Ad Specs


CBC TECHNICAL ACCEPTANCE STANDARDS


Picture Format Preference

  1. High Definition 16X9 picture is now the preferred standard for all commercial deliveries.
    Commercials produced in this format appear full screen on our HD channels, and are down-converted to letterbox on our SD channels. The letterbox down conversion to SD ensures the entire 16X9 image is presented to the viewer by shrinking the picture and placing black bars at the top and bottom. Shrinking the picture and adding black bars fits the rectangular shaped 16X9 image on a 4X3 SD screen (visual examples below)


  2. Standard Definition 16X9 is the preferred picture format if HD production is not an option.
    Just like the HD 16X9 picture described above, this picture will fill the screen on our HD channels, and is down-converted to Letterbox on our SD Channels (see visual examples above)

  3. Standard Definition 4X3 is now the least preferred delivery option as it is the picture format that was in use for the past several decades. Broadcasters are quickly moving away from this format.
    Commercials delivered in this format will air on our HD channels with black bars on each side, because of the rectangular shape of the HD screen. Since this rectangular picture has black bars on each side, when it is down-converted to the SD channel, the black bars remain on the sides, and black bars are added to the top and bottom, just like in the above 2 examples. The term for this is "Postage stamp".


  4. Commercial material that was originally produced as HD 16X9, then down-converted by the advertiser to SD Letterbox is not recommended for broadcast on CBC stations. Generally, these ads are left over from the old days when CBC required SD commercial material. We continue to air this format for broadcast, although it is preferable to have the HD 16X9 shipped to replace what we have (examples below).

Note: CBC down-converts all commercials to letterbox. We do not center cut.

Shipping

  • CBC accepts delivery of both HD and SD commercial material through MIJO, DG, or Extreme Reach. All of these services are familiar with our technical standards.
  • CBC is not currently set up to accept broadcast material from any other ftp sites.
  • If you prefer to send your commercial material on tape please indicate on the label whether it is (16X9 our preferred format, or 4X3), and send to:
    Courier AddressMail Address
    205 Wellington Street West
    Room 6E240
    Toronto, On
    M5V 3G7
    Attention: Advertising Standards
    P.O. Box 500, Station "A"
    Room 6E240
    Toronto, On
    M5W 1E6
    Attention: Advertising Standards

Hi Definition Technical Specifications

  1. TAPE STANDARD
    Our HD tape standard is Sony HDCAM-SR. The image format is 1920 x 1080 pixels and the video frame rate is 29.97 frames per second, 2:1 interlaced (59.94 fields per second). The sampling structure is 4:2:2 with 10-bit quantizing. HD interlaced video format shall have Field 1 dominance (upper field).

  2. TIMECODE
    NTSC drop-frame timecode is the standard used at CBC since it allows tape time to run perfectly in sync with real time. Timecode must be continuous and uninterrupted, beginning at 09:58:30:00 on tape.

  3. LEADER
    One minute of colour bars and reference tone will begin at 09:58:30 on tape, then slate and black leading up 1 frame of Bars & Tone for sync check. The commercial start will be 10:00:00:00 (hours, minutes, seconds, frames). Please provide at least 1 minute of black after commercial ends. One commercial cut per tape.

  4. AUDIO
    The CBC/Radio-Canada Television reference level is set at -20dBFS which corresponds to an alignment level of +4dBu. The reference tone level shall be consistent with the commercial. Use one of the following audio format labels, and indicate on both the slate and the label:
    • Multi-channel discrete
    • Stereo
    • Mono

    HDTV SR AUDIO LAYOUT (5.1 SURROUND CHANNELS SUPPLIED AS DISCRETE CHANNELS)

    Channel - 01 Left
    Channel - 02 Right
    Channel - 03 Centre
    Channel - 04 Low Frequency Effects
    Channel - 05 Left Surround
    Channel - 06 Right Surround
    Channel - 07 Left channel (Lt or Lo) for a dedicated stereo mix
    Channel - 08 Right channel (Rt or Ro) for a dedicated stereo mix
    Channel - 09 Described Video (DV) (stereo left)
    Channel - 10 Described Video (DV) (stereo right)


  5. CLOSED CAPTIONING (we strongly encourage closed captioning to extend your audience reach)
    Closed captions (CC) will be encoded into the HD-SDI digital signal as data packets, in compliance EIA 708 standard. CBC requires that line 9 be used to insert Closed Caption data. The HD captions must decode correctly when using our benchmark decoder the Evertz 7760CCM-HD. Failure to decode correctly on this decoder will delay commercial acceptance. No EIA 608 type of closed caption signal, as usually found on line 21 in SD video, shall be present in the HD video signal, either in the active video area or in the vertical interval.

  6. SAFE TITLE AREA
    Commercial material in original 16X9 format will be letterboxed for SD broadcast (not center cut).

Standard Definition Technical Specifications

  1. TAPE STANDARD
    Our Standard Definition tape standard is Beta SP, SX or Digital. One cut per tape.

  2. SD AUDIO
    The CBC standard audio level is -20 dbfs (full scale). Please provide the main audio tracks on Channel 1 and 2. The audio channels should be configured as follows:
    Channel 1 - Stereo Left, Dolby Pro Logic or Dolby Pro Logic 2
    Channel 2 - Stereo Right, Dolby Pro Logic or Dolby Pro Logic 2
    Channel 3 - Described Video
    Channel 4 - Blank

  3. TIMECODE
    NTSC drop-frame timecode is the standard used at CBC since it allows tape time to run perfectly in sync with real time. Timecode must be continuous and uninterrupted, beginning at 09:58:30:00 on tape.

  4. LEADER
    One minute of colour bars and reference tone will begin at 09:58:30 on tape, then slate and black leading up 1 frame of Bars & Tone for sync check. The commercial start will be 10:00:00:00 (hours, minutes, seconds, frames). Please provide at least 1 minute of black after commercial ends. One commercial cut per tape.

  5. ASPECT RATIO (16X9 preferred, alternatively 4X3) must be indicated on the commercial tape box

  6. CLOSED CAPTIONING (we strongly encourage closed captioning to extend your audience reach)
    Closed captioning must meet CBC technical standards. The base of the captioning signal must rest between 0 and 2 IRE (digital or analog). In addition, the captions must decode correctly when using any of our benchmark decoders: EEG EN270-600 (or higher), EEG EN470, Evertz 8074. Failure to decode correctly on any of these decoders will delay commercial acceptance.

  7. DESCRIBED VIDEO (optional)
    Described Video (DV) is produced as an aid to the visually impaired. When delivering a Described Video version of your commercial the mono described video signal may be recorded either on Channel 3 or Channel 4 of your master tape if SD, on channel 9 and 10 of HD. Described Video needs to be a Mono Mix of the commercial Stereo Audio lowered in level with the description of the action on the screen over the commercial audio.


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