News Production & Post

Roll the bones

15 June 2006

The final two episodes of this first season of FOX’s crime drama Bones were the first primetime television shows to be delivered to FOX in the Avid DNxHD mastering format.

As the only encoding format to maintain the 8- and 10-bit full raster of HD images, Avid claims that Avid DNxHD delivers the pristine quality of 10-bit uncompressed HD media but at the bandwidth of standard-definition (SD) files. The production team on Bones certainly seem to think the company might have a point.

"We compared Avid DNxHD to uncompressed HD and tested it extensively, looking for pixel degeneration, ghosting, and motion artefacts – and we were more than impressed," said David Jeffrey, associate producer, Bones. "When your producers, Director of Photography, QC technician and colourist all give the image quality a thumbs up, there’s nothing left to question. From our experience, I’d say the writing is definitely on the wall. Avid DNxHD is the future for any post professional who wants to work in HD."

Gary Hall, vice president of post production for 20th Century Fox Television, added, "We had discussed the merits of Avid DNxHD for some time, and decided to put it to the test on Bones. We even gave the post team a safety net to assemble in uncompressed if the need ever came up, but it wasn’t necessary. DNxHD is rugged and provides excellent image quality, even several generations downstream. Most television shows are shot and mastered in HD, regardless of whether the programmes actually broadcast in HD. The challenge is how to maintain the superior quality of HD in post, while at the same time, managing the massive data size associated with creating an uncompressed HD master. Avid DNxHD solves this problem, making it the ideal HD format for television post production."


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