Credits Framerate

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    Ben Saunders

    Hello. Recently after watching Spyfall, I felt as if the Doctor Who credits were running at 50/60fps, despite the show itself being in twenty… five? I can imagine them doing this, but I have no way of verifying it, and can’t find anything online. And again today, watching my copy of Twentica, it looks as if the credits are supposed to be in 50/60, but my copy is only half that, making them fuzzy and hard to read.

    Do they run the credits of modern shows at a higher framerate than the episodes themselves? I supposed it would make them easier to read, but then wouldn’t it be easier to export the entire episode at the lower framerate, or something, I dunno, it’s not my job.



    When aired on TV, all BBC content is output at 1080i50 fps. Whilst Doctor Who is (most likely – I don’t actually know) now filmed at 1080p25, once it is brought into the edit and formatted for broadcast it will be processed into a 50i timeline. They probably do the credits at this point, resulting in the fluid, interlaced look the credits have, much like sport or soap opera footage. The actual episode footage itself remains looking “filmic” and progressive, despite being squashed into the 50i project. So the only thing that is “truly” 50i is the credits, hence why they stick out.

    Basically; Episode shot at 25p > brought into 50i project > credits created in 50i > whole episode airs at 50i.

    At least that’s what I think, might all be rubbish.


    Ben Saunders

    That would make sense, yeah. And I guess the same would apply to Red Dwarf XI?



    Scrolling credits on UK TV shows must run at maximum temporal resolution as part of video standards compliance. The only other solution is to run the credits as static caption cards.

    The BBC will often run credits on feature films at 2x speed (and therefore videolook) as well though this is mostly to save time I think.

    Either way all UK HDTV output is being transmitted via a 50i carrier regardless of production source or how some higher-end smart TVs decode that at point of delivery. Everything is going through the same standard, so whether it was shot, partially shot or even delivered at 25p makes no difference to the way it’s being transmitted as a 50i picture.



    I was under the impression that if something is filmed in 25p and the wrapped into 50i for broadcast purposes, it still retains the look that the progressive filming gives it despite the 50i final product. For example Doctor Who, despite technically being a 50i product by the time it hits the air, it doesn’t have interlaced hallmarks etc. That’s why I thought it stood out from the credits. Obviously not an expert on this myself but that’s my limited understanding



    It does but it’s still airing in 50i with repeated frames. The frame rate is refreshing twice as quickly as it looks to be doing.



    Video standards compliance is a bizarre and confusing universe at the best of times though. They’re incredibly strict about anything that flashes, flickers or strobes (this is why they were worried that the camera fault on Trojan would make the episode unbroadcastable), and certain shades of white and red are literally illegal. It’s all so boring though that it’s not really known about, but all TV goes through it.



    and certain shades of white and red are literally illegal

    Now imagining Petersen in an edit suit checking colours and just point and saying “they’re illegal”



    Cue Rimmer changing the entire colour scheme of the ship exterior from Ocean Red to Military Red.


    Ben Paddon

    The BBC will often run credits on feature films at 2x speed (and therefore videolook) as well though this is mostly to save time I think.

    I am reminded of a BBC Two broadcast of Suburban Commando, which ends with the credits rolling over a long pull-out shot of Christopher Lloyd driving his car on the freeway, which the BBC had sped up and, quite bafflingly, opted to replace the music with Offenbach’s Can-Can music. It’s always stuck in my memory.

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