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MQC TERMINOLOGY

This page contains a brief explanation for each of the most common issues that are flagged during Manual QC of video assets submitted to Universal Music Group.

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LUMA / CHROMA / SPATIAL


VIDEO LEVELS


CHROMA BLEED / MOIRE / DOT CRAWL


DIGITAL / ANALOG DROPOUTS / HITS

MATTES


STRETCHED / SQUEEZED VIDEO

VIDEO COMPRESSION ARTIFACTS


ACTION / TITLE SAFE


PLAYBACK


FRAME SKIP


DUPLICATE / FREEZE FRAMES


TELECINE / CADENCE ISSUES

FIELD ORDERING / FIELD DOMINANCE


GHOSTING / BLENDED FRAMES


ABRUPT START / END

AUDIO

AUDIO LEVELS / PEAKS / DISTORTION


AUDIO DROPOUTS

AUDIO CLICKS / POPS

AUDIO NOISE / HISS / HUM


MONO / PHASE ISSUES


AUDIO VIDEO SYNC


MISCELLANEOUS

LOGOS / BRANDING / CHYRON

  • Logos & Overt Branding

  • Classic MTV Style Chyron


R2 RESOURCE CATEGORY

  • Incorrect R2 Resource Category

OTHER ISSUES

  • Copyright

  • Editing Errors 

  • Explicit Content (Language / Imagery)  

  • Missed Blur

  • Ineffective Blur

  • Sensitive Info Visible

  • Misspelled Text on Screen / Typos

  • R2 Artist or Title Discrepancy

  • Subtitles t/o entire (or majority) of program

  • More Than One Song in a Single Music Video

  • Misc. Edge Issues (Ex. 1) - Layer Misalignment

  • Misc. Edge Issues (Ex. 2) - Solid Lines of Color

  • Slates / Bars / Tones

  • YouTube Bumper Template

  • Livestream Countdown Timer

  • Unsupported Display Aspect

  • Unsupported Audio Channel/Track Configuration

  • Unsupported Audio Channel Tagging

  • Caption Track Embedded in Video

  • Chapter Track Embedded in Video

LUMA / CHROMA / SPATIAL

VIDEO LEVELS

Abrupt Chroma and/or Luma Shift

  • An abrupt change in colour or brightness.

Crushed Blacks [Loss Of Colour Detail]

  • A common video issue that results in loss of picture detail (dark areas become too dark). This can be compensated for by boosting the overall signal level, but once the blacks are crushed, they cannot be fully restored.

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Washed Out Video [Faded Colours]

 

  • When a video has been color graded with the intention of later being played back with associated HDR metadata on an HDR display, it will look "washed out" on regular SDR displays (most computer monitors). VS currently does not support HDR submissions but is considering supporting them in the future.

WashedOut.jpg
NotWashedOut.jpg

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CHROMA BLEED / MOIRE / DOT CRAWL

Chroma Bleed

  • When pigments in a color image move away from their intended position. A type of chroma shift where the color signals in a video image are misaligned.

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Chroma Noise 

 

  • Splotchy fluctuations of color tone between pixels.

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Moire

  • A rippled pattern appearing in images when lines are so close that the imaging system has difficulty differentiating them. Striped clothing + Venetian blinds are common sources of moiré. Can be colored or colorless.

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Dot Crawl

  • Color information in a composite video signal that is misinterpreted by the decoder as luminance. Appears as a series of crawling dots along the edge of a block of highly saturated color.

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DIGITAL / ANALOG DROPOUTS / HITS

Video Dropouts (Hits)

  • A dropout is a small loss of data in an audio or video file on tape or disk.  Dropouts can arise from bad tape stock, dirt, the age of a tape or disk, among other things.

Video Dropouts (Black Frames)

  • The presence of a black frame in a video may indicate a loss of data in the encoding or storage process, may be the result of an editing error, or it may be an intentional effect.  Black frames should generally be questioned, especially if they don’t appear to be intentional.

Noise 

  • Undesired fluctuations of color or luminance that obscure detail in the shot.

Dead Pixel

  • A loss of data at specific spot. Usually the result of an image recorded on a camera with a sensor defect (often present only in shots of a video that were recorded with such a camera). Could also be the result of an encoding error.

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MATTES

Letterbox

  • Black mattes (black bars) at the top and bottom of the frame – these are cropped by some partners.

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Pillarbox

  • Black mattes (black bars) on the left and right of the frame – these are cropped by some partners.

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Mixed Aspect Ratios

  • A single video asset using two or more aspect ratios for either creative intent or due to incorrect processing.

Windowbox

  • An image presented inside a black box (black bars on all sides). This most often results when a widescreen image (1.85:1 or wider) is first letterboxed for presentation on a standard television screen (1.33:1) and then that image is pillar-boxed for presentation on a widescreen television (1.78:1).

