A brief history of time


Dick Hobbs. TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Dick Hobbs
Issue 106 - October 2015

And another IBC is written into the annals of history. Another week in Amsterdam, sharing knowledge and experience. Say what you like about IBC: it is a great chance to meet, talk and learn.

Now at IBC I actually perform a number of tasks behind the scenes which keep me largely occupied and out of trouble. And I am issued with a house telephone so anyone in the IBC organisation can find me even when I try to hide.

One of the organisations who did contact me regularly was IBC TV, the new look service which provides 24 hour streaming of all sorts of events and content around the show. That includes a number of live broadcasts each day: regular programmes and special events like commentaries on keynote conference presentations.

On the first day I was called and asked to rush to the IBC TV studio no fewer than three times, because a guest had not turned up and would I stand in. In each case, the guest arrived at pretty much the go live time sometimes after it and I did not need to bluff my way through whatever they were going to talk about. On day two I did actually have to be an instant rent-a-pundit, but that is a different story.

The fact that these people, all of whom I am pretty certain were on a much higher pay grade than me and had minders to mind them, failed to understand the concept of time with respect to live television made me pause for thought. In the changing world of television, does time matter any more?

In the classic days of broadcasting, the clock was king. The idea of crashing Big Ben on radio was absolutely anathema. When Eddie Mair did it a few months back, on the PM programme on Radio 4, he ran a week of features about this cardinal sin.

On television, too, time was sacrosanct. The idea that the early evening news could start at around six was just silly. It started at 18:00:00:00 or someone would be looking for a new job. Everyone knew when that was, because there was a network of station clocks, linked to the Greenwich time signal. People used to set their watches by it.

Because the forecasters were not BBC employees, they had their office at what was then the London Weather Centre in Kingsway in central London. They would prepare the forecasts, and create their visual aids which were maps of the United Kingdom with felt-tip pen lines drawn on them. These were rolled into a document tube, and the forecaster would get on the Underground to Lime Grove to deliver the evening bulletin.

This was eventually replaced by everyones favourite technology, the map on the wall with magnetic stickers for the weather symbols. They were everyones favourite because there was barely a 50% chance that they would stick where the forecaster wanted them, and audiences in the 1970s were routinely in gales of laughter as the likes of Barbara Edwards and Michael Fish watched their carefully placed rain clouds slide gracefully from Glasgow to Goole.

By the mid 1980s, computer graphics power was advancing, and I nearly became an authority on weather forecasting. The Met Office went out to tender to a number of companies to develop a customised weather graphics system, capable of being operated by meteorologists rather than graphics designers.

At the time I was working for a large computer software company, and I thought this would be a good contract to win. Sadly, the internal politics of the company felt that, as the customer was (at the time) a part of the Ministry of Defence, the project should be handled by the defence group not the broadcast group. I went to one meeting and it vanished without trace.

Today of course we expect vast resources of technical wizardry in the presentation of weather. Indeed, The Weather Channel in the States has just launched a regular slot in which meteorologists explain how weather happens, using walk-around augmented reality in the studio to see a tornado being created. It is very impressive.

But whether our forecasters are conjuring up virtual storms or drawing on maps with a marker pen, what we really care about is the accuracy. The Met Office has a mathematical model underpinning its forecasting which uses non-hydrostatic dynamics with semi-lagrangian advection and semi-implicit time stepping. So that must be good.
But when is it going to stop raining? As Louis MacNeice might have said, if only he could have solved the scansion challenges, if you break the bloody semi-lagrangian advection, you wont hold up the weather.

Tags: iss106 | ibc 2015 | television | time | delay | live | ip signal | dick hobbs | Dick Hobbs.
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs.

