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Author Topic: Satellite live screenings terms and conditions
Steve R Pike
Film Handler

Posts: 48
From: United Kingdom
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 10-28-2018 01:26 PM      Profile for Steve R Pike   Email Steve R Pike   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi

Apologies if this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find a topic.

With regards to live satellite screenings (Met Opera, National Theatre Live) do you have any wording in your terms and conditions regarding the quality of the presentation caused by external factors?

For example; if the satellite stream breaks up due to weather or feed issues from the source (which is out of the cinema's control), but audiences demand a refund because of the 'poor quality'. Do you have wording in your terms and conditions to cover yourselves for events like this? Or do you accept the hit and refund the customer and maybe claim something back from the broadcasting production? A little like an 'act of god' clause that I'm sure some airlines have in their T&C's?

Just wondering if this is something that chains and independents have in place already and, maybe, we can also adopt.

Thanks

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James Westbrook
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1112
From: Lubbock, Texas, Usa
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted 10-28-2018 02:33 PM      Profile for James Westbrook   Email James Westbrook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I do not know how the contracts are worded but when we have had issues preventing the showing of an event, like a DVR having gone bad we refunded the customer. The only time the satellite got rained on bad enough to mess with the signal during a live event it was during a women's boxing match, and the signal returned just as round one started.
We have had signal issues during a live Met Opera event and I went to the audience and explained that the signal from NY was being impaired for reasons we had no control over. As the issue was intermittent, they understood. I don't recall anyone asking for refunds but had they asked we would have refunded.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6440
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-28-2018 08:31 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, I have spent many-a-day shoveling snow and ice off satellite dishes in preparation for a Met Opera broadcast!

The way I understand, if there is a problem originating from the broadcast location or from the satellite, it's on the broadcaster but, if the problem is in the theater's equipment, it's up to the venue to deal with it.

We had two 1.2 meter dishes and two Icecrypt receivers connected to the projector and sound system via an Extron seamless switch.

If there is a problem with one of the receivers, you can switch to backup with the press of a button.

You can get better reception with the larger dishes, versus the usual pizza pan dishes you often see. The larger dishes are also more resistant to rain fade and snow. However, since they have more surface area, they can be blown off-target by wind a lot easier. That means you have to have better, more robust, mounts and you should have them professionally tuned up using a satellite signal analyzer, not just using a "bird dog" box.

Anyhow, we always got excellent reception... 9's on the meter... except during solar fades. (Which, by the way, should be coming up in the next week or so, IIRC.)

With the help of an on-line calculator, I was able to predict solar fades almost down to the minute. With our larger dishes, they lasted only five minutes or less.

Since solar fades are an act of God, neither the theater nor the broadcaster can be held responsible. The best you can do is try to predict them and work around them.

The last few times, the Met Opera delayed the curtain time by fifteen minutes in attempt to make the start of the opera come after the fade had passed over most of the continent. If a theater did get caught, the most that would be missed is the beginning of the overture.

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