Preparing Graphics for Video

Please address the following requirements, specific to television, before preparing graphic elements.

The Graphics Department is capable of correcting and modifying non-spec submissions, but this will result in an additional fee, billed in 15 minute increments.

Aspect Ratio

  • Standard Definition Television images have an aspect ratio of 4 X 3. If images are supplied in any other aspect ratio, there will be some loss of information as the image is scaled to a 4 X 3 screen.
  • For projects presented in Anamorphic or High Definition please contact the graphics department.

Titlesafe area

  • Most television sets are adjusted to show less than a full picture. The accepted convention is that important graphic detail should be kept to the centre 90% of the image area (known as Safe Area). Text should be kept to the centre 80% of the image area (known as Safe Title).
  • Using Adobe Photoshop you can easily make new documents with guidelines for Titlesafe following this procedure:

Using Adobe Photoshop you can easily make new documents with guidelines for Titlesafe following this procedure:

  • Choose “File/New”
  • Under the “Preset” tab select one of the following:
  1. (high definition) HDTV 1080p/29.97
  2. (standard definition 16 x 9) NTSC D1 Wide Screen Square Pixel
  3. (standard definition 4 x 3) NTSC D1 Square Pixel

Image Resolution

Standard Definition (SD)

  • 720 X 534 pixels at 72 DPI, square pixels (Aspect Ratio Correction will be completed by Studio Post).
  • Standard Definition resolution is much lower than that of other media. This resolution equates to 10” X 7.5” at 72 ppi. Images supplied at higher resolutions will not result in a better quality image.
  • Due to the colour encoding process used in NTSC, the use of fine lines and very small text should be avoided as they produce an unpleasant ringing effect. They may look fine on a computer screen but will not be reproduced correctly when broadcast. A minimum line weight of 3 pts can be used as a guideline.

High Definition (HD)

  • 1920 x 1080 pixels at 72 DPI or 1280 x 720 pixels at 72 DPI
  • Be aware that if a standard definition down-convert

Higher resolution files may be useful for compositing, pans and zooms

  • Don’t hesitate to consult with Studio Post prior to preparing files.

Recommended File Formats

Adobe Illustrator (.EPS or .AI)

  • CS5 compatible
  • Convert fonts to paths or supply PC fonts
  • Prefered format for Logos

    Adobe PhotoShop (.PSD)

    • CS5 compatible
    • RGB, broadcast safe colours
    • Layered (transparent background)
    • Delete unrequired layers, channels and paths

    TIFF, Targa

    • RGB, broadcast safe colours
    • Include Alpha Channel or Clipping Path if possible


    • JPEGs with “High Quality” compression settings are acceptable for Photos and Graphics that do not require any background separation.
    • Note: Graphics acquired from websites (GIF, JPEG) rarely meet broadcast quality standards.

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