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Posted by: Steve Lampen on November 08, 2013

Do you do theatrical lighting? Are you going to be in Las Vegas for the LDI (Live Design International) show? (November 21-24, at the Las Vegas Convention Center). Well, arrive a day early and join us for Belden's Sixth Annual "Ethernet Day". It's all day from 9 AM to 5 PM. Just come to Room N251 in the North Hall. We have four presenters and four tables. You'll have to reach down deep for a questions these four cannot answer about wire and cable, fiber optics, Ethernet switches, or all of the above used in theatrical lighting installations. You can spend as much time as you want at any table. All day, if you feel the need!

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on October 29, 2013

I know the title of today's blog: 83......60.....51.....31 sounds like a long snap call from a quarterback, but, no, these numbers have nothing to do with football.

I remember growing up in the 1950's. We had a giant TV in the living room, a Packard-Bell. On it, I could watch Superman or, on Saturday morning, Marshal J (a local show) in glorious black-and-white. I had an official badge and a cowboy hat to wear for Marshal J, my hero. And, when I got bored (which was often), I would lie on the floor and stick my head under the TV. What did I see? This mysterious 6 x 9-inch oval speaker. Of course, I was probably irradiating my brain, which is why I went into broadcasting, but to me it was magic and I was hooked.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on October 22, 2013

Back in the 1890's, cars started to be imported into the USA. (The first domestic car was designed by Selden in 1895.) In 1896, most states had a speed limit on the books. These newfangled contraptions were noisy and disturbing and dangerous. So the speed limit was set at two miles an hour in the city (a leisurely walk), and four miles per hour outside of town (a brisk walk). And you had to have a man walk in front with a red flag warning others that you were coming.

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Tags: 4K

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on October 15, 2013

I was talking yesterday to the outgoing CEO of a large stock fund. He wanted to know how Belden fit in to the rapid change of technology. I gave him my usual schpeal about how we're looking to the future, how networking with revolutionize the way TV stations are built and operated, how this will empower the "little guy" so we will see tens of thousands, even millions, of streaming video stations on the internet, with the same quality as what we're already used to.

Even my friends at Miranda offer a TV station-in-a-box. And couple this with the rise of 4K video and 8K coming after that, and we have a landscape as alien as any world outside our own. I also mentioned that the only thing that really mattered was "compelling content". You've got that and you have everything!

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Tags: Media, Audio, Network

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on October 08, 2013

I remember at Belden when we started to work on a new data cable around 1993-94. Its secret "in-house" name was DATA-X. This was during the four years in lived in Richmond, Indiana, the location of Belden's biggest factory. (Our corporate offices have since moved to St. Louis.)

When I saw the test data for "DATA-X" I got very excited. Clearly this was a breakthrough cable. So much so that I realized it had potential to carry lots of other signals besides just 10BaseT or 100BaseT Ethernet. So I begged our marketing folks NOT to use the word "data" in the name of the product. (The previous product was DataTwist 350.) If it was called DataTwist all people would use it for was data.

Instead, I came up with the name MediaTwist. (One other Belden sales guy, Mike Masucci, will argue with me on this. He says HE came up with the name.)

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Tags: Data

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on October 01, 2013

As you know, I talk a lot. My wife is unimpressed. I can come home and tell Debra, I just gave a presentation to two thousand people! "That's nice," she says. "Now take out the garbage." It puts me in my place. But sometimes I am amazed at the effect and influence I have. It is very humbling. But no time was more amazing - and more humbling - than the time I talked in India.

Now I have been to India many times, and spoken many times. But this particular presentation was about fifteen years ago, one of the first times. It was at a University in New Delhi. We went to the gentleman who was arranging it the day before. He showed me the engraved invitations they had sent out for my talk. Wow! Except it said I would be talking about "Building the Digital Studio". I told him I had no presentation with this title. Mine was titled "Return Loss Headroom". (I have since changed the title to "Maximizing HD and 3G Cable Performance" which sounds a little more enticing!). He said 'no problem' and that cable was a key part of "building the digital studio", so I didn't think much more about it.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on September 24, 2013

It wasn't that long ago that the ultimate of anything was "handmade". Whether it's a Rolls-Royce or a piece of furniture, the best was "handmade".

But then came our high-tech world with surface-mount components or large-scale integration. Clearly, these cannot be made by hand. Just removing and replacing a surface-mount chip is at the very limit of human agility. Making the chip itself?

Forget it. Only machines can make the chip. Only machines can place it on the board in exactly the right place, especially if we say 'place one every second'. The idea of John Henry beating the rail-laying machine was heroic and romantic. Let's see him assemble a cellphone. In some ways accepting this is pretty sad.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on September 19, 2013

On Monday, April 28, 1969, I walked into the Hilton Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Figueroa Street. The hotel is still there, but now part of another chain. I was a very excited 18-year old. I could barely contain myself because I was about to enter my very first convention of the Audio Engineering Society. Was this my first convention ever?

No, I had been attending tradeshows and conventions for a few years. The key one was Wescon, they were way ahead of their time and gave each attendee a "credit card" embossed with your name and address. I took it to every booth I could and, at age 14, the mail started pouring in. My parents were mystified. I actually filled up a three drawer file cabinet with all that literature, arranged in alphabetical order. (Some of you have suspected, now confirmed, that I was seriously OCD back then. I haven't improved much.)

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