Tag Archives: Sinclair Broadcast Group

WPEC Adds StormTracker12 Weather Vehicle

WPEC in West Palm Beach, Fla., has rolled out its new StormTracker 12 newsgathering vehicle.

WPEC CBS12, the Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned CBS affiliate in West Palm Beach, Fla., has rolled out StormTracker12, its latest newsgathering vehicle.

The StormTracker12 truck is outfitted with the latest radar and camera technology. It not only can provide the CBS12 News weather team with vital weather data, but also capture a closer live look at severe weather.

StormTracker12 adds to the station’s fleet of newsgathering vehicles, which the station began to build in December 2016 when it rolled out TrafficTracker12. Other vehicles in the fleet include the SkyTeam12 drone and MarineWatch12, a Jupiter 30 boat equipped with several cameras, including a 360 degree camera and an underwater unit.

Sinclair, Nexstar To Coordinate 3.0 Transition In 97 Markets

Sinclair Broadcast Group and Nexstar Media Group, the two largest station groups in the United States, today announced an agreement on how to coordinate the transition of OTA delivery of ATSC 3.0 TV service in 97 television markets.

The agreement, which the broadcast groups are calling “tentative,” follows an announcement earlier in the year that the broadcasters had formed a spectrum consortium aimed at aggregating spectrum, innovation, monetization and ways to enhance their ability to compete in the wireless data delivery sector.

Under the agreements, the broadcast groups are expected to share spectrum within their markets to facilitate the simulcast-channel-sharing ATSC 1.0 to 3.0 transition strategy under consideration by the FCC, the companies said.

The agreement announced today covers TV stations in 43 markets where both groups own stations and 54 other markets where only one owns or operates a station, they said.

More information is available on the Sinclair website.

SBG, ONE Media, TeamCast Shortlisted for IBC Innovation Award

Organizers of the IBC 2017 Innovation Awards have shortlisted ONE Media, TeamCast and Sinclair Broadcast Group in the content distribution category.

The companies are being considered for their Next Generation of Broadcast Platform project.

According to a press release jointly issued today by the companies, the project “reconsiders the traditional way” a terrestrial broadcast network is deployed and operated. One major difference is the implementation of a ‘standard agnostic’ transmitting technology as implemented by TeamCast.”

Sinclair has validated this next-gen broadcast platform beyond the lab with its deployment of an ATSC 3.0 single frequency network in the Baltimore area. The test began in March 2016. Currently, three SFN transmitters are deployed.

Experience gained from the deployment will help the broadcast group as it prepares for a future nationwide deployment, the press release said.

More information is available on the IBC website.


Apple HEVC Adoption Is A Good Sign For Next-Gen TV

Much has been said and written, including various articles by me, about ATSC 3.0 being IP-based rather than relying on transport stream as in ATSC 1 (A/53).

That is a reflection of a philosophical underpinning of the new standard that aligns next-gen television to the greatest degree possible with the rest of “digital media.” (It’s always kind of bugged me that there is a distinction made between TV and digital media, because TV was the original digital media. But that’s a discussion for a different time.)

The point is ATSC 3.0 will be able to leverage all manner of developments available to other digital media platforms that were off the table with the original DTV standard.

A case in point is HEVC or High Efficiency Video Coding. In fact, ATSC 3.0 will enable an even more powerful extension of the codec known as Scalable High Efficiency Coding. Sinclair Broadcast Group plans to leverage this extension in delivering content to mobile devices. (See: “Sinclair Free Chips Offer Key To Mobile Future.”)

The architects of ATSC 3.0 should see Apple’s announcement this week of HEVC support in macOS and iOS 11 as a strong affirmation that they are on track in aligning the next-gen TV standard with the digital media industry at large.

An article by Dan Rayburn at StreamingMediaBlog.com discusses the Apple move.

A special thanks to Mark Donnigan, VP of marketing at Beamr, for sending me a link to the Rayburn article.


Acrodyne Announces First U.S. Progira Software Sales

RF engineering consultant Merrill Weiss of Merrill Weiss Group and David Sanderford of MARSAND are the first two U.S. customers for the Progira broadcast planning software being offered by Acrodyne Services, the company announced this week.

