The Society of Broadcast Engineers 
Chapter 36 - San Diego, California

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July 1998

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July Meeting

Philips Broadcast Will Show You How to Automate

Philips Broadcast recently purchased Alamar Corporation to bring automation to their systems solutions menu. Victor Aquino, an Alamar veteran, will show off some of their problem-solving hardware and software, including the new MC-200 Broadcast Automation System.

According to their website , their MC-200 "includes a complete automation computer and machine control system in a single rack-mount chassis. Standard software includes two On-Air channels, database management software, caching and dubbing capability, control of a 4-channel video server, routing and master control switcher, character generator, 4 VTR's, and output GPIs. The same Philips automation software is used in over 500 broadcast, cable and satellite facilities worldwide. The MC-200 is designed for effective server control.

Join us July 15 at 7 p.m. Come at 6 p.m. for free food and talk about things you'd never discuss with your family. Location: We're working on it. Your turn to host?

Panasonic Broadcast Digital Systems. Call Tom James for DVC Pro and DAT. (760) 489-2980

June Meeting

You Couldn't Have Bought Better Entertainment

Dan Rau, Director of Sales for Intraplex, showed us the basics of T1 for broadcasters. He showed us how to save big bucks. And he showed us a good time. Dan had us rolling in the aisles. Speaking to Dan after the...uh, show...he said, "I was an SBE chapter chairman for three years, and I swore I'd never be as dull a presenter as some of the guests we had." He was true to his word.

A packed house at the Jacor Kearny Villa facility got some great Filippi's Pizza thanks to Tony Mezey Broadcast Equipment, an ABG franchisee and representatives for Intraplex. Tony and Sarah made the trip from Lancaster to say "hi" to all their San Diego customers.

The talk from Dan Rau about the theory and application of T1 transmission for broadcast couldn't help but leave us thinking we had just been privy to some very important information. Their business involves making the modules which allow for some serious information piggybacking on data links. Potential savings in phone and intercity system costs are huge. Dan gave some real world examples to back up his talk.

Tony Mezey Broadcast not only renewed their sponsorship, but contributed to the chapter scholarship fund. Also pledging to become sponsors: Tower Structures and the Southern California Harris Broadcast representative.

KPBS-TV Puts New Master Control Online

by Leon Messenie

On Wednesday June 3, 1998 at 11:16am Larry Upton and Leon Messenie pulled the audio and video patches and put the New KPBS Master Control online. The heart of the new facility is the Philips Venus routing system. The router consists of 64 x 64 analog video, 64 x 64 analog audio 1 & 2, 64 x 32 analog audio 3 & 4, 64 x 64 timecode, 96 x 96 digital video, two levels of 64 x 64 AES audio, and a 64 port data level. The router uses a "Path finding" feature to interface between the two different formats. We have set up 10 paths in each direction for format conversion. We are using Leitch 6800 series converter/synchronizers and Benchmarh ADA 2008 converters.

The new Master Control switcher is a Philips Saturn switcher with digital video, and four channels of digital audio processing. This switcher is interfaced directly with the Venus router. Thus any router input can get to the Master Control switcher via correct software programming of course. We have also installed a Leitch 16 x 1 digital audio/video switcher downstream as an emergency back-up switcher.

The stations ID's, funding credits and promos are handled by a dual channel Philips Media Pool disk server. We have approx. 7 hours of storage at 7 to 1 compression.

We have reused 6 Sony Beta machines and 2 Sony BVH-2000 1" videotape machines for program playback.

We have also reused six of our GE digital satellite receivers for PBS programming.

A Chyron Maxine 601 and a Leitch Still File system handle on air graphics. There are four Leitch Still files and four Chyron Maxines 601 around the plant. All of these are networked together and format conversion is handled by a Leitch GOS (Gateway Server). The new master control room is equipped with Dolby surround sound monitoring.

Audio voiceovers are accomplished via two 360 Systems Digicart II digital audio units.

