Series & Series Scheduling

Series & Series Scheduling

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:

  • Schedule a series of pre-recorded programs for which new episodes will be uploaded on either a regular interval, in batches, or whenever
  • Schedule a series of pre-recorded programs for which new episodes will be coming in from TelVue Connect, such as subscribing to daily Democracy Now! episodes
  • Schedule a series of live programming that will not be recorded, but just air live
  • Schedule a series of live programming that will also be recorded, with or without replays
  • Schedule a series of live programming that does not air live, but is recorded, with or without replays
  • Schedule a series of live programming that is recorded remotely, and subsequently uploaded, with or without replays

Managing & Scheduling Series

To manage Series, select the Series sub menu from the Content tab pulldown to get to the Series listing page.

From this table, you can access several Series actions:

  • To delete a series, click the delete action.
  • To edit an existing series, click the edit action or click of the name of the series.
  • To view and manage the list of episodes in the series, click the Episodes action.
  • To create a new series, click the add action.

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:

  • Name: Enter a name for the series.
  • Description: Enter a description for the series.
  • Source: Select the source for incoming episodes for the series. Choose File for when episodes are uploaded as files, or choose a live source from one of the available live source types – IP Feeds, Inputs (SDI inputs), Switch Inputs.
  • Expected Duration: Enter the expected duration for each episode in the series. The expected duration will be used for creating any TBDs, as well as scheduling any Live and Playout events.
  • Private Access?: Enable to make the Series viewable and editable only to yourself and Admins.
  • Automatically Record?: Enable for live sources to automatically schedule corresponding record events based on the Live scheduling details. Requires IP Capture license(s) for recording Stream sources, and AIO Encode channels for recording AIO SDI inputs (including video router / switch inputs that are routable to AIO inputs). Series scheduling will automatically manage and assign available recording resources as a pool, and will prevent you from scheduling more simultaneous records than your system allows with an appropriate notification message when saving or updating a series.
  • Automatically Go Live?: Enable for live sources to automatically schedule corresponding live events based on the Live scheduling details. When enabled, select one or more channels on which to air the live events. When using a video routing switcher upstream of an AIO to pass live signals through the AIO for processing (scaling, graphics, CALM, etc…), 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.
  • Cancel Conflicting Events?: Enable to automatically cancel existing events that conflict with any live, record, or playout events for this series. If disabled, the series will fail to save when there are conflicts with a corresponding error message requiring you to address any conflicts before trying again. This is good to enable for high priority series that you know need to record and/or air no matter what else is already scheduled.
  • Include In Guide?: Enable for live and/or playout events from the series to be set to show up in the program guide.

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:

  • Generate Episode TBDs?: Enable the automatic creation of TBD content placeholders and associated episodes based on the corresponding Ingest schedule. This must be enabled when Recording, and recorded files will automatically associate with their corresponding TBD. This is recommended for File source when you don’t have the files in advance, the programming is uploaded under a fairly regular schedule, or you want the program guide to display future episodes. This is recommended for Live sources when you want the program guide to display future episodes.
  • Filename: When generating episode TBDs is enabled, enter the filename for episodes. Click on the Episode Generation & Metadata help to see a list of available variables that can be used in the filename to ensure unique filenames per episode that also clearly identify each given episode. For example, for a series named Basketball with an ingest schedule starting December 1, 2019 every day of the week at noon, a filename of %n_%m%d%y_%H%M%S.mpg” would name files as “Basketball_12012019_120000.mpg”, “Basketball_12022019_120000.mpg” etc…
  • Program: Enter the program metadata. Click on the Episode Generation & Metadata help to see a list of available variables that can be used in the program field.
  • Episode: Enter the episode metadata. Click on the Episode Generation & Metadata help to see a list of available variables that can be used in the episode field. It is generally a good idea to use a variable or combination of variables that will be unique for each episode.
  • Program Code: Optionally enter the program code metadata. Click on the Episode Generation & Metadata help to see a list of available variables that can be used in the program code field.
  • Episode Code: Optionally enter the episode code metadata. Click on the Episode Generation & Metadata help to see a list of available variables that can be used in the episode code field. It is generally a good idea to use a variable or combination of variables that will be unique for each episode.
  • Description: Enter the description metadata. Click on the Episode Generation & Metadata help to see a list of available variables that can be used in the description field.

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.

