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Feb 2009 legal or not legal

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Devin Crane
Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 8, 2008 at 11:16:40 pm

Come Feb 2009 will there even be such a thing as illegal white levels? Or should I be more specific will it matter if my whites go above 100 while staying under 115ire?

Also I've talked to several of the broadcasters and all have no plans at this time to switch formats which means half will stay Beta SP the other Half DVCpro. Go figure.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 9, 2008 at 2:01:25 am

what are you talking about ?
Your levels must be at or below 100IRE, and most TV stations have legalizers/proc amps/clip amplifiers to process everything anyway.

Transmission is the only issue. They can remain all analog Beta/analog DVCPro, as long as the transmitted signal is a digital signal. Which means if they put an AJA FS-1 or similar product from Cobalt Digital, Miranda, Evertz, etc. just before transmission, they are now a digital station. It's got NOTHING to do with what they are editing with. People will continue to send in their VHS tapes to Americas Funniest Home Videos, and will continue to be aired (with crap VHS quality), as long as it gets frame sync-ed, and converted to SDI before it hits the transmitter. What do you think happens with all the cable feeds that are ALL DIGITAL today - do you think that they don't use Beta media ?

Bob Zelin




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Devin Crane
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 9, 2008 at 2:18:01 am

Ok so when Feb 2009 hits I will still have to keep the whites at or below 100 IRE?



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Bob Zelin
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 9, 2008 at 12:22:36 pm

yes -
standards will remain this way, and standards by many stations (like Discovery) will become more stringent. Discovery requires Sony SRW-5500 delivery, with 8 discreet channels of embedded audio. AND they demand that audio be monitored by a Dolby LM-100 audio meter. Now, I only have one client (Brighthouse Networks) that owns one of these, and I have no idea of how they can tell if the customer owns one of these meters, but that is the specification.

Delivery requirements are MUCH MORE than just watching your "white" levels - there are pages of documentation that must be adhered to that varies from each broadcast operation. These are called delivery specifications, that are available from each station TOC.

Is this a pain in the ass - YOU BET IT IS ! This is what editing manufaturers refer to as "conform products" - edit systems that can deliver a finished product (but people deliver on every piece of crap on the market - you can get away with anything these days, from most stations - but not all).

Bob zelin




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Devin Crane
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 9, 2008 at 1:58:06 pm

I understand the stations requirement lists, I have been dealing with this for years. And I understand that every station is different, I just want to know the changes in what's legal and not legal since NTSC will become obsolete in a matter of months. Or does everything stay the same from NTSC to ATSC.



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Joe Murray
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 9, 2008 at 4:49:19 pm

What Bob's getting at is that what's legal is whatever you can get away with, and this is going to be different from one network to another. PBS and Discovery have tighter standards than others, but if you want to be safe you'll continue to stay in spec. If you plan to deliver to networks that value quality, you should learn to work within the specs they require, and then you'll still be safe delivering to anyone else.



Joe Murray
Edit at Joe's
Charlotte, NC


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Devin Crane
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 9, 2008 at 5:09:49 pm

What I'm getting to is what's the difference in standards with NTSC and ATSC. I know every station will be different and have there own set rules.

However In NTSC white levels can't go above 100ire or else they interfere with the audio, also the setup levels are set to 7.5 and so on. ATSC shouldn't have those problems, I'm looking for someone who knows about this.



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Bob Zelin
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 9, 2008 at 5:17:31 pm

Listen Devin, is this you question - "I just want to know what to do so I am not driven crazy by all these different broadcasters".

This is the answer - you will be driven crazy for THE REST OF YOUR CAREER. I have been doing this (video engineering) since 1978, and since the stone age (linear editing), "nothing" is good enough, nothing that you do is "broadcast quality" according to those that want to torment you, and charge your clients for "fixes" that you did wrong (when you have done nothing wrong).

Over the years, I have ammassed a collection of test equipment, to use to prove to these morons that there is NOTHING WRONG with my clients tapes, and to this day, with all the test gear in the world, I still have clients tapes rejected by stations for "this and that", and not conforming to the delivery requirements.

This is part of the game, and you will face this FOREVER. The only place you don't get this is on Youtube (and other internet delivery services) - but JUST WAIT. As this becomes more mainstream (and God forbid - regulated) - there will be delivery requirement, and there will be a whole new set of rules (that both you and I don't understand) that will have to be met.

