Tag: "Tom Ray Consulting"

The Sad State of Broadcast Engineering – Part 2

| December 4, 2013

By Thomas R. Ray, III CPBE, AMD, DRB
Tom Ray Consulting
President
TALKERS
Technical Editor

raytomNEW YORK — Around Labor Day, I wrote an article that asked, “Where have all the broadcast engineers gone?”  I was inundated with responses, which is why it has taken me so long to write a follow up article.  Obviously, I hit a nerve with everyone.  I have heard from Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Ireland.  Obviously, this is a universal topic and I have been overwhelmed.  That, and I’ve been working on a large project with not much time to put electrons to the screen.

Additionally, I was both surprised and not surprised at the bitterness in many of the responses.  Broadcast engineers are a unique group.  It’s difficult, though not impossible, to find a more dedicated group of people in any business.  We take it personally.  The station becomes part of us and is what we do.  And once that is disrupted, even if the person is in a much better place, it is taken personally.  I can relate.

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DISTURBING TREND: Where are all the radio engineers?

| September 5, 2013

By Thomas R. Ray, III CPBE, AMD, DRB
Tom Ray Consulting
President
TALKERS
Technical Editor

NEW YORK — Being that Labor Day has just passed, I was thinking about a disturbing conversation I had with a colleague last week.  He is an Engineer and had been looking for an assistant.  I noted recently that he was no longer running his ad and assumed he filled the position.

He and I had occasion to chat the other evening.  I asked how his new assistant was working out – and who he found.  His response?  “I pulled the ad because I could not find anyone!  There is no one out there!!”  He ended up hiring someone with IT skills who had an electronics background and is training him.

This tends to be a trend in the industry – a disturbing one.  If there are no engineers, who will be taking care of our broadcast facilities?

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More About IP Codecs

| March 4, 2013

By Thomas R. Ray, III CPBE, AMD, DRB
Tom Ray Consulting
President
TALKERS
Technical Editor

NEW YORK — Last week’s article on IP codecs generated numerous emails.  (In case you missed it, read that piece here.) The general gist of the emails is that these devices are not understood very well.  Granted, they are still a fairly new technology, but they are a mystery.  So, I’ll touch on several of the emails I received in hopes of clearing up some of the mystery.

The first note was from a station that is presently using an IP codec as an STL (Studio to Transmitter Link).   When they moved their facility several years ago, they found they would not be able to make a microwave shot to the transmitter site, and the local phone company fouled up the program line installation they requested (big surprise).  The station opted for the IP Codec route.

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EAS LESSON: Protect Your Station
from Hackers

| February 14, 2013

By Thomas R. Ray, III CPBE, AMD, DRB
Tom Ray Consulting
President
TALKERS
Technical Editor

NEW YORK — By now, you have heard that there was an EAS hack at a TV station the other day.  An alert went out about a zombie attack.  Now, before anyone goes off about EAS, it should be noted that the CAP feed was not affected.  This appears to be strictly a case of computer network security.

And before we go deeper, it should be stated that when something like this happens, it is only natural that it becomes a news story.  And news stories require actualities.  If something goes awry with EAS, please keep in mind that it is OK to play the actual audio message that went out – but it CANNOT contain the EAS data bursts or the two-tone alert signal.  It is illegal to transmit those outside of an actual EAS activation or test, per FCC regulation 47 CFR 11.45.

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