Advanced Television

Sinclair production partnership with Avid, Sony and Marquis

April 13, 2023

Sinclair is deploying innovative cloud-based news and content gathering and production workflows by combining technologies from Avid, Sony and Marquis Broadcast. This new approach leverages 5G networks to reduce connectivity costs while enriching the flow of news metadata to accelerate the speed of its news operations.
Ernie Ensign, AVP News Technology & Operations, Sinclair, explained: “Our fundamental strategy is to democratise news acquisition, with every journalist or photographer having fast content delivery to news production centers. This transformation requires a collaborative approach to streamline the workflow. We’re engaged with Avid on its MediaCentral news production platform, Sony on cameras and C3 Portal and Marquis to enable complex workflow integrations.
Ensign continued: “We’ve enabled real business and operational benefits, with fast story turn-around and structured metadata automatically delivered to newsrooms. Our newsrooms can cut several versions of the same story to deliver to digital platforms faster and with improved relevance. We have six stations engaged to refine the technologies and we’re continually optimising workflows for best ROI and operational outcome. There are challenges to overcome but we’re moving closer to having access to all content in near real time. The next steps are around compression efficiency to increase quality while reducing bandwidth consumption and improving metadata transparency throughout the process.”
Fundamental to Sony’s C3 Portal news workflow is the automatic preservation and enrichment of metadata from the point of origination. C3 Portal supports pushing metadata to the camera before shooting commences; for example, iNEWS slug information and assignment data, preserving this metadata throughout the production process when the story checks into Avid MediaCentral. Future workflows will allow rights information – and therefore genealogy – to be automatically maintained from creation throughout the edit and into archive.
Masakazu Murata, Sr. General Manager of Media Solutions Business, Sony Corporation, comments, “It has been a great pleasure for us to work with Sinclair, Avid and Marquis, striving to transform news acquisition. A closer integration of our C3 Portal with Avid MediaCentral to immediately deliver contents to edit system from camera is one of the major demands from our customers and I’m pleased to confirm we have achieved this. It’s an exciting journey of joint innovation that’s already realising operational results for Sinclair. The new workflow will help us align the roadmap for further development of the C3 Portal. Sony continues to deliver solutions to meet and exceeds the needs of customers, by creating together with partners that provide value in the video production workflow.”
A powerful component of the new solution is the ability to send proxy video quickly back to the news production center via 5G network and Sony’s C3 Portal. The Marquis integration enables the ‘edit while record’ feature in Media Composer so stories can be edited as soon as the proxy file starts ingesting. With a wide choice of Sony proxy resolutions, news organizations may easily take the proxy to air within seconds for fast news turnaround.
“The pressure to deliver content and get editors cutting faster is relentless. The focus of Avid’s partnership with Sony and Marquis is to pioneer new ways to quickly ingest proxy media with metadata and fetch only the required high-resolution media in a sequence,” said Ray Thompson, Senior Director, Partners and Alliances, Avid. “The combined offering enables lens-to-first-edit workflows to flow from Sony cameras, through Sony’s C3 Portal leveraging Marquis software to deliver proxy media and camera metadata into Avid on-premises or cloud-deployed production solutions. This includes sending content into Avid Production Asset Management environments to simplify news and sports workflows or sending content directly into the Avid | Edit On Demand SaaS platform in the cloud.”
This novel workflow automates extraction of sequence information from the Avid low-res proxy edit. With this sequence data, Marquis will automatically retrieve the high-resolution media from either Sony’s C3 Portal, and [scheduled for 2023] also the originating camera or originating camera cards. Assuming a 10:1 shooting ratio, this partial extraction process results in a 90% reduction in 5G data transferred and network bandwidth required. Using the dynamic relink feature in Avid, the high-res content simply drops into the timeline and automatically substitutes the low-res content, thus transforming news production.
Paul Glasgow, Managing Director, Marquis, concludes, “We’re so pleased to be a core part of this initiative. In many ways, it has been a four-way partnership led by Sinclair, combined with some hard work and willingness to help from Marquis, Avid and Sony. As an example, we met with the Sony team at IBC 2022 and explained our integration strategy for Sinclair. Within days, we had access to Sony’s C3 Portal, plus a Sony camera in our labs to test alongside our Avid MediaCentral environment. It helped us accelerate our software development program, and most important of all, achieve real-world field operations by Sinclair.”

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