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Board Blog: What’s New in UHD and 4K

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Hello I’m Herbert Jay Dunmore, Vice President of College Broadcasters, Inc.

Herbert Jay Dunmore, CBI Vice President

Herbert Jay Dunmore       CBI Vice President

We’ve reached the season of summer, my favorite time of year. During this time, I love to vacation and pursue my passion of photography. This summer is unique because its also my first summer that I will be recording motion picture in Ultra High Deifinition (UHD)/4K.

As most of you may already know, 4K is the “buzzterm” and new television display standard that is being implemented in the broadcast and independent film world. For those of you that aren’t yet familiar with 4K, in a nutshell, 4K is 4096 x 2160 pixels, or four times the resolution/picture quality that you will find on your current HDTV screen. There are other technical factors that play a part in resolution, so don’t go thinking that your current HD equipment will need to be replaced soon. We’ve encountered this same transition to new technology first with the implementation of digital video in the late 90s, followed by the transition to high definition in the early millennium.

In the present day, close to 70 percent of people have high definition televisions in their households. It will be another eight to ten years before we begin to see 4K embraced on a larger consumer/home viewer level. It is anticipated that by the year 2025, 4K will be embraced and utilized in around 40 percent of homes for viewing on the broadcast level. In the realm of over-the-top and on-demand content, Netflix requires all submission in 4K resolution. Cable providers are pursuing the path to providing on demand 4K programming at an accelerated pace as well.

As a lover of technology in all things broadcast and engineering, I embraced 4K and have implemented it in some productions. As an adviser and educator, I relish the opportunity to provide this learning experience to our future broadcasters at colleges and universities. I realize that many schools and technology specialists are researching the technology and transition as well.

Here are a few questions and discussions that I have received and/or have come up in conversation with fellow educators, aficionados and practitioners:

1. 4K is not a broadcast format.
The resolution has been accepted as a standard, but is not broadcast over the air as of yet. The likelihood of your video being broadcast on traditional or satellite broadcast will not be taking place for at least another five to eight years. It is however a great for archiving interviews and beauty shots in a picture quality that will have compatibility with future resolutions and variations of 4K.

2. 4K video files take up more space.
In some cases, it will require up to four times the storage requirement to store video. On another hand, much of the video will be compressed, made smaller in size in order to play smoothly on the internet and mobile devices. When working with high-end and high-bitrate broadcast video, quality will definitely require more storage space. In the majority of cases on your lower-end resolution cameras and smartphone cameras, you can get away with video that produces a 4k image but with mediocre quality.

Heres a good link to an iOS app by AJA that gives a good idea of video file sizes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ajadatacalc/id343454572?mt=8.

3. 4K will require faster computers and connection
I won’t dive into the world of computing here, but will say this. Your Firewire and USB are nice, but will slowly begin to show its age when you’re doing multi-camera editing, animation and video conversion of your 4K event footage. Use of newer transfer mediums such as USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt multiplies data transfer speeds by 10. This makes for smoother video playback and allows room future additions that will further increase flexibility in production.

4. What size screen will be optimal for HD viewing?
Just as a 42 inch screen or better is needed to truly appreciate the resolution and picture quality of 1080p video, you would need to have at least a 55 inch television screen to begin to appreciate the resolution of the image. At smaller screen sizes, manufactures will have a hard time fitting all of those pixels in such a way that the image will provide a sharper image than traditional HD.

As we transition into this 4K and the workflow/best practices associated with the technology, it will be an exciting time. I am looking forward to the Seattle 2014 conference, where topics such as 4K and other TV broadcast related technology and tips will be covered. This year’s conference is poised to be one of the best and most exciting yet.

4K Cameras:
Blackmagic 4K camera
AJA Scion
Canon C500
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Sony PZ100

CBI Update: Student Media in the News

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College Radio Stations protest WRAS Deal, GSU considers alternative options

From Radio Ink: After a unique radio protest last week, where college stations across the country showed their support for WRAS in Atlanta, Georgia State University now says it is pursuing daytime broadcast options for WRAS Album 88. A release posted by the University Friday states, “Responding to concerns expressed by students at Album 88 and alumni, Georgia State University is pursuing options to secure daytime broadcast time for Album 88 after the Georgia State and Georgia Public Broadcasting partnership is initiated on June 29.”

