A-V Technology News 

In This Issue
Embattled Aereo launched in Cincinnati, January 21, 2014...
Drones being considered by more potential users...
Washington pols mull the Net Neutrality decision...
ABC viewers trending female without sports..
The SMPTE New York Section features Channel-in-a-Box Forum Wednesday, March 12th at the CBS Broadcast Center, 5:30PM



The Wednesday, March 12th meeting of the SMPTE New York Section is called "Emerging Channel-in-a-Box Techniques and Workflows for Play-out."


Five major Channel-in-a-Box manufacturers are the presenters in a panel moderated and hosted by Douglas I. Sheer, CEO and Chief Analyst of D.I.S. Consulting Corporation.  


The presenter/panelists include (alphabetically): Mo Goyal, Director of Product Marketing, of Evertz Microsystems, Sam Peterson, Director of Product Management: Play-out, Grass Valley, Straker Coniglio, Director of Production and Play-out Solutions at Harmonic, Inc., Mike Pecoraro, Western Regional Manager of PlayBox Technology and John Shike, Vice President of Marketing & Channel Management of the Snell Group.  


D.I.S. Consulting are publishers of Channel in a Box World tm 2013 and Broadcast Servers World tm 2014, Sports Video World tm 2014 and other market studies. Sheer is also a Past Chair of the Section.


The evening will begin with an hour-long "meet and greet" period starting at 5:30PM. At 6:30PM, each presenter will project a PowerPoint or comparable presentation followed by a panel discussion led by Sheer. A question and answer period will end the session. It is anticipated that the evening will end by 8:30PM.

The SMPTE Channel-in-Box Forum is being hosted by CBS Engineering and will be held at the CBS Broadcast Center 524 West 57th Street in the Rehearsal Hall.    


Attendance is free of charge, but admission is by reservation only.  To reserve your place, visit the SMPTE New York web site at www.smpteny.org and select the event and register. 



Upcoming Industry Events




AbelCine Workshops in New York


Digital Cinema Society members receive a 10% discount on any AbelCine Training Course below. 


Use code: DCSMember10 for discount. 


To register, visit: http://training.abelcine.com

Training Workshops:



Feb. 3 - Digital Technician: Camera Matching & Painting Feb. 10 - Digital Technician: Monitor Calibration


Feb. 24 - Digital Technician: Exposing and Shooting Log March 3 - Digital Technician: On Set LUT Creation 101: 1D & 3D LUTs


March: 10 - Copy of Digital Technician: On Set LUT Creation 201: Creative Application

March 24 - Digital Technician: Working with Raw 101. Webinars


AbelCine Workshops in New York


Digital Cinema Society members receive a 10% discount on any AbelCine Training Course. Use code: DCSMember10 for discount. To register, 





Below the Line Screening Series

DCS Members in the Los Angeles, New York and London areas have the opportunity to attend first run screenings through the Below the Line Screening Series. In order to become a part of this program, you must be an approved and registered member of the Below the Line Filmmaker Screening Series. DCS membership does not automatically qualify you to become a registered member. 


To apply for membership, visit:









Among the newest studies to be published this year 

 (click on the link to view prospectus) 


Sports Video World™ 2014





Digital Cinematography World™ 2014





Studio/Box Cameras World™ 2014  





Professional Camcorders World™ 2014 




Channel in a Box World™ 2014




A newly announced first-time study


Professional Lenses World™ 2014




 For more information 



by Douglas I. Sheer


Moving towards a positive disruption 



The broadcast television industry is preparing for one of the biggest fights in its history, where the highest court in the USA will ultimately hand down the final word on the upstart streaming service Aereo versus broadcasters and cable operators.  


A ruling could transform the TV landscape forever. If the court dodges the issue, Aereo will continue to add new markets, battling broadcasters in smaller courts, turf by turf. Aereo  has imitators, an expanding range of other streaming services on tablets and mobile phones. Smart TVs make it easy to watch streaming at home.


Assuming that the court will hear the arguments and eventually render a decision on the freedom of Aereo to compete with broadcasting, the impact could be huge and long-lasting. It could spell serious trouble for the advertising model of broadcasting predicated on the exclusivity of reaching viewers and/or on cable's subscribers.


