By Phil Kurz, TV Tech
Sinclair Broadcast Group is partnering with USSI Global on a datacasting trial to deliver video and data to electronic vehicle (EV) charging stations, the company announced at a Saturday NAB Show press conference.
“Our industry has reinvented itself to have a seat at the data distribution table,” Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley said, referring to the transition to the IP-based NextGen TV standard.
The trial will begin in West Palm Beach, Fla., with two charging stations equipped to receive and display “curated, targeted and unique programming” delivered over the air via NextGen TV, said Ripley.
The federal government has set the goal of completing national deployment of EV charging stations by 2035.
USSI Global hopes to leverage the local presence of Sinclair stations, local content reformatted for the kiosks and broadcasters’ relationships with local advertisers to one day generate new revenue derived from over-the-air telecasts, said Ted Korte, vice president of technology and engineering at USSI Global.
“Imagine you have a display on the street that tells you what’s going on,” Korte said, adding that the trial is intended to learn what is the best way to go forward with how the kiosks could be used nationally.
Central to a national deployment is a core network that broadcasters could use to distribute data from market to market, Ripley said.
Local stations would use the network to enable a national footprint for data delivery while maintaining their free OTA telecasts.
Sinclair has been working on such a network internally for a decade, said Mark Aitken, vice president of Advanced Technology at Sinclair and president of ONE Media 3.0, adding that ongoing work by the Advanced Television Standards Committee (ATSC) to lay the groundwork for a core network has attracted interest from “a number of larger players.”
“I think you are going to see, over the next two to three months coming out of the ATSC, a blossoming of that activity to develop a core network for not just television broadcast but a data flow.”