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Scheduling a channel

First, you need accurate TRTs for all of the content. See the VCProgramming Programming? section for more info on that.

In general, major items (usually movies) should start on the fives, that is, five minute increments from the top (beginning) of the hour. It looks a bit strange to most people to see that a movie starts at 9:47. On the other hand, most people will tolerate a trailer or two before a major item. If you want to run some other material first, consider backtiming them. This means starting something so that it will end just before when the main item is supposed to start (e.g. start the six minute cartoon at 9:54:00 and the movie at 10:00:00.)

Seconds matter. Do all the scheduling in hours/minutes/seconds (HH:MM:SS), and always use 24-hour time.

Keep in mind that while you may not want to publish the start and end time for every item (short fillers come to mind), the people managing the playlist will need that information.

If you end up with lots of 4+ minute blocks of time to fill, consider rearranging some of the program items or insert some short items and move the longer one later. (If you want to get rid of a 4:30 fill slot, add a 7:30 cartoon. Now the next item starts 5 minutes later but you only have a 3 minute fill.)

If you use a spreadsheet for planning the schedule (and that is a great tool for this), make sure that you use a NUMERIC and Date/Time format and NOT a text or character format. You will be much better off putting times in complete with dates (1/8/2009 16:00 for Jan. 8 2009 at 4 PM). This will make changes and calculations much easier.

You will need columns for program start time, TRT, and what to do or play. Create additional columns for end time (start time + TRT) and time difference (current start time - previous start time). These will make it fairly easy to find lost time in the schedule.

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Page last modified on February 19, 2009, at 12:04 AM