Sinclair Continues its IP and Cloud Transition with Imagine Communications

Date: 10/06/2021
Sinclair Continues its IP and Cloud Transition with Imagine Communications

Sinclair Broadcast Group continues to lead the industry’s transition to the future of television, developing innovative solutions to meet its requirements for channel playout and live broadcasting. These include a new 25,000-square-foot, SMPTE ST 2110 media operations center for Sinclair’s regional sports networks (RSNs) with cloud-hosted disaster recovery channels, and a large-scale ST 2110 production facility for its Tennis Channel featuring a cloud-based environment for pop-up live special events all built around Imagine Communications infrastructure and playout platforms.

Don Roberts, VP of sports engineering and production systems at Sinclair Broadcast Group, makes the point that both business and technical requirements are driving Sinclair’s transition to IP connectivity and software-defined architectures and particularly cloud deployment. “This transition cannot be a simple lift and shift of legacy systems; it is the opportunity to take a fresh look at the way a broadcaster operates,” stated Roberts.

“We have to start from good user engagement, to understand what will change at each step,” Roberts said. “The transition to IP and the cloud is transformative. We can’t just flip a switch we have to redefine how the business works. This is change management as much as technology.”

A powerful advocate of the SMPTE ST 2110 family of standards, Sinclair has a long history in collaborating with Imagine Communications to develop IP playout and production systems. Following its 2019 acquisition of regional sports networks from Fox/Disney, Sinclair had to quickly develop a new playout strategy and decided to build an IP-based facility from the ground up to serve as a future-proof hub for the new RSNs. The Atlanta, Georgia-based facility was built in partnership with Encompass with Imagine’s Versio™ integrated playout platform, Selenio™ Network Processors and Magellan™ SDNO control system at the core.

“Armed with our experience with IP and our strong technical relationship with Imagine, we decided that our first step was to develop an on-premises solution for the RSNs,” said Roberts. “We also developed options to put some functionality like the archive and disaster recovery playout into the cloud. This enables us to use the Atlanta facility as a stepping-stone, continually refining the workflows and business cases that will help us transition to a hybrid approach that balances capability and cost.”

At the same time, Sinclair was developing a platform for its Tennis Channel, a service that features comprehensive coverage of the top 100 tournaments in the sport and more. The channel has a master control center in Santa Monica, California, which uses the flexible Versio platform, both on-premises for primary origination with Imagine’s field-proven ADC™ automation, and as software instances hosted in the AWS cloud for pop-up special events under the control of the cloud-optimized Versio Automation system. IP connectivity allows simplification of the hardware architecture, for instance, through use of the virtual re-entry software features of Imagine’s Magellan SDNO to create virtual patch panels, router paths and workflows.

The Tennis Channel project presented Sinclair with a new set of technical, operational, and business challenges. “Tennis is live and unpredictable, so we need our playout capabilities to be agile and responsive,” Roberts explained. “Software solutions like Versio give us that agility the ability to make a decision and have it on air virtually instantly. And because it can be hosted in the cloud, we simply spin it up at the beginning of each tournament and close the software when it ends.”

Central to the architecture at the Santa Monica center is Imagine’s Selenio Network Processor, which Roberts defines as “a broadcast Swiss Army Knife if you have a problem with a signal, throw an SNP at it.” Each 1RU SNP device hosts four independent, software-defined processing channels. At the Tennis Channel facility, the SNPs act as IP gateways and support format conversion, which allows the facility to be primarily 1080p, but accommodate 4K and HDR UHD when needed, such as for the French Open Tennis from Roland Garros in Paris. The facility also uses the new SNP-MV multiviewer personality, allowing for tactical multiview displays to be quickly established wherever they are needed in the workflow.

The new Tennis Channel ST 2110 infrastructure debuted in December 2020. Sinclair then went live to and from the cloud during coverage of the 2021 Miami Open in March, marking the first time that any broadcaster had supported such a high-profile live sporting event via live cloud playout. The innovative combination of cloud playout and on-the-ground master control provided a solution that was particularly powerful in a time of COVID, which has challenged media companies to continue producing quality broadcasts, while ensuring a safe work environment for operational staff. The unique capabilities and integration of Imagine's IP-enabled playout and core infrastructure products created a cutting-edge architecture and workflow that helped make this possible.

