Mar 8, 2004  •  Post A Comment

A technology decision the Sinclair Broadcast Group made long ago is paying off, given the group’s increased investment of attention and dollars in its centralcasting project, News Central.

News Central produces news in Hunt Valley, Md., for 13 of Sinclair’s 62 stations. While the live news elements are sent over satellite feeds, the weather, news packages, advertising and other elements common to the group are sent out over the private network the expansive station group installed 10 years ago, said Del Parks, Sinclair’s director of engineering.

Traffic on the private network has increased amply since News Central began in 2002. All stations can take advertising through this internal network, sharing content with each other.

“All our stations are connected across the network,” Mr. Parks said. “News Central network is first and foremost a way for exchanging video and audio among our news producing stations. Our producers can drag and drop a story from Pathfire into our Avid [iNews] system; the file transfer takes place automatically. Taking advantage of that technology improves the work flow.”

Sinclair also processes syndicated programming from Warner Bros. for its 19 affiliate stations through Pathfire’s digital delivery system. Mr. Parks said Pathfire’s method of delivery sends content in digital files to the playout server, whereas in the past, content was delivered by satellite and then had to be recorded on tape.

Mr. Parks said Sinclair plans to add a Masstech Group storage system and beta-test it with the delivery of WB content. The system uses standard servers but can work with the Pathfire system and both store the video and “push that content to your play-to-air server,” he said.