Not that it’s any real concequence but I thought I might mentiont hat once a week I get to work with a “real celebrity”. You know, like from TV.
Brittany Knott, one of the contestants on the second season of Beauty and the Geek comes in on Fridays to do promotions and such for our station. She made it to the finals and her group took second place so she was on the entire run for the season.
Anyway she does community callender and the odd spot here and there as I mentioned. She goes to school in nearby Champaign though i think she may have graduated this December.
The other night, on Christmas even actually, MTV was running a B&tG marathon. i came in during the final two episodes. it was kind of neat watching her on television like that. You know, getting to go with the whole “i know her” thing. Too bad everyone else was gone and I was trying to get to sleep before working.
There are monitors all over the control room. Monitors to watch decks monitors to watch sattellite feeds, monitors to watch the off air signal. There are 4 specifically to watch the return signal.
Left to Right
Analog Off Air
High Def Off Air
These are all slightly delayed from each other. The total delay from Analogue to Dish Network is about 15 deconds. it can be disorienting but it can be useful. For example, if you thought you saw a glitch in the signal, you can glance up at the Dish and Direct TV feeds and see it again. During the recent ice storm, our antenna froze over and we lost our regular signal monitoring, but Direct TV takes the Analog for thier signal and Dish takes the Digital. We could keep track of whether or not we were still transmitting using these two feeds.
What gets more irritating is the audio echo from the Analog and Digital signals.
You might wonder just how we can have a master control department in the middle of Decatur while we have a transmitter 10 miles away in Oreana. The answer is simple, Miscrowaves. Not your Microwave ovens mind you but a direct path signal.
After the signal is processed in master control and turned into Analog, SD, and HD it is sent out through a microwave dish (shown upper right). This dish has a direct line of sight vie to the tower and a second identical dish on the other end. We actually recieve a return signal from the Gentener monitoring system through these dishes as well.
Like I said, line of sight, if someone decides to build a skyscraper or even a small building in the path we’d have to relocate something. More likely we’d rent space from someone else’s tower and bounce the signal around the obstruction. Still we’re pretty close. Not a quarter mile from our tower is the tower for one of our competitors. Thier studio is located on the other side of Decatur. I have no idea how many times they redirect thier microwave but it’s probably more than one.
In a bit of an interesting twist, this year’s Person of the Year is “You”. The choice centers around the massive rise in global connection that is blogging and youtube and such. It’s pretty interesting and makes many good points. Here’s an excerpt I particularly enjoy.
Who are these people? Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I’m not going to watch Lost tonight. I’m going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I’m going to mash up 50 Cent’s vocals with Queen’s instrumentals? I’m going to blog about my state of mind or the state of the nation or the steak-frites at the new bistro down the street? Who has that time and that energy and that passion?
I can say I’m one of these people. If the fact that I run like a dozen regularly updated blogs of some sort from this one to my personal journal to my work blog to my flickr photo “blog” to that one that’s run my my SL alter ego. I’ll post about all sorts of things. I often wish my cell phone had a camera so I could take indescrete photos to accomany blog post ideas. I forget more posts than I make but I love to push forth information.
Here’s a link to the whole article…. Time Magazine