Broadcasting Services

Conditions of Use
Other Audio-Visual Services
Rules of Coverage
Committee Rules of coverage


All Main Chamber, Committee Room 1, and Committee Room 2 proceedings are
televised by the Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit.

Main Chamber proceedings are televised using a nine-camera unit linked to a computer driven integrated sound and voting system. The Director of the Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit must televise proceedings in accordance with Parliament's Rules of Coverage. The Scottish Parliament's rules of coverage are amongst the least restrictive in the world allowing for the generous use of "reaction shots" and shots of the public gallery

Committee Room 1 is televised using 4 cameras in line with the provisions the Rules of Coverage

Committee Room 2 is televised using a manually operated 2 camera unit. This portable digital unit is also used to televise Committee Sessions in other venues, most specifically those of Parliamentary Committees which convene beyond Edinburgh.

Other Committees, those not televised by the Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit, can be televised by "core broadcasters" using their own cameras in accordance with Parliament's Committee Rules of Coverage

Conditions of Use

The Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit will provide pictures and sound to all recognised television broadcasters under licence. Parliament currently has four "core broadcasters" - The BBC, The Scottish Media Group/ Border Television, Channel 4, and Sky News. Each of the core broadcasters pays an annual licence fee to Parliament for the right to use the pictures supplied.

Pictures are made available to other broadcasters under metered "pay as used" licences, details of which are available on request.

A compilation tape of parliamentary footage is available for "free to air" use by recognised international broadcasting organisations. This tape is available on the following formats


To view this compilation tape on-line click here
56k ISDN 300k 700k (AV file details of each to follow)

Audio feeds of proceedings are provided free of charge to all recognised radio stations.

Other Audio-Visual Services

Other services the Broadcasting Office provides include:

Picture Stills Service
High resolution JPEG picture images from Parliamentary TV proceedings can be ordered for reproduction in bona fide newspapers, magazines, newsletters and websites. Free to use web-deliver pictures can be viewed, downloaded and reproduced via the "recent archive" (hyperlink) section of this site. Higher resolution versions of these images can be delivered electronically to picture desks on request.

Video Duplication Service
VHS viewing can copies of Parliamentary proceedings can be purchased by, MSPs, civic organisations, commercial companies, and members of the public for a very modest fee. You can search for and select required extracts via cross-reference with the Parliament's Official Report

Video Production Service
The Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit produces a range of educational and promotional video on the work of the Parliament. Most of these can be viewed freely on line in our "Historic Archive" section" and also ordered on VHS format for a very modest charge. A range of foreign language information films will soon be available.

Visits and Placements
The Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit welcomes visits from those working in the broadcasting industry and from students studying degree, HND or HNC level television production courses. There are also a number of placement opportunities available.

What is Webcasting?
Downloading Windows Media Player
What Connection Speed?
Problem Solving
International Time Zones
Minimum Computer Specification
Recommended Computer Specification


Webcasting provides the opportunity to view pictures and sound over the Internet. This technology is a breakthrough in modern communications, allowing the Scottish Parliament to bring its proceedings to literally any PC or Mac anywhere in the world - it's as easy to reach in Hamilton Ontario as it is Hamilton in Lanarkshire.

Pioneering though our webcasts are in parliamentary terms, web streaming is no longer rocket science. Most 14 year old are familiar with it, using web streaming to view pop promos, live concerts, films and audio tracks on a regular, almost routine basis. So don't be put off by the new terms or think this technology is not for you. Anybody with the right attitude, a standard PC and a telephone line can watch our webcasts. A high powered computer, an ISDN or a Broadband connection will improve picture and sound quality, but they are not essential.

DOWNLOADING Windows Media Player
In order to receive our webcasts, you will need Microsoft Windows Media Player. Just go for the free Windows Media Player download button and follow the instructions. Windows Media Player is compatible for use with Macs.


To view and hear our audio-visual streams just select a venue and press the "Play Live Stream" button. Our streaming systems will do the rest. We stream at up to 256kbs and our multi-bit rate systems will select the bit rate that is best for your computer and connection.

Audio only streams. For the time being our streams from committee rooms 3, 4 and "Around Scotland" channels are audio only.


Network Firewalls
Many organisations with network computer systems have "firewalls" which do not allow users access to Internet delivered audio-visual streams. There are sometimes good reasons for this, if this is a problem for you ask your IT department what they can do for you. Explain to your IT department or your manager that you need the firewall settings altered to allow you and others access to the Scottish Parliament's webcasts. In the past there may have been no business related need to allow access to webasts, with you now have one. What could be more important than the ability to see your own Parliament at work? Access to our streams is a very cost effective way to keep your company or organisation in touch.

Slow Connections
Initial connection can be slow, up to several seconds/minutes during which time the computer stores information locally (buffering). Please be patient as the system often speeds up after a while.

Intermittent poor quality
Internet congestion can cause bottlenecks over the Internet, this is beyond our control, please bear with us.

Continuous poor quality
Lower performance computers may have difficulty with this technology causing a reduction of picture quality, though audio should still be available.

No sound
Check speaker connections, power supply and volume controls.

No video
Check MediaPlayer is installed correctly, if test file worked well previously, the site may temporarily be unavailable (Error file not found maybe seen). Please try later.

For viewers outside the United Kingdom: please note that Scotland is currently on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). An indication of current times around the world are:
Sydney - GMT plus 10 hours,
Perth WA - GMT plus 8 hours,
New York - GMT minus 5 hours,
San Francisco - GMT minus 8 hours,
Auckland NZ - GMT plus 12 hours.

Speed: 233 MHz CPU
Soundcard and speakers
Microsoft MediaPlayer
Microsoft Windows 95 or equivalent

Speed: 400 MHz CPU or higher
RAM: 64MB or higher
Quality soundcard and speakers
Microsoft MediaPlayer 7
Microsoft Windows 98 or higher equivalent

Please note that the Scottish Parliament cannot be held responsible for any problems arising from incorrect installation of software. If in doubt, please contact a qualified technician.

Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching, NUI Galway