Imagine Communications president Steve Reynolds said, “We are privileged to work with Sinclair as their technology partner. They understand, as we do, that we are on the curve of a transition that has the potential to change everything. Along that curve there will be on-prem and cloud systems; hybrid connectivity leading to IP. Sinclair embodies those principles: they use SDI when they need to (with Imagine SNPs as gateways); they use software-oriented technology and IP connectivity; they migrate to the cloud when it is right for them. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with a true broadcast leader.”

Roberts concluded, “Our plans moving forward are all about making production and delivery more efficient, to create a single ecosystem. Each of our RSNs has its own production facilities, and as they need a technology refresh, we will bring them into the ST 2110 world. We see Imagine as a key partner in that process: we work closely with them, we have honest exchanges about the way forward, and we are all learning as we go along. It’s a winning team.”

For more information about Imagine Communications’ products and solutions, please visit https://www.imaginecommunications.com




Tags: Imagine Communications | Sinclair | Sinclair Broadcasting Group | Tennis Channel | Don Roberts | Steve Reynolds | SMPTE ST 2110 | Versio | Selenio | Magellan | ADC automation | IP | cloud transition | sports production | MKM Marcomms | MKM Marketing Communications
Submitted by MKM (MKM Marketing Communications)
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  • Moving to an IP Platform Considerations

    Moving to an IP Platform Considerations

  • Tried and tested: DPA d:vice

    Tried and tested: DPA d:vice

  • Grand slam IPTV and digital signage platform

    Grand slam IPTV and digital signage platform

  • How IP-based KVM can improve workflow in broadcast control rooms

    How IP-based KVM can improve workflow in broadcast control rooms

  • IP for everyone and 4k everywhere - that will be 2018

    IP for everyone and 4k everywhere - that will be 2018

  • AoIP in the intercom world

    AoIP in the intercom world

  • The Transition to a full end to end IP video solution

    The Transition to a full end to end IP video solution

  • IP or not IP, that is the question

    IP or not IP, that is the question

  • IP Prompting

    IP Prompting

  • Marjan Television Network - a case study

    Marjan Television Network - a case study

  • Peace of mind in a complicated world

    Peace of mind in a complicated world

  • Back to Basics with IP Video Production

    Back to Basics with IP Video Production

  • Top Tips on becoming an IBC Jedi

    Top Tips on becoming an IBC Jedi

  • Power linking just got better

    Power linking just got better

  • Implementing an IP workflow

    Implementing an IP workflow

  • IP Based Remote Production

    IP Based Remote Production

  • IP-Based Intercom Solutions

    IP-Based Intercom Solutions


News
THEO Technologies launches hesp.live, the first HTTP-based real-time video API at scale Posted: 24/01/2022
THEO Technologies launches hesp.live, the first HTTP-based real-time video API at scale

Video tech company THEO Technologies has launched hesp.live, the first HTTP-based real-time video streaming infrastructure that reaches sub-second latency at scale. This technology disrupts the industry standard of multiple seconds of latency and is currently the fastest HTTP-based video live streaming solution. THEO Technologies achieved this by leveraging the High Efficiency Streaming Protocol (HESP) that enables live interactivity at scale for industries such as sports, betting, auctioning, gaming and live events.

Tags: OTT | low latency | live streaming | hesp | DASH | HLS | CDN
Submitted by Staff
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IBC Accelerators: Industry leaders take action to achieve Carbon Net Zero Live Production Posted: 24/01/2022
IBC Accelerators: Industry leaders take action to achieve Carbon Net Zero Live Production

A team of world-leading sports broadcasters, rights owners and technology vendors, collaborating as part of IBC’s Accelerator Media Innovation Programme, have revealed the initial results from an English Premier League production workflow trial to support the goal of a carbon ‘net zero’ future for live productions. Together, they demonstrate how innovative remote & cloud production workflows can meet ambitious sustainability objectives and reduce the environmental impact of live production




Tags: ibc
Submitted by Platform Comms
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Clear-Com HelixNet and FreeSpeak II Rise to the Challenge at the National Paralympic Games XVI Posted: 24/01/2022
Clear-Com and rsquo;s HelixNet and FreeSpeak II Rise to the Challenge at the National Paralympic Games XVI

The 16th National Paralympic Games were hosted in Indonesia last year from November 2nd – 13th at the Mandala Stadium in Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia. Clear-Com’s Indonesian-based Partner, 86 Inc., was contacted by the Organizing Committee of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies (OCC) to assist with the show management and live broadcast communications for the complex events. 86 Inc. recommended a solution based around Clear-Com®’sHelixNet® Digital Network Partyline and FreeSpeak II® Digital Wireless Intercom.

