RAI: Features requested for RAI Pubblicità

RAI: Features requested for RAI Pubblicità

31 December 2020

RAI (Radiotelevisione italiana) is the Italian state owned public service broadcaster controlled by the Ministry of Economic Development. RAI is the biggest television company in Italy, and operates, using Etere’s standard and tailored solutions, many television channels stations including both analogue and digital terrestrial, as well as satellite offerings.

For more information, please refer to the attachment.

Introduction
RAI (Radiotelevisione italiana) is the Italian state owned public service broadcaster controlled by the Ministry of Economic Development. RAI is the biggest television company in Italy, and operates, using Etere’s standard and tailored solutions, many television channels stations including both analogue and digital terrestrial, as well as satellite offerings.

RAI and Etere have a strong relationship based on a long series of custom-tailored solutions delivered over more than 10 years for the management of the wide range of channels provided by the RAI group with a seamless integration and expansion capabilities.

One of the solutions delivered to RAI was “RAI Pubblicità”, a module able to manage the station’s commercial broadcast through a user-friendly playlist of commercial breaks. With “RAI Pubblicità”, operators are able to load commercial breaks prepared by the RAI’s advertising agency (SIPRA) and transmit them under a fault-tolerant main/backup broadcast system.

In order to improve the management of its commercial transmission, the RAI group has requested two new features to be performed on the “RAI Pubblicità” module, the requested features are:

Flash breaks management: Implementation of a dedicated interface for managing and transmitting “flash breaks” (i.e. mini-spots lasting less than 10 seconds which are identified within schedules through a mark provided by SIPRA) and thus allow operators to perform a more efficient and error-free commercial broadcast.
■ Copy breaks between stations: Inclusion of a new function to permit operators to access the broadcast playlist of a station different from the current one to select and copy break contents into the current station playlist.
This paper will provide a detailed explanation on the solutions proposed by Etere, describing them on separate chapters while making emphasis on the smooth integration of the new features with the current system workflow.

Flash Breaks Management
The current interface of “RAI Pubblicità” will be modified to include an extended panel to be automatically displayed each time an event containing “Flash breaks” is loaded, this panel will permit operators to manage not yet transmitted commercial breaks whether they are advertisement (tabellare) and flash (minispot) breaks:

Advertisement break (Pubblicità tabellare): Commercial breaks containing spots which are specifically transmitted at a certain time slot (e.g. 12:00 - 12:03) and usually last more than 10 seconds.
■ Flash Breaks (Mini spots): Commercial breaks containing spots which are specifically transmitted along with a certain event (e.g. GP Singapore 2012) and usually last less than 10 seconds. Flash breaks are identified within playlists through a special mark provided by SIPRA.

The extended panel will be displayed at the right hand of the main panel, showing to the operator all the commercial breaks currently available. By default, the chronologically first break –whether tabellare or flash- will be proposed for being loaded (cued).

As shown in the figure above, each time a break is cued, it will be entirely loaded in the main panel and highlighted -in yellow- in the extended panel.

2.1 Detailed Description
In order to implement the dedicated management of “flash breaks”, the interface of “RAI Pubblicità” will be modified to include the following two panels:

■ Main panel: It comprehends the current interface which is “always enabled” for the transmission of the playlist of loaded breaks (i.e. cued for being transmitted). The main panel will change color according to the coming next break to indicate if it’s either an “advertisement“ (tabellare) or “flash” (minispot) break.
■ Extended panel: It is the special interface enabled for displaying all “advertisement” (tabellare) and “flash” (minispot) breaks which are available (i.e. related and not yet transmitted) for the loaded event. This panel will display the breaks information (e.g. program, schedule time, duration and status) and will be colored according to the following criteria. White : Break available for being loaded. Yellow : Break currently loaded in the main panel. Gray : Breaks unavailable for being loaded because they alter the sequence of the “advertisement” (tabellare) or “flash” (minispot) breaks.

In case an event is moved to a different day/time, the scheduling consistency is maintained since all the event’s related flash breaks will be moved along with it whereas the “advertisement breaks” (pubblicità tabellare) will remain in their scheduled position. For instance, if a sports event (e.g. GP Singapore 2012) is delayed due to bad weather, the scheduled time of its “flash breaks” will be updated according to the new event scheduled time while the “advertisement breaks” (tabellare) will remain as originally scheduled.

2.2 Functioning Controls
It’s worth mentioning that, in order to avoid undesired behaviors, the following controls have been included in the management of the extended panel:
■ The spots sequence within “advertisement breaks” (tabellare) cannot be modified
■ The spots sequence within “flash breaks” cannot be modified
■ The spots sequence within “flash breaks” is related to a single container event
■ It is not possible to load “flash breaks” not belonging to the current event until the current event finishes

2.3 Example of use
The functioning of the extended panel has been illustrated in the following example:
1. During the transmission of events without “flash breaks” only the main panel is displayed. 2. As soon as an event containing “flash breaks” is loaded, the extended panel is automatically displayed (the chronologically first break will be automatically cued)
3. The extended panel will allow operators to perform one of the following actions:
■ Start the automatically loaded break
■ Discard the automatically loaded break (the next break in the list will be automatically loaded)
■ Load the next “advertisement” break (tabellare) in case the currently loaded break is a flash break
■ Load the next “flash” (minispot) break if the currently loaded break is an advertisement break

NB: In order to manually load breaks just make double-click on them or select the “load” function from their right-click contextual menu.

