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DPP Forum: File Delivery Made Simple

A couple of weeks ago we held our most popular DPP Forum ever: File Delivery Made Simple.  A title designed to persuade producers that there are just a few things about this subject that they really ought to know.

The event ‘sold out’ in record time, engineering a situation where people were knocking down our doors to get a seat at one of our ‘speed dating’ tables (more on that later).  For a few heady days we were the most popular / unpopular (depending on whether or not you got a ticket) people in the UK broadcast industry as bribes were firmly resisted and pleas even from some of our closest colleagues fell on deaf ears.

The session was designed to help Forum-ites (and Forum-istas?) find out how to create and deliver an AS-11 DPP file. We split the room into 8 groups with a table representing each part of the file-based workflow and everyone got the chance to speed date our experts as they moved round the room, with the aid of 8 of the finest opening guitar riffs of all time (and one slightly embarrassing YouTube advert moment, but we won’t mention that here).

DPP Forum 21 01 14

Here are some of the key things they learned as they followed the journey of a file from creation to playout…

 

TABLE 1 – DPP TECHNICAL STANDARDS & METADATA

What’s it all about?

An introduction to what’s changed for Producers delivering AS-11 DPP compliant files

  • You’ll need to allow more time for the delivery process
  • Metadata must be delivered with the file, just as paperwork was required for a tape
  • Check all editorial, technical, certification and metadata steps are completed
  • Most broadcasters will provide a way of testing your file delivery path ahead of your first programme delivery – please contact them directly.
  • For most broadcasters, 1 October is an end-date for the transition to file delivery not a start date. Broadcasters will be ramping up through 2014. Get in touch with the broadcaster to agree whether you’re delivering file-based and how to do it.

The DPP are currently in the process of creating a ‘Producer’s Pack’ to give you the lowdown on everything you need to know, which will be published on the DPP website as soon as it becomes available.

 

TABLE 2 – WHAT IS R128 & WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO ABOUT IT?

What’s it all about?

The benefits for all of us of better loudness control and an overview of the concepts.

Using R128 to control Loudness

  • The standard measures against Perceived Loudness, which is modelled on the way the human ear responds to sound
  • It halts loudness wars between content providers and therefore pressure to over compress the mix
  • It enables the provision of content to broadcasters that will simply pass through as intended

R128 Key Facts

  • R128 fundamentally looks at normalising audio and is based on average loudness rather than peak level
  • Target loudness for a deliverable is -23 LUFS with a tolerance of +/- 1
  • Maximum True Peak describes the threshold over which no part of the signal should reach. -3dBTP is recommended; content will fail if over -1dBTP. It is not necessary to reach this peak level to be compliant, it is simply a maximum allowed level

 That’s the why.  Where’s the how?

  • The standard focuses on 3 separate measurements. Momentary, Short-Term and Integrated.
  • Integrated measurement describes the overall average loudness for a complete asset, i.e. Target Loudness
  • Momentary and Short Term are useful aids for mixing
  • Faster than real-time processing can be achieved using a variety of tools and applications including: eMotion Systems eff, Minnetonka, Grimm Audio, Nugen Audio etc.

See also the page about Audio Loudness.

 

TABLE 3 – PRODUCER REVIEW

What’s it all about?

What to look out for when watching the complete programme before it’s packaged up to send to the broadcaster

  • It is the responsibility of the producer and content owner to check and ensure conformity of the asset before delivery
  • Eyeball checking is even more important to detect human error when defining IN/OUT points, consolidation, final rendering etc.
  • It is encouraged that either the producer, director or production management completes the eyeball check
  • This stage is the last time for an eyeball check before subsequent technical compliance and final delivery
  • Timecode/clock inaccuracies account for a significant amount of failures

 

TABLE 4 – AUTO QC & PSE

What’s it all about?

Automated Quality Control Photosensitive Epilepsy testing – How it relates to the Producer Review and how to handle any failures or warnings.

We’ve already published some information about this.  Please see the AQC page and the Highlights of our 1st Post Production Workshop for more details about the DPP’s work in this area.

 

TABLE 5 – CREATE & EXPORT A DPP AS-11 FILE

What’s it all about?

Currently available options for creating your finished programme complete with DPP Metadata wrapped into an AS-11 MXF file                                                                 

Creation of a compliant AS-11 DPP file requires:

  • Video, Audio, Timecode – An AVCi coded video file with PCM Audio within a BWF Container
  • Record Report – Descriptive, Technical, and Structural Metadata
  • Delivery Medium – Wrapped into an MXF OP1a container file

Suppliers of currently available native AS-11 products (in alphabetical order!):

Amberfin, Avid, Blue Lucy Media, Cinegy, Digital Rapids, EVS, MOG, MXF4Mac, Root6, Telestream, Wohler

Suppliers with AVCi100 support

Adobe, Elemental, Grass Valley, Harmonic, Pr, Telestream

Five considerations when choosing AS-11 products

  • Intuitive user interface and sensible grouping of metadata
  • Ease of data input. Are fields available as drop down options?
  • Pre populated fields. Is the metadata populated from your project data where possible?
  • Sufficient validation between the programme / sequence metadata and the required DPP technical standards.  E.g. correct number of audio tracks.
  • Sensible error reporting. Are error notifications easy to understand?

You can find out more about the DPP’s metadata application in the Metadata Application User Guide

 

Well, that’s all for part one of the workflow.

Tune in next time to find out how to deliver a file to your broadcaster and what happens to it after that.

 This blog post was written by Jayne.

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