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Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage

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Colin GrimshawCross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 10, 2010 at 4:17:20 pm

Hi everyone,

A common problem for us is finding a suitable export option out from Media100. Very often we're asked by broadcast TV companies to "just send us a file of that video". But what format should I use? Has anyone got suggestions for a common export that would be acceptable to the various edit programs in use? We're in SD PAL, but what should we encode to when asked for a file? Oh and by the way, in many cases we opt to courier over a DVD so we know they can play it back! What do other people use and use with success??

Colin Grimshaw
Imperial College London


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Gary MilliganRe: Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 10, 2010 at 8:37:30 pm

[Colin Grimshaw] "A common problem for us is finding a suitable export option out from Media100. Very often we're asked by broadcast TV companies to "just send us a file of that video". But what format should I use?"

There's no one format you SHOULD use - it depends on what format your client wants. To get the most out of an export from Media 100, export as a self-contained file and then use that as your "master" to transcode into any flavour you and your clients want/need. In my case, I'm generally working with 1080i ProRes, so my export as a self-contained file is a ProRes.mov file that I can use to compress for SD DVD authoring using BitVice, or as a .wmv file using Episode, or as a .H264 file using Compressor, or drag it into Toast Titanium for Blu-ray, - whatever is needed, using whatever application does the job. You may even want to archive the self-contained file to be able to provide any file format needed (including master to tape) long after the project is completed and the original media erased from your drives.

Gary

This is me - this is what I do - http://web.mac.com/garymmw


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Michael SloweRe: Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 10, 2010 at 9:44:36 pm

I endorse what Gary advises but want to ask him a supplementary question if I may.

I too work in ProRes HQ in 1080i and also export as a .mov for making SD DVD's in BitVice. For BD's I also use Toast 10 to encode and burn BUT found that the resulting BD has lost a lot of contrast and is too light. I was advised by Floh to export as 'other', set to ProRes in the Options window, not to leave gamma at auto but have 'none' and in the Color Range box set to Computer (0-255). This certainly improved things but the overall picture is still a little too light. I don't see why this should be when the timeline is fine, the DVD also pretty good. How do you find it using the Toast workflow for your BD's?

Michael Slowe


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Gary MilliganRe: Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 10, 2010 at 10:27:48 pm

Hi Michael,

I suppose the variables to consider are: what are you using to view the Blu-ray on? Is it set up correctly? What are your settings in Toast? I must admit that I've never tried the MPEG-2 setting (I've only used the MPEG-4 AVC at 24 Mbps Average Bit Rate) so I don't know what difference that might make. I can't say I've ever been disappointed with my results from Toast - I certainly haven't noticed any significant picture contrast difference.

Gary

This is me - this is what I do - http://web.mac.com/garymmw


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Michael SloweRe: Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 11, 2010 at 11:59:38 am

Well Gary, the viewing was on a variety of HD TV's, both plasma and LCD, one of which was the prime viewing screen of a good editor I know.

I went the MPEG2 route in Toast because I understood it to be better than MPEG4, I'll try a test with your route. What did you make of my export following Floh's suggestion?

Michael Slowe


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Gary MilliganRe: Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 11, 2010 at 7:38:25 pm

Hi Michael,

You seem to have ruled out the variables in what you're viewing the Blu-ray on so it must be somewhere in the settings. Let us know what you find when you try the MPEG-4 setting in Toast... and when I get a chance I'll try the MPEG-2 setting to see if there's an obvious difference. I have no real reason as to why I chose the MPEG-4 setting over MPEG-2 - the results look great to me so I've never bothered to change. I really should try MPEG-2... I hate to think I've been accepting less than the best (with the tools I have to work with).

[Michael Slowe] "I was advised by Floh to export as 'other', set to ProRes in the Options window, not to leave gamma at auto but have 'none' and in the Color Range box set to Computer (0-255)."

