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This is Why I Can’t Watch TV with Normal People

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 2012 Aug 30

I’m sitting here in the control room watching the monitors for ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox all showing Romney speak at the RNC.

Now, I’m not the least bit interested in what’s being said (there’s no audio anyway) but from a technical standpoint, it fascinates me and I’m wondering how they’re doing it.

First, there’s a delay.
I’m not sure what the true delay to live is but the NBC and ABC feed are running together, Fox is about a half second behind and CBS is 7 seconds behind.
I assume that they’re all pulling from the same pool feed so it’s probably some sort of network delay.
Even so, I wonder if CBS is the only one to do a true signal delay or are they delaying it even more than the other networks.

The other thing I wonder about is just how the feed works.
I mean, it’s clear that they’re all using the same feed but they don’t always show the same cutaway shots and that’s what’s got me curious about it.

If it was a single feed from the convention floor, all 4 networks would show the same cutaway shots.
If it was 4 separate feeds from a common pool of cameras, we’d see cutaways at different times.

But neither is the case.
All 4 networks take cutaway shots at exactly the same time (adjusted for the delay) but they don’t always show exactly the same shot.
Sometimes they do, but other times different networks will have a different shot.
And then they all come back to Romney at the same time.

I’d really like to know how that was done.


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