DCL GLOBAL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
VERSION 4.1
DCL GLOBAL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS.
©2014, DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS LLC.
CONFIDENTIAL.
1
INTRODUCTION
This specification notifies Discovery’s production partners of Discovery’s technical requirements and standards for
program masters, graphics masters, and supplemental program audio. Production partners are responsible for
reading and understanding these requirements and delivering products that meet them. In this specification,
“Discovery” refers to any network owned by Discovery Communications LLC (DCL), as well as any of DCL’s joint
ventures. The term “production partner” refers to the production company providing a program to Discovery,
whether through commission, co-production, or acquisition.
WHAT IS IN THIS SPECIFICATION?
This specification includes Discovery’s technical requirements for SD, HD, and stereoscopic 3D programs. It applies
to programs delivered in any of the seven television standards that Discovery accepts for program delivery.
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•
•
•
•
•
•
1080i 59.94
1080i 50
1080p 29.97
1080p 25
1080p 23.98
NTSC
PAL
Production partners must refer to their contracts to determine which of these television standards Discovery
requires for their program.
This specification also includes Discovery’s technical requirements for the delivery of program graphics packages
on LTO data tape.
This specification does not include Discovery’s requirements for file based program master delivery nor for delivery
of file based camera footage. Production partners can find those requirements in the “Discovery File Based
Program Masters” addendum and the “Discovery File Based Footage Delivery Policy.”
NEW IN VERSION 4.1
Version 4.1 of this specification includes clarifications and changes from version 4.0. These are some of the key
differences.
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•
•
•
•
Clarifications and changes in the audio section around loudness levels, track assignments, dipped and
undipped stems, and how to manage bleeps for profanity
Clarification on how the program text protection area is enforced
A simplified program leader specification for SD and HD
Some clarifications in the LTO Graphics Master section
Minor updates and corrections
Version 4.1 contains these changes as well as others. Production partners with questions should contact their
Discovery Production Manager.
DCL GLOBAL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS.
©2014, DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS LLC.
CONFIDENTIAL.
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NORMATIVE AND INFORMATIVE LANGUAGE
This specification contains both normative and informative language. The specification uses normative language
to state Discovery’s requirements. In this specification, the words “must” and “shall” are used to indicate that
compliance is mandatory. Most of the language in this specification is normative, but the specification also uses
some informative language. Words such as “should”, “may”, or any section preceded by “NOTE” indicate that a
statement is informative. These parts of the document contain background information or present production
partners with several options.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SECTION ONE: VIDEO ............................................................................................. 4
1.1 REQUIREMENTS FOR SD PROGRAMS ..................................................................................................................4
1.2 REQUIREMENTS FOR HD PROGRAMS ................................................................................................................10
1.3 REQUIREMENTS FOR 3D HD PROGRAMS ..........................................................................................................15
SECTION TWO: AUDIO ......................................................................................... 19
2.1 AUDIO PHASE .....................................................................................................................................................19
2.2 AUDIO SYNCHRONIZATION WITH PICTURE .......................................................................................................19
2.3 SYNCHRONIZATION BETWEEN AUDIO TRACKS..................................................................................................19
2.4 AUDIO LEVELS ....................................................................................................................................................19
2.5 REQUIREMENTS FOR AUDIO MIXING ................................................................................................................20
2.6 AUDIO TRACK CONFIGURATION ........................................................................................................................21
2.7 AUDIO TRACK CONTENTS ..................................................................................................................................22
2.8 BROADCAST WAVE FILES ...................................................................................................................................23
SECTION THREE: GRAPHICS ELEMENTS ................................................................ 25
3.1 AFTER EFFECTS PROJECTS ..................................................................................................................................25
3.2 MOVING VIDEO ELEMENTS THAT ARE NOT AFTER EFFECTS PROJECTS.............................................................27
3.3 STILL IMAGES .....................................................................................................................................................27
3.4 DELIVERY USING LTO-5 DATA TAPE AND LTFS ...................................................................................................27
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SECTION ONE: VIDEO
This section of the specifications details Discovery’s requirements for SD, HD, and stereoscopic 3D video. The SD
subsection contains the requirements for NTSC and PAL programs. The HD subsection contains requirements for
programs delivered in 1080i 59.94, 1080i 50, 1080p 29.97, 1080p 25, and 1080p 23.98. The 3D subsection contains
additional requirements for programs delivered in stereoscopic 3D.
1.1 REQUIREMENTS FOR SD PROGRAMS
This subsection includes the requirements for programs delivered in NTSC and PAL.
1.1.1 REFERENCE STANDARDS FOR SD PROGRAMS
Discovery follows many common industry standards for video format and interchange. All SD programs must
comply with the following industry technical standards.
•
•
•
•
•
•
ITU-R BT.601-7 Studio Encoding Parameters of Digital Television for Standard 4:3 and Wide-screen 16:9
Aspect Ratios
ITU-R BT.624-4 Characteristics of Systems for Monochrome and Colour Television
SMPTE 259M-2008 SDTV Digital Signal/Data Serial Digital Interface
SMPTE 12M-1-2008 Time and Control Code
SMPTE RP 218:2009 Specifications for Safe Action and Safe Title Areas for Television Systems
SMPTE 170M-2004 Composite Analog Video Signal – NTSC for Studio Applications
1.1.2 ACCEPTABLE CAMERA SYSTEMS FOR SD PROGRAMS
Production partners must use only professional-grade cameras, recorders, media and tools. At the request of the
Discovery Production Manager (PM), partners must provide a production workflow for review. The Discovery PM
must review and approve the production workflow before production can begin. Partners can download the
Production Workflow Questionnaire from the Discovery Producer’s Portal (http://producers.discovery.com)
1.1.3 ACCEPTABLE MASTERING CODECS FOR SD PROGRAMS
When creating the master, production partners must only use codecs that meet the following specifications:
•
•
•
•
•
The codec must use 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 sub sampling for the color difference (chroma) signals
The video must have a minimum resolution of 720 by 480 for NTSC, 720 by 576 for PAL
The codec must use only intra-frame compression
The codec must have a minimum bit rate of 50 megabits per second (Mb/s) for video
The codec must preserve audio with at least 20 bits of depth with 48 kHz sampling
These requirements apply to codecs used in nonlinear editing systems, recorders, or any other tool used to create
the finished version of the program master. Production partners may use other codecs for “offline” editing, if they
use codecs meeting these requirements for their final “online” edit. If production partners have questions about
the qualifications of an editing system or codec, they should contact their Discovery Production Manager.
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1.1.4 ASPECT RATIO FOR SD PROGRAMS
Production partners must deliver their programs in the aspect ratio specified by
the deliverables exhibit of their contract. Discovery uses two primary aspect
ratios for SD program masters: 16:9 and 4:3.
When delivering a 16:9 program master in SD the production partner must
format the 16:9 video as a full height anamorphic image within the 4:3 SD frame
(Figure 1). In a full height anamorphic image the 16:9 image is squeezed
horizontally by 33%, distorting the image. This preserves as much of the
resolution of the 16:9 image as possible while fitting it within the 4:3 frame.
Programs must not contain a mix of different aspect ratios.
If the production partner’s contract requires delivery of the program as a 16:9
letterbox, the letterbox must meet the following requirements.
NTSC letterbox images must be 181 scan lines in height in each field. The
top of the image must be at line 50 (field 1) and the bottom of the image must
be at line 233 (field 1).
