SMPTE-NY Newsletter
Issue #2
February 2014
Tim Dwight, Editor

In This Issue
Upcoming Section Meetings
From the NY Section Chair
February 2014 Meeting
Committee Members
Channel in a Box
Advertise Here!

Contact Ray Blumenthal to place an ad in the Newsletter.
Board Members

Raymond Blumenthal
The Tiffen Company

Herb Ohlandt, Rock Consulting

Miltag Media Technology, LLC

NY Section

February, 2014

March 12, 2014
"Channel in a Box"
April, 2014
May 14, 2014
NAB Wrap-Up
June, 2014


February 20, 2014
SMPTE Educational Webcast:

April 5-10, 2014

Industry Links 

AbelCine Training
SMPTE members receive a 15% discount:

Audio Engineering Society

IEEE Broadcast Technology Society

The Schubin Cafe
Nearby SMPTE Sections 

From the Editor

    Welcome to the second issue of the 
Tim Dwight
Tim Dwight
SMPTE-NY monthly
     This newsletter will normally be published the first week of each month. You can look forward to SMPTE-NY Section meeting notices, upcoming and past meetings and industry news. 
     If you wish to submit an article, job listing, industry event, advertisement, etc., click HERE to email your editor Tim Dwight, before the end of the month. 
From the Section 
Ray Blumenthal
Ray Blumenthal

     The January meeting of the New York SMPTE meeting was canceled because of a snow storm and below freezing weather. This is the first time that I can remember this happening to our section. We as New Yokes pride ourselves on being tougno matter what the weather is but sometimes decisions have to be made for the best interest of the membership. Plans are being made to reschedule the meeting soon, so stay tuned.


     The Metro New York area has become the center for Network programming, Cable Networks, News and recently for Spots programming. This has been reflected, in the establishment and growth of our two Subsections Connecticut and Long Island. With the cutbacks in the networks and the shrinking of the Post Houses we lost members who went west or moved out to the suburbs where companies like Viacom, Showtime, HBO, NBC Sports, MLB Network and the always growing ESPN absorbed them. These members have found it hard to attend meetings since they no longer work in Manhattan, and in some cases, are as far as 60 miles away. 


     With the introduction of the Subsections it is now possible for theses members to take a more active role in SMPTE. The Subsections have their own Boards which plan meetings that are local and join the New York section, by teleconferencing, in the Post NAB meeting every May. We are looking to start a Subsection in New Jersey. If you are inter

ested in helping to form the NJ section or participating in the other Subsections meetings please contact any of our Board Members. Remember as a member of the New York Section you are automatically entitled to attend and participate in the Subsections.


     Members are also invited to join any of the committees listed in this Newsletter. Contact the Committee Chair if you are interested. If you are not a member we invite you to join by clicking on this link

I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.


Raymond Blumenthal

Chair, SMPTE New York Section


February 2014 Meeting


Thursday, February 13, 2014.

Details are being finalized at this time.

Visit for the latest info!


Click the icon to visit the SMPTE Industry Calendar when planning events around AES, IBC, NAB, etc.

The calendar is also available on our website 
Thanks to Aimée Ricca at SMPTE Headquarters, we now have a SMPTE-NY Meetup group!
We hope to expand our reach for upcoming Section meetings. 
SMPTE-NY Committees


NY Region Governors

John Ferder, CBS

Bill Miller, Miltag Media Technology, LLC


Chair, Connecticut Subsection

Brian F. Kobylarz, Tele-Cine Productions

Committee Members

David Dever, Dever Consulting

Bruce Ross, Verizon

Wes Simpson, Telecom Product Consulting


Chair, Long Island Subsection

Steve Sloane, Nevion USA

Committee Member

Rich Torpey, Viacom


Publicity Chair, Webmaster,

Test Materials Advisor

Tim Dwight, Company 3

Committee Member

Douglas I. Sheer, DIS Consulting Corp


Editing Program Chair

Bruce Follmer, ABC News

Committee Members

Jena Rappolt-Noyes, The Tiffen Company

John Cerquone



Mark Forman, Mark Forman Productions Corp.


Television Program Chair

Mike Strein, ABC

Television Committee Members

Warren Singer, Video Technology Resources

John Ferder, CBS

Douglas I. Sheer, DIS Consulting Corp


Arrangements Committee Chair

Charles R. Diehl, Evertz Microsystems, Ltd.

