Basics of IT for Radio Engineers

Wayne Pecena begins a series on useful concepts

This article is based on an excerpt from the Society of Broadcast Engineers CBNT/CBNE Study Topics webinar series, designed to assist those seeking SBE certification and to provide others a broad overview of IT as used in broadcast engineering. 

Ethernet cabling may not be the most exciting topic, and as a result it can be taken for granted when a broadcast engineer builds the information technology infrastructure of a broadcast station.

Wayne M. Pecena

But industry research suggests that the most common causes of Ethernet failures in a network or IT system are found in the cabling and connectors.

An Ethernet cable is just an Ethernet cable, it might seem; however, that is far from reality. There are several varieties of Ethernet in use, and choosing the right cable is important to ensure a reliable network that meets the performance capabilities.

Understanding industry terminology is often the key to applying technology correctly. The days of coaxial cable-based Ethernet are long gone from our broadcast systems, with the bus-based architecture replaced with a star-based topology utilizing a twisted-pair copper cable between a host device and an Ethernet switch port.