Posts tagged ‘Broadcasters’
Today AT&T, the National Association of Broadcasters and Verizon jointly posted the following blog:
The TV broadcast spectrum incentive auction proceeding raises some of the most difficult engineering challenges the FCC has ever faced. One thing is clear: a successful auction must start with an effective band plan. A band plan must seek to mitigate interference challenges to the greatest extent possible while offering blocks of spectrum best suited for deployment by U.S. wireless carriers. Otherwise, it will drive down the value of the spectrum and likely undermine the auction’s success.
With that in mind, broadcasters, wireless carriers and equipment manufacturers have spent an enormous amount of time, energy and expense reviewing and commenting on the optimal framework for the 600 MHz band. Hundreds of pages of comments have been filed, two industry consensus letters have been submitted and the FCC just recently convened a day-long workshop to discuss this issue. The result is growing consensus for adoption of a “down from 51” framework that seeks to maximize paired allocations and build guard bands only to meet engineering necessity. This approach reflects the best collective engineering judgment of the companies most affected by the auction, including those that will spend billions of dollars to purchase 600 MHz licenses at auction and billions more to develop and deploy the spectrum in U.S. wireless networks.
Despite these significant advances, on Chairman Julius Genachowski’s last day, a Public Notice was released seeking comment on two alternative band plan frameworks, one reversing the uplink and downlink allocations and one featuring time division duplex (TDD). The first has absolutely no support in the record and the second adopts a technological approach contrary to the one proposed by the majority of U.S. carriers. A fair reading of the Public Notice suggests that the FCC feels the consensus approach constrains its ability to adjust the band plan to meet market-by-market variations. We believe, however, that this notice will consume resources better spent on dealing with other critical and as-yet-unanswered questions in this proceeding, such as how co-channel interference concerns could undermine the variability of any band plan and how the FCC plans to conduct an effective re-packing.
Each of us of course will respond to the notice, but we don’t anticipate any fundamental shift in positions we’ve already taken in the record. In the meantime, we are concerned about the apparent disconnect between the FCC and the various industries that will be critically affected by this auction. Nothing about this auction will be easy, and, if we are to succeed, we must all work together to find solutions best designed to respond to broadcast industry concerns while meeting wireless industry requirements.
As you know, the Future of TV blog highlights the latest innovations in broadcast technology, broadcast issues in Washington and the many ways local broadcasters are central to their communities.
An example of broadcasters’ commitment to serving their local communities is the recently released video “Communicating Superstorm Sandy” that showcases the vital role broadcasters serve as “first informers” during emergencies. The video accurately captures the rapid response and lifeline support of local broadcasters when the devastating storm hit the East Coast last fall.
Included in the video are testimonies of local broadcasters as they worked around the clock to provide their neighbors with information to keep them safe. Dan Joerres, president/general manager of Baltimore’s WBAL-TV 11 says, “A local television station is out in the elements. Our reporters, our anchors, they’re there to tell the true story, to keep the public informed.” Susan Schiller, vice president and news director of Philadelphia’s KYW CBS 3, adds that broadcasters “have a public trust. It’s really a sacred public trust.”
Communities turn to their local broadcast stations every day for news, weather, traffic updates, original programming and more, but it is during times of crisis when viewers are reminded of just how important their local broadcasters are. Chris May, anchor, KYW CBS 3 noted, “We’re here every day. People know they can rely on us. They know we’re honest with them.”
Adds NBC Nightly News Anchor/Managing Editor Brian Williams, “Yes, local news is the first line of defense. I think it’s still the best conveyance method there is.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is also featured in the video and credits broadcast stations with disseminating live-saving information: “In the immediate aftermath of the storm my way to communicate to the folks in my state was through the broadcasters…”
Watch the video and let us know what you think of local broadcasters’ efforts to keep viewers safe.
More than 92,000 media and entertainment representatives were in Las Vegas last week for the 2013 NAB Show. This annual conference is the premiere event for content and communications professionals from around the globe, especially those anxious to see what new technologies are on the horizon.
