Best video format for TV Broadcasting


#1

Hi creative people! Working late as usually, a lot of work thanks to God! Hope you all are succeeding in what you do.

I have a question and your advice is welcome. Which is the the best video format to deploy a AE project for TV Broadcasting? I know some of you have a lot of experience with TV Post Production. I just started making video projects for this TV Company and wonder about this.

RIght now, I’m giving away NTSC, 4:3, AVI Uncompressed video files.

Thanks for your kindness! God bless you all!


#2

It depends on the TV company. Once upon a time, you used to hand over a tape - Beta SP, later replaced by Digibeta. You would have your digitally rendered film laid off to tape in a suite and what you delivered would always depend on what that suite preferred.

I have to say that my personal prefence is always to deliver a tif sequence and a separate sound file (at least for short form stuff). Quicktime has some issues where the gamma (mid grey levels) setting gets interpreted differently on different systems, which can cause problems.

I’ve never submitted an AVI in my life.

Nowadays though, things are a bit different. Many TV stations ingest material into their broadcast systems direct from digital files, often converting them into mpeg2 or other compressed formats.

What you need to make sure is that you are using the correct pixel dimensions and frame rate for PAL / NTSC, HD / SD and then render to an uncompressed format. Quicktime is a very much favoured movie format and tiff or targa, the favoured image sequence format in my experience.

OK I’ll cut a long story short… for standard definition TV broadcast in the US, just choose the NTSC D1 or NTSC D1 widescreen setting in After Effects. Both have 720x486 pixel dimensions and 29.97 frame rate. Both are anamorphic formats (the difference between them is their pixel aspect ratio or how much they squash the picture)

Render to a Quicktime movie and use Animation compressor at 100%. Leave the sound uncompressed at 48khz.

If you are rendering fields, then I’m not quite sure for US, because most of what I do is for Europe. Generally for TV broadcast over here you render upper field first and for DV, lower field first. I expect it’s the same in the US, but you’d need to check that. I’m sure Baf could tell you! If you do get it the wrong way round, it will be very obvious.

Hope that helps,

-felt.


#3

FELT PRETTY MUCH COVERED IT.

As far as US goes with fields I wouldn’t worry about it unless your actually using footage, In Ae you will want to interpolate your footage if it is interlaced. I always use DG fastchannel (digital satelitte delivery) I encode an MPEG2 based off of their settings. If i remember correctly its upper field first but it shouldn’t matter what the source is before MPEG compression. Most of what I do lately is HD so it all square pixels. I havent dealt to much with SD now a days unless we down convert to SD, which I just do on export by either center cut cropping the HD or letterboxing it in SD. Hope this isnt to confusing as it always is.

B


#4
FELT PRETTY MUCH COVERED IT.

As far as US goes with fields I wouldn’t worry about it unless your actually using footage, In Ae you will want to interpolate your footage if it is interlaced. I always use DG fastchannel (digital satelitte delivery) I encode an MPEG2 based off of their settings. If i remember correctly its upper field first but it shouldn’t matter what the source is before MPEG compression. Most of what I do lately is HD so it all square pixels. I havent dealt to much with SD now a days unless we down convert to SD, which I just do on export by either center cut cropping the HD or letterboxing it in SD. Hope this isnt to confusing as it always is.

B

Thanks Brian and Ben (your long stories are great!) for your help. I just started working with this TV Network and its amazing. I really like this but the problem is I don’t have the experience yet but they like my creativity (that’s what they said, lol). I will send you an email or post here more later because now I have more questions.

This upper / lower field quite don’t get it yet. I’m pretty sure they need SD. Brian: Guess you use another software to encode to MPEG2 not AE, correct? The upper field setting is just for footage, right? Right now just delivering promos, but if I use footage in the promos (like placing it into a placeholder) should I deinterlaced the footage first?

I’m rendering with the same settings you suggested Ben, NTSC D1, Widescreen, Animation, 48Khz, Uncompressed, but was using AVI. Will send MOV.

Sorry guys, just starting into the TV Production field. Thanks for your help. God bless you all!


#5

I use Telestream Episode for compressing. To tell you truth i have been working with progressive footage for the last few years so i cant remember exactly. Maybe felt can give you an answer about interpolating footage in Ae and if and when its nessecary. I dont want to give you the wrong info, its been a while since i have had to use SD footage.

B


#6
I use Telestream Episode for compressing. To tell you truth i have been working with progressive footage for the last few years so i cant remember exactly. Maybe felt can give you an answer about interpolating footage in Ae and if and when its nessecary. I dont want to give you the wrong info, its been a while since i have had to use SD footage.

B

Remember you told me about the telestream, b, forgot! Ben had taught me something about working with progressive footage. Thanks B.

Do you work with TV Production? Have some questions about the studio work. This TV Station is a brand new project where I live. Can I email you through your profile?


#7

yeah… fields are a bit hard to get your head round at first. Like many things it started off to do with technical limitations in TV.

Did you know that US uses 30fps and Europe uses 25fps because originally it was cheaper and easier to control the picture scan rate from the alternating current frequency (US uses 60hz electricity and europe 50hz)? Also (if I remember right) the 29.97fps thing is because when US introduced color TV, they found that the color subcarrier was interfering with the FM sound, so they had to change the frequency a little bit. (they could do that more easily by that time).

