Sinclair selects Masstech CatchBLUE to transcode Pitch Blue and Javelin content

Sinclair Broadcast Group has deployed Masstech CatchBLUE v7.5 Special Edition systems to transcode content from Pitch Blue and Javelin syndicated delivery services for its entire group of 58 stations across the United States, which includes major TV networks such as FOX, ABC, CBS and NBC.

Masstech has implemented CatchBLUE to highly automate the ingestion of content from Pitch Blue and Javelin  and other file based media delivery systems at Sinclair stations. Pitch Blue content delivered as H.264 HD has to be transcoded first, before it can be moved to broadcast servers for play to air in Sinclair’s complex broadcast ecosystem. Accelerating the transformation of content from Pitch Blue and Javelin to ‘ready for air’ format eliminates the labor intensive, repetitive, manual processes associated with content being delivered from multiple sources. CatchBLUE also provides automated BMDN (browse/monitor/deliver/notify) workflows for file based media management at Sinclair.

“Not all transcoders are created equal, so it is essential when transcoding HD content to maintain quality, and Masstech’s box does it at lightning speed with great efficiency,” said Del Parks, VP of Engineering & Operations for Sinclair Broadcast Group. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Masstech because their system works so well and their project engineers have attended to every detail. We are very happy with the high quality transcodes that Masstech provides.”

CatchBLUE is the world’s fastest all-in-one transcoding product providing more standard features than any other enterprise-class workflow automation or transcoding product. Other solutions struggle to transcode H.264 HD files at real-time or slower.

CatchBLUE interfaces to all the destination servers, automation, traffic and storage systems. It automates the detection of new content, transcodes it to play-to-air server formats, and then delivers the metadata to the master control automation system. CatchBLUE enables this entire process to happen in parallel. Another advanced feature is the optional ITU-R BS.1770 audio levelling that makes audio adjustments on the same path as the target transcode in a single automated pass. Less manpower is required to get syndicated program content and commercial spots to air, plus the necessary metadata is immediately available for full tracking of the content.

“Sinclair Broadcast Group is known for implementing best of breed technology and as an early adopter of file-based workflows their selection of our CatchBLUE product makes me very proud,” said Joe French, President and CEO of Masstech Group. “The beauty of CatchBLUE is that our HQS engine transcodes at record speeds, ensuring interoperability, punctually and reliability in the mission critical path to broadcast play out.”

CatchBLUE® v7.5SE key differentiating features

  • Turn-key solution saves time, money and resources
  • Rock solid, v7.5SE core application for true automated BMDN (browse/monitor/deliver/notify) workflow
  • Masstech’s advanced in house developed HQS (High Quality Speed) inline transcoding engine for HD H.264 to Long GOP MPEG2 at 4x real time
  • Built-in automation, traffic, nearline disk storage and video server interfaces
  • Built-in Web browser for management, configuration, delivery status and schedule
  • Optional single pass, automated ITU 1770 audio levelling and low resolution proxies
  • Optional file based QC (quality control)