Tech Spotlight

Exclusives

  • Jessell: Uncertain Political Is Broadcast Wake-Up Call

    Lower-than expected spending by the Trump campaign is causing some groups to reforecast their political revenue and depressing stock prices. More important, it highlights the need for adoption of ATSC 3.0. The new broadcasting standard will allow stations to offer zoned, targeted and interactive advertising and maintain their lion's share of the political advertising dollars. More | Comments (3)
  • Front Office: How To Invest Best To Grow Revenue

    Don’t you wish you could determine in advance which new ventures are likeliest to become the most profitable? A tough advertising environment has added to the pressure, prompting media leaders to try to accelerate revenue diversification. While no one has a crystal ball, A.T. Kearney’s Greg Portell shares some guidelines that can help planners identify which new revenue opportunities to avoid or seize.   More | Add comment
  • TVN Tech: Serious Study Needed To Get Drone License

    The exam for FAA Part 107 certification to fly a commercial drone under 55 pounds, which first became available Aug. 29, covers far more than the drone itself. A mastery of knowledge on aeronautical concepts, charts, airspace and meteorology from an aviation perspective are among the areas emphasized on the initial test. Is it overkill for a media organization that will fly a done no higher than 400 feet? Not really, when seen in the context of maintaining safety, says the FAA. More | Add comment
  • Focus: Many Questions Over Nielsen's Post-Diary Ratings

    Nielsen announced plans last week to replace its paper ratings diaries with a system based on data from cable and satellite set-top boxes. However, many broadcasters still aren't sure how it's going to work. “They haven’t really told us that much about their plan going forward," said Raycom's Billy McDowell. Added Cordillera's Terry Hurley: "I'm hopeful, but skeptical." More | Comments (1)
  • Jessell: Is Your News Tired? Check Out Vice, Newsy

    For the most part, local newscasts were developed a half-century ago. It’s time for a renaissance. The typical newscast no longer resonates with many Americans, especially younger ones. That's why I’m intrigued by Scripps’ Newsy and am deeply curious about the nightly newscast that Vice is cooking up for HBO. All news directors should be, too.
    More | Comments (1)
  • TVN Names Scripps Station Group Of The Year

    In announcing the honor, TVNewsCheck Editor Harry A. Jessell cited the company’s efforts to go beyond broadcasting and establish itself prominently and profitably among national digital media. Led by CEO Rich Boehne, over the past three years Scripps has spent $124 million to acquire Newsy (OTT news), Midroll (podcasting) and Cracked (digital content).  More | Comments (2)
  • Smith, Sook, LaPlatney On Tap For TVN's ATSC 3.0 Confab

    One highlight of TVNewsCheck’s Nov. 9-10 TV2020 conference on the prospects for Next Gen TV will be the CEO panel featuring David Smith of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Perry Sook of Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Pat LaPlatney of Raycom Media. For more information, or to register for TV2020, click here. More | Comments (1)
  • Newsy’s Sabatinelli To Talk On How To Monetize OTT

    The fourth annual NewsTECHForum presented by TVNewsCheck and Sports Video Group will feature an on-stage Q&A with Blake Sabatinelli, the general manager of the Scripps-owned OTT service Newsy, on Dec. 12. For the full NewsTECHForum program, or to register, click here. More | Add comment