PAL letterbox images must be 216 scan lines in height in each field. The top of
the image must be at line 58 (field 1) and the bottom of the image must be at
line 275 (field 1).
Letterbox images must not contain partial lines of picture. The top and bottom
edges of the letterbox must be full lines of picture.
Figure 1: Aspect Ratio Examples
1.1.5 WORKMANSHIP
Production partners must deliver programs that meet Discovery’s standards for professional workmanship. When
delivering a program on videotape, the videotape must meet the VTR manufacturer’s standards for the tape
format. Production partners must create master tapes using VTRs maintained in compliance with the
manufacturer’s instructions and accurately calibrated to the manufacturer’s specifications. The physical tape stock
must be of professional quality and free from damage, creases, or other defects that would cause the VTR to
report a channel condition error. Discovery will not accept videotapes that contain channel condition errors.
Programs must also be free of dropouts and digital blocking errors recorded into the program from other sources.
Each program master must be delivered on its own videotape. If production partners deliver their program master
using videotape, they must not combine multiple episodes or programs onto a single videotape.
The program must be free of errors in workmanship or craftsmanship. The program must not contain flash frames,
jump cuts, or other editing errors.
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1.1.6 PROGRAM LEADER
All programs must begin with a leader element with industry-standard reference signals and program identification
information. Table 1.1.6 shows the program leader layout for NTSC and PAL programs.
Table 1.1.6 Program Leader for NTSC and PAL Programs
Starting Time
Video
Code
Contents
NTSC 00;58;30;00
SMPTE Color
PAL 09:58:30:00
Bars at 75%
saturation
Audio Contents
Reference tone at 1 kHz on all full mix channels, either stereo or
surround, reference tone of 400 Hz on all other channels. For
NTSC programs the reference tone must have a level of–20
dBFS.
For PAL programs, the reference tone must have a level of -18
dBFS.
Silence
NTSC 00;59;30;00
PAL 09:59:30:00
Black
NTSC 00;59;35;00
PAL 09:59:35:00
Program
Slates
(including
WOO slate if
required)
Video
Countdown
from 10 to 3
Silence
NTSC 00:59:57:02
PAL 09:59:57:02
Black
Silence
NTSC 00;59;57;06
PAL 09:59:57:06
White
Sync Indicator
Two frames of white video and 1khz tone
NTSC 00;59;57;08
PAL 09:59:57:08
Black
Silence
NTSC 1;00;00;00
PAL 10:00:00:00
Program
begins
Program begins
NTSC 00;59;50;00
PAL 09:59:50:00
DCL GLOBAL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS.
Audible tone at each 1 second interval
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1.1.7 TIME CODE
The program’s time code must be continuous, without error, and contain the appropriate flagging information in
adherence to SMPTE 12M-2008.
All time code tracks (Vertical Interval Time Code (VITC), Longitudinal Time Code (LTC), and Ancillary Data Area
(HANC or VANC) time code) must match exactly.
Programs delivering in NTSC must have VITC signals on lines 16 and 18 in the NTSC vertical blanking area.
Programs delivering in PAL must have VITC on lines 19 and 21 of the PAL vertical blanking area.
NTSC programs must begin at 1:00:00:00. PAL programs must begin at 10:00:00:00
If a program is too long to fit on a single videotape, the program must be continued on a second videotape. The
program must begin on the second videotape at 3:00:00:00 NTSC, 13:00:00:00 PAL.
NTSC programs must use SMPTE drop frame time code.
Table 1.1.7 Time Code Requirements by Video Standard
Requirement
Time code type
VITC Position
Program Start
NTSC
SMPTE Drop Frame
Lines 16 and 18
1:00:00:00
PAL
EBU
Lines 19 and 21
10:00:00:00
1.1.8 PICTURE POSITIONING
Program video must fill the visible screen and be consistently positioned from shot to shot and scene to scene.
Table 1.1.8 gives the requirement for the video size and positioning when measured using a waveform monitor as
a composite signal.
Table 1.1.8 Picture Positioning Requirements by Video Standard
Requirement
Left edge of picture
(as measured from the falling
edge of the sync pulse)
Right Edge of picture
(as measured from the falling
edge of the sync pulse)
Top of picture
Bottom of picture
NTSC
Must start between 10.4 and 12
microseconds. Positioning cannot
vary by more than 1.0
microseconds between shots
Must reach to at least 61.5
microseconds. Positioning cannot
vary by more than 1.0
microseconds between shots
Must begin by line 25 (Field 1)
Must reach line 257 (Field 1)
DCL GLOBAL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS.
PAL
Must start between 11.5 and 13
microseconds. Positioning cannot
vary by more than 1.0
microseconds between shots
Must reach to at least 61.5
microseconds. Positioning cannot
vary by more than 1.0
microseconds between shots
Must begin by line 26 (Field 1)
Must reach line 305 (Field 1)
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1.1.9 PROGRAM TEXT PROTECTED AREA FOR SD
Discovery has created a protected area for program text to prevent on air branding and network identifiers (bugs)
from covering text elements within programs. Production partners must place all program text elements except
for program opening sequences, credits, or segment bumps inside this protected area. Program opening
sequences, credits, and segment bumpers must still comply with the title safe requirements in section 1.1.10.
Moving program text elements can begin their movement outside the protected area but must be fully inside the
protected area when their movement is complete.
The SD program text protected area is a single rectangular area within the SD raster. In NTSC it begins on line 68
(field one) and ends on line 238 (field one). In PAL it begins on line 79 (field one) and ends on line 282 (field one).
Horizontally it begins at 14.8 microseconds after the falling edge of the sync pulse within the horizontal blanking
area (72 pixels from the left screen edge) and ends at 48 microseconds after the falling edge of the sync pulse (513
pixels from the left screen edge).
Discovery provides templates that show the position and size of the Program Text Protected Area. These
templates are available for download as full raster TIFF files or PNG files from the Discovery Producer’s Portal
(http://producers.discovery.com).
Figure 2: Program Text Protected Area SD - PAL
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1.1.10 TITLE SAFE
Production partners must place program text elements in the text safe area defined by SMPTE RP 218 (2009). The
safe area defined in RP 218 is more conservative than the current SMPTE standard (SMPTE S 2046).
For NTSC (525) signals, the safe title area is the central 80% of the picture, an area of 576 by 384 pixels beginning
72 pixels from the left edge and 47 pixels from the top of the image and ending 648 pixels from the left edge and
432 pixels from the top of the image.
For PAL (625) signals, the safe title area is the central 80% of the picture, an area of 576 by 460 pixels beginning 72
pixels from the left edge and 58 pixels from the top of the image and ending 648 pixels from the left edge and 518
pixels from the top of the image. Producers can download a TIFF file defining this area from the Discovery
Producer’s Portal (http://producers.discovery.com)
1.1.11 VIDEO LEVELS
The program’s luminance levels must not exceed 100% or fall below the legal black level. NTSC programs must not
have luminance levels above 100 IRE or below 7.5 IRE. PAL programs must not have luminance levels above 700
millivolts (mv) or below 0 mv.
Program chrominance levels must not exceed 120% of the maximum luminance level. Discovery measures the
chrominance of SD programs as encoded composite waveforms using a flat filter. NTSC programs must not have
encoded chrominance levels above 120 IRE. PAL programs must not have encoded chrominance levels above 840
mv.
