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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old April 10th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #1
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BBC HD Acceptability Guide

Here's the latest BBC guide to clients delivering HD content to the BBC....makes interesting reading especially if you were are hoping to submit HDV material. I have a feeling this approach is common amongst other broadcasters.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/dq/p...ery_v01_08.pdf

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Jonathan
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Old April 10th, 2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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Hmmm... seems they're getting tough on 720p (Varicam) as well. I thought that was just Channel 4.

Not just HDV, but all cameras less than 1/2" and at 35 Mb/s, the EX1 mightn't be acceptable either.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 05:15 PM   #3
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I'd take Andy's paper with a pinch of salt. BBC productions and productions companies submitting to them break so many of these regulations or at least bend them that the BBC wouldn't have anything to broadcast on the HD channels if this paper was followed to the letter. Simply the use of Z1's on numerous productions breaks numerous regulations outlined in this paper.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 05:34 PM   #4
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I'd take Andy's paper with a pinch of salt. BBC productions and productions companies submitting to them break so many of these regulations or at least bend them that the BBC wouldn't have anything to broadcast on the HD channels if this paper was followed to the letter. Simply the use of Z1's on numerous productions breaks numerous regulations outlined in this paper.
The Z1 currently gets used on SD productions. However, you can use these cameras up to 15% of the HD programmes, which does cover a lot of situations. I suspect this applies to BBC commissions for their HD channel and these productions will have the budgets to cover them. Of course, bought in programmes, will be shot on whatever, but the BBC does tend to commission UK productions, rather than buy in.

There will always be exceptions, but I rather suspect that new cameras like RED Scarlet (assuming it matches the much talked about possible specs) will be used rather than the Z1 and other HDV cameras in the future.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 05:57 PM   #5
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z1 is also used on some hd shows in hdv mode, though from what I've seen they are well within the 15% margin.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 06:41 PM   #6
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Section 2.1 appears to rule out footage from pretty much any video camera costing under $20K or so, plus many commonly used editing solutions. And calling something which doesn't meet their HD criteria "standard definition" is a bit silly, but it's their document.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 07:47 PM   #7
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The BBC are huge hypocrites though and will often blatantly break their own rules for this sort of thing.

They rejected the 25p modes of Sony cameras, yet they will happily deinterlace interlaced footage for flagship shows like Top Gear, even though there are HUGE jaggie edges as a result. Their policies and reasoning are often truly bizarre. I know of a few instances I could talk about but it would fall foul of forum rules to post them here.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 03:44 AM   #8
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Like most management and engineering things in the BEEB I feel this has been written by engineers who sit in offices and have very little to do with programme making.

At the end of the day the content is the important factor and in a world where BBC resources are reducing these sort of documents written by the old school dinosaurs are out of date with the real world.

There has never been more opportunity to shoot good quality programming at a reasonable cost and the BEEB like all broadcasters will have to live up to this in the even more competative market that they live in.

I understand BBC post production is closing down and with more being outsourced they will have little control over what is happening in the shooting of programmes.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 04:22 AM   #9
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I can't understand why they seem to be ruling out XDCAM HD at 35Mb/s, since cameras like the EX1 would be pretty suitable for those programmes that have been using the Z1 and the Mini DV cameras.

Personally, I believe those cameras have been at their best on those productions on which the filmmaker has been working with the subjects for long periods. Unfortunately, they've also been used on quite a few mediocre daytime and regional programmes.

I always work on the basis that the Beeb is a surreal place and to never be surprised by the unexpected.

At least they're pitching high on the technical front and having worked with an artist on a video installation, who had to defocus projected DVCAM material shot on a DSR570 on one screen to match a PD150 shot being projected on another, I can understand that.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 04:48 AM   #10
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3rd party producers will make programmes using XDCAM HD, but the delivery is on something else such as HDCAM.

The BBC themselves won't use XDCAM HD because it doesn't fit in with what they want from tapeless. They want to use solid state, period.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 05:02 AM   #11
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That could be part of this server system that the BBC is installing.

I hear our local BBC has bought some HDW 790's I expect they'll be used on programmes. However, the rumour was that they were going to get the Infinity for their news and current affairs.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 05:25 AM   #12
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Just try and air MythBusters on the BBC now... it's entirely in XDCAM HD and HDV and AVCHD. All rejected formats for their guidelines.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #13
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Just try and air MythBusters on the BBC now... it's entirely in XDCAM HD and HDV and AVCHD. All rejected formats for their guidelines.
Last time I saw MythBusters on the BBC it was on a SD channel, so there's no problem there.

What happens if the BBC co-produces with Discovery and wishes their HD specs to be in place for screening on their HD Channel another matter. I suppose they could shoot on XDCAM HD 4:2:2 and have the other formats making up 15%.

If it's just a bought in programme, I expect they'll either accept it or reject it, if it doesn't look up to a HD broadcast standard.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 12:03 PM   #14
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That could be part of this server system that the BBC is installing.

I hear our local BBC has bought some HDW 790's I expect they'll be used on programmes. However, the rumour was that they were going to get the Infinity for their news and current affairs.
The Infinity is an interesting situation, GV have really screwed up on that one. About 18mths ago I was chatting to Reuters senior cameraman in London and he told me that they were testing the Infinity as a replacement for dvcpro 25. He said the camera became extremely hot when in normal operating mode (unacceptably so)and that the fan to cool it blew a blast of icy cold air out of the back of the unit straight down the back of your neck! It was sent back.
Reuters decided to go with P2 and are now equipping with HPX2100's as are Sky News in the UK.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 12:31 PM   #15
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My own feeling is that this document is (as labelled) GUIDELINES - not laws or rules, and not never to be broken. Some (such as for delivery) may be absolute, regarding caption safe areas, placing of audio tracks etc, whereas others (such as acquisition format) may be more flexible.

Go to them with a programme made solely on 1/3" cameras, and I'd expect to be asked "why did you shoot it on those?" If you could make a good argument (observational documentary and small cameras essential, say) it may be deemed acceptable. If it was a drama, and you answered "because they're cheaper", I doubt you'd get very far. At least it gives potential contributors a starting point.

I think there's a typo in the document, and suspect it means "Inter-frame based recording formats below 50Mbs" are counted as SD (not Intra-frame). In which case, the new PDW700 will presumably be fully acceptable?
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