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ttt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTNxBkERrFY

You can see the “ITV Clocks” VT clock in action at the start of this video (take no notice of the content that follows - I just placed a recording of the clock at the start of that video compilation). It was recorded from Channel 4 in 1987, and appeared at the start of an ad break that was obviously mis-cued/mis-timed and the ads followed it, causing a late opt back to the C4 feed. I’m surprised it says ITV rather than Channel 4, as I saw the “Channel 4 Clocks” one on the monitors in the C4 area at City Road.

The Channel 4 area was quite distant from the main gallery and the carts/VTs of the various ad-breaks lined the wall beside the kit and monitors. Over in the gallery, a bank of four monitors showed Channel 4’s feed - from memory three showed a clean feed (with break captions) and one showed the “finished product” complete with ads (or it may have been the other way round with one clean feed and three containing ads). I’ve no idea why four were used - if three monitors showed the version with ads perhaps two were off-air from the transmitters? I remember an off-air monitor showing ITV/Tyne Tees, but I don’t think there was a Bilsdale version, just Pontop, despite there being news opts and some alternative programmes on Bilsdale.

On that note, how would Bilsdale’s alternative programming get to air? Would live news programmes from the Middlesbrough studio pass through City Road or be fed straight to Bilsdale? And where was the opt out controlled from?


Bilsdale output was via a single 1" VTR, output from which was via a hard cut. Here there occasionally was a slight splat visible although there was no loss of sync. There was no ability to feed Bilsdale live to air (unless it was part of a programme going out across the region obviously) , only on tape. This changed in 1993 of course.
1
Si-Co gave kudos
Si-Co2,158 posts since 2 Oct 2003
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)

There was always a glitch or frame roll at the start and end of the C4 commercial breaks, at least on Tyne Tees.


Unforgivable. Absolutely unforgivable.


And not true as I recall. There was no splat.


There definitely was on my TVs, as explained above. It may have been corrected after a year or two, but it certainly happened in 1982/83...
Cut out the coupon in your TV Times!
ttt

Unforgivable. Absolutely unforgivable.


And not true as I recall. There was no splat.


There definitely was on my TVs, as explained above. It may have been corrected after a year or two, but it certainly happened in 1982/83...


TT's then-new cart-based ad playout system went in during 1983,before which it was the usual mix of tape, film and slide. I wonder if some kind of temporary system was kludged in ahead of that install, although I don't remember any problems personally.
1
Si-Co gave kudos
Si-Co2,158 posts since 2 Oct 2003
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTNxBkERrFY

You can see the “ITV Clocks” VT clock in action at the start of this video (take no notice of the content that follows - I just placed a recording of the clock at the start of that video compilation). It was recorded from Channel 4 in 1987, and appeared at the start of an ad break that was obviously mis-cued/mis-timed and the ads followed it, causing a late opt back to the C4 feed. I’m surprised it says ITV rather than Channel 4, as I saw the “Channel 4 Clocks” one on the monitors in the C4 area at City Road.

The Channel 4 area was quite distant from the main gallery and the carts/VTs of the various ad-breaks lined the wall beside the kit and monitors. Over in the gallery, a bank of four monitors showed Channel 4’s feed - from memory three showed a clean feed (with break captions) and one showed the “finished product” complete with ads (or it may have been the other way round with one clean feed and three containing ads). I’ve no idea why four were used - if three monitors showed the version with ads perhaps two were off-air from the transmitters? I remember an off-air monitor showing ITV/Tyne Tees, but I don’t think there was a Bilsdale version, just Pontop, despite there being news opts and some alternative programmes on Bilsdale.

On that note, how would Bilsdale’s alternative programming get to air? Would live news programmes from the Middlesbrough studio pass through City Road or be fed straight to Bilsdale? And where was the opt out controlled from?


Bilsdale output was via a single 1" VTR, output from which was via a hard cut. Here there occasionally was a slight splat visible although there was no loss of sync. There was no ability to feed Bilsdale live to air (unless it was part of a programme going out across the region obviously) , only on tape. This changed in 1993 of course.


So were the “Bilsdale” inserts into Northern Life pre-recorded and the VT played while Pontop were getting live news?

