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Video File Delivery for ABC

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Ricky Barrow
Video File Delivery for ABC
on Nov 19, 2013 at 9:43:03 pm

This 1 hour show will be recorded to KiPro, ProRes, 1280x720p 59.94 DF - I plan on editing in Avid project 720p 59.94. Can I adhere to the following specs from ABC directly from the Avid, if not what is the procedure from Avid MC 7.0.2?

HD FORMAT:
All ABC Network 720P 59.94 file masters are to be delivered as Sony XDCAM MPEG HD422.
WRAPPER:
All ABC Network 720p 59.94 file masters shall be wrapped as MXF OP1a.
ASPECT RATIO:
All HD Digital Masters are to retain original source aspect ratio of 16x9.
VIDEO ENCODING SPECIFICATION:
File-based HD video media shall be encoded using a licensed Sony XDCAM MPEG HD422 encoder, using the following specifications:
Codec: MPEG HD422 (MPEG-2 422P@ML)
Frame Size: 1280x720
Field Mode: Progressive
Frame Rate: 59.94 fps
Field Dominance: None
Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square
Color Depth: 8-bit
Data Rate: 50 Mb/s CBR
Time Code: Drop Frame
Any file not encoded correctly, per the Sony XDCAM MPEG HD422 specification and the specifications contained in this document will be subject to rejection.

Ricky


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Clement Hobbs
Re: Video File Delivery for ABC
on Nov 20, 2013 at 12:32:30 am

Hi Ricky,

Your best bet is to send a test file for them to check. There are so many variables that it's the only 100% sure way of nailing it when your edit is complete. We do this regularly prior to series delivery, once the encode profile is locked down we're good to go and the broadcasters are receptive to using test files to ensure everything is ok.
To be clear, we're not looking at audio or video levels with the test files. We're testing for container, video and audio essence compliance with their ingest systems, so the structure of the file itself. This can be done with production material that is not yet final.

On the surface, it looks as if Avid will export this format. Curiously your specs do not mention audio at all.

I exported a quick file from MC7 using a 720p 5994 project and noticed in VideoSpec that the PAR flag is left as 'undefined'. Hard to say how hard a line the broadcaster will tow in this area. Or is it simply Videospec that is reading the file incorrectly ... as I said, many variables.

In the era of file delivery (read as wild west), having a dedicated transcoding application is a must, or you outsource it. However significant amounts of money can be saved by doing it in house if you have the patience.

Clem


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Ricky Barrow
Re: Video File Delivery for ABC
on Nov 20, 2013 at 1:41:53 am

Thank you very much Clem. We typically use Sorenson and at times Adobe Media Encoder. I have not used Compressor, typically if I need to export ProRes I just open the Avid project on a MAC .... those are the only transcoding apps we have. A test file seems the best answer for the wrapper formatting, though I would also like to receive feedback regarding A/V levels. We have a Harris videotek that does show me gamut levels and I have the upper/lower alarms set to their specs.

Audio will be a bit difficult as I have no way to monitor the new loudness level (CALM Act) of -24LKFS - I have read about apps that analyze these things "after the fact" which would allow me to correct before finalizing the file. the specs: Linear PCM (big or little Endian) 48k etc is normal for us but I became a little confused when they start talking 8 channels (even when it is just a 2 channel stereo mix, something about a mono mix on channel 7? Anyway, I very much limited the specs I included in the post (they came from a 67 page document in combination with 3 other documents!!)

The documents sent to me listed 2 options for file formats: 1) ProRes, 1920x1080p, 23.98 DF 2) XDCAM 1280x720p 59.94 DF ----- I made decision to with XDCAM to stay on WinPC .... might be easier to go with 1920x1080 23.98 (23.976) and edit on PC then open project and export ProRes in conjunction with Compressor?? I believe I still have that choice as they are recording segments, 5 camera ISO's and Switched feed this coming weekend -------- I am almost over my head and really need advice!! We are not without our financial limitations as we are a non-profit church organization working on a Christmas Eve special to be used by ABC. The person feeding us information seems to be very controlling and I've yet to find the right avenue for contacting someone helpful at ABC.

Anyway - enough of my whining. I appreciate your input and will pursue a contact for sending a test file (they are asking we use Media Monorail).

Thanks again Clem!!

Ricky


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Clement Hobbs
Re: Video File Delivery for ABC
on Nov 20, 2013 at 2:04:31 am

Hi Ricky,

Given that you are shooting at 720p 5994 then you've made the right choice of file to send them imo as it keeps things relatively simple. That is of course if the Avid can make the file correctly. MC will export 8 channels of audio with the MXF OP1a setting.

A ProRes master is pretty simple to create, but then your source footage is not at 23.98, the frame rate they request in that format.

Our audio facility uses an LM100 from Dolby to measure loudness, we mix everything to ITU-R BS. 1770-2 specs over a floating 3 second window and that covers us. Without loudness monitoring it'll be extremely challenging to get it accepted. You may want an audio facility to have a look at an AAF file of your finished product and adjust to make sure you're ok. If you Google 'loudness monitoring in Media Composer' you'll find several products that can do this, so you might be able to cover it all.


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Job ter Burg
Re: Video File Delivery for ABC
on Nov 20, 2013 at 9:08:39 am

Avid feature an Op1A MXF export option (File->Export->Op1A-MXF) that I think will precisely match their specs. It's basically a 'fake' XDCAM HD disk export. Choose the 50Mbps from the dropdown, and if they want 8 channels (probably with the mix on 1&2 and 6 empty tracks), just check the 24-bit option. There is not even a way to export less than these 8 channels, they are part of this export format (which is basically XDCAM HD).

As for adhering to loudness standards, there are many ways to do this. A very easy one is to just make your mix, as you like it, then do a mixdown then run that mixdown through Grimm Audio's LevelNorm: http://www.grimmaudio.com/pro-products/software/levelnorm/


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Ricky Barrow
Re: Video File Delivery for ABC
on Nov 21, 2013 at 12:51:05 pm

TY Job - I'll definitely use this!

Ricky


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