Tag Archives: Sinclair Broadcast Group

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.

Sinclair Commits To Avid MediaCentral For IP-Based News Workflow

Sinclair Broadcast Group has selected Avid’s MediaCentral Platform to enable an advanced, end-to-end IP-based newsroom production workflow and provide a content management solution.

The 10-year agreement represents a “record-setting contract” for Avid, the company said. With the Avid MediaCentral Platform, the core technology that enables Avid Everywhere, Sinclair will move to a common platform for news production across all of its news-producing stations.

The platform gives Sinclair the ability to create “a content sharing news community across Sinclair increasing efficiency and productivity,” said Sinclair VP of News Scott Livingston in announcing the deal.

Sinclair anticipates “meaningful economic benefits” stemming from the Avid MediaCentral rollout, he added.

The new Sinclair IP workflow also will leverage Avid’s Artist SuiteStorage Suite and Media Suite solutions.

To learn more, visit the Avid website.

SBG Demos ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Of Ultra-HD HDR Content

Sinclair Broadcast Group today demonstrated what it said was the first end-to-end Ultra HD high dynamic range OTA TV transmission using the proposed ATSC 3.0 next-gen television standard.

A delegation of 11 South Korean broadcast industry experts was on hand to witness the event, Sinclair said.

The demo, which employed scalable high efficiency video (SHVC) encoding, relied upon a prototype modulator from Teamcast and a prototype receiver developed by Technicolor and SBG subsidiary ONE Media. The transmitter, located at SBG’s facility on Black Mountain near Las Vegas, was 15 miles from the receiver, Sinclair said.

“With the help of Acrodyne Services, we converted a standby station transmission system to broadcast the UHD HDR SHVC supported by Technicolor’s MMT (MPEG Media Transport) over IP transport solution,” said ONE Media EVP Kevin Gage in a press release announcing the demo.

The South Korean government and the nation’s broadcasters are considering using ATSC 3.0 for Ultra-HD transmission of the February 2018 XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Seoul.

““We are able to show our South Korean guests what’s possible with a live, scalable UHD + HDR transmission, and how the flexible ATSC 3.0 standard will enhance TV broadcasting,” said Mark Aitken, SBG VP of Advanced Technology in the press release.

The demonstration was a preview of what will be shown at the 2016 International CES in Las Vegas next month, it said.

SMPTE Confers Fellow Status On Del Parks

Delbert Parks III, SVP and CTO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, has been elevated to the status of Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

SMPTE Fellow status is conferred on those who have through their proficiency and contributions to the TV and motion picture industries attained an outstanding rank among members of the society.

“We congratulate Del on this outstanding professional achievement,” said David Amy, EVP and CTO of Sinclair.

Parks has been SVP-CTO of Sinclair since November 2014. Prior to that, he was SVP, operations and engineering, for the station group.  He also has held the position of VP, engineering and operations, and from 1985 to 1996 was director of operations and engineering for WBFF Baltimore and for WBFF’s owner, Sinclair.

Sinclair Adopts Avid Everywhere

Sinclair Broadcast Group will deploy an end-to-end production workflow based on Avid’s MediaCentral platform, Avid said today.

By deploying Avid Everywhere based on the MediaCentral platform, the station group has access to a plug-and-play system approach that can be scaled and tailored to the specific needs of individual stations, Avid said.

More information is available on the company’s website.