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

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    TMD summarises their work this year at IBC 2014

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • BBright at IBC 2014

    BBright at IBC 2014

  • WORK Microwave at IBC 2014

    WORK Microwave at IBC 2014

  • EBS at IBC 2014

    EBS at IBC 2014

  • Visual Unity at IBC 2014

    Visual Unity at IBC 2014

  • Hitachi at IBC 2014

    Hitachi at IBC 2014

  • Gearhouse Broadcast OBLite at IBC 2014

    Gearhouse Broadcast OBLite at IBC 2014

  • Comigo at IBC 2014

    Comigo at IBC 2014

  • AVIWEST at IBC 2014

    AVIWEST at IBC 2014

  • Harmonic at IBC 2014

    Harmonic at IBC 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

  • Ateme at IBC 2014

    Ateme at IBC 2014

  • Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

    Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

  • Cobham new receiver at IBC 2014

    Cobham new receiver at IBC 2014

  • Fibrenetix with StorageDNA at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with StorageDNA at IBC 2014

  • Cinegy at IBC 2014

    Cinegy at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Front Porch Digital at IBC 2014

    Front Porch Digital at IBC 2014

  • TMD Mediaflex at IBC 2014

    TMD Mediaflex at IBC 2014

  • TMD at IBC 2014

    TMD at IBC 2014

  • Pixel Power Buzz at IBC 2014

    Pixel Power Buzz at IBC 2014

  • Matrox at IBC 2014

    Matrox at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

    Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • Facilis at IBC 2014

    Facilis at IBC 2014

  • Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

  • Sonnet Technologies Thunderbolt Chassis at IBC 2014

    Sonnet Technologies Thunderbolt Chassis at IBC 2014

  • Volicon Products at IBC 2014

    Volicon Products at IBC 2014

  • Volicon at IBC 2014

    Volicon at IBC 2014

  • NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

    NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

  • Metus at IBC 2014

    Metus at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

  • Sonys new cameras at IBC 2014 - including the FS7

    Sonys new cameras at IBC 2014 - including the FS7

  • Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

    Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

  • PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

    PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

    Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

    Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

  • JVC GY-HM850 and GY-HM650 at NAB 2014

    JVC GY-HM850 and GY-HM650 at NAB 2014

  • BVE 2014

    BVE 2014

  • BeSteady on the Production Gear stand at BVE 2014

    BeSteady on the Production Gear stand at BVE 2014

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems at BVE 2014

    Cambridge Imaging Systems at BVE 2014

  • RTS Omneo at BVE 2014

    RTS Omneo at BVE 2014

  • Atomos Samurai Blade at BVE 2014

    Atomos Samurai Blade at BVE 2014

  • Atomos Ronin at BVE 2014

    Atomos Ronin at BVE 2014

  • Atomos Ninja Blade at BVE 2014

    Atomos Ninja Blade at BVE 2014

  • Videosys Wireless Transmitters at BVE 2014

    Videosys Wireless Transmitters at BVE 2014

  • Angelbird SSDs at BVE 2014

    Angelbird SSDs at BVE 2014

  • Ross Video at BVE 2014

    Ross Video at BVE 2014

  • Tally Technologies at BVE 2014

    Tally Technologies at BVE 2014

  • aQ Broadcast Production Suite at BVE 2014

    aQ Broadcast Production Suite at BVE 2014

  • Sony Camcorders at BVE 2014

    Sony Camcorders at BVE 2014

  • Sony Monitors at BVE 2014

    Sony Monitors at BVE 2014

  • Sony Wireless Microphones at BVE 2014

    Sony Wireless Microphones at BVE 2014

  • Sennheiser HDM Pro at BVE 2014

    Sennheiser HDM Pro at BVE 2014

  • Wohler DPP at BVE 2014

    Wohler DPP at BVE 2014

  • DPA Microphones and Bubblebee Industries at BVE 2014

