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Bob Grow
Codec question
on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:36:04 pm

My company is working with an ad agency to digitally distribute commercials for an upcoming ad campaign. According to my contact at the agency, their production facility is so busy they don't have time to save compressed versions of the spots. The first two files I received from them were uncompressed 30 second spots, 720x480 @ 29.97 fps - which were about 800 megs each.

What's the standard codec for digital distribution? If I ask them to give me H264 or MPEG4, am I going to get laughed at?

Thanks in advance.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Codec question
on Apr 23, 2008 at 11:27:28 pm

My advice: contact the company that's going to distribute the spot for you. Simply explain your situation, without making any apologies. Explanations, perhaps; apologies, no. I think you'll find they'll be quite respectful and helpful.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Bob Grow
Re: Codec question
on Apr 24, 2008 at 12:13:41 am

> My advice: contact the company that's going to distribute the spot for you. Simply explain your situation, without making any apologies. Explanations, perhaps; apologies, no. I think you'll find they'll be quite respectful and helpful.

What I'm dealing with here is layers of bureaucracy consisting of sales people who want to control the flow of information yet know nothing technically. They won't allow me to call anyone at the agency because they think they'll look stupid.

One of the formats they're posting to our site is 720x405 using the Apple Animation format. What broadcast formats support this resolution? None of the standard ones as far as I can tell.

Like I said earlier, the production facility is handing the uncompressed files off to a third party to be exported out of QuickTime. Something doesn't smell right, but I don't know exactly what to say to my manager.

Some please give me some ammo here...

Thanks!



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Gary Hazen
Re: Codec question
on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:05:51 pm

"What's the standard codec for digital distribution?"
I think it would help if you defined "digital distribution".
Are you delivering a file that will be played back on the web?
Are you delivering a file that will be downloaded and ingested into a system for additional editing or used in a playout server?

For spot delivery to broadcast outlets I think Telestream and DG systems use I-frame MPEG-2 compression to send files over IP. I don't know the specifics of the data rate, etc.

Again I'm not really sure what you mean by "digital distribution".
And 720 x 405 is not a broadcast size. If you have a 720 x 486 FHA (full height anamorphic) video you can scale it to 720 x 405 for web use. I suppose you could bring the 720 x 405 file into AE and output a letterboxed 4:3 file (720 x 486).




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Dave LaRonde
Re: Codec question
on Apr 25, 2008 at 5:41:24 pm

[Bob Grow] "What I'm dealing with here is layers of bureaucracy consisting of sales people who want to control the flow of information yet know nothing technically. They won't allow me to call anyone at the agency because they think they'll look stupid."

Please clarify a few points:
• Where are these paranoid sales people: your company, the agency, or someplace else?
• Why would you need to call the agency -- to get the name of the distributor? An ad agency sure as hell isn't going to do the distribution!
• And does this agency ALSO have its own production facilities, does it lease them, or does the agency simply not regard your business as buing very valuable?
• If you have the spot in hand, what's stopping you from sidestepping the stinkin' agency, calling a TV production facility in your area and asking THEM any pertinent questions about spot distribution -- they deal with such issues all the time!

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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