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UKnews908 posts since 26 Apr 2011
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I think different trailers were shown, and I think two different copies of movies were sometimes broadcast 4:3 p&s on analogue, widescreen on digital? (Rather than letting an ARC sort out the analogue version)

Yes they were for years using the two playout areas: NTA and DTA. However when the NTA closed they equipped a suite that could be used to do the same.


However IIRC around the same time the BBC decided that they didn't have the need to put out different trails on the two platforms and soi don't think it was ever used.


Films were often shown with two versions, the old 4:3 print on analogue and a widescreen version on digital. I do remember seeing Apollo 13 being TX'd like this, but somehow the 16:9 version showed less than the 4:3 one, as if they'd just but the top and bottom off to make it 16:9

The 4:3 version was probably open matte. The 16:9 version would have been what was used in the cinema (and likely what the director intended). Sometimes boom mics or other errors appeared in open matte home video releases or TV broadcasts.

Apollo 13 was shot Super35, so there is every chance to create a 4:3 version that adds extra height. It was released in 2.39:1, there is an
IMAX version that is open matted to 1.66:1, but that wouldn’t have been shown as its 20 minutes shorter than the theatrical version.
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deejay2,974 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Central (South) Oxford
I think there was an incident where the remote controlled opt switch arrangement failed (possibly on analogue) and Elstree managed to persuade analogue NC1 to put them on air via the sustaining feed while DNC1 stayed with UK Today.

That would have been perfectly feasible as they had the ability to split analogue and digital when the two playout areas were seperate.

Once the NTA closed arrangements were made to have a way of putting different trails and film versions etc on analogue and digital via a spare TX suite. I'm not sure if it was ever used.


Before the South East had the ability to opt out there was a similar arrangement to put out regional programmes to the South East from TV Centre. The spare suite in the NTA would be put to air to Crystal Palace etc and then would play the regional programme while the network programme was coming from NC2. Wasn't used very often as far as I know, maybe only once


I remember that happening. While there were 3 control rooms and continuities, there were only 2 VT booths, so NC2 and the South East only pres suite had to share BBC 2’s VT booth. I think one was left to the automation and the other rolled manually because they didn’t fully trust both to roll simultaneously (though I suspect it would have been ok).
Two minutes regions...
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deejay2,974 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Central (South) Oxford
Normal SE opts (when everyone else was opting) were carried by NC1 or 2. All the other regions opted out a second before the network cut to the SE stuff, which was live from Elstree. This particular scenario only happened when there was a SE opt that wasn’t opted everywhere else. Elstree couldn’t opt out on their own.
Two minutes regions...
noggin14,773 posts since 26 Jun 2001
So if either of the main suites went down and they needed to decamp to the spare would they have had to cancel the SE opt?


Only if the London and SE opt was a unilateral one (i.e. only the London and SE region was opting out) and the other regions were staying with network.

For day-to-day regional opts Elstree was the sustaining feed and NC1/NC2 (or the news studio in the case of integrated headlines) cut to Elstree after they had opted the regions away, and cut away from Elstree just before they opted the regions back.

The 'spare Pres suite' requirement was only for when Elstree were the only region opting out for a local special. (Which was unusual - but not impossible)
robertclark1251,508 posts since 13 Jan 2009
STV Central Reporting Scotland
In the 2000 TVC power failure, had things still not been right by the time of the late evening regional news, and Birmingham was the output to the network, could the network feed from Birmingham have been used to provide the local SE news? By this, I mean everyone else opts out for their local news, and Birmingham would have had stories phoned up to them, which an announcer could read out over a slide?
commseng376 posts since 8 Dec 2016
London London
As explained before, Pebble Mill would not have had the staffing to do that at short notice.
It was just a case of getting anything on air to keep the network up.
For the late news it may have been possible to do some reconfiguration of the Energis network to connect Elstree to Pebble Mill directly, or even uplink Elstree into BM via satellite, but it wasn't required in the end.
Last edited by commseng on 28 February 2020 11:12pm
robertclark1251,508 posts since 13 Jan 2009
STV Central Reporting Scotland
Bringing this thread back up, if a regional news programme wasn't able to broadcast from the main studio centre, but a studio in another town or city, complete with a presenter was available, could it come from there? As an example, if Stuart Flinders and Annabel Tiffin were getting ready to do BBC north west tonight, but Media city had to be evacuated, and Andy Gill was in the BBC studios in Liverpool, could the programme, in theory, be broadcast from Liverpool, with Andy Gill perhaps only able to do basic intros, with no reports?
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Ne1L C1,606 posts since 11 Sep 2011
Hmm. It would depend on what control the smaller studio would have. If it was possible to route control from Salford to Liverpool (probably from some external location) then I daresay its possible.
WMD153 posts since 14 Jun 2006
Meridian (North) South Today
Certainly South Today has been presented from its Portsmouth contribution studio before - even with guests, which was a squeeze. I suspect it was still driven from the Southampton gallery though. You’d at least need to be able to access the opt switch!
Steve in Pudsey10,697 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I think that specific example is probably a no. They have broadcast NWT from Liverpool before but working into the gallery in Manchester/Salford (or possibly an OB vehicle).

I suspect the Liverpool contribution facility couldn't be routed to anywhere else without help from Salford.
Write that down in your copybook now.