To put a bit of a wrap on the NAB trip, I would say that there were really only three things that were interesting and "additive":
- Nautel's impressively small - yet high-powered - transmitters. They had a 44kW TPO FM that was perhaps the size of two or three refridgerators.
- Nautel again with their cool peak-smoothing of IBOC carriers. This could be really important if the FCC decides to allow more watts on the digital side.
- iZotope's ANR-B automatic noise reducer, which gets high "coolness" points and is remarkably useful, too.
John Kean/NPR Labs' receiver interference report was fascinating but unfortunately short on details...I understand it has to pass through CPB first and will be released in about a month, which is good. It promises to give a FAR better idea of what pubradio stations' coverage really is.
And that really sums up the show in a nutshell: lots of interesting ideas tossed around, and a lot of learning what we don't know ("negative" info)...but not a lot of hard "additive" info to take home and use.
For example, in my case I've got to put in an order for a new transmitter in the next four weeks or so, and I have to decide whether to gamble that the FCC will not authorize IBOC carriers to be increased to -10dB (from -20dB), and thus get a lower-powered transmitter that is much cheaper....or gamble that they WILL authorize it, and thus pay for a much higher-powered transmitter that's much more expensive. The problem is that more digital watts cannot happen in a vacuum; you must also proportionally increase analog wattage, and that proportion is steep. As in, increasing our digital TPO by 10dB will require DOUBLING the analog. Eep!