The Traffic Light-TV – Looking at the Demo Files

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by Hardy Data Systems

The original Traffic Light was modified to provide support or 12 Streams of TV. Below are screen captures of the various modules showing the included original Demo data. Updated Demo data is now included in the latest version.

Each module is resized to be a full-screen display no matter what screen resolution are you are using.  This results in an easy-to-read screen with large letters. The screen captures below were captured using the "Print Screen" key and copying the image into the Microsoft Paint program. Then copied and pasted and shrunk somewhat which reduced the image quality.  The original LPTV version has been updated and is now named the TV version.  The screen captures below are from the original LPTV version but are similar in the updated 'TV' version. Some of the screens have been updated with recent additions.

 

The above is the Master Menu from which all modules are run. Some routines are run from the small labels at the top of the Master Menu. The Help label is there which has a list of the various Help files. The latest verson adds one button named "Reports".  This screen now contains the 'As-Run' routine and will have future reports added.

The above is the Options/Setup screen showing the names for the 12 Streams which are saved in a separate text file.. This list can also be shown in the Start Order module. There are six tabs which has various items to be setup. All but the TV Streams are saved in a separate ConFig file.  To see this screen, click the "Options" label at the top of the Master Menu screen. Two new tabs have been added:  C Folders and PL Paths for paths used in the creation of the Mini-PlayList.

The above is the Customer Entry module. The upper window gives tips and info on each field entry. The last six fields are filled in by the end-of-the-month routines.

The above display is the Start Order module. Eight dayparts are shown in the upper right window. The program has provisions for 36 dayparts. Notice there are dayparts above for three different Streams: A, B, and C.  On the first daypart, the 7777777 means that 7 spots are to be scheduled between 0800 and 1500.  The time period is 14 hours, therefore one spot is to be placed in each two hour segment.  Divide the total time by the number of spots and one spot will be placed in each segment. There is a maximum of 7 spots per daypart.  On the bottom right is the entry area for the daypart.  the "S" is where the Stream letter would go (A-L).  The SList button will display the Stream Names. The PC button will display all the Product Codes. The F-Keys button will display a list of 12 Utility Functions triggered by the 12 F-Keys.  The "P" box is for Unit or Package rate. The "F" and "W" are used in delayed starting or skipping weeks. A F-2 would play every other week.  A W = 3 would start playing the 3rd week. The latest version adds the text box for the Bonus Spots and the check box to use the Start Order as a 'Book End' spot. The "S" box for the Stream letter has been expanded to 

 

The above display shows the Custom Format for Stream A.  There is a 2.5 minute break at 0010 and 0020.  Each A (Avail) is space for a 30 second spot.  A 60 second spot will occupy two Avails. Each hour is divided into 100 events.  Both the event number and the corresponding time is shown on each line.  The Priority column is mainly designed for Radio Stations.  There can be 5 different priorities. One is the default. A Priority 5 spot break is filled first. Then the Priority 4 spot break, etc.  Not shown in the screen capture are 2.5 minute spot breaks at 0040 and 0050. The "XView" button displays the Format minus the empty events. Only the Avails/Program Names are shown. There are no Program Names in the above Format. Two new choice bullets were added to either copy hour to one hour or the remaining range of hours.

The above display shows the Daily Log about to be generated for August l 2, 2015 using the StreamA Custom Format. Most all dates in the Traffic Light are chosen from a popup Calendar. After the log is generated, clicking the "Log Discrepancy" button will make a one-day projection and compare it to the spots on the daily log and if the totals are the same, then you will know that all spots were placed. However, if a spot is rejected, it will be listed in a window. For LPTV work with Master Play, the Print Log button is used to prepare the Mini-PlayLists which is shown below. In a later version, two new buttons were added.  The AUTO button which will display the just-created Daily Log and add the Bonus and Fill Spots with one click of the button. The PL button which will create the Log-Text file and Mini-PlayList for the Daily Log being displayed.

