We recently delivered some TV spots (HD versions and SD letterboxed downconverts) via DG Fast Channel. The masters were compressed via the DG provided encoder with Telestream Episode. The client called earlier and said that the SD spots appear "blurred" and "pixelated" whenever camera cards and the logo are on screen.
Now, I have seen the on air HD spots and they look good. Some artifacting, but nothing above and beyond the spoils of broadcast encoding. However, tonight I did watch the SD broadcast and the camera cards and logo are a little pixelated. Nothing catastrophic, but it certainly is noticeable.
Is this a traditional issue with local affiliates broadcasting? Or could it be a problem with the master file? I checked the master quicktime and it is clean. I called DG and they confirmed it is clean on their end as well. When I talked to the stations, they said that the files they received looked fine and that their logs show nothing out of the ordinary.
Am I just overreacting and not realizing how truly dreadful some stations standards truly are?
Maybe the local station reconverted it to a dv codec or cross-converted it to fit their play-out system. Always assume small stations are going to do somemthing the very cheapest, most horrible way possible. Because they don't have the budget for proper infrastructure, their signal chains can get very Rube Goldberg.