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TV Industry/television studio question


QUESTION: Mr. Dacre:
Because of your skills and background you seem to be the expert to ask:
If a small television station gets a tape that they want to go over the air immediately, what would the machine be called that the tape would be put in so that viewers could see program? This would occur in the control room? Whose job would it be to put tape in?
I am writing a scene in which the manager gets a tape of a program that he wants to put on the air and any background of what would be in tv studio control room and so on would be appreciated.
With your expert  background,it would be weird to get a "this question is beyond my expertise" reply.

ANSWER: Hello Demetrius

If you are referring to a news article then typically the news producer will have the playback at any workstation where the news director will decide where to place the product within the newscast. At that point the tape is "copied" to one of the many video servers (all hard drives these days) and the production control room will run it as part of the production. The "master control room" is where the tv stations programs are controlled, basically the MCR (master control room) runs the commercials when called for and also controls which room to go live to.  The difference between the "Master Control Room" and the "control room" would be that each studio will have a control room that controls the cameras whereas there will only be one Master Control room that controls all rooms and the overall feed of the station.

I hope this helps


Mike Dacre
follow me on twitter @tpsconsulting

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

I am writing a scene in a story. Based upon your feedback, can it go like this:
The station manager gets a tape of a program he needs to go on the air  immediately, so he sends it to master control room. Someone there puts tape in machine, so it can go on air.
Is there a name for machine it goes in?
Is there a job title for person who puts tape in machine?

thanks again,

Hello again

The Master Control Room (MCR) has an operator which is nothing more than the "master control room operator"

As I explained before, the machine it goes in, if you are using video tape,would be a video tape recorder (VTR) but these days most everything is digital so you could say "DVR"

Since most video is now uploaded immediately to a "File Server" where it is then viewed/played back using nothing more than any computer just as you would view a file you have saved to a USB flash drive on your home computer.


Mike Dacre
follow me on twitter @tpsconsulting

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Mike Dacre


I have been involved in Television for the past 26 years as a Technical Producer and Camera operator

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