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The DPP’s Post Production Workshop Highlights

On Thu 28th November the DPP gathered together a pool of representatives from the Post Production community to discuss how file-based delivery to AS-11 DPP is working so far and what the DPP can do to help smooth the transition from tape to file.

It was a lively session with a great deal of ground covered.  Feedback has shown us that the attendees found the session useful and feel more informed as a result.  We’re aiming to hold further sessions throughout 2014, so keep an eye on our Upcoming Events page for further details.

Here’s a summary of the 2 biggest subjects we covered at the session, Automated QC and Delivery to Broadcasters.

DPP Post Production Workshop

Automated QC

What’s on the DPP’s list of QC checks & when will they be published?

  • A draft list of the proposed DPP QC checks has now been published on the DPP website along with a new page about the implementation timescales for Automated QC and why we’re doing it.

Have the Post House’s legal responsibilities changed regarding AQC / PSE?

  • In a file-based world, broadcasters will continue to expect a certified PSE check as part of the delivery of content from the production company.  The broadcaster and the programme’s producer have a duty to make sure a programme is suitably tested. This is no change to the current position.
  • When delivering a compliant AS-11 DPP file production companies will also be required to deliver a full valid QC report and PSE test certificate.
  • It is the production company’s responsibility to ensure they deliver compliant files according to their contract with the broadcaster.  The post house should manage their own contractual relationship with the production company. 

 Do post houses need to use the same QC devices as the broadcasters?

  • The tests can be undertaken using any EBU compliant device that includes the DPP test criteria AND a suitable eye-ball QC.  PSE devices are currently listed on the DPP website.  A list of  QC devices will follow once the work has been published.
  • The DPP will not mandate a particular manufacturer and each broadcaster may use multiple tools – manufacturers are involved with the EBU work and will all need to test to the same tolerances so the results should be interchangeable between devices.

Will broadcasters have different criteria for different types of programmes?

  • The DPP & EBU will help by making the tests & tolerances standard.  There will always be permissible exceptions, e.g. archive footage, which should be detailed in the QC report.  Producers are responsible for approving this type of material for TX at the eyeball check.  These subjective flags need not constitute a fail.  This is no different to the current situation.

What is the timeline for AQC implementation?

  • These changes would be expected to take place as production companies begin to deliver to broadcasters by file.  Any exceptions must be agreed with the broadcaster on a case-by-case basis.

How can a company become a ‘trusted supplier’?

  • For Channel 4 a ‘supplier’ becomes ‘trusted’ once they’ve passed QC checks consistently for their initial batch of  deliveries.  They then simply spot-check their programmes from then on unless problems occur.  Other broadcasters are working towards a similar system.
  • The trusted supplier list is for production companies, not post houses, as delivering compliant programmes is the contractual responsibility of the production company. 

How do we deliver the QC report?

  • The QC report can be delivered using a separate XML file output from the QC tool
  • If using the DPP metadata application there are 128 characters each for video and audio comments – this can be used to point to the QC report for more detailed comments if necessary.


Delivery Mechanisms

What delivery mechanisms can be used to deliver AS-11 DPP files to broadcasters?

  • Please refer to the updated Producer’s Guide to File Based Delivery for the current list of acceptable methods.  Each broadcaster will have their own preferences so please liaise with them to agree on the final method of delivery.

Will broadcasters be offering licences for services such as Signiant / Aspera?

  • A service may be available at low or no cost.  This will depend on a number of factors, including your available connectivity and the licensing arrangements currently in place so please liaise with your broadcaster. 
  • Although the cost of leased lines is coming down smaller production companies may find it more cost effective to use a post house for this delivery service. 

How do we know if you’ve received a file / if it’s cleared for TX?

  • Many accelerators offer a receipt notification.  You should be able to rely on this as proof of delivery.
  • Broadcasters will notify production companies if a programme is ready for TX or requires any alterations as it is their responsibility to fix any errors.  Post houses should ask production companies to forward this notification on if they require this information in order to manage their storage.

What about late deliveries?

  • The DPP are currently looking at the definitions of ‘late delivery’. 
  • Broadcasters may move to contracted delivery dates (rather than a tx date) in future.
  • The BBC currently uses a 3 tier delivery system:

                i.         Standard
               ii.         Express: agreed in advance – tighter than standard, but with confidence it will be finished.
              iii.         Late: need to agree delivery mechanism.  This can still be file but may be tape where necessary.


Phew – did you take all that in?  Let us know if you have any queries about the DPP’s work or contact your broadcaster if you have more specific queries for them, but not before you’ve read part two, out tomorrow!

  This blog post was written by Jayne.