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.
difference between 4 x 3 and 16 x 9
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
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.
not everyone has a widescreen television!"
it doesn't really matter. This 4 x 3 format on a widescreen
monitor has black down the sides where the image should
While the 16 x 9 master below
has letterbox bands at the bottom and top just
like many feature films on DVD.
you don't like the black bands the station can fix it
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.
costs of not producing a 16 x 9 format
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
more information on this or any issue associated with
television prodcution email firstname.lastname@example.org
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