  • %H – Hour of the day, 24-hour clock, zero-padded (00..23)
  • %M – Minute of the hour (00..59)
  • %S – Second of the minute (00..60)
  • %d – Zero padded Day of the month (01..31)
  • %e – Blank padded day of the month (‘ 1′..’31’)
  • %-d – Non-padded day of the month (1..31)
  • %A – Day of the week (Monday..Friday)
  • %a – Abbreviated day of the week (Mon..Fri)
  • %m – Zero-padded month of the year (01..12)
  • %_m – Blank-padded month of the year (‘ 1′..’12’)
  • %-m – Non-padded month of the year (1..12)
  • %B – Month name (January..December)
  • %b – Abbreviated month name (Jan..Dec)
  • %y – Year with century (4 digits)
  • %i – Episode sequence number
  • %n – The name of the series

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:

  • Start Date: The starting date for the Live/Ingest schedule.
  • End On: The ending date for the Live/Ingest schedule.
  • End After: Rather than specifying an End On date, specifies the number of total occurrences.
  • Type: Select from Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. Based on the selection, additional options are available to further define the desired scheduling pattern.
  • Time: The time of day the Live/Ingest events occur.
  • Repeat Every: Select how often this rule should repeat based on the type.
  • Delete In: Optionally specify the number of days after each event to auto delete any corresponding created files.
  • Excluded Times: List of event date/times that are excluded from the Live/Ingest schedule. Exclusions are created for example when corresponding events are deleted from the scheduling views. Exclusions can be canceled to pop them back into the schedule.
  • + Time Slot: For more complex Live/Ingest scheduling patterns, you can chain multiple time slots, for example to create Monday Wednesday Friday at 10AM, and Tuesday Thursday at 8PM.

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:

  • Channel: Select the channel on which to schedule the playouts.
  • Rule Type: Select from Closest, Most Recent, or Pattern.
    • Closest will populate the playout schedule by picking the episode with the nearest ingest date/time that is not after a given playout slot. Closest is usually the best option for recorded replays from Live sources, or for File sources with a regular TBD ingest pattern.
    • Most Recent will populate the playout schedule with the last available ingested episode in the series list (at the bottom of the list). If there are many future events, they will all be scheduled with the most recent episode, until another episode is ingested or added to the series, at which time all future episodes will be updated to play that one. Pattern will populate the schedule by cycling through the episodes or groupings of episode in order.
    • Pattern will populate the schedule by cycling through the episodes or groupings of episode in order. Pattern is usually a good fit when you have a number of episodes collected in advance, and want to spread the playout over the playout schedule, or emulate as if they were now coming in on a regular schedule. Pattern allows specifying how often to repeat each episode before moving to the next, a group size to cycle over, how many times to cycle each group before moving to the next group, by how many episodes to increment between each group, and the starting episode for the pattern.
  • Start Date: The starting date for the Playout schedule.
  • End On: The ending date for the Playout schedule.
  • End After: Rather than specifying an End On date, specifies the number of total occurrences.
  • Type: Select from Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. Based on the selection, additional options are available to further define the desired scheduling pattern.
  • Time: The time of day the playout events occur.
  • + Time Slot: For more complex Playout scheduling patterns, you can chain multiple time slots, for example to create Monday Wednesday Friday at 10AM, and Tuesday Thursday at 8PM.
  • Excluded Times: List of event date/times that are excluded from the Playout schedule. Exclusions are created for example when corresponding events are deleted from the scheduling views. Exclusions can be canceled to pop them back into the schedule.
  • + Add Schedule: Allows defining a Playout schedule on additional channels.

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:

  • File source with Playout schedule – Playout Events
  • Live Stream Source
    • Go Live with Ingest/Live schedule – Stream Events for Live
    • Record with Ingest schedule – Record Events (IP Capture) for Record
    • Replays with Playout Schedule – Playout Events
  • Live Input Source (AIO SDI Input)
    • Go Live with Ingest/Live schedule – Input Events for Live
    • Record with Ingest schedule – Record Events (Encode) for Record
    • Replays with Playout Schedule – Playout Events
  • Upstream Live Switch Source (Video Routing Switcher Input, Switcher Outputs feed AIO Inputs to route through AIO)
    • Go Live with Ingest/Live schedule – Switch Events to route switch input to AIO input, AND Input Events to go live
    • Record with Ingest schedule – Switch Events to route switch input to AIO input, AND Record Events (Encode) for Record. Note that when Go Live and Record are both active, the system will be smart enough to schedule a single switch event to route the switch input into the AIO for both recording and live purposes.
    • Replays with Playout Schedule – Playout Events
  • Downstream Live Switch Source (Video Routing Switcher Input, Switcher Output is the final channel output, HyperCaster AIO or ProVue outputs are inputs to the Switcher. For AIO recording, Switcher Output feedback to AIO SDI Input.)
    • Go Live with Ingest/Live schedule – Switch Events to route switch input to final switch output
    • Record with Ingest schedule – Switch Events to route switch input to AIO input, AND Record Events (Encode) for Record. Note that when Go Live and Record are both active, there will be two separate switch events, one for routing the switch input to the live switch output, one for routing the same switch input into the AIO for recording.
    • Replays with Playout Schedule – Playout Events

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.