All color saturation values within the program must stay within the legal gamut for a composite analog signal. A
vector scope set to 75% shows the outer edge of legal gamut as the outer ring on the scope’s graticule. The
program’s color saturation levels must never extend beyond this outer ring. The legal gamut for NTSC is different
from the legal gamut for PAL. SMPTE 170M defines the legal gamut of composite NTSC signals. In NTSC some
colors, most notably yellow, cyan, and green, are outside the legal gamut when saturated at 100%. ITU-R BT.624.4
defines the legal gamut of composite PAL signals.
1.1.12 STANDARDS CONVERSION AND MIXED FRAME RATE ACQUISITION
Production partners must shoot, edit, and master programs in the single frame rate specified by their program
contract. If partners cannot avoid using footage with different frame rates because of archival or historic footage,
then they must use only the highest quality conversion techniques and hardware to convert between the two
frame rates and they must alert their Discovery Production Manager of the specific time codes where mixed frame
rates have been used. If converting footage between 50 hertz (Hz) and 60 Hz, producers must use standards
conversion hardware or software with motion compensation and phase correlation. Programs must not contain
blurring, stuttering, de-interlacing artifacts, blended fields, or other artifacts of standards conversion.
1.1.13 GAMMA
The production partner must master the program using the standard ITU-R BT.601 gamma curves and colorimetry.
This excludes masters with all other gamma curves, including log curves.
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1.2 REQUIREMENTS FOR HD PROGRAMS
This subsection includes the requirements for programs delivered in the HD standards of 1080i 59.94, 1080i 50,
1080p 29.97, 1080p 25, and 1080p 23.98.
1.2.1 REFERENCE STANDARDS FOR HD PROGRAMS
Discovery follows many common industry standards for video format and interchange. All HD programs must
comply with the following industry technical standards:
•
•
•
•
•
ITU-R BT.709-5 Parameter values for the HDTV standards for production and international programme
exchange
SMPTE ST 292-1: 2012 1.5 Gb/s Signal/Data Serial Interface
SMPTE ST 274: 2008 1920 × 1080 Image Sample Structure, Digital Representation and Digital Timing
Reference Sequences for Multiple Picture Rates
SMPTE 12M-1-2008 Time and Control Code
SMPTE RP 218:2009 Specifications for Safe Action and Safe Title Areas for Television Systems
1.2.2 ACCEPTABLE CAMERA SYSTEMS FOR HD PROGRAMS
Production partners must use only professional-grade cameras, recorders, media and tools. At the request of the
Discovery Production Manager (PM), partners must provide a production workflow for review. The Discovery PM
must review and approve the production workflow before production can begin. Partners can download the
Production Workflow Questionnaire from the Discovery Producer’s Portal (http://producers.discovery.com)
1.2.3 UPCONVERTED MATERIALS IN HD PROGRAMS
Upconverted content (content converted from Standard Definition sources to an HD format) must not make up
more than 15% of the program’s content. The program must not contain more than one contiguous minute of
upconverted footage.
1.2.4 ACCEPTABLE MASTERING CODECS FOR HD PROGRAMS
When creating the master, production partners must only use codecs that meet the following specifications:
•
•
•
•
•
The codec must use 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 sub sampling for the color difference (chroma) signals
The video must have a minimum resolution of 1920 by 1080
The codec must use only intra-frame compression
The codec must have a minimum bit rate of 100 megabits per second (Mb/s) for video
The codec must preserve audio with at least 20 bits of depth with 48 kHz sampling
These requirements apply to codecs used in nonlinear editing systems, recorders, or any other tool used to create
the finished version of the program master. Production partners may use other codecs for “offline” editing, if they
use codecs meeting the requirements for their final “online” edit. If production partners have questions about the
qualifications of an editing system or codec, they should contact their Discovery Production Manager.
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1.2.5 WORKMANSHIP
Production partners must deliver programs that meet Discovery’s standards for professional workmanship. When
delivering a program on videotape, the videotape must meet the VTR manufacturer’s standards for the tape
format. Production partners must create master tapes using VTRs maintained in compliance with the
manufacturer’s instructions and accurately calibrated to the manufacturer’s specifications. The physical tape stock
must be of professional quality and free from damage, creases, or other defects that would cause the VTR to
report a channel condition error. Discovery will not accept videotapes that contain channel condition errors.
Programs must also be free of dropouts and digital blocking errors recorded into the program from other sources.
Each program master must be delivered on its own videotape. If production partners deliver their program master
using videotape, they must not combine multiple episodes or programs onto a single videotape.
The program must be free of errors in workmanship or craftsmanship. The program must not contain flash frames,
jump cuts, or other editing errors.
1.2.6 PROGRAM LEADER
All programs must begin with a leader element with industry-standard reference signals and program identification
information. Table 1.2.6 shows the program leader layout for HD programs with frame rates of 23.98, 25 and
29.97 frames per second (fps).
Table 1.2.6 Program Leader for HD Programs
Starting Time Code
Video Contents
23.98 00:58:30:00
SMPTE Color
29.97 00;58;30;00
Bars at 75%
25
09:58:30:00
saturation
Audio Contents
Reference tone at 1 kHz on all full mix channels, either stereo or
surround, reference tone of 400 Hz on all other channels. For NTSC
programs the reference tone must have a level of–20 dBFS.
For PAL programs, the reference tone must have a level of -18 dBFS.
Silence
23.98
29.97
25
23.98
29.97
25
00:59:30:00
00;59;30;00
09:59:30:00
00:59:35:00
00;59;35;00
09:59:35:00
Black
Program Slates,
including WOO
slate if required
Silence
23.98
29.97
25
23.98
29.97
25
23.98
29.97
25
23.98
29.97
25
23.98
29.97
25
00:59:50:00
00;59;50;00
09:59:50:00
00:59:57:02
00;59;57;02
09:59:57:02
00:59:57;06
00;59;57;06
09:59:57:06
00:59:57:08
00;59;57;08
09:59:57:08
1:00:00:00
1;00;00;00
10:00:00:00
Video
Countdown
from 10 to 3
Black
Audible tone at each 1 second interval
White
Sync Indicator
Two frames of white video and 1khz tone
Black
Silence
Program begins
Program begins
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Silence
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1.2.7 TIME CODE
The program’s time code must be continuous, without error, and contain the appropriate flagging information in
adherence to SMPTE 12M-2008.
All time code tracks (Vertical Interval Time Code (VITC), Longitudinal Time Code (LTC), and Ancillary Data Area
(HANC or VANC) time code) must match exactly.
23.98 and 29.97 frames per second (fps) programs must begin at 1:00:00:00. 25 fps programs must begin at
10:00:00:00
If a program is too long to fit on a single tape, the program must be continued on a second tape. The program
must begin on the second tape at 3:00:00:00 (29.97, 23.98 fps), or 13:00:00:00 (25 fps).
29.97 fps programs must use SMPTE drop frame time code.
Table 1.2.7 Time Code Requirements by Video Standard
Requirement
Time code type
Program Start
29.97 fps
SMPTE Drop Frame
1:00:00:00
25 fps
EBU
10:00:00:00
23.98 fps
SMPTE Non Drop Frame
1:00:00:00
1.2.8 PICTURE POSITIONING
Program video must fill the visible screen and be consistently positioned from shot to shot and scene to scene.
Table 1.2.8 gives the requirement for the video size and positioning when measured using a waveform monitor as
a component digital signal with SAV and EAV pulses visible.
