Video Technical Requirements

Video Formats - UHD, HD, SD

Ultra-High Definition

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

High Definition

Independently of SVT’s current transmission format 720p/50, SVT requires delivery of programmes in each programme’s native production video format. The native production video format should preferably be chosen in the following priority order.

50 Hz motion portrayal programmes delivered for SVT transmission must be:

  • 1280 x 720 pixels in an aspect ratio of 16:9;
  • 50 frames per second, progressive scan – known as 720p/50;
  • colour sub-sampled at a ratio of 4:2:2;
  • specified in ITU-R BT.1847.

Or (optionally, regarding 50 Hz motion portrayal):

  • 1920 x 1080 pixels in an aspect ratio of 16:9;
  • 25 frames per second (50 fields) interlaced – known as 1080i/25;
  • colour sub-sampled at a ratio of 4:2:2;
  • specified in ITU-R BT.709.

25 Hz motion portrayal programmes delivered for SVT transmission must be:

  • 1920 x 1080 pixels in an aspect ratio of 16:9;
  • 25 frames per second, progressive scan (or progressive scan segmented frame) – known as 1080p/25 (or 1080PsF/25);
  • colour sub-sampled at a ratio of 4:2:2;
  • specified in ITU-R BT.709.

Standard Definition

Where agreed by SVT, legacy SD programmes delivered for SVT transmission must be:

  • 720 x 576 pixels with the centred 702 x 576 pixels in an aspect ratio of 16:9;
  • 25 frames per second (50 fields) interlaced – known as 576i/25;
  • colour sub-sampled at a ratio of 4:2:2;
  • specified in ITU-R BT.601.

Note: SD video has a picture area with a minimum of 702 x 576 pixels, where the 702-pixel wide picture must be centred in the active 720-pixel wide line. The picture information may extend the full width of the 720-pixel wide line, providing the image shape is not distorted.

Signal Parameters

Video Level Tolerance

In a video signal, each primary component (R’, G’ and B’) should lie between 0 and 100% of the video range between expected black level and expected peak level.

Video Level Tolerance

  • The recommendations in EBU R 103, Video Signal Tolerance in Digital Television Systems, must be followed.
  • The R’G’B’ components and the corresponding Luminance (Y’) signal, should not normally exceed the “Preferred Min. / Max.” range in the table below.
  • Measuring equipment should indicate an ‘Out-of-Gamut’ occurrence only after the error exceeds 1% of an integrated area of the active image.
  • Colour gamut ‘legalisers’ should be used with caution as they may create artefacts. It is recommended not to ‘legalise’ video signals before all signal processing has been carried out.

High Dynamic Range

  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) programmes are not accepted by SVT.


  • HD images must fill the active picture area. No ‘blanking errors’ are permitted.
  • A two-pixel tolerance is permitted during complex overlay sequences where key signals, graphic overlays or other effects do not fully cover the background image. Where animated key signals or overlays cause moving highlights at the edge of the active image it is preferable to blank these pixels completely. A note of the timecodes and reasons for these errors should accompany the delivered programme.

Field Dominance

  • Cuts in interlaced scanned material must happen on frame boundaries (i.e. between field 2 and field 1). Motion on PsF (Progressive scan Segmented Frame) material must occur between segment 2 and segment 1. Be aware though, that certain legacy SD video codecs, e.g. the DV-based (SMPTE ST 314), internally use a structure where field 2 is supposed to be presented before field 1.
  • It is preferred to shoot with progressive scan for 50 Hz motion portrayal (e.g. 720p/50), hence also, possible to shoot material at 1080p/50. When this is done, the correct Two-Frame Marker phasing (SMPTE ST 2051) must be maintained to not introduce cuts between field 1 and field 2 if subsequently converting to interlace scanned video formats – e.g. 576i/25 or 1080i/25.


Video Line-Up

ITU-R BT.2100 UHD Programmes

  • ITU-R BT.2100- and ITU-R BT.2020-based Ultra-High Definition (UHD) programmes are not accepted by SVT.

