The Series feature allows you to save time with automatic, rules-based scheduling for episodic and regularly occurring programming including, live, recordings, playout, and replays. Simply select the Source, whether File-based or any of your live sources including available SDI and IP inputs, and define scheduling rules when to air live, record, replay, or playout. The HyperCaster takes care of the rest, automatically managing all required signal path routes and related events. Recorded live programming as part of a Series automatically gets added to the Episodes list, and is scheduled for replay based on any replay rules. You can also add new Episodes directly in the interface for pre-produced file-based programming or live programming recorded remotely and then imported.
For live sources, the Series Scheduling feature supports defining the ingest/record scheduling pattern independent from the replay playout schedule for flexibility. Scheduling rules can be chained to support complex timeslot patterns, such as “Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1pm and 8pm, Tuesday and Thursday at 4pm, and Sunday at 10am.” There are a number of automatic scheduling rule types including “Closest”, “Most Recent”, and “Pattern” as described below.
Common Use Cases for Series Scheduling include:
To manage Series, select the Series sub menu from the Content tab pulldown to get to the Series listing page.
When editing and adding series, you will be presented with the Series form. The Series form contains multiple sections. Following is an explanation of the available fields for each section.
The Series section includes the core metadata fields and various configuration options as follows:
The number of episodes is also displayed. Clicking on the episodes count will take you to the Episodes management page for the Series.
The Episode Generation & Metadata section includes whether TBD placeholder episodes will be automatically generated for the series based on the Ingest Schedule, and the rules for automatically populating per-episode metadata as follows:
TBD generation for series supports variable replacement for the following metadata fields of each content file created: Filename, Program, Episode, Program Code, Episode Code, Description.
The following metadata fields for series generated content files and events support variable replacement: Filename, Program, Episode, Program Code, Episode Code, Description.
Note that TBD episodes created as part of a series cannot be scheduled before their expected ingest date & time. The individual TBD episodes will show in Content, as well as in the Series Episodes view. You can edit details for individual TBD episodes, just like editing other Content, or you can edit the Series rule. Updating the series rule, such as changing the dates, day of weeks etc… will delete all existing future TBD episodes and re-generate episodes from the new rule. Any episodes that were added manually that do not match the new rule defined will remain.
When TBD episodes that are scheduled for playout as part of a series schedule are filled, if the actual content duration is less than the event duration, events will be shortened to match leaving a gap. If the actual content duration is larger than the event duration, the content will be scheduled in its entirety if it fits without creating a conflict. If scheduling would create a conflict, if Cancel Overlapping Events is enabled for the series, the full content will be scheduled and conflicting events will be canceled, otherwise the program will end early to fit.
The Live/Ingest Schedule section allows defining the schedule for any Live and Record events, and/or the pattern for TBD placeholder generation as follows:
The Playout Schedule sections allows defining the schedule for any replays when there is also a Live schedule, or the schedule for playouts for File sources as follows:
Click Save to save your changes. When you Save a Series, any scheduling rules will automatically schedule any corresponding events and create any corresponding TBD episode placeholders. TBDs generated will appear in both the Content tab individually, as well as in the Episodes view for the Series. Series schedules are limited to a maximum of one year.
Keep in mind that multiple events may be created based on the source and scheduling settings. Following is a summary of the events that will be created based on different scenarios:
On the Calendar scheduling view, Live series events will display a red, recording icon to indicate when they will also be recorded.
For Upstream Switcher configurations for Live and Recording with a HyperCaster AIO, be sure to configure which AIO Input ports are being fed by outputs on your video routing switch via Config→ProVues→Inputs→Edit Input. This sets the pool of AIO Inputs that are available for proper routing by the automatic series scheduler. Series scheduling will automatically manage and assign available AIO input resources as a pool, and will prevent you from scheduling more simultaneous inputs than your system allows with an appropriate notification message when saving or updating a series.
For Downstream Switcher configurations, be sure to configure the Switch Input and Output settings for each Channel, from Config→Channels–>Edit Channel.
Live switch sources will not be available for series scheduling or some options may not be available if the proper downstream or upstream configurations are not set. Likewise, recording may not be available for stream or input sources if your system does not have IP Capture licenses or AIO Encoder channels available.
