Feedback, February 2009

Now Hiring?

Dear editor:

After reading your editorial in January's issue, “This too shall pass,” it's hard to believe that the TV job market is going to get better any time soon. I am the man in the illustration holding up the sign that says “TV executive will work cheap.”

I'm a freelance operations/technical producer, and my clients have cut back to accommodate the current economic conditions. I have no freelance jobs right now. Jobs have become few and far between.

About a year ago, I started applying for full-time jobs. I was hoping to land a job before things got too bad, but I have had no success. I have been on the short list of candidates for some jobs, but I always lose the job to an internal candidate.

Many jobs have descriptions that match my skills exactly, using the same language as I have in my cover letter and resume, and yet they tell me I'm overqualified. Why?

Also, new clients tell me their project is going to happen, they have the budget, we discuss the job, they agree to the rate, and then they disappear. They say the job went away. I have had so many clients tell me the job was a sure thing, and then nothing happens. It's incredibly frustrating. The only thing keeping me above water is the fact that my wife has a job.

After 25 years of working in the business, doing everything from studio camera to designing and building an entire HD facility, you would think I could get a job. I find my self-confidence is in the toilet.

I'm considering applying for a job at Lowe's home improvement store. They have a “Now Hiring” sign on the door.
Overqualified and out of work

File-based delivery

Dear Brad Gilmer:

I read your “File-based delivery” article in the November issue and have some questions. We've got a post-production facility in Johannesburg, South Africa, and this year we will be producing syndicated programming for some broadcasters in Lesotho, Botswana, Tanzania and Nigeria. Instead of the overnight courier route, we would like to take the file-based delivery one. Between P2P networking and one-way IP transmission, which model is advisable, especially in Africa? Also, in the case of live shows, can we use these two models, or are there other cost-effective models besides ATM and satellite?
Roland Dianzambi

Brad Gilmer responds:

Of these two choices, P2P is preferred. One-way IP transmission requires special applications tailored to satellite technology that may not be available in your area. Depending upon the size of the files you are sending, straight FTP over the Internet may also work. But in any case, you probably need a client that will automatically retry sending the files if the connection is dropped and that can resume sending at the point where it left off. Some FTP clients will do this, but not all of them. Read the specifications on the client to find out. Since P2P sends files as pieces, resumption of transmission in the case of a link failure is provided in the client.

In the case of live shows, neither P2P nor one-way IP transmission are suitable. However, it is quite possible to use IP networks for live show transmission. To be successful using professional-quality IP transmission, you cannot use the public Internet. You must use a private IP network where QoS can be specified and maintained.

Adapters and tuners

Dear Aldo Cugnini:

I read your “Adapters and tuners” article in the May 2008 issue and was wondering if you had a chance to test the Pinnacle PCTV HD Ultimate Stick? I'm looking for a device that can capture analog video from my VCR to preserve some home videos as well as to have to watch SD and HD on our laptop when traveling.

Thanks for any information you might have.
Mike Daniels
Lexington, KY

Aldo Cugnini responds:

I didn't check that one out specifically. If it has an NTSC tuner, it very likely supports A/V capture. The biggest differentiators are tuner performance and user interface. You might find information on the Internet as to what VSB silicon it uses.