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John816

Why do I need to use 4:3 title safe for HD spots?

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Sorry, newbie question.

 

I make local SD spots for broadcast. But we're about to start HD spots. As the spec sheets roll in I keep seeing that they require that I use 4:3 Title Safe for even though it's for an HD spot.

 

Can anyone explain why? Thanks!

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It's actually more of a problem than just the end user having SD sets. A lot of it is the pipeline at affiliate stations. Every person in a small region somewhere can own an HD TV, but they need to get their feed from a local TV station (if they don't have sat or cable) and those smaller stations don't have the money to convert their entire pipeline to HD. What is standard practice is to take the "mother" feed from the network, downrez it through a Terranex and chop off the sides then run it through their regional system as center cropped.

 

ANOTHER element that has nothing to do with end users or the TV stations in their area is simply that some clients don't want to pay the extra cost for air time buys in HD. They pay less for an SD buy and to them they don't see what the big deal is in the quality difference so they want to save some coin.

 

And of course, some people just have TV's from the stone age. And agencies and clients want all the usable parts of the message (actors, text, etc) to be in the middle bits. But my argument for that is, if they don't bother buying a modern TV what the fuck else are they going to buy?

 

It's frustrating for me as I basically still frame for 4:3 and the 16:9 area just becomes "extra area for fun". It kills the artistic nature of unique framing. Makes everything so "normal". The weirdest I've seen is to put someones's head in the bottom corner of the 4:3 area. In a weird contrast, I had more options back in the SD days because I could in many cases talk the agency into committing to a 1.85:1 or 16:9 letterbox because we knew that would carry over in all cases.

 

I can talk them into a 2.35:1 letterbox now in HD but I find it a harder case to make because they are like, "Isn't HD already wide?".

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Yep. Watch the lower thirds on most HD broadcasts-- they're dead center.

 

Interestingly, 3D broadcasts don't have that limitation. Because 3D sets are all HD and 16:9 anyway, no one will tell you not to go wild on your framing when you're making a spot for 3D output. Of course, you'd need an infinite improbability drive to end up with a client who wants a spot with only 3D output... I'm just saying that it's possible.

 

Hey guys remember that one time 3D TV's were going to be a thing?

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This is very annoying. It's especially hard to explain to some clients why it's the way it is.

 

I was watching The Killing last night and the two shots were always framed so that they favored either the right or left of the frame, essentially leaving one half empty. Pretty stupid if you ask me.

Edited by a2visual

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Does anyone feel safe designing to 90% where delivery specs allow it (eg. Sky)? Our spec allows it but I'm anxious about getting phonecalls from editors who've dragged it into FCP and think it's out of safe because the default guides are set at 80%.

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