HDTV broadcast commercial Information - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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HDTV broadcast commercial Information

I read somewhere that HDTV broadcasters send markers which indicate the beginning and end of commercial breaks. These markers are used to insert local ads to the broadcast. Is this true ? Is this information not accessible to the user ?
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 04:47 PM
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There are a number of systems used to trigger commercial breaks.

Some of the older systems use inaudible tones.

The system I think you are speaking of uses auxiliary data which is carried in the HD-SDI baseband stream, and which can be encoded and preserved in an MPEG2 or MPEG4/H264 distribution feed, to send these signals to a compatible receiver at the local station. I don't think these auxiliary signals are re-encoded for the consumer emission streams that are received at home.

Believe it or not, in the UK, the main commercial network here (the BBC channels don't carry commercials) still uses in-vision "Cue Dots" on live shows to trigger commercial breaks. These are small (or not so small) strobing black and white blocks inserted at approx 1 minute before the break, and removed exactly 5 seconds before the break. They used to be present on all ITV shows - but are now only routinely used on live broadcasts. They were there to allow all of the regional stations of the ITV network to know when a show was about to go to a break even without a feed of talkback (the control room communication audio) from the live studio, or the playout area contributing the show (ITV stations made various shows for the network and each regional centre used to play out the shows it made to the rest of the network, rather than there being a single network playout area...) Here you can see the confusing arrangement where two different cue dots are being used (one triggers the network playout area to run a sponsorship sting, the other cues the regional commercials playout after the networked sponsorship sting) https://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.ne...png?1349551346

Last edited by sneals2000; 08-19-2014 at 04:54 PM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-20-2014, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone know more about the system they use in USA ?
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-21-2014, 12:39 AM
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The main specification is SCTE 35.

http://www.scte.org/documents/pdf/St...35%202013a.pdf

Ron

HD MPEG-2 Test Patterns http://www.w6rz.net
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-21-2014, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post
The main specification is SCTE 35.

http://www.scte.org/documents/pdf/St...35%202013a.pdf

Ron
Ron,

Is this information available to end user ? If yes, can't DVRs use this information to automatically skip advertisements ? Or mute it ?

Jean
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-21-2014, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alertjean View Post
Ron,

Is this information available to end user ? If yes, can't DVRs use this information to automatically skip advertisements ? Or mute it ?

Jean
SCTE 35 packets are not passed downstream. They only exist in the satellite feed.

Ron

HD MPEG-2 Test Patterns http://www.w6rz.net
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-24-2014, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post
The main specification is SCTE 35.

http://www.scte.org/documents/pdf/St...35%202013a.pdf

Ron
Yep - that was the system I mentioned in the beginning of my post. (Couldn't remember the SMPTE number) It's present in the stream that the network feed to the local stations, but isn't passed on by the local stations to domestic receivers.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-24-2014, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post
Believe it or not, in the UK, the main commercial network here (the BBC channels don't carry commercials) still uses in-vision "Cue Dots" on live shows to trigger commercial breaks....
Thanks for this interesting explanation of how ITV handles commercial breaks. During the past World Cup, I streamed a couple of games from ITV and was surprised to see that they were still using visible cue dots. The only broadcaster over here I can recall still using these within the past decade or so is CBC in Canada. However, I am unsure if they still use them.

Audible DTMF tones were once rather popular for triggering commercial breaks in the United States, particularly on specialty cable/satellite channels. They were almost completely eliminated 10-15 years ago, though, with the exception of a few small, low-budget operations that continue to use them in the present day.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-24-2014, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agus0103 View Post
Thanks for this interesting explanation of how ITV handles commercial breaks. During the past World Cup, I streamed a couple of games from ITV and was surprised to see that they were still using visible cue dots.
Yep - still the standard for live ITV shows. There are three separate companies who form the ITV network in the UK. ITV plc (which owns all the former franchise regions in England, Wales and the Channel Islands), STV (which owns the Scottish and Grampian franchises) and UTV (which operates the Northern Ireland Franchise). As they are separate companies who all take the same feeds from live studios and outside broadcasts, and may not all receive talkback (and certainly won't have two-way talkback direct) the cue dot system is still the most fool proof. Also good at warning the audience when a cup of tea is due!

Quote:
The only broadcaster over here I can recall still using these within the past decade or so is CBC in Canada. However, I am unsure if they still use them.

Audible DTMF tones were once rather popular for triggering commercial breaks in the United States, particularly on specialty cable/satellite channels. They were almost completely eliminated 10-15 years ago, though, with the exception of a few small, low-budget operations that continue to use them in the present day.
Ah - the systems I know were used in the UK to automatically trigger ad breaks at cable head-ends and to international affiliates used INaudible tones.
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