Special Reports

  • Multicasting 2016: A four-part examination of the revenue, programming and technology strategies of the diginet business.
  • TVN's FCC Watch: A quick briefing on FCC proceedings affecting TV broadcasters from Washington communications attorneys David Oxenford and David O'Connor.
  • Employment 2016: In Part I, the challenges facing broadcasters in finding the right people for the rights jobs. Part II: It used to be a given that news managers would readily move it if meant a bigger market and a larger paycheck. Not anymore. Part III, the military may become an even bigger source of talent for station IT and engineering departments.
  • THE TOP 30 TV STATION GROUPS: As a result of its merger with Media General, Nexstar Broadcasting moves up 10 spots and is now No. 3 on TVNewsCheck's 2016 station group ranking behind Fox and CBS. Gray's acquisition of Schurz moved it up to No. 13, Nexstar's old spot. Together, the two deals changed the rank of 21 groups and opened the door to two newcomers.
  • 2016 NAB Show Tech Hot Topics: TVNewsCheck’s second annual multi-part series highlighting emerging tech trends in advance of the NAB Show. Topics include field contribution, audio, cameras, IP transport, transmitters, antennas, newsroom computer systems, broadcast graphics and master control.
  • 2015 — Year In Review: Revisit the year’s top developments in business, programming, journalism, technology, regulation and more.
  • NewsTECHForum 2015: Complete coverage of the third annual conference from TVNewsCheck and Sports Video Group
  • IBC 2015: At the annual tech gathering in Amsterdam, the prominence of IP in everything from production to distribution may have been somewhat of a surprise, but once on the exhibit floor or in the conference rooms there was no mistaking its broad — and still growing — influence.
  • Weather 2015: A three-part look at forecasting: a Q&A with AccuWeather founder Joel Myers; complaints by local weathercasters of network forecasting; and the latest on mobile and augmented reality.
  • Sales Management: A four-part look at the growing importance to stations of mobile viewing platforms; automated spot buying; improving digital sales operations; and a case study of a successful digital sales effort.
Marketshare Blog Playout Blog
Tech spotlight
WRAL Above And Beyond With Drone Rules
TVNewsCheck, Dec 11, 2014, 10:58 AM EST
The Raleigh, N.C., CBS affiliate has adopted rigorous standards for drone deployment as it learns how to operate them in preparation for the day the FAA approves their use in newsgathering. The requirements include operator training on par with that needed to acquire a private pilot’s license and following a set of operating rules designed to ensure safety and respect privacy. Full Story | Comments (1)
tech spotlight
Wireless Mic Frequencies Getting Squeezed
TVNewsCheck, Dec 4, 2014, 9:34 AM EST
After the FCC conducts its incentive auction of 600 MHz TV spectrum in early 2016, the amount of available spectrum for wireless mic operation — in diminishing supply now — could become even scarcer. Less spectrum means fewer unused TV channels for wireless mics and a whole series of other wireless devices generally lumped into the wireless mic category, including wireless intercoms, IFB cueing systems and in-ear monitors used by musicians and other entertainers. In addition, switching to new equipment could be costly for broadcasters. (Photo: AP/Charles Sykes) Full Story | Comments (4)
tech spotlight
NAB Sticking With CCW+SATCON Formula
TVNewsCheck, Oct 30, 2014, 8:58 AM EDT
In two weeks (Nov. 12-13), NAB will present the first Content and Communications World and Satellite Communications Conference (CCW+SATCON) to be put on by the association since buying the show in December 2013. The trade group will continue down the path charted by the annual gathering's previous owner, says NAB's Chris Brown. “We see tremendous synergy with the NAB Show,” he adds. “Many companies will use the NAB Show in April to announce new products. Six months later there is definitely a need to engage the marketplace with updates on those plans, and CCW presents that opportunity.” Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
IP, Workflow To Be Highlights At SMPTE 2014
TVNewsCheck, Oct 9, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT
With all of the convention buzz during the NAB Show and IBC that IP received as an alternative to SDI for transport and routing, it’s little wonder SMPTE 2014 would offer a technical deep dive into the underlying technology making IP routing and transport for broadcasters possible. “File-based workflows are another big topic, especially with the addition of IP as a factor as well as new regulations regarding closed captions,” said Sara Kudrle, one of the conference’s chairs. SMPTE image courtesy of Vizrt. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
News Automation Gear Going Agnostic
TVNewsCheck, Oct 2, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT
Having to use a production switcher from the same manufacturer as that of your news automation system is becoming a thing of the past. New switcher-agnostic news automation systems give stations that bought a production switcher without a complementary automation system a few years ago a way to add it without having to replace the switcher. The latest software also makes possible better use of the Internet and social media as complements or alternatives to on-air news without adding additional people. Full Story | Comments (1)
TECH SPOTLIGHT
ConnecTV App Aims To Be Revenue Stream
TVNewsCheck, Jul 10, 2014, 11:06 AM EDT
Broadcaster-backed ConnecTV says its new Clip Ads app lets consumers and stations create six-second clips and send them out to Facebook friends and Twitter followers. The service can be monetized by attaching ads to the clips. “It’s really a way for the traditional broadcast spot to be extended into this social video space,” says CEO Ian Aaron. Full Story | Add comment
Tech spotlight
‘Rising Star’ Shines New Light On Interactivity
TVNewsCheck, Jun 26, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT
A new app for smartphones and tablets lets viewers of the new ABC talent series vote in real time during the live broadcast to determine whether singers move on to the next round or go home. The technology making this real-time audience interaction possible is Screenz’ Real Time Platform, a cloud-based solution that in testing has demonstrated the ability to process more than 100 million interactions per minute. Full Story | Comments (2)
Tech Spotlight
Verizon LTE Multicast Mimics Broadcast Model