 

Get set for Seattle

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Even though the 2014 CBI National Student Electronic Media Convention isn’t until October, there are plenty of resources on the Seattle Convention website if you’re ready to start planning.

Registration info
Hotel info
Flight info
Session proposal information
Information for sponsors and exhibitors

More information will be posted as it becomes available, so mark your calendars and start counting down to our west-coast conference Oct. 23-25.

Questions? Contact us.

Spotlight: Mt. San Antonio College’s KSAK

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Thank you to Tammy Trujillo, professor of broadcasting and campus radio station coordinator, for answering the questions!

KSAK2Tell me a little history about your station and where your station is now?
KSAK first went on the air in 1974, so we are marking our 40th year of broadcasting this year. It was a hard fought battle by one of the broadcasting professors to get the station on the air initially, but he was able to do it by convening a board of local on-air professionals to speak to the necessity of having an actual, student-run station on campus to compliment the classes that were being taught in the program. The station, which we refer to as 90.1 FM, Mt. Rock Radio, will be moving into a brand new facility on campus at the beginning of the Fall semester that will provide us with two on-air studios (one for 90.1 FM and the other for our Internet-only station, Audio8ball.com), a news booth, production booth, offices for student managers and four additional production studios for students to use for their class assignments.

What sets your station apart from other college radio stations?
Several things. All of the professors in our program are actually working in broadcasting as well as teaching, so the stations are run exactly as a professional station would be. The studios and stations also use the same broadcasting equipment and software that is currently in use at commercial stations. That combination has resulted in students winning numerous regional, national and international awards, in some cases in competition with commercial stations.

Why did you choose to work at the radio station?
I have been on the air in the Los Angeles market for 30-some years and have taught most of that time, both at colleges and at private broadcasting schools. I started at Mt. SAC (Mt. San Antonio College) in 1996 as an adjunct professor, but when the opportunity arose to become full-time and really create the program, I jumped at the chance. I became the Campus Radio Station Coordinator about three years ago with the idea that the best way to prepare students to enter this crazy and hugely competitive industry is to give them a real-world experience and that is what we are doing with Mt. Rock Radio and Audio8ball.com. I see it working because our students are getting jobs. I don’t know sometimes who gets more excited when one does, me or the student! Working with the students at the station also keeps me remembering just what an amazing and exciting industry we work in.

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What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your station?
To kick off the renaming of the radio station as Mt. Rock Radio, (which we did after I was named Coordinator) we held a 48-hour Radiothon, with each hour dedicated to a particular hour of Rock ‘n’ Roll! The student jocks were on the air and we had some of the local pro jocks as well … along with some of our professors, who are also pros.We made some money, had some fun, and wore ourselves out, but it was a memorable way to kick off the new era of 90.1 FM, KSAK.

What’s the best part of college radio? And the hardest part?
The best part of college radio is the creativity that students generate if given the chance. They can do such amazing things! The hardest part, especially being in a major market such as we are (Los Angeles), is that students hear the best broadcasters in the business on the air who obviously make it look easy. When students try it themselves, they realize it is not that easy by a long shot. It is difficult with some, to make them realize that very few of us pros sounded great at the beginning either and that we had to work hard to become skilled, the same way that the students now have to work hard. I also have to throw in a second hardest part and that will always be funding. Radio equipment, licensing, facilities, etc. are all very expensive and it will always be difficult to have a budget that keeps up with those needs and costs.

 

Want your student media organization profiled on the CBI Blog? Email Jessica.

Board Blog: The Challenges of Running Your Station

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Dear Student,

Whether you’re new at your job, applying for it now for the fall term, or you’ve been at it for some time now, you’ve got a lot coming toward you.