NB: Please note that, as mentioned before, the operator won’t be allowed to pass to a different event (e.g. Hockey league game) until all the “flash breaks” of the current event (e.g. GP Singapore 2012) have been transmitted or discarded.

3. COPY BREAKS BETWEEN STATIONS
A new proposed function will permit to access the various RAI system channels to allow operators to consult another station’s playlists (e.g. RAI Sport) and copy entire “commercial breaks” into current channel playlist (e.g. RAI News) getting the “signatures” (sigle) present in the source break automatically replaced with the current channel signatures.

As shown in the figure above, the new feature will be able to integrate different station databases such in a way that it will be possible to quickly share broadcast information between stations.

3.1 Detailed Description
The user interface of “RAI Pubblicità” will allow operators to consult another station’s playlist (e.g. RAI Sport) and copy commercial breaks into their current channel (e.g. RAI News):

3.2 Automatic change of signatures
A key feature of the “copying” function consists in the automatic replacement of the “signatures” (sigle) of the source station (e.g. RAI Sport) with the signatures of the current station (e.g. RAI News).

The automatic replacement is possible thanks to the “discriminating character” used for naming “signatures” (sigle), that is, due to the fact that signatures are named placing an underscore at the beginning of their names (e.g. _RAISport23, _RAINews416, etc.).

3.3 Example of use
The possible functioning of the proposed solution for copying breaks between channels has been illustrated in the following lines:
1. The operator use the [EDIT] button to active the application’s “editing” mode (i.e. the station’s current day playlist will be open):
2. From the station’s current day playlist, a right-click function will allow the operator to “Select the playlist of another channel”:
3. A small form will be displayed to allow the operator to select the channels for which the playlist will be open (only online channels will be displayed):
4. Once the desired channel has been selected (i.e. making double-click on it) the current day playlist of the selected channel will be open to allow copying breaks: NB: In order to maintain the system consistency, accessed playlists are opened in “read only” mode, thus allowing to select and copy breaks without altering the source playlist
5. At this point, the operator will be allowed to select the “break” to be copied (e.g. an opening signature) and make right-click on it to select the “Copy into the source channel” function
6. The application will ask the operator to specify the exact time at which the break will be inserted, after which; the selected “break” will be copied and all the “signatures” will be replaced.

About Etere
Since its beginnings in 1987, Etere has been preparing users to be ready for the future. Etere is a worldwide provider of broadcast and media software solutions backed by its mark of excellence in system design, flexibility and reliability. Etere Ecosystem software solutions including Media Asset Management, Channel-in-a-Box, Newsroom, Ad Insertion, Airsales, Automation, Broadcast Management System, Censorship, HSM Archive, Logging, OTT/VOD Delivery, Radio-Live, Subtitling and Captioning software are built with an integrative Web and Windows architecture that are customisable to fit perfectly in your system. Etere delivers on its service excellence commitment with its dedicated team and a 24/7 worldwide support. Its portfolio of digital technologies and market-proven remote/on-site solutions including consultancy, training, installation and demonstrations are ready to run with your business no matter where you are. Etere enhances your adaptability for the future and empowers you with the software tools to drive your business to greater heights. info@etere.com

Since its beginnings in 1987, Etere has been preparing users to be ready for the future. Etere is a worldwide provider of broadcast and media software solutions backed by its mark of excellence in system design, flexibility and reliability. Engineered in Singapore, the revolutionary concept of Etere Ecosystem promotes real-time collaborations and enhances operational efficiency across the entire enterprise. Etere Ecosystem software solutions including Media Asset Management, Channel-in-a-Box, Newsroom, Ad Insertion, Airsales, Automation, Broadcast Management System, Censorship, HSM Archive, Logging, OTT/VOD Delivery, Radio-Live, Subtitling and Captioning software are built with an integrative Web and Windows architecture that are customisable to fit perfectly in any system. Etere system is developed by 4 different groups in different countries to ensure reliability and quality. Etere delivers on its service excellence commitment with its dedicated team and a 24/7 worldwide support. Its portfolio of digital technologies and market-proven remote/on-site solutions including consultancy, training, installation and demonstrations are ready to run with your business no matter where you are. Etere enhances your adaptability for the future and empowers you with the software tools to drive your business to greater heights.
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About Etere
Since its beginnings in 1987, Etere has been preparing users to be ready for the future. Etere is a worldwide provider of broadcast and media software solutions backed by its mark of excellence in system design, flexibility and reliability. Engineered in Singapore, the revolutionary concept of Etere Ecosystem promotes real-time collaborations and enhances operational efficiency across the entire enterprise. Etere Ecosystem software solutions including Media Asset Management, Channel-in-a-Box, Newsroom, Ad Insertion, Airsales, Automation, Broadcast Management System, Censorship, HSM Archive, Logging, OTT/VOD Delivery, Radio-Live, Subtitling and Captioning software are built with an integrative Web and Windows architecture that are customisable to fit perfectly in any system. Etere system is developed by 4 different groups in different countries to ensure reliability and quality. Etere delivers on its service excellence commitment with its dedicated team and a 24/7 worldwide support. Its portfolio of digital technologies and market-proven remote/on-site solutions including consultancy, training, installation and demonstrations are ready to run with your business no matter where you are. Etere enhances your adaptability for the future and empowers you with the software tools to drive your business to greater heights.