TV News October 2017


Volume 4, Number 10

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-- Scott Johnson, Editor

Houston, We Have a Problem!


What’s the first thing you would do if you were piloting an airplane and the engine suddenly quit?

Would you try to restart the engine first, or radio for help? Or should you look for the nearest landing strip to set down first?

Fellow Wheaty Scott Johnson, who was once a practicing pilot, reminded us that before you can do any of the above, YOU NEED TO FLY THER AIRPLANE FIRST.

That is exactly what broadcasters did during the worst hurricane to hit the Texas gulf in a decade, and again when Hurricane Irma came barreling through Florida, and yet again when Maria ripped into Puerto Rico. Never mind the loss of power, the widespread flooding and the personal devastation. They were flying the airplane, and for that we are all thankful.

From Houston, we heard inspiring stories of station after station that kept the lines of communication open and the information flowing despite rising floods. We heard of station staff that had made their way to the studio to answer phones, who were themselves stranded at the station due to flooding. We watched on live TV as KHOU-TV reporter Brandi Smith flagged down rescuers to help a trapped truck driver, and learned later of at least one announcer (John Lopez, KILT Sportsradio 610) who started a one-man rescue operation from a borrowed fishing boat.


Two weeks later, we again witnessed broadcasting at its best as Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida. Major flooding knocked stations off the air, but it wasn’t long before they were on the air again. Some joined up with other broadcasters to reach out to the public with necessary post-hurricane information. “Television went from warning system Sunday night to public resource Monday morning,” stated The Orlando Sentinel as WESH-TV, WFTV-TV and WOFL-TV there relayed travel conditions, power outages, and emergency information in the aftermath of Irma. Elsewhere around the state, broadcasters used their cameras and mics to bring information to the masses – and to bring order to chaos. WPLG-TV caught on camera looters robbing a Fort Lauderdale store, which resulted in their arrest and no doubt helped keep the law and order during a very difficult time.

Then, almost two weeks later Hurricane Maria ripped into Puerto Rico, taking with it the roof of Univision’s WKAQ-AM studio in San Juan. The hosts stayed on the air anyway, bringing vital updates to Puerto Ricans starved for information This latest hurricane left millions without power, water and food. As we write this, Puerto Ricans, Floridians and Texans are still finding their way out of the devastation left in the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

The 2017 hurricane season isn’t over yet, but whatever we’re hit with next, we have no doubt that broadcasters will continue to fly the airplane.

This article was updated from an original article posted in September 2017.

Here are a few disaster relief tips to keep in mind during this hurricane season:

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

StadiumHeadsetThere aren’t too many broadcast related problems that a little WheatNet-IP audio network BLADE can’t solve, especially when it comes to remote production.

Audio. It’s on the network. No need to ship an additional mixer to the sports stadium or other remote venue, along with a board op to operate it. Instead, feed mic or camera audio into the network on location and mix or process it at a booth or production truck nearby, or at a studio miles away. Audio is fed into BLADEs in the field, and typically aggregated with video over a broadband link and sent to a production truck or centralized studio for final production.


Wheatstone has specialized BLADEs for feeding audio from mics, line level, AES, MADI, AES67 and HD-SDI sources. For example, the IP88-3M BLADE has eight mic inputs and preamplifiers with pad, phase switch, and phantom power in one rack unit. Another BLADE, the M4IP-USB mic processor BLADE, is a four-channel mic processor with high-quality, low-noise, high-dynamic range and accurate transient response in an IP networked rack unit.

Mixing, also on the network. Background mixing can now happen independently from the console surface, like so many other functions resulting from IP audio networking. Each of the I/O BLADEs that make up the connection points in the WheatNet-IP audio network include full-featured virtual stereo mixers. The inputs and output buses of these mixers are available as resources on the network and can be used to mix-down or split channels onsite at, say, a sporting event, or for creating an intercom system.

IFB? That too. Need a quick intercom between the director in the booth and the cameraman on the field? The WheatNet-IP audio network of BLADEs can serve as an IFB backbone by simply triggering cross points in the network – with zero latency between crew on location. Mix-minus, routing and control built into BLADEs can be triggered in the field from a button panel or from an IP audio console in a booth, production truck or centralized studio. An operator at the head end can push a button to make an IFB connection, yet the audio stays local so there is no noticeable latency on location.

Crowd noise at the stadium. The network has it. That same M4IP-USB BLADE used to feed audio from the announcer’s mic at the ballgame can be used to process audio feeds. Apply dynamic EQ, compression, limiting, gating, high and low pass filters in the field. And because it’s part of the network, audio conditioning can be controlled in the field and at the head end. Too much crowd noise can be fixed immediately by the director on location or it can be done back home at the studio. IP audio networking is why.

Network without limits. WheatNet-IP audio BLADEs are AES67 compatible, which means you can now transport audio from, say, a live sound group that might have one network platform (such as a WheatNet-IP system) and a remotely located production facility that has another (such as Dante®).


NAB NY Logo2

SMPTE 2017 Logo Horizontal

The IP model of audio transport (AoIP) provides a unique combination of features well suited for today’s emerging remote At-Home production model. Integrated routing, processing, mixing, and control spread across interconnected devices on an IP network can be used to build a venue-side matrix of audio and control that includes mic-ingest, local mixing, low latency IFB, and control-logic from local or remote inputs. The resultant audio streams can then be transmitted to a distant At-Home production facility via AES67 (AoIP) for synchronization with the accompanying video streams.

Come join Wheatstone, where we'll take you through the new era of IP remote production:

NAB New York, Oct 18–19, booth N171

SMPTE Los Angeles, Oct 23–26, booth 51

To arrange a meet up, contact Lon Neumann at

Your IP Question Answered


Q: We’ve been thinking a lot about studio redundancy and failsafe measures given the recent rash of hurricanes. What can you tell us about WheatNet’s distributed network configuration?

A: : Being in North Carolina, we think about those things too! That’s why we’re a fan of distributed networking and decided to go this route when designing the WheatNet-IP audio network. Distributed networks are exactly what the name implies: distributed resources throughout the network. Distributed networks like our WheatNet-IP automatically build in redundancy because if one part of the network fails for any reason, the rest can keep on functioning. Each IP connection point – or BLADE – stores not only its configuration but also the entire configuration of the network onboard, which means that failover is immediate. We sleep better at night knowing that our BLADEs have redundancy and failover covered.




  • WLRH-FM (Huntsville, AL) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console.

  • Townsquare Media (Tuscaloosa, AL) purchased WheatNet-IP I/O BLADEs and drivers for an automation upgrade.

  • CBC Radio (Quebec City, QC) purchased two TS-22 talent stations through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • Evanov Radio (Halifax, NS) purchased an M4IP-USB four-channel mic processor, an Aura8-IP multi-mode processor, NAVIGATOR 3 software, four I/O BLADEs, and Glass E virtual console through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • MZ Broadcasting (Toronto, ON) purchased a WDM audio driver for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • NRC Radio (Montreal, QC) purchased two IP-12 digital audio consoles, one I/O BLADE and NAVIGATOR 3 software through Marketing Marc Vallee. 

  • KFJB-AM (Marshalltown, IA) purchased two IP-12 digital audio consoles.

  • Cogeco (Montreal, QC) purchased an I/O BLADE, GP panel and NAVIGATOR 3 software for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network through Marketing Marc Vallee.

  • CJBQ-AM (Belleville, ON) purchased an I/O BLADE for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • KSOR-FM (Ashland, OR) purchased a WheatNet-IP audio network BLADE.

  • CBS Radio’s KOOL-FM (Phoenix, AZ) purchased an L-12 control surface, two TS-4 talent stations, Glass E virtual console, WDM driver and WheatNet-IP audio network I/O BLADEs plus an M4IP-USB four-channel mic processor and two Aura8-IP multi-mode processors.

  • Skyview Networks (Scottsdale, AZ) purchased two WDM drivers for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network.

  • Leighton Broadcasting (Winona, MN) purchased a WDM driver for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network.

  • New Hampshire Public Radio (Concord, NH) purchased a WheatNet-IP audio network I/O BLADE and HBX-16R controller.

Click for the rest of Who's Buying Wheat

Wheatstone Continued:


  • WORD-FM (Sellersville, PA) purchased two WheatNet-IP audio network I/O BLADEs.

  • Atlanta Braves Network (Atlanta, GA) purchased an I/O BLADE and two EDGE network units.

  • CBS (Detroit, MI) purchased an L-8 control surface and WheatNet-IP audio network I/O BLADEs.

  • Alexandra Communications (Walla Walla, WA) purchased two DMX consoles.

  • Georgia Public Broadcast (Atlanta, GA) purchased three LX-24 control surfaces and furniture through Public Media Engineering.

  • University of West Georgia (Carrolton, GA) purchased an L-8 control surface.

  • Boston University (Boston, MA) purchased an IP-16 digital audio console, two M4IP-USB four channel mic processors, and a TS-22 talent station.

  • Cox (Orlando, FL) purchased newsroom and news cubicle furniture.

  • Entercom (Seattle, WA) purchased an LX-24 control surface and WheatNet-IP I/O BLADEs.

  • CBS (Seattle, WA) purchased an LX-24 control surface and WheatNet-IP I/O BLADEs.

  • VOA (Washington, DC) purchased two WheatNet-IP audio network ScreenBuilder apps.

  • Gabriel Media (Sauk Rapids, MN) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console through integrator Radio DNA.

  • Humber College (Toronto, ON) purchased two WDM audio drivers through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • CBC (Calgary, AB) purchased one HBX8-R-IP controller and one XYE-R-IP router for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • CBC Radio (Toronto, ON) purchased two L8 control surfaces, seven TS-4 talent stations, three TS-22 talent stations and WheatNet-IP audio network BLADEs through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • KOMO-TV (Seattle, WA) added a Series Four audio console to an existing Dimension One system.

  • KRGV-TV (Weslaco, TX) added two Series Four audio consoles to an existing Dimension One system.

Audioarts Engineering

  • Townsquare Media (Lake Charles, LA) purchased an Air-1 and three Air-4 consoles.

  • Oakwood (Mississauga, ON) purchased an Air-4 console through GS Broadcast Technical Services.

  • Oakwood (Mississauga, ON) purchased an Air-5 console through GS Broadcast Technical Services.        

Wheatstone Audio Processing

  • XPRS-AM (San Diego, CA) purchased an M1 mic processor.

  • iHeartMedia (New York, NY) Purchased two M1 mic processors.

  • ESPN (Bristol, CT) purchased four Aura8-IP multimode audio processors.

  • CBS (Detroit, MI) purchased an M4IP-USB four channel mic processor.

  • Humboldt State University’s KHSU-FM (Arcata, CA) purchased an AirAura X1 audio processor.           

  • CKUA-FM (Edmonton, AB) purchased an FM-25 audio processor through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • Portland Trailblazer (Oregon) purchased an M4IP-USB four channel mic processor, an Aura8-IP multi-mode processor and WheatNet-IP audio network NAVIGATOR 3 software and I/O BLADE.

  • Oakwood (Mississauga, ON) purchased an M4IP-USB four channel mic processor through GS Broadcast Technical Services.

  • MMV (Montreal, QC) purchased an M4IP-USB four channel mic processor through Marketing Marc Vallee.

  • WATV-AM (Birmingham, AL) purchased an Aura8-IP multimode processor through integrator Bohn Broadcast.


  • Max Media (Virginia Beach, VA) purchased a VoxPro 7 digital audio recorder/editor.

  • Townsquare Media (Atlantic City, NJ) purchased a VoxPro 7 digital audio recorder/editor.

  • KMTT-AM/FM (Vancouver, WA) purchased a VoxPro7 digital audio recorder/editor.

  • WNCI-FM (Columbus, OH) purchased a VoxPro7 digital audio recorder/editor.

  • Rogers Broadcasting (Kitchener, ON) purchased a VoxPro 7 digital audio recorder/editor through Ron Paley Broadcast.


 Covering Sports Efficiently

In this video series, Phil Owens talks with Scott Fybush about using Wheatstone BLADEs to setup the most efficient method of ingesting and managing audio at a remote venue, and mixing it live back at your home facility,


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