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Forums Broadcasting Does “Broadcast Safe” matter any more?

  • Does “Broadcast Safe” matter any more?

     Tom Gomez updated 7 years, 3 months ago 3 Members · 6 Posts
  • Tom Gomez

    June 5, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Hey Folks!

    In what distribution outlets do things need to be “broadcast safe” these days?

    In an all digital workflow, it seems like blacks can be black and whites can be white and if audio clips, it clips. I know in the past if things weren’t “safe” it would cause problems in broadcasting. Is that still the case?



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  • mike calla

    June 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    We had a broadcaster mistakenly use a 1080p .mp4 file destined for the web. I never saw it but the client said they couldn’t tell the difference. I guess once it goes through heaps of compression / decompression and processing it matters less and less now days.

  • Andrew Rendell

    June 7, 2013 at 8:21 am

    What is the point of the question?

    My opinion is that these things matter because the technical standards exist for the purpose of reliably transferring the experience from the makers to the viewers.

    As a viewer, my screens are set to show a particular brightness range and my speakers have the gain in a narrow range, so the question comes down to how important is it for me to not have to adjust the screen settings and volume to see and hear the programme in the way that the makers want it to be seen?
    (How can I possibly know what it’s supposed to look and sound like?)

    So flip that back and it becomes: do you care what your viewers’ experience of your programme is?

    [And if you don’t care about that, what else don’t you care about?]

  • Tom Gomez

    June 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I totally agree… What I meant was that, in general, have broadcasters eliminated the need for standard adherence since they are no longer broadcasting from analog tape… where crazy blacks and whites could cause dropouts.

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  • Andrew Rendell

    June 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I’m in the UK, so I can only speak for my territory, as it were. So having declared that, I’ve done stuff in the last few months for BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, National Geographic and Al Jazeera. All of those channels are still specifying for video levels and gamut, audio levels and title areas, also minimum bit rates for origination and post (typically cameras conforming to tier 2 or better of EBU R-118 and never dropping below 50Mbps/4:2:2 sampling during post).

    I’ve done a few things over the years where there was an attitude of “don’t worry about it, it’s going through a legaliser anyway”, which was basically ITV and BBC News, but because I dislike the look of what clippers do the the picture, I’ve always done at least a basic level balance using the NLE’s built-in scopes anyway (unless it absolutely has to go to air NOW).

    TBH, moving from tape to files has made some things more reliable, but the kinds of errors which put vision levels/gamut out of “legal” have been mainly camera issues (e.g., bad exposure) or compression artefacts rather than tape ones since we went over to using digital tape (digibeta, etc), so delivering as files rather than tape isn’t that big a deal for “broadcast safe”.

  • Tom Gomez

    June 7, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Great feedback! THanks! I’m actually prepping my movie for the UK!

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