What: Reliability – Dalet Digital Media
When: June 15, 2000 8:00 AM

Reliability and Digital Audio Systems were the topic of a talk by Ken Tankel of Dalet Digital Media Systems. Ken's presentation was not product specific, but focused on the technical and administrative management challenges to specifying, installing and maintaining the IS component of a digital audio plant.

If you missed this presentation to our joint meeting with the Baltimore (#46) and Fort Meade (#132) Chapters, you missed an education in engineering management. Ken has more than 20 years experience at all levels of engineering support. It was a pleasure to hear his keen insight to how broadcast shops are handling the integration of IS duties under their technical domain.

Coming from the 24 HOUR 7 day mission critical broadcast world, which is still largely unknown by I.S., Ken presented a well thought out argument that traditional broadcast management can teach much to their IS brethren about "keeping it on the air." 

Ken described the economic considerations in specifying a level of reliability and the cost to attain that desired level. Would you be happy with a plant that was 99% on-air reliable?  Before you answer, "YES!," you should consider that 99% reliability equates to being OFF-THE-AIR 3.6 DAYS per year! Each 0.1% improvement in reliability incurs an approximate added cost of $100,000. Thus, 99.9 % reliability still incurs about nine hours off-air but remains a dream for many.

One of his more glaring examples of the difference between the broadcast and IS technical philosophies concerns cable dressing. We have all seen the rat's nest that hangs from the front of most hubs. Such a tangle would never be tolerated in a broadcast plant where the wiring has to be both reliable and serviceable without danger of being tugged and unplugged by a passerby.