To best assess the impact it will take legal experts, advertising trackers and time to see how the new streaming capability will play out. None of it is good news to television as we have known it. While the Aereo model is certainly disruptive to the industry, it is simultaneously viewed with glee by many consumers who are fed up with ever-increasing cable fees, and  are dropping out of their contracts in droves.

Whether this moment will turn out to be the tipping point in transitioning from the on-air advertising model to a new streaming design remains to be seen, but clearly the days of unchallenged business monopolies may be numbered.


This writer believes that, as in the past, breaking up monopolies is healthy and leads to lower costs for consumers as well as more business for the sellers of hardware, software and services.








This newsletter is published monthly and press releases may be sent to us at dougsheer@gmail.com or by mail to 


D.I.S. Consulting Corporation
Box 477
Woodstock, NY 12498-1101 USA



Douglas I. Sheer,
CEO & Chief Analyst & Editorial Director
Carol Montana,
Managing Editor / Analyst
Regina C. Sheer,
Reporter / Analyst 
Jill Padua,
Graphics / Design Manager 
Nora G. Licht,
Copy Editor 

All written materials 2013 D.I.S. Consulting Corporation - All Rights Reserved

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February 2014 Newsletter

February sees the industry already readying itself for another April NAB Convention.  At the same time, it absorbs the latest build-up of smart TV progress and UHD expectations.  


Embattled Aereo launched in Cincinnati, January 21, 2014


January 21st, Aereo reached 2.1 million more consumers in the Greater Cincinnati area by providing access to the streaming antenna/DVR technology that allows the viewer to record and watch live television online. The Greater Cincinnati (DMA 35) includes 24-county area across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.  Aereo does not appear bashful at the prospect of a legal battle. If they win, it will be a huge blow to the 'business as usual' of broadcasting.  


Aereo's expanded to include the Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Salt Lake City, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Denver and Baltimore metropolitan areas.  Last week, the company announced an additional infusion of $34 million of funding. Aereo says it will announce additional launch dates for its expansion cities throughout 2014. The dispute between Aereo, broadcasters, and cable operators regarding re-distribution of broadcast programming is currently in the United States Supreme Court. 

Drones being considered by more potential users 


While clearly not toys, with an average non-military drone costing about $1,200, drones are engaging the deep interest of consumers who are  becoming very enamored of robotic air devices, such as helicopters and even military-looking drones. A typical customer might be one who purchases the popular GoPro camera line.  In fact, there could be a nice fit of the two, given the compact nature of the systems and relative light weight.


Sony and others also make mini-camera systems that could similarly benefit from a move to drones. The appeal is to get to hard to reach places and to provide a "bird's eye view" of sports, landscape, crops or gardens and more. Even where these drones might lose their remote control links, their built-in GPS should enable them to find their way back to home base. Some of these systems allow for 'live links' to wirelessly send messages home. A number of concerns have been raised about safety, signal strength and interference, airspace clutter and privacy.

Washington pols mull the Net Neutrality decision


The decision looms as to whether to put an end to the Internet as we know it or it free it from what could be shackling rules that the FCC passed in a split decision at the end of 2010.   


The impact of the court's decision probably lies somewhere in the middle, when all is said and done.l Here's what you need to know:  Doing away with net neutrality will have the effect of prioritizing certain services and programs while slowing others as net carriers get to decide what to prioritize.  It had been all takers on a first-come, first-served basis, but now seekers of net streaming will have to take a ticket and get in line. Until recently, the FCC has been reluctant to bridle the growth of the Internet with too much regulation fearing they would stifle it. 

ABC viewers trending female without sports

Lacking virtually any sports coverage outside of brief news segments, the ABC line-up is attracting more and more female viewers.  How can ABC, formerly a sports powerhouse, survive with almost no sports?  About 62% of the current ABC network audience is female with CBS at 57%. In fact, with the exception of Fox, every network has a majority female demographic audience.   


Fortunately for ABC, the top five most popular shows with females are theirs. TV is traditionally female-dominated, especially when factoring in daytime hours.

