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Quicktime for broadcast

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Alexander Wolf
Quicktime for broadcast
on Oct 14, 2009 at 11:57:41 am

I've made a short item for Dutch public broadcasting (EX1, 1080p) and asked the producer if I could deliver in QT, which she said was fine.
However when I asked for the file specs, I didn't get clear info, except that they broadcast in SD. The person she finally referred me to didn't really know so I called up an acquintance who has shot quite a lot for TV and he told me to export uncompressed. I chose to drop the sequence into a DV-PAL anamorphic timeline and export 8-bit uncompressed. The resulting QT-file was squashed but the anamorphic signal would tell the AVID-set to play it out as 16x9

Well, the file didn't play at all in the AVID at the broadcaster and finally the guy who operates the AVID said (after a conversation in which he tried to convince me mp4 is not QT, then later asking for MP2...) he would look into the specifics.

Later that day he emailed me with the specs for an h.264 file. I gave it to them but I also told them h.264 is heavily compressed and I couldn't imagine that was the way to go for broadcast...

Obviously this workflow with delivering files as opposed to tapes is still very confusing and very few people know what they're talking about.(including me- that's why I asked for specifics)There must be at least one guy or girl who knows what (s)he's doing there but I didn't get to talk to him/her...

Sorry for this long post but... does anyone here have a clue how to best deliver a QT-file for SD broadcast in PAL? (I'll be shooting 720P next time)

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Alex Elkins
Re: Quicktime for broadcast
on Oct 14, 2009 at 12:24:09 pm

Hi Alexander,

I often deliver commercials as Quicktime files. The company who distribute the commercials to the channels specify that I deliver SD anamorphic with PhotoJPEG compression. The quality is pretty good and seems to be compatible with various other systems from my experiance. That said, I've no idea whether the PhotoJPEG format would work with an Avid, but I'm sure someone will tell you.

You could also consider exporting to an Avid DNX codec, which you can download from the Avid website.

One thing is I'd recommend doing your conversion to SD using Compressor, not FCP. Render your HD timeline to ProRes (not XDCam), export, then bring that file into Compressor for the conversion.

All the best,
Alex Elkins

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