TV News August 2016


AUGUST 2016 - Vol 3, No.8

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-- Scott Johnson, Editor

ATSC 3.0 on Fast Track


ATSC 3.0 is apparently setting a new speed record.     

Standards often move at glacial speeds in broadcasting, if they move at all. But there is no doubt that next-gen TV is moving along at a clip pace, at least on the broadcast side. The FCC opened ATSC 3.0 for comments earlier this year and broadcasters are hoping for a rulemaking before October 1, with the possibility of leapfrogging over ATSC 2.0.

Meanwhile, our friends at WRAL-TV recently began running an ATSC 3.0 channel under experimental license. The Raleigh, NC, station is a long-time Wheatstone shop with Wheat audio networking and consoles. It launched the experimental channel on June 29 with a simulcast of its documentary “Take Me Out to the Bulls Game,” which was previously produced in 4K/UHD HDR.

Better picture quality à la 4K UHD resolution is one of many benefits of ATSC 3.0, which is essentially a collection of digital broadcast protocols and specs.

“We’re learning lots. An important part of this testing process is ensuring the integrity of those images with the best possible fidelity for our viewers,” commented Pete Sockett, Director of Engineering and Operations for WRAL-TV, which launched the first HD channel in 1996 and the first HD newscast in 2000.

ATSC 3.0 is an over-the-air broadcast system based on IP, which happens to be Wheatstone’s core technology as a leading manufacturer of IP audio consoles and networking systems for broadcast.

If ATSC 3.0 delivers as promised, it will enable broadcasters to reach viewers across multiple platforms. There’s also the exciting prospect of interactive content resulting from IP distribution, which means new opportunities for revenue and reach through television sets, tablets and smartphones. Let’s not forget that ATSC 3.0 is designed to deliver 4K Ultra HD resolution, higher dynamic range and a wide color gamut as well as personalized, object-based audio and advanced emergency warning features.

There are only a few prototype TV sets that can receive ATSC 3.0 at this point, but we’re told early models could be available sometime in late 2017.

It’s all happening fast. 

Wheat Support to Parts Unknown


Even after 18 years on the job as a repair technician in the Wheatstone factory, Jack Cosgrove still runs into the odd Wheatstone product he never knew existed. “I’ve never actually seen an 8X console, but I know they’re out there because I’ve worked on a replacement module for one,” he says.

Over the past two decades, he’s seen just about every console, network unit, audio processor and equalizer ever made by Wheatstone. That’s because virtually every Wheatstone product ever manufactured is still supported in our factory in New Bern, NC (and some others as well, like the VoxPro line we acquired last year).


Consolidation and Convergence In TV Production & Broadcast
Your IP Question Answered


Q: I’ve been hearing about IP audio networking a lot lately. What’s the deal?

A: There are a few very good reasons why you’re hearing more and more about IP audio networking. For one, it’s very practical for setting up mic sharing, studio swapping, and IFBs, which makes management happy because they can assign one studio for multiple purposes (even multiple networks, in the case of duopoly newsrooms that are springing up in small and medium sized markets). For another, IP audio is a mature technology that’s been tested and proven in radio and elsewhere. It comes with a pretty-well established set of standards (including AES67, which is making its way into everything lately). Overall, with TV production and distribution headed in the IP direction, IP audio is a safe and effective first step into what the world of TV broadcast will look like in the coming months and years.



  • WJAX-TV (Jacksonville, FL) added an E-6 control surface to an existing WheatNet system.

  •  Elon University (Elon, NC) purchased two Series Four television audio consoles and one LX-24 control surface through Digital Video Group.

  • AP News (New York, NY) purchased an LX-24 control surface through Diversified Systems.

  • Brighthouse Networks (St. Petersburg, FL) purchased a de-embedder cage for an existing network.

  • WBNS-TV (Columbus, OH) purchased 25 TS-4 talent stations for a newsroom renovation.

  • Emmis (Austin, TX) purchased two L-8 control surfaces for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network.

  • Townsquare Media (Lake Charles, LA) purchased 14 additional I/O BLADEs and multi-channel drivers for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network.

  • WERS-FM (Boston, MA) purchased two IP-12 digital audio consoles.

  • Good Karma Brands (Beaver Dam, WI) purchased an IP-16 and two IP-12 digital audio consoles.

  • Guam Broadcast Services’ KIJI-FM/KNUT-FM (Barrigada, GU) purchased three L-12 control surfaces, three VoxPro digital recorder/editors, two M4-IP USB four-channel mic processors, and an Aura8-IP multichannel audio processor.

  • QARN Radio Network (Cairns, Queensland) purchased an L-8 control surface and WheatNet-IP I/O BLADEs.

  • Powell Broadcasting (Panama City, FL) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console and WheatNet-IP I/O BLADEs.

  • University of Toledo (Ohio) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console.

  • Entercom (Portland, OR) purchased three LX-24 control surfaces, 14 M4-IP USB four-channel mic processor BLADEs, and 15 WheatNet-IP I/O BLADEs.

  • Curtis Media (Kernersville, NC) purchased three IP-12 digital audio consoles and WheatNet-IP I/O BLADEs.

Audioarts Engineering

  • KGFY-FM/KSPI-FM (Stillwater, OK) purchased an R-55e console.

  • WFTG-AM (London, KY) purchased an Air-4 console.

  • WRBX-FM (Reidsville, GA) purchased an R-55e console.

  • Townsquare Media (Augusta, ME) purchased an Air-4 console.

Wheatstone Audio Processing

  • WLSG-FM (Wilmington, NC) purchased an FM-55 audio processor.

  • Townsquare Media (Fort Collins, CO) purchased an FM-55 audio processor.

  • Lee Broadcasting (Twin Falls, ID) purchased three AirAura X3 spectral audio processors.

  • KJJR-AM (Whitefish, MT) purchased a VP-8IP multimode audio processor. 


  • Beasley Broadcast (Fayetteville, NC) upgraded four VoxPro6 digital recorder/editors.

  • Alpha Media (Louisville, KY) purchased a VoxPro6 digital recorder/editor.

  • iHeartMedia (Poughkeepsie, NY) purchased two VoxPro6 digital audio recorder/editors.

  • WEBE-FM/WICC-AM (Bridgeport, CT) purchased a VoxPro6 digital recorder/editor.

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