UK QC work could lead to ‘trusted supplier’ model for post houses
11 October 2012
The leap from traditional tape delivery of programmes to end-to-end file workflows throws up what seem to be a lot of unrelated, sometimes new, issues. One way of minimizing the impact of these issues is for broadcasters to come together and share experiences and practices.
In the UK, the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has just begun trying to create a harmonized QC workflow for file delivered programmes. This has been made possible by the recently published UK file delivery requirements using the common AS11 wrapper.
Four Types of Test
The DPP broadcasters will try to find common points in their various QC processes and requirements. They will use the work to identify and cluster QC processes, started by the EBU’s strategic programme on QC, allowing a common test criteria set to be defined. There are four types of test:
Regulatory – photosensitive epilepsy testing and EBU R 128 loudness compliance sit here. These tests are either required by the regulator or by agreement between the broadcasters. They are fully automatable today.
Absolute – many of the processes identified by the EBU group for wrapper and content tests will sit here. The target is to make this requirement group fully automated while maintaining a wide range of choice in the market for testing devices. There especially is a need for common, clear, accurate and easy to read reports – especially where a programme fails to meet the standards.
Objective and Subjective - these tests are combined into the “eyeball” viewing tests. Just how these tests are carried out, in what environment and by who is a source for much debate. There is already an outline document specifying the “how and what”, but agreeing who is authorized to sign off the programme as ready for transmission is the difficult discussion!
The end result of the UK QC work could lead to a drastic shift in the way broadcasters deal with production companies and post-production houses. It could be the start of a system of trusted suppliers, where more and more of the responsibility for QC checks move to the post-houses.
An update on the DPP’s QC work will be given at the upcoming EBU QC Workshop in November.
The Quality Control Workshop takes place on 7 and 8 November at EBU headquarters in Geneva. Attendance is free for EBU Members - a fee of 100 CHF is payable by non-members.
Presentations and discussions will focus on key aspects of file-based QC, while 12 QC product vendors will be present with demonstrations.