From: "Michael A. Terrell"
Subject: Re: Detection of television commercials
Date: Sun, 08 Dec 2002 00:49:57 -0500
Organization: Have you seen my bench? No, really! Where is it?
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Tony Newman wrote:
> On Fri, 06 Dec 2002 07:04:06 GMT, Richard Haendel wrote:
> >Can anyone provide information on how to do this? I'm not looking to build a
> >"commercial killer" but I need to record and log certain ones for a client.
> Assuming USA TV standards here...
> If you can get your client to put something special on line 20 of the
> vertical interval, you stand a good chance of being able to detect that
> and do your logging. I work at a TV station, and had to make sure line
> 20 wasn't getting blanked anywhere because Nielson (probably spelled
> that wrong) uses line 20 for pretty much the same purpose on some
> national spots. Line 21 is out - that's where closed captioning lives.
> I think line 22 *might* be available, but that's getting awfully close
> to the start of picture content.
> As for the other discussions in this thread about "flags" or other
> signals in the Network feed. ABC doesn't seem to do it. We get timing
> info from the Network and roll mostly by the clock.
> In live sports, you'll hear the Network announcers say something like
> "We'll be back after these messages and a word from your local station"
> That alerts us that a local break is imminent. We have information on
> what will be in the Network portion of the break, and when the last
> item starts, we know to roll our break right after.
> It's been working this way since before personal computers existed.
> There is some automation now, but it still depends on acccurate timing
> of show segments, and spot lengths. I suppose part of the problem is
> getting all the show and spot producers to agree on the same signaling
> format. It's not just the ABC Network, we have to deal with shows made
> by Paramont, Warner Bros., Buena Vista, and just about anybody who can
> arrange magnetic spots on metal-coated mylar. (well, sometimes it's
> still oxide).
> Tony Newman
> Springfield, OR
I worked for WACX TV Ch 55 in Orlando Florida in 1987 & 1988. (5 MW
ERP, 1749 foot tower & a Comark transmitter.) Most programming was tape
delayed at the transmitter site with a LaCart video automation system.
Every tape had to have the time code read for start and stop times, and
loaded into the proper tape deck. Of course, only ONE machine allowed
you to do the time striping, and got the most use. It usually failed on
a holiday, or Saturday afternoon and it was a 90 minute drive to the
transmitter for a quick repair before they ran out of tapes. It never
failed on Sunday evening when an engineer was due for weekly maintenance
between midnight and six AM.
Michael A. Terrell