Barix Introduces Silence Monitor with Cloud Service for Broadcast Audio Quality Assurance at NAB 2019

Audio over IP innovator Barix will unveil the company’s new Silence Monitor solution at the 2019 NAB Show, reaffirming its commitment to assured connectivity with active monitoring of live audio broadcasts. Silence Monitor is a web-accessible, analog-input audio monitoring device that delivers the highest levels of quality assurance, monitoring audio streams 24/7 and sending real-time alerts when an outage or silence is detected.

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Barix will showcase the new product in booth C1139 at the event, which takes place April 6-11 in Las Vegas.

Unlike other solutions on the market, Silence Monitor does more than just detect silence—it also captures and sends a 10-second pre-alarm audio clip that users can listen to and analyze to determine what might have happened before the error occurred. In addition, Silence Monitor offers optional LTE 4G/ 3G/ NB-IoT transmission for RF out-of-band connectivity. This backup communication link ensures alarm detection signals are transmitted, even in the event of an IP network outage. Other products with silence detection send alarm notifications over the same network where the audio should be transported—a definite limitation. Silence Monitor allows the use of both local and out-of-band connection technology at the same time for robust reliability.

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Silence Monitor checks transmission and monitors broadcast streams continuously, sending immediate alerts to the user’s email or mobile device via SMS/text message. Once users receive a notification, they can click on the link provided in the message to automatically stream the last audio transmission.

Users can monitor the status of the network and transmission online through a cloud-based management portal. Silence Monitor devices and alarms can be easily managed through the portal, and a full overview history of logs and audio clips is available for all connected sites. Users can also listen live to the audio at each monitoring site through the web-based interface, with specific location designations identifying points quickly and easily.

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“Silence Monitor is designed to offer a cost-effective, quality assurance monitoring tool for broadcast transmissions,” said Reto Brader, CEO, Barix. “Broadcasters need affordable monitoring and prefer a decoded audio signal so they can receive alarms at an affordable cost. They need to be sure their audio signals arrive as intended, and it’s not just silence being delivered. Combining an independent network for backup alerting with a pre-alarm audio clip and the power of the cloud bolsters reliability while making troubleshooting easier.”

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MultiDyne to Launch Next-Generation SilverBack Series at 2019 NAB Show

MultiDyne Fiber Optic Solutions will refresh its market-leading SilverBack series of camera-mounted fiber transport solutions at the 2019 NAB Show with three additions to serve live production needs across all budgets. The updated series, anchored by the now-shipping, IP-enabled SilverBack V, includes the global debut of two models that extend MultiDyne’s reach into new production verticals. MultiDyne will demonstrate all three systems at Booth C5013 from April 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The SilverBack V broke ground in the convergence of fiber and IP-based production workflows upon its introduction in 2018. The industry’s first 12G- and 4K-capable camera-back system to incorporate an IP output, the SilverBack V offers a gateway to multipoint IP networks, enabling users to move field-acquired content to many destinations. Broadcasters and content producers can send video, audio and data captured on location to studios, post houses and mobile production trucks at once, for example.

The SilverBack V remains the high-end option for broadcast and digital cinema customers working with Ultra HD resolutions. Its optimized bandwidth efficiency reliably accommodates the high data rates that live 4K and 8K productions require — a substantial benefit for live sports, concerts, and motion picture productions.

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New for NAB, MultiDyne has added power management capabilities to the SilverBack V that eliminates the need for external power supplies. This will prove especially valuable for camera operators and cinematographers for powering focus, iris and zoom directly from the unit without risk of power supply failure. The compact, lightweight design also supports two camera heads that are configurable to today’s leading cameras, with a common, integrated multiviewer to monitor both cameras.

MultiDyne will additionally introduce the SilverBack HP, a re-imagined version of the popular SilverBack II fiber transceiver that adds two-channel intercom and Ethernet alongside video, audio, and data. Like its predecessor, the SilverBack HP provides robust, full bandwidth fiber-optic links for 3G, HD and SDI signals from the field to a truck, control room or other receive point along with genlock, tally and audio.