TVNewsCheck, Jun 5, 2014, 11:32 AM EDT
Verizon's new offering in development, LTE Multicast, will use broadcasting's one-to-many model to deliver video to mobile devices. Although the service is still a long way off, broadcasters see it as a threat and are responding in part by pushing forward with the development of a next-generation broadcasting system through the Advanced Television Systems Committee. Full Story | Comments (2)
Tech Spotlight
Milestone For ABC O&O Digitization Push
TVNewsCheck, May 29, 2014, 12:18 PM EDT
The ABC Owned Television Stations Group, which six years ago began a massive project to digitize, catalogue and store its analog news stories, has just finished doing that at its KGO San Francisco (the latest after WABC New York, WLS Chicago and WPVI Philadelphia). The ABC Owned Television Stations Group Preservation Project is also underway at KABC Los Angeles and KTRK Houston. Full Story | Comments (4)
Tech Spotlight
Repeaters Integral To Next-Gen Mobile Future
TVNewsCheck, May 22, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT
Single frequency networks may be the technology that makes it possible for stations compete with wireless in reaching viewers on their mobile devices. Proponents say these booster sites can provide strong signals throughout a station’s coverage area. However it comes at a price: capital costs to implement such booster networks could hit $2 million per market. Full Story | Comments (1)
tech spotlight
Next-Gen Transition Demanding Answers
TVNewsCheck, May 15, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT
Sam Matheny, Capitol Broadcasting’s VP of policy and innovation, has several “big buckets” of issues that he says need to be studied and resolved before a successful ATSC 3.0 transition can take place. Among them are determining the impact of the transition on the audience, the possibility for interference, the duration of the transition, the availability of spectrum and the impact of the transition on direct-to-home satellite, cable TV and telco TV partners. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spolight
Aitken: Compatibility Is Next-Gen Imperative
TVNewsCheck, May 8, 2014, 10:14 AM EDT
Any new broadcast TV technical standard must “harmonize” with the standards used by wireless mobile operator and the white space spectrum user communities, according to Sinclair’s tech guru Mark Aitken. That’s why Sinclair is working on an alternative to ATSC 3.0 along with Coherent Logix. Their joint venture, ONE Media, will create a platform that relies on software-defined radios in consumer devices ranging from LTE mobile phones to tomorrow’s TVs to make updates possible so TV stations don’t get locked into a standard that quickly becomes obsolete. Full Story | Comments (7)
TECH SPOTLIGHT
What Stations Can Do To Prepare For Repack
TVNewsCheck, Apr 24, 2014, 11:06 AM EDT
While waiting for the FCC to repack the band and hand out new channel assignments, TV stations should not be idle. Here is a list of things they can start doing now to head off trouble later. Full Story | Comments (1)
Tech Spotlight
Top Tech Topics On Tap At The NAB Show
TVNewsCheck, Mar 27, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT
This year’s convention and marketplace in Las Vegas will cover a wide range of technology and engineering-related topics, with three of the most important at center stage — the FCC spectrum incentive auction and repack; next-generation digital terrestrial broadcasting; and Ultra HD formats like 4K and 8K. Full Story | Add comment
Corrected Version
FCC Auction Taking Toll On TV RF Vendors
TVNewsCheck, Mar 14, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
As a result of the uncertainity over the FCC's plans to auction and repack the TV spectrum, stations are putting off investments in transmission gear. The latest victim is Electronics Research Inc., which just laid off 22 employees. Full Story | Comments (1)
Corrected Version
FCC Auction Taking Toll On TV RF Vendors
TVNewsCheck, Mar 13, 2014, 10:54 AM EDT
As a result of the uncertainity over the FCC's plans to auction and repack the TV spectrum, stations are putting off investments in transmission gear. The latest victim is Electronics Research Inc., which just laid off 22 employees. Full Story | Comments (4)
Tech Spotlight
OFDM Seen Key To Blanket OTA Coverage
TVNewsCheck, Feb 13, 2014, 10:40 AM EST
Many U.S. broadcasters view the adoption of the digital encoding scheme as crucial to the new ATSC 3.0 standard. They say it's the best bet for stations to deliver strong, robust signals for reception not only on big-screen TVs with indoor antennas, but also smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. An OFDM-based standard, they say, would facilitate a TV station's ability to "cellularize" its broadcasting system — that is, supplement its main transmitter and antenna with several strategically located booster stations broadcasting on the same frequencies. Full Story | Comments (4)
Tech Spotlight
The Story Behind WSB's 'News Box Pileup'
TVNewsCheck, Feb 6, 2014, 11:06 AM EST
Mike Dreaden, news director at Cox's Atlanta ABC affiliate, explains what went into getting all those live shots ready to go during last week's crippling snow storm. Full Story | Comments (4)
Tech Spotlight
NBC Stamford Facility To Help Power Sochi
TVNewsCheck, Jan 30, 2014, 11:25 AM EST
The new Connecticut operation will account for about 400 of the 3,100 people that will be working on the Winter Olympic games for NBC. Among its jobs will be to produce play-by-play coverage of the curling competition for distribution on the cable channels; produce Gold Zone for NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app; produce news cut-ins for the digital coverage; and will also be home of the “highlights factory,” which will crank out highlights from all the events for all the platforms. Full Story | Comments (5)
Tech Spotlight
Sinclair Developing Next-Gen TV Standard
TVNewsCheck, Jan 23, 2014, 11:07 AM EST
Spearheaded by Mark Aitken, Sinclair's VP of advanced technology, the new "broadcast-centric"  transmission standard is being designed to address an issue Sinclair feels is being left out of ATSC's efforts: the ability to reach viewers on their mobile devices. “ATSC 3.0 ought to be whatever broadcasters want it to be,” Aitken says. “This process should be about bringing broadcasters to the table for a solution, rather than having it dictated to them by TV set manufacturers." Full Story | Comments (6)
Tech Spotlight
Spectrum Repacking Faces Tricky Timeline
TVNewsCheck, Jan 16, 2014, 11:07 AM EST
