[mythtv-users] Getting local-access stations into Schedules Direct
beww at beww.org
Tue Nov 3 15:09:28 UTC 2009
On Tuesday 03 November 2009 07:38:51 Robert Eden wrote:
> On 11/1/2009 1:56 AM, f-myth-users at media.mit.edu wrote:
> > Ah, I missed that the first time though. Thanks. But I was more
> > thinking about how the station -exports- its data to XML, not how
> > I inhale it; obviously it depends on where there data comes from,
> > but I presume there are also some tools to take common formats and
> > produce something reasonable.
> You would think.... but when Zap2IT Labs shut down and we were looking
> into how to recover (before SD) we contacted a number of stations
> looking for a direct feed. Basically it's a mess. There is no standard
> format! Some have it in word, some excel, some proprietary formats.
> XMLTV actually seemed to be the closest thing to a "standard" format! We
> were shocked to find that within a TV station, it's often easier/cheaper
> for them to buy a Tribune feed than to transfer the data internally!
> So Tribune (and presumably the other US source Rovi/Macrovision/Gemstar)
> has to retype a lot of the data. You would think the stations would
> want to standardize on something (even CSV!) at least for internal use,
> but that's not the case. I can think of a few logical reasons for this,
> but still find it crazy. The mess is probably one reason why the data
> costs so much.
There are two primary suppliers of broadcast "Traffic" systems, BIAS and
Enterprise. These are systems for scheduling (and invoicing and billing etc.)
commercials, and they both interface with the common broadcast automation
systems, producing a file that can be used directly by the station's
automated master control switcher.
Getting BIAS or Enterprise files into formats that can be used by Library
Management Systems or video servers is a real mess, several companies produce
software products to do this, but each one has to be pretty well hand
The formats used by BIAS and Enterprise are proprietary, and using them in any
way probably involves payment to the respective vendor.
My experience is that the various departments at a TV station (Traffic,
Engineering, sales, billing etc.) do not talk to each other, and getting any
agreement on file formats would probably be impossible, which is essentially
what you discovered.
I doubt that any Local Access channels use the major vendors like BIAS or
Enterprise, for one thing they do not sell commercials, which is the core
function of the commercial systems.
BTW - "Traffic" does not refer to anything involving the station's parking
lot. It's basically the scheduling of content, and can get pretty complex,
like not having two competing commercials adjacent to each other, and other
such considerations. For example, it used to be a no-no to have two car
commercials next to each other, nowadays it's considered OK to have a foreign
and a domestic car ad adjacent to each other, but not two domestics etc. Some
ad buys require specific time slots, or specific adjacencies, it can get
quite complex. Then there are considerations like killing any airline ads in
a newscast that contains a story about an air crash, or not putting the Ford
spot next to a story about a major Ford recall.
beww at beww.org
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