Among its features are CRC-Predict and other propagation models that have been used successfully around the world to predict true TV reception probabilities, Acrodyne said.

Company GM Andy Whitesidesaid that Acrodyne’s parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, is using the software for ATSC 3.0 deployment “with a particular interest in its application to the design of single frequency networks.”

More information is available on the Acrodyne Services website.

Dielectric Celebrates 75 Years In Business

Dielectric, situated in the Sebago Lake region of Maine, is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2017.

Antenna and RF component manufacturer Dielectric is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and is planning a series of events to commemorate the milestone, the company announced today.

Among the festivities will be an event for customers at the 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas, April 22-27, and an Employee Appreciation Day.

One of the highlight’s of the Raymond, Maine-based company’s history was its role in helping TV broadcasters transition from analog to digital transmission. At its peak, the company was shipping about 350 antennas per year.

In June 2013, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced the purchase of Dielectric from SPX.

More information is available on the Dielectric website.

New Guide Tackles ATSC 3.0 Transition, Implementation

A new guide, the product of station groups representing hundreds of TV stations, vendors and consults aims to guide broadcasters through the changeover from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0.

A new 81-page document, the product of station groups representing hundreds of TV stations, vendors and consultants, offers guidance to broadcasters to help them through their transition from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0.

A new guide released this week aims to make the transition from the existing standard for digital TV used by U.S. broadcasters to ATSC 3.0 a bit easier and more understandable for station and group management, engineers and other technical staff.

Available online at the GatesAir website, the work, an 81-page PDF document entitled the “ATSC 3.0 Transition and Implementation Guide,” provides a detailed examination of what broadcasters must consider and do to prepare for next-gen TV service with special attention paid to how the FCC spectrum repack affects things.

“ATSC 3.0 is rounding third base and heading into the home stretch. It’s time for managers, engineers, and planners at all levels to look ahead and get ready for the requirements,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV.

The guide is the product of major television station groups, including Sinclair Broadcast Group, Cox Media Group and Raycom, the Pearl TV consortium as a whole (Cox and Raycom are part of Pearl), and various industry vendors and engineering consultancies, including American Tower, Dielectric, Ericsson, GatesAir, Harmonic, Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark, Triveni Digital, Meintel, Sgrignoli & Wallace and Digital Tech Consulting.

The information is presented in two major parts, a technical primer and real-world implementation. The guide also includes an addendum on ATSC 3.0 field testing.

Topics covered in the primer include: an overview of the ATSC 3.0 system; the standard’s layered architecture; an illustrated system overview; a description of the applications and presentation layer; an explanation of protocols and the management layer; discussion of interconnecting the layers; and an examination of the physical layer.

Unlike with ATSC 1.0, broadcasters deploying the next-gen standard have the ability to tune their transmission infrastructure to the specific service models and businesses opportunities they wish to pursue. The guide also tackles this aspect of the new standard in its real-world implementation section.

Topics include: a discussion of service models, the trade-offs between use cases and the necessary operating models for each, including six specific use cases; a discussion of ATSC 3.0 system building blocks; approaches to transitioning stations in a market; and planning for ATSC 3 as part of spectrum repack.

“Without question, proper planning is required to meet the expectations of both the spectrum repack and the enhancements needed to transmit ATSC 3.0. That’s why we supported this effort to develop a planning guide for the transition,” said Peter Starke, VP of broadcast at American Tower.

Myra Moore and Jay Adrick of Digital Tech Consulting served as editors of the guide.

Sinclair Launches Six Drone Teams; 40 Planned by End of 2017

Sinclair Broadcast Group has launched drone teams in six markets and plans to have 80 trained and FAA-certified drone pilots in 40 markets by the end of next year.

Currently, Sinclair has drone teams in Washington; Baltimore; Green Bay, Wis.; Columbus, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; and Little Rock, Ark. The Federal Aviation Administration began testing and awarding Part 107 operator certificates for commercial drone use in late August.

