outputting for broadcast. Which file type is best

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Daringescape, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. Daringescape macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    CA
    #1
    I am editing a small talk show for a friend. The show is a one hour program, one camera shoot - shot with a canon GL2. It runs on local cable community access channels. I edited the first show in imovie 08, added titles, etc., but when I went to output it, I got a HUGE (12GB) avi file. I ended up outputting the highest quality mpeg file that i could and burned it to a DVD for the studio.
    They had some minor quality problems with it, but it got me by for the first show.

    This is the feedback they sent over:

    During QC, some minor items were noted that I'll simply bring to your
    attention:

    -- The DVD dub we received had some visible scratches on the outer edges
    of the playback surface. These apparently did not affect quality;
    -- The DVD dub had lower-than-normal audio levels (we adjusted for it);
    -- The form said it was 1:00:00 hr., but the actual TRT was 58:00
    minutes. You could use up to 58:30 minutes (nominal TRT) if desired,
    but this shorter time works well for us;
    -- When I did a quick check of the DVD, to get a feel for the subject
    matter, I noticed slightly grainy video (similar to the digital
    compression artifacts). Nothing serious.


    The audio and the time aren't a problem. Its the other stuff that I dont know how to fix.

    My question is this, how should I export this for broadcast? They prefer some weird PC only codec which I cant remember off the top of my head.
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    First off, 12 gig is not huge. That's about the size of one hour of DV or HDV footage and compared to professional quality codecs it's absolutely tiny. What is the PC codec that they requested and have you asked them if they have any Mac-based specs? Do they accept MiniDV tape? A good quality cross platform codec is MJPEG A, but I don't know if you'd be able to export out to that using iMovie.

    How much did you boost up the audio (a common range for b'cast audio is to stay around -12 and don't peak above 16)? Does you station have any guidelines for things like this that you can request?


    Lethal
     
  3. Daringescape thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    CA
    #3
    Thanks Lethal - the format they are asking for is Indeo 5.10 - they said they will also take WMV.

    Also - wow, I didnt realize that 12 gigs is small for 1 hour of video. I am basically just trying to figure out how to put the show on a DVD for them and not have the quality issues. As for the audio, when we taped the next show, we made sure the audio signal into the camera was stronger - that was the problem on the first show.

    I can use FCE to edit the video, but with the one camera shoot and the super simple titling (lower thirds and some credits, I didnt think it necessary). I am a super novice at video editing and imovie 08 just made everything really easy.
     
  4. MrLatte23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    #4
    PC Codecs...

    Both Indeo and WMV are primarily PC codecs. Flip4Mac has a WMV codec for less than $50 which will allow you to output WMV files. Regarding Indeo, I saw some talk of being able to encode using Sheepsaver and a downloaded codec and/or using OS 9.

    FCE will give you better control over the audio, with audio meters to monitor the levels as you go.

    For anything broadcast, the less compression the better and if you're using iDVD you're probably encoding to DVD at a quality less than what DVD Studio Pro could provide. If you must use iDVD try giving it the best file possible like DVCPro50 (25 GB). You won't gain quality that isn't there in the original image, but at least you won't further compress already compressed footage. That will cause artifacts.
     
  5. Daringescape thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    CA
    #5

    Thanks for the info. I used toast to burn a DVD and it seemed to turn out OK. If I output the movie to DVCPro50 and use Toast to burn that to a DVD will the quality be better?
     
  6. xStep macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #6
  7. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #7
    Just a couple of notes, I've had to render some stuff for broadcast before but with lack of equipment I like to give them the best render I possibly can... couple of tips:

    1. Nest the sequence in another sequence and put a 'Broadcast Safe' filter over the whole show. Even if one pixel in your show is over broadcast safe limits luma some broadcasters will refuse to air your show. I'm guessing yours doesn't care so much but still its good practise.

    2. Use 'Normalise' to normalise all your audio to -12db.

    3. Put colour bars at the start of your show (again not sure if a US cable channel cares so much) but the purpose is to ensure that colours and luma patterns are represented accurately. Especially important for US NTSC transmissions which is prone to a lot of issues PAL isn't susceptible to.

    4. If you have access to the camera it was shot with or a deck, hook up the firewire and use 'Edit to tape' edit your show onto a blank DV tape... thats the best way to get the show out with no loss of quality.

    5. If you have to burn to DVD, render with the highest bitrate you possibly can using compressor. iDVD uses seriously bog standard compression settings which are just no good other than for anything other than a home movie.
     
  8. Poeben macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    #8
    While this is true, the $49 version is limited to the presets they provide. In order to create custom export presets (which you will probably need) you'll need the Pro version for $99. (**Note: iMovie 08 is not currently supported.)

    I'm also a little confused as to how they asked for it to be delivered. It sounds as though you made a playable DVD as opposed to a data DVD. If they want a WMV or Indeo encoded video, that would be delivered as a file on a data DVD, not made from iDVD, etc, and would not be playable in a DVD player.

    The broadcast facility should be able to provide you with a spec sheet outlining the acceptable delivery formats. It sounds like they are very lenient, however, compared to some of the facilities I've come across.
     
  9. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Warminster, PA
    #9
    Northern monkey had a lot of good points there. BUT don't forget about your black level, or setup. NTSC broadcasts require black to start at 7.5 IRE... so use a proc amp in final cut at .21 to achieve this....
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    As long as the OP stays digital he doesn't need to worry about setup as it will stay at 0 IRE throughout the process. The only time you need to worry about setup is if you are going between analog and digital.


    Lethal
     
  11. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Warminster, PA
    #11
    Interesting, i always thought that that would be filed under "broadcast safe" so the entire piece is between 7.5 and 100 IRE since the broadcast is most likely analog...
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    Any proper digital broadcast equipment with analog outputs (as well as DVD players) will have the ability to add setup. If in your FCP timeline you keep your blacks at 7.5 then when a digital-to-analog conversion is done (assuming it's done properly) setup will be added and your blacks will get pushed up to 15 IRE. Digital 0 isn't the same as analog 0 for video levels kinda like how digital 0 in audio isn't the same as analog 0.


    Lethal
     

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