Broadcasters are anxiously awaiting details of the FCC’s plans for the spectrum auctions and resulting TV band repacking. FCC Chairman Wheeler last month laid out the schedule leading up to the auctions in mid-2015. But he did not offer a timeline for the post-auction channel switching, a process that could involve many stations and extend into 2020. Full Story | Comments (3)
Tech Spotlight
10 Broadcast Tech Stories To Follow In ’14
TVNewsCheck, Jan 9, 2014, 10:56 AM EST
As the year opens, a number of tech questions and issues remain unresolved. Here are 10 that are likely to make news in the upcoming 12 months that you'll want to stay on top of. They range from the Emergency Alert System to drones, to bonded cellular, all the way to the cloud. Full Story | Comments (3)
tech spotlight: centralcasting
Next Up To Enter The Cloud: Centralcasting
TVNewsCheck, Dec 12, 2013, 11:58 AM EST
The ability to run master control for multiple stations is the latest operation to begin the move to an IT-based solution. Companies including Florical Systems, Harris Broadcast and Snell are developing products that put everything needed to run stations in the cloud, rather than in a local master control room. Full Story | Comments (2)
Tech Spotlight: Nexidia Dialogue
Dialogue Search Aids WSB Archives Project
TVNewsCheck, Dec 5, 2013, 12:01 PM EST
WSB Atlanta is the first station to use Nexidia Dialogue, a speech search technology also being used by major cable news networks, including MSNBC. The technology uses basic language sounds called phonemes to find any audible words in any digital library. WSB can now quickly access more than 40,000 hours of material dating back to the 1950s. Full Story | Add comment
TECH SPOTLIGHT
Morris Stations Moving Into The Virtual Future
TVNewsCheck, Nov 21, 2013, 10:50 AM EST
Group owner Morris Multimedia is outfitting all its stations with virtual sets, citing the economy and flixibility they offer. CEO Dean Hinson: "Each of our stations ... put out more than one signal and those second channels each have their own branding. The decision to go virtual is an economic one, and it’s one based on space. We’ve watched the prices come down on the equipment to do this and are ready to move at a rapid pace.” Full Story | Comments (2)
tech spotlight
KKTV's New Digs: Small In Size, Big In Tech
TVNewsCheck, Nov 14, 2013, 10:37 AM EST
The Gray Television CBS affiliate in Colorado Springs is finishing up a news building that's only 9,000 square feet, but includes augmented reality graphics, a state-of-the-art power system and a new Gray-built system called GrayTooth that allows everyone from reporters to producers, to sales people and engineers to sit down at any workstation, swipe a key fob and pull up their customized desktop. Full Story | Comments (2)
tech spotlight
CRM Vendors Busy With Station Consolidation
TVNewsCheck, Nov 7, 2013, 11:54 AM EST
For media groups that are combining stations, business software vendors help merge sales and customer data, settling on common account naming conventions, integrating new traffic systems, unifying customer relationship philosophies and agreeing on a way to forecast business. Full Story | Comments (1)
tech spotlight
Boo! Seven Really Scary Station Tech Stories
TVNewsCheck, Oct 31, 2013, 11:11 AM EDT
On this Halloween, we present a collection of true tales from across the U.S. that are guaranteed to make any TV station engineer gasp in fright — and perhaps in recognition of a similar situation. Read on ... if you dare. Full Story | Comments (2)
Tech spotlight
NBCU's KXAS Preps New Texas-Size Facility
TVNewsCheck, Oct 24, 2013, 11:10 AM EDT
Christmas came early for the staff at the NBC Dallas O&O and its co-owned Telemundo outlet on Sept. 30, when the ribbon was cut on a brand new, 75,000-square-foot complex located in a business park near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Among the wish-list items the staff got are news editing flexibility, traffic and sales finally in the same building as news and technical flexibility to handle all the various feeds, especially since everything from the studio to the field is now in high definition. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Managing The Social Media Flood With Tech
TVNewsCheck, Oct 10, 2013, 10:54 AM EDT
Social media in the newsroom has boomed to the point where major breaking news stories come with a hashtag to keep people engaged with the story on their social accounts. Broadcasters who want to monitor and air those social updates have plenty of options, ranging from the $600 jury-rigged solution all the way to a $30,000 high-end system. Full Story | Comments (3)
Tech Spotlight
News Services Moving From Satellite To Cloud
TVNewsCheck, Oct 3, 2013, 11:27 AM EDT
Most of the satellite-delivered news sharing services are migrating their distribution from satellites to cloud-based systems.The main reasons are faster upload and download times, no hassles over booking satellite time and the cost savings that come from no longer needing dishes and servers. The exception is NBC News Channel, which still has concerns about the cloud's reliability. Full Story | Add comment
TECH SPOTLIGHT
Quincy Upgrades Centralcasting With Harris
TVNewsCheck, Sep 26, 2013, 11:44 AM EDT
Quincy Broadcasting is upgrading its seven-year-old centralcasting setup with an infusion of new technology from Harris Broadcast that’s expected to improve the group’s workflow and cut down costs. Hub stations can now distribute syndiacted programming, and the group has plans to use the technology for new tasks in the coming year. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Vendors Offer New Tools For Bonded Cellular
TVNewsCheck, Sep 19, 2013, 9:04 AM EDT
Now that bonded cellular technology has proved itself as an effective and reliable way to send back live video from the field, the top vendors have begun supplying software for managing and sharing all the incoming feeds.“Broadcasters have gotten over that bonded cellular hump,” says Ronen Artman, VP marketing at LiveU. “Now they want to take control of their devices.” Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
DTVCast Aims To Broadcast Broadband
TVNewsCheck, Sep 12, 2013, 9:53 AM EDT
Using leased broadcast spectrum, mostly low-power, the startup envisions partnering with telcos to bring high-speed broadband service to consumers now struggling with no broadband access or low-speed service only. “This is a great use of a spectrum," says DTVCast founder John Kyle. Full Story | Comments (11)
Tech Spotlight
New Harris CEO Getting Set To 'Double Down'
TVNewsCheck, Jul 11, 2013, 12:05 PM EDT