Our intercom is a Clearcom Matrix 3. We have purchased the 200 port frame but are only wired for 64 ports. This system will be interfaced with six channels of RTS intercom. Basically the control rooms will be Clearcom stations and inside the studios will be RTS beltpacks and IFB boxes. We have two Telos ones interfaced for intercom connection via telephone.

KPBS-TV engineers decided to undertake the entire design and documentation and buildout on there own in order to save about $700,000 in design costs alone. In the beginning we were only going to move all of our current master control equipment over to the new building. The FCC announcement at NAB 97 pretty much made up our minds that now is the time for KPBS to go digital. When the project is completed all of KPBS-TV will be digital.

The following engineers have worked on the project. Leon Messenie, Bill Haught, Larry Upton, Scott Stinson, Tom Oaklund, John Folsom and from the Operations department, Skot Norton.

The first of two production studios is scheduled to come on line about the end of August.

Retired From Master Control: A Utah Scientific 502 Master Control Switcher, (4) Sony BVH-1100 1" Machines, (3) ITC Delta audio cart machines, a Dubner 20K character generator, and an Abekas A42 Still Store unit with Streamer.

San Diego's own RF broadcast line: Antennas, transmitters, exciters, translators, amplifiers, boosters and STL' s in stock in San Diego. (619) 239-8474

Jacor Swaps San Diego Stations

By Gary Stigall

Jacor Communications filed applications with the FCC several months ago to acquire two San Diego stations. We asked Kevin Douglass, Jacor San Diego Engineering Manager to explain what happens next:

"As part of the purchase of Nationwide Communications, Jacor is aquiring KXGL-94.1 and KMGC-95.7. Since we can only own 8 stations, (remember, Jacor DOES NOT own XETRA AM and FM, we have a sales and programming agreement), this aquisition would put us two over the limit. To remedy this situation Jacor has entered into an agreement to sell KKLQ-106.5 and KJQY-102.9 to Heftel Communications. "When the sale closes, the following changes will occur: KXGL-94.1 assumes the call sign and programming of KJQY-102.9. The Eagle calls and format go away. KMGC's calls and format continue, but with the usual Jacor technical and operational improvements. The future of KKLQ's format and calls are up to Heftel. I have no information on their plans and no contact information on that side of their business. "We are still deciding where to put the stations. The easiest solution would be to leave the KJQY studios on Pacific Highway and put the KMGC studios here at Kearny Villa Road. However, there certain operational efficiencies which might occur if we took this opportunity to re-shuffle our studio and office locations. The final decision is a few weeks away."

Kevin said he had no information on personnel changes this early in the transfer.

According to Chris Charmichael, Heftel Broadcasting will program their San Diego properties with formats in Spanish language. Heftel Broadcasting Corporation owns and operates thirty-six radio stations that provide news, music and sports in eleven markets, including KTNQ and KLVE in Los Angeles. Clear Channel Communications, another industry giant, has a large stake in Heftel.

Televideo of San Diego. Equipment for video and audio professionals. 619-268-1100

KGTV, KBNT File, Too...

KFMB-DT Application Filed With The FCC

By Gary Stigall

KFMB staffers are heading, kicking and screaming, straight for November 1999. Midwest Television's FCC application for digital TV transmission on UHF channel 55 was accepted for filing May 29, 1998.

Station RF Supervisor Rick Bosscher stresses that the early filing was done primarily to get in the queue for tower work. Climbers will mount a Dielectric Communications TFU-30DSC pylon antenna soon at the 57m level, just below the existing KFMB-TV antenna atop Mt. Soledad. The tailored cardioid directional pattern is beamed at 60-degrees TN, with major lobes favoring the coastline, with 0.5-degrees downward electrical beam tilt. The application was for full power of one megawatt average ERP.

