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Broadcast standards for a commercial?

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Keith Goldstein
Broadcast standards for a commercial?
on Mar 13, 2012 at 7:21:12 pm

We focus on web video. We usually shoot in 1080p 29.97, and send out an H.264 at that size (we edit in ProRes 422, but that file size is far too impractical for clients). Tomorrow we are shooting commercials for broadcast. Is that any kind of standard (or a general idea) that we should follow? I don't see the video being a problem, but as far as motion graphics go, should they be created at 24 fps instead of 30? The client hasn't told us anything about the delivery to the distributor, so I don't know the technical aspect on their end. Thus, I am looking more for a general rule of thumb. Any help would be great.


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John Heagy
Re: Broadcast standards for a commercial?
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:18:46 pm

You can continue to shoot in 1080p 29.97 as that is compatible with 1080i 59.94 broadcasts. Your graphics should match what you shoot and edit so they would also be 1080p 29.97.

The only reason to shoot 24p is if there are International deliverables.

John


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Keith Goldstein
Re: Broadcast standards for a commercial?
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:25:28 pm

How about interlaced vs progressive? I'm afraid that creating progressive motion graphics (for approval) and then transcoding to interlaced could cause stuttering in the graphics.


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John Heagy
Re: Broadcast standards for a commercial?
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:39:36 pm

No need to transcode to 1080i interlaced. 1080p 29.97 "lives" inside 1080i 59.94 just fine unaltered. Remember the frame rate of 1080i is still 29.97, the field rate is 59.94. 1080i 29.97 is a more accurate name as there are 29.97 interlaced frames per second. Fields are just two images interlaced together into a single frame. In 1080p 29.97 there is only one image and a 1080i stream really doesn't care.

John


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Broadcast standards for a commercial?
on Mar 15, 2012 at 8:41:56 pm

Since this is a broadcast spot, it will be broadcast in both HD and SD. Every station I know center-punches 16x9 HD video to create the 4x3 SD picture. No letterboxing.

So make sure all your essential graphics -- name supers, logos, prices, etc. -- remain in 4x3 Title Safe. If you want, you can push it a bit and flirt with the edges of 4x3 Action Safe.

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


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Ann Clark
Re: Broadcast standards for a commercial?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 1:06:10 am

Dave,

Thanks for your inside scoop on this.

Question -

What does your station (and others you know of) do with an SD commercial? Is it run only on your SD channel, or is it pillar-boxed to run on HD as well?

Many of the nets we air on either seem still to prefer SD format, or they take both, but as you say, the text and imagery on the HD spot should be formatted for center-cut.

Your thoughts?

MacPro 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 14GB memory - OSX10.6.8 FCP7


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Broadcast standards for a commercial?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:32:03 pm

My station is now all-HD and we center-punch HD for air in SD. We still air SD spots: they air in 4x3 in SD, and pillarboxed in HD.

I was under the impression that ALL SD broadcasting in NTSC-Land was 4x3, but I was wrong. The CBS affiliate across town now does local origination (newscasts, etc.) in SD 16x9 -- it shows up as 16x9 in HD, and 4x3 in SD. Their network and most syndicated stuff airs as "normal" HD.

I recall when the first rumblings of high-definitioin TV took place. It was being touted as "a single worldwide standard". HA! There are TWO varities of HD broadcast in NTSC! Plus SD! And PAL is even more confusing, with a larger variety of SD screen aspect ratios.

Delivery specs for local broadcast are all over the place. That's why it's so important to contact the broadcaster. Just about the only thing you can count on is to keep all critical action in 4x3 action safe, and all critical graphics in 4x3 title safe. Which kind of defeats the whole idea of having a 16x9 picture, no?

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


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