BUSINESS AND MARKETING: Business and Marketing Forum Business and Marketing Articles

HD Broadcast Commercials

COW Forums : Business & Marketing

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Todd Terry
HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 20, 2010 at 3:40:32 pm

Hey kids...

Any of you in here delivering broadcast commercials in HD?

We just started doing that, and I'm looking to improve it a little.

I don't want to cross post by giving all the nuts and bolts of it here, but please feel free to look at my post in the "Compression" forum at http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/20/864387

Thanks!


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 20, 2010 at 4:00:39 pm

We do develop and deliver some PSA's in HD, but it is spotty: there is a lot of confusion and gaps in who can take it and in what format they want it. And we serve a #3or #4 market. Some stations will take an HD tape but only a certain format, others can take an FTP and that's the wave of the future, but again, all asking for different codecs and formats and delivery paths, some want the FTP file to have bars, tone, slate, countdown, others want the file to start on the first fade-up frame....

And a whole bunch run their network feeds in HD but still take all the locally inserted stuff in SD only, so we still get requests for betaSP dubs of our HD work. Makes me put a forhead-shaped dent in the desk top to hear that. I am so hoping that Bluray evolves into a common hard-media standard, and one standardized FTP in 720/24p for everything else, because I'll be hornswaggled if I'll ship out hard drives or data cards that will never come back.


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 20, 2010 at 4:06:02 pm

Well, I've been pleased with how easy it has been to just hand them a file on a Data DVD and they just pop it right in a server (we could FTP it, but the television station is literally within walking distance of our studio).

I'm just looking for ideas on improving the way it looks on the air. It looks good... very good... but I think it can be better. I guess I won't be satisfied until it looks as good in my house as it does here watching a master at the office. Or at least close.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






Return to posts index


Mark Suszko
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 20, 2010 at 4:29:08 pm

If you're talkng about that hospital thing, it looks darned good indeed. As far as what happend once it gets inside the station's shop... I don't know that you can protect the quality past that point. Many stations have internal signal flow and QC processes from hell, and you can't change that from outside. You can only give them your best and hope.


Return to posts index

Chris Blair
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 20, 2010 at 4:50:38 pm

Todd,

I responded in the compression forum.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


Return to posts index

Aaron Cadieux
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 20, 2010 at 5:00:14 pm

Are you talking local commercials? In my region, only a very small number of stations accept HD material. Hopefully in your region stations are more with the times. It's sad when people shoot in HD and have no way to deliver in HD. Meanwhile other people have their SD spots upconverted to HD and they look like crap.



Return to posts index


Todd Terry
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 20, 2010 at 5:41:20 pm

Yes, Aaron... commercials.

Yes, we have one station in our market that accepts HD commercials... or, at least they did ours, which was the very first one they accepted and first one in the market.

I'm just trying to improve the way it looks on air. I have no troubles with getting them to do it, accept it, or try it, or play out of the HD servers... I just think the on-air results could be better. There are some very minor (but noticeable, at least to me) compression issues going on.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






Return to posts index

Aaron Cadieux
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 20, 2010 at 5:57:54 pm

Todd,

It's funny you mention compression issues. I send spots out of here on a regular basis that look very clean, and the quality is very high. We distribute most of our spots using DGFastChannel. The files we provide DG look fantastic, but once I see them on the air, they look TERRIBLE. There is definatley some re-compression going on with television stations. It's very frustrating to see what should be a high-quality spot on the air that ends up looking like crap. Most of the time the compression results in a washed-out look with boxy pixels making up the image. It sounds like your situation isn't quite as dramatic.

-Aaron



Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 20, 2010 at 6:11:13 pm

[Aaron Cadieux] "It sounds like your situation isn't quite as dramatic."

No, actually it's pretty minor... just worrisome. I might be the only one who notices it, and that's from standing two feet away from a 50" 1080p monitor. But there is definitely some compression artifacting going on that is not in the delivered file. Would love to get rid of it... or at least reduce it.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






Return to posts index


Mark Suszko
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 20, 2010 at 6:50:46 pm

If you take their CE to lunch, mayebe you can find out what pagan rituals they perform on your work internally once you hand it off, and if you can deliver a master that is already formatted to the exact specifications of their end product that goes to air... maybe then you could impreve on it a little. The objective would be a file that is 100 percent native to their play-out server, not to what they say they take in at the front door.


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 20, 2010 at 7:19:46 pm

Yeah Mark... if only it were that so simple.

Like a lot of television stations, they don't always know how they are doing everything, they just know that it works... ha.

Their CE is a heckuva nice guy and VERY helpful (we've been working with him directly), but he's in a newly-inherited position. He's one of those typical older-guy broadcast engineers, but he's new to the CE job. They couldn't even tell me what kind of files to try, we had to do that by trial and error. We're playing our spots out of the same servers that broadcast "Ellen" and "Dr. Oz" for them in HD, but the guys don't even know what kind of files those are on their system. They just hit "record" on their servers and take the feed for re-broadcast later. I do know that they record those feeds at 35Mbps, and the file we gave them is 80Mbps... so if anything I think it'd look as good or better. It's a head scratcher.