Table 1.2.8 Picture Positioning Requirements by Video Standard
Requirement
Left edge of picture
(as measured from the SAV
pulse)
Right Edge of picture
(as measured from the SAV
pulse)
Top of picture
Bottom of picture
29.97 fps
25 fps
23.98 fps
Must begin no more than 1
microsecond after the SAV
pulse
Must begin no more than 1
microsecond after the SAV pulse
Must begin no more than 1
microsecond after the SAV
pulse
Must reach to 25 microseconds
after the SAV pulse
Must reach to 25 microseconds
after the SAV pulse
Must reach to 25
microseconds after the SAV
pulse
Must begin by line 31 (field 1)
Must begin by line 31 (field 1)
Must begin by line 62
Must reach line 550 (field 1)
Must reach line 550 (field 1)
Must reach line 1101
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1.2.9 PROGRAM TEXT PROTECTED AREA FOR HD
Discovery has created a protected area for program text to prevent on air branding and network identifiers (bugs)
from covering text elements in programs. Production partners must place all program text elements except for
program opening sequences, credits, or segment bumps inside this protected area. Program opening sequences,
credits, and segment bumpers must still comply with the title safe requirements in section 1.2.10. Moving
program text elements can begin their movement outside of the protected area but must be fully inside the
protected area when their movement is complete.
The HD program text protected area is a single rectangular area inside the HD raster. It begins on line 100 (field
one) and ends on line 506 (field one). Horizontally it begins at 2.4 microseconds after the SAV pulse (192 pixels
from the left screen edge) within the horizontal blanking area and ends at 18.6 microseconds (1389 pixels from the
left screen edge).
Discovery provides templates showing the Program Text Protected Area. These templates are available for
download as full raster TIFF files from the Discovery Producer’s Portal (http:/producers.discovery.com)
Figure 3: Program Text Protected Area for HD
1.2.10 TITLE SAFE
Production partners must place program text elements within the text safe area defined in SMPTE RP 218 (2009).
The safe area defined in RP 218 is more conservative than the current SMPTE standard (SMPTE S 2046).
For HD (all 1920x1080)signals, the safe title area is the central 80% of the picture, an area of 1536 by 864 pixels
beginning 192 pixels from the left edge and 108 pixels from the top of the image and ending 1728 pixels from the
left edge and 972 pixels from the top of the image. Producers can download a TIFF file defining this area from the
Discovery Producer’s Portal (http://producers.discovery.com)
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1.2.11 VIDEO LEVELS
HD programs must not have luminance levels above 700 millivolts (mv) or below 0 mv.
The program’s color difference signals (R-Y, B-Y) must not rise above 700 mv or fall below 0 mv when measured
with a 350 millivolt offset.
1.2.12 STANDARDS CONVERSION AND MIXED FRAME RATE ACQUISITION
Production partners must shoot, edit, and master programs in the single frame rate specified by their program
contract. If partners cannot avoid using footage with different frame rates because of archival or historic footage,
then they must use only the highest quality conversion techniques and hardware to convert between the two
frame rates and they must alert their Discovery Production Manager of the specific time codes where mixed frame
rates have been used. If converting footage between 50 hertz (Hz) and 60 Hz, producers must use standards
conversion hardware or software with motion compensation and phase correlation. Programs must not contain
blurring, stuttering, de-interlacing artifacts, blended fields, or other artifacts of standards conversion.
1.2.13 GAMMA
The production partner must master the program using the standard ITU-R BT.709 gamma curves and colorimetry.
This excludes masters with all other gamma curves, including log curves.
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1.3 REQUIREMENTS FOR 3D HD PROGRAMS
This subsection details the additional requirements for programs delivering in stereoscopic 3D. 3D programs must
also follow the specifications in Section 1.2. This 3D subsection only includes specifications that are unique to 3D
content.
1.3.1 DELIVERY FORMATS FOR 3D PROGRAMS
Production partners may choose to deliver 3D masters in any of the following formats:
TWO DPX FILE SEQUENCES, one containing the left eye view and the other containing the right eye view. DPX files
must adhere to SMPTE 268M ”File Format for Digital Moving-Picture Exchange (DPX),Version 2.0.” DPX files must
have the following characteristics•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Image Size: 1920 x 1080
Colorimetric Information: ITU-BT709-4
Bit Depth: 10 bits (integer)
Byte order: Big Endian
Time code: Valid SMPTE time code for each frame
Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1:1 (square)
Files will be named using the Discovery Program Asset ID (PAID), using the following pattern
123456_123_12_123_EE_XXXXXX where EE is the eye view indicator (LE for left eye, RE or right eye) and
XXXXXX is the incremental file number of the frame, beginning with 000000
The deliverables section of the DCL Program Contract lists the PAID number for the program. The DCL
Production Manager can address any questions about PAID number assignment.
The full sequence for each eye view will be in a separate folder, with folder named using the PAID and
“LE” or “RE” to designate the eye view.
DPX files must be delivered on a drive formatted as a single EXFAT or NTFS volume and with an IEEE1394 (800)
interface. Drives must be delivered in protective containers that contain the drive and all relevant power cords
and device connection cords. An MD5 checksum must be run on each of the media folders before they are copied
onto the drive. Once the media folders are copied to the drive, a new MD5 checksum analysis must be run to
verify the copy. The checksum results file must remain on the drive. The checksum file must indicate the MD5
checksum value for each file in the folder and be in the .MD5 format. The checksum summary files must be placed
in the root of the drive volume.
When the production partner delivers a program using the DPX file delivery option they must encode the audio as
Broadcast WAV files. The WAV files must be placed in an AUDIO folder on the drive containing the DPX image
sequences. The Broadcast WAV files must adhere to the specifications and naming conventions laid out in section
2.8 of this document.
OR
TWO HDCAM SR MASTER TAPES, one containing the left eye view and the other containing the right eye view.
Master tapes must meet manufacturer’s standard for tape format interchange. Master tapes must be HDCAM SR,
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at the 1080 interlace 59.94 Hz line rate or 1080 Progressive Segmented 23.98 Hz line rate, recorded in 4:2:2 mode.
All tapes must be recorded on VTRs that have been maintained in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions
and have been accurately calibrated per the manufacturer’s specifications. Tapes must be free of dropouts,
channel condition errors, and physical tape defects. The tape labeling must clearly reflect which eye view is
included on the tape. The tape and the tape case must be marked with a large “LE” for the left eye view and a
large “RE” for the right eye view.
OR
ONE HDCAM SR DUAL STREAM MASTER TAPE containing both the left eye and right eye views. The left eye view
must be stream one on the master tape and the right eye view must be stream two. Master tapes must meet
manufacturer’s standard for tape format interchange. Master tapes must be HDCAM SR, at the 1080 interlace
59.94 Hz line rate or 1080 Progressive Segmented 23.98 Hz line rate, recorded in 4:2:2 X 2 mode. The tape labeling
must clearly reflect that the tape is a dual stream master.
1.3.2 BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR 3D PROGRAM VIDEO
All acquisition and recording systems must maintain the full frame resolution throughout the production and
mastering process. Systems that record “frame compatible” signals with reduced resolution may not be used.
