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Whataday9,842 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
I don't think either of them would have had talkback. They were basically in control of the output at that stage weren't they

Not really. The output of the Con mixers were sources on the network mixer next door. They controlled what happened during the link, but not playing in programmes or timings etc.

The broomcupboard presenter did have talkback - there is a clip online of a link with a gag too convoluted to explain which involves Phillipa Forrester arriving mid link and having to plug her earpiece in.


I was under the impression that they didn't have talkback in the first few years.
thegeek4,813 posts since 1 Jan 2002
London London
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Could the cock-up (excuse the pun) have originated at BT Tower? It’s not unknown for the wrong station to be fed out due to a switching error.

Like the time ITV1 ended up on BBC One during the Football League Show? I think it was the first episode, and cut midway through to a shot of a lady sitting on a toilet, because the circuit hadn't been booked for long enough at Tower.
(I don't believe the was the cause of the RTL mishap though)

Similarly, BBC Parliament once ended up briefly replacing Most Haunted Live on Living TV, though that was due to human error in CCA.

As an MCR bod, I'm quite a fan of lucky escapes - I was once on shift when a football OB lost power in their scanner, just as they went to the ad break before kick-off. Small panic as they arranged for the UPS-backed camera 1 to be switched down their outgoing line, then back again to the truck output, which came back up after a minute or two. Presentation chucked in an extra 30 second trail to give them a chance to make sure they had sufficient facilities to go live, and the programme went back on air with the teams coming out of the tunnel. I think, other than the lack of title sting out of the break, nobody at home would have been any the wiser.
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Inspector Sands13,492 posts since 25 Aug 2004

That PPB breakdown seems so much messier due to the combination of Thames and YTV pres and apologies. I wonder what other regions did? Was it also going out on the BBC via Thames?

It was before the News at 10 so wouldn't have been on the BBC too
Quote:

Could the cock-up (excuse the pun) have originated at BT Tower? It’s not unknown for the wrong station to be fed out due to a switching error.

Not in this case as the programme was coming from a studio in the same building at LWT and going by the reaction of the announcer, they all saw it on their output in presentation.


If it had been a BT issue between LWT and the transmitter it would probably have lasted longer and it would have returned straight to the programme rather than a breakdown.
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 29 April 2018 6:09am
Inspector Sands13,492 posts since 25 Aug 2004

Am I alone in thinking that Andy comes across as a bit of a tit here? He was in as a guest and probably wouldn't have had talkback, surely Simon would have covered the cock up in a much calmer way had Andy not panicked and jumped in?


I don't think either of them would have had talkback. They were basically in control of the output at that stage weren't they?

Well they had a vision mixing desk but the director and rest of gallery in the next room was in control of the output/timings etc
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Inspector Sands13,492 posts since 25 Aug 2004

As an MCR bod, I'm quite a fan of lucky escapes - I was once on shift when a football OB lost power in their scanner, just as they went to the ad break before kick-off. Small panic as they arranged for the UPS-backed camera 1 to be switched down their outgoing line, then back again to the truck output, which came back up after a minute or two. Presentation chucked in an extra 30 second trail to give them a chance to make sure they had sufficient facilities to go live, and the programme went back on air with the teams coming out of the tunnel. I think, other than the lack of title sting out of the break, nobody at home would have been any the wiser.

Yes, the viewing public have no idea the stuff that goes on in the minutes before some programmes went to air.


Heard about one sport OB on a minor channel where the satellite uplink hadn't appeared half hour before the on air time. So the MCR call the uplink truck and were told that the satellite space they thought they'd booked had been given to someone else as the production company still owed them money from previous OBs (not a great thing for the reputation of the indie)

The production co-ordinator on site was hurriedly trying to book more space without much success (it was a Sunday) and of course it would take a bit of time to move the dish round and line up, so even if it was going to make it to air at all they were pushing it for time. Meanwhile channel playout are hurriedly finding some fillers.

The broadcaster concerned had some satellite space and had enough left for one path but not straight away. So that was booked, dish moved, feed established and on air 15 minutes late luckily just in time for the start of the match.

There was another instance when a live programme was being fed to a foreign broadcaster who phone up 10 minutes beforehand to ask of they should be seeing anything. Yes they definitely should. It was only at that point that anyone realised they were expecting it in a different format. Quick scramble to find and set up a spare encoder and feed established with a couple of mins to go.


As for actual breakdowns, some are cause by the most unlikely of things. There's a well known story in the industry about a manager taking a programme off air when he brought round pizza to everyone and put the box down on a mouse whose cursor was hovering over 'recue' Rolling Eyes
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 29 April 2018 1:27pm
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noggin14,271 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Wasn't there a BBC OB programme that failed to make it on air fairly recently because they had booked a satellite that was below the horizon at the time of the show?


I think you've got the wrong end of the stick. TV communication satellites don't move in the sky (*) - they are at a fixed position (that's why Sky dishes don't have to be mechanically tracked). Either the satellite is above the horizon or below the horizon - the time of day is irrelevant. Telstar - the first active communications satellite - DID move around in the sky as it was a low orbiter, but by the mid-to-late 60s we'd got geostationary TV satellites that appear fixed in the sky (They are in an orbit which means they counteract the earth's rotation to an observer on the earth's surface).

What HAS happened in the past is that shows have booked satellite space on 'cheap' satellites that are beginning to wobble (*) a bit, or book satellites that have marginal coverage of the location they are broadcasting from and to. (Satellites have 'footprints' for their various transponders / dishes)

There was a famous occasion 20+ years ago when a VE Day special programme (an early independent - made by Kilroy Television I think) failed to make transmission at all because the signal was too poor to broadcast by the time it reached the UK.

(*) They do move a very small amount - but usually this is less than the beam width of your dish so you don't need to refocus. However AIUI the bigger the dish, the narrower the beam width, and as bigger dishes are often used for broadcasts, you end up having to dynamically track some ageing satellites to counteract the wobble (but these satellites are cheaper to use...)
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