Text on Mattes

  • Text is positioned inside the black mattes, which will be cropped by some partners including Apple.

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Colored Mattes

  • Instead of black mattes, a specific colour is used. These will not be cropped for delivery to partners as they are deemed a creative choice.

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Vertical Video in a Horizontal Frame Size

  • Vertical video is in an invalid format. An example of an incorrect aspect ratio is a vertical video that is presented in a 1920 x 1080 window, but it should be 1080 x 1920 for HD frame size.

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Raised Black Level on Mattes

  • The black bars are not ‘true’ or ‘studio’ black and have raised black levels.

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Blanking

  • Blanking is a loss of video at the edge of a frame, presenting as a black band, either horizontal or vertical. 

Globally Incomplete Matte

  • This is usually the result of an error in the matting process that occurs when a natively full frame image is being letterboxed for stylistic intent.

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Visible VBI Information

  • In an analog video signal, the vertical blanking interval (VBI), is the time between the end of the final line of a frame or field and the beginning of the first line of the next frame. The vertical blanking interval can be used for datacasting information such as timecode and closed captioning, since nothing sent during the VBI is displayed on the screen. This information becomes visible when an improper transfer from analog to digital video is performed.

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Matte Shifts

  • This is when a matte slightly changes sizes from shot-to-shot.  This is rarely intentional, and so should be reviewed.  Please note:  this is different than major matte changes, which would fall under "Mixed Aspect Ratios," and which are generally intended.

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Significantly Lopsided Mattes

  • One matte is noticeably larger than another. This creates an off-balance viewing experience and should be checked to ensure it’s intentional.

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2048x1080 Frame Size With > 63 Pixel Pillarboxes

  • This video has a 2048x1080 frame size but the active picture does not occupy more than a center cut 1920x1080 area.

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4096x2160 Frame Size With > 127 Pixel Pillarboxes

  • This video has a 4096x2160 frame size but the active picture does not occupy more than a center cut 3840x2160 area.

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STRETCHED / SQUEEZED VIDEO

Stretched / Squeezed Video

  • A misshaped picture, defined here relative to the horizontal axis: "Stretched" is when objects in the image appear wider than they should. "Squeezed" is when objects appear thinner than they should.

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VIDEO COMPRESSION ARTIFACTS

Aliasing

  • Aliasing (jagged edges) is a visual artifact caused by the limited spatial sampling of a resolved image. Often referred to as "jaggies," visual edges appear to shift sharply and not in a smooth gradient.

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Low Quality Video

  • Low Quality Footage refers to an image sequence or video that exhibits inferior visual qualities to the original source material.

Compressed Source or Intermediary

Low-End Production Equipment

Macroblocking / Banding / Posterization

  • Usually the result of bad compression, representing an image with far fewer tones than were in the original. Smooth gradations are replaced by bands of solid color with abrupt shifts between bands (posterization) or clearly defined blocks (macroblocking).

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ACTION / TITLE SAFE

Title Safe (Text On Screen)

  • The recorded image area within which all on-screen text is displayed to ensure that it will be visible on the majority of home televisions receivers. Boundaries currently set to 10% Horizontal & 10% Vertical.

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Action Safe

  • The recorded image area within which all significant action must take place to ensure that it will be visible on the majority of home television receivers. Boundaries currently set to 7% Horizontal & 7% Vertical.

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Text Off Screen

  • Sections of text graphics are not visible. This could mean that some text is not legible, which may be jarring for the viewer.

PLAYBACK

FRAME SKIP

Frame Skip / Image Jump

  • When one or more frames are missing in the video.

Flash Frame

  • A flash frame is an image that lasts only one frame and appears to “flash” quickly during playback.  This may or may not be an error.  Generally, clips within videos last longer than a frame, as one frame is too quick for a viewer to really take in.  However, a clip with a duration of one frame may be intended for effect.

DUPLICATE / FREEZE FRAMES

Duplicate Frames

  • A duplicate frame within the frame sequence that contains no different information than the adjacent frame.

Freeze Frames (not likely intentional)

  • An extended sequence of consecutive duplicate frames that creates severe, highly noticeable freezes in motion.

TELECINE / CADENCE ISSUES

Cadence

  • Choppy motion caused by repeated frames in a sequence. For example, 2:1 cadence refers to 2 Frames Movement (Progressive) / 1 Frame No Movement (Duplicate Frame).

Mixed Cadences (Does NOT apply to creative slow motion effects)

  • Where the ratio of repeated frames in a sequence is inconsistent throughout the video. For example, the video contains a section that is 1:1 cadence in a video that is majority 3:1 cadence.

  • Mixed / Irregular Cadence is a result of multiple frame rate formats being utilized within one video program containing different transfer patterns. If mixed media is processed differently as part of the telecine process, in subsequent conversions, or as part of the creative process (slow motion, strobe, or other visual effects) it can result in an inconsistent cadence.

