Mass Media & Technology

ITV Playout Structure

Curious how regions are played out? (June 2017)

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
RK
Rkolsen
I'm wondering how all the English Regions, the Channel Islands and Wales for ITV played out. I understand there are two control centers (not sure if they're split for regions or redundancy) that handle the channels. Is there one master playout playlist out facility for the network and is passed/routed through each individual channel's servers with commercials added as needed? I'd liken this scenario to the US structure where the network feeds the programs, national commercial and leaves slots for region commercials.

Or does each region and opt have copies of all programs and details on their server? Essentially where the files and playlists are duplicated accross all the regions.
:-(
A former member
You just made be release where on earth the playout systems are going to go once Kent house is knock down.
SP
Steve in Pudsey
You just made be release where on earth the playout systems are going to go once Kent house is knock down.


Ericsson at Chiswick and Leeds, where they have been for some years now?
DB
dbl
I'm wondering how all the English Regions, the Channel Islands and Wales for ITV played out. I understand there are two control centers (not sure if they're split for regions or redundancy) that handle the channels. Is there one master playout playlist out facility for the network and is passed/routed through each individual channel's servers with commercials added as needed? I'd liken this scenario to the US structure where the network feeds the programs, national commercial and leaves slots for region commercials.

Or does each region and opt have copies of all programs and details on their server? Essentially where the files and playlists are duplicated accross all the regions.

Essentially ITV playout comes from two places, Ericsson Chiswick (an area in West London) and ITV Yorkshire in Leeds. (but playout is operated by Ericsson as well) both play the relevant adverts and occasional regional continuity for each region.

Chiswick - deals with the digital channels (ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, ITV Be, ITV Encore, CITV*) Southern/NI/Channel Islands ITV regions (London, Wales, Westcountry, Anglia, Meridian, Channel, UTV)
Leeds - acts as a backup for the network feed for Chiswick in case of any problems and typically plays out the northern regions (Granada, Tyne Tees, Border, Yorkshire, Central**)

Live continuity (i.e. live announcers) come from Chiswick and pre-recorded continuity voiceovers (typically for digital channels) are recorded from ITV South Bank.
https://twitter.com/andrea_fox/status/539466003475079168

ITV used to do their own playout from South Bank and Leeds until they did a deal with Technicolor (now Ericsson) in 2007-9?

* I believe CITV is played out from Leeds (?)
** Not sure if that's now Chiswick or still Leeds

Also bear in mind is that some regions have 'sub regions' as well for targeted advertising.

Things might have been tweaked, so if anyone wants to correct me then please do so.

Bonus

A thread from 9 years ago when it went wrong from South Bank:
http://tvforum.uk/tvhome/itv-network-transmission-issues-27932/
Last edited by dbl on 16 June 2017 11:11pm - 16 times in total
Rex, sda| and thegeek gave kudos
:-(
A former member
Thank you dbl for that very helpful post. I never know play out had moved from the South bank to Chiswick. I take it the Clean feed for STV comes from Leeds aswell?
MA
Markymark
Thank you dbl for that very helpful post. I never know play out had moved from the South bank to Chiswick. I take it the Clean feed for STV comes from Leeds aswell?


No, I think the STV clean feed is from Chiswick
SP
Steve in Pudsey
Is UTV definitely Chiswick? In that documentary that followed Julian around it was mentioned that they were in regular contact with Leeds re timings etc. Maybe that was just that Leeds was less busy and more able to relay the information.
DB
dbl
Is UTV definitely Chiswick? In that documentary that followed Julian around it was mentioned that they were in regular contact with Leeds re timings etc. Maybe that was just that Leeds was less busy and more able to relay the information.

But don't forget Chiswick plays out UTV now, since they rebranded to conform the ITV look. I believe they made Belfast playout centre staff redundant.
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/utv-to-axe-a-dozen-jobs-in-wake-of-takeover-34905056.html
:-(
A former member
Thank you dbl for that very helpful post. I never know play out had moved from the South bank to Chiswick. I take it the Clean feed for STV comes from Leeds aswell?


No, I think the STV clean feed is from Chiswick


Also I keep on forgetting its not a true clean feed, since you can still see break bumpers.
RK
Rkolsen
Thanks for the info. But what I was really wondering if their is one network feed plus backup that's routed through the various regions servers for ad insertion, GMB opts and regional news or each regions servers are each simultaneously playing out say Corrie locally?
NG
noggin Founding member
Thanks for the info. But what I was really wondering if their is one network feed plus backup that's routed through the various regions servers for ad insertion, GMB opts and regional news or each regions servers are each simultaneously playing out say Corrie locally?


Don't think you'd route 'through a server' for ad insertion. Servers are playout port usually (unless you are in 'channel in a box' territory)

The question is whether the regional variations are handled by playout automation systems that 'opt out' of the network feed for localised ad breaks and local programmes, or whether each regional playout automation system is permanently fully running its own schedule and they are slaved together by common triggers. Or somewhere between the two (with sub-regional adverts opt-ing out of a regional 'pseudo network' feed)

AIUI GMB opts are handled by a remote switching salvo fired by the GMB gallery - though I may be wrong.
LL
London Lite Founding member
Who plays out ITV Encore?

Newer posts