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Old February 18th, 2010, 11:55 PM   #1
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Nat. Geo TV production workflow?

Can anyone tell me what platform they edit on and what their minimum specs are for broadcast? Any input would really help me out.

Dave
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Old February 19th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #2
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I've been involved with two NatGeo HD productions in 2006-7. For those shoots, everything was shot in 1080i60, and included some material from Sony Z1Us. The production houses were completely independent (one in Australia and the other in LA), so I wouldn't count on a single editing platform. Although the masters were 1080i, NatGeo appears to broadcast in 720p60 as do the majority of HD cable channels. At least, that's the bitstream that is captured directly from the Firewire output of my cable box. The file image size of the MPEG2 bitstream from the Firewire output is 1280x720. The same capture procedure yields 1080i60 from Discovery channel.

Last edited by Gints Klimanis; February 20th, 2010 at 11:53 AM.
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Old February 19th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #3
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Productionb Workflow for Broadcast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Nystul View Post
Can anyone tell me what platform they edit on and what their minimum specs are for broadcast? Any input would really help me out.

Dave
.....Hi Dave:
The standard approach for US TV Network broadcast is as follows.....

1. Shot in Long GOP 50 Mbit per sec on your Nano or XDR @ 1080i 59.94 output from camera.

2. Post on Avid Media Composer.

3. Master output in 720 p 60 & 1080i 59.94 to Sony HDCAM SR Master tape VTR @ 440 Mb or 880 Mb

Sincerely,

Mark Job
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Old February 20th, 2010, 03:06 AM   #4
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Dear Dave,

I do not have a definitive statement from National Geographic. I have been trying to get this statement for some time now.

I have been working with National Geographic. They have been testing the nanoFlash with the results being positive.

The nanoFlash and the Flash XDR have been used for some of their productions.

Based on my conversations with my contact, I feel that they perfer 1080 at this time. But, please remember, I do not have a definitive answer from them.

My advice is to contact them directly.
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Old February 20th, 2010, 01:16 PM   #5
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A few highlights from the NatGeo Tech Specs PDF:

3.0 High Definition Requirements:
1) National Geographic Channel (NGC) requires a High Definition 1080i at 59.94 fps (preferred) or 720p at 59.94fps version of the program master material. It should be delivered on either a Sony HDCAM SR or Panasonic D-5 video tape in 1080i at 59.94 fps
(preferred) or 720p at 59.94fps. Letterboxed 4x3 material will not be acceptable.
2) Original shooting format (source tapes): this production shall be photographed in 16:9 with a 14:9 safe action area in HD.
3) Video and Audio program material shall be produced using industry standard and accepted norms of good practice and workmanship. All content must be shot and edited in the native delivery format.
4) NGC supports the production of television programming in the 720p – 59.94fps, 25 & 50, 1080i – 59.94fps 25 & 50 and 1080p –24fps formats. All Vendor Masters must be frame rate converted to 59.94fps and delivered at 59.94fps. NGC will not accept Vendor Master delivered in any other frame rate other than 59.94fps. Masters must be converted on acceptablebroadcast quality conversion system. Conversion masters will be subjected to NGC’s quality control process and will be rejected if found to contain conversion artifacts or to be of poor quality. NGC does not support productions that are shot on HDV tape formats.

6.0 Editing
The editing of video material must be performed on an editing system with a minimum codec of DNXHD 220X MXF 10-bit or ProRes 422 10-bit 4:2:2 or equivalent.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 02:36 PM   #6
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Bill, I Googled for that PDF and searched the NatGeo site to no avail. Would you please post some hints for finding that document?

"NGC does not support productions that are shot on HDV tape formats."

I can assure that some NatGeo HD shows that are re-run even to as late as two weeks ago include portions of HDV tape material. Both production companies that I worked with in 2006-7 showed up with Sony Z1Us to backup the single Sony XDCAM. At least one show used my submitted material from Z1 and/or FX1.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 12:11 PM   #7
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Gints:

Actually, I think I was quoting from the 2007 Tech Specs sheet for Nat Geo. Here is the 2009 version.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf HDSpecnatgeo 2009.pdf (184.5 KB, 2412 views)
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 12:14 PM   #8
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In the 2009 edition, these camera notes:

16.0 NGC Approved List of HD Primary Shooting Cameras
For 1080i Productions: (Minimum of 2 million pixels)
Thompson Phantom v12
Red Camera
Sony HDW-F900R / F950
Sony F23
Sony HDW790 / 730S
Sony PDW700 (1920 x 1080 @ 50 Mb/s)
Sony HDC-1500
Panasonic AJ-HPX3000 (shoots 1080 only)
Panasonic AJ-HDX900
For 720p Productions: (Minimum of 1 million pixels)
Panasonic Varicam AJ -HDC27FP
Panasonic Varicam AJ-HDX900

