility.
“Today’s younger workforce of centralized digital and IT engineers that are replacing the traditional local chief engineer will find value in RF Hawkeye’s IP-connected architecture to inform of potential problems,” said Martin.“With an appropriate service contract in place, Dielectric can respond to problems from our service center,proactively warning local personnel of the need for inspections and repairs, and coordinating efforts on behalf of our broadcast customers. With 77 years in business, Dielectric envisions this service as an important, new service to the industry in the post-repack period, while lessening the load for our customers.”
Based in Raymond, Maine, Dielectric LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group. Dielectric is a leading provider of innovative broadcast products. Now celebrating its 76th year of operation, the company builds and delivers antennas and RF systems optimized for every TV and FM radio broadcast need since 1942. Dielectric is an innovative, customer-centric organization with a long history of engineering excellence in designing and manufacturing high-quality broadcast solutions. As a trust partner of broadcasters worldwide, Dielectric maintains its legacy of advanced, precision RF solutions while building in features that prepare broadcasters for the future. More information can be accessed at www.dielectric.com
Art Leisey and Lang Cooksey bring years of expertise in broadband and broadcast markets to newly created positions
MELBOURNE, Florida, March 27, 2019 — Qligent, a specialist in enterprise-level, cloud-based content monitoring and analysis, has appointed Art Leisey and Lang Cooksey to newly created business development and sales engineering roles, effective immediately. Both positions report to John Shoemaker, Qligent’s Director of Sales.
The two positions were developed to address business growth in the broadband and broadcast markets, according to Shoemaker. Leisey will serve as Business Development Manager and focus on the North American broadband market, with an emphasis on cable, IPTV and OTT service providers. Cooksey will serve as Project Manager and Sales Engineer and assist Qligent customers in both verticals worldwide on all technical matters throughout the sales journey.
Leisey brings three decades of broadband industry experience and problem-solving innovation to his new role. As president and owner of CableCom Specialists, Leisey developed the first PC-based switching system which allowed Emergency Alert System integration into a complete Cable TV channel lineup. He later sold the technology to Trilithic, where he served as Director of Technology for nearly 15 years. This led to the formation of Trilithic’s EAS division, where Leisey successfully directed development of protocols and procedures for EAS systems throughout North America and Canada.
Leisey’s innovations at CableCom Specialists also include hardware and software tools to support early pay-per-view movie switching systems, with several deployments to Top 10 MSOs. He later held technical and regional sales management positions at Alltec Global and Mega Hertz, where he further developed long-term business relationships with leading cable and telecom service providers.
Leisey believes that Qligent’s technology will help solve the escalating quality of experience (QoE) that consumers face with broadband video delivery, particularly with OTT services. “The quality of experience is, at best, lacking within these services,” he said. “Consumers are quick to unsubscribe, or move on to another option, if the service is problematic. Qligent brings a problem-solving approach in collectingmetrics and data on signals from the source point to the end user, which will help our customers win the battle against churn. Importantly, Qligent’s Vision platform uses common-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware that quickly delivers an ROI for broadband service providers.”
Cooksey’s 15 years of broadcast and IT experience make him a perfect fit for his project management and sales engineering responsibilities at Qligent, where he will help customers initial system designs, field applications and post-deployment problem-solvingamong other tasks. Cooksey has held roles of increasing responsibility with some of the broadcast industry’s biggest names, including Harris Broadcast, Snell and Vizrt.
He joins Qligent from Telestream, where he spent five years as Enterprise Sales Engineer. At Telestream, he specialized in helping customers migrate from on-premise to cloud workflows — an opportunity he expects to see often at Qligent.
“The next logical step for many broadcasters is to migrate from on-premise to cloud-based workflows, and integrate more applications within existing IT infrastructure,” said Cooksey. “This is a model that Qligent has pioneered on the monitoring and analysis side of the business. As broadcasters deploy more OTT services and the number of media delivery platforms multiply, it’s important to transition these businesses to more efficient workflows that minimize hardware costs and requirements on the monitoring side, and apply the big data and analytics that can help them retain and grow viewing audiences.”
Qligent architects complete monitoring, visualization and delivery analytics solutions for broadcasters, content distributors, ad agencies, regulators and network operators. Based in Melbourne, Florida, Qligent’s software-defined approach provides an open, vendor-agnostic platform to monitor performance, integrity and compliance of multiple signals, streams and systems across enterprises of any size. Its solutions provide the same consistent quality of content and service across multiple delivery platforms simultaneously.
ENCO’s second-generation WebDAD platform, introduced at IBC, enables browser-based native remote control of ENCO DAD automation systems and production workflows.
