TuneTracker™ QuickTip

Contending with variable segment lengths in satellite programming

Most times, when you're creating a format clock for programming coming from satellite, such as a talk show, you have to build a little wiggle room into the program segments, because they can vary in length. The way to do that is to make each of them a little longer than it needs to be, and follow it with an "Interrupt."

Here's an example, and we'll follow with an explanation:

# Switcher 00:13:00 Input 2 to Output 1 Listen 4 Bill Smith Show - Segment One
# Interrupt@:18:00
## Commercial Break 1

Bill Smith's first segment starts at :06, and never runs longer than 9 minutes, and the local commercial break is never called for later than 15 minutes past the hour. But we are making the show segment longer in case Bill runs long on an interview or something. And we are putting in a precautionary "Interrupt" in case satellite relay "4" fails to fire and trigger the local break. Granted, the break will occur a little late, but at least it won't be missed.

The Interrupts do something else very important. They provide clues to AutoCast about where it should be in the log...so that when you launch AutoCast, or tell it to reload the current day's program log, it can do a better job of finding where it should be and what it should be doing.

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