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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on May 20, 2014

Belden, as you know, is a manufacturer. We make stuff. For the first 100 years, it was wire and cable. Then we started to buy other companies, first other wire and cable manufacturers. Then we bought connector manufacturers. Then we bought Ethernet switch manufacturers. Now we're into broadcast and audio-video equipment. But, you will note, these are all manufacturers. They all make stuff. Some of it is fancy stuff. Some not so fancy. And then we have to sell it to you, our customers.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on May 13, 2014

I flew from SFO to LAS for NAB. That's a lot of MPH across the USA just to get there! If you go to NAB, IBC or even HPA, you will see lots of SDI or even ASI some on BNC, some on DIN.

Of course AES runs on either BNC or XLR. Gone of the days of UHF connectors (guess there wasn't a VHF connector?) Now we're into AAF and SIP.

Does anyone care about EMI or RFI? If you go into ABC, CBS, NBC or even CNN, they are heading for things like AVB or even TSN using UTP CAT cable instead of SDI. OMG! Anyone who put in OM1 or OM2, you're SOL. Might as well go to OM3 or even OM4 fiber, or even OS1 or OS2. Just be sure its CMR or CMP or whatever you need.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on April 29, 2014

Ask any Social Scientist and they will tell you that "diversity" is a good thing. Diversity is what makes America great! Of course, I'm not talking about immigration and the mixing of cultures, I'm talking about antennas and the mixing (or more precisely, the "un-mixing") of RF. If you use wireless microphones, you are probably aware of receivers with more than one antenna. In some of these receivers, even today with the cheapest low-quality versions, those antennas are just attached together. Those are not diversity antennas. They're just there to fool you into thinking that you are buying a diversity receiver when you are not. Diversity antennas connect individual antennas to individual receivers. Then there is a circuit inside that box that looks at both receivers and determines which one has the best signal (or any signal) and automatically chooses that signal. The box might be switching back and forth between receivers as the performer moves around the stage. Of course, this should be seamless. You shouldn't be able to hear anything except the perfect audio.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Noah Montena on April 25, 2014

Positioning of your router or AP has, perhaps, the single greatest impact upon the performance of your wireless network, and is the easiest to understand intuitively. Moving it, on the other hand, is not always so easy, but may be worth the effort.

Because WiFi signals weaken the farther they get form the source, and as more stuff gets between the transmitter and the receiver, it is always best to center your network close to where you use it, and as far from competing network centers as you can.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on April 22, 2014

Talk about buzz! When I was standing in line at Sbarro's to buy my lunchtime Stromboli at NAB, I heard people talking.

"Can you believe it? Belden bought Grass Valley."

"No way!" said the other guy. "You mean Grass Valley bought Belden, right?"

No, that old fuddy-duddy wire manufacturer, the one that has been churning out video cable (and 6000 other kinds), took all that money you spent (thank you very much) and bought Grass Valley. Now you can't say we didn't warn you. We've been buying lots of lots of other companies. You can thank John Stroup, our CEO, and our Acquisition Team. We bought Telecast, they do fiber in the broadcast space. Then we bought Miranda, a serious gear manufacturer.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Noah Montena on April 18, 2014

Wireless is invisible. You can’t “see” the waves bathing the space in your home, so the number of devices on your network (or on your neighbor’s network), and the volume of transactions occurring, (even without your explicit command) might surprise you. With only the three main non-overlapping channels in the popular 2.4GHz band, the room can get crowded, even when you think you’re alone. There are two separate ways to verify the density and intensity of wireless network usage, and they are both something you should do at least once, because it will help you make some informed decisions.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Noah Montena on April 11, 2014

Ask yourself, “Is what I’m trying to do reasonable?” A lot of times, even a well-oiled high-performance wireless router just isn’t going to be able to do what you want, but it can be hard to know where the line is drawn. For instance, if you are trying to stream uncompressed, high definition (1080p) video to a large-screen TV, it can require a sustained bitrate of 25-50Mbps (Bluray/H.264/MPEG-4). Most routers claim at least 300Mbps speeds on the packaging, so that should be no problem, right? It turns out, though, that once error correction and normal household interference are factored in, the effective speed of that router paired with your set-top streamer or laptop is closer to a maximum of 30Mbps, and a steady-state of 15-20Mbps. This happens to be in the sweet spot for video with more compression, like DVD/H.262/MPEG-2. Lower quality video will look just fine on smaller screens, but softer-edged and less vivid on big displays. This is how YouTube and Netflix manage to run a perfectly acceptable video on your tablet with streaming rates around 1Mbps or less – on a tiny handheld screen you won’t notice that 98% of the information has been thrown away. On a 60” LED-backlit flat panel with surround sound it looks noticeably blocky and sounds crunchy. Advertising promises are mostly to blame for this mismatch of expectations, not the performance of your network. If you are doing something that needs high sustained rates, wire it.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Michelle Foster on April 10, 2014

CEO John Stroup and Grass Valley President Marco Lopez stopped by NAB Show Live on Wednesday morning. Listen as Stroup and Lopez discuss the Grass Valley acquisition and Miranda integration. You'll also hear how Grass Valley products are harnessing great technology to bring advantages to customers.

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