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Two important media industries. i.e television and radio make use of the broadcasting system for their content delivery. Broadcasting, an important tool for mass communication is the method of distribution of audio and video content via any audio or visual communication medium, normally by using electromagnetic radiation (radio waves). The programs which we see on TV or listen on radio involve several steps like content acquisition, production, transmission and reception before they reach the end users. For the production and delivery of these programs several equipments namely camera, microphones, switchers, editing systems, storage systems, play-out and specialized technical facilities like studios, transmitters etc. are required. Broadcasting is the technology that encompasses all of the above equipment and various other media production systems. Apart for the commercial TV and radio, broadcasting technology has been used for the purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, experimentation, self-training and so on.
Due to the growth in the entertainment industry, broadcast engineering is becoming a lucrative career field across the world. India is the third largest television market in the world with over 400 registered satellite channels, 82 Mn Cable Homes, 60000 Cable operators and 6000 MSOs, 6 DTH Operators, 270 Private FM Stations, 170 AIR FM Stations and about 1400 DD TV transmitting stations. Digitalization of broadcasting and new media delivery methods like IPTV and Mobile TV are expected to result in huge demand for skilled manpower in broadcast media industry.
Broadcast Engineering which is considered as a sub division of electrical engineering can be defined as regulation of equipments for signal strength, clarity, and range of sounds and colors in radio and television broadcasting. Most of the engineering divisions like electrical engineering, electronics and communication engineering, computer engineering, information technology and audio engineering are integrated in broadcast engineering. Radio Frequency (RF) Engineering and Audio Engineering, the two prime areas of electrical engineering are also related with broadcast engineering.
Professionals involved with broadcasting are termed as broadcast engineering technicians. Broadcasting technicians are responsible for instantaneous updates and live pictures that flashes across our screens from any part of the world. Broadcasting technicians in their day-to-day affairs carry out their work on transmitter technologies of radio and television stations. They work for the entire chain in broadcasting, that is, right from the studio end to the transmitter end. Broadcasting technicians maintain the fluidity of broadcast signals through the use of sound and video equipment. It is these people who ensure the quality, the volume, color, brightness, contrast, strength and clarity of the broadcast program material to be transmitted. They install, test, operate and repair electronic equipment that is used to transmit radio, television and cable programs and control the input and timing of material to be signaled and the type of broadcast feed to be signaled - whether from camera, studio, local, network, live, or film programming. Broadcasting technicians also produce soundtracks for motion pictures, operate sound for live events and concerts and record music in recording studios.
Broadcasting technology is a career that suits those who have an interest in controlling and supervising broadcast equipments used for transmitting content to various channels. As a broadcasting technician, one should have knowledge of the latest technologies, such as DTV, NTSC and digital audio broadcasting. He must be well informed about broadcast automation systems for the studio, automatic transmission systems for the transmitter plant, maintaining radio towers etc. Ample job opportunities are available for these technicians with more radio and television stations coming up.
There are organizations related to the broadcasting field which works for the welfare of its members. AIR and Doordarshan Engineers Association is a body representing the Indian Broadcasting Engineering Services Officers (Group A) working in All India Radio and Doordarshan. Broadcast Engineering Society (BES) India is the Apex Body of government for maintaining exclusive affairs of broadcast engineering as a profession in the country. The BES India aims to project interests of broadcast engineering profession in India and overseas; open avenues for newest technologies through conferences and exhibitions; provide platform for interaction with broadcast professionals and industry across the globe and encourages broadcast professionals by offering various awards and prizes in different areas of broadcasting engineering.
Broadcast Engineering is not offered as a main discipline in undergraduate engineering courses. Candidates with 4 years bachelors course in electrical engineering, electronics and communication engineering, computer engineering, information technology and audio engineering can pursue a career in broadcast engineering. After graduation, the candidates can specialize in broadcast engineering at the post graduate level or can start working right after graduation with broadcasting firms.
Diploma, post graduate and certificate level courses in broadcast technology are offered by several Institutes in India. The pre-requisite for applying to these courses is 10+2 in science stream from any recognized institute with mathematics and physics as a compulsory subject. The candidates are also required to pass an entrance examination for getting admission. These courses are specifically designed to prepare people to work in technical positions at broadcast stations and other electronic media. Those who complete these courses are eligible to become a licensed Broadcast Engineer.
Some of the top institutes in India that offer courses in broadcasting engineering include Zee Institute of Media Arts, Mumbai; Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, Pune. Indian Film and Television Institute, Meerut; Broadcast Engineering Society, New Delhi etc.
Broadcasting program will train candidates in the hard and soft skills that are required by every employer. These courses focus on understanding the technology required for content acquisition, production and transmission in radio and television broadcasting. Candidates are likely to learn to install, maintain and repair electronic equipment used to develop video and audio for broadcast. The course content involves troubleshooting broadcast equipment to component level, performing routine and preventative maintenance of computer systems and networks, and performing maintenance on all broadcast transmission systems etc. In addition to theoretical inputs, the students are also given extensive hands on experience in real working environment at in-house facilities. They are offered internship opportunities with local radio and television stations.
On completion of the course, students will develop good understanding of broadcast technologies, issues and operational and maintenance needs of broadcasting infrastructure. They are expected to assume responsibilities as technical experts / facility managers with production houses, broadcasters, network operators, integrators, broadcast equipment manufacturers, suppliers, media Institutions, and in other domains of broadcast industry. Students can also peruse higher studies in related areas like media technology, science communication etc.
Those who wish to pursue a career in broadcast engineering must have sound knowledge in areas of math, physics, and electronics. They must possess computer proficiency and networking knowledge to operate in broadcasting stations and in equipments operating in digital technology. Although requirements vary from station to station, a broadcast engineer/ technologist should have knowledge in a wide array of technology, from modern digital methods to traditional broadcast systems. Knowledge of electrical and electronic equipment, ability to find and repair faults, good practical and technical skills are the vital attributes needed in this profession. A broadcast engineer should always keep up to date with new technologies in the digital and multimedia systems. Other essential skills required are patience, ability to work as a team, good communication skill, flexibility and willingness to work for long hours etc. Moreover, a broadcast engineer requires excellent problem solving skills, analytical bent of mind and passion of work so as to become successful in their career.
Tagsmedia career , mass communication
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