Tags: Clear-Com® HelixNet® Digital Network Partyline | FreeSpeak II® Digital Wireless Intercom
Submitted by Bubble Agency
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SDVI Congratulates Hilary Roschke on Being Named Head of Americas and Chair of Board for Rise North America Posted: 21/01/2022
SDVI Congratulates Hilary Roschke on Being Named Head of Americas and Chair of Board for Rise North America

SDVI, the leading platform provider for cloud-native media supply chains, today congratulates Hilary Roschke, vice president of strategic operations, for being named head of Americas and chair of board for Rise North America. In this new role for the Rise organization, Roschke will help build relationships and drive North American membership and program expansion.

Tags: Hilary Roschke | Rise North America | SDVi | Diversity | Women in tech
Submitted by Wall Street Communications
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Dynamic Infographic From Marketron Details Full Scope of Opportunity for Local TV Advertising Pros in 2022 Posted: 21/01/2022
Dynamic Infographic From Marketron Details Full Scope of Opportunity for Local TV Advertising Pros in 2022

Marketron, the broadcast industry's leading technology provider for more scalable, predictable, and reliable revenue, today unveiled a dynamic infographic designed to give local TV advertising professionals a clear understanding of 2022 digital advertising trends, as well as the data and recommendations to capitalize on trends and increase advertising opportunities.

Tags: Infographic | Marketron | Local TV | Advertising
Submitted by Wall Street Communications
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Visual Data Media Services Reimagines Content Remastering and Restoration with Matchmaker Posted: 21/01/2022
Visual Data Media Services Reimagines Content  Remastering and Restoration with Matchmaker

Visual Data Media Services responds to customers’ increased demand for quality content along with compressed delivery timelines with its Matchmaker™ film scanning and restoration solution. The workflow combines Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms with Visual Data’s creative and technical expertise, to significantly reduce the time needed to remaster content to 4K/ HDR and prepare it for distribution -- taking large-scale projects from years or months down to weeks or days.




Tags: Visual Data | Visual Data Media Services | Matchmaker
Submitted by Bubble Agency
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Adder Expands Distribution Partnership for the Nordics Region Posted: 21/01/2022
Adder Expands Distribution Partnership for the Nordics Region

Adder Technology, a global specialist in connectivity and IP KVM solutions, has today extended its successful relationship with recognized and respected distributor, DigiBox. For over a decade, Adder has been working with the specialist media and entertainment partner in the UK&I, and a new distribution agreement will see the partnership extend to the Nordics region.

Tags: IP KVM | KVM Matrix | ZeroU KVM | HDMI | DisplayPort | Computer Access | Computer Control | Remote Access | Post-Production | Outside Broadcast | Broadcast | Transport Technology | Industrial Technology | Air Traffic Control | VFX
Submitted by Adder
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Cobalt Digital Opens Doors to Representative Office in China Posted: 20/01/2022
Cobalt Digital Opens Doors to Representative Office in China

Cobalt® Digital, designer and manufacturer of award-winning edge devices for live video production and master control, and a founding partner in the openGear® initiative, has welcomed 2022 with the launch of a Representative Office in China. Based in Beijing, the Office is staffed by local sales and support professionals with deep regional knowledge and extensive experience supporting Cobalt’s product portfolio. The office, which represents Cobalt’s expanded reach into the growing China market, opened its doors in late December 2021.

Tags: Cobalt Digital | Cobalt’s 9971 | Multiviewer | openGear | 9971-MV6-4K | 9904-UDX-4K HDR | Ultra-Low Latency Mode | Encoder | 9992-ENC | BBG-1300-FR Mini openGear | 9905-MPx | Cobalt Digital’s 12G | Chris Shaw | encoders | decoders | 3G-SDI Models | RIST technology | Dr. Ciro Noronha | 9926
Submitted by Desert Moon
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Gigcasters Achieves Broadcast Quality Live Streaming with the Zixi OnAir Mobile App Posted: 20/01/2022
Gigcasters Achieves Broadcast Quality Live Streaming with the Zixi OnAir Mobile App

Gigcasters, a live streaming engineering company, has seen mobile production increase during the pandemic and witnessed first-hand the benefits of higher frequency, lower cost productions using Zixi’s OnAir app infrastructure. The company first tried live video delivery remotely using laptops and WebRTC, but found the reliability of the feed was not good, and packet loss and image quality were insufficient. Once the Zixi OnAir app was quickly enabled on local production teams’ mobile phones, getting a broadcast-quality feed was easy. 






