video for TV

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    • #44332

      Hi – could one of the Pros here please explain/define exactly the term: “high-res, broadcast quality”? (These requirements were listed for a short film contest.) Thanks !

    • #185651

      Oh, and in this case – the film could be either HD or SD.

    • #185652

      for something to be broadcast quality, it needs to be broadcast colors which would be measured on a Histogram between 16 and 255

    • #185653

      I have run into this spec before and it seems that “broadcast quality” is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. That is, it is broadcast quality if the person viewing it says it is. However, there are a few points that must be followed:

      Be sure keep the histogram within the limits stated by the previous writer. This is especially true of the black level (don’t go below 16). There are also color range limitations that are more complex. In a practical sense, your footage will probably comply if you shot it with a digital camera and haven’t selected any camera options that imply such things as extended black range (this is not the same as low light) or extended color gamut such as x.v.Color.

      On the artistic side, be sure your footage is stable and noise free – shot with a tripod and properly exposed – unless jerky and grainy are part of the effect. Remember the Blair Witch movie? They broke all these rules and made a fortune. So…

      In the old analog video days, hi-res meant that the footage was shot with a camera that had sharp lenses and was capable of using the full available bandwidth. That pretty much ruled out consumer cameras. Now with digital HD cameras, hi-res is the norm. But, you can still screw it up. Poor focusing is a very common error. If your subject is slightly soft, but the background is perfectly sharp, your focus is off. Also, recompressing is a resolution killer.

      Recompressing occurs when you take footage from a project that has been compressed and used it in another project and compress it again. Say you have a project you like and your final form is an MPEG2 file. It looks great. Now you are making a new project and you want to include a piece from that earlier project. So, you import that MPEG2 file into your current project and trim it down to the part you want. So far, everything looks good in the editor, but when you look at your final output DVD on a big screen TV, that included footage looks degraded. That’s because it has been compressed more than once. Whether it’s still good enough is up to you.

      I’m sure other writers will have different comments as broadcast quality and hi-res are really subjective evaluations. In the end, I would say, don’t worry about it. Send in your footage and see what happens. The worst that will happen is you will get some constructive criticism that will help your make better video in the future. Now that I think about it, that may also be the best outcome.



    • #185654
      Grinner Hester

      Hi Resolution just means maintaining the video’s best quality as opposed to low rez, how many use to offline. As far as “braodcast quality” it means nothing as folks air 4th generation vhs all the time. Folks just use this term instead of saying when it’s the best it can be.

    • #185655

      Yeah, all it really means is the video a) conforms to broadcast standards of color and black/white levels and b) it’s the highest resolution the format is capable of like Grinner said. He’s also right about some outfits airing low-res crap regularly too!

      For the contest you’re looking at. Just look at their allowable formats (i.e. tape, DVD, Blu-Ray Disc) and color correct your video like you normally would. When you’re ready to ‘burn it out’ to whatever format they want it in do it at the highest resolution allowable. Mini-DV or HDV tape can handle 10-bit video Uncompressed. MPEG-2 video on DVD can handle 8-bit video and you’ll have to crank down the MPEG quality settings down to 8 to make it compatible with more players and to save space on your DVD.

      Bottom line is they don’t want you to send in some crap that looks like it should be on the ‘Tube.

    • #185656

      “Mail a high-res, broadcast-quality copy to Synthetic Cinema on a data DVD as a Quicktime file or MPEG-4 in either high definition or standard definition.”

      Thanks to you all for your input – I always learn something here. Oh, and working hard to _never _ produce “crap” for the ‘Tube(or anywhere else).


    • #185657

      Hi Ophelia,

      This is Colin from Synthetic Cinema. Most of what’s said here is accurate with regard to what we’re looking for in broadcast quality footage. Don’t worry about safe color ranges. We can handle technical details when we format footage for air. We don’t expect you to be able to deliver material ready for the station!

      We’re just asking for footage that looks subjectively good enough to appear on TV. That means maintaining the highest quality your format is capable of, using standard frame rates, good compression, proper exposure, etc.. Just send us a digital master in whatever codec and format you edited in. We’ll handle the rest.



      Synthetic Cinema International

    • #185658

      Well, that clears that up – Thanks!

    • #185659

      A happy ending! (sniffle)

    • #185660

      Hi Colin and everyone, I’m new to the videomaker forum and am amazed at all the information available.. I have already been able to clear up some of my questions and know that in time I will be able to make my videos much more interesting.

    • #185661


      Glad we could be of assistance. Keep shooting!

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