Broadcasting, like many industries, has its own challenges that few outside of the business know about, let alone comprehend. Here’s a look at five situational struggles which are unique to broadcasting.
1. Clapper/Slate Information
The clapper/slate needs to have specific pieces of information: The key number that matches the number the ad is booked under. This number should be alphanumeric and no longer than 13 characters, and shouldn’t have spaces or special characters. The clapper can additionally show other things, like the client’s name, the product or service being promoted, the commercial title and name of the agency.
2. Audio Issues
Various countries have differing standards for audio, so care must be taken to be sure the audio will be correct for broadcast.
3. Frames of Silence
Many stations require commercials to have at least 12 frames of silence from start to finish, which helps to build a smooth transition between commercials, rather than every audio track beginning and ending abruptly.
4. Sound Levels
To make sure commercials are not too loud or soft, sound editors are expected to monitor the sound levels to ensure compliance with local standards. For instance, Australian OP48 identifies peaking level of -9dB, with averages around -20dB. Extremely high or low levels run the rist of being rejected by broadcasters.
In the United States, the related standard is the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act as documented by the Advanced Television Systems Committee.
5. Aspect Ratio
Since transitioning from tapes to digital, one of the more typical issues plaguing broadcasting has been aspect ratio, especially with the introduction of high definition TV.
Many broadcasters will deliver footage with a 16:9 aspect ratio. However, if you’re utilizing a delivery system, it’s normally easiest to offer your 16:9 broadcasts as 4:3 anamorphic files.
In reference to broadcasting over the Internet, such standardization doesn’t exist. To deliver successful on-demand and live media to the Internet, bandwidth requirements also need to be considered.