TV Home Forum

ITV HD Regions on Freeview

SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Surely not that difficult to implement a system where the local gallery has a control to say "we're ready to opt out" which has to be active otherwise the switch doesn't happen?
Write that down in your copybook now.
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
Surely not that difficult to implement a system where the local gallery has a control to say "we're ready to opt out" which has to be active otherwise the switch doesn't happen?


Indeed. In fact don't Global implement that sort of system for their local Heart and Capital stations?
--
Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
DM
DeMarkay London London
Surely not that difficult to implement a system where the local gallery has a control to say "we're ready to opt out" which has to be active otherwise the switch doesn't happen?


Indeed. In fact don't Global implement that sort of system for their local Heart and Capital stations?


They do, yes. I believe on the playout system, the producers fire off the split links and regional
imaging from Leicester Square.
LL
London Lite Founding member London London
Surely not that difficult to implement a system where the local gallery has a control to say "we're ready to opt out" which has to be active otherwise the switch doesn't happen?


Indeed. In fact don't Global implement that sort of system for their local Heart and Capital stations?


They do, yes. I believe on the playout system, the producers fire off the split links and regional
imaging from Leicester Square.


I've seen the touch screen buttons they have that allow them to fire off split links on any of the Heart/Capital/Smooth local stations. They also have the ability to provide split links to the Communicorp and Quidem owned franchises.
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
That's not quite the point we were discussing though - I think Mark was suggesting that there's a facility for the regional studios to specify that they are ready to opt out before the studio is taken to air under remote control from Leicester Square to avoid the cockups that GMB (and predecessors) have had.
Write that down in your copybook now.
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
That's not quite the point we were discussing though - I think Mark was suggesting that there's a facility for the regional studios to specify that they are ready to opt out before the studio is taken to air under remote control from Leicester Square to avoid the cockups that GMB (and predecessors) have had.


Yes, I've seen a video from the GCap era of the overnight presenter looking at a status screen at 05:59 showing which local staions hadn't yet opened up their desks to fade out his network feed . He didn't close his off his output until the last station had turned green
--
Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
MI
m_in_m Anglia (East) Look East
That's not quite the point we were discussing though - I think Mark was suggesting that there's a facility for the regional studios to specify that they are ready to opt out before the studio is taken to air under remote control from Leicester Square to avoid the cockups that GMB (and predecessors) have had.


Yes, I've seen a video from the GCap era of the overnight presenter looking at a status screen at 05:59 showing which local staions hadn't yet opened up their desks to fade out his network feed . He didn't close his off his output until the last station had turned green

Does that mean the overnight presenter would continue broadcasting if required rather than that station taking London output?
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
That's not quite the point we were discussing though - I think Mark was suggesting that there's a facility for the regional studios to specify that they are ready to opt out before the studio is taken to air under remote control from Leicester Square to avoid the cockups that GMB (and predecessors) have had.


Yes, I've seen a video from the GCap era of the overnight presenter looking at a status screen at 05:59 showing which local staions hadn't yet opened up their desks to fade out his network feed . He didn't close his off his output until the last station had turned green

Does that mean the overnight presenter would continue broadcasting if required rather than that station taking London output?


Possibly, perhaps he would have done the TOTH into the news, and then tried to find out what the problem was during the news, being ready to fill in for the missing station afterwards?
--
Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
OV
Orry Verducci Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
Global's network output isn't as forgiving as suggested here.

The Global sites (network and local) have a central audio matrix which allows various sources to be routed to outputs. Each studio is available as an input, and each station/frequency coming from that site is available as an output. For the vast majority of sites this is provided by their Lawo mixing desk frames, and controlled via a touch screen using Lawo's Vistool software. It's through this that the local/network opts happen, the network feed isn't on a fader in the studio.

Coming out of a network show the local presenter will enable their studio's input to the various outputs, and at the right time fire their news sequence and disable the network input. Going back to network the reverse happens, the local presenter will enable the network feed furing the ad break, and once they hear the network output go on air they'll disable their studio's input. In addition every station/frequency has it's own 'ads' playout computer that plays all the split links/branding/ads, which is permanently enabled to the appropriate outputs so that it plays over the top of both local studio and network output.

For all this to work properly the local presenter has to opt in and out correctly at the right time. If they don't opt out of the network for whatever reason they get London's output. Opting back in, if they don't play the ads in to the news at the right time and opt correctly either silence goes out or the local ads will play over the top of the network output.

The network studios and offices do have displays which show audio meters and opt status for every local station, so if there is a problem the network team are quickly made aware and can alert the engineers who will follow it up with the local site.

Back on topic on the note of GMB, my experience of working in playout is that galleries providing programming (e.g. the local news) should know when they're going on air, and exactly how long they have. If they can't hit the right time the playout operator is happy to let the automation cut them off. I don't work at ITV Pres so I can't say if they're exactly the same, but where I work we do provide live programming to ITV Pres and I can tell you they don't cut us any slack.
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
It's not quite that simple during GMB with the legendarily fluid timings. The risk is more with a local studio being put on air unexpectedly (for whatever reason) rather than being cut off on the opt back.
Write that down in your copybook now.
NG
noggin Founding member

Back on topic on the note of GMB, my experience of working in playout is that galleries providing programming (e.g. the local news) should know when they're going on air, and exactly how long they have. If they can't hit the right time the playout operator is happy to let the automation cut them off. I don't work at ITV Pres so I can't say if they're exactly the same, but where I work we do provide live programming to ITV Pres and I can tell you they don't cut us any slack.


Yes - ITV are very tight on hitting your fixed duration accurately - and that is a basic requirement for regional opt-out or switch-in type programming (both on ITV and the BBC).

However GMB, and to a lesser degree Breakfast, have fluid opt-out times - so the risk of the GMB style 'central switch' functionality is that you fire the opt and regions that aren't ready are automatically cut-up, whereas the BBC system means the network sustaining feed continues to be broadcast if a region doesn't opt-out. (Rather than whatever is on the local studio output being cut to air for the period of the local opt)

Off topic below :

AIUI the BBC English regions are moving to a hybrid system - where the physical opt-switches move from being on-site at each region (and removing the requirement for a 24/7 network feed fed to them, and a 24/7 localised BBC One feed backhauled back to London and ANOther Place), with instead the switch happening off-site BUT under local control from each regional gallery. There is still the option of soft-opting (by having a network feed made available to the English regional centre either side of the junction - though this doesn't now have to be 24/7 resilient) with some clever delay calculations done to avoid big jumps during the soft-opt. This system will also, potentially, allow for BBC One HD in England to carry regional news - BUT if it happens before the regions have HD production equipment the soft-opt, like the old split analogue and DTT opt-outs, will need to be masked on HD in regions with SD gear I guess, to avoid the BBC One HD feed going SD after the soft-opt point)
MA
Meridian AM Meridian (South) South Today
Has Central West HD moved frequency on Sky today?
I had it manually tuned, as I am originally from the West Midlands, but now it has gone.
If it has moved, do you know the new frequency?

Hopefully it means we are getting closer to Meridian South HD and other sub-regions being added to the EPG.

Newer posts