Quality Control (QC)

It is the responsibility of the production company to ensure programmes meet the technical and editorial requirements of the commission.

General Quality

All programmes are expected to reach a high standard of video and audio quality. This does not mean low quality material cannot be used. Archive and specialist low quality material used in context is acceptable. If there is any doubt, contact SVT for advice.

General Video Quality

  • The picture must be well lit and reasonably, but not artificially, sharp.
  • The picture must be free of excessive noise, grain and digital compression artefacts.
  • The picture must be free of excessive flare, reflections, lens dirt, markings and obstructions (e.g. lens hood), and lens aberrations.
  • Movement must appear reasonably smooth and continuous, and must not give rise to distortions or break-up to moving objects, or cause large changes in resolution.
  • The picture must be free of excessive black crushing and highlight compression. Hard clipping of highlights (e.g. by legalisers) must not cause visible artefacts on screen.
  • There must be no noticeable horizontal or vertical aliasing, i.e. jagged lines, or field-rate or frame-rate fluctuations in fine detail.
  • Colour rendition, especially skin tones, must be consistent throughout, and provide a realistic representation of the scene portrayed unless it is altered as an editorially essential visual effect.
  • The picture must be stable and continuous – i.e. no jumps, movements, shifts in level or position. There should be no flash frames or very short shots unless editorially essential. There must be no visible contouring / artefacts caused by digital processing. Quantisation noise must not be apparent.
  • There must be no noticeable spurious signals or artefacts e.g. streaking, ringing, smear, echoes, overshoots, moiré, hum, cross-talk etc.

General Audio Quality

  • Sound must be recorded with appropriately placed microphones, giving minimum background noise and without peak distortion.
  • The audio must be free of spurious signals such as clicks, noise, hum and any analogue distortion.
  • The audio must be reasonably continuous and smoothly mixed and edited.
  • Audio levels must be appropriate to the scene portrayed and dynamic range must not be excessive. They must be suitable for the entire range of domestic listening situations.
  • Surround and Stereo audio must be appropriately balanced and free from phase differences which cause audible cancellation in mono.
  • The audio must not show dynamic and/or frequency response artefacts due to the action of noise reduction or low bit rate coding systems. Audio that has previously been lossy bit reduced must not be used, due to causing cascade coding artefacts.

Speech intelligibility (audibility)

Speech intelligibility (audibility) must be ensured, with the minimum of interference from music and sound effects. If SVT determines that the speech intelligibility is insufficient, the programme is rejected and sent back for re-mix. Alternatively, will SVT add subtitles to parts with poor intelligibility. SVT has the full mandate to make this decision.

UHD Programmes

Ultra-High Definition (UHD) programmes are not accepted by SVT.

Photosensitive Epilepsy (PSE)

Flickering or intermittent lights and certain types of repetitive visual patterns can cause serious problems for viewers who are prone to photosensitive epilepsy. Children and teenagers are particularly vulnerable.

SVT is not subject, by regulation, to prevent photosensitive epilepsy.

PSE testing

See supplement ‘A Product Guide for File-Based Photo Sensitive Epilepsy Testing’ in the document ‘Technical Specification for the Delivery of Television Programmes as Files to SVT’.

PSE – broadcast warnings

Verbal and/or on-screen text warnings may be used at the beginning and during the programme if demonstrable attempts have been made to correct or replace the images, and the relevant content is completely integral and necessary to the context of the programme, and permission to use the relevant content has been cleared by SVT.

UHD Programmes

Ultra-High Definition (UHD) programmes are not accepted by SVT.

Automated Quality Control (AQC)

To carry out Automated Quality Control (AQC) is not mandated, but recommended. Any device that carries out AQC tests based on the EBU QC Test Items, see https://ebu.io/qc/ Länk till annan webbplats., can be used.

If AQC is carried out, the production company must ensure that all technical and editorial warnings or comments are acted on or noted. Mandatory requirements must be acted on or rectified. An AQC report in PDF form, to be delivered with the programme, is not mandated, but recommended.

Eyeball Quality Control

Eyeball QC check is mandatory to ensure video and audio quality are consistent throughout.

Listening evaluations guarantee full speech intelligibility. Evaluation must be performed at a low listening level (e.g. 57 dBC SPL/channel), using loudspeakers with a linear frequency response.

Notes of the timecodes and reasons for errors must accompany the delivered programme in a separate Excel-file (the ‘Programme Metadata File’ Excel, 346 kB.) based on a template provided by SVT.

The video metadata elements ‘Video comments’ and ‘Audio comments’ must be used for these notes.

File Compliance (File delivery only)

A File Compliance check confirms that the file itself meets the technical requirements. A compliance check is carried out by SVT before a programme file can be accepted.