I've never known Floh to give bad advice and I don't see any flaws in his suggestion on this... but perhaps he (or anyone else) can clear something up for me: as I understand it, a self-contained export is an exact duplicate of the media files - no compression involved. Is that the same when exporting as 'other' using the same codec?... or do the files get compressed again, even if they are already the same format? In other words, a ProRes timeline exported as 'other' using ProRes compression - isn't that double compression? If I export using 'other', Color Range set to 0-255, and set the compression to 'none' is that the same as exporting a self-contained file? Floh?... anyone?.

I'm also confused by the line - "set to ProRes in the Options window, not to leave gamma at auto but have 'none' " - when I follow those steps on my system I don't see any kind of ProRes setting for gamma. I'm in NTSC-land and I assume Floh works in PAL... does that make a difference? Michael, are you PAL or NTSC?

Gary

This is me - this is what I do - http://web.mac.com/garymmw


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Michael SloweRe: Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 11, 2010 at 8:59:13 pm

Gary, I'm about to embark on a trip (to NTSC land actually, I'm in PAL)so probably won't have time for an MPEG4 test yet.

Concerning your questions about compression I can't imagine that by choosing the codec via the 'option' button can involve double compression, it should just be confirming the settings, no doubt Floh will confirm that at some point.

To get the gamma setting (auto or none) you see that when, after clicking on options you get a window giving you a settings button. Click that and you get a whole list of codecs. After you choose Apple ProRes I get another window in which I can check the interlaced box (I'm in 1080i)and then I see the setting top field first (correct for me) and just above that is the gamma choice. I assume that all this would be the same for you.

Michael Slowe


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Gary MilliganRe: Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 11, 2010 at 9:54:44 pm

[Michael Slowe] "To get the gamma setting (auto or none) you see that when, after clicking on options you get a window giving you a settings button. Click that and you get a whole list of codecs. After you choose Apple ProRes I get another window in which I can check the interlaced box (I'm in 1080i)and then I see the setting top field first (correct for me) and just above that is the gamma choice. I assume that all this would be the same for you.
"


That's how I do it (when I do it) but I don't have any kind of gamma option. Here's what I see -



This is me - this is what I do - http://web.mac.com/garymmw


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Michael SloweRe: Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 11, 2010 at 9:42:09 pm

Gary, I'm an idiot, I misinformed you as to my work route - I also use MPEG4 in Toast not 2 as I wrote. I had another look and did a short test and I'm still getting a lighter picture than I would like whereas on the timeline, the exported .mov and the DVD's I make in BitVice, everything is at it should be. It;s a mystery!

Michael Slowe


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Gary MilliganRe: Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 11, 2010 at 10:10:27 pm

Yes.. a mystery. I'm looking forward to what light Floh can shed on this...

As for the gamma setting option, maybe it's as I thought - an NTSC vs. PAL thing?

In the meantime, I'm going to stick with what works for me until someone tells me - or I find out myself - there's a better way.

Gary

This is me - this is what I do - http://web.mac.com/garymmw


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Doug CalhounRe: Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 13, 2010 at 4:09:37 pm

I'm curious why not export a REF to Compressor or BitVice or can't BitVice use a REF movie? Upon exporting a .mov, isn't it being recompressed at output?

I've read below to export to whichever flavor of ProRes for a "master", but is this recompressed or just "exported"?



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Gary MilliganRe: Cross Platform Export for Broadcast TV usage
by on Dec 13, 2010 at 5:52:39 pm

[Doug Calhoun] "I'm curious why not export a REF to Compressor or BitVice or can't BitVice use a REF movie?"

Yes, BitVice can use a REF movie, but in the past I've had some unexplained failures such as freeze frames when there shouldn't be, or just a black movie. There can also be issues with gamma levels changing if there is more than one codec used in the timeline - that can also be a problem when exporting a Self-contained movie, in which case one would need to export as a QuickTime using something other than 'None" in the compression setting, and then yes, it is re-compressed. Since using either a QuickTime or Self-contained movie in BitVice I've never had results with these kinds of problems.

However, I do not consider myself an authority on this - it's just the way I've interpreted and practise the workflow and I reserve the right to be wrong.

Gary

This is me - this is what I do - http://web.mac.com/garymmw


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