Yes. Ident could generate a number of end user configurable cues such as ‘cue machine running the ads’, run the machine running the ads, fade and take to the machine running the ads, fade and take back to C4. People standard stuff really.
Sounds about right. I remember we (doing BBC World) used to get a 'stand up tape'* command 2 minutes before the break, then a run at -5", then a cut to break at the start. I assume there was a cut back command at the end of the break but also some logic to make it cut back to the network at the end of the last ad if the break wasn't filled. There was a PC at our end which handled the commands and controlled the kit, that had the time codes of the breaks in it. It wasn't manned it just sat in a corner doing it all by itself
* which was the main bit of manual intervention needed. If the break was late (as it often was on a news channel) then the tape would often go out of standby and then as it took longer then 5 seconds to stand up and pre roll the break looked messy.