Well IBC 2013 has been over for nearly two weeks now and I am still coping with the deluge of emails in my inbox from all the companies and individuals I made contact with whilst there. The general consensus was that it was not as busy as previous years and I noticed some companies that were absent too. As a cynical salesman at one of my suppliers wryly said “I’m sure they will make the figures look like there was a 10% increase on last year”.

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Surely the must-have fashion accessory for the serious broadcast engineer!

Something for the stylish engineer to wear when when attending those studio maintenance events and, with its thick material construction, ideal for keeping you warm at transmitter sites!

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I saw with interest a package on BBC Breakfast today about the re-emergence of the compact cassette as a music source. According to the people interviewed, this hoary (hissy?) old format offers a conduit of easy music distribution to cash strapped musicians.

Personally, love or loath MP3, I would have thought that nowadays, for aspiring musicians, file downloading was an even simpler, cheaper and, amongst their target audience, more widely accepted way to sell their music, but then maybe I am missing something.

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In any AV installation the people you use to do the work can make or (in some cases literally!) break the outcome of a project. I have heard terms from, shall we say, less than educated clients that the work required only involves a “few wires” whilst others have not quite stood over you but at the very least hung around like a spare part just checking that you know what you are doing or are doing it to their satisfaction.

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AV Resilience is proud of its background in broadcast engineering.

We are not entirely sure of the precise number of radio and TV studios we have built over the years, certainly more than we can tot-up on our fingers and toes.

However we don’t just provide technical solutions to broadcasters. Rapid convergence of just about every piece of technology, whether aimed at the professional or consumer, running audio or video, means skills are transferrable to other markets and disciplines.

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In this two-part blog post, we look at how a station should prepare and rehearse for those major events outside its control. And how an audience can be gained, or lost, when the real thing strikes.

In part one, we took a look at what can happen to the best of us: Death and how your station should prepare for the passing of a major public figure.

In part 2, we get closer to home. How to create a plan to cope with the what would happen if a disaster befell your radio station.

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In this two-part piece, we look at how a station should prepare and rehearse for those major events outside its control. And how an audience can be gained, or lost, when the real thing strikes.
In part one, we look at preparing for something that happens to the best of us…

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It has always puzzled me why radio stations never make the most of their essential assets in promoting themselves. Stations will spend inordinate amounts of money on stickers, presenter photos (both as give-a-ways and reception wall hangings), T shirts, alarm clocks and other paraphernalia whilst neglecting to promote themselves through the very equipment they use to reach the listener. Yet with a little imagination and planning, the very equipment the radio station uses to broadcast with can also be used in a dual role to promote it as well.

This two part blog offers some suggestion on how to go about it.

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What to Consider When Building Your Radio Station

Selecting the location for your studio is directly affected by the radio station you are operating.

Before you begin compiling a list of proposed studio sites, you should have an outline of the space, access and service needs of each department. Certain details will have to be part of your site selection criteria.

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Radio stations spend hundreds of pounds servicing their vehicles (around £200.00 for a 20k service on what seems to be the de-rigueur station run-about, the VW Beetle – I checked!). Even if you have a contra-deal with the garage it still adds up. But what about the very means the station has to justify its existence and reach its listeners? The broadcast equipment?

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First off I have to state the AV Resilience has nothing to gain financially by reviewing this smashing little product. It’s just that as we gave a DP-004 as a birthday present to my guitar-learning daughter this year and as I was so impressed with it, I felt a review was required. My daughter already sings and performs so I felt it could act as an electronic sketch pad for her song ideas and aid her practice.

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At the last count I have about 12 pairs of headphones, from lightweight ones, in-ear buds, semi-open types, to a professional, German made pair that are built like a tank, weigh just as much and make you look like a Cyberman when you wear them.

I have others that close the outside world off so well they also cut off any air circulation around your ears, meaning that your head is cooking after 10 minutes of wearing them.

But I wanted a new pair, I didn’t need them, I just wanted them. Like some people (ok, women) are attracted to shoes.

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Yesterday I visited a client’s radio studio to plan the upgrade of the playout system. The system in question looks to be very elegant, running on silent Mac-Mini machines meaning their location in the studio will greatly simplify the technical installation, thereby increasing its reliability.

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He's Your Man
It’s a long story as to why I went, but a couple of weeks ago I saw George Michael at the Liverpool Echo Area. In a nutshell my wife and 2 daughters bought tickets to see him over a year ago, I deciding the “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” man wasn’t really my bag.

However, due to George having to postpone his concerts due to illness, in the intervening time my eldest has gone to university and, rather than letting the ticket go to waste, muggins here got roped into going.

And I’m so glad I did. Not only from a musical point of view but also from a technical one.

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