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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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137th Audio Engineering Society Convention Breaks Record

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:27:40 -0400

The 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention, held Thursday, October 9, 2014, through Sunday, October 12, 2014, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California, was the place to be if you have anything to do with the audio industry. The exhibit floor, panels and technical sessions were packed all four days, and with 15,403 registered attendees and 307 exhibitors/sponsors, AES137 far surpassed any West-Coast AES Convention in the last 10 years or more. At show close, AES reported a 28% increase in registration since the last time the convention was on the West Coast (133rd AES Convention in San Francisco in 2012).

Convention Committee Co-Chairs Valerie Tyler and Michael MacDonald and their team created one of the most ambitious and comprehensive schedules of workshops, panels and technical programs in AES convention history. From the opening keynote address on Thursday by acclaimed engineer, musician and record producer Alan Parsons; and the Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture presented by legendary game audio director and composer Marty O'Donnell; to Friday’s keynote by Neil Portnow, President/CEO The Recording Academy®, The GRAMMY Foundation® and MusiCares; the popular Project Studio Expo and Live Sound Expo; the High Resolution Audio Program in association with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group; the GRAMMY® SoundTables event “Songs That Move The Needle: Producers on Producing,” moderated by Ed Cherney and featuring Alex da Kid, Don Was, Niko Bolas, No I.D., and Michael Brauer; “DTV Audio Group Forum:The Implications of Streamed Content Delivery on the Evolution of Television”; “Chicks in the Mix,” moderated by acclaimed producer and mixer Chris Lord-Alge and bringing together well-known female industry professionals to discuss their personal experience; “Sound Is the Conduit to the Artist Heart” presented by acclaimed producer, engineer and technologist Jack Joseph Puig; and more, AES137 hit it out of the park for attendees and exhibitors alike.

"I cannot put into words how thrilled I am with the 137th AES Convention,” stated Bob Moses, Executive Director of the AES. “Our organizing committee really outdid themselves, with over 350 presentations from an astounding 731 leading researchers and practitioners in the field, many of them standing-room-only. We have some serious momentum built from recent conventions in New York and Berlin, and we are going to keep it going for the coming conventions in Warsaw in May and then back to New York next October. You could say that our conventions and the AES organization have a renewed energy, and we couldn’t be happier.”

Commission Suspends Expiration Dates For LPTV Stations

Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:29:39 -0400

According to the FCC, effective immediately, the expiration dates and construction deadlines for all outstanding unexpired construction permits for new digital low power television (LPTV) and TV translator stations are hereby suspended pending final action in the rulemaking proceeding in MB Docket No. 03-185 initiated today by the Commission.

In a Third Notice adopted today in MB Docket No. 03-185, the Commission recognized that the incentive auction and repacking process will impact existing analog LPTV and TV translator stations transitioning to digital and, because of this, we tentatively concluded to postpone the September 1, 2015 digital transition date.

For similar reasons, the Commission also tentatively concluded to extend the construction deadlines of permits for new digital LPTV and TV translator stations and proposed that these permits be subject to whatever new transition date is adopted. This proposed action would also have the effect of treating these permittees similarly to the permittees of transitioning LPTV and TV translator stations.

The Commission also notes that some new station permittees already have been granted two extensions of time to construct by the Media Bureau staff and some have filed applications requesting a third extension of time.

The action today to suspend the expiration date and construction deadlines of permits for new digital LPTV and TV translator stations will allow these permittees to forego having to continue to file extension applications. It will also conserve Commission resources by avoiding the need to address hundreds of individual extension requests pending final action in the Commission’s rulemaking proceeding.

New Study Shows Consumer Interest in More Affordable, Easier-to-Purchase Hearing Loss Solutions

Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:47:19 -0400

A new study released today of adult Americans with hearing loss, shows that only one in 25 of those surveyed now own Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs) and nearly 40 percent are interested in over-the-counter products to help them hear better. Additionally, more than two-thirds of those consumers want a more streamlined process for purchasing hearing assistance products.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA)® study, Personal Sound Amplification Products: A Study of Consumer Attitudes and Behavior, consumers say cost is a major barrier to seeking help for their hearing difficulties and purchasing hearing aids. But PSAPs may help overcome this obstacle to better hearing.

The study reports that nearly half of online U.S. adults – 98 million Americans – have some degree of hearing loss, ranging from a little hearing difficulty to being diagnosed with hearing loss by a medical professional. While both hearing aids and PSAPs can help consumers hear better in many scenarios, a pair of hearing aids can be cost-prohibitive, ranging in price from $1,000 to $6,000. PSAPs, however, offer consumers an entry point at about one-tenth the cost of hearing aids, from $100 to $600 for each device.

