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NAB 2016

It’s that time of year again. I’m headed to the NAB convention. It will be quite a quick trip as I’m lined up to see a bunch of folks, but I do not know when! Also learning the nuances of the new company is interesting. Key points for me is some AoIP stuff which I already have, just needing supplemental items, staring down transmitters with HD (Nautel), and getting a look a Tieline’s new Via. Wonder where they got some ideas from?

I will say I’m not impressed by the credential world. I signed up in December. Decided to check and make a minor update and discovered they want so much more personal information now then when they first had me sign up! So after signing my 1st born away, I have the “proper” email confirmation as they have a new system to pick up badges. As the saying goes, Oh, boy, this is gonna be great! I understand they have had abuse of badges, but at least be consistent and don’t change registration in the middle of the window, or at least notify those that did register they need to “update” some information. Here’s the kicker: A colleague went to update his information and he was charged $25! Bad customer service, IMHO.

Anyways, I’m looking forward to seeing folks I have not seen since last year, and to meet new people, some who actually work for the company. I’ll be posting during my short stay, so check in and get my field reports!

Cheers!

Categories: Equipment, IT, Management Tags: , ,

My NAB Round-up

If you were looking for something new and cool, you may have been dissapointed. For me it was refreshing to not be bombarded with” it’s new and fresh” sales pitches. I saw more to my liking the” we have improved this or made this” better in our product. When you purchase products that are meaant to last several years you cannot purchase the latest and greatest, so you look for the improvements.

Sierra Automated Systems showed me the improvements to their routers. IP audio and redundant MCU capability. Nautel previewed a bit of the AUI and I was unable to return for some in-depth insight to a couple of NV questions I have, so a phone call is going to be made. Harris will be providing me another software/firmware update to the Flexstar as I continue to have issues. At least theyare responsive to my needs.

There was one item that I thought was cooland innovative. It belongs to Pelican, the road case guys. It was an LED light that packs within a case. Bright, battery operated, it was exactly what I need for them dark morning show remotes outside. Shoot even in dark venues pop one of them out. The batteries last 8-10hrs. I saw two and four light versions. Switches file each light. Very handy and in its own case. Nice job. That gets my cool stuff vote! 
These are the 9400 series remote area lighting systems.  I really liked the 9470 package, but may be overkill.

I made my customary stops and expressed my opinions, be that what it may. Some vendors are quite receptive and others think I’m a freak. In either case it was a good show for me this year.  Till next time! 

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NAB Convention Preview

Well, not really a preview as I have not really seen anything new. I attend the Nautel User Group (NUG) meeting this morning.  I will have to say I did not come out of it with new new knowledge, but did receive some reinforcment knowledge.  Most of that came from Mr. Jeff Welton.  After lunch was at was supposed to be an in-depth view of the AUI, and again it de not move me. It turned out to be a showing of AUI changes and development. To me I felt a bit underwhelmed.  Love the product, but not impressed by what is being worked on.

As I think of my strategy for tomorrow, I thing it will be humbling and tediuous. I need to look at the NexGen product as that is the system being mandated. I will dig a bit and see what I like and dislike. I have certain expectations which I think will not be fulfilled.

I want to visit Burk Technology and look at their latest remote control system. With that I will visit Audemat ad see their offering though I have seen and heard horror stories. I do like their concept which falls in line with that of Davicom, another vendor I wish to visit. That will round out the day.

If I see or hear anything of interest I will surely pass it on.

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Categories: Equipment, Management Tags: ,

NAB Convention Is Upon Us!

I sit here gathering up my “notes” and listening to my Blues channel on Pandora; NAB is around the corner. No way, it is here!  I leave tomorrow!  Wow.  I have an agenda.  The company has an agenda.  The show has an agenda.  My job is to make them all mesh.  Of course it will not prevent me from doing some “vendor disruptions”.

I need to visit vendors regarding remote controls.  Burk, Audemat, and Davicom come to mind.  Any other suggestions?  I’m familiar with Burk.  I like the concept and white paper by Audemat, though some reports from the local boys across town will curl your hair.  Davicom I’ve seen via web meeting and should be usable.  How far do I want to go?  This could be fun.

We will attempt to crash the NexGen, so be prepared RCS.  We like to dig and we want to push buttons; simultaneously.  We did this to WideOrbit and they passed.  Others failed in an endless loop in the past, so maybe everyone is robust compared to then.  Should be fun.

I will be at the NUG (Nautel Users Group) on Sunday.  Hey, that app you posted in the Waves newsletter does not work through VPN.  I look forward to seeing what’s new and how things are.  I also want to see the advanced AUI presentation.

To bad Verizon won’t be there.  Maybe even HTC and Samsung.  No VPN through hotspots?  NAT issue?  Come on, now.  How do we run our stuff securely, leave it on an open network?  Security first, people.  If WiFi is available on the floor or nearby, I will be happy to show you a VPN connection w/VNC to my Nautel transmitters on an eReader, a.k.a. cheap tablet.

