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DE
deejay
The world Odetics I think had been used somewhere else (news possibly?) but I may be wrong on that. The NTA was commissioned in the early 1990s but took a very long time to get to air. There was a lot riding on the project and in house-written software that was the heart of the area and should have been a combined planning, scheduling, database and transmission automation was simply too tall an order for the time. In the end, the control element of this software was ditched and a commercially available automation system was bought to make it all actually work.

By the time the NTA got to air the old manual control galleries were very tired and the working practices out of date. But even in 1995/6 there was no real prospect of multiple digital channels, red button, interactive and multi stream tx. The NTA lived on into the year 2000 and provided 4:3 programme playout and separate analogue schedules in peak hours.
GE
thegeek Founding member
And never mind the NTA being short lived - the DTA only lasted until 2005 or thereabouts when they moved playout into a whole new building.

I can't answer much about the history of International Control, but by the early 2000s it was just an operational position in the corner of CCA on the third floor (but kept the 'room' as part of its name). It was still a fairly major gateway into the EBU's network, with anything from any UK broadcaster having to pass though there, though that's reduced somewhat with the EBU having more of a presence at BT Tower. Curiously ICR is trademarked in case any other broadcast organisation was thinking of starting their own.
TE
Technologist
Whilst Play out , obviously, was an important part of a TV station
it really was much the same in the 1950s as it was at the start of the 1990s.....

But then was was the first growth in Multiple channels
and the technology whether its be cart machines the first stills stores and Charecter generators
which started the change in the early 1990s not forgetting computerised scheduling
and then automation (and then linking the two which was why the NTA was late!)
But the pace of change speeded up with Servers and multiple channels
and the video and audio format being Digital - Rec601 and AES3
and the Mixer being just about a card in a PC..... (channel in a box)
and what the people at home got was a compressed version of that!

Unlike in PAL days where what came out of the back of the camera or Microphone was more or less
the same thing as went on the screen at home . almost unprocessed.

So the NTA was a step which soon was overateken -
and the DTA was being overtaken by Servers which loaded
same progresm in the Nations as well - so That Programmes were not off tape
(A bit like in the 70s Telecine masterial was transfered to tape)
SO the move up "the road" was needed for technical operational reasons well as commercial.
and then AS11 DPP came in in 2014 so tape delivery died!
So a lot in those 20 years or so

And now Red Bee spins up extra channels for Chanel 4 in the cloud!
No "on Prem" hardware at all!

And as you can now Code And Mux in the cloud does this mean that play out becomes
ST2110/St2022-6/BT709 live in plus Recorded as AS11DPP or simlar (IMF is better!) file package
and a complete mutiprogramme MPEG TS or IP stream out...
Last edited by Technologist on 30 March 2021 6:19pm
DE
deejay
This has been a great discussion and I’ve enjoyed contributing. Please join us on TV Live Forum to continue the conversation if you would like to.
RE
RyanE
The world Odetics I think had been used somewhere else (news possibly?) but I may be wrong on that. The NTA was commissioned in the early 1990s but took a very long time to get to air. There was a lot riding on the project and in house-written software that was the heart of the area and should have been a combined planning, scheduling, database and transmission automation was simply too tall an order for the time. In the end, the control element of this software was ditched and a commercially available automation system was bought to make it all actually work.

By the time the NTA got to air the old manual control galleries were very tired and the working practices out of date. But even in 1995/6 there was no real prospect of multiple digital channels, red button, interactive and multi stream tx. The NTA lived on into the year 2000 and provided 4:3 programme playout and separate analogue schedules in peak hours.


It sounds like it was a somewhat forward thinking project that was perhaps a bit ahead of its time. It's a shame it took so long to get to air and the emergence of digital TV saw it outdated very quickly.

And never mind the NTA being short lived - the DTA only lasted until 2005 or thereabouts when they moved playout into a whole new building.


A victim of technical advances once again it seems. I hope the current facility can be upgraded to UHD HDR fairly easily?
Whilst Play out , obviously, was an important part of a TV station
it really was much the same in the 1950s as it was at the start of the 1990s.....

But then was was the first growth in Multiple channels
and the technology whether its be cart machines the first stills stores and Charecter generators
which started the change in the early 1990s not forgetting computerised scheduling
and then automation (and then linking the two which was why the NTA was late!)
But the pace of change speeded up with Servers and multiple channels
and the video and audio format being Digital - Rec601 and AES3
and the Mixer being just about a card in a PC..... (channel in a box)
and what the people at home got was a compressed version of that!

Unlike in PAL days where what came out of the back of the camera or Microphone was more or less
the same thing as went on the screen at home . almost unprocessed.

So the NTA was a step which soon was overateken -
and the DTA was being overtaken by Servers which loaded
same progresm in the Nations as well - so That Programmes were not off tape
(A bit like in the 70s Telecine masterial was transfered to tape)
SO the move up "the road" was needed for technical operational reasons well as commercial.
and then AS11 DPP came in in 2014 so tape delivery died!
So a lot in those 20 years or so

And now Red Bee spins up extra channels for Chanel 4 in the cloud!
No "on Prem" hardware at all!

And as you can now Code And Mux in the cloud does this mean that play out becomes
ST2110/St2022-6/BT709 live in plus Recorded as AS11DPP or simlar (IMF is better!) file package
and a complete mutiprogramme MPEG TS or IP stream out...


Clearly advancing technology has changed things a great deal over the last few decades. I wonder where things will head in the future. There's an increasing number of YouTubers broadcasting live content that have vision mixers and 4K or above cameras and can actually produce high quality content that rivals TV channels. This would have been impossible not that many years ago.
RE
RyanE
This has been a great discussion and I’ve enjoyed contributing. Please join us on TV Live Forum to continue the conversation if you would like to.


Thank you for your contributions deejay to this thread and the others you have responded to me on. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my (sometimes rather long!) list of questions. I'll definitely head over to TV Live Forum Smile
SP
Steve in Pudsey
I'd love to learn more about the cloud operations (particularly as a subscriber to the maxim "there is no such thing as the cloud, it's just somebody else's computer") either here or over the road.

I guess RedBee have built the cloud infrastructure themselves rather than the classic cloud computing model of using Azure or AWS to host services rather than your own data centre?
GE
thegeek Founding member
RyanE posted:

And never mind the NTA being short lived - the DTA only lasted until 2005 or thereabouts when they moved playout into a whole new building.


A victim of technical advances once again it seems. I hope the current facility can be upgraded to UHD HDR fairly easily?
One small corner of the Broadcast Centre has been doing UHD for a few years, and more recently HDR. I don't think it's as much of an off-the-shelf solution as much of the other playout systems in the building, and I feel like maybe not the same model as other UHD channels might use in the future.


I'd love to learn more about the cloud operations (particularly as a subscriber to the maxim "there is no such thing as the cloud, it's just somebody else's computer") either here or over the road.

I guess RedBee have built the cloud infrastructure themselves rather than the classic cloud computing model of using Azure or AWS to host services rather than your own data centre?

Before Arqiva left the playout market, they were demoing a cloud based playout system which I think was AWS based, though as a proof of concept. Their party trick was using an Alexa to start a new channel stream.
HC
Hatton Cross
"Alexa - fade to black on TV Forum from me"
Last edited by Hatton Cross on 31 March 2021 2:40pm

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