Didn’t Network North start in 1992? Was that fed to Bilsdale via City Road initially?
Cut out the coupon in your TV Times!
ttt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTNxBkERrFY

You can see the “ITV Clocks” VT clock in action at the start of this video (take no notice of the content that follows - I just placed a recording of the clock at the start of that video compilation). It was recorded from Channel 4 in 1987, and appeared at the start of an ad break that was obviously mis-cued/mis-timed and the ads followed it, causing a late opt back to the C4 feed. I’m surprised it says ITV rather than Channel 4, as I saw the “Channel 4 Clocks” one on the monitors in the C4 area at City Road.

The Channel 4 area was quite distant from the main gallery and the carts/VTs of the various ad-breaks lined the wall beside the kit and monitors. Over in the gallery, a bank of four monitors showed Channel 4’s feed - from memory three showed a clean feed (with break captions) and one showed the “finished product” complete with ads (or it may have been the other way round with one clean feed and three containing ads). I’ve no idea why four were used - if three monitors showed the version with ads perhaps two were off-air from the transmitters? I remember an off-air monitor showing ITV/Tyne Tees, but I don’t think there was a Bilsdale version, just Pontop, despite there being news opts and some alternative programmes on Bilsdale.

On that note, how would Bilsdale’s alternative programming get to air? Would live news programmes from the Middlesbrough studio pass through City Road or be fed straight to Bilsdale? And where was the opt out controlled from?


Bilsdale output was via a single 1" VTR, output from which was via a hard cut. Here there occasionally was a slight splat visible although there was no loss of sync. There was no ability to feed Bilsdale live to air (unless it was part of a programme going out across the region obviously) , only on tape. This changed in 1993 of course.


I should clarify that by splat, in this case I'm referring to a tearing on-screen where (I think) the switching was done half way through scanning a frame (or at least that's how it looked). If the screen was black at the time there was nothing visible.

There was also some slight tape noise audible on the Bilsdale opts.
ttt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTNxBkERrFY

You can see the “ITV Clocks” VT clock in action at the start of this video (take no notice of the content that follows - I just placed a recording of the clock at the start of that video compilation). It was recorded from Channel 4 in 1987, and appeared at the start of an ad break that was obviously mis-cued/mis-timed and the ads followed it, causing a late opt back to the C4 feed. I’m surprised it says ITV rather than Channel 4, as I saw the “Channel 4 Clocks” one on the monitors in the C4 area at City Road.

The Channel 4 area was quite distant from the main gallery and the carts/VTs of the various ad-breaks lined the wall beside the kit and monitors. Over in the gallery, a bank of four monitors showed Channel 4’s feed - from memory three showed a clean feed (with break captions) and one showed the “finished product” complete with ads (or it may have been the other way round with one clean feed and three containing ads). I’ve no idea why four were used - if three monitors showed the version with ads perhaps two were off-air from the transmitters? I remember an off-air monitor showing ITV/Tyne Tees, but I don’t think there was a Bilsdale version, just Pontop, despite there being news opts and some alternative programmes on Bilsdale.

On that note, how would Bilsdale’s alternative programming get to air? Would live news programmes from the Middlesbrough studio pass through City Road or be fed straight to Bilsdale? And where was the opt out controlled from?


Bilsdale output was via a single 1" VTR, output from which was via a hard cut. Here there occasionally was a slight splat visible although there was no loss of sync. There was no ability to feed Bilsdale live to air (unless it was part of a programme going out across the region obviously) , only on tape. This changed in 1993 of course.


So were the “Bilsdale” inserts into Northern Life pre-recorded and the VT played while Pontop were getting live news?

Didn’t Network North start in 1992? Was that fed to Bilsdale via City Road initially?


Correct. Even when the video was from the Boro studio the output was taped. They had no other means of output.

Network North was routed via Leeds from day one. YTV took the complete Newcastle TT feed and opted out as necessary using a pilot version of the playout Centre they opened in the September.

ETA no, Network North started in April 1993.
1
Si-Co gave kudos
ttt
This conversation reminded me of something else from 1993: You want unforgivable? That Bilsdale feed was also putting out separate ads for the subregion. There were very nasty splats at the start and end of each break over a six month period, to the point where there was frequently loud digital noises and loss of sound for a second during those transitions. The vision frequently spazzed out as well for a similar time.

