Technical Specifications

Format and Technical Specifications For Television Component

While we always love seeing innovative production techniques, please make sure your completed works are delivered within acceptable industry standards to allow for error-free presentation and transmission.

General Requirements

  • Program material must be produced using professional broadcast equipment and formats. Facilities used for production and post-production must have viewing and sound monitoring conditions that comply with industry standards
  • Program shall be free of commercial blacks or publicity breaks
  • Program must be in English with name supers and titles
  • The lower left hand corner of the screen must be free of captions, logos, watermarks or any graphic images
  • Unless otherwise permitted in writing, duration shall be a maximum of 24:30 for a half-hour program and a maximum of 56:30 for a one-hour program, with no commercial or publicity breaks. There are no duration restrictions for programs with run times greater than 60 minutes
  • Both the broadcast master and its container shall be labeled clearly and legibly.
    The container shall display the following information:
    1. Version (master, protection, dub, clone, etc).
    2. Production Company
    3. Program title.
    4. Program length.
    5. Type of audio, channel assignments, Dolby if applicable
    6. Type of time code
    7. Presence of closed captioning
    8. Descriptive video audio track (if relevant)
    9. Day, month and year of delivery

Video Quality

  • The video signal must be free of excessive black crushing and luminance clipping
  • Colour rendition - especially skin tones - must be a realistic representation of the scene portrayed unless artistic considerations require otherwise
  • Video processing (e.g. effects plug-ins) must not introduce unintentional changes to luminance and chrominance levels
  • There must be no visible contouring or artifacts caused by multiple D-A and A-D conversions or compression
  • Quantization noise shall not be apparent

Audio Quality

  • The audio shall be free of extraneous signals such as noise, hum, and cross-talk.
  • Sibilance and distortion shall not be apparent.
  • The audio shall not show dynamic and frequency response artifacts as a result of the use of noise reduction or low bit rate coding systems.
  • Dynamic range shall not be excessive.
  • Care shall be taken when incorporating background music and effects with dialogue, otherwise viewers with a hearing impairment and/or poor listening conditions can find the dialogue difficult to hear. Final mix assessment should be made using "TV Set Style" speakers.
  • Sound loudness levels should be consistent throughout the program such that it is not necessary for the viewer to adjust the sound during the program or between parts.
  • The relative timing of the sound to video synchronization should not exhibit any perceptible error. Sound should not lead or lag the picture content.
  • Producers must maintain music and effects levels sufficiently below dialog to ensure that a wide variety of viewers can understand the dialog upon first viewing in home conditions.

1. Delivery Format

  • 1.1 Video tape: HDCAM (1080i/29.97) with separate .scc closed captioning file. HDCAM SR will not be accepted. Labels, reference signals, time code and audio specifications are the same as for file delivery.
  • 1.2 File:
Hard Drive

Windows PC formatted as NTFS or
MAC formatted as HFS+, with transfer and power cables

Field DominanceUpper field first
Closed CaptionsSeparate EIA-608/708B .scc file delivered on the same hard drive, “pop-on” style, with Drop Frame time code to match video file
NLE Export Formats

ProRes 4:2:2, @ 147 mb/s or
ProRes 4:2:2 HQ @ 220 mb/s or @ 145mb/s or @220 mb/s

Image Format1080i (Interlaced) 1920 x 1080
Field Rate59.94 (Frame rate of 29.97)
Time CodeDrop Frame
Luminance (Y)Waveform (0-100 IRE)
Chroma (UV)Waveform (0-105 IRE)
Audio PhasingIn phase, stereo audio must be fully mono capable
Audio Bit Depth24 bits
Sample Rate48 Khz
Audio Channels

CH 1. left and CH 2. right full mix stereo

Audio StemsDelivered as separate files, audio stems will include at a minimum; stereo music and effects tracks and a dialogue track

Program audio peaks no more than minus 10 dBFS


Minus 24 LKFS (+/- 2dBFS) as per BS.1770-3 Dialog

Bars and Tone

Smpte 75% or 100% bars and tone at 1kHz @ minus 20dBFS

If a program has values outside of these limits, most notably maximum values of luminance (brightness), chroma (colour), and peak audio levels, video and/or audio distortion will result. Ensure colour correction filters have been applied to video, nested sequences, and graphics, and perform a peak audio sweep prior to project export.

2. Image Format

  • 2.1: The image format shall be 1920x1080 (1080i) and be compliant with the SMPTE 274M-2008M standard.

3. Frame Rate

  • 3.1: The video frame rate shall be 29.97 fps, 2:1 interlaced. Any content captured at another frame rate such as 24p or 23.98p shall be converted to 29.97 with Drop Frame time code before being delivered to Knowledge.

4. Use of Standard Definition Material

  • 4.1: Use of native standard definition content, including PAL, NTSC, SECAM or R.601 digital video is acceptable only in special cases, i.e., archival material. Any use of SD content in an HD program must be approved beforehand by Knowledge.
  • 4.2: When the use of 4:3 SD content is essential and has been approved by Knowledge, two methods of up-conversion are acceptable: pillar-box and top-bottom crop. Conversion by horizontal stretching is not acceptable.
  • 4.3: When the use of 16:9 SD material is essential and has been approved by Knowledge, the use of 16:9 full height anamorphic is preferable over letterbox.

5. Consumer formats

  • 5.1: Use of material captured with consumer formats within HD programs is not accepted unless it is a result of special requirements such as shooting in a confined location. Any use of any consumer format in an HD program must be approved beforehand by Knowledge and shall be accepted only when there are no other options.

6. Reference Signals

  • 6.1: Reference colour bars and 1 KHz audio tone is required at the head of each program. Reference audio and video signals must be a true indication of the program’s chroma, video, pedestal, audio phase and audio level. There should be a minimum of 30 seconds of black following the last program picture and audio before any text less elements or added material.

7. Video Slates

  • 7.1: Slates must have a duration of at least 10 seconds, follow reference signals, and include the following:
    • Series and episode title and number.
    • Total program length including frames.
    • Audio track assignments.
    • Type of time code.
    • Presence of closed captioning.
    • SAP or descriptive video track.
    • Dial norm value.

8. Time Code

  • 8.1: SMPTE time code must be drop frame, start with reference signals and continue unbroken throughout the entire program and past the end of the program by a minimum of 15 seconds. The following standard must be adhered to:
09:58:40:00Black and no audio
09:58:50:00Colour bars and tone start
09:59:55:00Black and no audio
10:00:00:00Program starts

9. Audio

  • 9.1: Stereo audio must be in phase and fully mono compatible.
  • 9.2: Normal audio channel/track assignments: For Video Tape delivery
Channel 1Left total
Channel 2Right total
Channel 3M&E Left
Channel 4M&E Right
  • 9.3: Normal audio channel/track assignments: For FILE delivery
Channel 1Left Stereo total
Channel 2Right Stereo total
In addition, delivered as separate files, Audio Stems, stems at a minimum must contain stereo music and effects tracks, plus a dialogue track.

10. Closed Captioning

  • 10.1: Closed captions shall be delivered as a separate .scc file on the same hard drive as the program file. Pop-on caption mode is preferred, however, roll-up may be deemed acceptable. The .scc file must include drop frame time code that matches exactly the drop frame time code of the video file.



For questions regarding technical specifications or content delivery, please email