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Old February 21st, 2017, 09:10 AM   #1
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Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

Camera and NLE are different last time I did one of these. I'm a little confused by the 1080i in brackets in the specs for a 30 second spot on Comcast. Is 1920/29.97p the best format to use on the F3 or should I shoot 720p? I'm using FCP X and it has a 720p, 1080p/29.97 and 1080i/29.97i timelines.

Recommendations?
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Old February 21st, 2017, 10:11 AM   #2
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

1080i is INTERLACED video, 1080p is PROGRESSIVE. They are requesting 1080i. Shoot, edit, and deliver as 1080i then.

HD HQ mode: 1920 x 1080/59.94i

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Old February 23rd, 2017, 02:39 PM   #3
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

Thanks Jeff. I did some tests and found that the F3 60i had scan line artifacts when FCP X converted it to 30i. I shot at 30p and converted it to 30i no problem. Also shot a 720p safety.
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 02:56 PM   #4
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

"60i had scan line artifacts when FCP X converted it to 30i"

Camera manufacturers and NLEs play loose with the format labeling, but there is only ONE kind of 1080i. It has 29.97 frames per second, and 59.94 fields. It is sometimes called 30i or 60i, but it refers to the exact same format. There are no different frame rates (except overseas it is 50i).

Computer displays are not interlaced, so if FCP X is trying to show you both fields at once, you may have seen artifacting. In Premiere, it by default only shows one field or the other unless the user specifically chooses the "Both Fields" option. You can't judge interlacing on the computer, you would have to export and view on a TV, such as using a 1080i Blu-ray. Or use an output device like AJA or Black Magic, which can output a proper 1080i signal to a TV display (not computer display). That's the trick to working with interlaced material, preview outside the computer.

Please see attached, Adobe calls it "1080i30 (60i)". Confusing for sure!

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Old February 24th, 2017, 03:37 PM   #5
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

30i isn't a format that anyone uses. Ask your client to specify an exact format request and go with that.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 04:14 PM   #6
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

Actually some organisations call it 1080i25 or 1080i30 instead of 1080i50 and 1080i60.. They refer to the frame rate instead of the field rate.. Like the EBU

You don't often see that being used anymore though..
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Old February 24th, 2017, 04:22 PM   #7
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

@Marshall... sorry... I was lazy. I should have said 29.97 and 59.94 where I used 30 and 60. My bad.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 04:25 PM   #8
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

Standard shooting specs (USA) are 1080i 60i/30p/24p or 720p 60p/30p/24p. That's what I was getting at. Either way getting the client to specify their requested/required format shouldn't be a big deal. I get it confirmed by email for all shoots unless it's a standard client of mine, even then it's good practice. Good luck on your shoot.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 02:55 PM   #9
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

What you ultimately DELIVER to a client often has nothing to do with what you SHOOT. With the F3, I'd shoot 30P and deliver it as 1080i. That way, you'll retain the higher-end look of progressive video while delivering it in their requested format of 1080i. The best of both worlds. A 30-second spot shot in 1080i is going to look like cheap home video -- you want the look of progressive.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 07:05 PM   #10
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

Depends what the spot is of I think. If its sports related or has lots of action then 720P60 is likely the best and of course 60i would also meet this need. Which is what they have asked for in their spec. I am not a fan of the slow frame rates and like the real look personally. Too often poor camera work displays really bad judder that I find really disturbing. Higher frame rate is more forgiving.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 07:13 PM   #11
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

Show me any national TV spot done in the last 10 years (probably longer than that) that wasn't shot 24P or 30P. This excuse that 30P and 24P frame rates can't handle motion is complete bunk. Ever go to the movies? 24P. Even action movies are 24P. Nobody in their right mind would shoot 1080i or 720P in 2017 for a TV spot.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 01:13 AM   #12
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

I did say what was the spot. 24fps is a distribution frame rate was economic not esthetic. There was a need to find the lowest cost of celluloid for distribution to the movie houses while meeting the needs of quality from the optical sound tracks as well as flicker rate over 48. 24fps met that need with a 2 blade shutter. If sound was not an issue then lower frame rates with 3 blade shutter would have worked just like the consumer 8 mm projectors I have now. One with 3 blade and the other 5

Feature films are not always shot at 24fps as individual scenes can be shot lower and at much higher rates. You did know that Doug ?

As to video, the refresh rate in North America is 60hz so 24 P requires 2:3 pulldown to display within this refresh rate. So will not look the same on TV as in the cinema.

Now I feel the ideal acquisition is 4K 60P as this gives the freedom for post.The smooth motion that I like as well as the ability to extract 30p for a more film like esthetic or slowdown for a 30P slowmotion effect and crop into the image for a straight HD output. If you shoot at 30P its all you got.
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Old May 18th, 2017, 04:30 PM   #13
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

For me personally, I'm not a fan of 24p or 60p. To me 60 frame just screams "video" look too loud. Its nice sometimes and i will use for 1/2 speed slowdown sometimes. To me 30p is where its at. It lives nicely in a 60hertz world. It plays back smooth and can be formatted into 30/60psf perfectly over existing TV 60i standards. (And blu-ray)

For me, 30p is the perfect sweet spot between 24p and 60p and 60i broadcast without pulldown artifacts.

No? Anybody a fan of 3:2 or 2:3 pulldown to match 60i broadcast? Im not.

Last edited by Cliff Totten; May 18th, 2017 at 08:56 PM.
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Old May 18th, 2017, 06:03 PM   #14
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

Cliff, I completely agree and I am also a big fan of 30P. I shoot all my stock footage 30P because it's the most versatile frame-rate. It's easy for a stock footage customer to convert 30P to 24P by just letting their NLE drop frames, but going from 24P to 30P means artificially manufacturing six frames that never really existed before.

Someone might argue that 60P is even more versatile, and in some ways it is, but it's also a huge waste of data because file sizes will be 2x larger. There are very few outlets to deliver 60P so usually 50% of the frames that were captured are just going to be left on the cutting room floor anyway. 30P is the sweet spot between smooth motion, a progressive look, and economical files sizes. I generally only shoot 60 fps or faster when I know in advance that I will use the footage for slow motion.
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Old May 19th, 2017, 12:19 PM   #15
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Re: Shooting format for Cable TV using F3

I think it may well be worth some of you comparing the file sizes for 60P and 30P if you are using a Long GOP codec. As an example, using my AX100 for a 2min clip of the wind really blowing the tree around in my back garden, so lots of movement of leaves and branches filling the frame. 30P had a file size of 742MB and the 60P file was 749MB. The codec is the Sony XAVC-S at 50Mbps in both cases. Of course an i-Frame only codec or RAW would be double.
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