The problem is definitely not cooperation... they're wildly helpful, and actually excited about the prospect. But the info they seem to be able to get their hands on is a little sketchy.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






Return to posts index

Chris Blair
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 21, 2010 at 2:13:44 am

We've found that many of the local stations and cable systems use Telestream products, from Telestream Episode Engine to Telestream Pipeline and all manner of versions in between.

Telestream makes GREAT products but what most of the people we've dealt with do is use a preset and watch folders. What happens is the file is either uploaded via FTP to a folder. Once it's there, Telestream's software looks at the file, determines it's parameters, then encodes it to the station or cable system's predetermined preset. People are not involved. The spot is then automatically routed to the appropriate server ready for air.

Let me repeat...people are not involved. NOBODY looks at the spot before it airs! So even if you give them a spot that's in the EXACT same format and uses the EXACT same settings that their playout server requires, your file most likely gets recompressed.

What we've found happens quite often is that this generic system often examines files and makes mistakes. So it will look at a file that's shot at 24P with pulldown, determine that it's 60i, then for some reason reverse the fields in the encoded file. So you end up with video with epilepsy inducing motion judder. They're hard to watch. Our local cable company gets promos from their national arm (which appear to either be shot of film or shot with 24P video) and consistently the fields are reversed when they air. They'll run that way for months, heck years! I've complained about the problem with our spots and worked with their engineering staff repeatedly but the problem never goes away.

One of the local affiliates has the same system and has the exact same problem. Weirder still, the problem doesn't occur on 60i or 30p projects.

I finally contacted Telestream, who was VERY helpful and responsive. They had me send them our file and determined that the station and cable system were reversing the fields and suggested I reverse the fields when I encoded it to fix the issue. The problem with there is that we'd have to output one file for these two stations, and another for the other 4 or 5 in our market, which is a recipe for disaster.

Telestream then gave me a fix to suggest to the stations, which was placing a filter in the "source" bin, which would make more calculations about the fields before determining how to encode the video to the target file. I suggested this to the stations, but only one person at both places was even allowed into the system to make changes, and you guessed it, they were unwilling to make changes to their system.

So moral to the story? We give these folks betaSP dubs when we have a spot that originated in 24P. They still get compressed a ton, but at least they get the field order right.

What I think is unacceptable is that NOBODY looks at the spots at any point in their preparation to go on the air. So you can provide a pristine product either on tape or in a compressed file, but there's simply little chance it will look the way it's supposed to when it airs.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


Return to posts index


Todd Terry
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 21, 2010 at 3:14:25 am

Yeah, Chris, I hear ya....

The 24p issue was the first one we dealt with. We do almost everything at 23.976, so that's what we initially gave them as a master file. Unfortunately, the server didn't recognize it to play it that way, so it played it back at 30fps... quite a bit speedy (only video, the audio played normally).

In the end, we did gave them a file from a 60i output... still looks fine, but now plays properly.

I spoke to the chief engineer again this afternoon who absolutely positively 100% swears on his life that our file is NOT being re-compressed in any way... that the path from the server through the switchers to the transmitter to my TV at home is completely direct with no recompression or alteration of the image whatsoever.

It's complicated by the fact that there is not one single HD monitor in master control there... in fact, the only HD monitors in the whole building are off-air monitors, and there's no routers to them or any other ways to view the signal off the server (the server monitor is downconverted NTSC screen)... other than taking our own monitor in and doing a bunch of cabling.

Further compounding the issue... a big schedule is to come, but right now this client has only bought an early morning news schedule so far... with the spots only airing for the first couple of weeks during times when I would otherwise be doing very important sleeping (not a morning person here).

I'll give them another look again tomorrow.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






Return to posts index

Timothy J. Allen
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 21, 2010 at 11:29:21 pm

T2,
I've felt that pain. Generally we still deliver on HDCAM masters and see our programs compressed heavily before home viewers see our content. You've hit it on the nail to try to trace the signal path and what happens to it in between your media and the set top boxes at home.

Generally I tend to follow PBS Red Book standards for HD video - but most places don't have specs so well defined. (For those interested in those specifications, you can find them at http://www.pbs.org/producers/redbook/TOS_2007_Submission_8_20_07.pdf )

By the way, as to the Telestream comments earlier in the thread - we had some significant issues with Telestream compression too - but it relly wasn't the Telestream product's failing. The operator on one end didn't fully understand the user settings - and they thought the final was "good enough" to leave at default settings.

Oh... and I'll be in Huntsville at the beginning of the month for a quick NASA-related video shoot. If you aren't swamped, I'd love to stop by your shop for a moment and finally meet you in person.



Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: HD Broadcast Commercials
on Jan 22, 2010 at 8:35:56 pm

[Timothy J. Allen] "I'll be in Huntsville at the beginning of the month... I'd love to stop by your shop."

Call first.

No, seriously... would love to have you. Will give you the nickle tour (it takes exactly three minutes), and let you buy me a pricey government expense-account lunch somewhere. :-)

Ummm... nah, lunch is on me... and we're smack downtown, only about five minutes from NASA.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]