A Comprehensive line of business application for Complete Control of Cable Television Stations.
4C-TV is a TV Station line of business application designed to provide a complete solution for managing and controlling all aspects of a TV Station operation, from program acquisition and selection up to the daily log and interfaces to automation equipment, including production, post-production and ad sales.
4C-TV™ includes the following functions:
- management and control of Program licensing Contracts, including tracking of exhibition rights;
- multiple channel support for the preparation of monthly programming schedules;
- generation of all the information for a TV listings guide production and "action pack" preparation;
- management and control of the program inventory;
- management and control of post-production jobs, including the control of third party services, such as dubbing, subtitling, copying;
- commercial booking, with order processing, commercial scheduling and invoicing;
- management and control of the commercial's inventory for the commercial booking module;
- management of the "interstitial material" inventory, as special programs, promos, IDs, ...;
- media library management, with control of tape movement in, out and within the plant;
- interface to any automation equipment.
4C-TV™ is based on the 4th Dimension DBMS,a multi-user client server relational database running on Macintosh and Windows networks.
The database server may sit in either a Macintosh or a Windows NT server, with access from client workstations on any platform: MacOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95 or Windows NT.
The database server may also be accessible from remote workstations via a serial or internet connection.
4C-TV™ design is based on the following principles:
- an integrated relational database, with high level language and client-server support;
- easy to use and consistent graphical user interface, with common elements for all functions
- multiple language support for all screens, reports and messages (English & Portuguese in the current version);
- at any point during an user session the choice of available actions is apparent and easily identified;
- user defined codes and values, with no cryptic or numeric codes;
- all data is captured only once, in real time and as close as possible to the point where it is originated;
- data validation performed at data entry time;
- direct user participation in the design of each Application module, using a RAD approach to the design of screens, reports and functions;
- multi-user environment, with user access control and individual user (or group) menus and screen access;
- easy customization of menus and reports, with user access to powerful report creation;
- user created reports are available to the entire network.
- a record of each acquired program, with rights information such as exhibition period, number of allowed plays, costs, ...;
- a record of all the scheduled, and actually run, program exhibitions;
- Reports for license payment, program inventory control, ...
Program Inventory Management & Traffic
- descriptive information for each program (e.g. director, color or B&W, cast, synopsis, production year, duration, ...);
- easy program selection, with criteria based on genre, number of exhibitions, last exhibition, director, cast, ...;
- complete technical information about each program version (original, edited, subtitled, ...), as well as colour, audio channel language, SAP, CC, time codes, ...;
- tracking of program related material received (originals, promotional material, scripts, customs documentation, press kits)
- quality control information on received materials;
- dispatching and control of production jobs for program post-production (e.g. dubbing, subtitling, enoding, repairs, checking), keeping an accurate status of each program version;
- easy program selection with criteria based on kind, number of exhibitions, last exhibition, director, cast, ...;
- automated preparation of long term program schedule plan ("burst plan") based on a set of "scheduling parameters" assigned to each channel and program;
- assisted preparation of monthly program schedules, using the long term "burst" plan as a basis;
- complete integration with the Commercial Booking module for commercial spots availability;
- assisted preparation of the daily schedule, with access to the actual status of the scheduled programs, and to all available interstitial material;
- automated preparation of production work-orders, for schedule related promos;
- generation of play list files for external automation systems.
Commercial Inventory Management
- advertiser and ad agency database with name, address and contact information, plus standard discount parameters;
- descriptive information for each commercial (e.g. advertiser, ad agency, product, synopsis, product category, duration,...);
- easy commercial selection, with criteria based on product, product category, announcer and others;
- complete technical information about each commercial, such as colour, audio channel duration, time codes and others;
- integrated with Program Scheduling module for commercial spots availability and commercial scheduling;
- import capability for externally created Program Schedules with full editing capabilities for the preparation of the Break Grid;
- a program format database providing generic program segmentation and break formatting to facilitate the preparation of the Break Grid;
- the Break Grid supports commercial spots availability for network or local insertion;
- complete Ad Sales contract tracking with advertiser, ad agency and sales person, product, pricing and invoicing information;
- contract information allows different types of deals and invoicing like one-shot sales, monthly invoicing and barter deals;
- program format database also provides standard pricing information used for contract pricing and evaluation of discounts given, as well as revenue reporting;
- insert requests or contract line information editing functions, with support for specifying individual commercial positioning like time of day, specific program, program intro, program ending and inter program breaks;
- tracking of barter agreements, with automatic balance update upon invoicing;
- sales management information on commercial spots already committed and commercial spot time available;
- sales revenue tracking and reporting by advertiser, ad agency, sales person, product category, program, time of day, local or network ad;
- assisted commercial scheduling based on the Break Grid and contract line insertion criteria, with automated or manual commercial scheduling;
- tracking of commercial exhibition, with reconciliation to automation system as-run log;
- generation of commercial exhibition list and invoice preparation;
- commercial scheduling for network and local commercial inserts;
- complete integration with the Channel Scheduling module for the preparation of the daily log;
- export capabilities for transferring of Commercial Schedule to any other external Traffic or Programming System.
- complete media library inventory control of all types of material (programs, commercials, intertitials, others);
- easy media selection based on content information;
- user authorization for tape checkout and recycling;
- tracking of tape location and usage;
- daily play list for sending/receiving tapes from the Exhibition Center (Master Control);
- complete integration with the Scheduling modules and automation interfaces.
- automatic generation of the Production job list, with the preparation of the job requests for promos based on the Program Schedule;
- inventory of all the available interstitial material, with detailed information on producers, script and production status;
- complete integration with the Media Library for the selection of source material for production work.
TV Guide (magazine preparation interface)
- schedule editing functions for the input of additional channel program listings (invited channels);
- technical information about each program to be included on the monthly magazine;
- completely integrated with the Program Inventory and Scheduling modules;
- extraction of all program listing information for the preparation of a monthly TV guide, using database publishing techniques for automated production of the magazine via desktop publishing tools.
System Access Control
4C-TV™ provides three levels of control for user access to the database:
- each user may have an individual login name and password for access to the database, and may be assigned to different groups within the company;
- screen and report access is defined at the user and group level, with insert, change and delete control for each function (screen or menu);
- physical database access control at user group level, with file accessibility for viewing or modification defined for each group.
Each user is presented only those functions he is given access to by the system administrator.
4C-TV™ provides a complete and integrated solution and includes :
- database server for a minimum of 22 concurrent users (that can be increased up as needed);
- 4C-TV™ and database server installation and configuration;
- system or database administrator training (on site) and documentation, covering issues like backup/recovery, user profile creation and maintenance, system codes and values maintenance, ...;
- end user training (on site) and documentation, covering all system functionality;
- product support via phone, fax, internet mail and remote access to the client site for immediate support.
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this page was last updated on Dec 05, 2000.