The innovative TV engineer will work at KDFW Dallas, as its VP of engineering, and will have some group responsibilities when it comes to technology decisions. “Working at Gray has been a great experience and they have allowed me to do so much,” says Ocon, who joined Gray in 2008. “Even though I’m not going to somewhere with 50 stations, I see this as a step up, and feel that I can help make a big impact at a major Fox organization.”
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.”
Gray Television plans to deploy Ci, Sony’s cloud-based storage and media asset mangement solution, across a few of its stations.
Gray Television is rolling out TVU Grid, a cloud-based, real-time IP video distribution, switching and routing solution that lets networks and station groups share live content from multiple remote locations.
Broadcasters want traffic and billing systems that can handle ads for websites and mobile as adeptly as they do broadcast spots and that can integate seamlessly with master control automation. Vendors are doing their best to meet this demand. Says Larry Keene of the Traffic Directors Guild of America: “Every traffic software person we’ve spoken to in the last month and a half…is telling us the attention being given to mobile and Web is almost equaling the time and efforts taken for the TV.”
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.”
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.
The new, lower-priced version of Apple’s popular editing software has resulted in a firestorm of reaction. Many professional craft editors don’t like a lot of the changes, especially the inability to transfer projects from Final Cut Pro 7 to the new version. But for many television stations — on a mission to lower costs and hire less skilled personnel to spread video content to a wide array of new platforms — the $299 price tag means it may live alongside server-based news editing systems from companies such as Avid and Grass Valley.