Committee Member

Neil Pilzer, MPE


Membership Chair

David Dever, Dever Consulting

Committee Member

Alan Rosenfeld, AbelCine


Motion Picture Program Chair

David W. Leitner, Producer/Director/Cinematographer


Audio Chair

Ken Hunold, Dolby Laboratories


Student Chapter Liaison Chair

Bruce Follmer, ABC

Committee Members

Ryoya Terao, New York City College of Technology

Channel in a Box Buyers

Seek Automation

Doug Sheer
Doug Sheer

By Douglas I. Sheer


     In the one year between our first global CIAB study, Channel in a Box World™  2012 which covered the heating up category of Channel in a Box technology and the new 2013 report, just published this past fall, many more competitors have launched systems and the market has surged as more and more broadcasters think outside the traditional 'box.' In response to this demand there are now over 50 different brands available. At its core, it appears that most buyers are likely to be seeking, in particular, a reliable yet compact and affordable play-out automation solution.


     Previous conventional play-out infrastructures were not only cumbersome and quite expensive, but also often unintentionally overly redundant.  That sometimes translated into less than ideal performance levels. The new combined function channel boxes generally deliver more robust performance, with multi-format I/O functionality and duel power supplies. Just the graphics processing and video compositing alone usually offer impressive savings and high-level functionality at very modest costs. The key attraction of the amalgamated systems is that they deliver in a single device a level of functionality beyond that of the disparate parts.


     System resilience is an important advantage of CIAB systems. Since they are essentially IT-oriented systems and they are almost always built utilizing commodity hardware, board firmware and software, the customer is the recipient of real savings and a more assured operation.  In fact, some systems are highly software-centric which represents a sub-culture within the widening range of solution providers.


Seeking an affordable play-out automation solution


     In querying respondents, globally, on why they choose a specific channel in a box brand from the many available, the most stated that the brand they selected was because it offered the Best Automation Solution, the second most selected reason  was that it had the Best Combination of Features and Functions, the third that it offered the Best Graphics or Branding capabilities, fourth, that it had the Best Server and Storage, fifth that it was the Least Expensive Option, sixth that it offered the Best Video/Audio Capture Board(s), seventh that it offered the Best Workflow Connectivity, respectively.  


Breaking out of the old box


     That traditional 'box' - which formerly comprised a range of many separate systems - is the old TV channel thinking and what they are abandoning. This is because the old way was very expensive and cumbersome too. It was predicated on purchasing and employing separate systems for graphics and branding, servers, video capture, play-out functions, play-out automation, signal mixing and media management.  So, why not blend these functions into a single 'box'- like system? In so doing they are finding a plethora of manufacturers more than willing to reconfigure their separate components into a one-box-fits-all solution even if that meant collaborating between multiple vendors.  Many of the newly converted were early adopters of 'best of breed' station play-out automation systems, particularly in play-out. Pricing for otherwise seemingly identical offerings can vary wildly from one to another, on a pre-channel basis. So customers are finding that they have to read the fine print carefully. Especially as, at times, CIAB systems become the outflow port for Media Asset Management systems.  


The chief engineer is the most likely buyer


     Because integration of the new channel solving 'box' into the existing workflow is essential and there are so many related components upstream and downstream to contend with, the most frequent buyers, worldwide, appear to be chief engineers (or other high engineering titles). That said, in some places the buyers may be news directors, operations executives and even station managers.   


Growing market attracts more brands


     With so many broadcasters rallying to this concept it has attracted over 50 manufacturers to compete for purchases, of which, however, only about 10 really count in terms of numerical superiority.  And, these offerings - in which typically more than one brand has actually supplied components of the systems, often represent a great deal of collaboration rising from a "if you can't beat them, join them" philosophy of the involved manufacturers. 


     From the buyer's standpoint the reality that they can deploy and control new channels at far less that before has attracted both small operations and major international networks alike. Budgets are stretching further and a great deal of satisfaction being achieved by this approach.


     Today it is mainly broadcasters and cable-casters who dominate the user market for the 'box' systems, but we fully expect to see greater use in non-broadcast settings too as the popularity of 'box' systems grows.


     The major sought after deliverable of CIAB systems that users seem to be seeking is to streamline and automate workflows on an end-to-end basis, while reigning in costs.


Douglas I. Sheer is CEO & Chief Analyst of DIS Consulting Corporation in Woodstock, New York and can be reached at

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