June: From the Chair

May was another busy month, at times difficult to focus on the technical business side of my life with my daughter’s kidney transplant May 5.  The surgery went as well as could be expected and she is recovering faster than predicted.  You can read the story on this modern day miracle on her website atwww.tammyskidney.org and follow the front page story that appeared in the News Tribune May 27.

There was a report out in May that fewer than ten percent of the nation’s TV households are receiving programming over-the-air.  This after broadcasters spent millions making the painful transition to DTV. This comes with another report that our government would like to take 120 mHz of spectrum from TV broadcasters to allocate for wireless internet and smart phones.  Where is the ROI on the new mountain top megawatt digital television transmitters?

3D television continues to make the news as the consumer electronics industry hypes the technology for sale to the retail market.  There are also reports that 3D may not be for everyone.  The American Optometric Association reports a significant number of people, for one reason or another, simply do not have stereo-optic vision.  Other viewers reported headaches, dizziness, and nausea after viewing 3D TV.

There is an excellent primer on 3D technology including some information on broadcast encoding that is worth checking out:


Some FM broadcasters are stepping up the power on their digital transmitters.  The FCC has some simple guidelines and suggestions for making application for the power increase.  This information is available from the FCC at: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-866A1.pdf.  You can also find it at www.fcc.gov/mb/audio.  The FCC has also posted information and discussion on the impact the power increase can have on other broadcasters.  Some complaints are coming in from FM broadcasters claiming interference from stations that have increased their digital power.

The FCC is being asked to extend the deadline for stations to update their EAS equipment to accommodate the new Common Alerting Protocol technology.  The NAB says there is a need for more training for state and local emergency managers.  The NAB also questioned the cost of installing the new EAS equipment, particularly for smaller broadcasters.  Washington State Emergency Manager, Don Miller will be speaking at our SBE June Luncheon on the new equipment and deployment in the State.

Plans are being made for our annual picnic Saturday, August 24 on Vashon Island.  There will be transmitter tours and special historic presentations this year, so mark your calendars.  We will be posting more information on the SBE16.COM website.

73, Jim W7PB