Tags: Gigcasters | Zixi | Zixi OnAir
Submitted by Bubble Agency
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SMPTE Inks Partnership With the Entertainment Technology Center at USC to Study On-Set Virtual Production Solution Posted: 20/01/2022
SMPTE Inks Partnership With the Entertainment Technology Center at USC to Study On-Set Virtual Production Solution

SMPTE®, the home of media professionals, technologists, and engineers, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Entertainment Technology Center, a department within the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (ETC), an entertainment technology think tank and research center. The memo supports a partnership between the two organizations to collaborate on a SMPTE solution for on-set virtual production (OSVP) — the first in the Society's planned series of Rapid Industry Solutions (RIS) intended to address quickly evolving technologies and their application across the media and entertainment industry.

Tags: On-set virtual production | Rapid Industry Solutions | OSVP | Entertainment Technology Center | SMPTE | USC
Submitted by Wall Street Communications
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New Dalet AmberFin Update Enables Customers to Expand Streaming Workflows Posted: 20/01/2022
New Dalet AmberFin Update Enables Customers to Expand Streaming Workflows

Enhanced media processing capabilities and seamless integration with Dalet Flex and Dalet Pyramid solutions elevate user experience, support mobility, and expand workflow options; Successful AWS Foundation Technical Review ensures cloud excellence

Tags: Dalet | Dalet AmberFin | Dalet Flex | Dalet Pyramid
Submitted by Zazil Media Group
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Broadcast Solutions Partners with Video Automation Software Developer Seervision Posted: 20/01/2022
Broadcast Solutions Partners with Video Automation Software Developer Seervision

Broadcast Solutions and its branch Broadcast Solutions Nordic partners with Seervision, developerof video automation software solutions.

Tags: Seervision | Broadcast Solutions
Submitted by Broadcast Solutions
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Cromorama Chooses Leader LV5600 Reference Instrumentation Posted: 20/01/2022
Cromorama Chooses Leader LV5600 Reference Instrumentation

Cromorama, one of Europe's most experienced specialists in film and television color management, has chosen Leader LV5600 reference instrumentation for use at its Warsaw headquarters and on location. Cromorama's founder, Pablo Garcia Soriano, pioneered the implementation of multi-delivery HDR and SDR for large sports events. In recent years he has become a worldwide reference on color control technology for broadcast and digital cinematography productions.


Tags: Leader Instruments | video test equipment | audio test equipment | video waveform monitors | 12G waveform monitors | 12G video analyzers | IP video analysers | video noise meters | HDR test equipment | true-hybrid test equipment | Hi-Vision test equipment
Submitted by Stylus Media Communications
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Ateliere Creative Technologies Launches Cloud-Based Connect Supply Chain Platform on AWS Marketplace Posted: 20/01/2022
Ateliere Creative Technologies Launches Cloud-Based Connect Supply Chain Platform on AWS Marketplace

Ateliere Creative Technologies Launches Cloud-Based Connect Supply Chain Platform on AWS Marketplace

Ateliere enables easy purchasing of their digital supply chain platform in AWS Marketplace, allowing customers to take advantage of existing AWS relationships and incentives.

Tags: Ateliere Creative Technologies | Ateliere Connect | Ateliere Discover | Cloud-native media supply chain | SaaS | IMF | broadcasters | content creators
Submitted by Bubble Agency
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Autodesk Acquires Moxion Cloud Solution for Digital Dailies Posted: 20/01/2022
Autodesk Acquires Moxion Cloud Solution for Digital Dailies

Today Autodesk announced the acquisition of Moxion, the New Zealand-based developer of a powerful, cloud-based platform for digital dailies used by leading filmmakers on some of the world's most complex and challenging productions, including “The Midnight Sky,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and “The Matrix Resurrections.” The acquisition of Moxion’s talent and technology will expand Autodesk's own cloud platform for Media and Entertainment upstream, moving beyond post-production into production, bringing new users to Autodesk while helping better integrate processes across the entire content production chain. 

Tags: Autodesk | Moxion | Dailies | Digital Dailies | Production
Submitted by Autodesk
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