Smart TVs leading among all types of newer sets


The strong appeal of UHD, despite the disappointment of 3D, shows it is smart TVs that seem to be moving the best as the year begins, chalking up an 11% gain over the previous year.  As the year progresses and more and more UHD sets become available and prices start declining - with Visio the rumored price-cutting leader - we can anticipate the arrival of smart UHD sets, some with 3D features.   The initial success of smart along with the interest in UHD will likely fuel a stronger fall and holiday season in 2014.


Otherwise, TV sets have slumbered in the past year and prices on HD have continued to erode, due in part to the anticipation of UHD and smart TV competition heating up. Apple has continued to lie low, but they have long been rumored to have a smart TV poised for launch. Perhaps this will be their year to get into the smart TV fray.

NPR gets $17 million grant to expand and develop a consistent digital platform


The USA's National Public Radio network has accumulated a total of $17 million dollars from grants that it will target to expand coverage and to create a consistent digital platform.  Among the expanded focal points will be global health care and educational development.  Simultaneously, the network is putting an expanded emphasis on the development of a flexible yet durable digital, (web-based), national listening platform.  Almost $10 million of the funds will be dedicated to the creation of the new platform.  


Among the grant sources for the $17 million were the Knight Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wallace Foundation and the Ford Foundation.   


The strategy is to uplift and protect local relationships that member NPR stations want to protect. The new plan will act to maintain localized habits, encouraging listener loyalty at the local level. This effort has been underscored by the Knight Foundation which is particularly sensitive to localization and the value of protecting it. Another layer of this makeover will be an enhancement of the network's Code Switch effort to positively enhance race, ethnic and cultural programming. 

Duck Dynasty star gets booted, fans complain


Phil Robertson, charismatic star of A&E's Duck Dynasty reality show, was summarily fired after it was learned he had made homophobic comments in a recently published GQ magazine article.  


A variety of Republican supporters of Mr. Robertson including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindel contacted A&E to protest what they claimed was intolerance of Robertson's beliefs.  Simultaneously, GLAAD, a gay rights organization, issued a statement condemning Robertson's comments and threatening an advertising boycott that led A&E to move quickly to let Robertson go, leaving many fans befuddled.

NewBay Media acquires assets of Broadcast Engineering


TVBEurope parent company, NewBay Media, has acquired some key assets of TV industry news and information source, Broadcast Engineering - covering both US and World editions - from Penton Media. The magazine will join NewBay's list of TV and broadcast information resources including TVBEurope, TV Technology, Next TV, Multichannel News, and the Creative Planet Network. The acquisition includes Broadcast Engineering's trademark, subscriber lists and web entities.

In the coming months, broadcastengineering.com and tvtechnology.com will be integrated into a single web-based resource. When integrated, Broadcast Engineering will add over 75,000 unduplicated professionals to NewBay's existing broadcast/video database, extending NewBay's reach to over 500,000 professionals within Europe, the United States, and around the world.

"We are excited to welcome Broadcast Engineering readers and advertisers to the NewBay family," said Steve Connolly, publisher of TVBEurope and TV Technology Europe. "This is a great opportunity to introduce a new audience to our market-leading brands, and to continue to build upon our goal to be the broadcast industry's primary resource for business news and technical information."

Broadcast Engineering's current print subscribers will have the opportunity to subscribe to TVBEurope, TV Technology, and TV Technology Europe in print, digital, or tablet formats.  Subscribers will receive information on how to start their new subscriptions shortly.

"NewBay Media's goal is to be the leading information and marketing resource for the industries we serve," said NewBay CEO Steve Palm.  "We are excited to have the opportunity to bring Broadcast Engineering and its dedicated readership to our deep stable of television industry brands. In doing so, we have strengthened our commitment to - and our ability to serve - this dynamic and fast-moving market."

Fergal Ringrose departs TVBEurope


Fergal Ringrose After several decades at the helm, Fergal Ringrose has decided to step down as editorial director of TVBEurope and has departed Intent Media. TVBEurope will announce a successor to join the remaining team soon.

Ringrose said, "It was a massively difficult and emotional decision to make, one I have been mulling over for many months. But after 20 years of leading TVBEurope editorially I simply felt it was time to step aside and let someone else take the reins as I pursue other opportunities in the future.