Charlie Vogt, who replaced Harris Morris as CEO of Harris Broadcast this week, says he's eager to learn the company and the broadcast industry and ready to shape Harris' strategy. "Clearly, we're going to invest the dollars where we feel like the market is trending to. The team has got to be very thoughtful and really smart about where we want to place our chips, and what bets we want to double down on," Vogt says in an exclusive interview with TVNewsCheck. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Figuring Out Life After Dielectric
TVNewsCheck, May 9, 2013, 11:46 AM EDT
The TV antenna manufacturer's many clients are wondering who will service their existing RF systems and who will emerge to sell them new ones. Demand could shoot up greatly if the FCC OKs band repacking following a spectrum auction. Possible solutions could be current U.S. competitors to Dielectric as well as a number of foreign firms. Full Story | Comments (2)
TECH SPOTLIGHT
Gray Hopes To Revolutionize ENG With BAS
TVNewsCheck, Apr 25, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT
The station group’s IP-based GrayMax Hotspot system is designed to provide the reliability of a microwave truck without the telescoping mast, and the newsgathering freedom of bonded cellular technology without the worry of being knocked off the air by cellular congestion. It’s being tested at Gray’s KBTX Bryan, Texas. Full Story | Add comment
TECH SPOTLIGHT
With CFP, Air Test, ATSC 3.0 Off And Running
TVNewsCheck, Mar 28, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT
Aitken
Aitken
Richer
Richer
This week was a busy one for proponents of broadcast television’s future. On Tuesday, the ATSC issued a call for proposals for a new standard, ATSC 3.0, and the next day, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s tech guru, Mark Aitken, turned on an experimental broadcast at WNUV Baltimore of a transmission system that could be part of TV’s next-generation standard. ATSC President Mark Richer anticipates receiving a dozen or more proposals by September and plans to brief potential proponents at NAB. Full Story | Comments (4)
Tech spotlight
NYC's Towering TV Choice: 1 WTC Or Empire
TVNewsCheck, Mar 14, 2013, 10:54 AM EDT
The new One World Trade Center is pitching New York City broadcasters on moving their transmitting operations to the 105-story building in 2015, promising a facility that's "future-proof" with better over-the-air coverage than the Empire State Building where most of the city's stations relocated following the 9/11 destruction of the Twin Towers. Full Story | Comments (2)
tech spotlight
ABC O&Os Sold On Channel In A Box
TVNewsCheck, Feb 28, 2013, 11:04 AM EST
The station group is moving ahead with installing Miranda's iTX system at all eight of its stations by the end of the second quarter. Technical uniformity across the group is key, says ABC tech Dave Converse. “Philosophically, when you want to address a problem, you want to address it the same way. Right now, when we have a problem, we have to solve it eight times." Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Teleprompters: Not Just For Studios Anymore
TVNewsCheck, Feb 21, 2013, 10:32 AM EST
Smaller, lighter and less expensive portable systems, including ones that use iPads and iPhones as displays, have expanded the market greatly. Some recent innovations in teleprompter design from nonbroadcast uses are filtering back into TV through the newsrooms of smaller-market stations and a new-media industry creating content online — evidence that the teleprompter can now be used anywhere. However, for upmarket broadcasters that value reliability over all else, larger, conventional systems are still in demand. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Sinclair Delivers HD Upgrade To Dayton Duo
TVNewsCheck, Feb 14, 2013, 11:03 AM EST
The broadcaster is spending $8 million to convert the news operations at its WKEF-WRGT ABC-Fox duopoly as part of its push to upgrade all its news producing stations. Now there are only three left to go. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Thorsteinson: Innovation Driving Grass Valley
TVNewsCheck, Jan 31, 2013, 11:46 AM EST
Just three weeks into his second tenure as the head of the broadcast equipment firm, Tim Thorsteinson says he's overseeing a new direction for the company that will be reflected in a host of new switchers, cameras, storage and software. "We want to dramatically simplify the way live content is produced and delivered for multiple screens." Details on the new products are embargoed until March 1 and the gear will be on display at April's NAB Show. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Getting Up To (High) Speed On Super Slo Mo
TVNewsCheck, Jan 24, 2013, 11:05 AM EST
For the big game, CBS will take advantage of recent developments in 4K high-speed and high-resolution videography to not only slow down action in replays without noticeable motion blur or pixilation, but also to zoom in closely to see if a player’s foot is out of bounds or if the football breaks the plane of the end zone. Other networks are also working to push the envelope with high-speed, high-res cameras and Sony is working on next-generation sports production technology. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Sony Helps WCTV Get More News On The Go
TVNewsCheck, Jan 3, 2013, 11:27 AM EST
The Gray Television CBS affiliate in Tallahassee has tested and now ordered Sony’s new VJ Backpack, which contains everything you need for field production except the pathway home for the video. News Director Stan Sanders says, “The homerun for us was when people were watching our on-air content internally and nobody could tell the difference between which camera was being used. The quality is definitely there.” Full Story | Add comment
tech spotlight
Bonded Cellular Met The Challenge Of Sandy
TVNewsCheck, Dec 6, 2012, 10:44 AM EST
When the hurricane devastated the coastal areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in October, broadcasters turned to the cellphone-based technology to get live feeds back to the stations when microwave or satellite delivery systems wouldn’t work. "It continues to improve," says CBS's David Friend. "The delays are less, the signals are better, there’s less dropout. When we took the risk of using this technology very early on, it was hit and miss. Now we are more confident in its stability and its performance. We view it as an essential tool in our newsgathering efforts." Full Story | Add comment
Tech spotlight
Griffin Going Green With New Tulsa Digs
TVNewsCheck, Oct 25, 2012, 11:08 AM EDT

