Is virtual playout from a public cloud an economical and reliable option for broadcasting master control?
Sinclair Broadcast Group is aiming to find out.
Earlier this month, 51 Sinclair stations began using cloud-based playout to broadcast each morning a three-hour block of children’s programming with a full commercial load. The stations aired one of four time-zone feeds. (Some 70 other stations receive the block as part of Tribune-MGM’s This TV.)
For the pioneering project, Microsoft Azure is the supplying the cloud; Imagine Communications, the software; and LTN Global Communications, the high-speed downstream link to the stations.
So far, so good, says Del Parks, chief technology officer at Sinclair. “It’s been pretty bulletproof. It’s providing us with an opportunity to experience the system and work through some of its idiosyncrasies.”