Submitting UGC for broadcast at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old August 20th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #1
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Submitting UGC for broadcast

Yesterday I had material considered for broadcast by BBC news. As mentioned on an earlier post, it's the content of the footage that's important, not the medium it's recorded on (as I write this, the BBC is showing mobile phone footage of the Madrid aircraft accident). The Beeb weren't particularly bothered by my footage being on HDV, more that our local flash floods weren't quite deep enough. Anyway, they put me on standby but decided not to use the footage. Fair enough.

My question is, can anyone tell me what the best settings are on an XH-A1 so that any future footage that may be accepted is shown to the best advantage?

HD or SD 16:9 ? (I shot on HD 50i)
Any custom preset recommended?

Would it be any different for submission to ITV?
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Old August 20th, 2008, 02:52 PM   #2
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Try this.

BBC Guidelines - Delivering Quality - Television

Somewhere amongst all the information, you can download PDFs for various cameras with the BBC's recommended settings.

edit - think I've found the specific link again - BBC - R&D - Publications - WHP034 - Addendum 22
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Last edited by Annie Haycock; August 20th, 2008 at 03:01 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old August 20th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Haycock View Post
Try this.

BBC Guidelines - Delivering Quality - Television

Somewhere amongst all the information, you can download PDFs for various cameras with the BBC's recommended settings.

edit - think I've found the specific link again - BBC - R&D - Publications - WHP034 - Addendum 22
Annie,

That's a super link - thank you so much. I was unaware the Beeb tested so many cameras. (I feel a bit better about the TV licence fee now). These reviews deserve to be better known, to help those of us who don't work full time in video to make decisions about what to buy and how best to use equipment.

Not of course, that they are as good as the reviews from dvinfo :-)

Actually, I don't think the guys in the newsroom knew about them though they seemed quite au fait with all the various media formats currently in use.

EDIT: So we have an official BBC custom preset on p5/6 of your link BBC - R&D - Publications - WHP034 - Addendum 22

If that's not already on the Custom Presets thread it should be added.

Last edited by Colin McDonald; August 20th, 2008 at 04:38 PM.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #4
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The link originally came from someone on DVinfo, but I can't remember who - or which thread I found it on.

In October, when I expect to have a little more time for playing with video stuff, I want to go through a couple of presets from the XH-A1 listing that I like the look of, put in the BBC preferences where appropriate, and see what the results are like.

But you're right, a preset with just those BBC preferences would be useful. It shouldn't be too difficult, just a matter of someone finding time.

Now, if I can just keep up to date with non-video work for the next six weeks . . . . . . . .
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Old August 21st, 2008, 02:17 AM   #5
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Great post Annie--thanks!
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Old December 14th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Haycock View Post
Try this....

BBC Guidelines - Delivering Quality - Television

Somewhere amongst all the information, you can download PDFs for various cameras with the BBC's recommended settings.

edit - think I've found the specific link again - BBC - R&D - Publications - WHP034 - Addendum 22
Just re-reading this to make up a BBC custom preset - I've been meaning to do this for a while. Alan Roberts didn't think much of the XH G1/A1 did he? I'm quite upset that my pride and joy is dismissed so lightly. Just for that I'm even more determined to get some XH-A1 acquired footage broadcast now.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 12:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Alan Roberts didn't think much of the XH G1/A1 did he?
It seemed like he did to me:

quote
This potentially makes it useful in the broadcast and other high-end markets. It has analogue video outputs (3.5mm jacks and BNC on the G1) and digits via IEEE1394 Firewire.
end quote

Quite flattering for a prosumer camera I would say.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 05:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Gooderick View Post
It seemed like he did to me:

quote
This potentially makes it useful in the broadcast and other high-end markets. It has analogue video outputs (3.5mm jacks and BNC on the G1) and digits via IEEE1394 Firewire.
end quote

Quite flattering for a prosumer camera I would say.
I was thinking more of bits like these:

Introduction "...[BBC] Settings are given only for normal television use, it was not possible to derive good settings for a film look".

3.1 Colour performance "...There was a distinct red tinge to the picture, although not in the grey scale, this indicates that the problem is not in gamma-balance, but in the basic colorimetry of the camera. All the patches with a significant red component were too “healthy”. After some subjective adjustments to the matrix, the colour performance was improved significantly, although the yellow patch was still too blue, and the light skin tone too red...
The gamma film curves both increased saturation considerably and exacerbated the colouring problems, and are therefore not recommended."

3.2.1 HD resolution "...Fig.4 shows the result for setting the camera to 25p, again captured via the HDSDI output. Very surprisingly, the vertical resolution is a little lower, reaching a vanishing point at about 940 lines/picture height. This is extraordinary, since one of the points of using cameras in “progressive” scan mode is to increase the vertical resolution, but this camera actually reduces it. Also, there is some aliasing above this frequency which is not present in the 50Hz interlaced mode. I can think of no reason why this should be. Horizontally, nothing has changed, resolution is still clean up to about 1600, with some aliasing above".

3.2.2 SD resolution "... Horizontally, resolution is fairly clean up to 700, with a first alias pattern centred on 1440, exactly as expected. There is another alias pattern centred on about 920, which is also a bit difficult to explain. At first sight this does not look too good, and it is caused by the use of a lens that is designed to produce HD pictures combined with down-conversion that uses inadequately simple filtering. The camera sensors, being HD, resolve the unwanted higher frequencies that, for SD use, should be suppressed before the down-conversion process itself. Slightly defocusing the image would remove most of the aliases without losing the wanted resolution, but that works only on single-plane scenes, a more practical approach would be to use an optical diffuser on the lens, perhaps a ¼ Black Promist or equivalent".

So we need to use a soft focus adapter on the lens if we want SD footage as the down conversion in the camera is rubbish?
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Old December 15th, 2008, 05:14 AM   #9
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I think that you need to take into account that Alan's review is written primarily for internal BBC use and that the benchmark is high end broadcast quality cameras.
Being compared to that the XH A1 is bound to fall short. It's a prosumer camera after all.
I have never tried shooting SD with the XH A1 but I have heard people say on this forum that it is not good. So Alan's point seems to be generally accepted.
I first came across one of his papers when I bought a Sony A1E over two years ago and found it very helpful. That is even less broadcast quality than the XH A1, and in many ways his review is excruciating. But I believe that I am correct in saying that Alan Roberts bought one for is own use.
I don't think that any of us would pretend that the prosumer cameras we use are equivalent to higher end broadcast, but the quality is good enough to make films that could not be made with higher end cameras, either because of their size or because of there low cost, that may subsequently find a broadcast outlet.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #10
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Well balanced appraisal, Richard. I couldn't disagree with any of that.

You seem to manage fine on your A1 anyway!
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Old December 15th, 2008, 01:25 PM   #11
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Thanks Colin.
They are great cameras aren't they!
:-)
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Old December 15th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #12
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There is a BBC preset amongst these ..
http://www.hdvinfo.nl/download/presets.zip
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Old December 15th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #13
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Thanks, Brian. I had entered Alan Roberts' settings directly into my camera.
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