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H264 For Broadcast

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Casey Baugess
H264 For Broadcast
on Apr 2, 2010 at 10:56:12 pm

Hello Cow Community,

I am wondering about the amazing codec h.264. I am able to take a SD :30 tv spot and through Telestream Episdoe convert it into h264 at 10k bit rate and get the file size down to around 12mb. Is this file ok for stations to broadcast? Or do I need to use a standard dv codec from FCP?

I've had a tv station tell me the file size is too small for broadcast! I thought, so what! It looks perfect to me!

Has anyone had a similar experience? What is the 'industry standard'? I know some depends on what the tv station wants, but is that quality good enough if they accept it?



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Craig Seeman
Re: H264 For Broadcast
on Apr 2, 2010 at 11:29:34 pm

The TV Station needs to tell you the specs.

You need to be careful about how you express file sizes
12MBytes is not the same as 12mbits

I believe 30 second 12 MB file would be around 3200kb/s
At 30 seconds probably about 40MB size would be around 10,000kb/s

For HD spots using H.264 DGFastchannel Chicago wants(ed) 50,000kb/s for example. They also required Apple's codec.

They really need to give you complete specs though. They may need slate and black at head and tail. They may have an internal workflow that you must be compatible to.

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ryan loetscher
Re: H264 For Broadcast
on Jul 23, 2010 at 6:34:36 pm

I worked for 4 years as promotions supervisor at a news station... and I know that a lot of news stations do not broadcast H.264. But it shouldn't matter because most stations also take whatever they get if its compatible with their software and transcode it to what they use. It should be CBR... but H.264 is generic enough now that most stations should be able to use it. Problem is that, honestly, just because they're a station, doesn't mean they know what they're doing. Our engineers were idiots and rejected a lot of stuff that was perfectly useable, they just didn't know what to do with it.

For the most part you shouldn't need to export to something as small as H.264... you should ask what they accept and give them something high quality because they are just going to transcode it anyway... it wont go to air in your codec

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