Once you have scheduled a series, you can exclude specific events from the series simply by deleting those events on any of the scheduling views. For example, if you have a live event that runs every Monday at 8PM, but is canceled for a specific day, just go to the Classic or Calendar scheduling view and delete those specific event(s). If any event in a series is moved or deleted, either manually or due to a ripple conflict resolution, it will be excluded from the series. Series scheduling may schedule multiple underlying events for a given program (such as an input event to go live, plus a record event to record ) so be sure to move or delete all associated events if any one is moved or deleted purposefully.
Excluded series events are shown in the edit form for the series. Excluded Live and Record related events are shown at the bottom of the Live/Ingest Schedule section and will indicate the type of event and associated channel.
Excluded playout and replay related events are shown at the bottom of the Playout Schedule section.
You can undo a future exclusion that is still schedulable by clicking the ‘x’ next to the exclusion. This will reschedule the event, with normal conflict checking & resolution. If the “Cancel Conflicting Events” option is enabled for the series, conflict will be automatically canceled.
If you update or change the scheduling information for an existing series, the following behavior applies:
Series with TBD Episode Generation enabled will automatically generate TBD content records and add those in the series episode list per the Ingest schedule rules. You can also manually add content as an episode in a series from either the Series Episodes page, or directly from the Content Tab. To add Episodes via the Series Episode page, go to the Episodes page for a series by either clicking the Episodes action from the Series page, or clicking the Episodes link at the bottom of the first section on the edit form for a given series.
To add an episode, search for content in the content sidebar, and drag the desired content to the top bar where it says “Drop new episodes here (+)”. The content will be added as an episode to the end of the list. Adding episodes will cause any series schedules to re-schedule based on the current episodes list, re-applying scheduling rules as appropriate. For example, adding an episode to the end of the episode list for a series scheduled with a Most Recent rule with automatically update all future events with this most recent episode.
You can re-order episodes in a series on the Episodes page by dragging and dropping an Episode row to move it to another location in the Episode list. Re-ordering episodes will cause any series schedules to re-schedule based on the current episodes list, re-applying scheduling rules as appropriate. Updating the Ingest Date / Time of a TBD Episode can also lead to a series re-schedule for series schedules with Closest rule.
You can delete episodes in a series on the Episodes page by clicking the delete action for the specific episode in the episodes list. Deleting an episode will cause any series schedules to re-schedule based on the updated episodes list, re-applying scheduling rules as appropriate. Deleting an episode that is a TBD will prompt whether you want to delete just the episode, and leave the underlying TBD program record in general Content, or delete both the episode and the actual TBD. If you delete a TBD program record that is part of a series from Content, it will delete both the episode and the actual TBD.
TBDs that are scheduled in time slots as part of series schedules will show up in missing file reports just like other scheduled TBDs based on your missing file windows setting. Series schedules will attempt to automatically fill time slots with unattached TBD programs right before air time with the most recent available episode. The Missing File Report includes an Autofill column so you can easily see if each specific event will be auto-filled with another episode if you do not address the missing file in time.
For series to autofill, at least one episode must be available (that is not a TBD placeholder).
The Classic scheduling view and As Run Report search form includes a pulldown to filter for events for a specific series.
The events table on Classic view also includes a Rule column that includes the series name and links back to the series for any event in a given series.
Content Advanced Search includes a pulldown to filter for content that are episodes for a specific series.
Because Series TBD Episode generation can populate a large number of future TBDs and you may not want to see all of them all of the time, Content Advanced Search allows filtering for content Ingested within a certain number of days. Using this filter will exclude TBDs with an expected ingest date beyond the number of days entered. Content Advanced Search also includes a Plays In filter to filter for content that is scheduled within the number of days entered.
You can set a global, default setting for the Ingested In content filter under Config → Content → Search, for example if you generally only want to see a certain number of days forward of TBDs in Content and Calendar content sidebar views.
The Series and related automatic scheduling feature presents many powerful options and nuances. To help get started, here are some tips on how to setup series for common workflows. Of course you may want to tune the settings to better match your own workflow.