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Bryce Douglass
4:3 TV safe area confusion
on Jan 22, 2019 at 1:31:32 pm
Last Edited By Bryce Douglass on Jan 22, 2019 at 1:32:16 pm

Hello,

I have a documentary that I'm editing. I shot it in 1920x1080 I have an interview with three people at a table. Some of them were talking and conversing back and forth so I needed all three on camera sometimes. I turned on the 4:3 title safe area and is it just me or will the two ladies at either end of the frame be cut off if I have this broadcasted on say PBS or some other station that airs it in SD? Is there a way to fix this? I also will be adding lower thirds will a grey border and all their names under each person so the text will be cut off to if the ladies will be. I can't go back and refilm the interview. I'm done filming and already charged for the filming and these ladies aren't available anymore as it was the only time they could all get together.
Here is a screenshot of the safe area. Also what if someone is watching my documentary on TV and happens to still have an old fashioned box tv from the 60s? My gram still has one of those in her living room.



Bryce


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 4:3 TV safe area confusion
on Jan 22, 2019 at 3:45:38 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Jan 22, 2019 at 5:56:02 pm

If you know you'll need a 4x3 version, you'll need a separate timeline and you'll need to animate the clips' horizontal positions to get the edge speakers in the shot when they speak. If they speak at the same time, you'll have to chose one or the other.

Not much else you can do!
Oh, there's one thing -- you can check to see if you do indeed need 4x3.... which should be a no-brainer.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Bryce Douglass
Re: 4:3 TV safe area confusion
on Jan 22, 2019 at 8:42:52 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Oh, there's one thing -- you can check to see if you do indeed need 4x3.... which should be a no-brainer.
"


isn't all SD 4:3 or is that not true?

Bryce


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Mark Suszko
Re: 4:3 TV safe area confusion
on Jan 22, 2019 at 8:57:17 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Jan 22, 2019 at 9:14:28 pm

No, you -can- have wide-screen16x9 in standard def' -that's how DVD's look.

We've shot in anamorphic standard def DVCPro50 in 16x9. That's not HD but it IS wide-screen.

Since broadcast TV is now digital, Grandma ain't going to see anything on the old square TV without a digital OTA tuner-converter, or a cable box with analog TV-out, which will put up the wide-screen picture of your show as a letter-boxed image, if I'm right. Some cable systems may use SD sub-channels for lower-tier content, but generally you still feed those from a higher quality original source.

And if you were a good grandchild, you'd have gotten her a modern replacement set by now (JK).

If you shot it in HD with the idea that you can do "punch-in"'s to a single from one master wide 3-shot during the edit, well, that's definitely possible. I do that with my hobby videos sometimes. But that trick works best if you capture in 4K resolution at least, and output to 2K or lower. At only 2K resolution on the source video, punch-ins to singles and 2-shots will still look noticeably grainier and more pixellated.

You can get the tech specs from the station and alleviate your concerns. Call the station and ask for the Chief Engineer's office, tell whomever answers the phone that you are editing a show to play on their station and need to know the deliverables for their broadcast specs. I recommend you do that now, before you do much more work that may need to be re-done to meet standards.


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Mark Suszko
Re: 4:3 TV safe area confusion
on Jan 22, 2019 at 9:22:24 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Jan 22, 2019 at 11:15:39 pm

I can also tell from that still grab, you have a lot of audio problems ahead of you.

Do you really mean this is going to be a "PBS" show, or do you really mean "local cable access TV"? I'm beginning to think you really mean Public Access and not PBS.

I've been looking at a "standards" document on deliverables, from one of the Cable channels we ship public access programming to, from our shop. Your mileage may vary, of course. You can look this up on the web site for your particular local cable company under "public access production information", or something like that.

Their Cable standard around here calls for an mpeg 2 file in 4:3 aspect ratio, (let's do the time warp again!) for their access channel programming. You can tell by this, they give up free bandwidth to serve the public only grudgingly and under duress. It's literally the least they can do, by law.

They go on to say in the list of deliverables, you can letterbox your wide-screen programming to fit that 4x3 box, and if you shot wide-screen originally, that's what I'd suggest you output as, letterboxed 16x9 inside a 4:3. If you submit a full-frame wide-screen, they say they will squeeze it to fit 4x3 and that looks terrible, even if a viewer adjusts their TV at their end to "un-squeeze" it. I wouldn't count on viewers to know how to be able to do that, so I think your best bet is the letter-boxing. Their last suggestion is to crop the 16:9 to a center-punched 4:3, but unless you shot everything with that in mind, it's going to look horrible. I have had to think this thru for my own shows, and basically that's what I'm doing: is shooting wide screen but "protecting" for 4:3. That is, I make sure the very most important stuff stays in the center 4:3 marker zone. Then I master the program as two distinct edits: the high def, high quality, 16:9 version for YouTube and Vimeo, etc., and the 4:3 pauper version for Comcast. These days I'm pretty sure the YouTube one is going to get seen more. That's not my fault. That's because commercial pressure to kill Public Access drives the standards.

Most letter-boxing is black, top and bottom. But I don't know for sure that that's mandatory. Which means there is space in that real estate for some "branding" graphics, if you're feeling "sporty". Nothing that would distract from the content in the middle, of course. But a soft, tone-on-tone logo of the show name could go there, and even phone/ web info or the dates of the next broadcast.


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Bryce Douglass
Re: 4:3 TV safe area confusion
on Jan 24, 2019 at 1:53:57 am

[Mark Suszko] "I can also tell from that still grab, you have a lot of audio problems ahead of you. "

um no, Audio sounds great. In fact an audio engineer is mixing it. It's a lav mic and it picks up all three people perfectly fine. No distortion nothing.

Bryce


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Mark Suszko
Re: 4:3 TV safe area confusion
on Jan 24, 2019 at 4:22:35 am

You using it as a boundary mic?


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Bryce Douglass
Re: 4:3 TV safe area confusion
on Jan 24, 2019 at 12:13:48 pm

It picks up all three people and I also have a shotgun on a stand next to the table you can't see I blend the two together. Sounds fine

Bryce


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