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Old May 8th, 2009, 04:45 PM   #1
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HD program distribution

Do any of you know how HD programs are distributed to tv stations? We're looking at airing the program on about half a dozen regional stations - but one of them only gets their HD content by downloading off satellite.

Is Blu-Ray ever used as a distribution format? or some kind of tape format?

We're trying to decide if it's feasible to produce in HD, or if we should stick to SD.

thanks
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Old May 8th, 2009, 05:14 PM   #2
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I'd sure suggest contacting each of the stations directly, about what they are willing to accept (media types, file formats, codecs, etc.).
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Old May 8th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #3
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Contacting all the stations is a good idea, although there are several stations in each market.

I was hoping there might be a standard method that's widely used that I'm not familier with yet. Seems there must be others in this situation, needing limited distibution of HD programing.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 06:19 AM   #4
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some info I've found

It sounds like there isn't a "standard" method of HD distribution.

Some quotes I've read on message boards posted summer 2008:

"Many clients who place the orders have no idea what HD format their local broadcast station will accept or if they even accept HD content for local insertion."

"National distribution will be a nightmare for the time being... "

"I heard complaints all morning about national clients wanting to send HD spots when the stations don't even have HD playback capability"

"Master control ops in many mid size and even larger markets I spoke with are not geared up to accept HD content unless it's pulled off the bird..."

"All the confusion and uncertainty surrounding HD formats and delivery seems to be a lot bigger issue than I thought. The client just want their spots to be produced and distributed on HD because someone got them all hot and bothered over it and they don't have a clue what they're getting themselves (and the rest of us) into! urgh...."
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Old May 11th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #5
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more info

In talking with station engineers, I've found that most stations don't have facilities to capture and store HD programming.

Most network affiliates that are capable of broadcasting in HD just take their network HD programs 'live' off of satellite and pass them right thru thier transmitters.

Depending on the station, they may have one format of HD tape deck - and be able to copy an HD program onto their server, but most can't.

So we've decided to produce our project in SD instead of HD. Sounds like unless you're producing for a Network or Blu-Ray, distribution isn't advanced enough yet.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 10:26 PM   #6
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It's kind of disappointing that content is being created in HD, but stations can't handle it.

So much for that myth about analog broadcast ending and HD taking over. Looks like digital SD is all we'll get.

For your project you may want to check with a duplicator like lightning dubs to see what they know and can do for you. Maybe some station can take betacam HD, and you can use a dub house to convert the digital file to tape rather than buying a $100,000 deck.
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