What are people using out there?

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Kelly
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Re: What are people using out there?

Post by Kelly » Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:23 pm

When I was with Ackerley, I designed and installed 11 Parkervision systems. After joining Fisher, I did two Ignite systems.

To be quite honest, the system is fantastic. Understandably so, directors, producers, and the people who may be displaced by reducing head count to run a newscast are not big fans of the automated news environment.

The stars of running an automated newscast via Ignite or Parkervision are the ones who have never run a Grass 300 or a traditional switcher, or even called a traditional newscast. In every instance where I've put a PVTV or Ignite system, some 20-something person steps up to become the super-user and trainer. Unfortunately some of the old guard don't, or won't learn the completely different workflow and accountability. One simply can't blame the tape or audio guy anymore when something goes wrong in a newscast. When the news is being run by two people, the blame for glitches are squarely on the shoulders of the two people.
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Re: What are people using out there?

Post by rockmanac » Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:43 pm

Kelly wrote:The stars of running an automated newscast via Ignite or Parkervision are the ones who have never run a Grass 300 or a traditional switcher, or even called a traditional newscast.
Interesting... I call a 'traditional' newscast, but it's definitely a different operation than even a few years ago. I'm directing, TDing, running my video, switching the still-store and graphics on the Deko. To add to that, my audio guy runs the cameras (they're robotic). So, we're already dealing with only running newscasts with 3 people (1-production, 1-news, 1-engineering).
Kelly wrote:In every instance where I've put a PVTV or Ignite system, some 20-something person steps up to become the super-user and trainer. Unfortunately some of the old guard don't, or won't learn the completely different workflow and accountability. One simply can't blame the tape or audio guy anymore when something goes wrong in a newscast.
What's different about it besides it's all done through the computer?

And the "old guard" don't even want to learn our system of doing things, if they don't have to. When they did away with the graphics & camera position, the audio guys nearly revolted because they had to learn how to run cameras. And I'll say, it was rough since most of them had never run a camera before. It's actually the same right now with the new hybrid local/remote master control set-up we're going to. (We're locally controlled for part of the day and remotely controlled during network & other unattended periods.) The ones complaining the most are the guys who've been there 20+ years.
Kelly wrote:When the news is being run by two people, the blame for glitches are squarely on the shoulders of the two people.
...or the people editing the stuff. I've had many instances of "editor error" in my director's log lately.

-Adam
Addie Chernow
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Post by eadler » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:12 pm

NECRAT wrote:Leightronix makes automation systems for public access and small tv stations.

My old public access had one of these things. They're crude but rock solid.
Yea, I used Leightronix TCD/IP and TCD/RP at my college station... was great until the RP decided to stop recording audio and we had to send it out for repair... nothing like trying to get a bunch of college students to run a TV station off of tape :roll:

Where I am now, we use Crispin automation + Omneon servers
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Re: What are people using out there?

Post by w9wi » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:46 am

Kelly wrote:When I was with Ackerley, I designed and installed 11 Parkervision systems. After joining Fisher, I did two Ignite systems.

To be quite honest, the system is fantastic. Understandably so, directors, producers, and the people who may be displaced by reducing head count to run a newscast are not big fans of the automated news environment.

The stars of running an automated newscast via Ignite or Parkervision are the ones who have never run a Grass 300 or a traditional switcher, or even called a traditional newscast. In every instance where I've put a PVTV or Ignite system, some 20-something person steps up to become the super-user and trainer. Unfortunately some of the old guard don't, or won't learn the completely different workflow and accountability. One simply can't blame the tape or audio guy anymore when something goes wrong in a newscast. When the news is being run by two people, the blame for glitches are squarely on the shoulders of the two people.
We installed an Ignite system in September. It went startingly well.