Managing Exclusions

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.

Updating & Changing Series Schedules

If you update or change the scheduling information for an existing series, the following behavior applies:

  • Any past events will still be associated with the series.
  • Future events will be fully re-generated based on the updated scheduling.
  • Existing scheduling time slot exclusions (i.e. from deleting specific events in the series on Calendar or Classic view) will remain as long as the time slot would naturally exist in the updated schedule.
  • Existing Episodes that are already attached (i.e., are not TBDs) will remain as Episodes and may be used in re-scheduling future events.
  • TBD Episodes will be fully re-generated based on the updated scheduling and may be used in re-scheduling future events.
  • For Pattern scheduling rules, when re-generating the schedule, the scheduler will apply the pattern using all of the available episodes across all events, including past events, but will only actually schedule the future events. This allows you to easily extend a series and have newer episodes play without always looping back to fill from the beginning.

Managing Episodes

Adding Episodes to a Series

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.

Re-ordering Episodes in a Series

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.

Deleting Episodes from a Series

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.

Missing File Reporting for Series Schedules

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).

Searching for Series Events

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.

Common Series Workflows

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.

  • Schedule a series of pre-recorded programs for which new episodes will be uploaded on a regular, known interval
    • Source: File
    • Automatically Record: checked off
    • Automatically Go Live: checked off
    • Generate TBD Episodes: checked on
      • Filename: use variable to match the expected filename (i.e. date-based etc…)
    • Playout Schedule Rule Type: Closest
  • Schedule a series of pre-recorded programs for which new episodes will be uploaded in batches, you may not know exactly when what is coming in, and want to simulate that the episodes are coming in on a more regular pattern
    • Source: File
    • Automatically Record: checked off
    • Automatically Go Live: checked off
    • Generate TBD Episodes: checked off
    • Playout Schedule Rule Type: Pattern
  • Schedule a series of pre-recorded programs for which new episodes will be uploaded whenever
    • Source: File
    • Automatically Record: checked off
    • Automatically Go Live: checked off
    • Generate TBD Episodes: checked off
    • Playout Schedule Rule Type: Most Recent
  • Schedule a series of pre-recorded programs for which new episodes will be coming in from TelVue Connect, such as subscribing to daily Democracy Now! Episode
    • Name: Democracy Now
    • Source: File
    • Automatically Record: checked off
    • Automatically Go Live: checked off
    • Generate TBD Episodes: checked on
      • Filename: DN %A %B %e %y
      • Program: %n
      • Episode: DN %A %B %e %y
    • Live/Ingest Schedule
      • Weekly: M T W Th F
      • Time: 10AM
    • Playout Schedule Rule Type: Closest
  • Schedule a series of live programming that will not be recorded, but just air live
    • Source: Live source (switch, input, stream)
    • Automatically Record: checked off
    • Automatically Go Live: checked on
    • Generate TBD Episodes: checked off
    • Live/Ingest Schedule
  • Schedule a series of live programming that will also be recorded, with or without replays
    • Source: Live source (switch, input, stream)
    • Automatically Record: checked on
    • Automatically Go Live: checked on
    • Generate TBD Episodes: checked on
    • Live/Ingest Schedule (defines both the live and recording schedule)
    • Playout Schedule (for replays) Rule Type: Closest
  • Schedule a series of live programming that does not air live, but is recorded, with or without replays
    • Source: Live source (switch, input, stream)
    • Automatically Record: checked on
    • Automatically Go Live: checked off
    • Generate TBD Episodes: checked on
    • Live/Ingest Schedule (defines recording schedule)
    • Playout Schedule (for replays) Rule Type: Closest
  • Schedule a series of live programming that is recorded remotely, and subsequently uploaded, with or without replays
    • Source: File
    • Automatically Record: checked off
    • Automatically Go Live: checked on
    • Generate TBD Episodes: checked on
    • Live/Ingest Schedule (defines both the live and TBD episodes pattern)
    • Playout Schedule (for replays) Rule Type: Closest
in Content ManagementHC User ManualProgramming

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