The station group recently sent two of the teams to cover the flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it said.

According to Jeff Rose, chief pilot for Sinclair, the station group is emphasizing safe drone operation and has a policy of sending two operators with each aircraft in the field. One flies the drone, and the other focuses on photography.

Sinclair drone operators meet with local law enforcement as a matter of policy before launching a drone to coordinate with first responders and maintain safety, he said.

Sinclair participated in a technology and science fair on Capitol Hill on Sept. 27 along with others from the unmanned aerial vehicle industry to inform members of Congress and their staffs on the use of drones, it added.

(Drone footage of the Iowa flooding can be viewed online.)

NAB 2016 To Highlight ATSC 3.0 In Two Areas

ATSC 3.0The NAB Show, April 18-21 in Las Vegas, will showcase the ATSC 3.0 next-generation television standard in two large exhibit areas, the Advanced Television Systems Committee said today.

The ATSC 3.0 Consumer Experience, being put together by ATSC, the Consumer Technology Association and NAB, will highlight the benefits of OTA ATSC 3.0 reception.

Located on the upper level of the South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the ATSC 3.0 Consumer Experience will include technology from more than a dozen companies and organizations, including Dolby, Fraunhofer, LG Electronics, Linear Acoustic, Pearl TV, Samsung, Sinclair Broadcast Group and LG Electronics. Various receive antennas will be shown in the area as well, ATSC said.

The other ATSC 3.0 exhibit will be the centerpiece of the NAB Futures Park at the east end of the South Upper Hall. Called the ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Pavilion, it will showcase the technology of more than 15 organizations, including: Avateq; CRC, ETRI, NERC-DTV and the University of Basque Country; Enensys; Fraunhofer; Junger Audio; LG Electronics, Harmonic, Triveni Digital and GatesAir; Linear Acoustic; Verance; and Unisoft.

More information is available at the ATSC website.

ATSC 3 Demo Offers Glimpse Into Future Of IP OTA TV

ONEMedia, Sinclair and Samsung demo ATSC 3.0 in a private suite at CES 2016.

ONEMedia, Sinclair, Pearl TV and Samsung demo ATSC 3.0 in a private suite at CES 2016.

It’s one thing to read an article or hear a speech about something, and another thing entirely to see it for yourself.

That’s exactly what the private demos of ATSC 3.0 put on this week at CES 2016 by Sinclair Broadcast Group/ONE Media, Samsung and the Pearl TV consortium are trying to accomplish.

“This next generation standard is a platform that we can do so much with, and it is going to keep pace with what is out there,” said Anne Schelle, executive director of the Pearl TV consortium during a telephone interview from Las Vegas.

There are several reasons the standard will position broadcasters to remain competitive far into the future, but one of the most important is that ATSC 3.0 is IP-based, and that is a critical part of what the private demos are trying to convey, said Mark Aitken, VP of advanced technology for Sinclair.

“With the [ONEMedia ATSC 3.0] gateway, we are showing how we have hijacked, if you will, standard boxes like Amazon Fires, and using those in conjunction with the home gateway support HDTV, high dynamic range UHDTV and a multiplicity of other HD services and have flung [content] to tablets and other devices via standard Wi-Fi because this is an all-IP broadcast standard,” Aitken said on the phone from Las Vegas during the same interview.

A simple interface allows everyone in a household  — or in this instance, in the suite where the demos are taking place — to choose their own content stream from the gateway and view it on their own digital device, he said.

Another possibility is to set up a profile of the type of content an individual would like to receive and to have that content cached and downloaded to provide an interactive experience with standard tablets and other devices, Aitken added.

ATSC 3.0 signals transmitted from a Sinclair transmitter on Black Mountain, about 25 miles from Las Vegas, as well as those being transmitted in the suite itself are providing the OTA component of the demonstrations.

Both Schelle and Aitken said they hope this real-world demonstration of what the next-generation broadcast standard can do will give broadcasters, consumer electronics vendors and others who will be part of the ATSC 3.0 ecosystem the chance to witness for themselves what the future of over-the-air broadcasting can be.