edition 24 may 11 2004
the whole truth and nothing but the truth on widescreen tv
Digital television and the widescreen format are becoming increasingly more popular in the community, yet many advertisers and their agencies continue to create traditional 4 x 3 masters missing out on many of the advantages of the new format. During our recent TV production workshops several participants reported that they were advised (incorrectly) that the widescreen 16 x 9 format was more expensive to produce. In this edition we look at the truth around widescreen masters. P3 À helping people achieve commercial purpose through creative process Add a colleague to the .p3 newsê mailing list, by emailing their details to people@p3.com.au
widescreen (16 x 9) versus traditional (4 x 3)
If you are making your television commercials in the old fashion 4 x 3 format, you could be in for a rude shock. When commercial TV stations stop simitaneously broadcasting analogue and digital it is reported that only 16 x 9 widescreen format dubs will be accepted. This means that all of the 4 x 3 masters will need to be re-created at great expense to the 16 x 9 format. Yet there is no reason why any advertiser should face this prospect.
The difference between 4 x 3 and 16 x 9

The 4 x 3 format is the traditional “square” format seen on many television sets. The format was created because the early TV tubes could only produce a square image, yet human binocular viewing is better suited to the widescreen format. The 16 x 9 or widescreen format is seen on plasma screens and digital widescreen TV sets. (The black lines show where the 4 x 3 image ends) The only difference is the format of the image. The 16 x 9 format uses more of the image already captured on all film formats (35 mm and super 16 mm) and all digital video cameras have a 16 x 9 setting at no extra cost to the production. “But not everyone has a widescreen television!” True. But it doesn’t really matter. This 4 x 3 format on a widescreen monitor has black down the sides where the image should be. While the 16 x 9 master below has letterbox bands at the bottom and top just like many feature films on DVD.

If you don’t like the black bands the station can fix it If you send a 16 x 9 master to the station, with instructions to broadcast it in the 4 x 3 format they will provide a “centre cut” on the analogue transmission that converts the 16 x 9 to 4 x 3 at no cost to the advertiser. The production company and the agency just need to make sure the action and any supers fall within the 4 x 3 action and title safe area when creating the 16 x 9 master. The costs of not producing a 16 x 9 format While a 16 x 9 widescreen master can be simply and cheaply converted into a 4 x 3, a 4 x 3 usually needs to be regraded, edited and mastered into a 16 x 9, often costing tens of thousands of dollars. Within a few years the stations will be broadcasting digital only and the 4 x 3 masters currently broadcast will need to be changed. There is no reason why all commericals should not be mastered in the 16 x 9 format. If you continue to use the old 4 x 3 format you could be facing huge expenses later if you want to use the material again. For more information on this or any issue associated with television prodcution email tv@p3.com.au did you miss out on the P3TV Production Workshops?

More than 100 advertisers attended the P3TV Production Workshops for Advertisers last month.

Did you?

Already, many participants have registered their interest for others in their company to attend future workshops.

If you missed out and are interested in attending future workshops, contact P3 by email at tv@p3.com.au

knowledge is power
P3 provides advertisers with independent knowledge and understanding of the advertising process through our P3 Workshops including:1. TV Production 2. Print Production 3. Creative Management 4. Strategy Development To find out more about our training workshops contact people@p3.com.au    
thank you to 9mm and everyone who attended
“An ideal overview of the TV production process and the effeciencies possible” Marketing Manager, Banking & Finance“The DVD examples were invaluable” Agency Relationship Manager, Telecommunications Thank you to Cameron Jurd at 9mm for helping to make the P3TV Porduction Workshops so successful. If you would like a DVD copy of 9MM’s showreel, please email CJurd@9mm.com.au

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