How do I create a broadcast master?

How do I create a broadcast master?

If you shot and edited a project in DV format, this is one recommendation:

  1. Check your edit to make sure luma (brightness) and chroma (color saturation) levels are within broadcast-legal ranges. Adjust if necessary.
  2. Check your project for audio clipping, and adjust levels if needed.
  3. Make sure you’re completely out a second before the time limit- that is, for a :30, all music tails and fades should be complete by :29, or you run the risk off getting cut off by the slop factor in broadcast sequencers.
  4. Add a countdown with a pop on 2 and total silence and black for the last second.
  5. Output your project to DV tape, or better yet, an uncompressed Quicktime movie on a portable Firewire drive.
  6. Find out what format your client or the station prefers. DigiBeta is my preference among common formats, but some stations prefer Beta or other formats.
  7. Find someone in your area who has a lot of experience and expertise creating broadcast masters. Often this will be a person at a “dub house” (like Allied Vaughn), or someone at a local post house that offers dubbing services.
  8. At their dubbing station, typically they will run the signal from your master through a proc amp, scopes, and audio through EQ/compressor/limiter to make the final master. If this person is an expert, they know from tons of experience how broadcast looks and sounds and they will be able to do final tweaks to your master in contrast, brightness, color saturation, audio compression and EQ that will improve the quality dramatically on the viewers TV sets. The dub house can add bars and tone at this stage.
  9. Ideally you will be present when they make the dub, watching your project on an expensive component or digital NTSC monitor so you can help them make sure the look and sound is what you want. But if you find the right person, someone who has mastered hundreds or thousands of broadcast spots and shows, you can trust that they’ll do a good job.
Shooting for TV
Allied Vaughn- VHS duplication and mastering for broadcast
Omni Media


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