Southfield, MI, March 27, 2019 – Following the European debut of ENCO’s second-generation WebDAD platform at IBC in September, ENCOwill showcase it as a key component of the company’s “Studio in a Cloud” strategy at the 2019 NAB Show. Part of ENCO’s enCloud family of solutions, the enhanced WebDAD will be positioned as its central radio demonstration at the show, highlighting how broadcasters can now take direct control of studio operations from any remote location with a web connection.
WebDAD empowers cloud-based operation through an updated, HTML5-enabled user interface. Users have the freedom of a fully-virtualized platform to remotely access and control their studio-based ENCO DAD radio automation systems – a benefit made all the more powerful with the addition of ENCO’s Presenter On-Air interface. This interface further optimizes ENCO’s modular, touchscreen design for customizing production workflows and providing instant access to media libraries, playlists and more.
“WebDAD has evolved to support a true ‘Studio in the Cloud’ operation that removes the limitation of maintaining an on-premises physical workstation,” said Ken Frommert, president, ENCO. “In addition to reducing operational costs at the station, WebDAD customers have broad control and playout capabilities across on-air presentation, playlist manipulation, voice tracking, and other workflow tasks. With the powerful ENCO Presenter On-Air interface, WebDAD is the most powerful and comprehensive browser-based interface on the market.”
Frommert adds that WebDAD also helps stations work more freely with on-air and production talent around the world by making it easy to bring in part-time, contract, and remote staff to access the playout system from anywhere there is an internet connection.
ENCO will demonstrate the entire Studio in a Cloud workflow, including other radio solutions, at the 2019 NAB Show from April 8-11 in the Las Vegas Convention Center. ENCO exhibits at Booth N2524.
Founded in 1983, ENCO pioneered the use of computer-based, digital audio and program automation for radio station and TV studios. The company has since evolved its product line to cross all aspects of today’s automated broadcast and production workflows, including closed-captioning, visual radio, audio compliance, instant media playout, remote contribution, and cloud-based web streaming. Its two flagship systems, DAD and MOM, bring the industry’s best reliability, cost-efficiency and intuitive operation to automated radio and TV operations worldwide. ENCO is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan USA and retains a global distribution network, plus a growing network of partnerships with complementary industry vendors. For more information, please visit: www.enco.com.
Enhancements to comprehensive podcasting suite empower publishers with richer listening data and expanded tools to entice and retain sponsors
BAYSIDE, CALIFORNIA, March 26, 2019 – SaaS-based podcast and streaming solutions innovator StreamGuys today announced upcoming support for Remote Audio Data (RAD) technology across its comprehensive suite of podcast management, monetization and delivery solutions. The integration of the new podcast analytics specification combines with the company’s powerful dynamic advertising ecosystem and expanded publishing efficiencies to bolster producers’ monetization efforts and enhance their reporting to advertisers and sponsors. StreamGuys will discuss the new advances at the 2019 NAB Show, where the company will co-exhibit with partner ENCO in booth N2524.
“From podcasters to broadcasters repurposing their content, producers are increasingly using data to drive their business decisions,” said Jason Osburn, executive vice president, StreamGuys. “Publishers are asking for deeper analytics to help evaluate listeners’ engagement with their content, and as information they can use to sell advertising and sponsorship. Adding RAD support to our end-to-end podcast platform provides rich insights that they can use in their monetization efforts, and for live broadcasters, our efficient new aircheck creation workflow lets them quickly and easily supplement their reports to advertisers with recorded validation clips.”
Developed by NPR, RAD is a new podcast analytics technology designed to provide publishers and producers with richer listener metricswhile respecting user privacy. While download statistics can provide information such as audience size and platform preferences, they offer no detail about how much of the podcast the consumer actually listened to. Individual platforms and apps may provide listening metrics in proprietary formats, but their lack of standardization and limited scope paint an incomplete picture requiring significant manual analysis.
Measuring podcast listening across a wide range of participating clients and platforms, RAD complements download statistics by aggregating deep, event-driven data to publishers’ analytics systems. Podcast publishers mark checkpoints within their audio files at periodic intervals or at specific content-related events – such as sponsorship or advertising spots – and specify a URL to which metricsshould be delivered. When listeners reach those checkpoints, their RAD-enabled player or app will send anonymized data to that URL. The publisher can then analyze the data to gain new engagement insights such as which sections of the podcasts consumers are listening to, and whether ads are being heard.
StreamGuys will support RAD at each stage of podcast creation, distribution and consumption chain. Publishers will be able to insert RAD tags manually or at specified intervals using the intuitive, graphical waveform editor in the company’s SGrecast podcast management solution. StreamGuys’ managed, embeddable SGplayer will be enhanced to detect RAD tags and send RAD data to the company’s SGreports logging and analytics service, as well as to third-party destinations if desired. The integration of RAD information adds a powerful new data dimension to SGreports, augmenting its existing support for IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines Version 2.0 (“IAB 2.0”).