 

The above is the original Print Log screen, but has been modified to produce the Mini-PlayLists for the Master Play automation system. The first step is to make a text file of the Daily Log by clicking the "Print" button.  This will make a text file of the Daily Log for Sun (the name and stream is shown above). Clicking the "Create Mini PlayList button will convert this text file log into a bunch of Mini-PlayLists which will be saved in the user-defined path above.  With the #1 MP Spot Location path above (user-defined) and using the "Only Cart #" format, the PlayList will have this format for each spot in the spot break  V:\_Content\Ads\_1234.mpg    where 1234 is the cart number and V:\_Content\Ads\ is the Master Play computer path where the commercials are stored.  This path is from the Network Path to MP Spots Location above (blank).   If the second format was chosen, then the output PlayList file would have this format: V:\_Content\Ads\It's Whopper Time_1234.mpg  Using these two formats for the Mini PlayLists requires the commercial file name in Master Plan to be named as indicated by the mpg file.  The last format gets the filename from the Announcement name in the Start Order module, so if your filename in Master Play is already in place, then the Announcement name would have to match it digit for digit.   The filename in Master Play would have to be edited to add the "_1234.mpg" at the end of the filename.  The Mini PlayList record format is Wed03A.in  which means it is for Wednesday and is during the 0300 hour.  The A refers to the first spot break.  If it was C, then that would refer to the 3rd spot break and D would refer to the 4th spot break. The file would be stored in the C:\MPPLayList\StreamA folder.  If you want to use only the Cart number for the commercial title in Master Play, then there is a "F" routine in the Start Order module to print out a list of Cart numbers with the Customer name and Announcement name. A new method and format for the PlayList has been created and uses a different format for the playlist file. This method is called the 'Cart Number Folder' method and has the following format for the playlist file:

!InsertDirectory V:\_MP_SpotFiles2\1001 LoadingMode=2 ToSelect=1 MaxAge=0
!InsertDirectory V:\_MP_SpotFiles2\1002 LoadingMode=2 ToSelect=1 MaxAge=0

The first record above tells Master Play to play whatever commercial file is in the \1001\  folder.  If more that one commercial file is in that folder, then the spots will be rotated. The 1001 is the Start Order Cart Number. This method has the advantage that if a spot run date ends then it can be replaced with a new commercial with a different name and a new start order will not be required.

The above is the is a screen shot of the Daily Log Display. If there were spot breaks that were not filled, then the Full Log Editor would be used as is shows below. Notice the red names at 0100 and 0130.  These are optional Program Names that can be added in the Format. This might be useful if you wanted to print a log and have all the program names on it.  But it is not required for the scheduling of spots

The above is the log for Saturday - Stream A shown in the Full Log Editor module. The spots placed are in black text and the red times and event numbers are unfilled Avails. Note at 0110 there is a 15 second spot named "Monday Specials"  A 15 second spot occupies one-half of an avail. If you are using 15 second spots, then there should be more than one 15 second Start Order. However, there are Priority 6 start orders that are only used in the Fill-15, Fill-30 and Fill-60 routines.  These are bonus spots that are only used for fill-ins and are normally not billed (have a zero rate). The next screen shows the result of filling in 15, 30 and 60 second spots.

The above is the result of filling in 15, 30 and 60 second spots Notice at 0110 there are two 15 second spots.  There are still open Avails (shown in red) but in the Demo files are a limited number of Start Orders. The filled in spots have the Edit Code of "Add PI".  Note at 0051 is a filled in 60 second spot which required two avails.  The next avail is marked Deleted Avail - 2nd half of 60.  On the Fill-in spots, the Product Codes of all the existing spots in the break are checked and the fill-in spot will not be placed if there is already the same Product Code in the spot break. The current version added the "B" button to the bottom row of buttons. This will add the Bonus Spots. The Edit Code column will be in Green and will have the word BonusX where X is the Bonus spot number. There can be up to 9 Bonus spots per day.  The below display shows the same log in the Billing Log Editor.

The above shows the Billing Log with the spot at record number 11 being edited. To edit a spot, the sort must be on the record number.  Normally sorting on the Time makes a more meaningful display.  You can sort any column by clicking on the column heading.

