Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation’s largest independent station group, is using a variety of digital video production equipment from Thomson to build out its News Central centralized news distribution system that enables stations to share material.
Sinclair’s Hunt Valley, Md. headquarters serves as the central production facility that creates and feeds domestic and international news segments and prepackaged, customized graphics to many of its local stations. This state-of-the-art facility is based around several key pieces of Grass Valley production equipment from Thomson Broadcast and Media Solutions.
The multimillion-dollar order - currently in the process of being delivered and installed--includes multiple Grass Valley Zodiak switchers, Trinix video routers, Concerto audio routers, TTV 1707 digital cameras that will be installed in a select number of its stations, along with numerous Grass Valley Gecko modular products to tie each News Central station’s serial digital plant together.
Del Parks, vice president of engineering and operations at Sinclair, said this cost-effective way of producing news process will simplify national news coverage for its stations and result in higher-quality news product delivered more efficiently. Standardizing on Thomson’s Grass Valley digital equipment provided the station group with a consistent engineering template for all of the stations to follow and an improved on-air look.
The News Central project was launched in 2002 with the renovation of WSMH-TV in Flint, Mich. It included the installation of a Grass Valley Zodiak 2 M/E switcher, two TVT 1707 12-bit digital cameras, a Trinix 128x128 video router and a Concerto Series 64x64 audio routing switcher. The Concerto routers will help distribute digital stereo audio elements tightly integrated with the digital video being controlled by the Trinix video routing matrix.
To support the News Central model, Sinclair is currently in the process of installing a Zodiak switcher, Trinix video router, Concerto audio router and at least two TVT 1707 cameras in rebuilt station facilities at: WBFF-TV, in Baltimore, Md.; WLFL-TV in Raleigh, N.C.; WUHF-TV in Rochester, N.Y. and KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City, Okla. All of the Grass Valley equipment is scheduled to be complete by the fall.