Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

SyncBak's VUit an OTT Sandbox' for Local Broadcasters


WASHINGTON-Earlier this month, SyncBak, a developer of technology for live local OTT, announced the launch of VUit, an OTT platform for local broadcasters that provides a free, ad-supported national streaming service built in partnership with local television station groups, including Gray Television, Meredith and others.

TV Technology recently sat down with Syncbak founder Jack Perry and Mike Braun, senior vice president of digital media for Gray TV, a major investor in Syncbak, to discuss how VUit could change the OTT landscape for local broadcasters.

TV Technology: Jack, how did this come together, can you kind of give us the genesis of this?

Jack Perry (Image credit: SyncBak)Jack Perry: Yeah, I think it really came together last winter. [Gray CEO] Hilton Howell and the executive leadership team of Gray invited me to give a talk to all of their general managers in Miami. Mike and I have a shared vision that there is a ton of opportunity in the OTT space for local and hyperlocal and giving their viewers something more to watch.

Five minutes after the talk about what the future could look like for OTT were on a roll and ready to go and the leadership team at Gray said, we like this we want to go. And so we developed VUit.

Mike Braun: Like Jack said, weve been talking about what the future holds for not only OTT, but local broadcasting in general, and from Gray's perspective, we always felt Jack and his team saw the vision, usually before anybody else. That meeting just sort of brought it all together, but it was multiple years of planning to get to this stage. We needed to be ready to go to that next level, to make sure that we as broadcasters were ready, but we wanted to make sure our audience was ready for it as well, and we feel that time is right now.

TVT: So when you say this was years in the making, youre talking about the concept and then Jack helped bring it to reality?

MB: Yeah, absolutely. Gray and Syncbak have been working together now since 2013, so its evolved quite a bit. It started with finding the tech partner for us to be able to bring our live streams to multiple platforms. That work started all the way back then and to me VUit has just become sort of the cherry on top of everything else that weve done, and it starts a whole new roadmap for us.

TVT: Jack, would you say that this kind of is like the logical evolution of SyncBak and what you originally intended it for?

JP: Yes, it really is getting back to the original vision of connecting every broadcaster to every viewer and were very proud to power, live on many of the MVPDs. We're equally as proud to have the ability to give broadcasters really a sandbox, if you will, to experiment and get their viewers something else to watch, but youre absolutely right, this is the realization of the original vision for Syncbak.

TVT: When I was reviewing VUit, the first thing that came to mind was this is to local television like what iHeartRadio or TuneIn is for radio.

JP: I think it is. We're aggregating the content and giving viewers the ability to watch unique programming from across the country, but perhaps most important is it's connecting in advertisers as well, who have really needed an on ramp to OTT for a long time. This gives the kind of level playing field for the smaller advertiser, it gives them the ability to get out and reach a viewer. If theyre watching a dirt track race in Cadillac Mich., they can put their ad into that, if theyre watching a snowmobile race or if theyre watching a local parade or theyre watching the news, now the local advertiser knows how to find the viewers and that really is kind of the essence of the deal-it is connecting broadcasters to viewers, and then advertisers into the mix as well.

TVT: Were there changes in FCC rules over the years that helped spur this along?

JP: Well you know when I originally started Syncbak I went to Capitol Hill and said Im going to be the first cable company that uses the internet in a private way. And Congress kind of looked at me and said well why dont we just let the free market work that out.

So thats what really caused the whole notion. I dont know if its as much as whats happening with the FCC as much as its the technology enabling the local broadcaster to really create special and unique offerings to reach viewers. I think thats more the driver. The proof is in the pudding when you start running advertisements, and revenue is going up and the small advertisers are able to get into the mix. Thats whats driving it, the technology and the ability to monetize viewing.

MB: Were now allowing our viewers to decide where is local. With us and the OTT space in general, the viewer is now deciding whats local to them. And thats the key I think about this whole thing is, were not limited anymore to certain channels and TV grids. This allows us to have multiple channels live at all times on VUit. And it could be channels that are there forever, but it also could be what we call pop up channels, which become local not only in your market, but they become local for anyone that is interested in that event.

TVT: How, if any will this impact the relationship between the local station and the network when the networks themselves have launched their own OTT services?

Mike Braun (Image credit: Gray TV)MB: Heres the thing with that-theres going to be a lot of players in the space, theres going to be our peers in local broadcasting, and then theres going to be the national networks.

