UK TV delivery standards: 2015 Title safe area specifications

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Since October 2014, all delivery of TV programmes to UK TV stations must be by file: no video tapes are allowed any more. As part of standardisation, the Digital Production Partnership has been set up to keep the post production industry up to date with TV show technical specifications. As these specs apply to new UK production, they are likely to apply to any TV programmes made elsewhere bought by UK TV networks.

If you have been charged with preparing an output destined for UK TV, visit the DPP to download the official specifications.

Although there are documents for individual networks, only the first few pages of each PDF differ: nearly all the specifications are standard for programme submission.

One of the first things to know is what part of the image is ‘Title Safe’ or ‘Caption Safe’ - the area within which text and overlays must remain within. As the number of 4:3 ratio TVs in use in the UK is very low, the rules assume everyone is watching on a 16:9 display. That prompted an increase in the title safe area. The margins were 288 to the left and right of the 1920 HD frame, now they are 190 on the left and 194 on the right:

HD pixels (inclusive) - first pixel numbered 1: 191-1726

The page from the specification:

TechnicalDeliveryStandardsBBC-2015-text-safe

A PNG with the safe area transparent:

UKTV-text-safe-area-2015 

PDF version.

20 August update

Looks like the UK specification documents are going to change:

I'll update this post when I can confirm the new official margin values.

Looks like the size of the safe area is correct, but in future the guidelines will say that it should be centred so both left and right margins are 192: