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Ten solves ad dilemma

CHANNEL Ten and Sydney company Quinto Communications have developed a graphic solution to the slow uptake of widescreen format by advertisers.

The free-to-air broadcasters claim digital broadcasting provides a higher quality picture in a widescreen 16x9 format previously only seen in the cinema.

However, advertising clients have been slow to adopt the widescreen format in Perth.

When 4x3 material is viewed on a widescreen 61x9 television the result is know as “pillar boxing” an effect that gives the viewer a 4x3 format picture in the centre of the screen with black bars at either side of the image.

Channel Ten spent three years searching the world for a solution to broadcasting these two different formats over this transitional period

Now Channel Ten and Talia Sound and Vision, a division of Quinto Communications, have developed a solution to this destracting “concertina” effect when widescreen programs are filled with the smaller format advertising spots or old 3x4 footage.

“The side bars are a Channel Ten concept designed by Talia Sound and Vision and Channel Ten,” Network Ten Perth general manager Kel Robards said.

The solution was a side fill keyer which enables television networks to place their logos or other picture material within these bands surrounding the 3x4 picture.

It’s hoped these graphic bars down the side of 3x4 format programming will reduce the concertina effect when the two formats are broadcast side by side.

The hardware costs $5,390, and it’s hoped this technology will be picked up by all the networks in Australia and, in the future, overseas, said Quinto Comm-unications general manager Tom Pavicic.

“We’re hoping to sell the Talia Slide Fill Keyer to all the net-works in every state for the widescreen service, that’s up to 100 units in Australia,” Mr Pavicic said.

It’s unclear why advertisers in Western Australia have been slow to adopt the new widescreen format for their television advertising material as the production costs are minimal.

“There’s only a small difference in price. For example, for Channel Ten to make an episode of Neighbours in widescreen it costs an extra $50,” Mr Robards said.

“There are no problems watching widescreen format on normal television as all the widescreen programming is shot so that the essential material can still be seen on the smaller 3x4 format.”

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