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Connor Spielmaker CBI Student Representative

My name is Connor, and I’m your student rep here at CBI. I’ve been running my campus TV station for coming up on two years now, and man, have I learned a lot. I wanted to share the basics of the most important things I’ve learned so far to get things started.

1. You, my young, college friend, are in charge.
Congratulations! You’ve just stepped into the realm of responsibility. You now have a full time job that you’re probably getting paid minimum wage (if at all) to do. Crazy, huh? The most important thing to remember is that you were selected for your position for a reason. I’ll be honest, I was promoted to Station Manager as a freshman, and I had no idea what I was doing. There’s a lot of learning as you go in college media, which is kind of the point since the main goal is to learn. Even though I had no idea what I was doing, I still had to act like it. Whoever hired you did so because they thought you could the job. If you couldn’t do it, you wouldn’t have been hired. So, sit down at your new desk, decide what you want to get done, and do it. Ask for help when you need it. Listen to the advice you’re given. Do not be afraid to fail.

2. Managing a group of college students is incredibly difficult.
Why? Because there’s a good chance these are more than your staff/coworkers. They’re probably your friends and classmates. They may have been there longer, and now you’re their boss. Make sure you draw the work/social line, and stick to it. There are rules in place for your operation to run smoothly. Make sure they are being followed. Sometimes you’re going to have to be stern to your friends, maybe even fire them. Just remember that every act you do (praise or discipline) provides a lesson. Don’t let your staff walk all over you because you’re afraid of losing friendships. You might think you’re being the best boss ever, but how does anyone learn from that? Which brings me to my next point …

3. You’re a professor.
Sure, you don’t have one of those fancy pieces of paper framed on your walls, and maybe you only have a year or two of your own education under your belt, but you were chosen for a reason (see number one). The people working under you, beside you and above you are all going to learn from you. Always put your best foot forward, and give the best information you possibly can.

4. You’re a fighter.
If there’s one take-away I have from these past two years, it’s that something or someone is going to get in your way at some point. Whether it’s your adviser, Student Government, your university administration, your budget, your mom, whatever it may be, you’re going to face challenges left and right. See, being behind the desk, we see things no other student will ever see. At some point, someone’s going to tell you no on an idea you think is awesome. Make sure you get a reason, so you can go back to the white board and figure a way to resolve that problem so you can move forward. Example: I have a small studio, and I brought on a new morning feature show. Problem: Can’t have a feature show on a hard news desk. Looks weird. Shall confuse the average freshman.
Solution: I went for a walk, found a really cool space overlooking our student union plaza, and decided that was our next studio. Next, I found the money after carefully analyzing our budget, and then I went to the student union staff and said “Hey look at this space that no one uses at nine in the morning. I can use it, and it’ll help students get a view of some of your programming space. Win-win!” Well-ah.

5. You’re going to make mistakes.
You’re 18-22 years old (give or take). You don’t have the experience that a tried professional in our industry has. So, naturally, you’re going to think a feature type news show at nine in the morning on an apathetic campus is a great idea (see above). Oops. Yeah, that’s right. I just admitted I spent two semesters on something that was doomed to fail. But, at least I can check that one off the list! I now know that 9 a.m. is a bad time for college students. Not everyone is a go-getter like we are. Who knew? Your mistakes don’t define your operation. They help you make awesome things that do define your operation. Don’t sweat them, but don’t repeat them.

I hope all of that was relatively informative. My main goal here in my small section of the internet is to give my fellow students some insight to know they’re not alone. But, I need to know what your challenges are. What is your station going through that you’d like some perspective on? Drop me a line at studentrep@askcbi.org and if it’s something that’s can be applied to a lot of people, I’d love to write about it. Also, feel free to just drop me a line to say hey! It’s always a great time to see what other people in my position are doing with their stations and lives.

Thanks for reading, see you next time!