1.3.3 ACCEPTABLE CAMERA SYSTEMS FOR 3D PROGRAMS
Production partners must use only professional-grade cameras, recorders, rigs, media and tools. Partners must
give their production workflows to the Discovery Production Manager (PM) for review. The Discovery PM must
approve the production workflow before production can begin. Partners can download the 3D Production
Workflow Questionnaire from the Discovery Producer’s Portal (http://producers.discovery.com)
1.3.4 ACCEPTABLE MASTERING CODECS FOR 3D PROGRAMS
When creating the master, production partners must only use codecs that meet the following specifications:
• The codec must use 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 sub sampling for the color difference (chroma) signals
• The video must have a minimum resolution of 1920 by 1080 for each eye view
• The codec must use only intra-frame compression
• The codec must have a minimum bit rate of 100 megabits per second (Mb/s) for video
• The codec must preserve audio with at least 20 bits of depth with 48 kHz sampling
These requirements apply to codecs used in nonlinear editing systems, recorders, or any other tool used to create
the finished version of the program master. Production partners may use other codecs for “offline” editing, if they
use codecs meeting the requirements for their final “online” edit. If production partners have questions about the
qualifications of an editing system or codec, they should contact their Discovery Production Manager.
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1.3.5 VIEW ALIGNMENT
The left eye and right eye views must be properly aligned in the vertical axis with minimal vertical offset. The
vertical misalignment of the two eye views must not exceed three (3) lines at picture center or seven (7) lines at
the picture edges. The two views may not be more than a quarter of a degree out of rotational alignment at any
point in the program. The focal length and focus of both views must be aligned, free of any differences in
perceived clarity or image size between the eye views.
1.3.6 COLORIMETRIC ALIGNMENT
The colorimetry of the two eye views must be properly aligned throughout the program, with no perceivable
difference in picture gamma, hue, luminance, or chrominance between the two views.
1.3.7 VIEW DISPARITY
The disparity between the left and right eye views must not go beyond the point of clear binocular single vision or
cause viewing discomfort for the average viewer.
NOTE: There is not currently an established standard for stereoscopic viewer comfort in the television viewing
environment. While professionals in 3D production and optometry continue research in this area, we require that
DCL’s producers use their best judgment and produce comfortable stereo (3D) images for the television screen.
Comfort for television viewing differs from cinema viewing, as screen size, viewing distance and lighting conditions
are all different in the typical home television viewing environment. Viewing conditions in the post production
environment should reflect likely viewing conditions in the home, with display sizes ranging from 40 inches to 65
inches (diagonal) and viewing distances of between four and five screen heights. Producers should avoid excessive
parallax values that exceed the intraocular distance of the average viewer (67 millimeters) when viewed on larger
displays. Images with excessive negative parallax (objects placed too far in front of the screen plane) should also be
avoided. Viewers must be able to comfortably fuse (see as a single object) all the objects in the image without eye
strain.
1.3.8 VERGENCE
The program must not contain sudden and significant shifts in the vergence position. If a transition between shots
requires a significant shift in the perceived screen plane, a vergence dissolve transition (sometimes known as a
hand-off) must be used.
NOTE: While research continues in this area, it is known that large shifts in vergence (changing the focusing from
object that appears well behind the screen plane to one well in front or vice versa) result in eye strain and viewer
discomfort. Again, producers should use their best judgment and strive for a comfortable image over the course of
the program.
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1.3.9 INCLUSION OF 2D CONTENT
The program must be composed of at least 85 percent natively acquired 3D footage or 2D footage converted using
a method approved in writing by Discovery. When 2D stock footage is used in the program it must be incorporated
as a flat element (the left eye and right eye views containing an identical image). 2D footage must not compose
more than 15 percent of the program and may not make up more than one contiguous minute of the program.
The Discovery Production Manager must approve any exception to this requirement in advance.
1.3.10 TEXT PLACEMENT
The text elements of both the left eye and right eye view must adhere to Discovery’s standard for HD title safe.
The text elements must be placed at a depth position appropriate to the background. While the placement of
these text elements is a creative choice, the text elements must not contain false depth cues. A false depth cue is
created when the text is superimposed on top of objects in the video image while having depth/parallax values
that would place the text behind those objects in relative Z space.
1.3.11 STEREO WINDOW VIOLATIONS
The program must be free of stereo window violations. Objects that are central to the viewer’s focus may not
break the right and left edges of the screen when placed in negative parallax.
1.3.12 TIME CODE
The time code of the left and right eye master tapes or file sequences must match exactly. 3D programs must also
follow the time code requirements found in Section 1.2.7.
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SECTION TWO: AUDIO
This section of the specifications details Discovery’s requirements and standards for the audio content of the
program master, as well as any supplemental audio deliverables.
2.1 AUDIO PHASE
Stereo channels within the program master must be in coherent phase with each other. When the left and right
channels of a stereo pair are summed to mono there must be no phase cancellation or discernible change in
fidelity. If production partners use stereo-enhancement software or hardware, they must use it to enhance the
stereo experience without compromising mono playback in any way.
2.2 AUDIO SYNCHRONIZATION WITH PICTURE
The audio content of the program master must maintain proper synchronization with the video content
throughout the full length of the program. There must be no perceptible lip sync errors or other signs that the
audio content is out of synchronization with the video content. The audio content must not be more than 20
milliseconds ahead of the video content or more than 60 milliseconds behind the video content.
2.3 SYNCHRONIZATION BETWEEN AUDIO TRACKS
The audio tracks making up the program master must maintain proper synchronization with each other
throughout the full length of the program. If there is an offset between any sets of tracks, it must not exceed 15
milliseconds (half a frame).
2.4 AUDIO LEVELS
Discovery evaluates audio levels based on two measurements: loudness and true peak. The program’s audio
content must meet the following requirements for audio levels.
2.4.1 LOUDNESS LEVELS
The full mix tracks of the program must have an average loudness level of -24 LKFS/LUFS (plus or minus one dB), as
measured using a meter compliant with ITU-R BS.1770-3. If the program has multiple segments, each segment
must have an average loudness level of -24 LKFS/LUFS (plus or minus one dB.)
The program must also have consistent short term loudness levels. Short term loudness levels must not vary more
than four dB above or below the average loudness level of the program or program segment.
Short term loudness levels are derived using a continuous sliding window three seconds in duration, as specified in
EBU Tech 3341. The short term loudness level for each second is derived by calculating the average loudness level
of the past three seconds, as measured using a meter compliant with ITU-R BS.1770-3.
Discovery evaluates short term loudness level measurements in context. If there is a long passage of quiet natural
background sound without dialogue, the short term loudness measurement of that passage will and should be
lower than passages that contain dialogue as an anchor element.
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Discovery does not use “dialogue intelligent” meters when evaluating the loudness levels of programs. While
speech remains the “anchor element” of Discovery programming (see 2.5.1), Discovery will measure the loudness
level of the entire program, not only the sections containing speech.
2.4.2 PEAK LEVELS
The peak audio levels on any track in a program must never rise above -2 dBFS, when measured using a True Peak
meter compliant with ITU-R BS.1770-3. Production partners should only use audio peak levels above -6 dBFS in
small areas of the program and only when needed for impact or emphasis in the audio mix. While digital delivery of
television signals allows for high peak levels, older analog systems cannot allow peak levels above -10 dBFS. These
older analog systems may use audio limiting to lower peak levels. To avoid the impact of excessive peak limiting
production partners should use audio with high peak levels sparingly.
2.5 REQUIREMENTS FOR AUDIO MIXING
Discovery requires program audio mixes to provide a high quality experience for the networks’ viewers. To help
meet that requirement, Discovery’s production partners must create audio mixes that meet the following
requirements.