When Chief Engineer Rich Lochmann is asked when KFMB-DT expects to begin broadcasting, he always answers, "Midnight, November 1, 1999." He adds, "We'll beam a million watts at both TV receivers." The FCC requires occupying the spectrum with free service on that date for the major network stations in this market.

Studio facilities are progressing as well. A Philips Venus 32x32 SDI router will be fully occupied upon installation of new Tektronix NTSC/SDI codecs. Operator transparent router pathfinding should seemlessly transfer the needed formats to mixed format destinations. Sony SX hybrid videocassette recorders, Avid edit rooms, and various graphics workstations are already working in component serial digital format. There's a lot of work left to do.

During June, McGraw-Hill Broadcasting filed an application for KGTV-DT on channel 25 on Mt. Soledad with 316 kW ERP average. Station Director of Engineering Marge Baldwin declined to comment on the facilities.

A local Univision Spanish language affiliate low power, KBNT-LP, filed to move from channel 19 to 20 due to imminent co-channel interference from KSWB-DT channel 19 on Mt. San Miguel. Entravision Holdings is further asking the FCC for approval to move to Mt. Woodson from Palomar Mountain. Their scheduled power output: 891 watts.

Scala Antennas--World class antennas for broadcast and communications professionals. Call 541-779-6500.

A.C. Power Meeting for Mt. Soledad and Mt. San Miguel

With the onset of DTV increasing the demand of power at 
both Mt. Soledad and Mt. Miguel, I would like to host a meeting 
for the chief engineers with SDG&E to discuss all of our power 
needs and expectations.  During the transition to full DTV, both 
NTSC and DTV transmitters will have to operate.  Can SDG&E supply 
increased power demand via their existing services?  Who all are 
contemplating changes in power demands?  Is it only the TV 
stations?  Or are some of the occupants of either hill planning 
changes which may impact the supply?

Mike Nesbit is the SDG&E representative for Media 
services.  He and I have tentatively reserved 9 AM Tuesday 
morning September 1st for this meeting at the KGTV studio. 
SDG&E planners and engineers are also planning to attend the 
meeting to hear our concerns, needs and offer possible solutions.

Anyone interested should RSVP by e-mail to me at:

Marge Baldwin, Engineering Manager, KGTV-10

Letter to the Editor

The Real Story On KPBS-FM and Galaxy IV


I just wanted to correct your statement in the June 1998 SBE Chapter 36
Newsletter about KPBS's activity when we lost the G4 satellite.  We did
not take any standard telephone feeds to accomodate the loss.  We had
backup tapes, recorded just before the bird went down for the afternoon
broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" news program.  The
program airing at the time of the loss (Marketplace) was direct off
satellite and we immediately cued up the earlier recorded DAT backup and
had program continuity within a few minutes.

This was all fine and dandy for a while...  In the meantime, NPR was
struggling to get back up feeds arranged.  One affiliate in Washingotn
DC, WETA, was able to patch their directly-connected NPR feed of the
main news channel to their dedicated link to PBS, also in Washington DC.
 From there, it was uplinked on a digital video/audio feed on the PBS
bird.  PBS sat feeds are all KU digital now, except for the backyard
dish feed on C-band. Any NPR station that could get connectivity to a
PBS affiliate could get a high quality feed of the main NPR news
channel.  SAP was used in several instances for this around the country.

Given that KPBS-TV is co-located at KPBS-FM and is a PBS affiliate as
you know, we just patched the output of a now dedicated receiver over
ties lines to Radio.  All this was done at the new KPBS building where
the PBS dish had already been installed and plumbed.  I think that feed
was made available around 5pm that afternoon.  The bird died around
315pm that day if I recall.  We were all set for the moment.  Some
programs thru the night were affected, like BBC that night and we just
ran "evergreen" programs instead.

NPR also set up AT+T conference call phone banks for both voice quality
and ISDN quality phone feeds.  ABC Radio was also helping out by
distributing the main NPR news channel on their SEDAT audio delivery
system (via satellite).  PBS also sat up a second stereo feed for some
of the NPR cultural programs heard on many NPR stations across the US. 
We stayed with PBS thru the night and the next morning with no problems.

