Defining Types of Automation

The term “Automation” has come to mean different things to different people.

Between magazine writers producing articles and comparison charts that readily display their lack of understanding of Broadcasting and the news workflow process, they also fail to understand and distinguish the differences between their usage of Automation and the end users use of Automation in the real world where most of us live and work.


Three Basic Types of Broadcast Automation

In Broadcasting, there are THREE Basic Types of Automation:


Control Room Automation is designed to automate the playout of commercial spots, syndicated programs, station ID's, and so on. 

-          This is the most straightforward definition and easiest to identify and recognize.

-          This type of automation is Time-based Automation, which simply means that it performs tasks based upon the Tick-of-a-Clock.


The term “Newsroom Automation” is where the most confusion occurs.

When it comes to newsroom activities, there are two major activity stages carried out for each show ... Preparation and Presentation.


Newsroom Automation systems address automating the routine tasks that take place in and around the newsroom, handling assignments, ingesting/sorting/displaying wires, scripting, and show stacking.

-          Most Newsroom Automation systems perform the same basic tasks, as these are the main tasks that occur day in and day out within the newsroom environment.

-          Thus, most News Room Computer Systems (NRCS) do more or less very similar things during the News Gathering and Preparation stage.

-          Most Newsroom Automation systems even make CG's as a part of scripting.  


The “News Preparation” stage is where most Newsroom Systems stop.

NewsCast Automation takes over when the News Presentation Stage begins.

-          This is the stage where you would typically see a Third-Party Automation Company take over the operations from the Newsroom system.


This is where the Comprompter NewsKing NRCS shines!

Not only does NewsKing handle all the newsroom chores during the Preparation Stage, but also it controls all the automation during the Presentation Stage of each show. 


This is true NewsCast Automation at the highest level because both the Newsroom Automation AND the Newscast Automation are 100% integrated into a single application performs, track and coordinates:

-          The tracking, loading and playing of News Video Clips;

-          The creation, monitoring and call back of CG's;

-          The calling up of Still Store images; 

-          The controlling of Robotic Cameras

-          The synchronized output of Close Captioning and so on.


Understanding the Types of Automation is critical to defining how the system you are evaluating uses the term “Automation” and how much automation it actually does!

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