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  1. #1
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    I've been wondering what methodology is now used to broadcast films on TV.
    I understand that in days gone by, a negative was transferred to tape and then broadcast with the colours reversed.

    What now happens in this digital age? For example, when the restored version Deep End was recently broadcast would the broadcaster have simply put the BluRay into suitable player or would it have first been transferred to tape?
    Or would some other method have been employed?

  2. #2
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    The days of VT in broadcasting have been over for some time now. All original programming is now shot on professional tapeless digital media such as XDCAM, P2 or SD cards. Consequently all transmission is by server now including films however old they are.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pelam123 View Post
    The days of VT in broadcasting have been over for some time now. All original programming is now shot on professional tapeless digital media such as XDCAM, P2 or SD cards. Consequently all transmission is by server now including films however old they are.
    In the US shows made for FOX are not allowed to have screens fade to black (e.g. someone knocked unconscious) as the server automatically goes to commercials when the screen goes black!

  4. #4
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agutterfan View Post
    In the US shows made for FOX are not allowed to have screens fade to black (e.g. someone knocked unconscious) as the server automatically goes to commercials when the screen goes black!
    That reminds me of a print that was made of Black Narcissus that has appeared at various cinema screenings and some DVD releases.

    It was printed by running it through some automated system and they weren't paying close enough attention to it

    There's a scene in one of Clodagh's Irish flashbacks where she goes outside to sing Christmas carols with her boyfriend, Con. The screen correctly goes to black as she goes out through the door.

    But towards the end, when Ruth goes to see Mr Dean, she sees red when she is rejected (a wash of red over the screen) and then she faints. She is supposed to black out and the screen should go to black. But something electronic in the printing process seems to have noticed the lack of light and printed that as "no signal" so it printed that using the blue of a blue-screen, a colour that should never be seen in a Technicolor film



    I complained to the BFI. At first they denied that it was a mistake, but they finally admitted it (after I got Jack Cardiff to say that it was wrong) and they apologised and said they'd take more care in the future

    Steve

  5. #5
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    They used to play films off telecine, and latterly off VT after a transfer from telecine. Now, although they are transmitted from servers, at some point they have to be transferred from telecine if that was the originating medium. All films prior to the 21 st century of course were originally on film stock.

  6. #6
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    Were any films (apart from filmed news reports where there is pressure to broadcast as soon as possible) ever transmitted live from telecine, or were they always transferred to tape or server, maybe graded and colour-corrected, and then transmitted from that?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinU View Post
    Were any films (apart from filmed news reports where there is pressure to broadcast as soon as possible) ever transmitted live from telecine, or were they always transferred to tape or server, maybe graded and colour-corrected, and then transmitted from that?
    For many years they were txd directly from telecine. There was little or no VT capacity before about 1960 and for years after that the tape stock costs (2 inch quad) were very high - one of the reasons many old shows have been lost due to re-using the tapes.

  8. #8
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    If they still transmitted using a tele-cine machine then they could easily output every 35mm film in 1080i HD, including all the old classics that remain in SD like most Carry Ons, etc.

  9. #9
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    For many years they were txd directly from telecine. There was little or no VT capacity before about 1960 and for years after that the tape stock costs (2 inch quad) were very high - one of the reasons many old shows have been lost due to re-using the tapes.

    Some films were still transmitted this way in the early 1980s. On one occasion the reels of the Marx Brothers classic "A day at the races" were shown in the wrong order during a BBC transmission - the announcer apologised for this at the end, before adding the usual phrase "we hope this did not affect your enjoyment of the programme""!! I wish I still had the VHS tape as it would have historical interest, but regrettably I don't.

    MrT

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by agutterfan View Post
    In the US shows made for FOX are not allowed to have screens fade to black (e.g. someone knocked unconscious) as the server automatically goes to commercials when the screen goes black!
    It must have seemed like a good idea to the non-creative who devised it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan gowdy View Post
    It must have seemed like a good idea to the non-creative who devised it.
    You'd think they'd use a more positive indication (an electronic "end of programme section" signal on the tape) than simply a prolonged black section. It's almost as crude as using cue dots. Mind you, my experience of American TV (when I watched TV while I was staying with my sister in Boston) was that the boundary between programme and advert seemed very blurred: certainly no "End of Part 1" / "Part 2" captions in the programme, but not even a caption (without part numbers) giving the name of the programme which at least we still get here in the UK.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrT View Post
    For many years they were txd directly from telecine. Some films were still transmitted this way in the early 1980s. On one occasion the reels of the Marx Brothers classic "A day at the races" were shown in the wrong order during a BBC transmission - the announcer apologised for this at the end, before adding the usual phrase "we hope this did not affect your enjoyment of the programme""!! I wish I still had the VHS tape as it would have historical interest, but regrettably I don't.
    I remember a play (maybe a Play For Today) on BBC which ended abruptly half-way through and the continuity announcer explained that the second tape had snapped: evidently the play was longer than would fit on one reel of VT using the technology available at the time and the changeover from one tape and VTR to the other had not gone as smoothly as it usually did.

    It always amazes me that the reel change between one reel/projector and the other at a cinema is as invisible as it (normally) is. I presume there's a few seconds' overlap and the second projector is cued to start at a signal near the end of the reel on the first projector, so there's a period of grace in which the projectionist can change over at any time - is that done with mechanical shutters over the lenses (close one at the same instant that that other is opened) to give a seamless rapid transition.

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