The Newsroom

BBC World (News) - 2000-2003 Idents

A General Query

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AL
AaronLancs
As there are many 'nostalgia' and archive threads at the moment, I didn't know where to ask this.

So back in 2000 there were three idents for the channel.

The first one was used at TOTH, after the ten second countdown usually.

The second and third ones were used at xx:30 past the hour, was there ever any reason as to which ident went out to what programme.

Thanks for any info.
IT
itsrobert Founding member
I think it depended on timings more often that not. There were 4 idents in total that were seen on the channel. There was the main long ident and the main short ident that were used at the TOTH, both with holds. There was also a main short ident without a hold that was nearly always used when a hold would have clashed musically with the start of the programme. It was nearly always used for Sport Today, for instance. Then there was the other slower ident that was never used at the TOTH but was used into a variety of other programmes.

So, in a nutshell I suspect it depended on timings and which ident would best suit the programme it was introducing.
AL
AaronLancs
So my Ident One, Two and Three is more like OneA, OneB, Two and Three.
DE
deejay
As has been said, it depended on what the schedule was looking like as to what was used and when. Generally speaking the long without hold was scheduled into back half hour programmes but if something had overrun slightly, a quick fix to get back on track would be to change the long Ident to a short variant, rather than drop a trail. As the idents were played from laserdisc (and later profile server) they cued very quickly indeed. You got quite good at remembering the in-timecode of each Ident!

Many top of the hour announcements were generic “24 Hours a day, this is BBC World” but there were some less generic ones “From London this is BBC World with the latest World News” and some more specific “Now on BBC World, the World Today with David Eades and Sally Bundock”. All of these announcements were held in an instant playout Sonifex computer. More specific announcements, provided on a weekly basis and mainly for weekend documentaries and so on were played from Minidisc. Occasionally you’d get a new batch of generics on minidisc which you would record into the Sonifex but that involved putting the sound desk in the TX suite into bypass so was often done at weekends during a 50 minute documentary.
AL
AaronLancs
Blimey, Laserdisc and Minidisc. Wow, that playout system must have been old.
IT
itsrobert Founding member
Thanks deejay, that's really insightful.

In terms of World Pres, I know you've said that idents and (I think) breakfillers were played from laserdisc - but what about during a breakdown? Did you have music on minidisc that was ready for such an event?

Also, can you remember why in 2001 they decided to replace the 10-second countdown + ident with a 60-second countdown instead?
DO
dosxuk
Blimey, Laserdisc and Minidisc. Wow, that playout system must have been old.


Minidisc was still in widespread use through to the early 2010's. In the broadcast / event production world, the format it had a whole load of advantages over it's predecessors which made it a popular choice, even though it's consumer use never really kicked off.
AL
AaronLancs
Blimey, Laserdisc and Minidisc. Wow, that playout system must have been old.


Minidisc was still in widespread use through to the early 2010's. In the broadcast / event production world, the format it had a whole load of advantages over it's predecessors which made it a popular choice, even though it's consumer use never really kicked off.

Cheers, so what formats may be dead to the public may still be in use in the media production world?
MA
Markymark
Blimey, Laserdisc and Minidisc. Wow, that playout system must have been old.


Minidisc was still in widespread use through to the early 2010's. In the broadcast / event production world, the format it had a whole load of advantages over it's predecessors which made it a popular choice, even though it's consumer use never really kicked off.

Cheers, so what formats may be dead to the public may still be in use in the media production world?


Well, not quite the same thing, but I suspect there were many more BetaCam tapes in use (and on shelves) than BetaMax.
(Totally different systems technically, but the small size cassette shell was mechanically identical)

There was also the DAT digital tape format, didn't take off domestically or in broadcast, but I'm told it had limited success in the music recording industry ?
IT
itsrobert Founding member
From what I can gather, DAT was quite common in the 1990s in terms of storing music and assorted audio. So, for instance, composers would send theme music on DAT and broadcasters would use it for a variety non-TX purposes (e.g. recording voiceovers, making copies of talkback, output etc.). Having spoken to an ex-sound mixer about DATs, he said that they weren't generally used for TX because there was a slight delay between hitting 'play' and the DAT outputting sound.

Of course 1/4" tape, whether reels or carts, were the mainstay of audio broadcasting for decades. I'm pretty certain they were used at BBC News until around the mid-90s before being replaced by CD and MD. A friend who mixed sound at BBC News at the time said they used to play out various vamps and tags etc from CD on BBC1 and BBC World news. I think News 24 used MD and so did BBC World eventually. Maybe even BBC1 news? Then SpotOn replaced all that.

Over at ITN, 1/4" tape persisted until the late 90s for some purposes and, to the best of my knowledge, MD wasn't really used at ITN. From about 1995-2000 they used a floppy disk based system called Sonifex Discart to play stings and VOs into ITV and 5 News, amongst others. Then, in 1999 they brought in Instant Replay by 360 Systems which was initially installed in PCRs 1 and 6 (ITV and C4 News) before being rolled out more widely (News Channel etc.). They lasted until about 2004 when SpotOn took over and that system remains in use today.

I really can't figure out why ITN opted to use Sonifex Discart for its news music in the mid 90s. Using floppy disk seems like such a strange move. Apart from being temperamental, I don't think much audio could actually be recorded onto a disk. Certainly not much more than a minute or two. It just strikes me as a really odd decision!
VM
VMPhil
Here's a 1FM leaflet promoting, amongst other things, the transfer of oldies to DAT, 'guaranteed scratch and crackle free'.

I know MD was used in the old Radio 1 studios at Yalding House, mainly because Moyles used to complain about the players from time to time.



SP
Steve in Pudsey
I remember when Chris Evans' Virgin Radio show was shown on Sky 1 there were racks of floppy disks which presumably were the discart system or similar used for jingles.

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