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denton1,050 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Interestingly BBC Two NI introduced Brain Games, then stayed with Network for the whole shambles. Which seems strange, I thought they took the programmes via a clean feed rather than the network feed, so they shouldn't have got those trails and the following continuity? Or do they do the junction on the clean feed then go to the dirty feed?

That's exactly what happens. Network programmes are joined / left on a clean feed, then the playout suite goes out of circuit... i.e. the suite is bypassed and the dirty feed is on air for the duration of the network programme. That allows the NI Announcer/Director to preview the schedule, write scripts, have meal breaks, go to the loo, etc... without having to monitor the network programme for faults.
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Inspector Sands13,820 posts since 25 Aug 2004
There were different announcers on the ECP of the previous programme and over the breakdown slide. Have they switched to the backup facility perhaps? The original announcer was back for the 9pm junction.

I think the male announcer was the one doing BBC1 (I'd watched the start of the debate then turned over to watch something more intellectual!) so maybe the announcer on 2 chose a bad time to nip out for a comfort break?
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Orry Verducci1,644 posts since 1 Feb 2005
Anglia (West) Look East
Whatever kit they’re using, it seems to be struggling to relinquish control to allow for a caption - I can’t believe the playout team aren’t trying to get one to air so it must be hugely frustrating for them to have so much dead air.

It’s like all they/it could do was play the 9pm junction.

What was weird was how they smoothly transitioned from the frozen trailer into an ident before starting a completely different programme.

Do these automated systems really have that much of a stranglehold on TX that it takes them so long to bring up a breakdown caption?

Simple answer, yes. In modern TX suites the automation system is completely in control, pres desks for manual control are no longer fitted or used. Nearly everything a network director/TX operator does is through the automation.

There will be some sort of manual control to cut the breakdown caption to air, but that may be nothing more than a "smart button" on the automation now. So if the automation has really got itself in to a mess, that may not work as well as it should. Plan B would probably be to manually switch the server playing the caption to line out (channel output) via a router panel, bypassing the automation, but that isn't the quickest as it usually requires quite a few button presses and checks that you have the right source and destination. It does seem since Red Bee moved the BBC to their new TX suite it has become more difficult to get a breakdown caption to air, I recall it took longer than expected for BBC Four to get theirs up when Eurovision fell off air a few weeks back.

I didn't see the breakdown, but it sounds like the automation skipped ahead to the next event, the first trailer of the junction, and when it does that there is no going back. All you can do is recreate the programme event after the one playing, set it to play from the right point, and skip to that. Easier said then done when the automation is continually moving from event to event and you're rushing to fix it. The other option is to uncue and reset the automation start point, but depending on how that's setup it risks killing output, where I work if I uncue a list it puts a testcard to air. It gets fiddlier if the automation stalls on a fixed start time, which may have happened when the trailer froze. Speaking from experience, it's not easy to fix and it's definitely not fun.
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