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Old August 1st, 2006, 08:47 PM   #16
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National spots were shot on 35mm, transferred to DIGIBETA or higher - supervised of course - and edited usually at a post house with a very pricey machine.
35mm film is usually transferred with color enhancement, by a colorist (that's all they do) who's using a color correction system (i.e. a da Vinci 2k, ~$800k). They can isolate color corrections to specific areas of an image... for really detailed work. It goes beyond simply tweaking video levels.

The scanner also costs a big chunk of money... an average film transfer suite might run $2 million.

An example workflow is:
shoot
dailies - transfer film to video; very simple transfer, minimal correction
offline edit
final color correction
online edit (picture), sound editing
broadcast master

At the low end of the scale, news broadcasts will be ok with poor technical quality (i.e. you have tornade footage on VHS). There are also some TV shows shot on miniDV- this happens with reality and mockumentary-type shows. A show like Trailer Park Boys intentionally shoots on miniDV (PD150?). Not that you can necessarily pull that off... cheaper technology doesn't necessarily democratize the industry.

2- For broadcast requirements, your best bet would be to ask the broadcaster for their technical delivery specs. There is a general recipe for broadcast masters, but sometimes the broadcasters will have very specific requirements (program starts at 1 hour or 10 hour mark; DF or NDF timecode; maximum chroma levels allowed; where program breaks occur).

The PAL world is more standardized because of the work of CHEFF:
http://cheff.sohonet.co.uk/ChEFF%20C...cification.doc

3- For low-end work (i.e. delivery on formats other than betaSP, digital betacam, HDCAM) the broadcaster may (or may not) have an operator who takes your tape in and manually sorts everything out- they figure out when your program/ad starts, and they figure out your video levels.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 08:51 PM   #17
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Hi Guys
As well as having the chroma & luminance levels etc at the correct settings there is also an issue with the number of lines associated with the format that you use. For example Pal broadcast analogue is 625 lines of information but Pal VHS is only 400 lines so your image is of a poorer quailty even if your chroma & luminance levels are at the correct settings. Super VHS is about 420 lines and I think Mini DV is at about 585 lines so really with the old analogue system (and I will probably get shot for saying) mini dv is only just acceptable as broadcast standard. Here in Australia there is something known as FACTS wich is the industry standard set out by the governing body. That says something like, you need 1 min of colour bars, 10 sec of black x amount of clapper an 8 sec counter starting from 10 with 2 sec of black & half a second of silence at the head & tail before audio starts & finishes. Check around the internet you will probably find a similar setup in the US.
Hope this helps.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 09:59 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jeff Phelps
I've seen very low quality video on the local PBS channels. I'm very surprised to hear that they have more rigorous standards. Can you elablorate a little more about the kind of thing they would say wasn't allowed Craig? I'm working on a documentary with an eye toward PBS so I'm very interested.
I can only say that several of my cleints have had to redo their DIGIBETA master due to technical errors. They were sent back their master tape with a very detailed list of problems to correct before the show could be broadcast. The range of problems detailed on those lists is from audio to video so I really don't have any more specifics, sorry. Are you viewing national programing or local programing? and are you viewing a cable feed or airwaves? National programing that is then sent to locals and then piped back out to the homeviewer will be subject to several problems inherant with that pathway and should not be a final judge of what the original summited work looked like. Good luck
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Old August 1st, 2006, 10:15 PM   #19
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As well as having the chroma & luminance levels etc at the correct settings there is also an issue with the number of lines associated with the format that you use. For example Pal broadcast analogue is 625 lines of information but Pal VHS is only 400 lines so your image is of a poorer quailty even if your chroma & luminance levels are at the correct settings. Super VHS is about 420 lines and I think Mini DV is at about 585 lines so really with the old analogue system (and I will probably get shot for saying) mini dv is only just acceptable as broadcast standard. Here in Australia there is something known as FACTS wich is the industry standard set out by the governing body. That says something like, you need 1 min of colour bars, 10 sec of black x amount of clapper an 8 sec counter starting from 10 with 2 sec of black & half a second of silence at the head & tail before audio starts & finishes. Check around the internet you will probably find a similar setup in the US.
PAL is 625 lines... but that is for vertical resolution, and only so many of those lines are used for active picture.

The other lines of resolution figures refer to horizontal resolution, probably TV lines per picture height. It's important to specify a certain amplitude modulation used for measurement, this will affect the # of lines you get.

2- What I was really saying is that certain material will be broadcast for its content... even if its technical quality ain't great.

3- Your lines of resolution figures may be slightly erroneous. MiniDV is limited to no more than 540 TV lines / pH because the frame size is 720 X whatever (720 / 4:3 = 540).

