Workflow on sending 16:9 video to Beta-SP

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by treehorn, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. treehorn macrumors 6502


    Aug 21, 2007
    We shoot primarily theatrical events and due to the aspect of a stage (which is close to 4:3) have been resisting shooting things in 16:9. However, the push is on to shoot everything ini 16:9 as it looks more cinematic (there's also a push to wash out images and do the whole 'jittery camera' thing...sigh)

    Our Sony cameras shoot beautifully in 16:9 and I have shot a couple of shows that were going to be outputted to DVD format with no problems. (and the video looks sharp and looks like what it is supposed to be at that aspect - an increasing of aspect on the sides versus a decreasing of material from top/bottom)

    Problem we're having is figuring out the best way to shoot/process something that gets outputed to Beta-SP or another DV tape. We've been getting B-Rolls from other companies/shows for use on our TV show that have been shot in 16:9 and forced into a 4:3 ratio (squeezed). We've had publicists ask us to fix such B-rolls for them and correct the aspect ratio, as they give them to TV stations and they end up being aired squeezed.

    It seems to me that the only way to have a 16:9 image correctly broadcast from a Beta-SP is to input the footage into the computer, drag it into a 4:3 sequence, not allow the sequence to change to match the aspect of the footage, thus forcing the creation of black bars above/below the image. Then it gets recorded on DVs and Beta-SPs with those bars.

    My question, I guess, is whether this is the way to do it (problem I have with it is that it seems to defeat the purpose of shooting 16:9 as you are shrinking the image and the quality of the footage).

    It seems to me that you should be able to record it to a tape, knowing that you have to change the aspect ratio on your monitor (either automatically or manually). And knowing that the engineer who gets it in a TV studio will know (or be told) to adjust for the ratio (but based on what I've been seeing, this does not happen).

    How go you handle the delivery of 16:9 footage for TV broadcast?

    Our workflow is using a Sony DvCam deck - DSR-45A which is linked via S-VHS to a Sony Beta UVW-1400a machine. Footage mainly goes into the computer via the DVCam deck for editing, but sometimes want to simply output raw footage to Beta w/o editing (and can't figure out who to do that with 'black bars')
  2. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    I'm not a proffesional, but for as I know, the studio should be able to do that. just like you can change the aspect ratio to the tv in dvd studio pro. But I don't know it really, I expect it really. On my television (dutch television, which has the newest hardware and things) you sometimes see a show in which suddenly the aspect ratio changes, or from one show to the commercials, they change it. So I think it should be possible.

    But hey, why guess. If I were you I would call the people of the station.
  3. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 21, 2007
    Problem is A) we don't ever deal with the station (the publicist asks for Betas and/or DVDs and doesn't really know/understand technical aspects of anything) and B) the stations (here in NYC even) seem to have a spotty idea on how to deal with this situation - we have literally gotten a dozen betas from publicists that were shot in 16:9 and either returned to them by stations or were broadcast as 4:3 and we've had to correct the aspect ratio and letter box it manually so they could get stations to play them properly...
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    In my experience it would be very uncommon for a local broadcaster to take a master in FHA (full height anamorphic). If the footage originates in 16x9 the options for taking it down to 4x3 are either letterboxing or center punching (only taking the 4x3 'center' of the 16x9 frame thus 'cutting off' the edges). Even in my experience working on TV shows shot in HD the network still requires everything to be shot '4x3 safe' (meaning they can center punch the footage and not cut anyone out of the shot, for example).


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