    DPA Microphones and Bubblebee Industries at BVE 2014

  • NewTek TriCaster at BVE 2014

    NewTek TriCaster at BVE 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

  • Matrox Monarch HD and VS4 at BVE 2014

    Matrox Monarch HD and VS4 at BVE 2014

  • Metus Ingest at BVE 2014

    Metus Ingest at BVE 2014

  • Hireacamera at BVE 2014

    Hireacamera at BVE 2014

  • Wohler MPEG Monitoring at BVE 2014

    Wohler MPEG Monitoring at BVE 2014

  • TSL Products SAM1 MADI at BVE 2014

    TSL Products SAM1 MADI at BVE 2014

  • Polecam Toshiba Minicams at BVE 2014

    Polecam Toshiba Minicams at BVE 2014

  • Grass Valley at BVE 2014

    Grass Valley at BVE 2014

  • ERA at BVE 2014

    ERA at BVE 2014

  • ERA Avere at BVE 2014

    ERA Avere at BVE 2014

  • Camdec at BVE 2014

    Camdec at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

  • Polecam Slow Motion Minicams at BVE 2014

    Polecam Slow Motion Minicams at BVE 2014

  • Glensound Cub at BVE 2014

    Glensound Cub at BVE 2014

  • JVC HM850 at BVE 2014

    JVC HM850 at BVE 2014

  • TSL Products PAM1, SAM1 and PAM PiCo at IBC 2013

    TSL Products PAM1, SAM1 and PAM PiCo at IBC 2013

  • Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

    Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

  • Dalet at IBC 2013

    Dalet at IBC 2013

  • DPA Microphones at IBC 2013

    DPA Microphones at IBC 2013

  • Gearhouse Broadcast HD OB trailer at IBC 2013

    Gearhouse Broadcast HD OB trailer at IBC 2013

  • Glensound with the USB Commentary Mixer at IBC 2013

    Glensound with the USB Commentary Mixer at IBC 2013

  • Broadstream Solutions on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

    Broadstream Solutions on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

  • Oasys Chameleon at IBC 2013

    Oasys Chameleon at IBC 2013

  • Loft London Solutions with Cubix on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

    Loft London Solutions with Cubix on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

  • RTW at IBC 2013

    RTW at IBC 2013

  • Sound Devices PIX260i Recorder at IBC 2013

    Sound Devices PIX260i Recorder at IBC 2013

  • Thomson Broadcast at IBC 2013

    Thomson Broadcast at IBC 2013

  • Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

    Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

  • Atomos Ninja2 Recorder at IBC 2013

    Atomos Ninja2 Recorder at IBC 2013

  • Atomos Ronin at IBC 2013

    Atomos Ronin at IBC 2013

  • Atomos new Samurai Blade at IBC 2013

    Atomos new Samurai Blade at IBC 2013

  • Autocue DSLR Prompter using iPad at IBC 2013

    Autocue DSLR Prompter using iPad at IBC 2013

  • Blueshape Batteries at IBC 2013

    Blueshape Batteries at IBC 2013

  • Datacolor Spyder on the Atomos stand at IBC 2013

    Datacolor Spyder on the Atomos stand at IBC 2013

  • i-Movix Slow Motion and D-Flicker at IBC 2013

    i-Movix Slow Motion and D-Flicker at IBC 2013

  • JVC GY-HM600 series camera updates at IBC 2013

    JVC GY-HM600 series camera updates at IBC 2013

  • Marshall Monitors at IBC 2013

    Marshall Monitors at IBC 2013

  • Metus MAM and Ingest at IBC 2013

    Metus MAM and Ingest at IBC 2013

  • Polecams range of accessories and minicams at IBC 2013

    Polecams range of accessories and minicams at IBC 2013

  • Tektronix at IBC 2013

    Tektronix at IBC 2013

  • TSL Products at IBC 2013

    TSL Products at IBC 2013

  • TSL Systems at IBC 2013

    TSL Systems at IBC 2013

  • Zylight LED Fresnel at IBC 2013

    Zylight LED Fresnel at IBC 2013

  • Pixel Power at IBC 2013

    Pixel Power at IBC 2013

  • Albis Technologies celebrating ten years at IBC 2013

    Albis Technologies celebrating ten years at IBC 2013

  • ATEME at IBC 2013

    ATEME at IBC 2013

  • Brainstorm with Aston demonstration at IBC 2013

    Brainstorm with Aston demonstration at IBC 2013

  • Brainstorm at IBC 2013

    Brainstorm at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • Broadpeak at IBC 2013

