Vijay Goyal, Asst. Manager, Zee Entertainment

"Playout is the main pillar of the channel. We have to be careful in the playout and have to properly monitor the channel."

In broadcasting, playout is a term for the transmission of TV channels from the broadcaster to broadcast networks that deliver the content to the audience. Those networks consist of terrestrial transmitters for analogue or digital TV, cable networks, or satellites.

A common workflow in playout is for the broadcast automation system to have a recording schedule to ingest material from a satellite or line feed source and then time-shift that material based on a playlist or schedule. Preparation of play lists, addition–deletion log changes as per requirement of presentation/traffic team. On-air play list changes as per channel requirement like addition/deletion and replacements of promos, commercials, and programs. Operation on air client workstation for transmission operation includes play list cross-checks with logs, time management, verifying lists after every change, monitoring of downlink signals properly, readying for backup plans for minimum loss of transmission, timely report to engineers for rectify the technical issues, backup-tapes management for new and daily shows, graphic overs (astons, bugs & crawls) review on icon station. According to channel requirement end credits of programs are cut, day-to-day play lists are loaded, channels provided, programs, promos, and commercials are ingested and on-air eventsare previewed, troubleshooting operation and library-tapes maintenance is conducted, a daily chat report is given to the operation manager coordinating with the PCR during live bulletins.

Playout is the main pillar of the channel. We have to be careful in the playout and have to properly monitor the channel. In case any error is observed the technical team involving the IT or engineering team should be immediately informed. We should always put in efforts to make the channel run error free. This responsibility is high-priority.

In broadcasting, playout is a term for the transmission of TV channels from the broadcaster to broadcast networks that deliver the content to the audience. Those networks can consist of terrestrial transmitters for analogue or digitalTV, cable networks, or satellites (either for direct reception, DTH, or intended for cable television headends). The playout happens in master control in a playout area, which can be either situated in the central apparatus room or in purposely built playout centers, which can be owned by a broadcaster or run by an independent specialist.

Playout Devices

The devices in the chain depend on the service required under the contract with the channel. Typically a standard television channel would require a master controlvideo switcher, and/or a video router to allow switching of live sources. This video switcher may include other functions such as keying graphics, also known as downstream keyers, audio overs for mixing in voice overs (VO) or announcements, and facilitate transitions between events, such as a fade through black orcrossfade (also known as mix). Other devices include:

Graphics inserters. At least one graphics inserter, or one with several layers allows for Station identification/Logo/Digital on-screen graphic (Dog or Bug) insertion, and can also be used for end credits sequences, coming after graphics or programme-information strips.

Subtitling inserters. This can be either closed or open – that is, in vision as a graphic for all to see, or closed either as an MPEG stream item, closed captioning or world system teletext.

Audio servers. An audio playout system would provide scheduled voiceovers.

Broadcast automation. This incorporates the use of broadcast programming technology to automate broadcasting operations. Used either at a broadcast network, radio station, or a television station, it can run a facility in the absence of a human operator. They can also run in a live assist mode when there are on-air personnel present at themaster control television studio, or control room.