Lots of these standards remain because TV has always had to be backwards compatible…color had to be backwards compatible with black and white (why TVs work with YUV not RGB) etc. There’s loads of interesting stuff in film and TV history. Nowadays, new digital standards are being made. No doubt we will one day laugh at MPEG and H.264 and how we had to compress images back then!

Fields is one of the hangovers. Basically, fields squeezes two ‘half height’ pictures into every frame. Each field is a picture, separated by 1/60th of a second, but the two pictures are interlaced. That is, line 1 shows picture 1, line 2 shows picture 2, line 3 shows picture 1, line 4 shows picture 2 etc.

When an old cathode ray tube TV scanned the screen, it would first scan the information of all the odd lines, then the information of all the even lines, with 1/60th of a second gap. For every ‘frame’ of infomation, the TV scans twice - giving an effective frame rate of 60 frames per second. Cunning stuff.

If you interpret the fields the wrong way round, there’s the danger that instead of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, the picture order will go like this… 2,1,4,3,6,5,8,7 etc. Most unnerving to the eye, I assure you.

You can emulate the effects and feel of interlaced footage on your desktop by creating a composition that runs at double your interlaced footage’s frame rate and then time stretching the footage 200%. That’s how I usually double check that I’ve got the fields interpreted the right way round.

These days, progressive images are often much preferred… not least because they feel much more filmic. Interlaced footage tends to feel much more video-like. A bit like sport or TV news.

'Scuse the rambling answer, but it’s quite a complicated thing, y’know. :slight_smile:

-felt.


#8

Sure feel free to drop me an email.


#9

Here are some more article to make your head swell a bit.

I swear the more i read about this stuff the more confusing it becomes.

B


#10

Felt: no worries, no apologies. You really know a lot of TV story, dont you? Interesting the fact about 29.97 fps. Guess, like you said, we soon are going to be laughing at actually compression methods.

B: Thanks for the links! BTW, I got some inspiration for a client’s project watching your demo reel. Let me tell ya its amazing! Loved it! Thanks for being open to questions.

I have a lot to learn about TV and yeah it is getting confusing! I am unsure if this TV Network witll broadcast in HD soon. They are building 3 small studios now. I will post here some pics and some info about he equipment we are getting and would love your feedback and advice.

I’m chief video supervisor for a conference next weekend and have a lot of work setting up our equipment, lights and cameras at this high school. This is fascinating and my first time as a supervisor and had a lot of challenges setting up the multimedia at this place. Its showtime!

Later guys! Be creative! Be blessed!


#11

Hey, for those interested in TV history, this one’s a cracker… All about the original development of a worldwide digital video standard around 1980.

It explains how all the digital video standards we use today stem from the quest to find a digital standard that would be compatible with all analogue TV standards.

I think I may be a geek.

http://www.ebu.ch/en/technical/trev/trev_304-rec601_wood.pdf


#12

We are all secretly GEEKS! Why else do we do this stuff.


#13

and lately, there has been talks about 3D TVs and 120hz scan freq. lol


#14

Yeah - I was chatting to a guy the other day. Apparently, stereoscopic is the next big thing. He has a company dedicated to it, so he might be a tad biased, but I think it’s on its way.

There’s a whole load of new standards being formed there too. For instance, when a stereoscopic camera(s) looks at an object, to what extent do the cameras point towards each other - as the human eye does? Or when using a telephoto lens, should the cameras be set further apart from one another to avoid the binoculars effect? And if so, by how much?

Actually, my feeling is that stereoscopic will actually find the most application in gaming and communications. Skype 3D - where you want to feel like you’re in the room with the person. In gaming, the advantages are obvious.

Higher scan rates are probably good for live TV, but film will stay at 24fps. If film feels too ‘real’ the illusion is broken. If you’ve ever seen a feature film on a TV that interpolates progressive scan or 3:2 pulldown up to 60Hz interlaced, you’ll know what I mean.


#15

yeah but then everyone will have to wear those stupid glasses :slight_smile: I’ll be on board if they figure out stereoscopic contact lenses. that would be sick.


#16

I personally hate the 3D thing. It’s a cool concept, but IMO not something that should be used for serious work. I watched My Bloody Valentine in 3D and was having migraine headaches within 15 minutes.

I think with new aspects of digital distribution taking off to new levels, in a legal way. These studios are having trouble with viewers, and getting people into movie theaters. It’s a gimmick to attract people.

Just my two cents.


#17

I think I’m with you on that one Mark. 3D has somehow always managed to be a flash in the pan before, so why not this time round too?

I still reckon gamers will be well into it though. And they find the daft glasses totally cool too. :slight_smile:


#18

the new method of projection (RealD which uses two projectors with polarized llight) feels better than the old red/blue anaglyph method (if they can work to get more frame/second to make it smoother that is) but yeah, a few people will get dizzy(albeit much fewer than the old method).

for me RealD works well unless there’s a fast motion, where the left frame/right frame kinda buzz around and cancels each other(maybe just my eye). it also works better if you’re farther from the screen, most people says it’s less dizzying.

I think it’s a good thing they are allowed to bloom a little, this way some money will be put into research, and hopefully something cooler will pops up in a short while :smiley:

“like these guys”:http://www.eyeliner3d.com/al_gore_hologram_live_earth_tokyo.html