Sinclair transforms news gathering through new production partnership
with Avid, Sony and Marquis
New and innovative cloud-based workflow uses Avid MediaCentral, Sony Electronics’ C3 Portal gateway service and Marquis integration to get news to air – with all associated metadata – faster than ever
The Marquis team at NAB Show 2023
Sinclair is deploying and refining a new innovative cloud-based news and content gathering and production workflow by combining technologies from Avid, Sony and Marquis Broadcast. This novel method of news sequence relinking – now in operation at six Sinclair stations – has accelerated 5G news acquisition, reducing the volume of high-resolution video transferred to news production centres by field journalists. By leveraging 5G networks, Sinclair is limiting acquisition cost increases, creating a continuously enriched stream of news metadata and accelerating the speed of its news operations.
Sinclair’s strategy was to democratise news acquisition, with every journalist or photographer having fast content delivery to news production centres. This transformation required a collaborative approach to streamline the workflow, and Sinclair engaged with Avid on its MediaCentral news production platform, Sony on cameras and C3 Portal and Marquis to enable the complex workflow integrations. Since the workflow was implemented earlier this year, Sinclair has enabled real business and operational benefits, with fast story turn-around and structured metadata automatically delivered to newsrooms. Its newsrooms can cut several versions of the same story to deliver to digital platforms faster and with improved relevance.
Fundamental to the news workflow is the automatic preservation and enrichment of metadata from the point of origination. The Sony 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. Once a shot is complete, the proxy video is automatically transferred via 5G to the Sony C3 Portal. Marquis polls the C3 Portal for new video and automatically transfers the new proxy, rewrapping the file into Avid OP-Atom. The file is written into the Avid NEXIS and the asset is imported into MediaCentral, placing the file into the correct story location.
Once the edit is complete, the editor can request the high-res content via the Marquis sequence relinking process. This automatically extracts partial segments from the high-res file in the Sony C3 Portal, ensuring only the required content in the sequence is brought into Avid. 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 back into the timeline and automatically substitutes the low-res content. The Marquis integration enables the ‘edit while record’ feature in Avid Media Composer, so stories can be edited as soon as the proxy file starts ingesting. And for IBC 2023, the process will also support restoring partials directly from the camera via 5G or from the camera card.
This ‘sequence relinking’ enables a fundamental change in news acquisition by seamlessly combining Sony news acquisition with Avid news production technology. The ‘as-shot’ content and metadata is automatically pushed to the news production centre in a carefully structured way, enabling stories to be edited and versioned for more markets hours faster than would otherwise be possible. This workflow was achieved with the vision of Sinclair plus Marquis’ close co-operation with Avid and Sony.