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Monday, January 26, 2015

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Excited About Efficiency: CEA Now Largest Industry Supporter of CalPlug

Thu, 22 Jan 2015 11:09:58 -0500

Today the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® announced its formal partnership with the California Plug Load Research Center (CalPlug), joining the center in its efforts to advance energy efficiency, environmental quality and economic growth. Already among CalPlug’s founding advisory board members, with this new financial support for the center CEA now becomes CalPlug’s largest private-sector donor and a Core Supporter alongside the California Energy Commission and Public Utilities Commission.

“We’re proud to deepen our partnership with CalPlug, and help advance its mission of improving energy efficiency and powering innovation,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “It’s clear that innovation, competition, voluntary agreements and public-private partnerships are the best drivers of efficiency improvements for consumer electronics.”

“This is a great opportunity for us to team up and provide truly effective and practical solutions for the CE industry,” said G.P. Li, CalPlug director. “Together, we can focus on the innovation to improve overall efficiency of integrated devices.”

Last year, CEA released Energy Consumption of Consumer Electronics in U.S. Homes in 2013, the third major study CEA commissioned to quantify the electricity consumption of consumer electronics (CE) in U.S. households. According to the study, CE devices accounted for just 12 percent of residential electricity consumption in the U.S. in 2013, a 9 percent drop from their energy consumption share in 2010.

“Consumer electronics are becoming lighter and more efficient at a faster-than-ever pace,” said Shapiro. “Our research shows that even though we now have more CE devices in our homes, they represent a smaller portion of our monthly electricity consumption. As a strategic partner with CalPlug, we’re perfectly positioned to promote even greater energy efficiency for consumers, especially given our rapidly growing adoption of the Internet of Things.”

CalPlug was established in 2011 at the University of California, Irvine to improve energy efficiency in the use and design of appliances and consumer electronics. The center focuses on efficiency evaluation of CE, user-behavior studies and developing energy efficiency solutions, and addresses challenges in plug-load efficiency for both residential and commercial buildings by collaborating closely with utilities, manufacturers, advocacy groups, research institutions and energy policy makers. Among the nearly dozen organizations from the private sector that have become members of CalPlug, CEA is the largest contributing sponsor to join the collaborative effort.

CBS Sports Network Signs Multi-Year Deal To Continue As Home of Army Football

Tue, 20 Jan 2015 09:24:58 -0500

The Army Athletic Association and CBS Sports Network have reached an agreement on a five-year deal, renewing CBS Sports Network’s rights for coverage of every Army home football game and select neutral site games in which Army is the home team. The agreement begins with the 2015 season, continuing through 2019.

“CBS has been a great partner for Army West Point over the years and we are thrilled to extend our contract with them,” says Boo Corrigan, AD of Army Athletics. “Our alumna and fans appreciate us being on national television for each home game with the highest quality broadcast in the business. From coast to coast, our games will be on at set times, allowing fans to know kickoff times well in advance. It also ensures our military across the globe can continue to watch Army football at no cost.”

The partnership provides that a majority of Army home football games will be played on Saturday afternoons beginning at noon. Additionally, a live web stream of all Army’s home telecasts will be made available free of charge to military personnel around the world.

CBS Sports Network began televising Army home football games in 2009 and entered a five-year partnership in 2010.

“West Point represents the finest our country has to offer on and off the field, and we are proud to remain the television home for Army football,” says David Berson, President of CBS Sports. “Army has been a tremendous partner the last six years, and we’re excited to continue televising the Black Knights as well as the tradition and pageantry at West Point.”

Producer/Director Tony Verna, Inventor of Instant Replay, Dies

Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:17:53 -0500

Television director and producer Tony Verna, the man commonly credited for inventing instant replay for live sports more than 50 years ago, died Sunday at the age of 81 at his Palm Desert, CA home. Verna was battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, daughter Tracy Soiseth told the AP.

“Tony was one of the great directors of [his] era, along with the late Sandy Grossman, Bob Dailey and Frank Chirkinian,” says CBS Sports’ current lead director Bob Fishman, who worked as assistant director under Verna on Super Bowl X. “Tony was a master at his craft and to be able to learn from him at such an early age was more than anyone could hope for.”

CBS Sports used instant replay for the first time in the Dec. 7, 1963 Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, after Verna developed a method to cue the tape to pinpoint the play he wanted to immediately air again. He said he was looking for a way to fill those boring gaps between plays during a football telecast.

The concept was so new that when Army quarterback Rollie Stichweh scored a touchdown, announcer Lindsey Nelson had to warn viewers: “This is not live! Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!”

Instant replay quickly became a staple of sports broadcasting, and Verna’s innovation gave fans a new way to look at the games.

“[Tony] certainly advanced how sports was covered,” says Ken Aagaard, EVP, Operations, Engineering, and Production Services at CBS Sports, who worked with Verna on the Goodwill Games in the 1990s. “He wanted to be in control of everything. He loved new technologies and kept pushing the envelope. For [the Goodwill Games] he pushed us on integrating timing and results in a real time mode; things that we take for granted now. He had a flamboyant personality and unique style.”

Verna would go on to produce or direct five Super Bowls, the Olympics, the Kentucky Derby and even “Live Aid.” His lasting legacy, though, is pulling back the curtain on sports and revealing what really goes on.

“Observing the unwavering respect from his camera crew and his calmness in the face of anxious moments are things that I remember most about working with him,” says Fishman. “[His] talent lives in so many of us who watch those monitors and try to make the good decisions that [he] taught us. His trust in me was so appreciated and he gave me the confidence to achieve my goal to become a network sports director.”

Verna is survived by his wife of 45 years, Carol, daughters Tracy Soiseth and Jenny Axelrod, son Eric Verna and three grandchildren.

