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Down conversion gone wrong?

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Jim Carswell
Down conversion gone wrong?
on Nov 5, 2009 at 9:07:09 pm

Hello all,

I'm curious if I have done something wrong in my down conversion process. Editing with FCS 6.06 on an intel Mac Pro with Kona 3 card.

I edited a 1280x720 DVCPRO HD commercial. To down convert it for local broadcast I sent it through my Kona 3 card telling it to down convert to SD with letter box. I played back the end result on my Panasonic HD monitor- everything looked as expected. Letter box with pillars on either side. On my SD 4:3 monitor everything looked as expected. Letter boxed with the proper aspect ratio.

When the spot airs on local TV station's HD channels it's appearing to have two layers of pillar boxes and two layers of letter boxing. The result is a very small image on the screen. It is happening at more than one television station in the market.

Did I do something wrong? If so, what might that be? I down converted via SDI to a DVCPRO deck. And as I said everything in house looked perfect.

Your help is appreciated.

Jim

Jim Carswell
Spyhop Productions, Inc.
Savannah, GA
http://www.spyhopproductions.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Down conversion gone wrong?
on Nov 5, 2009 at 9:13:31 pm

Was your tape properly labeled? Sounds like somebody letterboxed it again during ingest.

I'm always careful to properly label each tape with the Format, fps, and Letterbox/anamorphic if applicable. I also all this information in the tape slate.

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Jim Carswell
Re: Down conversion gone wrong?
on Nov 5, 2009 at 9:30:13 pm

Walter,

Thanks for chiming in. Your perspective is always appreciated. You know, I was wondering if that might be the issue. I am trying to set up a meeting at the stations to see first hand how they handled the tape on ingest. If it's as simple as they letter-boxed it a second time than the remedy is simple and not an issue on my end. Other than perhaps more explicit labeling.

Thanks again,
Jim

Jim Carswell
Spyhop Productions, Inc.
Savannah, GA
http://www.spyhopproductions.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Down conversion gone wrong?
on Nov 6, 2009 at 1:37:42 am

Is this on HD televisions? If you watch a 4x3 SD image on an HD TV, it's pillarboxed. Add to that a letterbox, you then have a letterboxed 4x3 image that is then pillarboxed in the 16x9 TV. The result is a smaller image with black on all sides.


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Jim Carswell
Re: Down conversion gone wrong?
on Nov 6, 2009 at 2:13:34 pm

Jeremy,

I expect the image to be pillar boxed since it is an SD image on an HD television. But should it appear to be pillar boxed twice? As if there's pillar boxing inside of pillar boxing?

Jim

Jim Carswell
Spyhop Productions, Inc.
Savannah, GA
http://www.spyhopproductions.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Down conversion gone wrong?
on Nov 6, 2009 at 2:28:45 pm

Twice? No. Sounds like they botched the upconvert, but in my head I can't work out what they could have done unless instead of scaling up the image all the way to fill the vertical raster, they simply centered it at the native SD size. That would account for a double letterbox, double pillarbox. Basically, it's a 720x486 box in the middle of a 1920x1080 frame. Instead the 486 should be scaled to fill the 1080 frame. Hope that makes sense, I can draw it out later if it doesn't.

Jeremy


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Jim Carswell
Re: Down conversion gone wrong?
on Nov 9, 2009 at 5:53:56 pm

Okay, so I went to the local NBC affiliate to investigate the problem. They played the DVCPRO tape of the commercial for me on one of their decks straight into an SD monitor. And sure enough, the image was pillar boxed and letter boxed. That's on top of the letter boxing that occurred when I down converted from HD to SD for the tape out. The result is a much smaller image appearing on screen. The image did not look like this when I made the dub in my studio.

I returned to my studio and made another dub using the same process I did before- and everything looks perfect on my SD monitor via SDI. Just the letter boxing that occurred when I down converted the original edit to SD. The image files the monitor on the left and right. No pillar boxing.

A little more background: I edited the spot in HD 720 24p. I down converted to tape via the Kona 3 card and than logged and transfered that tape version to a Kona 525 29.97 timeline. I did this in order to insert a telephone number in the lower/right portion of the letter box. I than did a tape out of the final piece to DVCPRO via my Kona 3 card with SD to SD turned off so that there would be no vertical, horizontal, pillar boxing or letter boxing adjustments.

I'm going to take this latest dub I made back to the television station to see if it plays any differently than the first. But, at this point, I am really at a loss.

Is there some fault in my process?

Any insight is appreciated.

Thanks,
Jim

Jim Carswell
Spyhop Productions, Inc.
Savannah, GA
http://www.spyhopproductions.com


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