"Having been there at the start of TVBEurope in 1993 I'm enormously proud of its growth from debutant to the market-leading title for the European broadcast technology business. In print, events and digital I now leave the brand in really excellent shape with a superb team in place for future success. I have played my part; the time has arrived for me to move on."

Since the acquisition of Intent Media by Newbay Media, TVBEurope has strengthened its position as a market leader and is now allied with the TV Technology brand as well as The NAB Daily. The successful launch of Beyond HD Masters in June 2013 demonstrates the strength and ambition of the brand, which has successfully produced The IBC Daily for the last 12 years on behalf of the IBC Partnership.

China growth slows


At 7.7%, China's economic growth, which had been off modestly from previous highs, is slowing and the figure falls into line with the government's own forecast of 7.5%, and the figure recorded last year of 7.7%.   Urban unemployment has become a problem, representing 4.6% of the population last year. Unless China's economy consistently exceeds 7.2% it is unlikely that it can create the 10 million jobs a year it desires.  


Chinese leaders seem to be most focused on stability, not growth for growth's sake. The lower rate has global impacts because it has been unable to return to the double digits that typified the previous decade. Simultaneously, global manufacturing customers who had shifted many jobs to Chinese plants in search of cheaper wage workers are now finding that strategy to be less successful. Could the bloom be off the rose?

NBC News teams with NowThis news clips start-up


The NBC Universal News Group has decided to team up with NowThis News, a social media start-up that intends to provide short segment news pieces that can be easily inserted into either broadcast news programs or used on-line and in mobile news feeds. The new service has caught the attention of major news organizations like the Wall Street Journal and others seeking reliable news feeds to build on-line and broadcast news uses. This will be a bite-sized offering featuring 15 second news bites.  Given the brevity of such portions, plans are to provide up to 50 pieces a day for insertion. One of the powerful attractions to potential customers is the low cost of these feeds.  The service is intended to add layers of meaning or detail rather than to create actual breaking news stories. As part of the editorial mix, therefore, the service can provide an affordable and  needed extra layer.   

Sweaty palms and biometric scans


Among the newer ways to secure access to ATMS these days is a range of biometric scanning devices from iris scans to finger slots and now palm readers. At some ATMs in Japan, customers can place their hands down on a pad and have their palms scanned in order to get access to their accounts. Other experiments are going on using iPhone 5 models to scan fingers for fingerprints. Users are applying the scans to laptops, tablets, phones and even desktop systems, and for physical access to buildings and vehicles. The added cost of such access control can be stiff at current levels.  


Most of the biometric scanners cost over $100 each.  Voice prints are another approach getting added credence today.  That makes it possible to speak to a device to gain entrance. It can be hacked or stolen, however. Even so, it rarely can be used successfully to break in. 

Time Warner may have learned a lesson from the CBS battle


Now that Time Warner is about to negotiate with Viacom, it appears to have absorbed and learned a lesson from its recent costly battle with CBS. Instead of doing battle again in such a short time frame, they have chosen to renew their agreement with Viacom for multiple years. Furthermore, Viacom represents access to younger and more desirable viewers. Because of the aggressive stance it took with CBS, Time Warner reportedly lost 300,000 subscribers out of 11.7 million. By reaching this decision with Viacom before the deadline they have averted a similar outcome.

30th Sundance entries tending to skip targeting the big screen


Despite the lure of the large screen and Hollywood tinsel, many entries at the venerable Sundance Film Festival are choosing to skip the big screen altogether and target either TV or Internet distribution. Since 2006 when "Little Miss Sunshine" and other Sundance-introduced films grossed over $171 million dollars, grosses have declined.  2013 grosses only topped $86 million. At present many directors and producers are targeting their output to either television or the Internet.  

Hollywood legend, Robert DeNiro, Junior, launched a documentary about his artist father, Robert DeNiro senior. The well-known Abstract Expressionist painter and his painter wife, Virginia Admiral, were both WPA members and Hans Hofmann students and members of the post-war art boom in New York. Broadcaster Katie Couric also showed a documentary at Sundance about the wave of overweight children in the U. S., called "Fed Up." Both of these films are really best suited for TV screens, underscoring the latest trend at Sundance as it celebrates its 30th year.

