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Standard Dynamic Range (SDR)

Release: 1.3 | June 14, 2022

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The purpose of this document is to facilitate and define WarnerMedia’s requirements for the successful acquisition of Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) Original Programming content. This specification establishes the composition and technical requirements for all aspects of the delivery to which content providers must comply to complete the content acquisition process.

This specification is not intended to provide guidance on delivering High Dynamic Range, Stereoscopic 3D or multilanguage component content to WarnerMedia. For additional Contribution Specifications covering these deliveries, reach out to WarnerMedia Content Acquisitions.

Quality Requirements

It is WarnerMedia’s intent to acquire the highest quality masters that preserve the original artistic intent while providing a premium viewing experience to the consumer. To meet WarnerMedia's perceptual and measured quality standards content delivered must conform to the specifications outlined in this document. In preparing content for delivery and to preserve the highest quality it is strongly preferred that all unnecessary transformations or processing that results in the degradation to the master quality be avoided.

Please contact WarnerMedia Content Acquisitions if your highest quality digital master does not meet the quality standards defined in this specification.

Photosensitive Epilepsy Testing

Photosensitive Epilepsy (PSE) impacts a viewer population who may be prone to seizures caused by flashing images on a screen. WarnerMedia requires that all content follows the guidance for the reduction of photosensitive epilepsy as defined in ITU-R BT.1702-2. WarnerMedia strongly recommends that providers use a “Harding Flash & Pattern Analyzer” on all content prior to delivery to ensure it meets these recommendations. Content found to be outside these test parameters will be rejected and will require redelivery.

Expected Deliverables

A complete and valid delivery shall include:

  1. Master Media File
  2. Descriptive Metadata
  3. Images / Artwork
  4. Closed Captions/Subtitles
  5. Descriptive Video/Audio Description (DVS) Audio Track
  6. Full and Forced subtitles (as required by region)
    Work with your WarnerMedia contact for more information on the original and additional audio languages expected for your region/content (including Closed Captions/Subtitles).

Master Technical Specifications

  1. Content must be delivered in the Native Frame Rate and Original Aspect Ratio.
  2. The frame rate must be both continuous and constant throughout the duration of the program.
  3. Ad break duration should be ~0.5 seconds but must not exceed 1 second from the end of fade-out to beginning of fade-in.
  4. Metadata in the file header must accurately indicate:
  • Scan Type
  • Scan Order
  • Display Aspect Ratio

Master File Format

WarnerMedia currently supports two options for content delivery: JPEG 2000 and ProRes 422 HQ.

Option 1: JPEG2000 MXF OP1a

JPEG 2000 Qualification

For providers wishing to deliver JPEG 2000 MXF OP1a masters, an on-boarding output qualification process is required before any content can be delivered. Please reach out to your WarnerMedia contact to initiate the qualification process.

Video Specification
CodecJPEG 2000
ContainerMXF OP1a (Conforming to SMPTE ST 378: 2004)
Frame RateOriginal/Native | Progressive: 23.976, 25, 29.97 | Interlaced: 25, 29.97
Scan TypeNative (Progressive or Interlaced)
Aspect RatioOriginal/Native
ResolutionHD (1920 x1080) | UHD (3840 x 2160)
Max Bit RateHD 250Mbps | UHD 800Mbps (BCP Level 5)
Rate ControlVariable Bit Rate (VBR)
Chroma Bit Depth10-bit
Color Coding/SpaceY'CbCr 4:2:2/Legal Range
Color Matrix/PrimariesITU-R BT.709
Audio Specification
CodecLinear PCM
FormatBroadcast Wave Format (BWF)
Sample Bit Depth24-bit
Sample Rate48kHz
JPEG 2000 Encoding Configuration
Parameter NameValue (Interlaced)Value (Progressive)
Creslengths10427091302083
CreversibleNoNo
Slope4915048800
Cband_weights:C00.0901, 0.8378, 0.2758, 0.7018,1, 0.8378, 10.0901, 0.2758, 0.2758, 0.7018, 0.8378, 0.8378, 1
Cband_weights:C10.0863, 0.2564, 0.2564, 0.2564, 0.4691, 0.4691, 0.4691, 0.6523, 0.6523, 0.6523, 0.7797, 0. 7797, 0.7797, 10.0863, 0.0863, 0.2564, 0.2564, 0.2564, 0.4691, 0.4691, 0.4691, 0.6523, 0.6523, 0.6523, 0.7797, 0.7797, 0.7797, 1
Cband_weights:C20.1835, 0.4130, 0.4130, 0.4130, 0.6464, 0.6464, 0.6464, 0.8254, 0.8254, 0.8254, 0.9424, 0.9424, 0.9424, 10.1835, 0.1835, 0.4130, 0.4130, 0.4130, 0.6464, 0.6464, 0.6464, 0.8254, 0.8254, 0.8254, 0.9424, 0 .9424, 0.9424, 1
Cblk32,3264,64
Clayer11
Clevel55
CorderCPRLCPRL
Cprecincts256,256, 256,256, 256,256, 256,256, 256,256,128,128256,256, 256,256, 256,256, 256,256, 256,256, 128,128
ORGtpartsCC
ORGgen_pltYesYes
ORGgen_tlm33
Qstep0.00097656250.0009765625
Sprofile22

