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There are different types of Quality Control, the most intensive is the 100% QC (or first QC, or Transfer Master QC) This is a complete review of the tape from head to tail and involves all aspects of Quality Control. 100% QC usually takes 2 to 2.5 times the run time of the show to complete. (a 2 hour movie will take 4 to 5 hours depending on amount of problems encountered.) The steps to 100%QC are as follows.
Note: It is not recommended that you attempt to do your own QC if you have little or no experience. The things I have listed here are only a sample of what is involved. If you miss things that shouldn’t be missed your client will not be happy. I am available for Quality Control Consulting, if you are interested in doing your own.
Step 1. Making sure that the tape is the correct project.
a. Matching Bar Codes on Tape label & Case label
b. Making sure the tape is the correct standard and format
c. Checking to see if titles, run times & audio configuration are correct and match on tape and label.
d. Checking to make sure that information on slate, matches info on tape and case labels.
The second step is to check all specs of tape. The specs are all recorded along with a list of problems in program on the QC Report I do this by shuttling through the tape several times and checking the following.
Step 2 Spec. Check
a. Are Channel conditions of tape good all the way through?
b. Are Luminance, and Chroma levels correct in bars, and do they match program?
c. Are Horizontal Blanking, and Vertical Blanking correct through program?
d. Is VITC present on tape, and does it match Longitudinal Time Code? Is VITC on correct lines and is it consistent all the way through program?
e. Is head format of tape correct?
f. Is Run Time Correct?
g. Is Textless material present (if applicable)?
The Third step is to Watch the entire program and note any/all problems that occur in program on QC report. I use a rating system from 1 to 3 to determine the severity of problem the ratings are as follows.
1. Minor Problem, no fix needed, Just calling attention to what is there.
2. Marginal. Problem should be fixed before air, if possible and time permitting.
2+. Marginal to Severe. Program is placed on hold for 2+. Fixes Recommended but client(s) to determine whether to fix.
3. Rejected. Tape is not suitable for air, and must be fixed or redone.
Step 3. Check program for problems
a. Note film problems (dirt, splices, stretches, streaks, scratches, etc.)
b. Note instances of Video/ Audio levels that are out of spec. (Luminance, Chroma, Blanking, VITC etc.)
c. Make sure all titles are within safe title area.
d. Check for Video Hits
e. Make sure audio is correct, in phase, and conforms to audio standards of show
f. Note any program audio problems (ticks, pops, scratches, mutes, low level, missing dialogue etc.)
g. Note other video issues (motion lag, moire, crushed blacks, contaminated blacks, overexposed whites, telecine misfires, and many other potential problems.)
f. Make sure that textless material covers all texted shots in program (if applicable)
Step 4. Complete report, with Pass, Fail, or Hold determination. If program fails or is placed on hold recommendations for how to fix.
Other types of QC
DRS QC: Used for film restoration. A complete (or as near complete as possible in the given amount of time) list of all film dirt. Used for DRS process (dirt removal) This process usually has a set time limit depending on how much DRS work client wants to do.
Dub QC: For shows that have already been QC’d and have now been dubbed, purpose to make sure that no new problems occurred in dubbing process. Run time is usually 1.5 times the length of program
M&E QC: Often done as part of 100% QC if program contains Music and Effects Audio Tracks.
(usually takes 1.5 times run time)
Spot QC: Quick spec check, and Check program for 2-3 minutes at beginning middle, and end.