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Old April 24th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #1
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What exactly is "broadcast standard"?

I'm working on a little 30 second TV commercial for a friend. I called a local cable company (Time Warner) and asked for a technical stardards document that would tell me what all I need to give them.

HER: "We don't have one".

ME: (not knowing anything about this stuff) "Umm..OK, what do you accept?

HER: "Beta SP. Others on case by case basis if it's broadcast quality".

ME: Ummm..OK. What about timings and black video? That type of stuff?"

HER: "The usual broadcast standard, sir"

ME: "Umm...what's that?"

HER: "Bars & tone 30-60 seconds, 10 seconds
black, 8 second countdown slate, 2 seconds black, then the spot/video."

ME: "Umm....OK, thanks."


So my question is, is the 30 seconds, 10 seconds, 8, 2, then spot "broadcast standard"? Like it's universal? Any cable company would accept this? And what does she mean, "broadcast quality"? Something particular I need to do to it? Like color correct?

Sorry for the dumb questions. But I have to learn some how. :)
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Old April 25th, 2006, 09:25 AM   #2
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To answer the 1st part of your question, the answer is yes. The bars, slate, black, countdown are all standard. As far as broadcast quality is concerned, that's a whole seperate issue. I've personally seen commercials on my cable company that look less than professional quality, however if your levels are all correct when you output to tape you should have no issues. I edit with final cut and I always make sure my levels are within the standard guidelines before the tape is sent out. A lot of cable companies still want the spot on beta sp format. So that's pretty standard. I'm not sure what your shooting and editing with, but as an example , I shoot with a canon xl1 and edit with final cut and I have no issues. Hope that helps you.

Mark
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Old April 25th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #3
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Broadcast quality means that the signal overall is acceptable for broadcast under the NTSC standards(ie: can they legally transmit the signal within FCC regulations). Has nothing to do with how pretty or ugly the content might be. The bars and tone, slate, countdown are 'conventions' of the industry and aren't legally required. It's like saying the standard billing cycle for all wedding videographers is Net 30 but there may be exceptions.

So folks do equate the term 'broadcast quality' with how nice the picture and sound are.

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Old April 25th, 2006, 09:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bournes
I shoot with a canon xl1 and edit with final cut and I have no issues. Hope that helps you.

Mark
I have and XL2 and a GL2. I edit with Adobe Premier Pro. So I'm going to guess I would have no issues with "broadcast quality"?
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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:05 AM   #5
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Greg is correct:

Broadcast Quality = Good content, sound and picture quality.

Broadcast Standard = NTSC regs etc. Vector scopes and such.

FCP will put out to NTSC Standards and has an optional Bars, Tone and Slate to Countdown, Premier Pro should too.

XL1's are adequate cameras for Broadcast Standard. But in Broadcast television there is always a better camera. (or one coming soon!)
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Old April 25th, 2006, 12:24 PM   #6
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What does it typically cost to have someone else transfer a finished video to Beta SP format?
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Old April 25th, 2006, 01:53 PM   #7
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Question

Is the standard for bars MSPTE, 100 % or 75%??
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Old April 26th, 2006, 12:17 PM   #8
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I would ask them for their deliverables requirements. I used to work for a TWC, and they do have them. My guess is that person just wasn't aware of it.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 10:20 PM   #9
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SMPTE bars usually refer to the 75% version.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 07:21 AM   #10
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Production houses will get you for over a couple hundred bucks to make a Beta SP dub. You could try a local broadcast rental company and they may do it for half that.

What I typically do to put a final product on Beta SP is make a Mini DV master and then dub it to Beta SP.

If you guys are having problems getting your stuff dubbed over, I have the decks and will gladly help you if you like... for much cheaper than a production house would do it, just pay my assistant.

Shoot me an e-mail and we'll work out a plan.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 10:39 AM   #11
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Hey Adam, I might be able to do that for you. I'm sending you a pm.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 01:11 PM   #12
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Time Warner Quality Issue

Hey Guys,
I recently did 30 sec commercial for a local pizza shop, using Canon XL H1, the, then I delivered in DVD, the quality was excellent. I beleive they trasnfered the DVD to Beta, and when I saw the commercial on TV, it was half of the quality if not lower.
I was wondering how can I take advantage of my camera and deliver better quality. I just dont get it, how the national TV commercials are in very high quality, and local commercials are very low quality, same Cable Company, HD XL H1 camera, maybe I do something wrong?

Thank you
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Old August 1st, 2006, 01:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerses Papoyan
I beleive they trasnfered the DVD to Beta, and when I saw the commercial on TV, it was half of the quality if not lower.
I was wondering how can I take advantage of my camera and deliver better quality.

Deliver better quality? Don't deliver on DVD. That would be considered a bit of a broadcast no-no.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 01:34 PM   #14
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There is a differance between just transfering from one format to another - deck to deck- and having someone correct the levels for output to a format that is then handed over for broadcast. Supervised transfers will cost you more however, give you better results. 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. PBS has one of the hardest "broadcast quality" checks in the nation. I have heard of them sending your masters back with actual time code notations of what frames are not allowed. You then go back and tweek those frames and hand them another tape to look at.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 04:09 PM   #15
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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.
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