Frequently Asked Questions

Spot Substitution for Web Encoding


Licensing requirements may require you to replace your terrestrial spots with spots specifically for internet play. The diagram below shows a sample set-up for replacing spots using two copies of Simian on two separate workstations. Though there are other ways of configuring spot substitution, the following is the recomended set-up as it offers system redundancy and leaves the on-air workstation free of extra processes. Spot Substitution hardware setup diagram.

1. Simian on workstation 1 'tells' Simian on workstation 2 via serial strings when its breaks are starting. Simply use a serial cable with a null-modem adapter between comm ports on the workstations. Place a 'SERIAL BREAKSTART' macro at the start of each break in the program log on Simian workstation 1. On Simian workstation 2, configure a Serial Set with a Watch String for "BREAKSTART" to perform a STARTNEXT macro. Setup of the program log on Simian workstation 2 will be the same as a program log set up for network spot substitution as shown in the BSI FAQ document "Satellite Network Spot Replacement". The concept is the same as network spot replacement, except that in this case, 'the network' is Simian workstation 1, and instead of using outboard hardware for triggers and relays, you're using serial strings.

2. Simian on workstation 1 can play audio/music-from-hard drive or have live satellite audio pass through via the ASI audio card's line, just as a stand-alone Simian workstation would.

3. Use a second output from your console or an out-board audio splitter to split your audio signal from workstation 1's line out to go to both your transmitter, and the line in on your Simian workstation 2's audio card.

4. The mixer in Simian workstation 2 is configured to mute the pass-through audio from Line In 1 durring local audio playback. This means that any time a stopset is triggered by the STARTNEXT macro, the audio from Simian workstation 1 is muted and the spots from Simian workstation 2's program log are played instead.

NOTE: It is possible to use a single workstation to perform the above function. Instead of using Simian on 2 individual workstations, it is possible to use Multi-Instance Simian on a single workstation with two AudioScience audio cards. Communications between the two sessions of Simian is still performed serially: Set up Simian session 1 to use comm. port 1, and Simian session 2 to use comm. port 2. Connect a null-modem cable between comm. port 1 and comm. port 2, and now the sessions can communicate with each other. Other than the above, the configuration is exactly the same.  Keep in mind that when two sessions are used with a single machine, there is no system redundancy in case of hardware failure. Also, processor usage will be substantial, so a high-performance workstation configured for multi-media playback is critical.

UPDATE: Trigger forwarding over IP

A new feature has been added to Simian 2.2 and later that allows triggers to be forwarded to an IP address and port number, removing the need for a null modem cable to connect two Simians together.

Simian 1 (master)

1 - Go to Tools > Hardware Options > Hardware.

2 - Set the Incoming Trigger device to the trigger device connected to that system. If none, use the Hardware Connector / Forwarded IP Triggers option.

3 - Check the box next to Forward Triggers to IP Address.

4 - Put the local IP address of the Simian 2 slave system. If it is a multi-instance Simian license running on the same computer, use the IP address.

5 - Choose a port to use that doesn't conflict with other common ports, like port 80 for Internet traffic.

6 - Press OK to set the configuration.

7 - Turn triggers on. The "none" set can be used if the master is not going to responding to triggers from another source.

8 - Put a TRIGGER macro in the program log at the start of a stop set. Use a trigger number that Simian 1 isn't using for incoming triggers. For example, if Simian 1 is using triggers 1 through 3 with a satellite broadcast from Westwood One, use TRIGGER 4 to send Simian 2 in to it's stop set.

Simian 2 (slave)

1 - Go to Tools > Hardware Options > Hardware.

2 - Set the incoming triggers to the Hardware Connector / Forwarded IP Triggers option.

3 - Check the Accept Forwaded IP Triggers on Port: option and use the same port specified on Simian 1's Forward Triggers to IP Address setting.

4 - Press OK to set the configuration.

5 - Build a trigger set with the STARTNEXT macro in the trigger that will be fired on the Simian 1 system to start commercial breaks (like trigger 4 from the previous example).

6 - Turn the triggers on on the Simian 2 (slave) system and set them to the trigger set just created.


 Last updated Thu, Jul 10 2014 1:25pm

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