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Markymark7,074 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
C4 used the CATs automation system, I'm not sure whether IDENT was bolted onto it, or CATs incorporated the same functionality, and the term IDENT is colloquial (such as Hoover or Aston) ?

I think all regions had a run down screen, the level of remote automation from Charlotte St depended upon local industrial relations and agreements at each site.
Interceptor780 posts since 20 Oct 2014
I believe Thames and LWT’s opt outs for commercial breaks worked differently to the other stations - was it totally automated and triggered from Charlotte Street? I may be wrong, but something like that is ringing a bell.


Same as everywhere else AIUI, just with BT automatically switching from C4 via Thames to C4 via LWT at 5.15 on Fridays - causing an (often mid-programme) sync error.
Inspector Sands13,824 posts since 25 Aug 2004
C4 used the CATs automation system, I'm not sure whether IDENT was bolted onto it, or CATs incorporated the same functionality, and the term IDENT is colloquial (such as Hoover or Aston) ?

I'm pretty sure that the one used by World had 'Ident' on the top line of the teletext page.

My guess is that CATs was the automation system for the channel itself and IDENT was the system that sent out the details and pulses out to the regions

In the same way that World used a system called IBIS
ttt
Talking about the CATS/IDENT systems (and related to the breakdown thread), Granada's Night Time service (and I suspect other similar part-networked setups) used a similar system for advert insertions (and I believe the companies taking the services were using more or less the same hardware behind the scenes for it).

I recall one night the system seemed to go nuts. On a number of occasions at the start of NT starting, the programme faded out in the middle of a segment and the next advert chain started, only for there to be a hasty cut back to the programme and/or the tape going into reverse a few seconds later.

Either Granada were sending pulses incorrectly or the equipment on the receiving end had a serious problem. There was usually very consistent timing when ads were opting in/out (consistent with an automated setup), and for the rest of the night (up until the ads ran out) it was fairly obvious these started to be done manually, so the fault was quite serious.
Steve in Pudsey10,260 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I’m sure I read something like a technical tear down but it could have been a look at the CGI process before saving to tape. Can’t remember the details.

TV Ark had a page that explained how it was modified frame by frame to make the S4C version. I think it also explained the computer controlled playout that handled all of the backtiming.
Write that down in your copybook now.
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elmarko gave kudos
Si-Co2,181 posts since 2 Oct 2003
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Does anyone know what this VT clock was? It was used by Tyne Tees when inserting commercials into Channel 4. Is it merely a countdown clock burnt onto the VT at the start of each ad break, or did it serve another purpose?

*

YTV used a more standard clock like this at the start of their VTs of commercial breaks - this one clearly states the date and the specific ad-break it was intended for:

*
Cut out the coupon in your TV Times!
bluecortina863 posts since 26 Jul 2012
C4 used the CATs automation system, I'm not sure whether IDENT was bolted onto it, or CATs incorporated the same functionality, and the term IDENT is colloquial (such as Hoover or Aston) ?

I'm pretty sure that the one used by World had 'Ident' on the top line of the teletext page.

My guess is that CATs was the automation system for the channel itself and IDENT was the system that sent out the details and pulses out to the regions

In the same way that World used a system called IBIS


Yes. Ident could generate a number of end user configurable cues such as ‘cue machine running the ads’, run the machine running the ads, fade and take to the machine running the ads, fade and take back to C4. Pretty standard stuff really.
Last edited by bluecortina on 24 April 2019 9:33pm
Inspector Sands13,824 posts since 25 Aug 2004

Yes. Ident could generate a number of end user configurable cues such as ‘cue machine running the ads’, run the machine running the ads, fade and take to the machine running the ads, fade and take back to C4. People standard stuff really.

Sounds about right. I remember we (doing BBC World) used to get a 'stand up tape'* command 2 minutes before the break, then a run at -5", then a cut to break at the start. I assume there was a cut back command at the end of the break but also some logic to make it cut back to the network at the end of the last ad if the break wasn't filled. There was a PC at our end which handled the commands and controlled the kit, that had the time codes of the breaks in it. It wasn't manned it just sat in a corner doing it all by itself


* which was the main bit of manual intervention needed. If the break was late (as it often was on a news channel) then the tape would often go out of standby and then as it took longer then 5 seconds to stand up and pre roll the break looked messy.