The broadcaster is putting the finishing touches on a new 57,000-square-foot facility that will house its KOTV and KQCW. It’s equipped with geothermal heating and cooling, LED studio lighting and features a 5,400-square-foot studio with gear from Grass Valley, Samsung, Solid State Logic, Vizrt and Avid, among others. Full Story | Add comment
Tech spotlight: SMPTE 2012
SMPTE To Spotlight Tech's Latest Challenges
TVNewsCheck, Oct 18, 2012, 11:03 AM EDT

Highlights of next week’s annual conference include file transfers, IP infrastructure, cloud computing, captioning and compression systems for broadcasters. And as Wendy Aylsworth (pictured) becomes the group’s first woman president, SMPTE is stepping up its focus on recruiting more women and attracting computer literate young people into traditional engineering technologies. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Cloud-Based Tech No Longer Just Blue Sky
TVNewsCheck, Oct 11, 2012, 11:38 AM EDT
As reliability and security issues are improving, more broadcasters are seriously looking at the value of cloud-based services. The uses range from writing, editing and sharing stories in the field, to quickly creating graphics, as well as managing and editing online video. A recent study of video producers finds that only 23% are using a cloud infrastructure today, but that more than 75% are considering deploying it. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
DJs Dish In Syndication With Help Of Avid
TVNewsCheck, Sep 13, 2012, 12:20 PM EDT
Putting together Dish Nation, Twentieth Television’s new syndicated show that features morning DJs in five cities, is an unusual process. Each day, a team of 72 records 71.5 hours of high-def footage from 13 Sony EX3 cameras set up in the radio studios that gets edited and enhanced into a seamless 21-minute episode. Says the show’s EP, Stu Weiss: “Our workflow is one of a kind. We have implemented existing technology in unique ways that may not have been done before. Using the Avid AirSpeed 5000 … we’re able to bypass other ingesting processes and equipment that are normally used.” Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
New Grass Mantra: 'Buy, Build Or Partner'
TVNewsCheck, Aug 23, 2012, 12:09 PM EDT
To implement its "complete solutions" approach, the newly reorganized Grass Valley is now looking to partner with other vendors with complementary technology or possibly buy them, says the company’s new CMO Graham Sharp. "You may see some acquisitions over the coming six months," he says. Full Story | Comments (1)
Tech Spotlight
Robotic Camera Market Solidly On Track
TVNewsCheck, Aug 16, 2012, 12:24 PM EDT
As designs and prices get smaller, robotic cameras are cropping up on more stations’ wish lists, especially for groups with centralcasting ambitions. The top three manufacturers, offering different features and designs, see their market expanding both in the U.S. and internationally. Full Story | Add comment
DMA 111 (Augusta, GA)
Facility Helps Duop TVs Keep Own Identities
TVNewsCheck, Jul 26, 2012, 9:15 AM EDT
When Media General's Augusta, Ga., ABC affiliate WJBF took management control of Schurz's NBC affillate WAGT in 2009, one of its goals was to maintain the distinct personality of WAGT. So, when Media General moved the duopoly into a renovated Barnes & Noble bookstore last fall, each station got its own newsroom and studio. Although the gear is the same, the on-air products are not. Full Story | Comments (3)
Tech Spotlight
Monitoring Tech Expands Station Options
TVNewsCheck, Jul 19, 2012, 11:44 AM EDT
As the power of IT grows and financial constraints drive station purchasing, what began as simple compliance monitoring is clearly evolving into new areas for TV stations. Over time, the features have grown dramatically to include monitoring of the entire broadcast chain. With their help, broadcasters can catch frozen video frames, closed-caption glitches, soundtrack mistakes, missing metadata and dozens of other errors. The latest wrinkle: audio loudness monitoring for compliance with the CALM Act (as pictured on Volicon's Observer). Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Antennas Direct, TiVo Push OTA-OTT Solution
TVNewsCheck, Jul 12, 2012, 11:23 AM EDT
The two companies are stepping up a joint effort to persuade consumers to cut the cable TV cord  and substitute a mix of OTA and OTT programming. Direct supplies the antennas, while TiVo supplies the box that not only records and stores off-air programming, but also interfaces with the broadband video world of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. In the works is a plan that would let stations share in the monthly fees that TiVo charges by promoting the Antennas Direct-TiVo solution. "Our goal is to create an on-going, sustainable and increasing revenue stream for stations," says Antennas Direct’s Pete D'Acosta. Full Story | Comments (8)
Tech Spotlight
New Tech Speeds TV News To New Media
TVNewsCheck, Jun 14, 2012, 11:13 AM EDT
With growing needs to repurpose traditional news broadcasts for online and social media, TV stations are turning to tech companies like Grass Valley (left), Ross Video and Critical Media. They offer products to segment newscasts into clips, either as part of news production automation systems or as stand-alone products. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Belden Sharpens Its Television Focus
TVNewsCheck, Jun 7, 2012, 12:10 PM EDT
Its just-announced purchase of Miranda positions it to exploit the explosion in TV production and distribution, says CEO John Stroup. Miranda expects the deal will give it resources to expand through internal development and through acquisition. It has an "active acquisition list" that includes companies that have "different solutions that might mesh well with our playout and product solutions," says Miranda's Kevin Joyce. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Slow Going Getting New EAS Up And Running
TVNewsCheck, May 31, 2012, 11:47 AM EDT
Broadcasters say they are set to implement the government’s latest Emergency Alert System requirements. However, before that can happen, the FCC needs to finish its analysis of last year’s nationwide test that turned up glitches. And the entire process is suffering from a lack of a requirement that state and local agencies participate. Full Story | Comments (2)
Tech Spotlight
David Ross Drives His Tech Firm Forward
TVNewsCheck, May 10, 2012, 12:04 PM EDT