2.5.1 SPEECH IS THE ANCHOR ELEMENT
Production partners must create programs with audio mixes that allow Discovery’s viewers to clearly hear and
understand the dialogue, narration, and other spoken language. Music and effects in a program must not drown
out spoken language or make it difficult for viewers to understand.
2.5.2 DYNAMIC RANGE
Production partners must mix programs with a dynamic range that provides a comfortable experience for
Discovery’s viewers. Production partners must not use excessive dynamic compression to create programs with
dense and fatiguing audio mixes. Production partners must also avoid creating mixes with excessive dynamic range
or with an inconsistent dynamic range.
2.5.3 WORKMANSHIP
Production partners must create the audio content using professional tools and professional workmanship. Audio
must not contain noise, dropouts, or distortion. The audio must be free of artifacts caused by excessive dynamic
compression or brick wall limiting.
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2.6 AUDIO TRACK CONFIGURATION
Discovery requires a common track configuration for audio tracks on program masters regardless of the format
used to deliver the master. If the production partner’s contract requires them to deliver a program master using a
format that cannot contain 12 audio tracks, the production partner must deliver ALL TRACKS as broadcast wave
files in addition to the tracks delivered on the tape. This document lists the requirements for broadcast wave files
in Section 2.8. Figure 4 shows the audio track configuration for program masters and for three possible delivery
formats. Production Partners must deliver program masters using the format required by the deliverables exhibit
of their contract.
Figure 4: Audio Track Configuration for 12 Channel, 8 Channel, and 4 Channel Videotape Delivery.
Audio Tracks Delivered as BWAV Files on Data DVD
Audio Tracks Delivered on the Master Tape
12 Channel Videotape Format
8 Channel Videotape Format
4 Channel Videotape Format
1
Full Mix L
1
Full Mix L
1
Full Mix L
2
Full Mix R
2
Full Mix R
2
Full Mix R
3
Mix minus Narration, Undipped L
3
Mix minus Narration, Undipped L
3
Mix minus Narration, Undipped L
4
Mix minus Narration, Undipped R
4
Mix minus Narration, Undipped R
4
Mix minus Narration, Undipped R
5
6
Music, Undipped L
Music, Undipped L
Music, Undipped R
5
6
Music, Undipped R
7
Effects, Undipped L
7
Effects, Undipped L
8
9
Effects, Undipped R
8
Effects, Undipped R
Music and Effects Undipped L
10
Music and Effects Undipped R
11
SOT/Dialogue, Undipped Mono
12
Narration (or Laugh Track) Mono
Full Mix Stereo
Full Mix Stereo
Mix minus Narration, Undipped Stereo
Mix minus Narration, Undipped Stereo
Music, Undipped Stereo
Music, Undipped Stereo
Effects, Undipped Stereo
Effects, Undipped Stereo
Music and Effects Undipped Stereo
Music and Effects Undipped Stereo
SOT/Dialogue, Undipped Mono
SOT/Dialogue, Undipped Mono
Narration (or Laugh Track) Mono
Narration (or Laugh Track)Mono
NO BWAVS NEEDED FOR 12
CHANNEL VIDEOTAPE FORMAT
2.6.1 FULL MIX AUDIO FOR 5.1 SURROUND SOUND
If a production partner’s contract requires them to deliver a full mix in 5.1 surround sound the production partner
must deliver that mix as a single interleaved broadcast wave file. Production partners delivering a 5.1 full mix must
also deliver a stereo full mix. Discovery does not require producers to deliver stereo mixes that use Dolby Pro
Logic or any other type of encoded surround audio. The 5.1 full mix must use the L,R,C,S,Ls,Rs channel order.
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2.7 AUDIO TRACK CONTENTS
Discovery’s audio deliverables include a full program mix and six different audio stems. These audio stems allow
Discovery to modify the program audio, creating new mixes in other languages for distribution around the world.
This section defines the contents of each of the audio stems. While the stem definitions address many of the
common questions about how audio elements are grouped into stems, there will always be exceptions. When
questions come up production partners should use professional judgment to group elements into stems,
remembering that the main purpose of all stems is to create new program audio in different languages.
•
•
•
•
•
•
Narration: Narration includes all voiceover recordings provided by the program’s narrator or host. If the
program has a host who appears on camera, only the host’s off camera voiceover should be included in
the narration stem. The narration stem also includes any voiceover language translation. Scripted series
with laugh tracks must place laugh track audio on the narration stem.
SOT/Dialogue: This stem includes any on-camera dialogue, including on-camera dialogue from a
program’s host. The stem also includes any interviews, even when the interview subject is off camera. In
reality-style programs the dialogue may be inseparable from background sound and ambiance recorded in
the field. If audio recorded in the field contains dialogue that drives the program’s story, that audio
should be included in the dialogue stem. If not, it should be included as part of the effects stem.
Effects: The effects stem includes all effects added in post production, along with field recordings not
included in the SOT/Dialogue stem. Background ambiance without spoken language should always be
included in the effects stem. The effects stem should also include background dialogue from B-roll. If
dialogue is not driving the program story or is not intended to be understood it should be included in the
effects stem. The effects stem should also include any re-created ambiance or foley effects (with the
exception of laugh tracks).
Music: The music stem includes the program’s musical soundtrack and any tonal sound effects (drum
rolls, hits, etc) used to accentuate the soundtrack.
Mix minus Narration: This stem includes all the audio elements of the full mix except for the program’s
narration.
Music and Effects: This stem includes all the audio elements of the full mix except for the narration and
dialogue. This stem should be free of any spoken language used to drive the program story.
2.7.1 AUDIO DIPS
All audio stems must be “undipped.” Discovery uses the term “undipped” to describe audio stems that do not
change level in response to the other stems that make up the program’s mix. Some audio consoles refer to this as
“pre fader level.”
Undipped stems are essential to language customization work, as each language has its own timing and efficiency.
As an example: narration copy created in English will take longer to say in Spanish. If the audio stems dip in
response to the timing of the English narration then Discovery must remove those dips in the stems when
recreating the program in Spanish, or in any other language.
Undipped mix minus narration stems do not change level in response to the program narration. They continue at
the same level as if no narration was present. Undipped music and effects stems do not change level in response
to program narration or to program dialogue. They continue at the same level as if neither narration nor dialogue
were present. Figure 5 illustrates this concept.
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Dipped Track
In a dipped track the fader level falls in response to
the presence of audio on another track.
Narration Track
Fader Level
Mix Minus Narration Track
Dipped level – Fader level falls when Narration begins
In this example, a dipped Mix Minus Narration
track’s fader level falls in response to Narration on
the Narration track.
Undipped Track
In an undipped track the fader level does not change
because of the presence of audio on another track.
Narration Track
Fader Level
Mix Minus Narration Track
Undipped level – Fader level stays constant when Narration begins
In this example, an undipped Mix Minus Narration
track’s fader level stays constant even when there is
Narration on the Narration track.
Figure 5: Dipped and Undipped Audio Tracks
2.7.2 PROFANITY, CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION, AND BLEEPS ON AUDIO STEMS
When production partners bleep or mute dialogue on the full mix to cover profanity they must preserve the
original dialogue on the audio stems. Audio stems must not be bleeped or muted to cover profanity. This
includes the Mix Minus Narration and Music and Effects stems. Production partners may still use bleeps or
muting on all tracks (including audio stems) to protect confidential sources or personal information.