SMPTE ST 2036-1 UHD, HD and SD Programmes

  • Ultra-High Definition (UHD) programmes, e.g. SMPTE ST 2036-1 based, are not accepted by SVT.
  • Regarding HD and SD programmes, the use of colour bars for File delivery is optional. If used, 100% colour bars (100/0/100/0) that fill the active picture area must be used. Legacy SMPTE pattern bars are not acceptable.


50 Hz motion portrayal material should preferably be originated with progressive scan (or, optionally, with interlaced scan). 50 Hz and 25 Hz motion portrayal may be mixed within a 50 Hz motion portrayal programme if it is required for editorial reasons or the nature of the programme requires material from varied sources. EBU R 118, Tiering of Cameras for use in Television Production, is used to assess the suitability of cameras. Cameras for HD programmes must meet or exceed the parameters of HD Tier 2J.

DSLR Cameras

DSLR cameras are only acceptable for time-lapse sequences, stop-frame animation and other specialist requirements such as infra-red and hostile conditions. They are not suitable for use as video cameras unless they have EBU R 118 test report results that meet or exceed the HD Tier 2J requirements. Exceptions can be made for covert shoots or dangerous locations at the discretion of SVT.

Drones and Remotely Operated Cameras

  • Cameras attached to devices such as drones must meet the requirements in EBU R 118 unless agreed with SVT in advance.
  • Unless a drone or remote rig has adequate image stabilisers it is recommended that the camera attaché has a higher resolution than needed to allow electronic stabilisation to be carried out during post-production.
  • Programme producers are required to ensure drones and other remotely operated cameras are only controlled by trained operators. Producers should be aware of specific local and territorial restrictions and regulations.

Film for HD and UHD Acquisition

Super-16 Film is not considered to be HD no matter what processing or transfer systems are used. The following 35 mm Film types and stock are acceptable for HD acquisition:

  • 3 perf – any exposure index although an exposure index of 250 or less is preferred;
  • 2 perf – only if daylight stock with an exposure index of 250 or less is used.

To avoid causing problems with HD transmission encoding, film should be well exposed and not forced more than one stop. Requirements regarding Ultra-High Definition (UHD) acquisition are not specified by SVT.

Post Production

Electronically generated moving graphics and effects (such as rollers, DVE moves, wipes, fades and dissolves) must be generated and added with 50 Hz motion portrayal to prevent unacceptable judder in 50 Hz motion portrayal programmes.

Regarding programmes delivered in 1080p/25 (or 1080PsF/25), all moving graphics and effects must be generated and added with 25 Hz motion portrayal.

Video Codecs used for Post Production

Intra-frame based post-production codecs used to edit HD programmes should be at least 160 Mb/s. It is however acceptable to use the native camera codec provided the codec is constant throughout the production workflow.

Film Motion or ‘Film Effect’

It is not acceptable to shoot with 50 Hz motion portrayal interlace scan and add a film motion effect in post-production. Where film motion is a requirement, progressive capture in 25 Hz motion portrayal (25p or 25PsF) is the only acceptable method. Conversion from 50 progressive frames per second material to 25 progressive frames per second is permitted, preferably by dropping every other frame, provided that the frame rate conversion process does not produce excessive motion judder or image softening or visible frame blending; and that an appropriate camera shutter speed has been used.

Frame Rate Conversion

When standards converted material is included in a programme, e.g. from 60/1.001 Hz motion portrayal to 50 Hz motion portrayal, motion compensated (sometimes known as Motion Predictive or Motion Vector) standards conversion is required. Use of non-linear editing platform hardware or software standards conversion is not permitted for whole programmes, but may be used for short inserts at the discretion of SVT.

De-interlacing processing should be carried out via multi-field (five-field or greater) de-interlace or motion compensated deinterlace.

Speed change is the preferred method of changing between 24/1.001 fps and 25 fps standards. Due attention must be given to the audio, i.e. resampling.

