Poor quality when broadcast

Posted by justin Richard 
Poor quality when broadcast
May 14, 2007 04:04AM
Finished a half hour infomercial on FCP. Shot on Pana SDX 900 DVC Pro 50 cam. Footage looks great. Had a pro come do the color correction. Digi beta master looked great when I sent it to the dub house. Watched the show on TV and almost cried. Looks like someone made a VHS copy of aonther VHS. It looks bad. Called the dub house guy, he says it's common. Something about stations wanting beta SP masters only to down convert them to something iv'e never heard of before. Am I missing a step or something? The dub house has been around for quite a while. I know they are popular with infomercial dubbing. What can I do? I can't stand to see my beautiful show in such a state.

Who knows about this stuff?
Re: Poor quality when broadcast
May 14, 2007 08:59AM
Once you turn over a tape, you're at the mercy of many different links in the chain to it's final destination on your home TV.

There's the broadcast entity. The satelite link. The local cable provider. Your own DVR. Any one of these links is quite capable of turning your pristine footage into pixelated dog poo! Realistically speaking, they all contribute a little bit.

I watch on Direct TV. Some channels are better than others, but take a look at what happens in the fades to black or cross dissovles on most programming. That's where the "blockiness" shows up. I also Tivo all of our shows just to check and see how they were broadcast. Yes, it's painful to see how they look. One thing I've noticed is that you really can see the difference between DV footage and the higher res formats like DVCPro 50 or Sony's Xdcam. In the color correction suite, the DV holds up pretty well in comparison to the other formats. Once you get to the end of the chain however, the difference is noticable.

In conclusion: What can you do? Be satisfied that you turned over a master tape that looked good when you finisished it and met all tech specs required for delivery. Beyond that, short of handing over a DVD to every home viewer, you're at the mercy of too many independent entities to do anything about it.

Re: Poor quality when broadcast
May 15, 2007 09:11AM
<<Watched the show on TV>>>

How? Cable? Satellite?

Someone In Authority decreed that satellite television systems had to carry local channels. Since it's electrically impossible for them to do that, they responded by setting aside a really tiny portion of their service for all the local television programming in the entire country.

So yes, it looks pretty awful.

Digital Cable has some of the same problems, with New Channels sending you letters telling you to demand that your cable system carry them. "Want to see the 'All Piemaking Channel' in your home? Call Cox Television today..."

Off-Air television does pretty well here. They have the same bandwidth they had when digital television was first designed. SCI-Miami HD last night was stunning on KCBS-DT. Antenna on the roof by Radio Shack.

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