Small Business & Emerging Technologies Conference & Tech Fair Jan 27th

Fri, 16 Jan 2015 12:48:23 -0500

The FCC‘s Office of Communications Business Opportunities (“OCBO”) will host a Small Business & Emerging Technologies Conference and Tech Fair on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm at FCC Headquarters, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC.

This important event will focus on innovation by fledgling entrepreneurs in information technology and telecommunications. We will be highlighting small businesses, and particularly, minority and women-owned tech start-ups. We will be examining the challenges that tech start-ups face, as well as some specific issues that often preclude technical innovation in the minority business community. This conference and tech fair will be an all-day event with panel discussions on entity formation and incubation, early stage investment strategies, and a showcase of app designers, software/hardware manufacturers, and internet based business owners.

In addition to our panel discussions, we are hosting a “Fast Pitch” Program for the afternoon where tech entrepreneurs will have a unique opportunity to present their ideas/products to – and get feedback from – experts on launching and capitalizing new businesses.

If you’d like to showcase your tech start-up at our conference and participate in the Fast Pitch, or if you’re simply interested in attending this informative event in person, please contact OCBO at (202) 418-0990 or via e-mail at

Persons interested in participating via the Internet may do so by logging on to This event will be streamed live.

NBC To Rely on Avid for Super Bowl XLIX

Thu, 15 Jan 2015 10:27:32 -0500

NBC Sports will rely heavily on Avid’s MediaCentral Platform for coverage of Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, building on previous success with the workflow for the Olympics, NHL coverage, Formula 1, and more.

NBC Sports is setting up two remote-production facilities: one at the University of Phoenix stadium, where Super Bowl XLIX will be played, and another at Block 23, a cutting-edge media center in downtown Phoenix that will host a variety of NBC Sports Group programming during the week of the game.

Each location is outfitted with Avid Media Composer editing stations and shared storage solutions integrated with Avid’s media-asset–management (MAM) systems.

“With Avid Everywhere, large-scale remote productions like the Super Bowl become location-free,” says Jim Miles, director of digital workflow systems, NBC Sports Group. “We can now do production in real time by tying together multiple locations and people all over the map. By combining Avid asset management, editing, and storage solutions with third-party systems, we’re pushing the edge of remote production and creating a tightly integrated environment that helps us meet the needs of one of the world’s top sporting productions.”

Along with third-party WAN acceleration technology, the remote teams are able to leverage the production infrastructure at NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, CT—including a multi-petabyte media archive that encompasses several decades of content.

“Using the Avid MediaCentral Platform, we are able to produce an incredibly large amount of content,” says Darryl Jefferson, VP of post and digital workflow, NBC Sports and Olympics. “By allowing everyone to access archived media wherever they are, we are significantly expanding the capacity of our production.”

During the week before Super Bowl XLIX, the Avid MediaCentral Platform will help NBC broadcast several highly rated programs from downtown Phoenix. Specifically, with the platform’s MAM and remote-collaboration capabilities, production teams in Phoenix will be able to collaborate in real time with producers and editors in Stamford, more than 2,500 miles away. This workflow will greatly accelerate productivity and enable NBC to generate the large amounts of content needed during Super Bowl Week.

“The Super Bowl is among the most-watched live broadcast-television events in the world, and we’re thrilled that NBC has embraced Avid Everywhere to power its operations,” says Louis Hernandez Jr., chairman/president/CEO, Avid. “With the Avid MediaCentral Platform, we are working hand-in-hand with NBC to provide the highest levels of collaboration, support, efficiency, and integration that are critical to producing such a high-profile broadcast.”

Markertek Video of the Week:

Daily Tech Term Sponsored By Laird.


Parameter used by speaker engineers to characterize how much current the speaker will draw from an amplifier. Low impedance means correspondingly higher current. Impedance is the opposition to current flow in an AC circuit, specified in ohms. Impedance is to an AC signal what resistance is to DC. Impedance differs from resistance in that impedance implies that the load is not a simple resistance, but a combination of resistance, inductive reactance, and capacitive reactance.

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Understanding Headphone Impedance

The two important electrical specifications for a pair of headphones are the impedance of the phone transducer itself and its on-the-ear sensitivity.

So-called low impedance headphones may vary from 75 ohms up to about 150 ohms. Phones in this impedance range may be directly plugged into the headphone jack routinely found on recording and playback equipment. Higher impedances, such as 600 ohms, are more useful in studio installations where many units may be wired in parallel for studio monitoring applications.

Headphone sensitivity is usually stated as the in-the-ear sound pressure level produced by one milliwatt (mW) of audio input. Typical sensitivity ratings of AKG headphones run from 88 dB per mW to 105 dB per mW. You can see that very little power is needed to drive a stereo headphone pair to very high listening levels.

Doing a little bit of math will show that a signal of .775 Vrms will produce one mW in a 600 ohm load. That same signal will produce 8 mW in a 75 ohm load, a difference of about 9 dB. So it is clear that 600 ohm phones and the lower impedance models should not be intermixed in the same application. The 600-ohm models are more rugged than low impedance models in that the higher resistance coils are less susceptible to burn out than low impedance models.

To produce 200 mW in a 600-ohm load a signal of 11 V is needed. This shows that the advantage of high impedance headphones is that they can be used with almost any amplifier output without any risk of being damaged by overload, and you can connect up to 10 or more pairs to the same output. However, they may be not loud enough with some portable recording devices.

Low impedance headphones will sound louder with devices with low output voltages such as portable MD recorders etc., you cannot use more than one pair of headphones at the same output simultaneously.

AKG K141 MK II Professional Hi-Fi Stereo Studio Headphones


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