Advanced Advertising Insights and Easy Airchecks
By combining SGreports’ RAD listener analytics with dynamic ad insertion data, podcast publishers can share enhanced reporting with sponsors and advertisers, including whether their spots were actually heard. The new support is yet another way that StreamGuys is helping podcasters maximize their monetization initiatives. Unlike approaches that insert ads into downloadable media when the podcasts are initially published, StreamGuys’ server-side advertising tools can dynamically insert ads into the on-demand files at the time the content is requested. This keeps spots timely even for ‘long-tail’ content while enabling the use of targeting criteria such as geo-location to ensure relevance.
While RAD support helps both pure-play podcast producers and content-repurposing broadcasters deliver richer data to their advertisers orunderwriters, SGrecast’s efficient aircheck publishing workflow is valuable for live, over-the-air broadcasters simulcasting their signals online. Leveraging SGrecast’s AudioLoggers feature to record streams 24/7, users can search the recordings by timestamp or metadata to find specific content such as a sponsor message. Stations can then quickly export an aircheck clip of that content through SGrecast’s waveform editor, and send it to their clients as validation of how their spots sounded.
StreamGuys plans to begin rolling out RAD support across its solutions in late Q2. Efficient aircheck publishing with SGrecast is available immediately.
About StreamGuys, Inc.
In business since 2000, StreamGuys is an industry-leading service provider of live and on-demand streaming, podcasting delivery, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) toolsets for enterprise-level broadcast media organizations. The company brings together the industry’s best price-to-performance ratio, a robust and reliable network, and an infinitely scalable cloud-based platform for clients of any size to process, deliver, monetize and playout professional streaming content. StreamGuys supports many of the world’s largest Podcasts, global TV and radio broadcasters, video and audio production companies, houses of worship, retail and hospitality businesses, government organizations, medical and healthcare services, and live venues for sports and entertainment. The company excels in developing and deploying technologies for business growth and revenue generation, including dynamic ad insertion, Alexa skills, mobile streaming and detailed business and data analytics.
Ideal for remote contribution links, new MA400 SIP Opus Codec combines high-quality, open audio format with SIP negotiation in a cost-effective and compact solution
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, March 25, 2019 — Continuing to expand its extensive array of robust Audio over IP transport solutions, Barix will introduce its MA400 SIP Opus Codec next month at the 2019 NAB Show. Combining the dynamic flexibility and ease of SIP-based link establishment with the quality and efficiency of the Opus compression format, the new codec will be demonstrated in booth C1139 at the event, taking place April 6-11 in Las Vegas.
The MA400 encodes and decodes audio signals using the open standard Opus codec, a royalty-free audio compression format known for quality and reliability in interactive speech and music transmission over the Internet. The highly-efficient, low-latency Opus format is also gaining increasing popularity in other audio applications including VoIP, audio conferencing, in-game chat and remote live music performances. The MA400 is Barix’s first encoding and decoding product to incorporate the Opus codec.
The MA400 builds on the Opus codec’s quality, efficiency and low latency with SIP functionality to establish seamless links across SIP-compatible telephone, radio or other communications systems. Ideal for remote contribution applications, the SIP functionality in the MA400 allows the Barix unit to dial another device or phone number andautomatically negotiate a transmission link for audio streaming.
“Advanced broadcasters are moving away from static setups to SIP-based link establishment, particularly for remote contribution back to the studio such as from sporting events,” said Reto Brader, CEO, Barix. “That’s where the MA400 SIP Opus Codec comes in, establishing the connection through dial-up and then encoding and decoding the audio signal. It combines our extensive broadcast expertise with our background in SIP-based telephony products and the bandwidth efficiency of Opus, enabling easy, high-quality audio links to and from the studio. Our Exstreamer family continues to be the solution of choice for static studio-to-transmitter (STL) applications, but for SIP-based remote broadcast links the MA400 SIP Opus Codec is perfect.”
Continuing Barix’s tradition of offering powerful solutions at affordable pricing, the MA400 SIP Opus Codec is also designed to be extremely cost effective. “With similarly-featured, alternative products priced at twice the cost, the MA400 offers an extremely cost-effective deployment,” added Brader.
Built on Barix’s latest-generation, high-performance IPAM 400 audio module, the MA400 SIP Opus Codec features an analog, microphone-level input and line-level output. The new units share the same space-efficient form factor and durable build quality as Barix’s popular Exstreamer 100 product family.
Barix will beging taking orders for the MA400 SIP Opus codec at the NAB Show.
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 more than a decade 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.
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