Latest post Wed, May 20 2009 5:55 AM by Doc Avid. 7 replies.
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  • Tue, Mar 31 2009 5:50 PM

    • Pixel Monkey
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    That whole thing about "4x3 safe" inside a 16x9 show

    Hi. This one's quickly becoming a hot topic. Just wanted to see how many other folks in this forum are dealing with the cable companies and their format down-conversions of broadcast signals to SD.

    My station creates content for PBS and we've been told by engineers to take our new HD cameras in the field and shoot everything inside 4x3 safe. I've also been told as an editor to put all graphics in 4x3 safe. The whole reason is because many cable companies - in the US and Canada - are not letterboxing, but blowing-up and side cutting their downconverted signals (for viewers with old 4x3 TV sets).

    Obviously I'm seeing the writing on the wall and creating a true 16x9 master for later - when this whole mess blows over... but I'm curious how many other folks are dealing with this, and if so, how?

    Thanks in advance!

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  • Tue, Mar 31 2009 6:19 PM In reply to

    Re: That whole thing about "4x3 safe" inside a 16x9 show

    Chris:

    We're basically in the same situation, since as of now we are still an SD facility and our transmission is still SD throughout our networks. We must also conform all of our incoming feeds to fit standard 4:3 aspect and stay title safe inside 4:3. This is generally not a big problem regarding material from CBS newspath, since they make a 4:3 and 16:9 version available for download of every package they provide. But source material coming in from other places runs the full gamut of different ratios and formats and can prove quite challenging to "homogenize" to SD standard, if you know what I mean. Even more than different aspect ratios, interlaced and de-interlaced issues are even more problematic, because sometimes they just cannot be corrected and the material becomes therefore unusable. We even have an issue with the Navy delivering everything in 16:9 because the Naval Commander in charge of media operations likes it that way - no other reason, and no consideration that we must modify their product before it goes on air.

    This is a total mess as you say, and I don't see any real solution to it - we just have to ride out the transitional period between 4:3 to 16:9 and hopefully come up with a standardized solution once 4:3 goes the way of the Do-Do bird.

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  • Tue, Mar 31 2009 6:43 PM In reply to

    • OliverPeters
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    Re: That whole thing about "4x3 safe" inside a 16x9 show

    I do a lot of post at a local commercial affiliate that is doing all local spots in HD. We finish and master to HD and then downconvert both center-cut SD and anamorphic SD to cover all options when tapes are passed around to the other stations. All graphics and framing is 4x3 "safe".

    I've also cut several films lately where we created two HD masters. One was normal, the other was pan-and-scanned for 4x3 safe. This way they can deliver letterboxed and anamorphic SD copies from the regular master and center-cut 4x3 copies from the pan-and-scan master.

    This will continue to be a total mess for at least another decade.

    - Oliver

     

  • Wed, Apr 1 2009 3:25 PM In reply to

    • Pixel Monkey
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    Re: That whole thing about "4x3 safe" inside a 16x9 show

    Yes - just in time for Hyper HD televisions to start hitting the shelves.

    'Nother uphill battle has been making the execs understand that dedicating time in edit sessions to creating another version of the program is a necessity.

    Many systems. Windows 7, Windows 10, and all flavors of macOS. Juts assume I'm running everything ;) [view my complete system specs]

    Editors are superheroes, cutting life together in a world that cuts itself apart.

     

    Chris Bove' (Pixel Monkey)

    Twitter: @heybove   Blog for Craft Editors

    WWLD (What Would Larry Do?)   WWND (What Would Norman Do?)   #AllisWell

  • Mon, May 4 2009 3:07 PM In reply to

    • Pixel Monkey
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    Re: That whole thing about "4x3 safe" inside a 16x9 show

     

    OT - By the way Oliver, being an editor at a PBS station I get 2-3 interns per year, tons of educational sessions for "student field trips" and more walk-through tours than I can count. When any of the aspiring production students ask for online information, I email them a list of five links - Creative Cow, AvidForums, Avid Customer Showcase, IMSDB, and digitalfilms.wordpress. I tell them it's not only content-rich, but contains a lot of the "best practices" they won't get out of any academic experience. Nice work!

     

    Many systems. Windows 7, Windows 10, and all flavors of macOS. Juts assume I'm running everything ;) [view my complete system specs]

    Editors are superheroes, cutting life together in a world that cuts itself apart.

     

    Chris Bove' (Pixel Monkey)

    Twitter: @heybove   Blog for Craft Editors

    WWLD (What Would Larry Do?)   WWND (What Would Norman Do?)   #AllisWell

  • Mon, May 4 2009 4:45 PM In reply to

    Re: That whole thing about "4x3 safe" inside a 16x9 show

    Pixel Monkey:
    I'm curious how many other folks are dealing with this

    When I watch TV here at home I can tell which folks certainly aren't dealing with it.  I have an SD 27" Sony and nearly every program I watch seems to be blown up and has Lower3rds/gfx/etc cut off on the sides.  NHPTV was one of the first that I noticed it on.  But now I see it on a lot more networks.

    Some commercials are letterboxed, but then they are actually "squished" as they are clearly 4x3 and just flattened to put bars on the top and bottom. 

    Even worse though is watching something where the audio is out of sync.  I'm totally not cool with the way this DTV transition has gone so far.

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  • Mon, May 4 2009 9:12 PM In reply to

    • dfeltonaco
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    Re: That whole thing about "4x3 safe" inside a 16x9 show

    Yes this is something that is common place at the moment.  We do basically what you said.  We create 2 shows depending on the content. 1 for 4x3 and the other 4 16x9.  Some shows don't need a pan & scan some do. In situations where affiliates are not consitent with delivery of content we create all graphics in HD but have the action settle in the 4x3 aspect ratio.  This way both 16x9 and 4x3 viewers have a rich experience.  In cases where we know letterboxing is not done then we have to shoot for 4x3.

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  • Wed, May 20 2009 5:55 AM In reply to

    • Doc Avid
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    Re: That whole thing about "4x3 safe" inside a 16x9 show

    Center Cut is still King-  I suspect that will begin to change with the DTV conversion in 24 days or so (hey, we should name a show that).

     

    We do same time HD and SD outputs to D5, IMX and Digibeta-   plus a pass through signal to a terenex for an SD, Letterboxed DVD 

     

    Nitris handles this with aplomb.

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