FastBreak NT?

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KC8RYW
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FastBreak NT?

Post by KC8RYW » Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:37 pm

Anyone ever dealt with this beast?

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rockmanac
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Post by rockmanac » Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:45 am

No.. What exactly is that?

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Addie Chernow
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KC8RYW
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Post by KC8RYW » Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:31 am

It's a really aweful system by Sundance Digital for playing back local breaks.

It runs on NT 4. The program has a copyright of 1996. Ours is based off a Leitch ASC-VR300 video server using M-JPEG (eek!)

We use two computers to run it. An on-air machine, which loads the playlist and plays the break, and an ingest machine which we ingest spots and the program log into to make the playlist for the day.

Here's my main issue with it:

It's too easy to crash it! I had a gig at Enco as a systems tester back in my high school days, so I know a little bit about how a broadcast automation system should work. There are so many ways to out-right cause FastBreak to crash, it's hilarious. Some examples --

In the inventory view on the ingest system, if you press the insert key, and then click away from the new line it makes without adding any information, it will cause the application to crash.

If you have the playlist open on the ingest machine AND on the on-air computer, it will crash when you play your break.

Have a spot to be played in the playlist on the on-air machine between two other elements that is in the database, but isn't on the server (which you didn't notice because it was recently deleted?) It will play the break, get to that element, then instead of the doing something helpful like skipping it and moving to the next one, the application will outright crash leaving you to put up a standby slide.

[edited to correct typos]
Last edited by KC8RYW on Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NECRAT
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Post by NECRAT » Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:59 pm

My old station was a beta tester for this , um, "system". It was horrific.
but when our Odetics TCS-2000 decided to crash and burn (was a CPU chip in the local controller)
it was nice to have a backup system for a day.

Needless to say it never stayed with us.
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rockmanac
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Post by rockmanac » Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:04 am

NECRAT wrote:when our Odetics TCS-2000 decided to crash and burn.
At least you had a back-up... When my last station's Odetics Airo went down, we had to use a dub reel to stay on the air. You've never seen people sweat until they realize they have to manually roll EVERY break in programming AND make sure to accurately write on the paper log when said spot aired so that traffic can manually do an as-run report.

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Addie Chernow
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WWW - @chernowa - KC9JHY

Formerly:
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Director/Technical Director, WKOW-TV
Director/MCO, WREX-TV

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Post by KC8RYW » Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:21 am

I've heard a story similar to this.

The video server lost a RAID disk, and it had to be down for a while for it to rebuild the array. Luckily, this was before a few weeks before I started. :wink:

Then I hear the stories from an old-timer who's been in master for 30 years(!) about when they had to load up 2" quad machines for spots back in the golden era. :shock:

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Post by NECRAT » Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:04 pm

For a while we had to run Odetics in "Manual Mode", and if anyone is familiar with the Odetics systems, they know what Manual Mode means...

It wasn't until prime time that we got the Server system put online.
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Post by KC8RYW » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:46 pm

I had to type in 701 lines of breaks into FastBreak for tomorrow because the disk from traffic had CRC errors.

Do I get an award?

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Re: FastBreak NT?

Post by Kelly » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:32 pm

I know quite a bit about Fastbreak for NT, and used it in the first CentralCasting operation in the country. Eric Harrington and Robert Johnson are good friends of mine and wrote the original code. I would certainly be able to ask them if they recall the issue your are experiencing.

WSYR Syracuse, NY still uses FB in their 10 station centralcasting operation that I was involved with building back in 1998.

When you say crashes, are there any particular symptoms or details you could share? 99% of the FB-NT issues that I ran across are from two or three causes:

1. NT has memory leaks. Rebooting the system, (full power down and restarts), are advised weekly. My MCO's would do so while running something from tape Sunday morning at 2AM. Weekly restarts REALLY improved reliability.

2. Bad RAM. The system really relies on available RAM. I've had RAM go bad and caused the sytem to become very unstable. It still runs, but if you look at the screen crosseyed, it will go unstable.

3. Power supply glitches. The original Fastbreak, Timeliner, and SIDON applications ran on generic clone servers that had marginal power supplies. Any hiccup in the supply when the system is busy will cause the application to freeze. This one is frustrating because it is so intermittent until it dies completely.

Again if I can be of any help, please don't hesitate to ask.
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Re: FastBreak NT?

Post by goodsimphone » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:08 am

This one is frustrating because it is so intermittent until it dies completely.
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Re:

Post by KPJL FM » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:05 am

KC8RYW wrote:I've heard a story similar to this.

The video server lost a RAID disk, and it had to be down for a while for it to rebuild the array. Luckily, this was before a few weeks before I started. :wink:

Then I hear the stories from an old-timer who's been in master for 30 years(!) about when they had to load up 2" quad machines for spots back in the golden era. :shock:
I don't remember any *gold* in that era, least not in my paycheck :lol:
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