Definitions and Responsibilities
A Live programme is any programme that is not delivered (by tape or) by file, and requires some form of communications link for delivery.
These programmes will fall under the following sub-categories:
- Live – The programme output from the remote location goes straight to air via SVT’s playout facility.
- Compliance Live – As Live but a short delay exists in the signal path to allow for intervention by SVT for compliance or legal reasons.
- As Live – The programme is produced on-site as if it were live, but the output recorded and played-out at a delayed time (or date) in the schedule. Recording and playout may occur at the production site, or at SVT’s playout facility.
- Late Delivery – The programme is produced and edited very close to its scheduled time, and as such, (tape or) file delivery to SVT’s playout facility is not practical. Delivery is via a link or permanent line from another facility.
Point of delivery is the location or building to which the live programme is commissioned to deliver, usually SVT’s central routing facility MCR (Master Control Room).
Permanent Link is any dedicated path from the location to the point of delivery that uses land-based circuits that are permanently assigned for use by SVT.
Contribution Link is any path from the location to the point of delivery that is not a dedicated or permanent link, such as a bookable circuit, a satellite feed, or microwave link.
Resilience Level is the level of resilience (back-up) that a live programme is required to have. The level of resilience is a requirement of SVT, and may vary depending upon the production – see Resilience Levels in Live Programme Delivery section.
The production should have a technical contact available as far as is possible in advance of the programme, to allow SVT to confirm technical planning, and for dealing with any queries.
There must be a technical contact available at the source during the programme itself and throughout the line-up period. The technical contact for the programme is responsible for making sure;
the programme meets the general overall Technical Specification outlined in Part 1 of this document;
- the cue and communications circuits are adequate and fully operational;
- the video and audio signals are continuous and stable throughout the broadcast period;
- resilience levels meet SVT’s requirements;
- the signal leaving their site and incoming to SVT can be passed through the playout and transmission chain without the need for further technical intervention unless previously agreed using pre-booked facilities (excludes any synchronisation required at the broadcaster’s point of delivery);
- there is sufficient monitoring in place to confirm the signal quality from the location to the point of delivery;
- all sources are stable and synchronous at all times;
- pre-recorded inserts are the same aspect ratio, resolution and match the quality of the live material.
Line-up signals must be available at least 30 minutes prior to the programme start time although it is strongly recommended that contact on the day is made well in advance of line-up and all possible links are tested as soon as technically possible. Line-up for News contribution may be done using less time for calibration and checking, however, a minimum of at least 10 minutes is necessary.
Cue and Communication
A dedicated, stand-alone technical telephone number must be provided and distributed well in advance of the transmission. This should be a fixed landline telephone.
For direct contributions into network transmissions, a feed of the source production talk-back will be required at the playout facility. A dedicated, land-based, “4-wire” circuit offers flexibility and should be considered the minimum requirement.
Talk-back (open or keyed, depending on SVT’s choice) must be offered to playout for the duration of the programme and should be available from thirty minutes before the start of transmission.
It is preferable to arrange instantaneous or low-latency video/audio return or cue paths to sources. Return audio or video cue circuits of the programme may be necessary for programmes that require two-way communication between centres. It is important to consider the latency and reliability of the cue path especially when the programme has live interviews.
Due to the latency of a Digital Terrestrial or Digital Satellite off-air signal (up to 6 seconds), off-air cueing should be considered as a last resort and for contingency purposes only.
It is acceptable to use mobile telephones for communication during the line-up period but during transmission use of mobile phones should be agreed in advance and they should not be relied on as the only means of communication.
Photosensitive Epilepsy (PSE) and Live Programmes
SVT is not subject to prevent photosensitive epilepsy by regulation. However, programmes should be checked during rehearsals before transmission.
- If the situation is not under the control of production or there is any chance a programme might cause PSE, it is the responsibility of the programme’s producer to arrange for a warning announcement or caption to be used before and during the transmission.
- Although normally PSE warnings cannot be authorised by a programme producer, Live transmissions are the only exception. If there is any doubt, especially where stage lighting is not under the control of the production, it is better to give a verbal or caption warning
Unless otherwise agreed, Production companies should ensure OB suppliers, or remote locations, have UPS/Generator provision so the live programme transmission can be maintained in the event of any loss of power at the remote location. Critical systems should always be protected by UPS and if generator power is used it should be a dual system which allows synchronous changeover. This provision should be fully tested prior to transmission to ensure the functionality is fit for purpose.