2017 TOPIC SUGGESTIONS FROM ATTENDEES: After the 2016 conference, we asked our attendees what topics they want to learn more about next year. Here are their suggestions for session topics for TechCon 2017. Click the links below to be taken directly to that topic.


  • Analytics-driven planning. Seeing how PBS or other stations are using analytics to plan, develop, and measure digital projects
  • Google AdWords, DoubleClick, Google Analytics, Online Advertising
  • Using analytics to influence change



  • Digital networking session to showcase stations/PBS are currently doing in the digital space as a way of learning what we can collectively share.
  • PBS API technical discussions - As a developer it would be interesting to have more technically focused talks or workshops. Specifically targeting the PBS APIs (COVE, Sign On, MVault, Bento?, etc) and how they can be used together to build a full product." We have a huge need for sharing technical knowledge around APIs, CMS development, integrations with key services such as Passport, and identity and data management.
  • Integrations: How is the data model changing and what is informing it? A deep dive into this can help with the impact (and should inform) stations' data models, and how we integrate our services with PBS and NPR.


  • Educating my viewers and staff on ATSC 3.0 and why change?
  • Technical deployment, Business strategy, real-world experiences , Transmission and Technical Operation, in-depth implementation - not just features. Migrating station technical facilities to ATSC 3.0 and video-over-IP
  • Other 3.0 specific transition issues that will eventually affect stations
  • Transmitters, RF and why it is important!  (New solid state transmitter era)
  • RF information for repack - transmission systems/antenna, etc.



  • Bootstrap Training for Bento
  • Bento from Onboard to Expert


  • Capital expenditures vs. Operating expenditures
  • Purchasing tips tricks for large vendors
  • Leasing vs purchase
  • Systems integration
  • Planning for router abandonment
  • Capital planning basics & Where has my capital funding gone??  Replacing basic production infrastructure after consolidation
  • Last one out, please turn out the lights...  How far can you outsource your operations?


  • Enterprise management of servers, storage and transport
  • Common storage platforms for station clips
  • It’s getting "Cloudy”: is this storm right for your operation? After the Clouds clear, where is my content?  (As more station adopt cloud services, services will eventually consolidate).
  • Archiving: systems used, qualifications for determining what is worth archiving, process for verifying data, metadata captured, retrieval rates, challenges faced. Archiving and cataloging stock footage
  • Taxonomies. What metadata standards should we all be working towards? For example, should we be geo-tagging? What topic taxonomy should we be coalescing around?
  • Marrying legacy and digital
  • How are you using SaaS/cloud products?
  • Changes to the PBS TOS (aka how to prep your file so it doesn't fail)
  • Continue sessions on workflow development/management/documentation in file-based environments
  • File Wrappers:  how to protect, deliver and recover content. Transition approaches for stations migrating to MXF
  • QC/QA for files
  • Transcode methods


  • Multicasting marketing
  • Finding new revenue to grow and support my Integrated Media
  • Google Double Click For Publishers



  • More digital service information aimed at broadcast technicians . . .  It’s not just tape or servers; it’s gone beyond basic network skills we / they need, to understanding protocols, programming, APIs
  • How to find and provide IT training to the traditional Broadcast Engineer



  • IT in production and master controls
  • IT Networking for broadcast dummies 101 and 201 and 301 and 401
  • Switch management
  • Best practices for data centers
  • Wiring and cable management



  • YouTube Live Streaming
  • Live Streaming: How to get started, workflow (I know a lot of folks have different set ups)



  • Joint Master Control and other centralized services, more on shared/remote operations
  • How about something like 'Integrating new with old technology' to keep legacy gear going. This topic can spread through production, transport and transmission as well as how this impacts the viewers and listeners
  • More practical engineering. Such as AES67 and AES70 impact on studio design
  • Integrating Information Technologies into TV Broadcast Engineering
  • Adding streaming and video-on-demand to our technical distribution capabilities
  • Racking and installation best practices



  • ATSC 3.0 Third Party ($$$) Opportunities
  • Monetizing your existing video archive
  • Strategizing for the digital future
  • OTT / Mobile Service Development and Integration


  • Producing effective video content for social platforms
  • More VR, AR, 4K, digital production techniques
  • innovative digital interactives,  innovative digital production techniques
  • 4K monitoring
  • VR production methods  & 360 video experiments
  • Closed Caption open forum
  • Production demos: microphone placement techniques, set lighting and field lighting tricks, editing, etc.



  • A topic about the mission of PBS and how the stations play their role in it, and how to align them all.  I think we are beginning to get a new crop of people, and they do not have the history
  • Professional development/communications workshops that aren't geared toward people already in upper management.  "Speaking While Female" was fantastic and I would like to see more opportunities like those
  • Leadership tracks for GMs
  • Big ideas for a better workplace
  • More about topics where media is heading in general
  • Keeping up with digital trends, maybe a digital forecaster? People seemed to really respond to Tercek's opening on Vaporization
  • Don't Be Me (worst disasters & what you learned)



  • What is Scrum? How it helped us delight our stakeholders over and over (would love to conduct this session with someone)
  • Project management basics for engineers tasked with repack
  • Project management documentation – especially System drawings


  • What direction has ATSC 3.0 planning gone in relation to public alerting and a role for public TV?
  • Emergency services - IPAWS, AWARN, how stations can become a conduit for distributing public safety information.
  • More on relationships with public safety communicators/agencies
  • GMs & CTOs could discuss government affairs - the state of things in their state/district, advocacy priorities, and where there may be some opportunities
  • Spectrum Repack - lessons learned (so far) & strategies. Impact of decisions resulting from the Auction: Loss of coverage, channel sharing, who is covering your area after the spectrum auction? Will your viewers have a choice after the spectrum auction?  Subscription service or over-the air?
  • Regulatory compliance for NEPA, EPA (Diesel, spill protection.)



  • How to utilize social media metrics/data to benefit your station.
  • Sessions that allow the attendees to try their hand at something specific and then get presenter feedback. Perhaps a session on writing effective social media posts or crafting a new social media strategy for a show.
  • Panel discussion on thinking digital
  • Digital and social strategy, social media strategies
  • Producing video specifically for the web and social (see also production track)
  • Another social media case study like the session about the PBS NewsHour



  • Protrack: one session is never enough time - Getting help with ProTrack issues would be beneficial
  • Advanced ProTrack concepts.
  • Traffic in a consolidated or joint operation, who's driving my broadcast?
  • Day in the life of a Traffic person
  • Like to see the traffic conversation include even more Joint Master Control talk