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Old December 18th, 2012, 09:14 PM   #1
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Need Help and clairty

Ok, I'm about to take the plunge into a project locally that requires 2- 30 second broadcast spots for an up and coming political campaign. I called the two primary stations in the area and got the video specs form them. I have a few questions I hope some of you here can help with.

Here is the Main HD Broadcast station in my town USA:
Premiere Pro (CS5) Export Settings (HD K2)
Format: MPEG2
Preset: HDTV 1080I 29.97 High Quality
Output: NTSC, 1920 x 1080, 29.97 fps, Quality 4.0 Upper Field First
MPEG, 384 kbps, 48kHz, 16 bit Stero (can accept 256 kbps as well)
Constant Video Encode Bit Rate, 20 Mbps


This is pasted from there email to me.

Now the other local station is a Fox affiliate: all they said was we don't broadcast HD just shoot it in SD?
I was shocked to here that, I asked are you sure? Why no HD, he said it was the cost they had no money.

So, my dilemma is do I have to shoot in two different formats? 16x9 and 4:3?

Also my camera equipment does not shoot in 1080i, shoots in 1080P. If I shoot in 1080P what can I expect when I output it as per the above PPro settings? You can't squeeze a 16x9 in to a 4:3 output can you? I think that the Mbps of 20 is no problem because my Sony-VG20 shoots 24, or 28 Mbps. I think?

My VG-20 shoots at 60i, 60p or 24p, in looking at there spec, they want 29.97, Not sure what FRate to shoot at, wont it slow down or speed up depending on the FRate I choose, Will PPro render the video out correctly? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 11:22 PM   #2
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Re: Need Help and clairty

Please take this in the spirit in which it is offered...

Given the questions you are asking, whatever you produce faces a significant likelihood of being rejected at the engineering end UNLESS the broadcasters have a good reason to work with you to accept your content.

I AGONIZE over scopes and such before submitting broadcast material. There are a lot of "gotchas" in broadcast television.

I would respectfully suggest that the final "broadcast legal" pass and encoding be parted out to someone with more experience in such matters, possibly someone who would be willing to share the "voodoo" that goes into making spots broadcast legal.

For the record: in 14 years, I have never had a TV program (long form documentary or public service announcement) refused.

A great chance for you to learn the ins-and-outs perhaps. You DON'T want to look inept in front of your client.

Unless broadcasters in the USA are far more forgiving than Canadian broadcasters, which, depending on the size of YOUR specific market, it MAY be possible they are... it also depends if they are doing Over The Air broadcasting or cable delivery (which can be more forgiving).

Hope this helps.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 11:42 AM   #3
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Re: Need Help and clairty

Thank you for your input. I got a return call from one of our TV stations today, he said that all I needed to do was shoot in 1080i 30fps. Minimum 20 Mbps.

How ever one of my questions is that my VG-20 only shoots in 1080p, so if the conversion is done in PPro to there 1080i will it look ok?
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Old December 19th, 2012, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: Need Help and clairty

Well, my (and every other) VG20 can shoot 1080/60i... it's an image quality setting. There are MULTIPLE bitrates you can choose from in 60i... none of which are a "constant" 20Mbps.

Are you expected to deliver raw footage for edit, or deliver a broadcast ready "product"? If the former, you've got some leeway, as most NLE's will ingest your footage... if the latter, you can do most of the adjustments to the footage in rendering.

Not to be snarky about it, but you look to be in WAY over your head here... and if you are not aware of the most basic functions on your camera, you're going to be in deep trouble trying to sort out NLE settings and final delivery formats. This isn't an "on the job trianing" situation.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 01:42 PM   #5
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Re: Need Help and clairty

Leon, many outlets get similar calls to yours and when folk cause them enough strife, they end up not answering the phone.

Configuring this yourself .. vote No! .. getting help vote Yes!

Cheers.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 06:44 PM   #6
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Re: Need Help and clairty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon Kolenda View Post
Thank you for your input. I got a return call from one of our TV stations today, he said that all I needed to do was shoot in 1080i 30fps. Minimum 20 Mbps.

How ever one of my questions is that my VG-20 only shoots in 1080p, so if the conversion is done in PPro to there 1080i will it look ok?
The answer to your question is both very simple - "psf" - and far more complex. But try googling "progressive segmented frame" and see what comes up!

I don't intend to go into the full details again (also try searching for "psf" within these forums) but in brief psf is how a progressive signal is transported over an interlace system. In true progressive a single frame will consist of lines 1,2,3,4,5 etc - all captured at the same time. In interlace the first field will be lines 1,3,5,7 etc, then the next field lines 2,4,6,8 etc - but captured 1/60 sec later. With psf, the signal is split into fields as with interlace - so lines 1,3,5,7 etc, then 2,4,6,8, etc - but all the lines are captured at the same time, as with progressive.