SVHS has significantly better resolution than VHS.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 12:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Chartier
Are you viewing national programing or local programing? and are you viewing a cable feed or airwaves? National programing that is then sent to locals and then piped back out to the homeviewer will be subject to several problems inherant with that pathway and should not be a final judge of what the original summited work looked like.
What I see that doesn't look very well on my local PBS channels is generally stuff that is produced for one of the 3 states in my area. The stuff that comes from the national PBS source doesn't look as bad as the state stuff but it still isn't up the quality of other tv networks. Some of it is quite bad in fact.

I generally am watching these channels on my Dish Network satellite system though I do occasionally watch what is broadcast locally on an antenna. The quality doesn't seem to change from one system to the other.

For some reason the quality of the PBS video in my area is just far inferior to pretty much every other channel on my satellite. I don't know why but it's surprising to hear that PBS is more demanding than other networks as far as the quality of the video.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 02:47 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Phelps
For some reason the quality of the PBS video in my area is just far inferior to pretty much every other channel on my satellite. I don't know why but it's surprising to hear that PBS is more demanding than other networks as far as the quality of the video.
As I understand it, not all channels get the same compression from the satellite providers. The bigger networks get less compression to maintain picture quality while the smaller ones get more compression. It just may be that PBS is considered to be a lesser priority with lower viewing numbers and so gets compressed more.

-gb-
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 10:26 AM   #22
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That may be possible Greg but it looks the same when I watch it on my antenna. I don't believe it is connected to my satellite system.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 11:00 AM   #23
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"Delivering a DVD is a broadcast no-no"?

Hummm. I've done quite a few commercial for cable insert. I always deliver an avi file on a DVD and the cable company (production division) transfers the footage to BetaSP.

I've used this method with several cable companies and no problems so far. Considering that the cable production services charge about $250 for a 30 second spot (that's really 29 seconds) and most of them use less than pro-sumer equipment, I figure they're just happy I'm not giving them Super 8 film :)

Same experience with local CBS and Fox affiliates. The CBS affiliate did gripe the first time. (they charge $300 for spot production) After I explained that my/their client wanted to use my production and if they couldn't accomodate us, we'd just buy a schedule on the NBC affiliate - da, da - the changed their tune in a hurry.

I probably couldn't get away with this in a metropolitan market, but for now it works.

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Old August 2nd, 2006, 11:06 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bird
"Delivering a DVD is a broadcast no-no"?

Hummm. I've done quite a few commercial for cable insert. I always deliver an avi file on a DVD and the cable company (production division) transfers the footage to BetaSP.
Are we confusing media with format? If you have an avi file on a DVD, it could be IMAX quality. If it is burned as a video DVD, then it is just a video DVD.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 11:10 AM   #25
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I'm ALWAYS confused :)

Yes, you're right...a file on a DVD is not a video DVD...I should have clarified my statement a little further. Sorry about that.
db
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 08:47 PM   #26
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AVI vs DVD

So I should burn AVI on DVD as Data DVD and deliver AVI file?
When I see the Commercial on my Video Monitor, the Colors are excellent. I purchase Canon XL H1 to deliver better quality then the competitors in town, but it seems it was waist.
Another question I have, what about MTV reallity shows, ot lets say MTV cribs, what kind of cameras they use, how come they deliver perfect quality on TV? What can I do to be able to deliver better quality then competitors who are using cheaper camcorders.


Thank you in advance
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:44 PM   #27
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most, not all, MTV shows were shot on the Sony IMX format until recently, when they switched over to XDCAM.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 10:03 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Chartier
most, not all, MTV shows were shot on the Sony IMX format until recently, when they switched over to XDCAM.
Craig, XDCAM is not a format per se, it's a media type. The standard def XDCAM PDW-530 cameras can do DVCAM format and IMX @ 30, 40 & 50 mbs.

The XDCAM HD cameras do DVCAM and MPEG @HL in 18mbs VBR, 25mbs CBR, and 35mbs VBR.

My point being that MTV might still be shooting in IMX, but utilizing the advantages of the XDCAM workflow.

regards,

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Old August 2nd, 2006, 11:07 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bird
"Delivering a DVD is a broadcast no-no"?

Hummm. I've done quite a few commercial for cable insert. I always deliver an avi file on a DVD and the cable company (production division) transfers the footage to BetaSP.
In effect, they did the conversion for you and took a hit on their media buy price. You had leverage because your client had a media buy.

In many cases, the production company has no such pull. Don't get me wrong, it's cool that you made it work, but it would be dubious to assume a facility has the means to lay an AVI or QT of whatever codec to the tape format they use for air.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 08:48 AM   #30
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Nate,
I agree....if I run into a situation where the exact specs (format) are required, I'll have to deliver.
db
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