Among other things, attendees learned more about how they can watch their favorite local news and TV shows on the go without the need for WiFi or buffering at The Mobile TV Pavilion. Broadcasters are using their traditional airwaves to send content to cellphones, tablets, in-car entertainment systems and more. The top mobile TV companies demonstrated the technology, including explaining how a dongle can turn your iPhone or iPad into a traveling TV. Broadcasters’ mobile TV service is already available in half the country, and just last week 25 more stations announced they will deliver mobile TV in some of America’s largest cities.
4K TVs, the next generation HDTV, were also on display at the NAB Show. The screens on the exhibit floor were some of the largest available on the market – the image size is 3,840 by 2,160 compared to 1,920 by 1,080. 4K TVs boast the best picture quality, making them one of the most coveted items of TV loving Show attendees.
8K video (with 22.2 channel sound) was highlighted in the NHK exhibit at the NAB Labs Futures Park during the show in the “Super Hi-Vision” (SHV) presentation format. Continuous showings of SHV content were presented throughout NAB Show on a 300-inch screen in an 80-seat theater. NHK also showed a new SHV studio camera that captures images at a 120 Hz frame rate, along with a 60 Hz portable SHV camera. There was also an historic 8K event at the Show: For the first time in the world outside Japan, 8K video was transmitted and received over the air at the 2013 NAB Show, using two terrestrial TV channels.
Did you attend this year’s NAB Show? If so, you know that broadcasters in the U.S. and across the globe are constantly exploring innovations to better serve viewers. The future of TV is the content you want, when and where you want it.
This week, hundreds of broadcasters from across the country are in the nation’s capital to meet with their members of Congress.
This annual call on Congress serves as an opportunity to educate legislators on the issues that impact local stations and their communities.
With nearly 500 broadcasters descending on Capitol Hill, broadcasters are committed to doing everything within their power to ensure that viewers’ access to the news, emergency updates and entertainment they rely on each day is not jeopardized.
Ironically, this week a major snow storm is also hitting the D.C. area, serving as another reminder of the indispensable role local TV and radio stations play in times of weather emergency.
In addition to broadcasters’ lifeline role in providing important information to Americans, broadcasters are discussing the upcoming spectrum incentive auction process with their legislators. Broadcasters are stressing the need for the FCC to adhere to the intent of Congress and ensure that free, local television remains an indispensable service for the American people.
For information on what you can do to keep broadcast TV free and accessible for everyone to enjoy, click here.
Illinois and Nevada state legislatures recently passed legislation that recognizes the important role of local broadcast stations during times of crisis. The new laws, which help broadcasters stay on-air during emergencies, reinforce that local radio and TV stations are often the only place to turn for critical information during difficult times.
First informer laws ensure individual broadcasters (key personnel such as a news anchor or cameraman) have transportation to their stations as well as the equipment needed to stay on the air to relay critical information to their communities (fuel and back-up generators). Joining Illinois and Nevada, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are the most recent states to take action to get first informers legislation passed. It is broadcasters’ hope that more states follow suit so stations can continue providing a vital lifeline for viewers and listeners.
Indeed, from the recent snow storm in New England to Hurricane Sandy, broadcasters are who communities turn to in times of crisis. As the New Jersey Broadcasters Association’s Paul Rotella said: “No one gets the word out like free, over-the-air broadcasters.”
Wally Babbidge, station manager at WHLT in Hattiesburg-Laurel, Miss., received an email from a parent saying he was able to reach his son in time to take cover before the tornado touched down thanks to the station’s work. After the tornado, the station delivered the community information from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and informed volunteers where the Salvation Army would be serving food for those impacted by the tornado. Babbidge says that broadcasters are, “the pulse of the community when it comes to providing information people need to know about life-threatening situations.”
Tell us, do you think your state should adopt a first informer law for your local broadcasters?
Time and time again, the importance of local broadcast stations is highlighted during times of crisis. When the weather forecast was calling for a massive snow storm in the Northeast last week, local broadcasters were quick to inform their communities, providing tips on how to prepare as well as notifying viewers of local closures.