Combing / Interlacing Artifacts / Visible Scan Lines

  • If content is incorrectly handled during the post-production editing process, interlacing artifacts (horizontal lines) can become visible in a progressive file. Combing appears as ghosting and horizontal lines around objects in motion. A scan line (also scanline) is one line, or row, in a raster scanning pattern, such as a line of video on a cathode ray tube (CRT) display of a television set or computer monitor.

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Global 3:2 Pulldown on a 29.97 file

  • This often occurs when a file has been converted from a "film based" source 23.98 or 24 fps to "video based" 29.97 fps via a telecine process.

FIELD ORDERING / FIELD DOMINANCE

Incorrect Scan Type Metadata Flag Based on Video Content

  • Videos with interlaced frames should be flagged interlaced whereas progressive videos should be flagged progressive.

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GHOSTING / BLENDED FRAMES

Ghosting / Blended Frames

  • Ghosting is when information from a set of adjacent frames has been combined and overlaid. Usually appears as a duplicate image.

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ABRUPT START / END

Abrupt Video or Audio Start/Ending

  • The video or audio track starts/ends abruptly, which is jarring for the viewer. This may or may not be intentional and should be checked and verified.

AUDIO

AUDIO LEVELS / PEAKS / DISTORTION

Levels / Peaks (Clipping w/Distortion)

  • Audio Clipping is when the amplitude of an audio sample exceeds the maximum playback level. This can cause audio distortion in the playback system. Commonly referred to as Overmodulation.

Overly Compressed Audio

  • Compression is used to reduce the size of a file, while also reducing the quality. Overly compressed audio can sound distorted and indicates that a lesser quality source has been used to produce the video. Original source quality audio should be used to ensure the listening experience isn’t compromised.

Distortion

  • Audio distortion can be caused by a number of factors and may even be an intentional effect. It can be jarring for the listener, so unintentional distortion should be avoided.

Audio Level Shift/Change

  • Level Change (audio volume change) is the abrupt change of base or peak audio levels unintentionally or non-diegetically.

AUDIO DROPOUTS

Audio Dropouts

  • An Audio Dropout is the spontaneous and usually momentary lack of audio signal in an audio mix, channel, or track.

AUDIO CLICKS / POPS

Audio Clicks / Ticks / Pops

  • Audio clicks are audible artifacts in the audio track. These can be caused by edits that cut in between samples or peaks of an audio file and cause the output speakers to change voltage rapidly.

Audio Crackle

  • Audio Crackle is a series of clicks/pops. Similar to the sound of a vinyl record.

AUDIO NOISE / HISS / HUM

Audio Noise

  • Static / ‘white’ noise is present in the audio, typically signifying a loss of audio data, although is commonly an intentional effect.

Audio Hiss

  • Audio Hiss is additional noise present in an audio track. Often can be caused by an elevated noise floor or analog source material.

Audio Hum

  • A low frequency tone continuously present in the audio track.

MONO / PHASE ISSUES

Dual Mono Audio

  • Dual Mono occurs when both the Left and Right channels are identical to one another. Dual Channel Mono Audio refers to the duplication of an audio track, causing stereophonic or intended surround elements to be absent.

    NOTE: It is acceptable for production audio in parts of a Behind the Scenes / Interview type video to be dual mono (as long as the entire file isn't dual mono, and as long as any underlying music in the video is in stereo).

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Extremely Narrow Stereo Image

  • When a recording sounds like it is dual mono but upon closer analyzation with scopes it actually has very slight variations between the left and right channels t/o its entire runtime.

Phase Issues (Isolated / Intermittent)

  • Phase issues are a misalignment between channels in an audio recording or mix causing changes to the stero field.

Inverse Phase (Global)

  • Occurs when the polarity of different channels in an audio mix are inadvertently opposite of each other. This causes the music to sound, thin, hollow, diffuse, and unnatural. True inverse phase issues between channels are easy to fix by flipping the polarity of a single channel.

Channel Imbalance

  • A track imbalance occurs when the two stereo channels have significantly different volumes. This may be the case for the entire video or it may be isolated to a specific section. This is different than instruments or sounds intentionally being placed in different channels to create a wide soundstage or directional effects.

AUDIO VIDEO SYNC

A/V Sync Issues (Isolated / Intermittent)

  • The timing of the audio and video does not match and are out of sync in some shots.

Audio Offset (Global > 2 frames)

  • When the video and audio are out of sync by a consistent amount of time throughout.

Audio Drift (Global)

  • When the video and audio are in sync at one point in a recording but stray out of sync by an increasing amount the further the listener gets from this point.

MISCELLANEOUS

LOGOS / BRANDING / CHYRON

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