You can go out and buy a HD scope for $12,000 tomorrow, and the station will reject your tape because "the editors edit system replaced the close captioning in the vertical interval, and we can't read the close captioning information". It's never over Devin.


Bob Zelin




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Devin Crane
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 9, 2008 at 5:43:22 pm

A simple I don't know would be suffice.



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Bob Zelin
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 9, 2008 at 5:50:24 pm

Devin -
when you find the guy that says to you "yes, Devin, as of February 2009, you no longer have to worry about where your black levels or white levels are - those days are long over" - you know that you have met an idiot.

That is simple enough.

Bob Zelin




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Charlie King
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 9, 2008 at 6:20:48 pm

Bob,
You referred to the linear editing days as the stone age, does that mean since I started in B&W Live, I am pre stone age?
This thread brought up something that happened sometime in the 60's.
We had a tape turned down by one of the other TV stations stating it was not technically correct and would not playback on their machines.
My tape Operator told me to take a trip with him and we went to teh other station. He walked in sked if the tape loaded on their machine was running shortly, and was informed it didn't go for almost a half hour.
He took it down, purt up his "Ampex" test tape and set up their machine, put our tape on it played it back showed the guys it played good, took it down, set the machine back to where they had it set. Loaded their tape back up and turned to them and said don't ever send one of my tapes back saying it is no good.
As we were leaving they were going through their machine resetting it to proper standards.
No, some things never change. there is always gonna be someone that doesn;t wnat to accept your stuff. And yes BOB, if people will adhere to the standards for broadcast, they should have fewer problems.

Charlie

ProductionKing Video Services
Unmarked Door Productions
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada


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Bob Zelin
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 9, 2008 at 6:40:59 pm

My reply at the bottom -

Charlie writes -
We had a tape turned down by one of the other TV stations stating it was not technically correct and would not playback on their machines.
My tape Operator told me to take a trip with him and we went to teh other station. He walked in sked if the tape loaded on their machine was running shortly, and was informed it didn't go for almost a half hour.
He took it down, purt up his "Ampex" test tape and set up their machine, put our tape on it played it back showed the guys it played good, took it down, set the machine back to where they had it set. Loaded their tape back up and turned to them and said don't ever send one of my tapes back saying it is no good.
As we were leaving they were going through their machine resetting it to proper standards

CHARLIE !!!
I used to do the same thing. I used to freelance as an engineer at MTI in NY on 47th St. Years later, A&E took over the facility, and used this as their facility (so I knew this facility). A&E rejected a client's tapes, so I dragged the tape, my client, and a calibrated Tektronix monitor in a cab over to 47th and 2nd Ave. I barged into the machine room, went up to a machine not in use, plugged in my scope, and insisted that their "QC expert" come on over and show me what was wrong with the tape. They were using an old AF Associates blanking meter, that had an LED readout of the blanking, and was not measuring with the expanded H display on the waveform. DONT EVER REJECT ONE OF MY TAPES UNTIL YOU LEARN HOW TO READ A G-D DAMN WAVEFORM MONITOR ! (hey, my client was going to kill me, I had to do something).

I LOVE THE FLAMINGO HOTEL, and have stayed there for the past 6 years at NAB.

bob Zelin




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Jeff Bernstein
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 11, 2008 at 5:45:17 am

The thing that will really boil your blood is when you sit down with the person who wrote the technical requirements, and you ask them how they decided what those requirements should be, they usually don't know. Usually it is plagiarism.

If you look at the actual reasons for some of these specs, namely luminance capped at 100IRE, you will find that this was necessary because analog 'birds' or satellites have an issue where if that luminance goes over 100IRE, it bleeds into the audio subcarrier, which then causes an audio buzz. Similarly, the same thing could happen with B & W TVs with tube electronics (not just the CRT).

Considering that I don't think there are any distributors using a bird with baseband analog video anymore, I challenge these same 'geniuses' to justify continuing with this stupidity.

Similarly, with chroma, there is nothing in a either a satellite or terrestrial transmitter that has issues with chroma all the way up to 133 IRE. These limits were originally put in place to deal with the limitations of 1" Type C and Color-Under tape formats in which either reds would sparkle, in the case of Type C (depending on the TBC, Zeus was the best), or the chroma would bleed, like you see most easily in the beauty of VHS and S-VHS.

So, don't get me started. I think Bob and I should start our own video militia. Oh no, now the NSA is tracking the Cow.