Television viewers turned to their local broadcast stations for up-to-the minute information on the storm, and many are still depending on their broadcast stations for information as their towns begin the process of digging out to find out when local business and schools will reopen.
One station in Connecticut helped spread the mayor’s request for local teens to help shovel out schools, leading to 500 people showing up to assist in this effort. Another station has released a time lapse video of the blizzard, demonstrating just how much Hartford, Conn., was affected.
When it matters most, broadcasters are there with the critical news and information you need to stay safe, even when other forms of communication fail. That’s the power of local broadcasting.
It seemed like everywhere you turned at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week, there was a new way to enjoy broadcast television! From having local news and your favorite broadcast network shows right at your fingertips thanks to mobile TV to the stunning, crystal clear picture quality of the new 8K TV, here’s a round-up of all the newest innovations in television seen at CES:
- Coming to a living room near you sometime in the future: the 8K TV! Interested in seeing a live broadcast of the 8K TV signal? Register to attend the 2013 NAB Show, being held April 6-11, 2013 in Las Vegas, where the technology will be demonstrated!
- Samsung is pre-installing the Univision app on their TVs to keep up with the demand for diverse, quality broadcast programming.
- Meanwhile, the popularity of mobile TV continues to grow – Dyle and MyDTV now offer live broadcast television for smartphones in select U.S. markets! This service is the same that you get on your TV at home – no data charges or Internet access necessary because it uses the broadcast airwaves.
The future of TV is here – it’s your favorite local channels when and where you want them. It’s the local news you rely on and the shows you can’t live without at your fingertips. Which innovation are you most looking forward to including in your TV viewing routine?
It has been over a month since Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern seaboard but rebuilding efforts continue, and local broadcasters are doing everything they can to help their local communities and those devastated by the storm.
As Sandy approached, local TV and radio stations provided critical information about the storm path to inform citizens. When the hurricane bore down on the area, other forms of communication failed, but broadcasters were there to provide a lifeline to residents. Now, it is time to rebuild, and once again local stations are pitching in to return normalcy to the area. From fundraisers to food drives, stations are asking their listeners and viewers to donate nonperishable items, clothing and batteries to help their neighbors in need.
To read about their efforts, click here.
Broadcasters Work Nonstop as First Informers to Serve Their Local Communities During Hurricane Sandy
Earlier this week, millions of people turned to broadcast radio and television to get up-to-the minute information on Hurricane Sandy. TV stations up and down the East Coast worked around the clock to ensure their communities had the information they needed to prepare for the storm as well as track the storm to know when it would hit their area.
Stations began providing wall to wall coverage starting at 4 a.m. on Monday. WUSA Washington News Director Fred D’Ambrosi led his news crew, preparing them to be on air for the next several days, ensuring viewers had the lifesaving information they needed. “Everybody left home on Saturday prepared to be gone for five to seven days,” said WBAL Baltimore’s News Director Michele Butt. “You don’t stop covering the storm just because the sun comes out.”
Stations ran non-stop storm tracking radar images and news tickers with emergency information and weather updates, with many reporters pulling 12-hour shifts. Stations also utilized text alerts, social media outlets and updates on their website and mobile apps to provide viewers with critical information.
Many stations lost power during the storm and relied on generators to provide coverage, in addition to relying on satellite, microwave trucks and mobile backpacks to submit stories.
Covering the storm was truly a team effort and affiliate stations joined together to share resources and content. Some affiliates brought in employees from other stations not affected by the storm, including Cincinnati, Tulsa and Phoenix to relieve teams working long hours.
“I salute the remarkable work of our radio and TV station colleagues now putting themselves in harm’s way to keep millions of people safe and informed on the devastation of this deadly storm,” NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said. “As FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate noted this weekend, in times of emergency there is no more reliable source of information than that coming from local broadcasters. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those in the path of Hurricane Sandy.”
Watch your local news and visit redcross.org to learn how you can help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.