Content acquired at 24/1.001 fps which has been converted to 60/1.001 (interlace as well as progressive) via the ‘2:3:2:3 pull down’ process, should first have the repeated fields/frames removed to produce the original frame rate. The resulting video can then be replayed faster at 25 fps.

Up-Conversion to UHD

Requirements regarding Ultra-High Definition (UHD) are not specified by SVT.

Picture Aspect Ratio

All HD programmes must fill a 16:9 screen vertically and horizontally without geometric distortion. The following exceptions may be allowed, but SVT must give permission before shooting commences.

‘Cinemascope Ratios’ as Letterbox

Programmes may be delivered with an active picture in cinema ratios (e.g. 2.39:1 or 1.85:1), centred vertically between black bars in a 16:9 frame, filling the width of the frame according to SMPTE RP 199 with no geometric distortion.

Floating Images

Short sequences of images surrounded by black borders (floating images) may be used for artistic effect. However, widescreen consumer TV sets operating in Auto Zoom / Auto Mode often interpret large black borders at the top and bottom of the screen as letterbox, so are likely to enlarge the picture. The resulting unpredictable zooming can be annoying for the viewer and undermine the artistic intent. If used, the black space around floating images must be consistent across sequences of images.

‘Pillar-Boxed’ HD Material

Some pillar-boxed material is acceptable where it has been acquired on a medium that has the capability to be transferred to a legitimate HD resolution, for example, 35mm film shot using 4 perf at an aspect ratio narrower than 16:9. The pictures must be centrally framed in a 16:9 raster according to SMPTE RP 199 with no geometrical distortion.

Archive Material

Archive material must meet all the technical requirements in this document, including those for up-converted SD video where relevant.

General Quality

Archive material must be taken from the best available source, and any improvement or restoration work which could reasonably be expected must be done (for example grading, dropout repair or audio equalisation).

Up-Converted SD Material

Care must be taken with SD archive material to deliver the best possible quality after up-conversion. In general, standard definition pictures must look no worse than the original after being up converted, post processed and down converted for delivery on SD services. Only high quality up-conversion processes will achieve this. Standard definition video contains a half-line at top and bottom on alternate fields. This must be removed on up-conversion to HD, or it will be visible flickering at top and bottom of the HD frame. Any VITC or switching signals visible at the top of SD material must be removed. Any line blanking from SD signals must not appear in the HD conversion.

Picture Aspect Ratio

Archive material should be zoomed to fill the 16:9 raster where possible without compromising the artistic intention, the image quality or composition, alternatively it may be presented in a pillar-box format, which: • may be of an intermediate ratio between 4:3 and 16:9, but must be of consistent width across sequences; • must be centrally framed in the 16:9 raster according to SMPTE RP 199; • must show no geometrical distortion; Sveriges Television AB, March 2018, v5.0 – Page 11 of 35 • must have clean and sharp pillar-box edges (i.e. any video or film edge artefacts may need to be blanked); • must be black outside the active picture.

Safe Areas

Any archive captions or on-screen-text already in the archive material should be kept within the caption safe area if possible. Exceptions should be noted and accompany the delivered programme.

Use of Lower Resolution

To maintain a high standard and meet audience expectations, the amount of material of a lower resolution than the commissioned format is limited to 25% of the programme’s total duration. Lower resolution material must not be used for large uninterrupted sections of the programme, unless agreed by SVT.

Non-UHD Material

Requirements regarding Non-UHD Material are not specified by SVT.

Non-HD Material

Some HD programmes will contain some material from standard definition originals, and sources that do not meet the HD requirements. This material is all called ‘non-HD’ in this document. Non-HD material includes material acquired using the following methods or formats:

  • All codecs with bit rates below those specified in EBU R 118 for HD Tier 2L;
  • Cameras that do not meet the requirements of EBU R 118 for HD Tier 2J;
  • Film that does not meet the required standard in section 1.5.


SVT does not accept stereoscopic 3D programmes.

Safe Areas for On-Screen Text

Safe Areas for SD On-Screen Text
Safe Area for HD On-Screen Text