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IEEE Shifts 2013 Broadcast Tech Conference to San Diego

ALEXANDRIA, VA.–The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineer’s annual Broadcast Technology Society Symposium kicked off Wednesday, Oct. 17 with a full day of tutorial sessions focusing on the increasing utilization of IP technology in broadcast applications and the use of computer simulation tools in broadcasting engineering. The first day’s session also included a special presentation by ERI’s Tom Silliman and Kathy Stiler which examined safety and other tower-related issues in this era of expanding broadband communications.

However, the big news came the following day, with announcement by event co-chair David Layer, that in 2013 the Symposium would be relocating from its long-time home in the Washington, D.C. area to San Diego, Calif. Layer also said that the 2014 event would be held in San Antonio, Texas. The Symposium originated in Washington, D.C. more than 60 years ago. BTS president, Bill Meintel, observed that during the past several years Symposium attendance had been declining and that he’d appointed a committee to look into ways for reviving the event.

“They thought it would help to start looking at different venues, based on where our distribution of membership is and areas where we would attract people,” Meintel said. “We hope that the people who normally attend here will follow us to San Diego next year and we hope to pick up some people from out there.”

The three-day event includes presentations on cutting-edge topics and issues in radio and television broadcasting. Kevin Gage, the NAB’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, presented Wednesday’s luncheon keynote address, which underscored the importance of U.S. broadcasting services in the rapidly changing communications environment.

“As the technology leaders of this industry, everyone can make truly a difference on the issues that are confronting us this year, next year and in the future that impact our industry,” said Gage. “I think all of us in this room know what’s at stake. If we don’t defend this industry that we care so deeply about, the ability of local stations to serve their communities by providing life-saving information and news and weather and updates will be hampered,” Gage said.

Gage called for more emphasis on providing radio receiving capability in cell phones and mentioned his organization’s efforts in examining technologies that would strengthen the position of broadcasters.

The three-day even wraps up on Friday, and includes a second luncheon keynote address by Capitol Broadcasting’s vice president of policy and innovation, Sam Matheny.

Dates for the 2013 Symposium have not yet been announced.