MultiDyne will also extend the operational benefits of SilverBack to commercial AV and smaller event productions for the first time with SilverBack Pro. The SilverBack Pro offers the same engineering innovation, live production benefits and ease of use associated with all SilverBack products at a much lower cost. This provides worship facilities, corporations and K-12/higher education systems with a highly configurable camera-back fiber transport system to cover live performances, presentations, lectures and high school/college sports at an affordable price point.

MultiDyne President Frank Jachetta notes that the popularity of the SilverBack line inspired the company to diversify the product line, with specific models and price points that can serve a much broader customer base.

“All three of our next-generation SilverBack systems integrate the same user-friendly features, interfaces and menus, with just the right amount of signal density and networking capabilities to serve each price point,” said Jachetta. “Whether the customer is using SilverBack for professional AV applications, cinematography, or the largest, mission-critical live broadcasts, the model that suits their needs will offer the same flexible, project-to-project configurability for their signal acquisition goals in the field.”

Dielectric Meeting with FCC Addresses Potential Repack Phase Completion Issues

Dielectric, along with other broadcast representatives, attended a January 31 meeting with the FCC Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau to provide an update on repack site completions. The meeting followed an October 2018 meeting at which Dielectric presented data indicating tower crew concerns about timely completion of main antenna installations.

The output from the FCC meeting was clear: “The FCC will be flexible in considering STA applications, and extensions if justified, potentially allowing more stations to use interim antennas to meet phase deadlines,” said Keith Pelletier, vice president and general manager, Dielectric.

Although significant repack progress has been made, there are signs that broadcasters may face increasing difficulty in meeting phase deadlines due to severe winter weather and a shortage of qualified tower crews. As rigging and other delays build, Dielectric sees the potential for a domino effect, delaying installations of permanent antennas.

“Some of our customers have been forced to place their permanent repack antennas in storage,” said Pelletier. “Stations that fail to vacate their channels in time could prevent stations in future phases from staying on schedule, due to the critical linked changes in the transition plan. We see potential for a serious bottleneck in phases 3 through 6.”

The installation of interim antennas could keep channel phase evacuations and associated linked changes on track. Although this is not a one size fits all solution, there are many more rigging crews capable of safely installing these side-mount broadband antennas.

“The FCC has indicated their willingness to approve interim facilities for reimbursement with suitable engineering support, demonstrating that the interim facility does not significantly harm the station’s over-the-air viewership,” said Jay Martin, VP Sales, Dielectric. “If the choice becomes going off-air or staying on the existing channel and disrupting critical linkages, operating an interim facility may be a viable compromise for all concerned.”

Making an Interim Plan

Dielectric updated its entire TV antenna product line over the past several years in preparation for repack. The company also foresaw the challenges of the industry adhering to a strict transition schedule of 10 phases in 39 months — directly leading to the creation of its TFU-WB Series antenna in 2016.

The TFU-WB Series is a flexible, broadband antenna, available in horizontally and elliptically polarized versions. Marketed as a main or auxiliary antenna, the TFU-WB offers an interim side-mounted solution for stations challenged by rigging, permitting or other delays. This year marks the third anniversary of its first use broadcasting ATSC 3.0 signals over Las Vegas. It will continue to be a focal point at Dielectric’s NAB Show 2019 booth (C2213) as it serves a critical industry need. NAB Show 2019 show takes place April 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“TV stations and their consultants should critically evaluate their progress towards meeting phase deadlines now and, where appropriate, seek approval to use and install interim antennas,” said Pelletier. “The TFU-WB exists to help stations vacate their existing channels on time — the chief goal of the repack—by staying on the air, operating under STA rules, until their permanent antennas are installed.

No Time to Waste

Nearly 143 affected stations moved during phase 1, which ended November 30, 2018, with another 115 phase 2 stations scheduled to move to new channels by April 12. While the first phase progressed relatively close to schedule, more than 30 stations are now operating under STA approvals.

“The FCC’s stated willingness to be flexible with stations experiencing difficulties and considering interim facilities will be essential,” said Martin. “More than 400 more stations must move to new channels in phases 3 through 6 between mid-April and October 18th.”

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“The broadband design of these antennas means that Dielectric can have antennas on hand for quick deployment, but it is important for stations to work with their consultants now to identify whether the interim antenna is a suitable solution,” said Pelletier. “Dielectric is firmly committed to working with the FCC and helping broadcasters meet their repack deadlines, thus freeing spectrum for Incentive Auction winners.”