Connor Spielmaker

CBI Update: Student media news

Students, alumni and fans continue to support Save WRAS movement

More than 11,000 people have signed a petition in support of WRAS, the student radio station of Georgia State University. The college inked a deal with Georgia Public Broadcasting, a state public broadcasting network of 17 public radio and nine television stations in Georgia, to turn over daytime programming to GPB. The shift was initially slated for June 1, and was announced on May 6, but was postponed until June 30 after discussions with alumni groups, students and locals.

Numerous people have spoken out about the change, including Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center, and CBI itself issued a statement. Students and alumni of WRAS have come together at SaveWRAS.org to organize their efforts and inform people how they can help.

Susanna Capelouto, an Atlanta news reporter, WRAS alumna and current GPB news director, wrote candidly about the shift in a statement on Current.org last week. Capelouto was a guest speaker at the 2012 CBI National Student Electronic Media Convention in Atlanta.

College Radio Day is organizing a simulcast for stations to show their support of WRAS, to air on Thursday, June 26. A preview is available, and stations may sign up here.

Also, long-time listener and local TV personality Doug Richards (also a guest at the 2012 CBI convention) delivered a comment on Atlanta’s local NBC affiliate, WXIA last week.

GAB Radio Talent Institute concludes this week

The ten-day Georgia Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute concludes tomorrow at Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. College juniors, seniors, graduate students and recent graduates participated in the 10-day series of workshops with professional broadcasters covering everything from on-air talent to sales and marketing.

Dan Vallie, Founder and President of the National Radio Talent System, started the system in 2013, and there are now four institutes: UGA, Appalachian State University in N.C., Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and Western Kentucky University.

Arizona college radio stations ask FCC for underwriting leeway

The Maricopa Community College is asking the Federal Communications Commission again for a waiver to broadcast more direct underwriting on its two stations, jazz station KJZZ-FM and classical station KBAQ-FM. Specifically, they’re requesting a three-year experimental window to include interest rates in underwriting announcements from banks, credit unions and car dealerships.

 

Wiley College reopens airwaves

Wiley College radio station KBWC 91.1 FM is back on the air after a three-month hiatus for renovations to the student union building where the station is housed. The station serves Marshall, Texas.

Spotlight: Central Washington University’s KCWU

Tell me a little history about your station and where your station is now?

KCWU_EXTERIORTravis Box, General Manager: I can give you some history, but I’ll let the students judge where we are now… While Central Washington University has had a radio station, in one form or another, since 1958. Our current station began as KCAT in the early ’70s as an AM station, it became a cable radio station in the ’80s and in the early 90s, due to budget issues, was officially separated from the Communications Department and became its own department under Campus Life. In the late 90s, they hired a full-time General Manager, applied for and were granted an FCC license under the new call letters KCWU-FM (88.1 The ‘Burg), and began broadcasting live, over the air, on April 30th 1999.

Tayler Shaindlin (Crazy Catt Tayler): Our station has come leaps and bounds in a very short amount of time from where it was even just a few years ago. The right people came to this station, all with a passion and a desire to combine our talents to make our station what it was (and is) capable of being. We are constantly working hard to make every last detail the best it can be and I know we will never stop striving for excellence.

Nick Oliver (DJ DIRTY SNOWBALL): The halls are constantly buzzing with activity and it has become an environment that encourages creativity on all levels, be it developing new bits and promos or even if you are doing homework in the station it is such a creative workplace. With this culture and the group of people that we have the future of 88.1 the ‘Burg looks brighter than ever.

What sets your station apart from other college radio stations?

KCWU_MAIN-STUDIOChris Davis (The Sparrow): I am impressed by the wide variety of new music we discover every week. Those new songs get played on a regular rotation throughout the week, giving the CWU campus access to brand new music discoveries as soon as they are available to purchase at physical or online retailers. We have an excellent team of collaborators who select only the best songs released in previous years for rotation in our classic alt/rock playlists. We care a lot about our listeners, and so our engagement with them during regular events is crucial. It keeps us from being a group of people in a back room playing music, and lets us get in touch with what people actually want to hear on-campus!