“The high cost of hearing aids, the inconvenience and the cost of doctor appointments mean most adults with hearing problems don’t get the hearing assistance they need,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “People with hearing loss deserve more options than just expensive hearing aids. PSAPs are affordable, readily-available and much more in line with what American consumers are willing to spend to hear well.”

Among the key findings of the study:

- There is demand for PSAPs among consumers with trouble hearing. While only a fraction of those diagnosed with hearing loss (six percent) and those with some or a lot of trouble hearing (four percent) currently own a PSAP, nearly two out of five would be interested in purchasing an “over-the-counter” product to help them hear better.

- More than two-thirds (69 percent) of adult Americans with hearing difficulty who responded to the survey want the ability to purchase hearing assistance products in the same ways they now buy reading glasses. At the same time, a significant majority (84 percent) of Americans with hearing difficulty would go to a medical or hearing health care professional to obtain advice.

- Retailers are the preferred purchase channel for “non-prescription” hearing devices. Among consumers interested or very interested in purchasing a “non-prescription” hearing device, three-fourths (73 percent) are willing to purchase from a drug store, more than half (55 percent) from a big-box or discount store, and almost half (48 percent) via online channels.

-Among those interested in purchasing PSAPs, two-in-five (41 percent) are likely to use the devices every day, in any situation. Half of PSAP owners use the devices to listen to TV, a quarter use them in other situations and a tenth use PSAPs every day, in any situation.

Earlier this year, CEA urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take steps to ensure regulatory clarity between hearing aids and PSAPs to enable PSAP manufacturers to effectively market their products to Americans who can benefit from sound amplification.

“Federal marketing restrictions have remained mostly unchanged since the late 1970s, despite advances in PSAP technology,” said Shapiro. “The FDA’s proposed PSAP guidance in its current form blurs the distinctions between hearing aids and PSAPs. Without regulatory clarity, the millions of Americans who could benefit from affordable and readily-accessible hearing solutions will remain unaware of the valuable help PSAPs can provide. Those suffering from hearing loss should be able to decide for themselves what technology will give them the most freedom to live – and hear – as they choose.”

EVS Announces Departure of Joop Janssen

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:58:58 -0400

In a meeting on October 10, 2014, the Board of Directors and Joop Janssen mutually agreed to end the term of the office and duties of Joop Janssen, managing director and CEO of EVS, due to differences in view about the implementation of the company’s long term strategy. This agreement is effective as of October 14, 2014, although Mr Janssen remains available as an advisor, allowing for a smooth transition.

“The entire Board of Directors would like to thank Joop Janssen for his work during the past two years. Under his leadership, the structure of EVS has been strengthened and professionalized, enabling the company to further grow in its four key markets: Sports, Entertainment, News and Media,” said Pierre Rion, Chairman of the Board of Directors of EVS.

The Board of Directors has launched the search for a new CEO. Muriel De Lathouwer, currently a member of the Board of Directors of EVS, chairing the Strategy Committee, is appointed as the President of the Executive Committee on an interim basis. “I have great confidence in Muriel De Lathouwer’s capacities to perform this task, in close cooperation with the management team in place,” Pierre Rion added.

During her career, Muriel De Lathouwer worked for Accenture, was Associate Principal at McKinsey and a member of the Executive Committee at Base (KPN). She is an Engineer from ULB (University of Brussels) and holds an MBA from INSEAD.

Vitec Videocom Acquires Autocue Group Ltd.

Fri, 10 Oct 2014 12:09:06 -0400

Following approval from the Competition & Markets Authority, Vitec Videocom, a division of the Vitec Group plc, has completed the acquisition of Autocue. This deal forms part of the company’s ongoing strategic program to bring a broader range of solutions to its customers.

“We reached a conditional agreement to acquire Autocue in April and now that the Competition & Markets Authority has cleared the deal, we can move forward with integration,” said Matt Danilowicz, CEO, Vitec Videocom.

“Our top priority is ensuring that it remains business as usual for all our Autocue and Autoscript customers, while continuing to invest in the business and maintain high levels of service and product quality,” Danilowicz added. “Richard Satchell, the current CEO of Autocue, will be joining the team at Vitec Videocom and we look forward to him working with us to make this transition.”

The acquisition will help to ensure that both Autocue and Vitec Videocom customers have access to the broadest range of teleprompting technologies and solutions in the market that address the entire spectrum of requirements across all applications in terms of size and functionality.

Markertek Video of the Week:

Daily Tech Term Sponsored By Laird.


Adaptive Transform Coder 3. Bitstream designation of Dolby Digital. A variable, lossy audio compression method using perceptual coding to drop sound data you cannot hear. It can be used to deliver from 1 to 5.1 tracks of audio (the '.1' track is a low frequency effects (LFE) track limited to 120 Hz) along with metadata on how best to play back a particular recording on a particular system. Metadata can also offer control information on down-mixing, dynamic range and level normalization as well as informational data such as artist, copyright etc. The proper ATSC designation is presently A/52A. Encodes audio sampled at 32KHz, 44.1KHz and 48KHz into 32Kbps to 640Kbps data streams. Compression varies with quality with an average of 12:1.