No longer just a supplier of top-line production switchers, Canadian-based Ross Video offers a range of tools for TV production, particularly live news. At this year's NAB Show, the company announced over a dozen new or substantially-redesigned products and unveiled its entry into camera robotics with the purchase of Cambotics. Among the CEO’s strategies is putting his customers’ needs first. “The first question we ask when designing a product is how are you going to use this? What do you need? This gives us an entrepreneurial outlook that tells us early on whether something will work or not.” Full Story | Comments (1)
Tech Spotlight
Tech's Big Question: What’s Next For Harris?
TVNewsCheck, May 3, 2012, 11:22 AM EDT
Broadcasters across the country and around the world are wondering how Tuesday's announcement that Harris Corp. wants to spin off its storied broadcasting business will play out. The division's president, Harris Morris, says the company "is going to seek a buyer who is committed and focused on this business and on growing in the media space. At the same time, we will try to eliminate disruption in the short-term while we go through the sale process." Full Story | Comments (4)
Tech Spotlight
WNBC Studio Is A Room With An HD View
TVNewsCheck, Apr 26, 2012, 12:15 PM EDT
The new state-of-the-art studio in Rockefeller Center that houses the NBC O&O's newscasts features a wide rooftop view of Manhattan behind anchors Darlene Rodriguez and Michael Gargiulo looking through what appears to be floor-to-ceiling windows. But those "windows" are actually five, adjacent 103-inch Panasonic plasma displays set on end and fed by a roof-top camera. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Global Next-Gen TV Group Gets To Work
TVNewsCheck, Apr 19, 2012, 11:58 AM EDT
The Future of Broadcast Television Initiative gathered representatives at the NAB Show this week to begin its formidable quest to develop a worldwide broadcast TV standard. “The challenges of a global specification may seem daunting, but the benefits of achieving such a goal are enormous,” said Switzerland's Phil Laven. The new standard would replace a variety of incompatible digital standards now in use. The hope is the new specifications will let TV stations broadcast future services like ultra high-definition television and 3D as well as improve mobile recepton and integrate broadcasting fully with the Internet. Full Story | Comments (1)
Tech Spotlight
Good Call: iPhones Are Stations' Hottest Tool
TVNewsCheck, Mar 22, 2012, 10:46 AM EDT
Many news organizations are finding that their journalists — both print and broadcast — are much more productive when equipped with the very versatile phone powered by an ever-growing number of apps. “Now everybody’s a newsgatherer,” says KPNX Phoenix News Director Mark Casey. “Our photojournalists use traditional pro video cameras, the point-and-shoot or the iPhone — and sometimes all three.” Full Story | Comments (1)
Tech Spotlight
FCC’s CALM Rules Puts Ball In Viewers’ Court
TVNewsCheck, Dec 15, 2011, 11:48 AM EST
The new FCC rules aimed at quieting loud commercials and promos take a light approach to compliance and enforcement, industry experts say. For finding trouble, the FCC will rely of complaints from viewers and will take action only if it finds "a pattern or trend." The rules don't require broadcasters to continuously monitor syndicated and network programming for compliance. However, "large" broadcasters will have to perform annual spot checks of imported programming if it hasn't been certified to be in compliance. Full Story | Comments (10)
Tech spotlight: DTV
AS-10 Strives To Streamline Video Handling
TVNewsCheck, Dec 1, 2011, 11:30 AM EST
Engineers are betting the new video metadata specification under development within the Advanced Media Workflow Association will result in seamless interoperability of software and devices from a variety of vendors. "Our goal is to have a single file that could move from camera to edit to playout to archive and back, really to be able to traverse the entire work flow," says CNN's Michael Koetter. Part of the vision is a certification program that would allow vendors to put an "AS-10 Inside" seal on their products. Full Story | Add comment
TECH SPOTLIGHT
Software Slices, Dices Data To Boost Sales
TVNewsCheck, Nov 3, 2011, 11:55 AM EDT
The growth of customer relationship management solutions and data analytics means stations have a number of options to help them collect and manage information about their customers. Among those in the sales software hunt are Harris, WideOrbit, Decentrix, Matrix Solutions and SalesForce. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Traffic & Billing: Fewer Firms, More Offerings
TVNewsCheck, Oct 27, 2011, 7:10 AM EDT
Over the past decade, the T&B sector has consolidated dramatically. Where once there were 15-20 players, there are now just a handful, fiercely competing to meet clients' demands for trimming costs and managing ads on the proliferating platforms, including the Web, digital subchannels and various mobile offerings. WideOrbit and Harris OSi are the dominant companies in the U.S. commercial TV station sector, but a number of others, including Myers, BroadView, Pilat and Sintec, want a piece of the pie. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
TV Techs Doubt IT-Based Playout Readiness
TVNewsCheck, Oct 20, 2011, 11:05 AM EDT
While the growing momentum behind so-called channel-in-a-box technology is intriguing and makes a lot of sense, some broadcast engineers say tech vendors have jumped the gun, racing to market with technology that is not mature enough for American TV station operations. “The single box units are now being utilized more for cable channels than anything else,” says Sinclair’s Del Parks. “At the end of the day, a TV station is probably a little more complex to the degree that it may need some specific pieces of equipment.” Full Story | Comments (6)
Tech Spotlight
Channel-In-A-Box Market Is Hot, Crowded
TVNewsCheck, Oct 13, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT
IT-based playout, or channel-in-a-box, is the hottest TV technology around these days. Propelled by broadcasters' insatiable need to cut costs, Grass Valley, Miranda, Florical, Snell and Evertz are now offering the virtual master control technology and Harris and Harmonics may be next. Full Story | Comments (6)
Tech Spotlight
Cloud-Based Services Making Inroads
TVNewsCheck, Aug 25, 2011, 9:58 AM EDT
Cloud-based services for broadcasters include graphics, asset management, email for user-generated video, back-office functions and warehousing of documents and video. The list of services and vendors grows almost daily. Although some broadcasters, attracted mostly by the cost savings and improved efficiency, have embraced the services, others still harbor a basic mistrust of them, principally because they rely on the public Internet that lies beyond their control. Full Story | Comments (3)