Yes, there was doom and gloom. If I recall properly there was only one job lost. (one *current* job, it certainly does mean that many potential future positions will never be created) And just as you say, we had one director (upper 20s) step up & take charge. We really didn't have any trouble with people not wanting to deal with the system. Though I think we'd already gotten rid of all the real naysayers when we went tapeless - that was the real traumatic experience that forced people to understand the computer wasn't going to cover for them the way the tape operators had been.

I'm with Adam about the editors. Probably the biggest issue we've had is with editors forgetting we no longer have the abiity to fix their mix in audio -- if they edit the nat at the same level as the reporter track, it's going to sound like crap on the air.....
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Re: What are people using out there?

Post by rockmanac » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:22 am

w9wi wrote:Though I think we'd already gotten rid of all the real naysayers when we went tapeless - that was the real traumatic experience that forced people to understand the computer wasn't going to cover for them the way the tape operators had been.

I'm with Adam about the editors. Probably the biggest issue we've had is with editors forgetting we no longer have the abiity to fix their mix in audio -- if they edit the nat at the same level as the reporter track, it's going to sound like crap on the air.....
I remember at my last station when we went from tape to the Airspeeds. It wasn't as bad of an adjustment for me because frankly, I'd only been directing for like 3 months at that point. It was a BIG change, however, for our senior director. She'd been directing 9 or so years at that point and this was the first time she didn't have a tape-roller. She adapted quickly, though!

But I understand what you mean by the computer won't cover you... We still have producers at my current station who think it will, and I'm told this station has been tapeless for 8+ years now! (Let's put it this way, News Star, the precursor to iNews, was developed and tested at my station.)

Oy editors... We HAVE an audio operator, but there's not much he can do to fix the mix when the editors send him mixed audio!

-Adam
Addie Chernow
Director, WCCO-TV
WWW - @chernowa - KC9JHY

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

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Re: What are people using out there?

Post by w9wi » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:00 am

rockmanac wrote: I remember at my last station when we went from tape to the Airspeeds. It wasn't as bad of an adjustment for me because frankly, I'd only been directing for like 3 months at that point. It was a BIG change, however, for our senior director. She'd been directing 9 or so years at that point and this was the first time she didn't have a tape-roller. She adapted quickly, though!

But I understand what you mean by the computer won't cover you... We still have producers at my current station who think it will, and I'm told this station has been tapeless for 8+ years now! (Let's put it this way, News Star, the precursor to iNews, was developed and tested at my station.)

Oy editors... We HAVE an audio operator, but there's not much he can do to fix the mix when the editors send him mixed audio!

-Adam
Our directors didn't have any trouble with going tapeless, it was the producers who took some time to figure it out. They were used to being rescued by the directors and the tape ops, and it took some getting used to to learn that if you didn't code that media ID into your story, it didn't matter how badly the director wanted to roll your video -- it wasn't going to happen. We do continue to have intermittent issues with a *wrong* media ID getting coded. (which inevitably results in a page to Engineering "why is my story offline when the editor insists they sent it". EVERY TIME that's happened, the media IDs haven't matched - and the problem is easily fixed within the iNews client...

I wish the editors *would* send us mixed audio. (they almost always do, it's just that sometimes the overall level isn't what it should be. Sports is worst, as they usually expect the talent to do their own editing.) When you don't have an audio op, you set up your TMEs (macros) to bring up the Airspeed to nominally correct level & then pray the clip was recorded properly. If it wasn't -- you may or may not have time to adjust that fader. If you've got a super to run in & out, or the on-set reporter for the next story wore a white sweater & you've got to iris the camera, or ?????, then adjusting that audio fader might not be priority one...

(I've been around long enough to remember pulling & wiring several dozen RS-232 cables, all nine pins 1-8 & 20, for an old NewStar system with the custom terminals, over at channel 3. I still administer an iNews system but it's a LOT more fun running on plain ol' Ethernet and Red Hat servers on standard Intel hardware.)
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Re: What are people using out there?