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BeckTV at the 2019 NAB Show

With this unparalleled experience, BeckTV engineers will be on-hand throughout the 2019 NAB Show to review the newest technology and trends along with best practices in system design and integration.

In its booth SL5605, BeckTV will highlight its comprehensive services and ability to provide clients with a one-stop shop for all design and integration services, and for nearly any budget. BeckTV offers complete space planning, design, engineering, purchasing, and integration services, and leverages extensive in-house metal, composite, and wood fabrication capabilities to create truly customized client-based solutions.

Visitors to the BeckTV booth will also have the opportunity to discuss a variety of considerations for today’s design builds, including capital expenditure versus operational expenditure; cloud-based workflows; at-home remote production; and more, along with the broad range of approaches broadcasters can take when it comes to facility updates and greenfield projects.

BeckTV’s Brendan Cline Selected to Present Technical Paper

Brendan Cline, director of engineering at BeckTV, has been selected to present his technical paper during the 2019 NAB Show. The paper, titled, “Building the Right Broadcast Facility for Your Business,” looks at the challenges of choosing the right infrastructure at a time when IP-based solutions are still quickly evolving and hybrid broadcast/IT engineering talent remains hard to find. The presentation will also examine the critical design challenges in planning infrastructure in a SMPTE ST 2110 IP-centric production environment, with a particular focus on audio, and on designing a central equipment room for scalable fiber infrastructure. Cline’s presentation is slated for April 6, from 9-10:20 a.m. in room N260-A.

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Zylia and Infineon Present a Ground-Breaking Approach to 6DoF Technology in VR/AR at MWC

The presentation offered a valuable contribution to the topic to help users stay on top of current trends in the development of VR and AR solutions.

6DoF technology in VR/AR enables the user to experience 3D audio/video content in the virtual space by introducing an unlimited number of listening and vantage points. 6DoF gives users the opportunity to navigate through three-dimensional spaces freely by rotating or translating their position. However, to experience the feeling of full immersion in the virtual world, a high-level image must be followed by a realistic sound. Until now, image-related technologies have been developing much faster, leaving the sound far behind. Zylia has made the first attempt to show that 6DoF with an immersive sound experience can be achieved.

“Synthetic 6 Degrees of Freedom audio, combining separate sound recordings into a single simulated sonic space, is very common in video games. What we will present at Mobile World Congress is a novel approach which enables not synthetic, but live recorded navigable 6DoF sound from an actual physical space,” explains Tomasz Zernicki, co-founder and chief technology officer of Zylia.

In order to prepare its 6DoF demonstration, Zylia used multiple simultaneous and synchronized Higher Order Ambisonics recordings made with nine ZYLIA ZM-1 microphones evenly spaced in the room. Zylia’s work resulted in creating a Unity-based audiovisual system, enabling users to navigate within a simulated 3D space and listen to the 6DoF recordings from different perspectives.

For the purpose of audio recording for 6DoF demonstration, Zylia provided a new product — 6DoF Development Kit (http://www.zylia.co/zylia-6dof.html). This is an exceptional tool for people experimenting with spatial sound solutions, which could unite audio and video for immersive content.

A single ZYLIA ZM-1 is a 19-capsule microphone array with high-end 24-bit recording resolution, which allows users to record entire sound scenes with just one microphone. Equipped with Infineon’s class-leading 69-decibel SNR digital XENSIV™ MEMS microphones, the microphone array delivers high-fidelity and far-field audio recording. In addition, the array provides multiple microphone noise- and distortion-free audio signals for advanced audio signal processing.

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Broadcast Pix Hires Patrick Murphy, Jr. as Inside Sales Associate

He will be responsible for warranty and upgrade sales development, dealer communications, and new sales growth.

A recent graduate of Flagler College, Murphy researched sales lead qualifications and renewed support contracts for Avid Technology during his college years. He also has experience in marketing campaigns related to partner programs.

Based in the company’s headquarters in Chelmsford, Murphy is working directly with Steve Ellis, Broadcast Pix director of sales. “We are very happy to have Patrick on board. He’s going to help expand our sales efforts and be a big part of our continued commitment to excellent customer support,” Ellis said.

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