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Old March 30th, 2013, 03:42 PM   #1
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what is meant by broadcast quality?

Forgive me for being naive but exactly what is broadcast quality i.e settings for audio or image or is it a colour thing etc?
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Old March 30th, 2013, 04:00 PM   #2
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Re: what is meant by broadcast quality?

Broadcast quality is an elusive, slippery term. It really depends on the broadcaster. We're referring to HD.

For instance, the EBU has a Tier system of what video codec is allowed for which type of programming. High end dramas and documentaries have the highest standards of acceptance, with the minimum accepted standard at 50mbps, 4:2:2 color. For TV news stories, they seem to have settled for 35mbps, 4:2:0 color.

Discovery networks have a standard ranking called Gold, Silver and Bronze, with Gold being the top level. They also demand a 50mbps, 4:2:2 color minimum at this top level.

35mm film is considered a top level recording medium, while 16mm can only be used for SD content or a small percentage of an HD program. HDV is pretty much looked at like 16mm film.

But there have been many top rated programs that have been shot entirely in "non-broadcast" codecs. Many shows have been shot entirely in HDV, "Deadliest Catch" being a prime example. I recently shot a segment of a popular bridal program in HDV. I also shot a program for Showtime using the 24mbps AVCHD codec.
And I shot another popular cooking program using SD cameras, uprezzed to HD.

So, what is broadcast quality? It's pretty much whatever the TV broadcasters will accept.
But a camera that can shoot at least a 50mbps, 4:2:2 codec is a safe bet.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 05:22 PM   #3
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Re: what is meant by broadcast quality?

Thanks Glen for the thorough response.
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 06:12 PM   #4
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Re: what is meant by broadcast quality?

B/C quality? It's another way of TV folk telling you your program content is crap and they don't want it.
Submit enough of it and they'll pull the plug off your house. :)

Years ago I worked producing at Radio 2UE here and visitors on the station tour used to ask, 'Excuse me, where's the plug for my house?
To keep the tour moving, save time and avoid embarrassing them with a long involved explanation, we'd take them aside and answer,
'Over there behind that rack'

A few would ask, 'Can I see it'? 'Sorry, the engineers are busy right now'

But you had to do it deadpan or else.

Cheers.
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Last edited by Allan Black; April 2nd, 2013 at 07:20 PM.
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