Audio Technica ATW-1701 Camera-Mount Receiver - ATW-T1001 UniPak Transmitter
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Audio Technica System 10 Camera-Mount Digital Wireless System is a digital wireless system designed to provide rock-solid performance along with easy setup and clear, natural sound quality. Featuring a compact design, the system is available in handheld, lavalier and body-pack configurations. Operating in the 2.4 GHz range, far from TV and DTV interference, this system offers extremely easy operation and instantaneous channel selection. Up to eight channels may be used together without any frequency coordination problems or group selection issues.System 10 offers high-fidelity digital wireless for performing musicians and pres...

Atomos Ninja Star Pocket-size Apple ProRes Recorder & Deck
Star Power!
The Ninja Star is a must have for people who need to "Record Apple ProRes on Board" camera rigs, such as Drones, RC Helicopters, extreme sports and Reality TV.The Ninja Star is the next break through in external HDMI recorders based on core technologies that have made Atomos the leader in camera mounted solutions. Its small, self contained size and flexible mounting options allow DP's and cameramen to mount it to just about any POV set-up and offer edit ready format recording with ProRes.Since the company was founded in 2010 Atomos has broken new ground in the design and functionality of recording, monitoring and playback dev...

Atomos Powerstation for Atomos Monitors/Recorders and Cameras/Camera Accessories

The Atomos POWERSTATION is a lightweight mobile cart with a collapsible design that is perfect for interactive touchscreens and confidence monitors.The dual DC outputs and provided splitter cable allows charging of up to 3 DC devices on the rig. Your choice of DSLR, lighting, monitor or Atomos product up to a maximum of 5A output.A flexible dual USB power source allows you to charge 2 x 1A devices. The provided 2600mAh batteries is enough to charge aniPhone 5 from 0 to 100%, 3 times over.Features:

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Blackmagic CONVMBSQUH4K2 Mini Converter - Quad SDI to HDMI 4K 2
4K Today!
Connect Single Link 6G-SDI, Dual Link 3G-SDI or Quad Link HD-SDI to the newest HDMI 4K projectors and televisions that support Ultra HD over a single HDMI link. Includes SD/HD and Ultra HD auto switching, plus analog or AES/EBU audio de-embedding.Specifications:

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CAIG Labs K-FO79 Fiber Optic Cleaning Kit
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CAIG Laboratories Fiber Optic Cleaning Kit is made in the USA and gives the technician everything needed to clean fiber optic connections and prepare fiber for splicing. Works with LC, SC, ST, and Neutrik OpticalCON fiber connectors. All of the accessories are lint free and the CAIG Fiber Cleaning Fluid is fast to evaporate and leaves no residue. Uniquely, this kit also includes CAIG's Precision Air Duster that facilitates removal of any loose debris and other contaminants at the outset of cleaning. The multiple sizes of swabs and cleaning sticks, and the polyester cellulose wipes included in the kit allow for the cleaning of the...

ScopePrepared By The Markertek Engineering Department...

Understanding Fiber Optic Attenuators

Attenuators are used with single-mode fiber optic devices and cable to filter the strength of the fiber optic signal. Depending on the type of attenuator attached to the devices at each end of the fiber optic cable, you can diminish the strength of the light signal a variable amount, measured in decibels (dB).

Why would you want to filter the strength of the fiber optic signal? Single-mode fiber is designed to carry a fiber optic signal long distances—as much as 70 kilometers (or 43.4 miles). Fiber devices send this signal with great force to ensure that the signal, and your data, arrive at the other end intact.

But when two fiber devices connected with single-mode fiber cable are close to each other, the signal may be too strong. As a result, the light signal reflects back down the fiber cable. Data can be corrupted and transmissions can be faulty. A signal that is too strong can even damage the attached equipment.

Because it’s probably not feasible to move your fiber equipment farther apart, the easiest solution is to attach an attenuator to each fiber device. Just as sunglasses filter the strength of sunlight, attenuators filter the strength of the light signal transmitted along single-mode fiber cable. Within the attenuator, there’s doping that reduces the strength of the signal passing through the fiber connection and minute air gaps where the two fibers meet. Fiber grooves may also be intentionally misaligned by several microns—but only enough to slow the fiber optic signal to an acceptable rate as it travels down the cable.

Before selecting an attenuator, you need to check the type of adapter on your fiber devices. Attenuators typically fit into any patch panel equipped with FC, SC, or LC adapters that contain either PC or APC contacts. In addition to the type of adapter, you also need to determine the necessary attenuation value, such as 5 or 10 dB. This value varies, depending on the strength of fiber optic signal desired.

Understanding Fiber Optic Attenuators

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