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BBC Radio 5 Li-- we seemed to have lost the line...


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Old 24-04-2013, 06:18
Ian Aberdon
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This is still happening all too often.

I know this happens from time to time everywhere, but I am tiring of the BBC losing the link to its reporters or whoever they are interviewing, or not being able to establish contact when trying to join them.

Are they operating 60s technology? Or (and I'm genuinely curious) is the move to Salford anything to do with it - I mean, it's not as if they've only just 'gone live' in the last couple of days is it?

Also much more reliance on dodgy mobile phone lines.

DQF my ****.
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Old 24-04-2013, 08:57
Mapperley Ridge
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I think if you operate a 24/7 news and sport network, line failures are likely to happen more often and be more noticeable than other stations. Depending on the correnspondent, they may be doing two ways for many different outlets as well as Five Live - local radio, R4, World Service - and if one part of that chain breaks, it affects the rest.

But you're also right in mentioning DQF. Five Live have lost a number of their bespoke reporters and have to compete for the time of correspondents working across BBC news.
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Old 24-04-2013, 09:50
technologist
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ISDN and 21CN do not always fit together well!!! ... and there Si not really a single suitable alternatives for good quality contribution... as ACIP has not really been taken up,... as there is no one able or willing to to the switching part of it - like ISDN does!
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Old 24-04-2013, 14:43
Passengers
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The technical standards on Five Live have gone downhill massively. There often seems to be confusion about when presenters are crossing to certain contributors or live feeds. The end of Victoria Derbyshire's show on Monday was particularly messy in this regard.

Another major irritation is having three or four callers on the lines at once talking across each other in a big to stage listener arguments.

Five Live has not benefitted from the move to Salford in any way.
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Old 25-04-2013, 07:55
PhilH
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I wondered whether the OP was exaggerating, but no. I listened for about 20 minutes yesterday during Drive and there was a dropped line.

Not what we've come to expect from the BBC.
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Old 25-04-2013, 08:28
Mapperley Ridge
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I wondered whether the OP was exaggerating, but no. I listened for about 20 minutes yesterday during Drive and there was a dropped line.

Not what we've come to expect from the BBC.
One in twenty minutes sounds pretty bad, but if it was one during a three hour show, that's slightly different. As you hinted, context is everything. The OP has suggested that the increase in dropped lines is connected to the Salford move. Fact is, a lot of political coverage on Five Live has historically been conducted "down the line" - between TV Centre and Westminster
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Old 25-04-2013, 11:05
PhilH
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One in twenty minutes sounds pretty bad, but if it was one during a three hour show, that's slightly different. As you hinted, context is everything.
Yes, of course I might just've got 'lucky', but it was an interesting coincidence in the light of this thread.
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Old 25-04-2013, 11:14
mikeromeo
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Originally Posted by Ian Aberdon
Are they operating 60s technology?
Quite the opposite, I would fancy. Voice over IP is both the latest and the least reliable thing in broadcasting at the moment. But it's cheap, innit (and - to be fair - when it works, it makes it possible to get quality audio back from places where that would never have been possible in the past).

Originally Posted by Ian Aberdon
Also much more reliance on dodgy mobile phone lines.
Don't think you can blame 5live for this - it's just the way of the modern world. There's an increasing number of (especially younger) people who don't have or use landlines, and if your guest is is out of the office or taking time out of a meeting to do an interview then you're stuck, really (and if you were to put a blanket ban on mobiles there's be a lot of dead air). Also worth pointing out that some of the worst phone lines I've encountered are landlines (alongside anything in the USA).

Originally Posted by Passengers
The technical standards on Five Live have gone downhill massively. There often seems to be confusion about when presenters are crossing to certain contributors or live feeds.
It's a live news and sport network with an emphasis on "live". It's not always possible to predict when a press conference is going to start (and published start times can very from perfectly accurate to complete untruth). Also as Mapperley alludes, correspondents are very often shared between outlets so if 5 live are at the back of the queue and the News Channel or Radio 4 run late or there's an issue getting the lines switched or a hundred and one other things that are out of the hands of 5 live, everybody can be left on a very sticky wicket.

Originally Posted by PhilH
I wondered whether the OP was exaggerating, but no. I listened for about 20 minutes yesterday during Drive and there was a dropped line.

Not what we've come to expect from the BBC.
Regrettably, the BBC does not yet control the Bangladeshi phone network (and it was the only line that dropped during the whole three hours, so you were unfortunate).
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Old 25-04-2013, 20:16
Bill Young
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Quite the opposite, I would fancy. Voice over IP is both the latest and the least reliable thing in broadcasting at the moment. But it's cheap, innit (and - to be fair - when it works, it makes it possible to get quality audio back from places where that would never have been possible in the past).



Don't think you can blame 5live for this - it's just the way of the modern world. There's an increasing number of (especially younger) people who don't have or use landlines, and if your guest is is out of the office or taking time out of a meeting to do an interview then you're stuck, really (and if you were to put a blanket ban on mobiles there's be a lot of dead air). Also worth pointing out that some of the worst phone lines I've encountered are landlines (alongside anything in the USA).



It's a live news and sport network with an emphasis on "live". It's not always possible to predict when a press conference is going to start (and published start times can very from perfectly accurate to complete untruth). Also as Mapperley alludes, correspondents are very often shared between outlets so if 5 live are at the back of the queue and the News Channel or Radio 4 run late or there's an issue getting the lines switched or a hundred and one other things that are out of the hands of 5 live, everybody can be left on a very sticky wicket.