Sawyer Schilperoort (The Sawman): Besides the obvious physical aspects of the station, I feel the atmosphere is what really sets us apart. Functioning almost like a crazy dys”fun”ctional family. We are completely open to all who approach us. Our campus radio station is a home away from home for many and it provides a great atmosphere.

Why did you choose to work at the radio station?

KCWU_MUSIC LIBRARYTayler Shaindlin (Crazy Catt Tayler): I found the Burg at a Freshmen presentation event and immediately fell in love with the idea of radio. Being from a Theatre background, a two hour time slot to create my own character and story excited me, and combining it with music made it even better. Now I’m here with a prime time morning show slot and working in the news department, and I couldn’t ask for anything more!

Nick Oliver (DJ DIRTY SNOWBALL): Honestly working in radio has been a dream of mine for quite some time, as a little kid I always loved listening to the radio. The music, the voices, and the personalities always intrigued me, it all just seemed magical. So in high school I got the chance to job shadow at KISW in Seattle WA. And I have been addicted ever since.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your station?

KCWU_B4LTatsNick Oliver (DJ DIRTY SNOWBALL): Recently, a group of us at the station (Tayler Shaindlin, Russell Widner, Rachel Cizek and myself) all got tattoos of a radio with the letters “B4L” which means “Burg 4 Life”. The ‘Burg will literally be a part of my life forever!

Chris Davis (The Sparrow): I can’t think of anything I’ve done personally that is very crazy! But I thrive on making lame jokes on air and hoping that people will laugh at my awkwardness. It’s part of my on-air personality that people have come to enjoy.

What’s the best part of college radio? And the hardest part?

Sawyer Schilperoort (The Sawman): The fun and experience gained from working among friends and peers is the best thing about college radio. Nothing is quite like doing what you love with people who you call your friends.

KCWU_ENTRYChris Davis (The Sparrow): The best part of college radio is exposing busy students to the fascinating world of popular music by staying on the cutting edge of what is hot in the music world, and not just what is selling on iTunes. We here at the ‘Burg put our love for music above all else, and we let that fuel our desire to provide quality entertainment. The hardest part is ensuring that everyone can hear what they like at certain times of the week. We do our best to please everyone, so naturally most people will find entire days where the Burg plays nothing that they enjoy. It’s part of the sacrifice we make in appealing to the students of Central.

Tayler Shaindlin (Crazy Catt Tayler): The best part and the hardest part are the same for me. I never knew how many valuable life skills and talents could be learned through an experience like this, from working with technology to writing to organization and so much more. The people aren’t so bad either.

FCC Commissioner says contest details should go online

The FCC’s “Contest Rule” says when a station has a contest, that station needs to broadcast details about the contest regularly. FCC Commissioner Michael O’Reilly wrote, in his blog this week, that those detailed disclosures are important, and therefore should be included on the web, and announcers can direct listeners to the full contest rules instead of speed-talking to list them on the air.

O’Reilly points out that posting rules online, where people can actually take the time to read and understand them, is more true to the original intent of the Contest Rule. It improves a station’s service to listeners and reassures them that contests on your station are ethically sound and transparent.

He notes that a petition for rule making on this subject was put out for comments in 2012, and received no opposition, only comments of support. These supportive comments underscore O’Reilly’s point that the rules are important, and now that we have the Internet, we should be able to publish the full contest rules and really make sure that running a legal contest on your station is as easy as possible.

Radio World and Radio Ink have covered the subject, as has David Oxenford’s Broadcast Law Blog. Be careful with your contests, because right now, there are still possible fines for failing to broadcast your contest’s rules, even if your contest is mostly conducted on your website.

By |June 18th, 2014|FCC|0 Comments|

Last Call for CBI Board Nominations

College Broadcasters, Inc. (CBI) is now accepting nominations for Secretary and Development Director, each with a 3-year term beginning December 1, 2014, as well as one Student Director position with a 1-year term beginning also on December 1, 2014 (candidates must be from a member media outlet).

