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In early 2017, the PBS 24/7 KIDS channel was made available to stations via satellite for rebroadcast and multiple system operator (MSO) retransmission in their local designated market area (DMA). As part of the rebroadcast, stations can program sponsorship and interstitial content into 65-second breaks at the end of each scheduled program. These 65-second breaks in the linear stream when stations can insert an interstitial are referred to as avails (short for availability). The Avail / Interstitial Manager (AIM) distinguishes station-specific streams instead of user-specific streams, which means all users localized to your station will see interstitial content from your station alone.
The basic workflow for using this tool is pretty straightforward and entails:
- uploading your video file as a pod
- scheduling your pod to appear in the linear stream
- viewing reporting details on your pod elements
The Avail console can be accessed at https://aim.console.pbs.org/
The primary components that make up the Avail / Interstitial Manager include:
- Pods - The 65-second video, and associated metadata, assigned to a time slot.
- Rules - The mechanism by which pods are assigned to time slots.
- Schedule - The various views showing all pods and campaigns assigned to the time slots. A schedule displays a week's worth of data at a time.
- All functionality in the AIM console can be accessed from the top navigation menu and in the Create dropdown menu in the upper right corner of the page (A).
- All scheduling information can be accessed in the body of the main schedule page when you first log in to AIM (B).
To begin using the AIM console, you need to have access. If you have not been invited to the system, please submit a support ticket with your request.
- Once you have access to the console, log in by clicking Login in the upper right side of the console (Figure 1).
- Type your PBS Account username and password in the textboxes provided (Figure 2.1).
- Click Sign in (Figure 2.2).
- If you do not have a PBS account, click Create a PBS Account and follow the steps to create one (Figure 2.3).
You are redirected to the schedule view where you can see everything currently scheduled in your live stream. The schedule view is primarily used just for viewing your station's streaming schedule and any pods and campaigns you have scheduled, as well as available timeslots for pods and campaigns.
- The schedule view displays a full week of data with the timespan displayed at the top of the page (Figure 3.1).
- Click the timeframe on the left and right side of the page to skip to a previous or future week (Figure 3.2).
- Each 24-hour period of time is split into 8-hour chunks that can be scrolled through by clicking each tab (Figure 3.3).
- Click on a day (Example: Sun 4/23) to see all times for that one day (Figure 3.4).
- Each time slot reserved for an interstitial is highlighted as a blue link and each available time slot displays an empty box (Figure 3.5).
- Begin using AIM by first creating a pod.