CES innovation takes a back seat to practical products and services


You might have been somewhat underwhelmed this year if you attended the CES in Las Vegas. Despite the over 3,200 exhibitors (as contrasted with NAB's 1,600), a lot of technologies seemed a bit dated.  There was old and questionable wearable technology like Google Glass, lots of UHD and smart TV technology but nothing truly earthshaking. CES it attracted 152,000 attendees (compared to NAB's 97,000), but the excitement level was certainly subdued compared to other years.     


Pandora mining your data 


Data mining is nothing new.  After all, virtually all theInternet companies, like Google, do it on a daily basis, as does the government through the NSA. Now it's been revealed that Pandora, the Internet music service, can second guess your music habits because it is capturing and storing information on everything you download or listen to.   


Like Amazon and Netflix, Pandora then keeps track of your play lists and creates a song preference file on you. That way it is able to intuit exactly what you like and feed you more to click on, as if by magic. Because Pandora subscribers provide zip codes when they register, they can also be targeted with ads very specifically catering to local businesses or outlets of national or international chains. Advertising revenue at Pandora provided $375 million of their total $427 million revenue. Even customers who refuse to register with their zip codes, must pay a small fee -- $36 -- for the privilege not being bombarded with advertising.


Stung by a snarky and cresting wave of negative response to its so-called Windows 8 innovations, and accused of being blind to the real user experience, Microsoft has sped up introduction of its new OS, Windows 9 to debut in April of this year.  


The new OS is reputed to solve many if not all of current user stress points and make a leap ahead. Whether the many glitches that typified the two year old OS are truly cured will be revealed this spring.  The new 9 is actually expected to revive many of the popular features of 7 which should make life easier for productivity-minded users.

TV Station sales doubled in 2013 with almost 300 stations transferred 

Nearly 300 TV stations were sold to new owners in 2013, according to BIA/Kelsey's annual tracking. That number of transactions is up 205 percent from 2012 indicating a veritable landslide of sales activity. Likewise, the total 2013 business valuation level for television stations was up 367 percent from the previous year to over $8 billion in valuation.  

BIA/Kelsey said "strong political advertising revenues from the previous year, retransmission consent revenues, and continued historically lower interest rates were all contributing factors to this strong showing in the television station acquisition market." "This year we expect the transactions to slow down slightly from the incredible amount of activity last year," said Mark Fratrik, vice president of BIA/Kelsey. 

Herman Schloss, 83, a former senior executive at Sony, Panasonic and JVC died June 19, 2013 

Information has reached us, belatedly, of the passing of Herman Schloss in June. Schloss died in  Prescott Arizona, where he retired in the early 1980s. Schloss, 83, had been a Vice President of Marketing at Sony, Panasonic, JVC and Ikegami.  He was a pioneer in the professional television equipment industry. A previous position, prior to Sony, was a stint at Bosch TV's American operation. His wife and a daughter survive him.


Richard Heffner, host of "The Open Mind" dies at 88


Long-time host of "The Open Mind," historian and broadcaster, Richard Heffner has died at 88.

As one of the broadcasters responsible for the creation of the Public Broadcasting Network and WNET, Heffner pioneered the long-form interview format on PBS. In his nearly half century of interviewing, Heffner sat with Margaret Mead, Elie Wiesel, William F. Buckley, Justice Thurgood Marshall, Mayor Edward I. Koch, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Gloria Steinem, Malcolm X and many other opinion makers. Heffner didn't steer away from controversy.  


His topics ranged from alcoholism, homosexuality, segregation to anti-Semitism and many more button-pushing subjects. He served as Chairman of the Motion Picture Association's ratings board from 1974 to 1994.  He served also as general manager of Channel 13 from 1961 to 1963.

Eugene B. Stavis, eminent cinema historian

dies at 70


Eugene 'Gene' Stavis, a noted film historian and professor of film at the School of Visual Arts in New York has died at 70.


Stavis was best known for teaching film history and was active in the industry over fifty years.  He worked with many of the most famous names in film. Possessed of an encyclopedic memory for all things film, Stavis could rattle of the credits from virtually any production, even those in the early years of the medium. 

