gray shim
T356 spring 2012 - Week 13

Announcements / Reality Check

  • Quiz
  • Please remember to complete your PSA (post Youtube/Vimeo clips, send email with link, & make 2 data DVDs- one for me and one for your client)
  • The remote assignment is due next week: Wednesday April 18th by 5pm at the latest.
  • Final Project meeting/planning time
  • The Fall 2012 Final Exam is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2 from 5 - 7 PM in Studio 5. (Date & time assigned by registrar)





Field Production & Big Remotes / Covering major events

Sports Remotes - Crews can be very large - more than 100 people are needed for a major sports event.

Check out the floor plans for the various events in the Zettl book. Always remember a solid establishing shot and adhering to the 180 degree rule. Mics that have to pick up sound from a long distance are typically shotgun and/or parabolic.

Be prepared to make/complete a location sketch for a major event. You will have to decide where to place the cameras and microphones and explain your reasoning.

Communication systems.

Remote operations depend heavily on reliable communication devices. Producers often distribute cell phones to production team leaders.

  • ENG: cell phones, scanners, pagers
  • EFP: small productions (single camera) you can just talk to the cameraman’s ear. Walkie talkies, phones
  • Big Remotes: PL private line, IFB, intercom system

IFB - Interruptible feedback or foldback (British term used to describe headphone feeds). Usually an earpiece worn by the talent so that they can receive instructions/information by the director.

Signal transport & delivery

Programming can be delivered in three ways:

  • Terrestrial broadcast
  • Satellite (E.g. Direct TV)
  • Wired/cable (E.g. ATT, Comcast)

Most programming is delivered in some form of MPEG.

Terrestrial broadcasting uses the electromagnetic spectrum. The FCC was originally tasked with overseeing the broadcast spectrum, which is used by television, radio, the military, cell phone companies, and even your garage door openers.

Digital Television (DTV) - The analog cutoff date was Feb 19, 2009. DTV does not necessarily mean HDTV. Broadcasters can deliver standard resolution TV (SDTV) over DTV equipment. You can squeeze 4 SD programs in the same space used to broadcast one HD program. If you live in the right place (with good reception) you can receive a number of DTV network channels free via your TV tuner. (Around here you can only get WTIU.)


  • 1080 i and p (24, 30 & 60 fps. 16 x 9) 1920 x 1080
  • 720 i and p (24, 30 & 60 fps. 16 x 9) 1280 x 720
  • 480 i and p (24, 30 & 60 fps. Both 16 x 9 and 4 x 3)
            (i = interlaced, p = progressive)

Satellite Systems - All geosynchronous communication satellites orbit the earth above the equator 22,236 miles / 35,786 km above the earth). In other words all of the downlink satellite dishes you see are pointed towards the south (somewhere over the equator).

Satellites used for broadcast are either C or KU band. KU band dishes can be smaller (2 feet). Direct broadcast satellites or DBS (such as DISH or DirectTV) operate on the KU band.

  • Uplinks (send to satellite)
  • Downlink (receive)

Transponder - a combination receiver/transmitter found in the communication satellites.

Microwave transmission - Power & size varies. Very small, focused signal. Don’t stand in front of one! Can go from camera to truck, truck to relay station, truck to satellite, or directly to the station.

Wired/Cable-based systems - Twisted pair, Coaxial & fiber-optic.

Compared to cable or fiber-optic, twisted pair (E.g. traditional phone line) is capable of carrying the least amount of information. Most cable companies started out with coaxial cable. Most now are using fiber-optic, which is capable of carrying more information.

  • Headend - origination point/control center of the cable system.
  • Trunk-line- primary distribution (fiber-optic or coaxial)
  • Feeder lines- secondary distribution (through blocks/neighborhoods, etc)
  • Drop lines- cables to homes or businesses
  • Multicast - delivery of information to a multiple destinations simultaneously
  • VOD - Video On Demand
  • SDV - Switched Digital Video - A method of broadcasting only channels that are currently tuned, rather than every channel offered at once.

Convergence - These have been interesting times, as cable companies are now offering phone service and phone companies are offering TV.

Many consumers are giving up monthly channel contracts as more and more TV programming is accessible via the Internet. It's possible to get a great deal of free programming over broadband. Usually the free content is interspersed with commercials. (Sound familiar?) Easy to use set top boxes and even game consoles provide a way to stream content directly to your TV, bypassing the cable or satellite tuner.

More and more devices are making it easier to stream content to your TV set without a cable or satellite tuner.


Boxee Box

X-Box 360


World TV Standards & Digital TV

World analog TV platforms:

  • NTSC - 525 lines at 30 frames (60 fields) 4x3 aspect ratio
  • PAL - 625 lines at 25 frames (50 fields) 4x3 aspect ratio
  • SECAM - same as PAL, just incompatible

NTSC (National Television Systems Committee) definition of standard definition TV, (used in North America, some of South America, Japan, etc) uses a frame rate close to 30, roughly 29.97 frames per second. There are 525 scan lines; approximately 480 of these are visible. The HD (high definition) standard for broadcast has been created by the ATSC, the Advanced Television Systems Committee, which was formed at the urging of the FCC to establish standards for the new high definition formats.

PAL (Phase Alternate Line) is used in most of Europe, Australia, & Asia and runs at 25 frames per second using 625 lines.

SECAM (Sequential Color and Memory)

Here in the US, the NTSC analog standards are still being used by legacy gear. However all of the new digital broadcasting and distribution follow the ATSC guidelines.

ATSC - A number of industry associations, corporations, and educational institutions formed the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) in 1982. The ATSC is a not-for-profit organization that develops voluntary standards for advanced television systems (www.atsc.org). Such advanced systems include enhanced analog TV, digital TV (DTV), standard definition TV, high-definition TV, and data services. The ATSC’s published broadcast standards are voluntary unless adopted and mandated by the FCC.

In December 1996, the FCC adopted most of the standards proposed by the ATSC, mandating that broadcasters begin broadcasting digitally.


Terms & abbreviations you should know:

  • ENG
  • EFP
  • SNG
  • Big Remote
  • NTSC
  • PAL
  • ATSC


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