2.8 BROADCAST WAVE FILES
Some program delivery formats require production partners to deliver tracks as broadcast wave files. The
production partner must provide a separate file for each track type required by the “Program Deliverables” section
of their contract. Tracks must be grouped together by stem type. For example, the two tracks of a stereo Effects
stem must be grouped together into a single stereo broadcast wave file.
2.8.1 BROADCAST WAVE FILE SPECIFICATIONS
Broadcast Wave files must be 24 bits in depth, with a sample rate of 48 kHz. Mono files must be properly gain
compensated by +3dB: that is, a narration track, metering -20 dbFS when panned to center on a stereo meter,
would have a mono equivalent of -17 dBFS. This will result in mono files that produce audio levels identical to
their stereo counterparts.
Wave files must contain reference tone and the alignment sync indicator. The tone must align in time with its
videotape bars/tone equivalent, usually 1:30 before program start, or 00:58:30;00 (09:58:30:00 for 1080i 50,
1080p 25 and PAL programs). Wave files must also include the sync indicator (a two frame burst of 1k tone) at
00:59:57;06 (09:59:57:06 for 1080i 50, 1080p 25, and PAL programs).
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2.8.2 BROADCAST WAVE FILE NAMING CONVENTION
Production partners must name broadcast wave files using the Program Identification Number along with a brief
track descriptor component and an ISO 639 language descriptor code for tracks that contain spoken language. The
Program Identification number is a combination of the program’s Property ID and Episode Number. The episode
number is a three-digit number indicating the sequence of episodes within a series. The combination of these two
numbers becomes the Program Identification Number. Discovery assigns every program a Property ID and an
Episode Number. The Discovery producer or production manager will provide these identification numbers to the
production partner. Table 2.8.2A illustrates the naming convention for supplemental audio files. Table 2.8.2B lists
some of the common ISO 639 descriptor tags.
Table 2.8.2A Supplemental Audio File Naming Conventions
Track Type
Track
Descriptor
Language
Descriptors
Needed?
Full Mix (Stereo)
Full Mix (5.1)
Mix Minus Narration
Music
Effects
Music and Effects
On Camera Dialogue
Narration
MIX
51MIX
MINUS
MU
FXST
MnE
OCD
NAR
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Example File Name
123456_123_MIX_ENG.WAV
123456_123_51MIX_ENG.WAV
123456_123_MINUS_ENG.WAV
123456_123_MU.WAV
123456_123_FXST.WAV
123456_123_MnE.WAV
123456_123_OCD_ENG.WAV
123456_123_NAR_ENG.WAV
Table 2.8.2B ISO 639 Alpha Tags for Some Common Languages
Language
English
French
ISO 639 Alpha 3 Code
ENG
FRE
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Language
Spanish
German
ISO 639 Alpha 3 Code
SPA
GER
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SECTION THREE: GRAPHICS ELEMENTS
This section of the technical specifications details the requirements for graphics masters. The program contract
may require the production partner to deliver a graphics master along with the program master. The graphics
master contains all graphic elements used to create a program. The purpose of the graphics master is to provide
Discovery with all of the elements needed to recreate the graphic elements of the program in multiple languages.
3.1 DELIVERING AFTER EFFECTS PROJECTS
If the production partner created the graphics elements using Adobe After Effects then the production partner
may deliver an After Effects project for each element. If the graphics elements were not created in Adobe After
Effects then the production partner must use the format specified in section 3.2.
3.1.1 PROJECT FORMAT SPECIFICATIONS
After Effects projects must have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (square pixel) and a frame rate that matches the
frame rate of the program. Projects must have a color depth of 8 bits per channel and use the ITU-R709
colorimetry for their working space. Projects must use frame rates that match the frame rate of the program.
Project audio must have a sample rate of 48 KHz. The project must be created using Adobe After Effects CS6.
Any projects created using newer versions of Adobe After Effects must be saved as a CS6 compatible project.
3.1.2 RENDERING PROJECT FILES
Production partners must divide the layers within any After Effects projects into two groups: editable text layers
and background elements. Editable text layers are the text that Discovery can reasonably expect to change during
international language customization or creative customization of the program. Editable text layers must be
maintained as separate layers in the After Effects project. Editable text layers may not have characteristics that are
based on After Effects ‘Expression’ properties. All layers that contain editable text must be independent from
other layers. Background elements are the underlying video, banners, and other elements that make up the
backdrop for the editable text. Discovery requires all of these layers for its international customization process.
The production partner must provide two versions of each composition within the project. The first version must
contain all of the elements layers and sources used to create all of the elements within the project. The
production partner must also create a second composition within the After Effects project that provides all
background elements as pre-rendered video layers. The second composition must also contain all of the editable
text layers.
This includes:
•
•
•
Rendering out all back plates
Rendering out any elements that include third party plug-ins
Rendering out alpha channel or holdback matte information for layers that occlude any editable text layer
Pre-rendering must be done by using the After Effects <COMPOSITION – PRE-RENDER> command. Pre-renders
must be rendered using the Avid DnX codec at the correct bit rate for the frame rate of the composition (see 3.2)
or the Animation codec, contained within a Quicktime (MOV) wrapper. The DnX 145 codec or Animation codec
must be selected when setting up the options for the After Effects Output Module within the render queue. Prerenders may be rendered as progressive video or as interlaced video with upper field first dominance. Pre-renders
must be rendered at a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
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3.1.3 COMPILING AND COLLECTING PROJECT FILES
After Effects projects must be “collected” and pre-rendered prior for delivery to Discovery. All files used in a
project must be consolidated to the delivery drive using the After Effects <FILE – COLLECT FILES> command.
The <REDUCE PROJECT> option must be selected. This option will limit the collection to the files used within
the project’s compositions. The collection process gathers any media elements imported in the After Effects
project into a <(FOOTAGE)> folder. The collection report generated by After Effects must also be included. This
report details all of the resources used by the project. This report must include a list of all third party plug-ins
used in the creation of the project. Discovery’s verification process for graphics masters checks for the presence
of the <(FOOTAGE)> folder and the collection report for all After Effects projects. Discovery will reject graphics
masters that have After Effects projects without these elements.
3.1.4 FONT USAGE
The collection report provided with the project must list all fonts that were used in the project. Discovery cannot
accept delivery of font files.
3.1.5 PROJECT ORGANIZATION AND LABELING
All compositions within an After Effects project file must be clearly named. The composition name must include
the PropertyID of the program or series as well as a brief description of the composition’s purpose. File names
cannot exceed 50 characters in length. As an example: a textless version of the project file for the program
opening sequence for program 123456 would be named <123456_TEXTLESS_OPEN.AEP>.
All layers within a composition must use the following naming convention:
•
•
Rendered background layers must have a name that begins with BKGD followed by a brief description
Any supplemental layers, such as holdback mattes, must be clearly named to indicate their function in the
project.
All compositions within a project must use the following naming convention:
•
•
Compositions that contain only the text elements and pre-rendered video layers must have a name that
begins with PRDR followed by a brief description
Compositions that contain the full set of layers and effects must have a name that begins with FULL
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3.2 MOVING VIDEO ELEMENTS THAT ARE NOT AFTER EFFECTS PROJECTS
Graphics elements that contain moving video must be delivered as a single video layer. Multilayer elements must
be flattened into a single layer, excluding any layers that contain text. Moving video element files must be given a
descriptive name that describes their purpose. The single layer video file must adhere to the following parameters:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Resolution of 1920 x 1080
Field Dominance set to “upper” for files containing interlaced video
Frame rate that matches the frame rate of the program
Codecs: Production Partners must use the DnX codec or the Quicktime Animation codec to encode the
video essence of the file. Production Partners may only use versions V2.3.4 and higher of the DnX codec.
