Timebase includes all the features of ET-Updater Pro, with additional features that allow it to select data to display based on current time-of-day information.

This makes Timebase ideally suited for all program guide and barker channel applications. In addition, applications including music channels and shopping channels can benefit from Timebase’s ability to deliver item-specific data based on current schedule and time of day

Excel spreadsheets are a very convenient way of manually editing schedule information for Timebase. An example schedule file “schedule.xls” is provided, which shows some of the requirements and features.

The first row of the spreadsheet contains column headings, which are used to construct the datasources to which the data will be sent.

The first column MUST contain the program start time, and the second MUST contain the program duration. Typically, these columns would be formatted in Excel as “time”, for a 24-hour clock. Calculations of duration from start time – or vice-versa – may be useful. Any number of additional columns is allowed, and will be transferred correctly.

Each subsequent row of the spreadsheet represents a program event to be displayed by Timebase. These rows MUST be in ascending time order. Foreign scripts can be used in any of these columns.

If time needs to be displayed in a non-standard format, it can be added as an additional column.

As Timebase schedule files contain many hundreds of events, Timebase sets a ‘Look-ahead’ limit, so that only a small number of events after the current event are transferred to the Imagestore.

Timebase filters events based on the PC’s current time-of-day. Synchronizing this to an accurate source daily will be perfectly adequate for most applications. For applications requiring higher accuracy, the Timebase PC can be fitted with an LTC or VITC Timecode reader, or configured to regularly update its time from a network timeserver.

Enabling Timebase mode

To enable Timebase, tick the Timebase Mode checkbox in the Edit Source dialog

This allows you to set up other options for Timebase operation.

Timeline Lookahead

This determines how many events will be sent from the schedule file to the CG. A value of 1 will just send the “Now” data, 2 will send Now and Next, and so forth.

Start Time Rounding

To prevent spurious numbers of minutes or seconds being displayed, each Item’s start time can automatically be rounded to any number of minutes. For example, with a rounding of 5 minutes, 10:56.33 would be displayed as 10:55. Rounding only affects the displayed time, not the time when the displayed data is sent.

Time Offset

The Time Offset allows the scheduled times to be offset from the PC clock time. This can be used to make a program appear as the ‘now’ program a short while before it actually starts, or to compensate for schedule times being represented in a different time zone to the PC clock.  For fine tuning, the time offset is specified in seconds.

Display Offset

The Display Offset value is added to the rounded schedule time for display. It can be used to compensate for differences in time zone/DST settings between the original schedule and the desired displayed time.

Time Format

The format of the program time sent to the CG can be changed using a ‘format string’ here. Any of the following letters and sequences can be used in the format string to construct the time display

d Displays the day as a number without a leading zero (1-31).
dd Displays the day as a number with a leading zero (01-31).
ddd Displays the day as an abbreviation (Sun-Sat)
dddd Displays the day as a full name (Sunday-Saturday).
ddddd Displays the date in a locale-specific short format
dddddd Displays the date in a locale-specific long format
m Displays the month as a number without a leading zero (1-12). If this immediately follows an h or hh, the minute rather than the month is displayed.
mm Displays the month as a number with a leading zero (01-12). If this immediately follows an h or hh, the minute rather than the month is displayed.
mmm Displays the month as an abbreviation (Jan-Dec).
mmmm Displays the month as a full name (January-December).
yy Displays the year as a two-digit number (00-99).
yyyy Displays the year as a four-digit number (0000-9999).
h Displays the hour without a leading zero (0-23).
hh Displays the hour with a leading zero (00-23).
n Displays the minute without a leading zero (0-59).
nn Displays the minute with a leading zero (00-59).
s Displays the second without a leading zero (0-59).
ss Displays the second with a leading zero (00-59).
t Displays the time in a locale-specific format
ampm Uses the 12-hour clock for the preceding h or hh specifier, and displays a locale-specific AM/PM indicator.


The most commonly used formats are:- “hh:mm” and “h:mm ampm” for twenty-four and twelve hour clocks respectively.


Date-derived Filenames

Because files used with Timebase are typically changed daily, Timebase can automatically include the current date within a filename to select the correct filename for a particular day. In addition, to avoid the problems of data discontinuity at midnight, Timebase can append the “tomorrow” file to the “today” one to make the transition seamless.

When using Timebase, an enhanced version of the File Options dialog is used.

The date format can use any of the symbols from the Time Format settings described on page 44. Common formats are ddmmyyyy and ddmmyy

Any other characters can be inserted as separators. The date format is inserted in the filename wherever a caret “^” symbol is found. For example, assume today is the 1st of May 2006, and the date format is set to dd-mm-yy. If a filename of C:\schedule_^.txt is used, then Timebase will attempt to open the file C:\schedule_01-05-06.txt.