The OTT space is very big, and theres a lot of room for all of us to be in that field. I think the important part for us and local broadcasting is to focus on what we do best and not really worry too much about what the others around us are doing. Theres nobody thats going to do live and local better than we will, in our marketplace. So thats wher
See more stories from tvtechnology

Most recent headlines


Done & Dusted Produce Emmy Spot For Kia Motors America Using Blackmagic 12K Cameras

-- Blackmagic Design announced today that the Kia Motors America spot titled ...


Telestream Announces New Integration in Vantage

-- Telestream , a leading provider of workflow automation, media processing, quality monitoring and test and measurement solutions for the production and dist...


New Komodo 6K S35 Camera System Now Available From RED Digital Cinema

-- RED DIGITAL CINEMA 's new KOMODO 6K camera system is now available to order. The highly anticipated KOMODO 6K comes to market after extensive engineer...


ASC Master Classes Resume as a Virtual Experience

-- The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) announces the return of its popular ASC Master Class series as a virtual offering. The newly configured cour...


ftrack officially launches Unreal Engine and Unity plugins for ftrack Studio

-- ftrack, developer of project management and media review software for the creative industry, today announces official availability of the Unreal Engine and...


Carbon welcomes VFX Supervisor extraordinaire Tobey Lindback

-- VFX Supervisor Tobey Lindback is bringing his sharply honed skills and two decades of experience to creative studio, Carbon . The VFX craftsman spent the l...


LOGIC media solutions Integrates Leader LT4611 into IP Demo System

-- LOGIC media solutions, broadcast industry solutions provider, has integrated a Leader LT4611 video sync and PTP reference generator into a mobile IP demons...


PBS39/WLVT-TV Chooses PlayBox Neo for Phase 3 Expansion

-- PBS39/WLVT-TV, part of Lehigh Valley Public Media based in Pennsylvania, has chosen a dual channel PlayBox Neo playout system for the third phase of the in...


NAB Show New York Presents Session on Light and Sound Techniques Used in Amy Seimetz's She Dies Tomorrow'

-- NAB Show New York will explore the use of sound and picture finishing to cr...


Spain's MR Factory Delivers Real Time Virtual Production with Blackmagic Design

-- Blackmagic Design today announced that MR Factory has deployed six URSA Min...


Motion Impossible Announces US Market Opening

-- Motion Impossible, the modular remote dolly systems and camera stabilisers manufacturer, has announced the opening of its US division. To ensure the best o...


1606 Studio and Caruso Company Forge Strategic Alliance

-- Caruso Company, a Bay Area production company, and creative editorial boutique 1606 Studio have formed a joint alliance to provide agencies and brands with...


SmallHD Indie 7 Smart Monitor: Creative Control for Filmmakers on an Independent Budget

-- Creative Solutions has announced a new addition to its SmallHD product line...


HPA Industry Recovery Task Force Sets Date and Panelists for Virtual Global Town Hall

-- The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) has announced the panelists fo...


AES Show Student Week Sets Sights on Education and Career Advancement, October 19 - 23, as Part of AES Audio Engineering Month Events

-- The Audio Engineering Society, working in a new virtual environment to educ...


FOR-A'S Integrated Approach Addresses Unique Production Needs Required by Houses of Worship

-- FOR-A has combined select products into an integrated, best of breed syst...


Z-HD5500 Cameras from Hitachi Kokusai Help Boitnott Visual Communications Impress Discerning Live Event Clientele

-- Boitnott Visual Communications (BVC), based in Virginia, provides turnkey d...


Dan Dugan to Receive Engineering Emmy

-- Dan Dugan, the inventor of the automatic microphone mixer, will be awarded an Emmy at the upcoming 72nd Engineering Emmy Awards. His award, for Outstandi...


Telestream Acquires EcoDigital

-- Telestream, in a strategic move that highlights the company's sustained growth ambitions, has announced its acquisition of EcoDigital (formerly known a...


Vizrt streamlines editing workflow capabilities for Viz Story 2 and Viz One 7 and Adobe Premiere Pro

-- Vizrt, the world's leading provider of software-defined visual storytel...


Valley Film Festival Announces 20th Anniversary Festival Opening Film TAKE ME TO TARZANA

-- The Valley Film Festival announced today that Take Me to Tarzana will be pr...


ACCESS:VFX launches new Oceania chapter in Australia and New Zealand

-- ACCESS:VFX, an industry-led non-profit coalition of leading visual effects (VFX), animation and games studios, today announced the launch of a new chapter ...


Media Links Showcases 100G IP Eco-System at Virtual NAB NY 2020

-- Media Links, manufacturer, and pioneer in Media over IP transport technology, announces that it will be showcasing its 100G Eco-system at the upcoming virt...