Option 2: ProResHQ

Video Specification
CodecProRes 422 HQ
ContainerQuickTime MOV
Frame RateOriginal/Native | Progressive: 23.976, 25, 29.97 | Interlaced: 25, 29.97
Scan TypeNative (Progressive or Interlaced)
Aspect RatioOriginal/Native
ResolutionHD (1920 x1080) | UHD (3840 x 2160)
Max Bit RateHD ~ 176 to 220Mbps | UHD ~ 796 to 880Mbps
Rate ControlVariable Bit Rate (VBR)
Chroma Bit Depth10-bit
Color Coding/SpaceY'CbCr 4:2:2/Legal Range
Color Matrix/PrimariesITU-R BT.709
Audio Specification
CodecLinear PCM
Sample Bit Depth24-bit
Sample Rate48kHz

Master Composition

All content must deliver free of any on-screen identifiers (such as overlay branding, burn-ins, crawls) and/or any advertising/promotional messaging (such as bumpers, links, end cards). In addition, WarnerMedia will not accept episodic content that includes any logos, bugs, bumpers or stings before or after the program.

Season and/or episode recaps should not be stitched to the beginning of content and must be provided as separate video deliverables to the HBO Max Marketing team.

All content must conform to the following composition:

10" Slate / Silence30" Black / SilenceProgram @ 01:00:00:0030" Black / SilenceTextless5" Black / Silence

If there are multiple textless segments, insert 5 seconds of black/silence in between each segment. If the content requires no textless segments, then the composition shall end after the Program. No additional black should be appended.

Slate

First frame of video must begin with a visual slate. Slate shall contain:

Program title:
Episode No (if applicable):
Production Company:
Program Run Time:
Aspect Ratio:
Production Audio: [Language/Configurations]
Textless Included

Audio Technical Specifications

  1. Each Soundfield group must be arranged into a single track. (e.g. 5.1 would be 1 track with 6 channels)
  2. Stereo labels must match the method used to create the Soundfield: LtRt for matrixed downmix, LR for stereo mix.
  3. All audio channels must be labeled in the file metadata, where appropriate for each file format.
  4. All audio tracks must conform (be synchronous) with video and have the same duration.
  5. Where both exist, a near field mix is preferred over a Theatrical mix.
  6. Content with 5.1 surround must be provided with a separate, corresponding 2.0 track.
  7. WarnerMedia will accept discrete mono essence tracks, however, single soundfield is strongly preferred.
  8. In addition to Stereo, 5.1 surround, and Music & Effects deliveries for the Original Production Language, the following must also be delivered, according to regional/contractual obligations (refer to the Audio Track Layout for more):
  • Stereo for Additional Audio Language(s).
  • 5.1 for Additional Audio Language(s).
  • Music and Effects.

Audio loudness

Content must conform to either ITU-1770-3 (for US content deliveries) or EBU R 128-2020 (for content deliveries outside of the US).

For ITU-1770-3, target audio loudness must conform with:

  • Target loudness for 2 Channel Program Audio (e.g. LtRt) must be ∑ -24 LKFS +/- 2 dB
  • Target loudness for 5.1 Channel Program Audio must be ∑ -24 LKFS +/- 2 dB (minus LFE)
  • True Peak does not exceed -2 dBTP (dynamics processing should be applied as needed)

For EBU R 128-2020, target audio loudness must conform with:

  • Program Loudness Level must be normalized to a Target Level of −23.0 LUFS ±1db.
  • True Peak Level of a program must not exceed −1 dBTP.
    WarnerMedia reserves the right to modify or reject content that does not meet the described Audio Technical Specifications.

