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ITV Playout Structure

Curious how regions are played out? (June 2017)

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DB
dbl
Who plays out ITV Encore?

I knew I was missing a channel... heh
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?


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.


There have been instances here in the US where the network feed is fed through a commercial and branding server that triggers the ads was what I was getting at.

But your question is much better written.

I believe you are right about the GMB opts.
RK
Rkolsen
Here's a sample playout list from Andrea Fox. It appears the opts or commercial breaks are in blue.





And a large monitor wall showing the feeds:





Not clear enough to show anything. But you can see the holding or title cards for ITV Anglia and West Country. I can make out underneath the cards ANG E NR, ANG W NR, WES W NR. I assume the holding cards are there just to make sure the transmission lines working. Could NR mean network return?
BA
bilky asko
dbl posted:
Who plays out ITV Encore?

I knew I was missing a channel... heh


Who plays out ITV Box Office?
DB
dbl
dbl posted:
Who plays out ITV Encore?

I knew I was missing a channel... heh


Who plays out ITV Box Office?

Chis
BL
bluecortina
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.


There have been instances here in the US where the network feed is fed through a commercial and branding server that triggers the ads was what I was getting at.

But your question is much better written.

I believe you are right about the GMB opts.


I'll hazard a guess. With the exception of STV, which is not part of ITV plc, none of the regional ITV studios insert commercials - the feeds to all ITV transmitters originate at either Chiswick or Leeds. The outputs of all the regional ITV news operations are linked back to Chiswick/Leeds via IP feeds. Chiswick/Leeds simply switches the transmitter feeds between the sources incoming to it as required, including the Daybreak news bulletins which are no different from the regional news except that the timing of the Daybreak bulletins is not precise and has to be under the control of the Daybreak gallery. The Daybreak gallery initiates a 'news opt' with a panel in front of the director/PA which 'stands by' the remote regions that a bulletin is coming up and performs the switch at Chiswick/Leeds at the correct time. Similarly for the insertion of comms - Daybreak panel puts up the cue dot (not really needed now but handy for STV), and when it is removed 5 seconds prior to the break it initiates the comms switch at Chiswick/Leeds too. That's how I'd do it.

(And if I was considering Ch4/ITN News/any other live programming, I'd agree a rough break pattern with the TX controller at Chiswick in advance and let him listen to my open talkback - and deal with Leeds!).
Last edited by bluecortina on 17 June 2017 7:29pm - 2 times in total
SP
Steve in Pudsey
By Daybreak you mean Good Morning Britain? Implying that nothing significant has changed in terms of how opts work?
NG
noggin Founding member

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.


There have been instances here in the US where the network feed is fed through a commercial and branding server that triggers the ads was what I was getting at.

But your question is much better written.

I believe you are right about the GMB opts.


I'll hazard a guess. With the exception of STV, which is not part of ITV plc, none of the regional ITV studios insert commercials - the feeds to all ITV transmitters originate at either Chiswick or Leeds. The outputs of all the regional ITV news operations are linked back to Chiswick/Leeds via IP feeds. Chiswick/Leeds simply switches the transmitter feeds between the sources incoming to it as required, including the Daybreak news bulletins which are no different from the regional news except that the timing of the Daybreak bulletins is not precise and has to be under the control of the Daybreak gallery. The Daybreak gallery initiates a 'news opt' with a panel in front of the director/PA which 'stands by' the remote regions that a bulletin is coming up and performs the switch at Chiswick/Leeds at the correct time. Similarly for the insertion of comms - Daybreak panel puts up the cue dot (not really needed now but handy for STV), and when it is removed 5 seconds prior to the break it initiates the comms switch at Chiswick/Leeds too. That's how I'd do it.

(And if I was considering Ch4/ITN News/any other live programming, I'd agree a rough break pattern with the TX controller at Chiswick in advance and let him listen to my open talkback - and deal with Leeds!).


That's a good answer - but not to the question that was originally asked I believe.

I believe the question is whether each ITV regional feed is played out separately as fully separate schedules - i.e. each regional ITV playout set-up has a server playing Corrie separately - or whether there is a network spine, with the ITV regional playout systems taking the same server ports (or even the same pre-cut 'network' source - and only splitting away for commercial playout, idents and cutting to the regional news studios.
BL
bluecortina

There have been instances here in the US where the network feed is fed through a commercial and branding server that triggers the ads was what I was getting at.

But your question is much better written.

I believe you are right about the GMB opts.


I'll hazard a guess. With the exception of STV, which is not part of ITV plc, none of the regional ITV studios insert commercials - the feeds to all ITV transmitters originate at either Chiswick or Leeds. The outputs of all the regional ITV news operations are linked back to Chiswick/Leeds via IP feeds. Chiswick/Leeds simply switches the transmitter feeds between the sources incoming to it as required, including the Daybreak news bulletins which are no different from the regional news except that the timing of the Daybreak bulletins is not precise and has to be under the control of the Daybreak gallery. The Daybreak gallery initiates a 'news opt' with a panel in front of the director/PA which 'stands by' the remote regions that a bulletin is coming up and performs the switch at Chiswick/Leeds at the correct time. Similarly for the insertion of comms - Daybreak panel puts up the cue dot (not really needed now but handy for STV), and when it is removed 5 seconds prior to the break it initiates the comms switch at Chiswick/Leeds too. That's how I'd do it.

(And if I was considering Ch4/ITN News/any other live programming, I'd agree a rough break pattern with the TX controller at Chiswick in advance and let him listen to my open talkback - and deal with Leeds!).


That's a good answer - but not to the question that was originally asked I believe.

I believe the question is whether each ITV regional feed is played out separately as fully separate schedules - i.e. each regional ITV playout set-up has a server playing Corrie separately - or whether there is a network spine, with the ITV regional playout systems taking the same server ports (or even the same pre-cut 'network' source - and only splitting away for commercial playout, idents and cutting to the regional news studios.


Ah, I avoided using the term regional playout system(s) as, in my mind, it implied a system based in the physical region! Hence why I used the term transmitter feeds. I don't know the answer, but I would guess multiple individual ports, schedules and servers would give more resilience.
BL
bluecortina
By Daybreak you mean Good Morning Britain? Implying that nothing significant has changed in terms of how opts work?


I'm afraid I don't watch breakfast telly of any flavour so don't really know what's called what these days. I only watched it when I was paid to do so! We must await someone who works at Ericsson's to come along and give the definitive answer.
IS
Inspector Sands
My guess is that there's one master schedule with splits in it. Having 20 or whatever near identical playlists would be a pain to amend when there's a change.

I'd have thought that the master output is a source on a router that normally feeds all the outputs to the transmitters. When a split happens the automation switches that routing so that whatever is scheduled is routed out instead - either the line from the regional news studio or a server port output playing out adverts or a programme. So when a break starts the output to, say Westcountry, changes from network to server 2a. When it's news time it'll switch a line from Bristol

They wouldn't need fixed allocated server ports for each region, just a pool with some spare. I would assume that there'd have two of everything, so two masters, 2 ports playing out each break, main and reserve studio line all on two routers.


Just a guess, that's how I'd design it from scratch anyway
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 18 June 2017 11:27am - 2 times in total
SP
Steve in Pudsey
At one time, Leeds used to play out a second copy of high profile shows like Corrie as a backup for London's copy failing. Whether the regions played out from Leeds took that local copy routinely or the one coming up the line from London I don't know.

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