BEC Offers View Into Broadcasting’s Future

The Broadcast Engineering Conference provides attendees with a unique opportunity to keep abreast of technologies behind many of the new systems they will see on the show floor.

“Our goal for the NAB Show is to offer educational conferences, workshops, sessions and keynotes that will provide our members and other show attendees with an understanding of the cutting-edge technologies and business trends that will impact the future of our industry,” said Dennis Wharton, executive vice president of Communications for NAB.

The Broadcast Engineering Conference is sponsored by The Durst Organization.

On the television side of the conference, topics of great interest to broadcasters run the gamut, from the upcoming ATSC 3.0 standard and UHD/4K updates to drones, IP technologies and the event staples of RF and future FCC plans. The BEC agenda offers coverage on topics of interest across all spectrums of the industry.

Along with other topics, today offers a lineup of sessions from 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m. on drone technology in “UAVs in Broadcast.” Sessions will look at aerial photography, videography; aerojournalism in broadcast news; products and technologies; and drone laws at present and for the future.

Few topics have been discussed as much before the show this year as new IP infrastructure announcements. Systems integrators, in particular, are interested in this migration away from traditional broadcast infrastructure as they are often on the front lines of implementing technology changes.

Broadcasting has always evolved with changing technologies. Just in the past decade the industry has gone from analog to digital, standard definition to high definition and migrated to file-based workflows. Workshops in the BEC are key to keeping engineers and decision-makers up to date on where the next turn in technology will take them.

John Marino

John Marino

“The sooner broadcasters start to think about IP solutions,the better,” explained John Marino, vice president of Technology for NAB. “The ways of delivering content to consumers have evolved making it important for broadcasters to build flexible facilities in order to monetize their content most effectively.”

During the Tuesday session “BT and Nevion Address IP’s Next Leap: The Modern IP Contribution Network,” the companies will share how they created a flexible and high-capacity contribution IP network that shares SD and HD-SDI video signals safely and in real time between any locations, with latencies of just a few milliseconds.

Also on Tuesday, the session “Implementing Ethernet Switch Security in the Broadcast IP Network” will focus on practical implementation examples in the broadcast IP network to enhance security and performance.

From inside the facility to delivering content, nothing will impact the television broadcaster more than the upcoming ATSC 3.0 update.

“ATSC 3.0 represents a major change in the television industry. We feel that broadcasters need to understand the industry’s future and realize that change may be disruptive, but new opportunities will eventually emerge,” said Marino.

The Tuesday session “Channel in a Box Approaches for Today’s Multi-screen and Virtual World” will take a closer look at this approach and the vital role it can play in streamlining
channel playout/ compression/delivery, especially with ATSC 3.0 on the horizon and more broadcast content being delivered over the top.

“Television on multiple platforms and the technologies that support these along with adaptive bitrate technologies are additional key tech trends being covered in this year’s BEC,” said Marino.

There is the RF boot camp on Wednesday that provides both radio and TV engineering and operations staff a full overview of the RF
transmission chain. From FCC regulations, to transmitters and antennas, it is always important to make sure that the people who are involved in delivering the content over the air are as up to date as those creating it.