To be considered, nominations must be received by Ed Arke (earke@messiah.edu), Election Commissioner, by June 15th (self-nominations are accepted). The election of new Board positions will be held this fall and the results will be announced at the CBI annual conference in Seattle (October 23-25).

To send nominations by mail, please address them to:

Dr. Edward T. Arke
c/o Messiah College
One College Ave. Suite 3038
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

For more information related to the qualifications and duties, please visit the bylaws page.

Spotlight: North Carolina State University’s WKNC

Special thanks to General Manager John Kovalchik for answering the questions!

WKNC's 1968-1969 executive staff ran two radio stations. After moving from 580 AM to its current home at 88.1 FM in 1966, N.C. state launched WPAK-AM in 1968-1969 as a carrier current AM station to serve those students still without FM radios. Photo from 1969 Agromeck.

WKNC’s 1968-1969 executive staff ran two radio stations. After moving from 580 AM to its current home at 88.1 FM in 1966, N.C. state launched WPAK-AM in 1968-1969 as a carrier current AM station to serve those students still without FM radios. Photo from 1969 Agromeck.

Tell me a little history about your station and where your station is now?
N.C. State student radio dates back to Aug. 31, 1922, when WLAC at North Carolina State College became the first radio station in eastern North Carolina and the second to be licensed in the entire state. The 2,000 watt AM station was founded by students and faculty of the communications department with a studio in Winston Hall. Since then much has changed, including call letters. In October 2003, WKNC began broadcasting at 25,000 watts. We currently entirely student run, with one full-time adviser and are actively involved in the triangle community (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) and music scene broadcasting in block formatting including indie rock (the largest), hip-hop, electronic, and metal.

What sets your station apart from other college radio stations?
Our emphasis on local music. Every weekday from noon ’til 1 p.m. we have a program called “The Local Lunch” where we play exclusively North Carolina artists. Each Thursday we sponsor and help organize a concert series in downtown Raleigh showcasing local music and local breweries called “Local Band, Local Beer.” Our semi-regular outdoor on campus concert series “Fridays on the Lawn” features mainly local musicians. On Friday afternoons we have a two-hour local music talk show called “Carolina Grown.”

Why did you choose to work at the radio station?
We didn’t choose to work in radio, it chose us.

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Raleigh band Ghostt Bllonde performs for WKNC’s Fridays on the Lawn on-campus concert series on Nov. 8, 2013. Started in 2009, the series is a partnership between the student radio station, Union Activities Board and Inter-Residence Council.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your station?
Facing a tight budget, our annual fundraising two-night concert had to be beefed up to a much grander scale than ever before. We had to make the jump from the safety of a humble 250-capacity rock club to 750-capacity venues, filling out a bill with big names like The Love Language and Mount Moriah to match. The community supported us and came out in full force, making our extreme gamble pay off.

What’s the best part of college radio? And the hardest part?
The best part about college radio (the way we do it) is how integrated it is with the local music community.  You have the opportunity to meet and befriend all kinds of really interesting and influential people that are doing really cool things, and you might even get to be in a few music videos!  The local music scene in the Triangle has a lot of talent and passion to share whether you’re talking to a guitarist for an indie rock band or an underground hip-hop DJ, and it’s a really neat community to contribute to.

WKNC's Double Barrel Benefit 11 fell on Valentine's Day, so the group celebrated the occasion with a photo booth.

WKNC’s Double Barrel Benefit 11 fell on Valentine’s Day, so the group celebrated the occasion with a photo booth.

The hardest part?  Money.  As colleges across the country tighten their budgets, student radio seems to be quick to the chopping block.  While WKNC receives a very low portion of student fees every year, we have to work hard for the rest of our budget, earning it through things like donor announcements and our annual benefit concert.  Unfortunately, other college stations aren’t so lucky, and more and more are being sold, partitioned, or just plain shut down. College radio has played a big role in music history, and we must continue to show our support and our strength if we want to show our universities that we’re worth keeping on the airwaves.