Bit Rate: When using the DnX codec the file must have a bit rate appropriate to its frame rate and the
DnX standard.
o 1080p 23.976: 115 megabits per second (Mb/s)
o 1080p 25: 120 Mb/s
o 1080i 25 (50): 120 Mb/s
o 1080i 29.97 (59.94): 145 Mb/s
Files encoded using the Animation codec must have spatial resolution set to 50.
Bit Depth: The file must have a bit depth of eight (8) bits.
Alpha Channel: Yes, if applicable
Gamma: The file must use the ITU-R BT 709-4 gamma and color space.
Aspect ratio of 16:9 full frame, pixel aspect ratio set to 1:1 (square)
3.3 STILL IMAGES
The production partner must deliver still images as uncompressed TIFF files in 8 bit per channel RGB mode. The
files must include embedded alpha channel information if it is available. Still image files must be given a descriptive
name that describes their purpose. All files must have a .TIF extension.
3.4 DELIVERY USING LTO-5 DATA TAPE AND LTFS
Production partners must deliver graphics masters on LTO-5 data tapes formatted using the Linear Tape File
System (LTFS). LTFS is an open file system that allows data written on LTO-5 tapes to be read and written by
multiple computer operating systems using LTO-5 drives from multiple manufacturers. THE NETWORK WILL
NOT ACCEPT LTO TAPES FORMATTED USING OTHER FILE SYSTEMS. The network will not accept graphics
masters on other types of media.
The production partner must deliver the LTO-5 data tapes to Discovery in the tape’s original protective case.
Tapes must be packed and shipped in protective containers that prevent damage to the tape during shipping.
3.4.1 FILE TYPES ALLOWED ON LTO GRAPHICS MASTERS
Discovery only accepts the following file types on graphics masters.
• QuickTime videos with a .MOV extension
• After Effects projects with a .AEP extension
Discovery will reject LTOs that contain other file types.
DCL GLOBAL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS.
•
•
TIFF stills with .TIF extension
Report files with a .TXT extension
©2014, DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS LLC.
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3.4.2 DESCRIPTIVE FILE NAMES FOR GRAPHICS FILES
Production partners must name graphics files in a way that describes their purpose and ties them either to the
entire series or a specific episode. If a graphic is used in multiple episodes within a series its file name must begin
with the series Property ID. If a graphic is used in only a single episode its file name must begin with the series
Property ID followed by an underscore and the three digit episode number. Figure 6 shows examples of file
names.
3.4.3 PHYSICAL LABELS FOR LTO TAPES
Production partners must label the LTO-5 data tapes and their cases. The production partner must place the
label on the front of the tape cartridge, not on the top or the sides. The label must include the following
information:
•
•
•
•
Property ID
• Production company name
Originating network
• Date created
Program/Series Title (contracted & final)
Video Standard: 1080p 23.98 / 1080p 25 / 1080i 50 / 1080i 59.94
Production partners can download label templates for LTO masters from the Discovery Producer’s Portal
(http://producers.discovery.com).
3.4.4 LTFS VOLUME NAME
The name of the LTFS volume on the LTO-5 tape must be the program’s property ID followed by the suffix _GFX.
The property ID is a six digit number assigned to the program or series by the network. To avoid causing
problems with the file system in different operating systems the volume name must use the underscore character
rather than the period to separate the different sections of the volume name. The volume name should look like
this example: <123456_GFX>.
The LTO-5 tape must be in its native formatted capacity (1.5 TB). Data compression on the LTO tape is not
acceptable.
3.4.5 DATA VERIFICATION AND CHECKSUMS
Production partners must verify that all data copied to the LTO-5 tape is an exact copy of the original source. To
verify exact copies the production partner must conduct an MD5 checksum process comparing every file on the
LTO-5 tape against the original source material. The MD5 checksum process uses a mathematical algorithm to
generate a unique 32 character value for each file. That 32 character value is called the “checksum value” for the
file. If any copy of a file is not an exact bit for bit copy of the original then running the MD5 checksum process will
produce a different checksum value, indicating that the contents of the file has changed.
A text file containing the original MD5 checksum value must be included for every file on the tape. The checksum
data for each primary folder on the tape must be grouped into a single text file for each of those folders. This
checksum file must be in a plain text format and include the checksum value of each file listed next to the name of
the file. The folder structure of the Graphics Master LTO is described in more detail in Section 3.4.7. The
checksum file must be placed in the GFX folder. It must be named <GFX.MD5>
DCL GLOBAL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS.
©2014, DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS LLC.
CONFIDENTIAL.
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3.4.6 METADATA COMPANION FILE ON LTO TAPE
The graphics master must include an XML metadata companion file that describes the contents of the graphics
master volume. The metadata companion file must be named <metadata.xml>. Discovery provides a web-based
application for creating the required metadata file for all Discovery file based deliverables. Production partners can
find the tool at http://xml.discovery.com. Production partners must create the metadata companion files using the
web-based application. Discovery can’t guarantee that XMLs created outside of the web-based application will
meet Discovery’s requirements.
3.4.7 LAYOUT OF FILES WITHIN THE LTFS VOLUME
The metadata companion file described in Section 3.4.6 must be written to the content area of the index partition
of the LTFS Volume. The volume must have a single folder named GFX. All graphics element files must be placed in
specific subfolders within the GFX folder. The files must be separated by element type using the convention
shown in Table 3.4.7. Production partners must use only the subfolder names listed in Table 3.4.7. Discovery will
reject graphics masters that do not match the folder structure shown below. The MD5 checksum file required by
this standard must be placed in the GFX folder and named GFX.MD5.
Table 3.4.7 Graphics Elements Subfolders
Directory Name
OPEN
CREDITS
LOWER_THIRDS
MAPS
OTHER
Files Included
Includes program open and accompanying elements
Includes credit beds and credit text
Includes all lower third backgrounds and banners
Includes all map graphics
Includes all other elements not grouped in another category
Figure 6: Graphic Summary of the Layout of Files within the Volume
metadata.xml
Metadata Companion File
LTFS Index Partition
LTFS Data Partition
MD5 Checksum file for entire GFX
folder and all subfolders. This file is always named GFX.MD5
GFX
GFX.MD5
DnX Codec Quicktime movies with descriptive
names. The names use only the sample property ID
“123456”, as the graphics are used in multiple
episodes
OPEN
123456_OPEN.MOV
123456_TEXTLESS_OPEN.MOV
CREDITS
123456_CREDITS.AEP
123456_CREDITS_REPORT.TXT
After Effects project with report, elements compiled into
(Footage) subdirectory during After Effects “Collect
Files”
(footage)
BKGD Shuttle PRNDR of 123456.MOV
LOWER_THIRDS
123456_LOWER THIRD BAR.MOV
123456_LOWER THIRD FLY-IN.MOV
MAPS
123456_005_Map of Silver Spring.MOV
Prerendered DnX Codec Quicktime
movie in the mandatory (footage) folder
of a compiled After Effects project
This example file is specific to Episode 5 of the series and
is named using the sample property ID (123456) as well
as the episode number (005).
OTHER
123456_Interview Subtitle 1.MOV
LTO-5 tape
DCL GLOBAL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS.
©2014, DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS LLC.
CONFIDENTIAL.
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