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Databases and web sites

What services did we offer?

Our web work was primarily in the business-to-business area, especially the web equivalent of technical publishing. We designed web sites and managed them on a day-to-day basis if required but often worked with the client's design to automate and build a site.

Design and development

We used a variety of software to produce whatever level of dynamic updating was required. Suitable content was either provided by our clients or was developed jointly. This included the production of photographic, audio and visual assets. We believe it is important to develop sites that give a similar experience to the visitor whatever device is being used to view the pages and took a responsive view of web page design.

PS: This web site is built using Twitter's Bootstrap framework including Jan Kovařík's Glyphicons.

Databases

We are experienced in the use of PHP, Perl and MySQL to derive dynamic pages from databases and algorithmically. We are particularly proud of the broadcast reception databases and of the news database used to power the news section of the erstwhile DTG Web Site.

Webmastering

The day-to-day running of a web site for a client is needed if the site has some ever-changing content but the circumstances (and/or budget) do not require a full content management system. We developed hybrid web sites geared towards regular updating.

Projects and clients

Broadcast reception prediction databases

PCD query input on a web page

We worked with the BBC, Digital UK, Digital Radio UK and others to produce and manage databases of coverage predictions for digital television and radio. These were initially set up in 1997 to assist with the UK's digital switchover and have evolved ever since. The original data was for DTT and DAB was added more recently.

If you have looked up your reception prediction on web sites from Digital UK, Freeview and BT Vision (amongst others) you will have accessed this web service. It's known as the PCD, the Predictive Coverage Database, or more popularly as the 'Postcode Checker', and regularly ran at over a million enquiries a month.

The PCD web service used the open XML-based standard SOAP for its API and was programmed in PHP using MySQL for the database. Reception prediction data was provided by the BBC on behalf of the UK broadcast planning team.

We worked for the BBC improving the reporting of fault conditions in radio and television networks and transmitters to power the corporation's engeneering information web pages.

Digital UK web site (opens in new window)

Webmastering for the Digital TV Group

DTG web site

The web site was the shop-window for the Digital Television Group, who are the industry body representing the digital television industry in the UK.

In 2015 the site was reimagined using Bootstrap to provide a responsive experience while simplifying and improving the user experience.

News was input into the site's news system directly by the DTG's journalists and other pages were regularly updated by the DTG or by ATSF from copy provided by the DTG. The news section was driven entirely from a MySQL database allowing sophisticated keywording and searching. Databases were also used for other dynamic parts of the site. The site was relaunched in 2018 based on Wordpress and our involvement ceased after 20 years.

DTG web site (opens in new window)

The Elektra Master Discography

Elektra butterfly logo

With the encouragement of the label's founder and under licence from Warner Music Group, we built a comprehensive database of the famous American record label, Elektra. The database covers the period from its foundation in 1950 to when the founder, Jac Holzman, left the label in 1973.

As well as the database itself, for its 60th anniversary Andy Finney undertook to photograph the entire canon of album covers for inclusion in the book Becoming Elektra, chronicling the history of the label. He also rescued and processed several rare elderly recordings for use on WMG's anniversary web site for the label.

Master discography database