I think that's what happens when you feed non-sync video into a digital video system, right?

There was also a period where there would be vision and sound glitches on Bilsdale during programming that were not present on Pontop. During all this there was a top-left cue dot on screen at all times.
ttt

Unforgivable. Absolutely unforgivable.


And not true as I recall. There was no splat.


There definitely was on my TVs, as explained above. It may have been corrected after a year or two, but it certainly happened in 1982/83...


Looking at YouTube any problems that might have been there were sorted by 1984, and the one 1983 break I could find had no evidence of sync loss. So it must have only been for a fairly short period.

Indeed the only example I can find dates to Christmas 1982 and someone on the comments mentions UTV specifically because of the splat that apparently never happened on C4 in NI!
Last edited by ttt on 25 April 2019 2:34am
1
Si-Co gave kudos
TedJrr196 posts since 11 Sep 2005
Anglia (East) Look East
Might be a silly question in hindsight but I presume Channel 4 as routed through the ITV companies only had the one region for each area, ie they just had "Midlands" as opposed to separate ones for Central West and Central East? So Channel 4 viewers who saw Central News East would see adverts having been inserted at Birmingham, not that it would have really been that noticeable?



Yes. But the C4/ITV subscription era pre-dates what we now call sub-regions.

The regional splits in ITV were the dual regions Central into East and West (as you pointed out, Nottingham was up and running) and TVS Southampton and Maidstone. Did Central actually play its ad spots out from Nottingham?

TSW had its news splits, which came out of its own franchise commitment rather than being an IBA mandated dual (errr quadruple) region. TSW was one region for ad insertions. I believe that I'm right in saying that you couldn't buy bits of the region separately. Belmont had its 7 minutes of Calendar, but did Yorkshire ever sell Belmont separately in the 1980s?

All this pre-dates the halcyon days of sub-regionally with Meridian's five separate tx groups (Rowridge, Heathfield, Hannington, Midhirst and BBH/Dover) ; Anglia's Tacolneston, Sudbury, Sandy Heath. ; or Central's Abingdon.
Inspector Sands13,763 posts since 25 Aug 2004

TSW had its news splits, which came out of its own franchise commitment rather than being an IBA mandated dual (errr quadruple) region. TSW was one region for ad insertions. I believe that I'm right in saying that you couldn't buy bits of the region separately.

TSW had split news? Aren't you getting it confused with what Westcountry did?

I hadn't considered this before, but as well as a new pres suite for C4 the ITV regions would presumably have needed to install an additional genlock/sync pulse chain so kit associated with the C4 opts would be in sync with that feed?

Surely they'd just synchronise the incoming to the station timing so everything was in sync with each other?
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 25 April 2019 6:05am
jolly turnip802 posts since 8 Mar 2009
Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
Might be a silly question in hindsight but I presume Channel 4 as routed through the ITV companies only had the one region for each area, ie they just had "Midlands" as opposed to separate ones for Central West and Central East? So Channel 4 viewers who saw Central News East would see adverts having been inserted at Birmingham, not that it would have really been that noticeable?



Yes. But the C4/ITV subscription era pre-dates what we now call sub-regions.

The regional splits in ITV were the dual regions Central into East and West (as you pointed out, Nottingham was up and running) and TVS Southampton and Maidstone. Did Central actually play its ad spots out from Nottingham?

TSW had its news splits, which came out of its own franchise commitment rather than being an IBA mandated dual (errr quadruple) region. TSW was one region for ad insertions. I believe that I'm right in saying that you couldn't buy bits of the region separately. Belmont had its 7 minutes of Calendar, but did Yorkshire ever sell Belmont separately in the 1980s?

All this pre-dates the halcyon days of sub-regionally with Meridian's five separate tx groups (Rowridge, Heathfield, Hannington, Midhirst and BBH/Dover) ; Anglia's Tacolneston, Sudbury, Sandy Heath. ; or Central's Abingdon.

Yes I am sure Belmont had separate ads in some breaks - even during prime time programmes such as Coronation Street.