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brad hebert
TV Encoding/Formats
on Mar 21, 2011 at 7:16:13 pm

Regarding a "Video Encoding" position at a major network, can anyone describe what might be involved?

Is there certain software that is used at major network TV level?

Would it simply be a wide variety of formats, encoding highlights for the web, etc.?

Any info into this world would be very appreciated.


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Bob Zelin
Re: TV Encoding/Formats
on Mar 22, 2011 at 2:17:24 pm

extensive use of the Telestream product line, and/or Digital Rapids.

There are wonderful Telestream forums on Creative Cow. Ultimately, the stations probably use Telestream Flip Factory and/or AdManager (I am guessing).

Bob Zelin



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Michael Kammes
Re: TV Encoding/Formats
on Mar 22, 2011 at 2:43:43 pm

Agreed. I see most use in these realms. DR and Telestream.

What I have been seeing (and in the #2 and #3 market, no less) is use of consumer encoding apps (Sorenson, Compressor, etc). Why? Because some enterprising person at the NOC knows encoding well enough to tweak the hell out of the encoding app. This usually means multiple hoops to jump through and no automation. Excellent (rolls eyes).

Know MXF up and down. Most playout servers and spots for syndication, etc. will need to be uploaded to a server. Many of the playout severs like MXF wrapped files. The engineer at your station should be able to provide you with specs. DR Stream and Telestream Flip Factory as really good about being able to do this almost on the fly. Products like Compressor, Sorenson - will take some work.

Know 4x3 and 16x9. Elementary? No. You'll need to generate down converts, including those that are anamorphic, letterbox, pillarbox, etc.

Experiment with QT Refs if the infrastructure allows for it. It will great speed up transoding time and quality, for both you and the editor.

Know MPEG2. SD & HD. This is a common format for media exchange to syndicates, it's lightweight and is good for light CPU usage (relatively speaking) It can be SD or HD.

Those are, of course, broadcast in nature.

For the web, know h.264. That's pretty much the standard as HTML5 gains adoption, and Flash supports h.264 in the Flash wrapper. It's also a format most mobile devices can play. Know the different profiles of h.264 and everything surrounding it.

Years ago, there used to be a job called a "compressionist". They sat in a room and created MPEG2 for DVD's all day. They blended the art of encoding (image quality, motion) with the science of bits and bytes. That day has largely passed, and IMHO, it's now more about the science - encode it and get it out, quality be damned. Maybe you can help restore the balance to the force?

Good luck, may your encodes be swift, and your uploads unbroken.

~Michael



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brad hebert
Re: TV Encoding/Formats
on Mar 22, 2011 at 4:06:25 pm

Thank you so much! What a well written and comprehensive post. I have a lot of research to do now... after I check out your links.


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brad hebert
Re: TV Encoding/Formats
on Mar 22, 2011 at 4:06:57 pm

Excellent. Thank you!


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