Tech Spotlight
WKRN, WZTV Making Nashville All-HD Town
TVNewsCheck, Jul 28, 2011, 11:31 AM EDT
They are the market’s final stations to convert their news operations to high def. Sinclair’s WZTV will feature an interactive set, while Young’s WKRN has HD capability from the field ready to go. And Nashville’s other news producers — WSMV and WTVF — aren’t resting on their laurels either, adding new sets, graphics, file-based editing systems and news automation to stay cutting edge. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
WLS Wields A Powerful New Tool For ENG
TVNewsCheck, Jul 21, 2011, 10:37 AM EDT
The Chicago ABC O&O has just made a large investment in bonded cellular technology that lets crews send live video back to the station over public wireless broadband networks. The gear comes from Dejero Labs. Portable transmitters the size of small suitcases send signals using an online system manager to in-station receivers, which capture the incoming video and convert it to genlocked SDI video ready for ingest into the station's workflow. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
Retrans Deal Drives Cowles Centralcasting
TVNewsCheck, Jul 14, 2011, 11:59 AM EDT
Cowles is putting the finishing touches on a three-station centralcasting system in Washington state that uses fiber links obtained from Charter Cable in a retransmission consent deal to connect the hub — KHQ Spokane — with KNDO Yakima and KNDU Richland. The centralcasting system is the culmination of more than three years of planning and upgrading on the KHQ facility that also puts the station on the verge on being fully HD. Full Story | Comments (2)
Tech Spotlight
Syncbak Moving Forward With OTT Platform
TVNewsCheck, Jul 7, 2011, 11:56 AM EDT
CEO Jack Perry says in addition to developing the platform that stations will be able to use to deliver their programming via broadband to interconnected TV sets, tablets and smart phones in their markets, his company is also lining up national programming to supplement whatever programming the participating stations choose to put on the platform. Preliminary testing on stations is slotted for next month, with the goal of a commercial rollout by January’s CES. Full Story | Comments (1)
tech spotlight
New EAS System On Its Way ... Maybe
TVNewsCheck, May 19, 2011, 11:54 AM EDT
The FCC has mandated that stations install new equipment by Sept. 30 to receive the next generation of Emergency Alert System transmissions — CAP or Common Alerting Protocol. But with the FCC still tinkering with the equipment reguirements and many states not on board with the plan, some broadcasters are wondering why the deadline can't be pushed back. Full Story | Comments (10)
Tech Spotlight
Canon Focuses On Station Camcorder Market
TVNewsCheck, May 5, 2011, 12:02 PM EDT
With an "arsenal" of three camcorders with solid-state media, the company is ready to compete with Sony, Panasonic and JVC for stations upgrading to high-def news. Says Canon's Larry Thorpe: “We have jumped in ... because we certainly have seen over recent years a very definitive move of broadcasters looking for lower-cost equipment for newsgathering ... and we play down there in that lower-cost end.” Full Story | Comments (3)
Tech Spotlight
Bonded Cellular Technology Boosts CBS ENG
TVNewsCheck, Apr 28, 2011, 11:06 AM EDT
An alternative to microwave, bonded cellular technology loaded in a backpack is allowing the CBS O&Os to broadcast HD images in near real time from virtually anywhere. "This technology has made us truly mobile, on foot as well as in the vehicles," says news chief David Friend. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
New Harris A/V 'Box' Merges Baseband, IP
TVNewsCheck, Feb 8, 2011, 8:51 AM EST
Dubbed Selenio, the multifunction, rack-mounted unit uses modules to perform a variety of tasks — frame synchronization, video conversion, encoding, decoding, multiplexing and demultiplexing. It also give users a pathway to IP networking, while saving space and power, Harris says. Full Story | Add comment
Tech Spotlight
When Weather's Bad, KYW Is Good To Go
TVNewsCheck, Feb 3, 2011, 11:31 AM EST
The CBS O&O in Philadelphia got its new, custom CBS-3 Mobile Weather Lab just in time for this winter’s record snow storms. Part live mobile weather unit and part promotional vehicle, the Audi Q7 Quattro four-wheel drive SUV has real time National Weather Service radar, two dashboard mounted video cameras, GPS navigation, a 42-inch Sony monitor, two Apple iPads, Skype two-way video, wireless broadband Internet and digital microwave connectivity. Full Story | Comments (1)
Tech Spotlight
Mobile DTV Repeater Shows Promise
TVNewsCheck, Dec 16, 2010, 11:30 AM EST
A test of a single-frequency repeater in Washington this summer and fall indicates that it may be what broadcasters need to fill in coverage gaps in their mobile DTV service when they roll it out next year. "I'm cautiously optimistic," says OMVC's Sterling Davis (left). Full Story | Comments (8)
tech spotlight
FCC Plan Makes VHF A Very High Priority
TVNewsCheck, Dec 2, 2010, 12:01 PM EST
A critical part of the commission's push to find more spectrum for wireless broadband is to improve the quality of TV signals in the VHF band that were weakened in the digital transition. Among its suggestions are boosting transmission power and setting reception standards for home antennas. Broadcasters are skeptical of the plan's viability and are worried that they may be forced to move from the UHF band to VHF, requiring expensive equipment while potentially lessening their coverage and alienating their viewers. Full Story | Comments (25)
tech spotlight
Cox Takes Lead In BXF Implementation
TVNewsCheck, Nov 18, 2010, 11:00 AM EST
Starting next month, Cox hopes to save itself time and money by implementing the BXF interface between traffic and master control at five stations including KTVU San Francisco. BXF promises to take the labor out of making on-the-fly changes to what spots air and when. “The pilot has gone very smoothly,” says project manager Chip Reif. “There are always issues that you discover along the way, but there have been no major problems.” Full Story | Add comment
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 27, 2016
  • 1.
    3.0/11
  • 2.
    1.8/6
  • 3.
    1.2/4
  • 4.
    0.9/3
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.2/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

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