Run Run Shaw dies at 106 



Sir Run Run Shaw, the media tycoon who helped bring Chinese martial arts films to an international audience, died at his home in Hong Kong on Tuesday at the age of 106, according to the television station he founded.  Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) said that the centenarian would be sadly missed, "Although we knew this day will come, no words can adequately express our sorrow or lessen our sense of a profound loss," it said.  


With his elder brother, Runme, Shaw co-founded one of the world's largest film studios, Shaw Brothers. The company produced approximately 1,000 movies since 1958, and helped launch the careers of stars and directors from across Asia. At its peak, in the 1960s and 1970s, the studios were making more than 40 films a year.  He and the company were also associated with some Western films, such as Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" that starred Harrison Ford. Chinese Shaw films were often known for their imaginative "all flying, all swordplay" action.



He was born in 1907 in the city of Ningbo, near Shanghai in China.  With his brother, he opened 139 cinemas in the region by 1939. Run Run Shaw was there at the beginning of the century when cinema took off. After World War II, Shaw moved to Hong Kong and began concentrating on film production, opening a world-class studio called Movie Town in 1961.  Six years later, he co-founded Hong Kong's first free-to-air station, TVB. The network remains one of the world's most influential Chinese-language broadcasters.  The media mogul was knighted by the British Queen in 1977.  


Shaw received Hong Kong's highest honor, the Grand Bauhinia Medal, in 1998, after the territory returned to Chinese rule. He remained involved in Hong Kong's media industry well into his later years, retiring as chairman of the television station, TVB, in 2011 at the age of 104. Shaw is survived by his wife, Mona Fong, and four children. Perhaps he should be called 'Long Run' Shaw.

Former FCC Chair is Carlyle Group MD 


Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group has named Julius Genachowski a Managing Director and partner in the US Buyout team. He will focus on investments in global technology, media and telecom, including Internet and mobile. Genachowski is returning to the private sector after serving as Chairman of the US FCC for four years, departing last May.


Allan Holt, Co-Head of the US Buyout team, said, "We are pleased to welcome Julius to Carlyle. His addition makes a successful U.S. buyout team even stronger and better positioned to generate premium returns for our investors."

Vizio to intro Ultra-HD TV under $1,000 leading competition


Vizio, the US-based Smart TV company, has announced pricing for its all-new P-Series Ultra HD Full-Array LED Smart TV collection, which was unveiled at last month's CES.   


Starting at just $999.99 with the 50 inch and ranging $999.99 with the 50 inch and ranging to $2,599.99 for the 70", the models from Vizio are pioneering low-priced sets. Matt McRae, Chief Technology Officer at Vizio, commented: "Vizio's new P-Series collection contains a carefully developed assortment of new Vizio innovations that dramatically improve picture quality and Smart TV features, culminating in a beautifully simple Ultra HD option for discerning viewers."   


Visio has for now trumped the plans of many HD set makers to get out in front of the curve with affordable UHD sets before the next holiday season. According to retailers like Best Buy, Vizio UHD sets are not expected in stores until the second half of 2014. 



December sales point to solid economic advances


Strong retail sales in December in the USA are a sure sign that the economy is making substantial gains.  The surge seems to indicate that a strong first quarter is possible.  Economists are estimating the growth at 4.2% in 2013 and feel that this augers well for a strong 2014.


A U. S. government report suggested that GDP is advancing and strengthening at an admirable rate that has positive implications for the overall economic forecast in America.  Another positive sign is the increase in underlying retail inventories.


Noble Nook nosedives off its niche


Barnes & Noble


Barnes & Noble shares took a tumble on news that their Nook e-Book reader sales had eroded seriously and saw a holiday drop of over 60% against competition from Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iPad and others in the reader and tablet business.   


This may be a result of generally weaker B&N performance. It may also be due to their failure to issue a new color tablet in 2013. 

D.I.S. is the industry's longest running and most often used market research and consulting services providing vendor. The company has served more than 1,600 mainly manufacturer clients, since 1982.  D.I.S. is a strategic partner of The NAB Show and China Infomedia.

Douglas I. Sheer
D.I.S. Consulting Corporation