Secrets of how TV works! (Part 2) - the "heart" of a TV station
- HagaIt doesn't matter whether you're a new recruit or not. To tell you the truth, the TV station deliberately makes it unclear where the TV master APS transmission system is.
- MitaWhat? Why?
- HagaFor security reasons. TV broadcasting is indispensable to our livelihood. So it is necessary to consider the risk of a stranger entering the room without permission, modifying the program and having a TV program with different content broadcast. To prevent that, they keep the system heavily guarded by making its whereabouts unknown. I think they also keep photos of the system under strict control to prevent them from being disclosed.
- MitaI didn't know that. Could you give us a sense of what the system is like so that viewers can get an idea of what it’s like?
- HagaI think you have probably seen a TV drama about a TV station in which an actor playing the role of a producer sits in front of a row of monitors in a room giving directions to people in the studio. You can think of the TV master APS transmission system as something that supervises a number of monitors as in that room.
- MitaThank you! Returning to what we were talking about, you said that the TV program schedule is programmed in a time unit less than a second. It must be difficult to broadcast all programs precisely, isn't it?
- HagaIt is difficult, but the TV station has several measures in place to prevent interruption of broadcasting. They broadcast programs with identical contents in duplicate or triplicate so that they can switch immediately in case something happens. There are also other efforts going on to prevent broadcast accidents, such as conducting a test in advance to check how the planned program looks on TV and having a built-in device that automatically monitors video and sound.
- MitaI see. But how do you respond to an emergency? For example, when a major disaster occurs, we see flash news on TV.
- HagaIn such a case, the necessary action is taken by TV station operators, rather than by the system itself. The TV master APS transmission system is designed so that it can be operated manually as well, and the TV station has operators on duty all the time, enabling them to respond to an emergency. If an emergency program is made, the planned schedule needs to be changed entirely and programming has to be controlled by people. That inevitably causes tension among the staff of the TV station. You know well about what the TV station staff must go through, don't you?
- MitaYes. Just listening to you talk about it makes me sweat from tension.
- HagaEven in non-emergency situations, system operators need to check carefully whether programs are being broadcast as scheduled. It is a tough job. So, before designing a system, we carefully listen to operators so that the system will be easy to use for them.
- MitaWow! Speaking of which, we switched from analog broadcasting to digital broadcasting last year. How has the role of the TV master APS transmission system changed?
- HagaIn analog broadcasts, only video and sound were delivered and displayed on the TV in the home. In digital broadcasts, information other than video and sound, such as EPG, subtitles, and data broadcasts are also delivered. The TV master APS transmission system has come to collectively control these kinds of information as well.
- MitaI see. More information can be accessed via the TV than before. So there are more roles that the system needs to play.
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