Regrettably, the BBC does not yet control the Bangladeshi phone network (and it was the only line that dropped during the whole three hours, so you were unfortunate).
It happens enough when they talk to someone in Manchester let alone Asia - I think they have a problem but then again it is minor compared with some of the presenter issues the new controller has to address.
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Old 25-04-2013, 20:20
swingaleg
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It's something I've noticed happening more often these days

I assume it's because the digital technology they use now isn't as robust as the old analogue systems
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Old 26-04-2013, 07:57
Mapperley Ridge
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I think you need to look at this in the wider context of technology. 20 years ago the norm was to use an ISDN line or a radio car for live broadcasts from different locations. These generally had good coverage and very good quality, carefully maintained by highly paid engineers.

But it's absurd to suggest that a rolling speech network shouldn't take advantage of developments like Skype, 3G live links and a whole host of technology which - as someone else has said - allows you to connect to places you could never have done before. Equally, you can't blame Five Live for the variable quality of mobile phone signals. As a producer, you can have a perfectly clear line one minute which suddenly breaks up on air.

I think Id rather have a station that's willing to take a few risks from time to time rather than a sanitised network like Radio 4.
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Old 26-04-2013, 09:12
larochelle
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The lines are also dropping out more often on R4. Barely a day seems to go by without me hearing something go wrong.

I wonder if both the R5L and R4 issues are connected.

Today/WATO/PM are now all in New Broadcasting House and of course plenty of R5L programmes come from there even though they don't always admit their location.
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Old 26-04-2013, 09:22
technologist
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as I pointed out .... 21CN is having an effect on ISDN reliability - and none of the "over Internet" IP systems have quite the reliability that we are used to from ISDN over SDH/PDH.
(but the majority of BBC Local and NAtions (And WS) Audio is over IP and has been for almost 5 years !!
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Old 07-05-2013, 17:23
Ian Aberdon
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No better today! Breakfast, Midday & Drive all had 'lost lines' during my listening 'pleasure'.

Does anyone at the BBC/Five Live actually take note of this & listen to what people say to them?

DQF
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Old 07-05-2013, 19:07
mmlabbd
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No better today! Breakfast, Midday & Drive all had 'lost lines' during my listening 'pleasure'.

Does anyone at the BBC/Five Live actually take note of this & listen to what people say to them?

DQF
Of for goodness sakes! What do you actually expect them to do?? Generally the presenter will apologise - is that not enough for you? Do you want a personal written apology? Blood?

S**t happens - it's technology, it breaks sometimes. Looking forward to your praise for the 99% of lines that don't drop.
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Old 07-05-2013, 19:13
mmlabbd
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and of course plenty of R5L programmes come from there even though they don't always admit their location.
In a typical week the following programmes come from NBH:

Danny Baker (Sat, 9 - 11am)
Sportsweek (Sun 8.30 - 9.30am)
Half of "Double Take" (Sun 9.30am - 11am)
On The Money & Mens Hour (Sun 8 - 10pm)
Kermode & Mayo (Friday 2 - 4pm)

It's no secret...honestly! At most 8 1/2 hours of programming is produced and presented from London - the other 159 1/2 hours is produced from the Salford site. Again - no secret.
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Old 07-05-2013, 19:43
Mapperley Ridge
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Does anyone at the BBC/Five Live actually take note of this & listen to what people say to them?
Thankfully not when it comes to DS.
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Old 07-05-2013, 19:45
Mapperley Ridge
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Looking forward to your praise for the 99% of lines that don't drop.
Ahem. But then you'd have to scroll round loads of threads looking for the negative stuff. Why would anyone want that?
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Old 07-05-2013, 19:45
Mapperley Ridge
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Cue "free speech" rant...
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Old 07-05-2013, 20:08
Rodney McKay
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The technical standards on Five Live have gone downhill massively. There often seems to be confusion about when presenters are crossing to certain contributors or live feeds. The end of Victoria Derbyshire's show on Monday was particularly messy in this regard.

Another major irritation is having three or four callers on the lines at once talking across each other in a big to stage listener arguments.

Five Live has not benefitted from the move to Salford in any way.
I agree. Nicky Campbell is the worst offender of this. He really is a 3rd rate shock jock (no pun)

Just have one caller at a time, there's not point trying to have a debate as you always get the same moronic callers who simply spout their rubbish and continue to speak no matter what.

The 9am phone is is a steaming pile of poo when Campbell does it. Really time to pension game show Nicky off.
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Old 07-05-2013, 20:18
Mapperley Ridge
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Except that the format of multiple callers and who/when to put them on is not the doing of Nicky Campbell.
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Old 07-05-2013, 20:24
Bandspread199
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Do some of the 'dropped' lines not occur when something is said that cannot be broadcast? "Oh, we appear to have lost him there...we'll try and get him back!" Aye, right!
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Old 07-05-2013, 20:39
Mapperley Ridge
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Do some of the 'dropped' lines not occur when something is said that cannot be broadcast? "Oh, we appear to have lost him there...we'll try and get him back!" Aye, right!
No. BBC phone ins don't operate a delay. If someone drops an unmentionable the presenter generally apologises and moves on.
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Old 07-05-2013, 20:51
Ian Aberdon
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Of for goodness sakes! What do you actually expect them to do?? Generally the presenter will apologise - is that not enough for you? Do you want a personal written apology? Blood?

S**t happens - it's technology, it breaks sometimes. Looking forward to your praise for the 99% of lines that don't drop.
Blood please
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Old 07-05-2013, 20:57
hatpeg
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When they do get a caller, a pundit or an expert on the line why do they very often start an interview just before the top of the hour, the person is in full flow and you hear the presenter say OK (meaning shut up) - we will have to leave it there - meaning they have run out of time.

Yet during the preceeding 58 minutes there is plenty of idle chit chat or filling.

Why have a guest on the line so close to the news or programme change over?
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