Jeff Bernstein

Digital Desktop Consulting
Apple Pro Video VAR
XSAN Certified
MetaSAN Master Reseller

323-653-7611


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Charlie King
Re: Feb 2009 legal or not legal
on Jul 11, 2008 at 4:50:22 pm

[Jeff Bernstein] "If you look at the actual reasons for some of these specs, namely luminance capped at 100IRE, you will find that this was necessary because analog 'birds' or satellites have an issue where if that luminance goes over 100IRE, it bleeds into the audio subcarrier, which then causes an audio buzz. Similarly, the same thing could happen with B & W TVs with tube electronics (not just the CRT)."

This started long before there was a satellite other than the real moon. We had to watch video levels in B&W or the Transmitter would buzz and even in some instances kick off momentarily. Of course the color was started long before tyoe C 1". Our old 2" tapes could not handle chroma that high.

I believe in keeping standards not because someone told me to, but until someone tells me there is not 1 TV out there in the entire world that can not handle these signals, I will continue to produce with a standard of quality that I respect.

Oh by the way, I probably will not be producing much longer since I have decided to retire as of October 1 this year.

Charlie


ProductionKing Video Services
Unmarked Door Productions
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada


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Bob Zelin
Re: Feb 2009 legal - just for Devin Crane
on Jul 12, 2008 at 1:55:32 pm

Hi -
I just got this from a top editor that I know, that had his tapes rejected by HBO -
do you think that "no one" is looking at "the little things" anymore after reading this ?
And you want a simple answer Devin !!!!!
Bob Zelin

So, yesterday I find out the master failed QC. Here are the reasons:

1. The HBO tail logo freezes at the end and is also mono not stereo. I put in the logo that they had me download and did nothing to alter it. It was exactly as they provided it.

2. Several "glitches" at the bottom of the frame during credits. Turns out what they are calling "glitches" are actually a half line issue for 1 scan-line due to slomo. Part of the last line briefly flickers to white. BUT it's only visible in underscan. (More on that below.)

3. Part of the credits go out of safe title (but not safe action) by a couple of letters. BUT their guideline docs actually never define what they consider safe title nor even mention at all that credits have to be within safe title.




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Devin Crane
Re: Feb 2009 legal - just for Bob Zelin
on Jul 13, 2008 at 3:54:45 am

Bob,

I don't think you are understanding my question. Forget HBO, forget the discovery channel, forget WKRP, Does the ATSC have standards for broadcasts. I understand every station and network is different some say 100 ire some say no audio above -12db. I want to know what the ATSC says is acceptable.

Our local station still wants me to send a beta sp tape with the whites at 100 ire setup at 7.5 even after Feb 17, 2007. And you know what I will do what they say. It's just for my own fancy to know what the ATSC says is acceptable, or maybe it doesn't matter, they don't have any illegal levels and ATSC doesn't care.





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Jeff Bernstein
Re: Feb 2009 legal - just for Bob Zelin
on Jul 13, 2008 at 6:14:51 am

Devin,

All of these requirements are based on the particular network's delivery requirements. You will find that while there are some defacto similarities, there is no industry-wide accepted practices.

So, if you were provided a master that would only be broadcast in HD and never go to SD, as to levels, there should not be any illegal levels since, defined by its very delivery, you have a digital path, through and through.

With the exception of possibly HDNet, you will have a hard time finding a network that is 100% HD only.



Jeff Bernstein

Digital Desktop Consulting
Apple Pro Video VAR
XSAN Certified
MetaSAN Master Reseller

323-653-7611


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Devin Crane
Re: Feb 2009 legal - just for Bob Zelin
on Jul 13, 2008 at 2:03:40 pm

Still once again I'm not looking for an industry wide standard.



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Bob Zelin
Re: Feb 2009 legal - the ATSC broadcast standard
on Jul 13, 2008 at 2:11:41 pm

ATSC DATA BROADCAST STANDARD
(INCLUDING AMENDMENT 1 AND CORRIGENDUM 1 AND
CORRIGENDUM 2)ADVANCED

http://www.atsc.org/standards/a_90-with-att.pdf


SO, to answer your question, there is no specification for IRE levels in the ATSC standard. However, there are no specifications in SMPTE 259M or SMTPE 292M for IRE levels (or mV levels) for SDI or HD-SDI levels, either. However, you still must adhere to these levels. Why? I have NO F#$%ING idea why - it's on every damn scope, and it's required by every damn station. Where does it say in SMPTE 292M that you shall not exceed 700mV of peak white material for an HD-SDI standard? Yet if you don't, you get crucified.