    Broadpeak at IBC 2013

  • Cobham transmitters at IBC 2013

    Cobham transmitters at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

  • Multidyne SilverBack, BullDog and Spider at IBC 2013

    Multidyne SilverBack, BullDog and Spider at IBC 2013

  • NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

    NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

  • Lighting cameraman Jonathan Harrison shows the Celeb and Tegra at IBC 2013

    Lighting cameraman Jonathan Harrison shows the Celeb and Tegra at IBC 2013

  • Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013

    Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013

  • ChyronHego Paint at IBC 2013

    ChyronHego Paint at IBC 2013

  • Cinegy at IBC 2013

    Cinegy at IBC 2013

  • ChyronHego Virtual Placement at IBC 2013

    ChyronHego Virtual Placement at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Global Distribution with mLogic at IBC 2013

    Global Distribution with mLogic at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

  • Softron Media at IBC 2013

    Softron Media at IBC 2013

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2013

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2013

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at IBC 2013

    Quantel Pablo Rio at IBC 2013

  • Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

    Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

  • Telestream with Wirecast version five at IBC 2013

    Telestream with Wirecast version five at IBC 2013

  • Telestream with Post Producer at IBC 2013

    Telestream with Post Producer at IBC 2013

  • Matrox Maevex at IBC 2013

    Matrox Maevex at IBC 2013

  • Matrox Avio at IBC 2013

    Matrox Avio at IBC 2013

  • Matrox Video with Monarch HD at IBC 2013

    Matrox Video with Monarch HD at IBC 2013

  • NuGen Audio at IBC 2013

    NuGen Audio at IBC 2013

  • Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

    Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

    Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

    Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

  • Autocue at BVE 2013

    Autocue at BVE 2013

  • Studio Technologies at NAB 2012

    Studio Technologies at NAB 2012

  • IMT Broadcast at NAB 2012

    IMT Broadcast at NAB 2012

  • Garland Partners at BVE 2012

    Garland Partners at BVE 2012

  • Sensio at IBC2011

    Sensio at IBC2011

  • Globecast at IBC2011

    Globecast at IBC2011

  • Digital Rapids at IBC2011

    Digital Rapids at IBC2011

  • SADiE at IBC2011

    SADiE at IBC2011


Related Shows
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Articles
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
An Epiphany Moment
Peter Savage 2 I had been negotiating the sale of my company and had reached the really hard end of the bargain. We were close to agreeing the final sum after a lot of too-much-give-and-not-enough-take negotiation. The solicitors were calling me, keen for a deal. It had come down to one sticking point and, in my hard ball “I am the Wolf of Wall Street” guise, I wasn’t going to let it go. It would make a value difference of 1.5% on the total outcome. Not much, you might think, but I had already nearly fallen out with the solicitors over their fees and I was giving my advisors an extremely hard time because the corporate adviser couldn’t see how I had already given more than an inch and the buyers were taking more than a mile. I was not going to let them win.
Tags: iss134 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Accelerated Workflows with eGPU
Mike Griggs From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.
Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs Click to read or download PDF
University and Mental Health
Rhiannon Jenkins University study and mental health has been in the media quite a bit over the last year, and I’m sure there are many people wondering what is going on? The issues are complex, and I suppose the focus of employability off the back of a degree course has raised the stress stakes for a lot of young people. I’m only qualified to talk about this from my perspective, and my story began when I joined a course not knowing I had a mental health condition.
Tags: iss134 | portsmouth uni | mental health | student | tvfutures | Rhiannon Jenkins
Contributing Author Rhiannon Jenkins Click to read or download PDF
Protecting the continuity of transmission
Lorna Garrett Your viewers love you. You consistently bring them their preferred channels 24/7. They’ve come to rely on you for their viewing pleasure. They never miss cheering on their beloved sports teams. They’re the envy of their friends as they watch live concerts of their favourite bands. They gather the family around and catch up on their must-see shows. They don’t have a bad word to say about you.
Tags: iss134 | garland | gpl | streaming | artel | disaster recovery | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF