PBS TechCon 2013 is Coming

Amanda Fyler, PBS Digital Intern

It's that time of year again for the PBS Technology Conference (PBS TechCon). This conference is meant to facilitate and inform stations' use of technology.

Last year we spoke with Kevin Ruppenthal from Technology and Operations, Strategy & Planning and found out more about the 2013 PBS TechCon coming up in Las Vegas, NV. Kevin likes to think of himself as working in a communications and education role within technology at PBS, though he wants people to know that he's "not an engineer nor does he play one on TV." Kevin is essential in putting together TechCon, which is a year-round process.

How Does PBS Technology & Operations Address Differencing Levels of Technical Acumen Among Member Stations? 
  • The Support Portal on Connect 
  • Webinars on big technical changes on the engineering and operations side (like the MPEG-4 transition or the NRT project).  
  • The regular T&O TechNews newsletter -- sign up here
  • The annual TechCon 
What is the value of TechCon? 

“No matter what problem a station is facing, some station out there has faced it and conquered it.” It is obviously of great value for stations to be communicating not just with PBS, but with one another and this conference provides the means for these station-to-station connections to be made. The conference also features speakers who are industry leaders in companies not affiliated with PBS and its member stations, bringing outside expertise to the conference.

What are you most excited for at TechCon? 
  • Multiple sessions on the upcoming Spectrum Auction -- which Dennis Wharton, Executive VP of Communication for the National Association of Broadcasters calls the “most complex auction in the history of mankind.” The sessions will include an overview for all broadcasters, a policy and practice session, and a third session on engineering concerns. 
  • The Future of Core Station Technology which will touch on: 
    • Master control in the cloud 
    • Centralcasting Updates from both supplier and customer viewpoints 
    • IP-based routing in a session about improving and updating in-house master control 
  • The two Bento Implementation Training (B.I.T.) sessions and Bento demo being presented by PBS Digital. This is new this year! (Register here)
Anything else you want people to know about TechCon? 
  • “We’ll have more I.T., interactive offerings than in recent years.” 
  • Member stations that are also NAB members can get add NAB Show registration for only $140. 
  • Your TechCon badge can get you access to PREC (the Public Radio Engineering Conference), which runs during the same dates and at the same hotel as TechCon. You will also be able to access the Ennes Workshops Saturday during NAB at the Las Vegas Convention Center. More information can be found at under the Agenda tab.
Are you going to TechCon?....Stop by the PBS Digital booth and stay tuned for more information and updates.