Post by rockmanac » Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:53 am

w9wi wrote: it took some getting used to to learn that if you didn't code that media ID into your story, it didn't matter how badly the director wanted to roll your video -- it wasn't going to happen. We do continue to have intermittent issues with a *wrong* media ID getting coded. (which inevitably results in a page to Engineering "why is my story offline when the editor insists they sent it". EVERY TIME that's happened, the media IDs haven't matched - and the problem is easily fixed within the iNews client...
I actually had the missing vid-id happen to me tonight. Our sports guy got mad because I didn't roll his video...until we pointed out it was his fault. He never put his vid-id into iNews, so I had no video to roll!

We don't tend to get wrong IDs put into iNews, so much as we get IDs duplicated and end up with completely wrong video running. Always love when that happens... (And there's always the producer who will insist it's completely my fault the wrong video got on the air, even though they're the ones who assign vid-IDs to stories.)

-Adam
Addie Chernow
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Re: What are people using out there?

Post by w9wi » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:00 pm

rockmanac wrote: I actually had the missing vid-id happen to me tonight. Our sports guy got mad because I didn't roll his video...until we pointed out it was his fault. He never put his vid-id into iNews, so I had no video to roll!
We still have enough of Sundance working to put red/green go/no-go fields in the rundown, indicating whether there's a clip in the Airspeeds to match the video-id in the story. So if there's a wrong video ID, the producer & director know it - because there'll be a red marker there. If there's no video-id at all then there will be no marker -- although I suppose the producer would interpret that as meaning the sports guy didn't have any video for that story. (i.e., probably wouldn't see it as a problem)
We don't tend to get wrong IDs put into iNews, so much as we get IDs duplicated and end up with completely wrong video running. Always love when that happens...
Sundance also automatically assigns video IDs from story slugs -- appending a "00" or "01" etc. if more than one slug would map to the same video ID. Unfortunately sometimes producers don't notice and somehow create a new ID after the editor has already started editing under the old one. Since there isn't enough room in the iNews rundown form to show the whole thing, they don't notice until the editor asks "why isn't my story online?"...
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Re: What are people using out there?

Post by rockmanac » Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:26 pm

w9wi wrote:
We still have enough of Sundance working to put red/green go/no-go fields in the rundown, indicating whether there's a clip in the Airspeeds to match the video-id in the story. So if there's a wrong video ID, the producer & director know it - because there'll be a red marker there. If there's no video-id at all then there will be no marker -- although I suppose the producer would interpret that as meaning the sports guy didn't have any video for that story. (i.e., probably wouldn't see it as a problem)

Sundance also automatically assigns video IDs from story slugs -- appending a "00" or "01" etc. if more than one slug would map to the same video ID. Unfortunately sometimes producers don't notice and somehow create a new ID after the editor has already started editing under the old one. Since there isn't enough room in the iNews rundown form to show the whole thing, they don't notice until the editor asks "why isn't my story online?"...
Ah! We're using Avid's control air system to play back our video. Producers assign the vid-ids and it shows either matching (line with a letter), not matching (pink line) or no video (line with no letter.) That's how we end up with mixed vid-ids, because 2 producers will grab the same one and it really messes stuff up!

-Adam
Addie Chernow
Director, WCCO-TV
WWW - @chernowa - KC9JHY

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

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Re: What are people using out there?

Post by ccormier » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:27 pm

We use Microfirst for automation switching a Philips Venus on the composite and HD level, a Probel Sirius on the 601 level. Odetics got ripped out this year, replaced by Omneon servers. The MCO's are, not surprisingly, on Saturn boards.

News is all on BitCentral Precis which anyone would know if they watched since our playback defaults back to the Precis screen at the end of each rundown which will end up going to air if there isn't enough tail on the last package and the director is slow.

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Re: What are people using out there?

Post by Scott.Cason » Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:24 pm

Oh good grief I feel old. the first automation I worked with was the Asaca ACL-6000 in Albany Georgia. The last automation system I worked with was a Sony Betacart at TNN. I remember thinking the Panasonic MARC we had in Macon Georgia was the coolest thing, evah!
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