Next morning we arrived early to find emails from two main Public Radio
Listservs telling us that G4 was not responding correctly and that
backup transponder space had been leased on G3R at 95 degrees, just 4
degrees East from G4 and the same polarity, no less.  This new
transponder would still require some changes in operations since NPR on
G4 had been a two transponder operation.  But still, we would get our
computer connection for network scheduling and info back.  It is called
DACS.  That would allow our scheduling computer do all the program and
recording schedule changes automatically for us.  More capacity could be
used than the single PBS feed.  We decided to move the dish.

So we moved our AZ-EL 3.8M ComTech dish and all was well.  Tom Oaklund
and Bruce Rogow of the KPBS Engineering staff helped on this.  It was
really a snap and we really enjoyed the added capacity on the new
transponder provided.  We stayed on this new bird for almost a week
while the Galaxy 6 satellite was moved from it's old home at 74 degrees
to 99 degrees. They got it there and we moved over to it within moments
of it being available on Wednesday, May 26 at 9am.  I had a noon doctor
appointment, but we were done by 930 and all was well.  By the way the
only way to do all this is with a sprectrum analyzer.  A real must!  The
new satellite provided two transponders again, just like before the
accident and we were back to absolute normal, or nominal as NASA might

NPR and PBS did keep the audio on the PBS system for the duration and we
kept it available at all times in case something would have happened on
G3R.  But we had no problems at all on G3R and were very happy we had
the manpower and equipment at our disposal for the changes.  I would
like want to thank the KPBS-TV Engineering staff for all the help they
provided to get the PBS feed to us in a moments notice.

KPBS Radio also helped fellow NPR station KXPR in Sacramento by feeding
them ISDN audio of the main NPR feed and they in turn handed it off to a
few other stations in northern California.

Mike Tosch KPBS-FM Chief Engineer

P.S. Pagers? Who needs a stinkin' pager!?

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We Have Control of Your Horizontal, Your Vertical, Your VCR Clock...

CBS Turns On V-Chip Encoder

by Gary Stigall

When tuning in channel eight on the VCR the evening of June 5, I gulped when I saw that the station was identified as "NET12." Many other viewers, typically with newer Sony TV sets, saw it as well. If I pushed the DISPLAY button on the remote control, I would see the title of the network show playing. But that's not all--overnight, the VCR set its time ahead an hour so that any VCR-plus recording would not occur at the right time. Still other viewers got a black box covering much of the raster.

CBS Data Operations Supervisor Rob Goldfarb says they're looking into the problem and have already corrected the network misidentification. The wrong time was broadcast on the vertical interval for nearly a week.

The V-Chip information, or Extended Data Signal, is carried on line 21, field 2. Line 21 also contains Closed Captioning information, so staffers at KFMB-TV chose not to blank line 21. The Sony time updating and source ID information had previously been carried only by KPBS-TV. According to Gemstar, which outfits stations with VCR-Plus Gold encoders, only KGTV and XETV currently carry that signal. Another Gemstar encoder is being installed at KFMB-TV.

If viewers find a "big black box" covering much of the TV's raster, they can eliminate it either by turning off all Closed Captioning, or, in stubborn cases, using the "first-birthday" approach. This is done by performing an AUTO-SETUP from the front panel of a Sony set, or from the remote control for most other brands. The V-Chip and Gemstar information apparently get erroneously interpreted as block text formatting on sets that haven't been initialized with the new information.


To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most.

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SBE Chapter 36 Newsletter © 1998.

For more information on how to become a sponsor, or to make suggestions, contributions, or comments, e-mail . This newsletter was written and edited by Gary Stigall, but I appreciate your contributions. You're free to redistribute or quote, but please attribute us as source of our original material, as you would have us attribute you. Updated 6/29/1998.

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