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Quality of video when broadcasted is crappy

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Jason Olsen
Quality of video when broadcasted is crappy
on Dec 12, 2005 at 4:11:37 pm

Everytime I do a local commercial when its on the computer it looks great. Preview monitor looks great. Home television off a dv tape looks great. when I see them running on tv the colors look washed out and the sounds is lower than the other commercials? I supply comcast with a mini dv tape thats outputted from final cut and when I look at the tape before I give it to comcast it looks great!
????

JOlsen


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Matte
Re: Quality of video when broadcasted is crappy
on Dec 12, 2005 at 4:23:46 pm

First, make sure YOUR Bars and Tone are accurate to your program material.

Thenn, ask your client's SALES REP to ask the dubbing engineer to "take special care" to set your tapes up properly every time they "put them into" their playback system.

The SALES REP can explain that the client is "unhappy" with the playback quality and they need to keep the clients "happy".

That should at least get your tapes some needed attention.


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Ryan
Re: Quality of video when broadcasted is crappy
by
on Dec 25, 2005 at 3:50:33 pm

What Matte said is the best advice you will ever get. As a broadcast engineer, I have to line up content for two stations. We check the bars and tone. Then find what appears to be the brightest and darkest part of say a commercial, then we raise the blacks so they don't go under 0 IRE, and lower the whites so they don't go above 100 IRE. Audio is set with a combination of a dialnorm meter and a VU/ppm meter.

The volume of content that is ingested in a day prevents us from being able to ride the levels through-out, so we adjust for the maximums. In a perfect world there should be no adjustment after setting to bars and tone. But I have seen some wacky ass levels from the highest end of commercial productions houses.

But hey, that is where "Never Twice the Same Colour" came from. Everyone has a different generator for bars and tone.


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Matt Sowder
Re: Quality of video when broadcasted is crappy
on Dec 13, 2005 at 6:07:43 pm

You could always get them dubbed to the station's format of choice (providing you have a shop that can do that for you). These folks should have the issue transferring DV to Beta (for example) worked out. You've got all sorts of set up, color space, volume levels that needs to be set up correctly.

Matt Sowder
Fiddler's Ridge Productions


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Quality of video when broadcasted is crappy
on Dec 15, 2005 at 12:03:49 am

It's tough to answer based on your description of the problem, but I know what I'd do if I were in your shoes: I'd start by looking at what I was doing.

You have FCP, so you have built-in scopes. Are ths scopes set up for broadcast? If not, you could be getting false readings. Drag out the FCP manual and make sure your settings are right.

Then look at the timeline with the waveform monitor and vectorscope: are your video levels right? Are the whites in your supers too hot? Are your colors oversaturated? If the video or the colors are too hot, any engineer is going to fix it to make it right... and the only alternatives are to boost the setup (making the blacks less black), drop the video level (making the overall picture a bit darker to make up for a too-shite super) and reduce the chroma (washing out the legal colors).

Are you using a video monitor, or just the monitor on your computer? If you're checking your chroma and levels just by eyeballing a computer monitor, it's no wonder you're off; a picture that looks fine on a TV monitor wil look washed-out on a computer monitor. That's why you need to watch those FCP scopes like a hawk.

If you're assured yourself that your stuff is within specs, then it's time to start looking at the people who run your spots. I'd begin by asking them if you could give them the spot as a digital file on a CD or a DVD, and ask them what they need... will they accept Quicktimes in Animation codec, the current king of lossless compression? Do they HAVE to have DV25, where the quality suffers on repeated compression and recompression? Do they want MPEG2's, which a lot of broadcast playback systems use?

If you can give them JUST what they need, so that all they have to do is ingest a file into their system without messing with a tape machine, you're in control throughout the entire process and your stuff may look better.



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Quality of video when broadcasted is crappy
on Dec 15, 2005 at 12:03:49 am

It's tough to answer based on your description of the problem, but I know what I'd do if I were in your shoes: I'd start by looking at what I was doing.

You have FCP, so you have built-in scopes. Are ths scopes set up for broadcast? If not, you could be getting false readings. Drag out the FCP manual and make sure your settings are right.

Then look at the timeline with the waveform monitor and vectorscope: are your video levels right? Are the whites in your supers too hot? Are your colors oversaturated? If the video or the colors are too hot, any engineer is going to fix it to make it right... and the only alternatives are to boost the setup (making the blacks less black), drop the video level (making the overall picture a bit darker to make up for a too-shite super) and reduce the chroma (washing out the legal colors).

Are you using a video monitor, or just the monitor on your computer? If you're checking your chroma and levels just by eyeballing a computer monitor, it's no wonder you're off; a picture that looks fine on a TV monitor wil look washed-out on a computer monitor. That's why you need to watch those FCP scopes like a hawk.

If you're assured yourself that your stuff is within specs, then it's time to start looking at the people who run your spots. I'd begin by asking them if you could give them the spot as a digital file on a CD or a DVD, and ask them what they need... will they accept Quicktimes in Animation codec, the current king of lossless compression? Do they HAVE to have DV25, where the quality suffers on repeated compression and recompression? Do they want MPEG2's, which a lot of broadcast playback systems use?

If you can give them JUST what they need, so that all they have to do is ingest a file into their system without messing with a tape machine, you're in control throughout the entire process and your stuff may look better.



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Jason Olsen
Re: Quality of video when broadcasted is crappy
on Dec 15, 2005 at 11:49:03 pm

Thanks guys for the info. Now heres a newbe question....How do I read the vectorscopes? Is there a site that can explain the basics?? It all looks greek to me!

JOlsen


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Frank Otto
Re: Quality of video when broadcasted is crappy
on Dec 16, 2005 at 3:55:27 pm

Here ya go, Jason:

http://www.tek.com/Measurement/cgi-bin/framed.pl?Document=/Measurement/tuto...

This is the Tektronix site...Tektronix is the leader in test measurment equipment and they have a e-learning center that will give you everythingh you want to know about the video signal.

Cheers,

Frank Otto



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cowcowcowcow
richard_victoria_bc_canada
link to on-line tutorial
on Jan 8, 2006 at 6:53:55 pm

http://www.tek.com/Measurement/cgi-bin/framed.pl?Document=/Measurement/App_...

--------------------
Still using five Avid ABVB systems.

Richard Games
Victoria, BC, Canada


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