This is why I am being a smart ass in my answers to you - because there ARE NO CLEAR ANSWERS - if your tapes get rejected, are you going to get a lawyer, and say "your honor, we wish to sue WXYZ, becuase we adhere to the ATSC and SMPTE standards for digital transmission, and these muther f#$%ers won't let me air my tape".

Bob Zelin




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Devin Crane
Re: Feb 2009 legal - the ATSC broadcast standard
on Jul 13, 2008 at 9:19:14 pm

Thank you, that's what I was looking for. I have no concern whatsoever about our tapes being rejected the only time a tape has been rejected of ours was due to a Beta deck gone bad. Even then all but 1 station accepted the tapes, go figure.



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Charlie King
Re: Feb 2009 legal - the ATSC broadcast standard
on Jul 14, 2008 at 2:12:02 pm

[Bob Zelin] "there ARE NO CLEAR ANSWERS"

When I first heard that the world was going digital a couple days or was it a couple decades ago. I was so excited that the world was finally going to have one set standard for the entire world.

Well, that elation was soon blown to hell when the manufacturers started coming up with standards for their equipment and stating that would be their standard. Then The networks started jumping on certain manufacturers equipment bandwagons and stating if I am spending this much money this will be our standard. Then the transmission people got in on it and came up with more than one transmission standard, and now the world is divided into more standards than it had in the analog world.

Bob, I am right there with you, and this is one of many reasons I am retiring. Too Many Frikin standards, and that means there is no standard. You have to please every broadcaster with his little petty ideas. As to video levels. I still say you can't go wrong if you adhere to the old original standards. No one ever rejected a tape because the PP levels were exactly 1 volt and not more.

The days of simple standards that were widely adhered to are gone, just take pride in the fact that you can still hold on to your values.

Charlie



ProductionKing Video Services
Unmarked Door Productions
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada


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Tom Matthies
Re: Feb 2009 legal - the ATSC broadcast standard
on Jul 17, 2008 at 9:32:22 pm

Amen Charlie.
I sat in my edit room yesterday trying to explain to a confused producer what the differences could be when delivering content in 4x3 or 16x9 depending on just what here end users required. She was totally baffled while I tried, in vein, to explain how her anamorphic 4x3 video could be displayed either as a letterboxed picture on a 4x3 monitor, as an anamorphic picture on a 4x3 monitor or as a wide screen picture on a 16x9 monitor...all depending on how I author the DVD she would deliver and on how the DVD players are set up. Here eyes were glazed over near the end. I simply asked her what the most common use would be for the video and told here to just sit back, let me author the DVD and to relax. She was getting a bit uptight at this point. "Too many choices" she muttered. Very true I thought. Someone please explain just how the transition to digital video is going to make things sooo much easier?

As for the original poster and the original question, go to this website for answers to all things digital in the video world. I've found it invaluable for information. But then...I'm a video geek.

Try:

http://www.tek.com/Measurement/applications/video/sd.html

BTW, I'm entering my 35th year in this business and I also cut my teeth on Quad machines, Editec editors, TEP editors, setting all those damn oscillators on the VR-2000 and VR-1200 decks, SCH/Phase and all of the other necessary evils of the NTSC world. Remember trying to flatten the RF envelopes on a Quad. Getting the EQ set correctly for all four heads. Trying to get rid of the damn banding on an out of house tape. Running live shows with 5 or 7 second prerolls on the tapes. RCA TS-51 switcher with those little "non-sync" buttons built right into the control panel for when the quads just refused to lock up to house sync and you had to revert to some other reference, usually "vertical" just to get the darn thing to play back without breaking up. Ah, but the smell of a new roll of Scotch tape when the cover was removed. The sound of the heads hitting the tape when the guides pulled in for playback. The good feeling you got when you managed to get that solid, perfect edit where there was absolutely no playback problems...and on the right frame as well. Ah, good times...good times.

Actually, we have it pretty easy these days. Put a tape in a deck and hit "play". How hard is that? Same old business. Just a new set of problems to deal with. That's how it's always worked. Always will too. Just a matter of paying attention and trying to keep up.
Tom




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