I will be talking with SAS (Sierra Automated Systems) regarding my system and integration with our next automation system being mandated by the company.  (I’ll elaborate later, and will be a subject of review)  I  have a studio upgrade coming.

Tieline will get a visit.  I see a new box and they did not send me one to play with.  Does that mean I  can break it at the show?  Also I noticed an application to manage the Tieline remote gear.  Well, where is it?  I know I have 8 boxes I could manage.  I like pushing updates.  I also like to add and subtract profiles as necessary.  Let’s have at it!  Oh, and where is the Android app?

I will visit Sage and ask to tear about the Digital Endec.  EAS and CAPS is coming and we are to upgrade this year anyways.  Just a few questions and a look at the box.  This is the one we have decided on.

I’ll visit with Studer as they want to meet with me regarding consoles.  This is not a formal thing, but would be cool if it led somewhere.  I am quite happy with my SAS Rubicons and SLs.  If it leads to anything, it is design, like I know anything about that; I install and make ’em work.

It just piles up.  I notice a hard time for Audemat.  Hopefully we are discussing remote control and not that stupid Golden Eagle box.  I had to reboot that thing 3 times yesterday just to get diversity delay readings!  Ouch.  The multipath at the studios isn’t much help either.

I think I will swing by Harris and tell them that my Flexstar dropped off once again without any reason.  Once in 1 year is a major improvement!  Of course a week after that occurred I get an email talking about their new transmitters.  WT>>>>  I have a “young” transmitter, I cannot get another.  There is other competition out there!  😉  (See my article in the Waves newsletter….) I want to see the STL solutions provided by these guys, too.  This means I will be visiting Moseley, too.  I have Moseley and Intraplex.

Gosh, I just remembered I wanted to look at some audio test gear and modulation monitors that work.  The ones I have are in a word, worthless.  They will make good air monitors for HD, though.

I will hit the usual suspects as time permits.  I have a lot to do with only 2 days on the floor.  I’m a bit disappointed I may not get to see interactive and video.  I want to delve into some of that and see what ideas I can come away with.

Hope to see you all at the show!  Walk up and smack me if you wish to talk.

Cheers!

Another Week, Another Update

February 6, 2011 Leave a comment

I thought this week was going to be routine, maybe even slow.  Not the case when you walk in and find the IT guy at the HD rack restarting all the devices due to a UPS failure!  Luckily that is all it was.  The only odd thing is the UPS was an Eaton-Powerware UPS.  I have had good luck with these.  The lesser models, the acquired MGE UPSs, are not worth the effort, but the Powerware models usually hold up well.  At this point you are thinking batteries, but not the case.  Darn thing bellied up and will not pass AC or even attempt to go into bypass.  It took a power hit and protected the equipment by committing suicide.  Oh well.  I had a spare.

Finished Monday off well with the second NV20 field modification.  Like last week, the modifications went well with only one hitch.  Some excessive RF was getting into the monitoring and control of one PA module and affected the fans; shutting down said module.  I was short ferrite beads, so we took a shot and added one, and only one, to a fan lead.  All errors cleared and we were in business.  This NV also received the cooling modification.  Both modifications were completed in 3 hours.  After doing the NV modifications I asked Nautel if the same modification to their V series would work and improve performance.  The answer is a yes, but I figure I will wait and see if it is really necessary.

I got to meet with a Studer rep.  Remember Studer?  Yeah, they still exist.  By the way if you have their old reel-to-reel machines, they have someone who will service them.  Our meet was to discuss consoles.  I cannot elaborate, but it was a good discussion.  Ask yourself how many Studer consoles are there in radio stations in America?  Europe?  You see where this is headed.  Anyways, I have some thoughts to make on how I will proceed in future console installs, but  I will remain adamant that a console be simple and intuitive for the air talent, but flexible enough to perform technically without too many bells and whistles.

The last technical headache of the week involves Windows and USB to Serial adapters.  Timed SAS automation events will not run if your computer running the Router Control Software is not functioning.  We found out the hard way.  Though many are convinced that something occurred with the SAS 32KD system, the logs and dump file show that an error with the device driver for the USB to Serial device caused a kernel crash.  What a pain.  Be aware of this if it has not happened to you before.  We are researching other manufacturers of these devices, but since they seem to be made on the cheap the potential for issues remains at a moderate level.

It looks as though I am able to spend a couple of days at the NAB Show this spring.  Automation or audio deliver systems will be high on the list of products for me.  I look forward to attending my first Nautel Users Group meeting.  Should be interesting.  I hope to meet some readers out there.  On to next week and beyond!

 

Categories: Equipment Tags: , , , , , ,
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