Catalog Import: Best Practices

When importing large catalogs, we sometimes come across some consistencies in technical format or content that would potentially trigger a wave of QC failures over the entire library. The best way to mitigate the potentially expensive and time-consuming fix process is to hit the mark with as many titles as possible in the first round.


Technical issues

Over-compression

This issue comes up when the video’s encoded bitrate is too low for its frame data. If a title has an over-compressed Main video, its content and supporting assets skips review by QC and the title is immediately failed.

Only one Main video is selected per title, so make sure it’s the best possible. When in doubt, send the Prores 422HQ. If no prores or dnxhd is available, HD video encoded in h.264 (mp4 extension) should have a bitrate of at least 15 mpbs, 4k video at 50 mbps, and SD video at 2 mbps.

We do not support raw or uncompressed video.

For additional information on compression, please read Maximum Video Compression Rate

Upscaling

Enlarging video will degrade the image quality in almost every case, and especially so on digital sources. Depending on the factor of the scale, the amount of source data in the output is a fraction compared to the resampled ‘stuffing’ the encoder pads the image with. The result is a fuzzy image where text becomes hard to read. Keep your video as close to its master as possible, and leave the resizing to channels. We support all frame sizes with a width over 640 pixels.

Content issues

Burned-in text

This issue is common among non-English language titles, and refers to videos with the entire spoken dialogue burned-in to the lower third throughout as subtitles. Channels generally prefer ‘clean’ masters, with no burned-in text, since they’re more flexible and likely to meet different territories’ localization requirements. Some burned text is OK in context, like when someone is hard to understand or briefly speaking a different language from the primary one. This issue refers to videos with burned-in text throughout as the primary text track.

Alternate versions

Only one Main video per title can pass QC. If a title has dubs or alternate languages, each version must be submitted in its own title entry with distinct metadata and managed rights. There can only be one version of a title per language, so if alternates like a Director’s Cut or Unrated versions are intended for distribution, they would take priority over the standard cut.

Promos

One of the most common issues, especially among reality or unscripted Shows, is unacceptable promos. Any instance of the following will fail QC:

  • URLs that are not specifically for attribution or citation. This includes all social media, network channels, storefronts, crowdfunding, etc. Some URLs are OK, like ones for the production studio, a special consideration/sponsor, or a charity/good cause.
  • Logos or other branding. This includes watermarks and bugs, rating cards, social media, etc. There are cases for production logos at the front and back, and attribution at the end credits. There are also cases for documentary programs that are about or feature these brands.
  • Calls to action or ‘unsupported functionality’. This includes the obvious, ‘go to my website to buy my book,’ but also encompasses any network or channel mention.
    • eg: Channel A picks up Show B that originally aired on Network C. Someone would watch Show B on Channel A, but would hear at the end of every episode “…Join us next time, same place on Network C.” Channel A does not support and can’t account for Network C’s airing schedule or subscription fees, so this promo is considered unsupported functionality and Show B will be rejected by Channel A.

Metadata issues

Shows

In Filmhub, a Show container is the parent of its Episodes, which are individually numbered by season and episode. Episodes can inherit most metadata from their parent Show. There can only be one container per Show, so seasons don’t have distinct metadata entries and supporting assets.

We don’t distribute incomplete Shows. All produced episodes must be availed for any episode to pass QC. While rolling releases aren’t supported, a new season can be added to a Show when production is completed.

Managed rights

Review each of your titles’ available rights. To avoid potential catalog conflicts and DMCA claims, make sure everything is up to date. Be specific when designating restrictions or blockers in these categories: countries, VOD formats, languages, channels, and start/end dates.

Public domain titles are listed on a first come first serve basis. If there are a lot of public domain titles in your library, some of them might not pass QC if another user has claimed the rights to them.