NGC Approved List of HD Secondary Shooting Cameras
* Note – Secondary cameras are to be used for tight or confined spaces or situations that pose a hazard to your full sized production camera. Use of footage
captured with these cameras must not exceed 20% of the overall production. Any percentage over this amount must be approved by EP’s and Network
Operations.
Sony EX1 & EX3 – (1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720 - HQ Mode @ 35 MB/s)
Panasonic AG-HPX500 – both 1080i and 720p
Panasonic AJ-HPX2000 – both 1080i and 720p
Non-Approved HD Cameras:
Sony HVRZ1U / Sony HVRV1U / Sony HVRZ7U
Anything built on the HDV platform

For delivery:

3.0 High Definition Requirements:
1. National Geographic Channel (NGC) requires a High Definition 1080i at 59.94 fps (preferred) or 720p at 59.94fps version of the program master material. It
should be delivered on either a Sony HDCAM SR or Panasonic D-5 video tape in 1080i at 59.94fps (preferred) or 720p at 59.94fps. Letterboxed 4x3 material
will not be acceptable.
2. Video and Audio program material shall be produced using industry standard and accepted norms of good practice and workmanship. All content must be shot and edited in the native delivery format.
3. NGC supports the production of television programming in either 1080i – 59.94fps (preferred) or 720p – 59.94fps formats. All Vendor Masters delivered to NGC must be frame rate converted to 59.94fps for both 1080i and 720p masters. NGC will not accept Vendor Masters delivered in any other frame rate other than these. Masters must be converted on acceptable broadcast quality conversion system. Conversion masters will be subjected to
NGC’s quality control process and will be rejected if found to contain conversion artifacts or to be of poor quality. NGC will not accept productions that are shot on HDV tape formats.
4. All Vendor Master video tapes must be recorded in DROP FRAME time code.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 01:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for the link to the new PDF, Bill. How do they treat Nanoflash recordings from an EX1/EX3 ? Would a 100 MBits/second recording make the primary camera list?
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 01:35 PM   #10
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That's probably a question best addressed to Thierry, but my understanding is they have been doing some tests with the Nano, and it has been largely positive.

It would seem to me that the EX-1/3 at 50mbs from the Nano would be virtually the same at the PDW-700/800...minus the glass improvement.

Now, that being said, one of the sticking points is that you have to deliver the raw material, and they won't take drives; so you have to find a way to lay off the EX material to tape or to something like an XDCAmHD disk, so they have the source material you cut from.

Now, if you wanted to shoot the entire project on the EX-1...dunno.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 02:06 PM   #11
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Bill, interesting list, with some strange items. Why is the HDX900 approved but the HPX2000 is not? They are basically the same camera one with tape one P2, and in fact the 2000 can use AVC Intra, making it a much better camera than the 900.
Also no HPX2700 on the list, much better than the tape Varicam or the HDX900 which are both approved. What's that all about?
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 03:45 PM   #12
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It is an odd list as they don't say what you can record the HDC1500 with. It's primarily used as a studio camera! Also no HPX3700.

Perhaps the list was prepared before some of the cams (2700/3700 etc) could be fully evaluated. I'm sure the HPX3700 would be approved for 1080 and 2700 for 720.

Also says you should shoot and edit in the native delivery format which is HDCAM SR or D5, they are contradicting their own guidelines.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 04:21 PM   #13
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So the HPX2700 is only good enough for 720 while the HDX900 is OK for 1080? Weird idea.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 06:55 PM   #14
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Well, in one of the earlier guidelines, it listed the Sony HDW-750 as a preferred camera for 720p productions, only the 750 shoots neither 720 nor p.

I suspect many of the cameras listed in this thread would now be fine. Like Alister, I also wondered exactly what media one would be recording on--in the jungles of Borneo--with a handheld Sony HDC 1500.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 03:31 AM   #15
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What's so weird about thinking that the 2700, a 720P camera would only get approval for 720P productions? Sure the 2700 can output and record by upscaling to 1080, but it's not really 1080i. If your making a 1080i show, you should be using a true 1080i camera. If not make the show 720P.

My guess is the HDX-900 is still allowed for 1080 as it is a leftover from the pre XDCAM HD/HPX3000 and would be used to intercut overcrank with other real 1080 material. I expect there are many existing Nat Geo suppliers that invested in them.
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