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Andy Hunt
encoding for broadcast
on May 11, 2010 at 4:21:53 pm

Hi- I'm relatively new to Hi Def but I am shooting everything on it now- Most TV Stations here allow me to send electronically- I subscribe to http://www.mailbigfile.com- but no one gives me specific encoding instructions so I just make-do. I use QT Conversion default settings with H264 compressor- I then change the size to NTSC 720 X 480 with 16 X 9 Aspect ratio and send it off. No one has complained but I was wondering if there is a better-more industry standard-way of doing it.

thanks

Andy


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Mark Petereit
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 11, 2010 at 8:58:40 pm

(Any way to subscribe to a thread without replying to it?)


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Dave LaRonde
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 11, 2010 at 11:15:06 pm

[Andy Hunt] "I then change the size to NTSC 720 X 480 with 16 X 9 Aspect ratio and send it off. No one has complained...."

Well, that's a surprise.

Here's a little factoid about SD TV broadcasting: there are NO flags in the signal to indicate that video is supposed to be widescreen. It's ALL in 4x3. No exceptions.

So they're either airing your carefully-crafted spots as if they're 4x3 -- meaning that everything gets a nasty horizontal squeeze -- or they're jumping through hoops to accommodate you and make it letterboxed.... neither of which is a good situation.

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


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Walter Soyka
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 6:49:06 pm

[Andy Hunt] "Hi- I'm relatively new to Hi Def but I am shooting everything on it now- Most TV Stations here allow me to send electronically- I subscribe to http://www.mailbigfile.com- but no one gives me specific encoding instructions so I just make-do. I use QT Conversion default settings with H264 compressor- I then change the size to NTSC 720 X 480 with 16 X 9 Aspect ratio and send it off. No one has complained but I was wondering if there is a better-more industry standard-way of doing it."

You might be able to get precise delivery specs for their playout systems, but you might need to talk to an engineer to get them.

That aside, do you have to downconvert from SD to HD, or can you deliver HD?

Also, have you looked at using Compressor instead of using QT conversion? You can get a lot more control over the encode.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Andy Hunt
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 6:59:07 pm

Hey thanks for the response- I'm gradually dragging info out of the TV Stations- many have no idea what I'm talking about but I've been following up and the word I've gotten back is that the spots I've been sending look great so I guess I'm doing something right. Here in Charleston Sc, they still only accept SD so I have to downconvert. I do use compressor sometimes and it works well.

Thanks so much!!!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 7:48:23 pm

...and if you want those stations to keep their mitts off your good-looking video as much as possible, start letterboxing your 16x9 stuff for SD.

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


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Mark Petereit
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 8:03:50 pm

Interesting! I'm up in Florence, SC. I've been holding off on TV advertising, waiting for the local stations to get their HD act together.

Do you have any examples of your SD down-converted commercials available on the net? I'd like to see how they look.

Mark Petereit
Family Worship Center, Florence
fwcflorence.com


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Andy Hunt
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 8:28:55 pm

OK, I just uploaded a spot that I shot in HD 720 30fps and converted for airing on local TV.

here's the link:







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Mark Petereit
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 9:03:35 pm

Nice work! Can you upload the version that you downconverted to SD for the local TV station?


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Andy Hunt
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 9:08:04 pm

Well, i never recorded to tape- most stations accept spots via FTP sites now so I simply encoded as a Quick Time but converted it to NTSC with a 16 X 9 aspect ratio- that's how it's running.

A


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Mark Petereit
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 9:39:48 pm

How does it appear when the station airs it? Letterboxed?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 8:43:52 pm

[Mark Petereit] "Do you have any examples of your SD down-converted commercials available on the net? I'd like to see how they look. "

Sorry, I don't. But I typically will use my Kona card to both downconvert with letterboxing AND add 3:2 pulldown. Works like a charm.

You can't beat hardware.....

And for converting directly to digital files from an HD timeline, Compressor does a workmanlike job.

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


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Mark Petereit
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 9:01:19 pm

Just seems strange to me that all the local TV stations have all the equipment they need to transmit HD from their networks, but none of them have the equipment necessary to handle a local HD commercial.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 9:56:49 pm

Well, think about that for a moment. Not every client does HD local spots. Do you mix SD & HD in the server? Do you just be done with it and go all-HD? And to do it for BROADCAST, do you happen to have the extra couple of tens of millions of dollar it would take to go all-HD?

3-4 studio cameras... about 12-15 news cameras... production department cameras... edit bays for both... a video archiving system for news..... control rooms... routing switcher system... HD news set (far, FAR different from an SD news set, and that's no bull)....

It's a lot different from going out and dropping $15K on a nifty new HD camera and a new RAID to upgrade a one-man operation to HD.

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


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Andy Hunt
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 9:06:10 pm

Hi Dave-I was a Promotion manager for years at WCSC-TV in Charleston and at WMAR-TV in Baltimore-been doing my own thing for 10 years now. The whole downconverting thing is confusing as well-I have a Kona Card and use it to down-convert to tape-works well.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 13, 2010 at 10:04:53 pm

Ooohhhh... WCSC and WMAR! Great reputations!

Do you enjoy not being in promotion anymore? Hope so!

It's gotten weird doing station image promotion over the past couple of years. Everybody's trying to find their way through effective web site designs, how to best utilize viewers' smart phones or live streaming... the target seems to be moving faster every week... how to brand it all....

Oh, and do it all on decreasing revenue, too.

And I gotta ask: no relation to Lee Hunt, right?

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


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Andy Hunt
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 14, 2010 at 3:22:14 pm

Naw, Don't miss it at all-not the way it is now- I worked during the golden age of promotion- went to Promax/BPME and CBS conference every year- had great production budgets, lots of perks etc- Working for myself is a dream come true.


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Walter Soyka
Re: encoding for broadcast
on May 20, 2010 at 3:50:17 am

A very relevant thread just popped up in the Business & Marketing forum:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/17/870348

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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