Audio Track Layout

  1. Track order below is preferred but not mandatory as it will vary depending on track availability. Please exclude track(s) if not available, do not fill with silent or duplicate tracks.
  2. If the Original Production Language is not English, then an English dub track is required, where available (see Dubbing Credits/Cards for more).
  3. The total channel count must not exceed 32.

Descriptive Video/Audio Description

WarnerMedia requires the delivery of Descriptive Video / Audio Description tracks, where pre-existing, to be delivered in the following manner:

  1. Descriptive Video/Audio Description must be mixed with primary stereo audio.
  2. Descriptive Video/Audio Description must conform to the primary program video.
  3. Descriptive Video/Audio Description must adhere to Master Technical Specifications.

Language/TypeSoundfieldTrackChannel
Original Production LanguageStereoTrack 1Channel 1
Channel 2
L/Lt
R/Rt
Original Production Language5.1 SurroundTrack 2Channel 1
Channel 2
Channel 3
Channel 4
Channel 5
Channel 6
L
R
C
LFE
Ls
Rs
Additional Audio Language(s)

(As required by region)
StereoTrack 3Channel 1
Channel 2
L/Lt
R/Rt
Additional Audio Language(s)

(As required by region)
5.1 SurroundTrack 4Channel 1
Channel 2
Channel 3
Channel 4
Channel 5
Channel 6
L
R
C
LFE
Ls
Rs
Music & EffectsStereoTrack 5Channel 1
Channel 2
L/Lt
R/Rt
Descriptive Video/Audio DescriptionStereoTrack 6Channel 1
Channel 2
L/Lt
R/Rt
DialogueStereoTrack 7Channel 1
Channel 2
L/Lt
R/Rt
Sound EffectsStereoTrack 8Channel 1
Channel 2
L/Lt
R/Rt
MusicStereoTrack 9Channel 1
Channel 2
L/Lt
R/Rt

Content Delivery Filename Convention

Guidelines

  1. Filename must not include spaces or special characters, e.g. ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) ` ; < > ? , [ ] { } ’ ” |. With the exception of – (dash) and _ (underscore).
  2. Underscores must be used to separate categories within filename.
  3. All filenames must contain a file type extension and must be lowercase. Uppercase extension will result in an invalid content delivery.
  4. Filename category should use CamelCase: multiple words joined together with the first letter of each word capitalized, e.g. Search Party -> SearchParty.

Syntax

ProgramTitle_EpNo_EditType_Language_MediaType_RevNo.ext

CategoryDefinitionRequired/ As Applicable
ProgramTitleIs the tile of the programRequired
EpNoIs expressed as a concatenation of season and episode number in season.
Season is indicated by a single digit (e.g. 2) and episode number by two digits
(e.g. 01) Using this convention the example would be 201
As Applicable
Edit TypeIs the edit type of the program (for example: textless, consolidated, etc.)As Applicable
LanguageIs the primary language of the media file Required
Media TypeIs the type of media file delivered (video, audio, captions, subtitles, etc.)Required
RevNoIs the revision number, added only when necessary and preceded by ‘REV’As Applicable

Example

Sopranos_201_Master_Eng_Video.mxf

Godfather_ Eng_Captions.xml

Content Delivery Method

There are two supported methods for content delivery:

  1. User initiated upload via WarnerMedia secure delivery Portal.
  2. High volume upload via WarnerMedia Automated Content Delivery (ACD).

All providers must be on-boarded to one of the supported delivery methods prior to delivering any content to WarnerMedia.

Supplemental Assets

Asset Imagery

Content artwork and imagery must be delivered for all content. For more information on the images required, see Image Specifications.

Title Metadata

Descriptive metadata must be provided prior to delivering of any content to WarnerMedia. For more information on the metadata required, see Descriptive Metadata Template.


Release History

1.3 June 14, 2022

  1. Removed Audio Technical Specification #7 - "Each soundfield group should be arrange into a single track.". This is already specified in Audio Technical Specification #1

1.2 May 6, 2022

  1. Updated WMContentAcquistions email address

v1.1 May 14, 2021

  1. Moved the DVS section from the Component Audio page to the Audio Track Layout section
  2. Added to Audio Track Layout (32 limit on channel count)
  3. Added to Audio Technical Specifications
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