Products / Transmission Automation / Live Programming

Bulk Tape Handling

Avocet has always paid careful attention to the operational complexities associated with live programmes and many examples of such considerations can be found throughout the product design. One very powerful feature is a subsystem that allows the dynamic, last minute insertion of new events into a schedule. The Avocet Dynamic Event Inserter has been refined over a number of years to become a highly effective way of accomplishing near instantaneous modification of an “On Air” schedule.

The Dynamic Event Inserter has found many applications especially in live sports events, where very often the flexibility to choose the duration and timing of a commercial break needs to be taken in the final seconds before the event goes to air.

As the live action unfolds, the programme, initially scheduled as a single long event, gets automatically split into more and more parts, and transmitted in such a way that the normal Avocet transmission history capture mechanism builds up a perfectly accurate log of proceedings, just as if the breaks had been pre-scheduled.

The capability is not limited to commercial break insertion; any event, or group of events, can be inserted into a live programme, opening up a huge range of possible applications.
The Dynamic Event Inserter has also provoked interest from countries where the selling of commercial breaks is done by auction seconds before a slot goes to air.

One particularly successful use of this application has been for live cricket coverage, where the duration and position of a break is dictated by the cricketing action. The screenshot above shows such an application. The operator is presented with a list of ‘eligible’ breaks, sorted by duration, 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds etc. Following the live commentary, the operator would select the most appropriate break, shortly before its expected transmission time. An ‘Undo’ button is particularly powerful when the unexpected happens, e.g. a wicket falls in a cricket match after a previous selection of an ‘end of over’ short break. A ‘Take’ button is provided to roll the selected break.

The concept works extremely well, with buttons like ‘Insert’ and ‘Undo’ performing lots of complicated schedule amendments, clip selections and/or re-selections in just a few seconds.

For this particular application, comms minutage is also accurately recorded by 2 meters, showing the duration of all commercials aired during the current and previous transmission hours. These meters are invaluable aids for ensuring that local commercial broadcasting rules are not violated.