 

The above displays shows the Reconcile screen on the Automation File Module. The Automation File Module is primary for Radio Stations, but had a Reconcile button to start this screen. The upper left windows shows the spots that were played in Master Play as indicated by the PlayOut file.  Sample Master Play data was partially modified to show how the routine would look if using actual data. The upper right window is the spot list of the Daily Log text file. The middle windows will show all the different Cart numbers that was scheduled by Traffic Light and also the number of times the same cart number was played in Master Play.  If all spots scheduled were played in Master Play, then both columns would equal to 80 and the log was reconciled to indicate that all spots were played. In the above example, cart number 7373 was scheduled by Traffic Light to run 24 times and there were 8 that was modified in the left list to indicate they were played 8 times in Master Play.  In actual use, if there was a cart number that had missing spots then the "Reconcile One Cart#" option could be run. See the display below for the output of this routine.

The above is the results of the "Reconcile One Cart#" routine,  In the left two columns,  it shows the 24 spots that Traffic Light scheduled with the times scheduled and the 3rd column shows the times they were played in Master Play. Of course, they should show the same.  If there was one spot short, then you could compare the times in the two right columns and spot the time where the time difference would indicate that this was the spot that was skipped in Master Play.  It would have to be removed from the Billing Log since it was not played and rescheduled another day to make it up, if desired.

The above is a screen capture showing a projection for Stream A for the first full week in July. Each Start Order with a rate is shown. There is also a routine named "Unsold Spots". which will look at a future range of dates and point out how many unsold Avails you have for those days. Give this list to your salesmen and let them go to work.

The above display is the Invoice Generator. This is a partial preview (display) of Start Order 4001 for Diary Queen. The order is run on 3 Streams (A, B, and C) and the spots for each date and time are shown with the Stream Letter shown in the "S" column. When the invoice is printed, there will be an Affidavit at the bottom. There are 40 spots per column making each invoice page have 160 spots. The Blue "K" button is used on many of the screens and stands for "Clear Screen" or "Klear Stream" or "Kill Screen"

The Salesmen module is shown above.  The Totals area is filled in at the end of the month billing cycle when the end of the month routines are run.  All the modules have help windows/screens which change text depending on the operation.

The above is the Product Code module. There are 180 Product Codes with room for 20 more, which can be added, if needed for a special client. The Log Generator checks the spot break for an existing Product Code when placing a spot and will not put two similar Product Codes in the same spot break.

The above displays a typical statement.  The blank center space has been cut-out.

The above displays a typical invoice for the Radio Station Version. The LPTV version also has the Stream column as was shown above.  The center space has been cut-out. There are four columns available with 40 spots per column. If more space is needed, then additional pages are printed.  Note that the above invoice shows a discount or agency commission of 10 percent.

The above displays covers many of the different Traffic Light modules. Future upgrades and additions will add new routines and features. The demo files in the release version contains three customers and eight start orders. This will allow you to add several more customers and start orders as practice and a learning tool. The Help file for each module has step-by-step instructions. It is recommended that these help files be printed and used as a guide when entering data for the first several times.  Several times through each module and you will be Pro.

A recent addition to the Traffic Light TV is the Reports Screen. At the present time, only the "Make As-Run Files" routine is available, but future reports will be added. Most of screens in the Traffic Light has the feature that if you hover the mouse over a button, a red info line will be displayed (as above) indicating the use for that button. Above the mouse was hovered over the 'Make As-Run File for All SOrders', but the mouse cursor is not shown in the screen captures.

The above screen is the path and other options for the four Stream HDS TV station. Normally all the paths in column one would be the same, since you might have a commercial played on more than one streams. The second column is the path on the Master Play two servers where the PlayOut files are stored.  The "Z" and "Y" are the mapped drive letters for those two servers. The playout files will have the format of   HDSTV1_2016101.log  where the 2016 is the date and 10 is the month number for October and the last '1' is the channel number on the first server. There is a routine on the Records screen to copy the playout files from the servers to the Traffic Light computer for processing.  There are blank text boxes above that will be used for future reports.

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