It follows that changing from psf to progressive (and vice versa) should be a totally reversible process, simply a matter of reordering lines. The lines themselves not altered in any way. Practically, not all NLEs or cameras behave as you'd hope and expect - that's where it gets complex!

If your camera will shoot true interlace, then the station is quite correct to ask for "1080i 30fps" (1080i/30). Practically, it's the same thing as "60i", it's just that nowadays the correct terminology is to ALWAYS refer to FRAMERATE whereas in the past the reference was the framerate if progressive, FIELDrate if interlace. Hence what used to be called 1080/60i should now be referred to as 1080i/30. Unfortunately, it's taking a long time for the old terminology to die out, and it's causing a lot of confusion in the meantime.

As far as the other question goes - one station wants HD, the other SD - then the answer is to shoot in HD, and downconvert for the SD station, but do something called "shoot and protect" at the time of shooting. Ideally, you will be able to have 4:3 markers in the viewfinder, and if the camera doesn't generate them, then you can always put a plastic screen over with chinagraph marks. Quite simply, all that "shoot and protect" means is that all essential action, graphics etc must take place within the centre 4:3 section, but that everything within the entire 16:9 frame should be usable - so no mic booms, lighting stands etc in the side bars.

When supplying the material, then treat the HD as the master, then supply the SD station with a downconvert of the centre portion of the image, the central 4:3 section. That will keep everything the right shape, and although the SD viewer isn't seeing the whole picture, if you've followed "shoot and protect" well, they won't be missing anything significant.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 11:37 PM   #7
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Re: Need Help and clairty

VG20 modes are 60i, 60p, and 24p.

No provision to shoot 4:3 that I recall seeing, but you can always "letterbox" for SD delivery - that's fairly common, but there will be an even greater loss of quality.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 10:00 AM   #8
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Re: Need Help and clairty

Hi Leon,

You've gotten some good advice so far. One thing not covered, was that you asked about "29.97". Actually, the "1080 60i" and 1080i 30" and similar wordings ARE all a 29.97 frame rate. Good old-fashioned NTSC standard definition video is at 29.97 frames per second, as is 1080i. They just round the numbers up to 30. So where does "60" come from? There are 29.97 FRAMES per second, but with interlaced video, you have twice the number of FIELDS, so that is 59.94, gets rounded to 60 when printing specs. But all refer to the same format. 1080i only has the one frame rate. With 1080p, then there are different frame rates available depending on the camera, such as 24, 30, 60 (or 25 for PAL).

So if one broadcaster wants 1080i and another wants NTSC, both are 29.97 interlaced formats, one HD and one SD, so just shoot 1080i and you will be able to export an NTSC format from your NLE as well then for the SD broadcaster's needs.

Best advice was to keep subject matter in that 4:3 area when shooting 16:9 (if you know you need to make a 4:3 deliverable), recently heard that from a broadcaster myself when I helped with a TV commercial shoot.

Thanks and good luck with the project
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Old December 20th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #9
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Re: Need Help and clairty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon Kolenda View Post
Ok, I'm about to take the plunge into a project locally that requires 2- 30 second broadcast spots for an up and coming political campaign.
The advice for video seems spot on: shoot 1080i60, edit as HD, deliver HD to one station, crop the 16x9 HD image to 4x3 and downsample to SD for the other station.

As nothing has been mentioned about audio, here goes: Digital audio for broadcast is usually specified with nominal program level at -20db below clipping and peaks at most -10db. In this case a calibrated VU meter will display -20db below clipping as 0vu. A similarly calibrated peak meter will display -10db below clipping as +10. This is supposed to be convenient for engineers used to analog meters.

Note that DVD and BD audio often has peaks as high as -3db below clipping and a much wider dynamic range than broadcast audio. For broadcast, use a dynamic range compressor to bring dialog levels up so they are above nominal level while keeping the peaks at -10db below clipping.

Strangely enough, clear audio is perhaps more important than clear video. Use something other than the built-in microphones. Even if you want the campaign spot to have a do-it-yourself blog style, it is better to record the audio with high-quality well-positioned microphones.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #10
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Re: Need Help and clairty

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Well, my (and every other) VG20 can shoot 1080/60i... it's an image quality setting. There are MULTIPLE bitrates you can choose from in 60i... none of which are a "constant" 20Mbps.

Are you expected to deliver raw footage for edit, or deliver a broadcast ready "product"? If the former, you've got some leeway, as most NLE's will ingest your footage... if the latter, you can do most of the adjustments to the footage in rendering.

