The Newsroom

New Meridian, BBC South & South East Thread

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BA
bilky asko
CasparCG can be driven by BigTed but the project was put on hold after its trial at the mailbox so there isn’t a “one solution fits all” template that can be rolled out unfortunately. Sites that have since chosen to install CasparCG have gone it alone slightly in how its set up and configured and most are using it as a graphics playout device for full frame items and screen images, rather than lower thirds.

You’re right that hardware limitations prevent most regions from implementing the fully animating style of Reith lower thirds, with Astons being still the main character generator used across the country. It wasn’t quite a floppy disk, but a Magneto-Optical disk (quite hard to get these days!) although for the most part it was possible to get the new data into the Aston directly via a bit of ancient file management software that still works!


And, if I recall correctly, they are installed as "founts", which is of course magnificent.
NG
noggin Founding member
CasparCG can be driven by BigTed but the project was put on hold after its trial at the mailbox so there isn’t a “one solution fits all” template that can be rolled out unfortunately. Sites that have since chosen to install CasparCG have gone it alone slightly in how its set up and configured and most are using it as a graphics playout device for full frame items and screen images, rather than lower thirds.

You’re right that hardware limitations prevent most regions from implementing the fully animating style of Reith lower thirds, with Astons being still the main character generator used across the country. It wasn’t quite a floppy disk, but a Magneto-Optical disk (quite hard to get these days!) although for the most part it was possible to get the new data into the Aston directly via a bit of ancient file management software that still works!


And, if I recall correctly, they are installed as "founts", which is of course magnificent.


Yep - a lovely little quirk of Astons. Amazing that the Aston Motif/Ethos range arrived c.1991-ish and they and their slightly later, still SD, descendants - Motto, Red, Green and Blue - are still on-air daily... Aston didn't really make the transition to HD (Aston 7 is basically software running on a Brainstorm hardware platform)

Though I suspect I should be more accurate and say Aston didn't make the second HD transition. ISTR that there was a Eureka-funded HD Aston CG for the European 1152i (2x576) (aka 1250 - 2x625) system that was based on the earlier Aston Caption I think - c. 1988-1990ish. (The single-channel Caption and the dual Channel Aston 4 were the first mainstream Astons with nicely anti-aliased and filtered fonts/founts)
MW
Mike W
Didn't quite know where to put this, but the layout of BBC Tunbridge Wells has always confused me so I did some digging on the local authority planning site and as luck would have it they have the original fitout planning permission (dated November 2000).

Looking at where the studio is located, and the approximate layout they've given for it am I right to assume that before SET went to air they were toying with a more informal style programme?

I know they had the open view into the newsroom with the corporate style set sandwiched down the one end complete with mustard yellow walls all the way along it, but the space marked TV studio doesn't seem too condensed - naturally these things are usually indicative at best but it just seems too detailed (see the Mailbox's plan from around the same era - where studio layout was just left plain and empty).

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I've included a wider view showing the general office layout for those interested in exactly where the gallery is in relation to the studio as that question flummoxed me too!
Last edited by Mike W on 2 March 2021 2:37pm
London Lite, Critique and DTV gave kudos
SP
Steve in Pudsey
Something South East Today wrote on Facebook a long time ago in answer to a viewer querying the poor sound quality:

Quote:
The problem we've had from our launch in 2001 is we don't have an acoustically isolated and treated studio like most regions do. For economic reasons our "studio" was just part of the newsroom with no acoustic barrier between. We then restyled the programme and put in translucent panels to show the newsroom behind the presenters.
This gave some acoustic separation, but didn't sort the inherently lively acoustic of the studio area. It's all hard surfaces and there's no space to fit absorbent panels which you'd find elsewhere.

The acoustic quality is acceptable when only one microphone is live, but when two or more are faded up it can sound a bit loose or "bathroom" like. On our lunchtime and evening programmes, which are directed from our Main Production Gallery, our Sound Operators work hard to minimise this effect by careful balancing, making sure only one microphone is fully faded up at a time.

But on the short bulletins, we don't have the luxury of a fully-staffed main gallery. It's just one technical person directing, vision mixing, dealing with name-supers and timings, all driven from a simple Presentation Gallery.
It proved difficult to mix studio sound while doing everything else. Our original fix for this was to give the presenter their own microphone fader so the Technical Operator only had to control the weather mic. But that introduced another risk.
As the presenter is concentrating on delivering the bulletin, opening and closing their microphone fader at exactly the right time isn't always on the top of their mind. So sometimes the fader has been left open when it shouldn't or not opened when it should.
watchingtv and London Lite gave kudos

14 days later

ST
South Today
Piers Hopkirk on breakfast and lunchtime SET duty today. Surely this is a first for him presenting? I suppose they are short of presenters now following the departure of Rob Smith and John Young.
LL
London Lite Founding member
Charlotte Wright is seconded to network, so that's another one down.
SE
Seb
Piers Hopkirk on breakfast and lunchtime SET duty today. Surely this is a first for him presenting? I suppose they are short of presenters now following the departure of Rob Smith and John Young.


It was mentioned on the late Sunday bulletin that Ian Palmer would be presenting so presumably he wasn't available at short notice and Piers covered instead.

8 days later

MA
Meridian AM
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=481884113170400

A new behind the scenes video of ITV News during Covid, presented by Fred Dinenage and Sangeeta Bhabra.
South Today and Alfie Mulcahy gave kudos

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