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What Happens in Vegas...
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:09 AM   #1
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Timecode

Question on timecode? In the past I have submitted tapes to TV stations complete. I now have one station that is inserting their commercials over "our" commercials. They need a written copy of the "timecode" to help them with the insertion. In the past "timecode" hasn't been a factor for us. I am totally ignorant about timecode. How is it used on a completed project and how do I get a printout? I don't think that it has to be printed on scenes. Does that make sense? Need your help soon. If needed you can send a private email to tony@anglersforchrist.com
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 11:18 AM   #2
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What tape format are you submitting, recorded on what deck?

Generally, timecode on tape is like an embedded counter that a deck will display but won't be visible in the video. Typically, you'd log the timecode of your commercial breaks while looking at tape. No printout - you'll do this logging yourself and type it up.

If perchance you are delivering on a hard drive or data DVD or such, the file's timecode will match what's on your Vegas timeline (right click and set the timeline to the format the station wants, NDF or DF).
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 12:26 PM   #3
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We're submitting on mini dv.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 05:43 PM   #4
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Recorded on what deck?

Even on a camcorder, you should be able to search through the tape and log your commmercial breaks.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:51 PM   #5
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In high-end broadcast work, the broadcaster will specify what happens at what timecodes, with the program starting at 01:00:00.00 (1 hour; sometimes 10 hour), and they'll specify drop-frame or non-drop-frame timecode (DF drops timecode numbers to keep relationship with real time). You can setup your deck to start the timecode wherever you want, and then you edit in your program at one hour.

In your case... you might want to talk to your broadcaster to clarify things. Because it seems like they're making up their own system.

2- In Vegas, you can assemble edit starting from 00:00:00.00, so that your timecodes on tape will correspond to what's on your timeline (though there's a small chance that things are a frame off). So you can easily figure out where the timecodes that correspond to commercials are... just go through your timeline.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 11:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan View Post
3- Pay attention to drop frame versus non-drop. There's a few frames of difference between the two.
Broadcasters prefer drop-frame time mode. Over one hour, the difference between drop frame and non-drop frame mode is 108 frames.
That's nothing to us "amateurs" but it's almost 4 sec. to a network where shows are scheduled to the exact second.

As far as timings, stick the tape into any miniDV camcorder and read them directly off the screen. This way it's WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).

BTW, if anyone is interested, Time Code tutorial is an excellent PDF paper from Leitch, a well-known company in the broadcast business.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 10:42 AM   #7
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I know that it is simple enough to manually record timecode for commercial breaks on the timeline. Do I not also have to take into consideration bars & tone, etc.- spaces or anything not on timeline? One last stupid question- Do I have to capture final edited tape, bars, spaces, etc. to a time line to get an accurate timecode reading for my tv station? I thought it would be simple enough for them if I inserted black spaces where the commercials go.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #8
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I'd ask the station exactly what they want/need from you.
It's easy enough to add bars & tone and a simple countdown slate to the beginning of your Vegas project and then just render all of it.

As far as commercial timing, simply tell them the exact time codes for the start and end of each commercial break or, if you do fades to/from black at the end/start of each segment, note what those times are.

Once again, all you have to do is a print-to-tape and watch the tape afterwards to make accurate notes as to these times.

The reason I say to watch it afterwards is to take into account any timecode offsets that may occcur during this process. By that, I mean that it takes time for your camcorder to come up to speed and the times on your Vegas timeline may not exactly match what ends up on tape.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 03:59 PM   #9
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If you're delivering a bunch of 30s commercials, broadcasters usually want NDF (but DF is sometimes ok).
If you're delivering anything long, they always want DF. As Mike mentioned, they can't let their station slip behind 4 seconds... that will screw everything up.

2- If you want to be safe, you can add bumpers before and after you come out of a commercial. Have a freeze frame of a still image (not moving video), and silent audio for a few seconds. If you (or they) cut on non-silent audio, then you can get a click and that's no good.

If they miss by a few frames, then it's no big deal if it's over a bumper.

3- If you do an assemble edit from Vegas (in the print to tape window somewhere...), then you can get the timecode in your timeline to match up to what's on tape. Not sure what assemble edit is called in Vegas.
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