Not to be snarky about it, but you look to be in WAY over your head here... and if you are not aware of the most basic functions on your camera, you're going to be in deep trouble trying to sort out NLE settings and final delivery formats. This isn't an "on the job trianing" situation.

Well it is On the job training. I will get it right, even if I have to rent a broadcast quality camera! I' feel that I can learn this and do this project. I have about 3 weeks to get things sorted out before production begins.

You are correct in that the VG20 can shoot 1080/60i there seems to be no 29.97fps. just 60i. 60p, and 24p
Will there be any slow down in the rendering if I render out per there PPro Spec which calla for 29.97fps?

Thank you
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Old December 20th, 2012, 01:10 PM   #11
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Re: Need Help and clairty

I think I have a grasp on it, I have shot a few videos now using a shot gun mike on a mike stand. Much better audio. I'm really thinking about getting the new JVC GY-HM600 Well see, I have a really good audio man that I will most likely have on the project when shooting. The other area I'm not clear on is the Mps rate.

I understand what it is basically, but in the VG-20 if you shoot at 1080/60i and at FX(24) I think that is 24Mbps. Is this a constant rate? Can't I set that when I render out from PPro?

Let me say, Thank you to all who have helped here,

Leon
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Old December 20th, 2012, 01:18 PM   #12
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Re: Need Help and clairty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Well, my (and every other) VG20 can shoot 1080/60i... it's an image quality setting. There are MULTIPLE bitrates you can choose from in 60i... none of which are a "constant" 20Mbps.

Are you expected to deliver raw footage for edit, or deliver a broadcast ready "product"? If the former, you've got some leeway, as most NLE's will ingest your footage... if the latter, you can do most of the adjustments to the footage in rendering.

Not to be snarky about it, but you look to be in WAY over your head here... and if you are not aware of the most basic functions on your camera, you're going to be in deep trouble trying to sort out NLE settings and final delivery formats. This isn't an "on the job trianing" situation.
How do you know that none of the bit rates are constant 20 Mbps, it seems to me that if I choose 1080/60I then I can choose HD FX (24) Mbps is this spec not constant?
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Old December 20th, 2012, 03:53 PM   #13
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Re: Need Help and clairty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon Kolenda View Post
You are correct in that the VG20 can shoot 1080/60i there seems to be no 29.97fps. just 60i. 60p, and 24p
Will there be any slow down in the rendering if I render out per there PPro Spec which calla for 29.97fps?
It comes back to terminology, and my earlier point - "Hence what used to be called 1080/60i should now be referred to as 1080i/30. Unfortunately, it's taking a long time for the old terminology to die out, and it's causing a lot of confusion in the meantime." - and you've just illustrated the point about the confusion well!

In short, with up to date terminology, it's more accurate to say the "VG20 can shoot 30i, 60p and 24p". And Jeff Pulera is correct when he says that 29.97i is even more accurate - saying "30i" is simply rounding up.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 05:07 PM   #14
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Re: Need Help and clairty

The specs that the broadcast company give you have nothing to do with your camera in this instance, and everything to do with what you need to supply them.

You can shoot the footage in any format or ratio or anything you want, as long as the output from your edit suite conforms to what they are expecting, (Programming is different, it generally has higher standards, but commercials generally have next to no quality controls other than bitrate/codec/filetype and audio levels conforming to what the station needs.)

In this instance, one has supplied you a compression preset for Premiere Pro - if you know your way around other compression software you should be able to get a similiar output that will work for them.

The other has asked for SD with no details of deliverable - this is a problem, you NEED to find out what file format you need to deliver it on. Don't ask further questions about HD versus SD, just find the guy with the tech specs for what they accept and get that sent to you, then figure out how to best convert your HD master to the SD deliverable.

Getting professionals to do this will mean that they will know about 95% of the gotchas and tech terms that get thrown around straight away, and will have to only spend a bit of time hassling the broadcasters to actually give them the right info. They won't have to get that info (not knowing what they are looking for) and then try to figure out what the tech specs mean, only to find out what has been supplied is incomplete (like being told 'just deliver it in SD', in a file based world that doesn't mean anything, even back when in a tape based world you still had to know what sort of tape to put it on.)

You can figure this stuff out for yourself, sure, but at the moment you have incomplete information from one network and lack the experience to interpret their lack of complete information, OR the more indepth information they have provided, and there is actually a lot that can go wrong here, having a professional who you at least can call up and talk you through things is the best way to go when doing this stuff for the first time.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 09:30 PM   #15
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Re: Need Help and clairty

Good advice! I'm planning on going directly to the stations tomorrow and get some straight answers.

Thank you for the input!

Leon
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