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Old October 16th, 2003, 10:11 PM   #1
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MiniDV to Broadcast - TV Commercials?

I've been searching the forum on this, and just completed reading a DV production book cover to cover, but still can't find some clear guidelines on this.

I will be shooting content for a group of broadcast TV commercials using a GL2. Going to use a high end rental mic and get the audio right on the tape in the camera (not using external DAT or anything), and will likely use a second GL2 or equivilant to get some alternate camera angles. This part is nothing new for me.

I will be capturing all the content via firewire and using Vegas as an NLE platform. All material will remain in original .avi and .wav format to avoid generation losses. I think I know what I'm doing all the way up to exporting a final master for the broadcast stations to use. Normally I'd render a MPEG-2 in Vegas then burn it to a DVD if it were for my own use, but this has to meet broadcast formatting standards - and I'm lost. Help??

Please consider these requirements...

1. The spots will be aired by various different stations. Some I know for sure can use digital straight from MiniDV from past experience with them - in this case, I'd render a final output (including audio) from Vegas in .avi format, then print the .avi back to MiniDV via firewire, and hand the MiniDV to the station. Done deal. But what about the stations that don't use DV? What format do I need to provide them as an "industry standard"?

They would probably need Beta analog? (Note that I have no experience with Beta analog or ENG "shoulder brick" formats). If they do need beta analog, what's the best method of getting the DV to Beta? Keeping in mind this will never goto film, and is simply a TV spot, couldn't I just run analog audio and S-Video from a MiniDV deck to a rental Beta deck and just spin off a master this way? Overly simplistic I know, but will it work?

2. When I spin the master, as I understand it, I will run about 1 minute of tone and color bars, followed imediately by a data card, followed imediately by a count-down, and the last frame at the very end of the countdown should have a single blip of sound, a "2-pop" (which I still don't understand), then I should have 12 frames of black / starting video, then my audio should start at frame 12. The last note of audio should end 12 frames before the end, and the entire spot should be 29 sec & 20 frames long for a 30 second spot. Is this all correct?

3. And finally, should I put each individual spot on its own tape, following the above format? I will have probably 5 or 6 thirty second spots, and 4 or 5 fifteen second spots - so should I "print to tape" digital originals and actually use 10 tapes? Same with the analog Betas if needed?

And just when I thought I had my head around this digital video stuff... I have to deal with broadcasting standards. Augh!! Thanks everyone.
Kevin King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17th, 2003, 12:26 AM   #2
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Here's a thread where I had some similar questions.

I had to get a BETA SP tape made from a miniDV master. I would think they would want 1 tape per commercial, because they had pretty specialized timecode requirements for the content on the tape.

In Vegas, I put the broadcast colors effect across the master FX bus, and used the 'extremely conservative - 7.5 setup' preset. Hopefully this was OK for the color space requirements.
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Old October 17th, 2003, 06:54 PM   #3
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Hi Kevin,

You might be making this harder than it has to be.

Your idea of dubbing via S-Video and audio cables to a Beta deck will do the job just fine.

That's how I make copies of all my commercials and shows that air on broadcast stations, as well as for satellite distribution.

Mike Avery
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Old October 18th, 2003, 10:42 PM   #4
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Thanks Mike. I was a little overwhealmed by the whole thing. If I use S-Video and audio cables and dumb directly from the camera as the deck, will the BetaSP pick up the time code automatically also?

I know networks are real pickey on time code. I'll get the correct time code in my NLE so the spot starts at exactly 01:00:00, and want to make sure this code transfers correctly to the BetaSP master.

Thanks for the feedback!
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