CJP Broadcast Live HD Sports Production System Powers Hereford FC Live Stream TV

-- CJP Broadcast has been chosen by Hereford Football Club as its technology and production partner for the 2020/21 season. CJP will be providing the club wit...


ProRes RAW gains momentum with added features and workflow enhancements in Adobe Premiere Pro

-- Atomos has led the ProRes RAW charge in 2020 releasing a barrage of ProRes ...


Nathalie Schwarz appointed Vice Chair of IABM

-- IABM, the international trade association for broadcast and media technology suppliers, today announced the appointment of Nathalie Schwarz to the role of ...


AJA Joins SRT Alliance

-- AJA Video Systems today announced that it has joined the Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) Alliance, an open-source initiative dedicated to overcoming the ch...


Bluefish444 adds KRONOS K8 support for Avid Media Composer and Avid Pro Tools with Windows 2020.14.1 Install Package

-- Bluefish444, manufacturer of the professional video industry's highest-...


SNS Showcases Remote Video Editing Tools at Adobe MAX 2020

-- Studio Network Solutions (SNS), the world leader in workflow storage servers for professional media teams, will showcase EVO's remote server workflow s...


ATTO Technology Showcases NetApp Data Fabric Connectivity Concurrent with NetApp INSIGHT 2020

-- ATTO Technology, Inc., a global leader of network and storage connectivity ...


Rise North America Appoints Co-Chair and Launches First Event

-- The Rise advocacy group for women in broadcast announced today that its North American chapter formed earlier in 2020 by Serena Harris, Sales Director at A...


Horror film The Cleansing Hour Uses Blackmagic Design in Production and Post

-- Blackmagic Design announced today that The Cleansing Hour, starring Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner and Alix Angelis, utilized Blackmagic cameras, ATEM switche...


VSN and Kinetiq team up to integrate Teletrax watermarking technology in VSNExplorer MAM

Kinetiq and VSN have teamed up to integrate Kinetiq's Teletrax watermarking ...


VEON acquires strategic stake in Bangladesh's leading full-stack B2B commerce platform, ShopUp

Investment expands VEON's fintech reach into SME commerce Amsterdam, 20 Oct...


Scripps Taps Knutson, Tomlin for New Leadership Roles

CINCINNATI-The E.W. Scripps Company has announced new roles, contingent on the closing of its acquisition of ION Media. Executive Vice President, Chief Financia...


Microsoft to Provide Cloud Tech for CES 2021

ARLINGTON, Va.-The Consumer Technology Association has announced that Microsoft will serve as the technology partner for CES 2021, which for the first time will...


Clear-Com Helps Black News Channel Keep Comm Lines Open

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-Launching a new network is difficult enough, but almost immediately having to adapt to a global pandemic raises those challenges to a new leve...


Netflix's 2021 Subscriber Growth Will Slow Substantially,' Analyst Predicts

NEW YORK-While the changing viewing patterns of the pandemic certainly has had s...


New Group Aims to Develop Standards Using AI to Improve Data Compression

GENEVA, Switzerland-A new group tasked with using artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency of data compression was announced here on Sept 30. Several f...


ViacomCBS Taps Pluto TV CEO as New Head of Global Streaming

NEW YORK-ViacomCBS is reorganizing its streaming leadership, as the company has announced that Pluto TV CEO Tom Ryan will take over the role of president and CE...


FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr to Keynote NextGen TV Conference

WASHINGTON-NextGen TV will get its time in the spotlight at this year's virtual NAB Show New York, with the annual Next Gen Broadcast Conference planning to...


Actus Digital Hires Ken Dillard as North American VP, Sales & Marketing

BOSTON-Actus Digital is building up its North American sales team, announcing the hiring of Ken Dillard as vice president of sales and marketing, North America....


Public TV Datacasting Key for Remote Education, APTS Tells FCC

WASHINGTON-In the midst of another school year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, America's Public Television Stations is making the case to the FCC for the...


AJA Joins SRT Alliance

GRASS VALLEY, Calif.-AJA Video Systems has announced that it is joining the Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) Alliance, part of what AJA says is its mission to me...


d&b audiotechnik and Autograph Sound Join Crowd-Sound Sweepstakes

d&b audiotechnik and Autograph Sound Join Crowd-Sound Sweepstakes Joint venture's system targets a crowd-challenged future By Dan Daley, Audio Editor Tue...


DAZN Teams Up With TikTok, Kicker for New Behind-the-Scenes Soccer Offering in Germany

DAZN teams-up with TikTok and Kicker for new behind the scenes' football of...


MLB Postseason: Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves Invite Fans Into Home Ballparks for NLCS Watch Parties

MLB Postseason: Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves Invite Fans Into Home Ballpa...