Delivery of Programmes to S4C – Photo Sensitive Epilepsy
S4C require that any programmes delivered to us for broadcast comply with the Ofcom (formerly ITC) guidance regarding this subject. The OFCOM (FORMERLY ITC) GUIDANCE NOTE FOR FLASHING IMAGES AND REGULAR PATTERNS IN TELEVISION can be found on S4C’s website and there is a copy here for your convenience. It is only available in English at present but Ofcom are in consultation on certain aspects of the document as part of the New Broadcasting Code which will be published later in the Spring which will be bilingual.
Any material submitted to S4C for transmission is checked for compliance in several parameters (one of which is that of Photo Sensitive Epilepsy). Material which fails to meet the technical delivery requirements of which PSE forms a part will be rejected and returned for correction. It is therefore important that all programme companies have a philosophy of quality and compliance checking the material they are intending to submit to S4C BEFORE they deliver it.
Should the material arrive late or with too short a time to return it, and it subsequently fails any of the criteria, S4C will have the following options which it will have to exercise:
1. Reject the programme and cancel the transmission
2. Correct the defects and charge the supplier for technical resources and facilities used.
There are currently believed to be two items of equipment which can test and alert the production/facility company of the content’s compliance with the Photo Sensitive Epilepsy guidelines.
1. The Harding Analyser – a PC based product
2. The HD Gordon Photo epilepsy monitor
The Harding analyser is a very comprehensive unit which is capable of detailed in depth analysis and reporting of Photo Sensitive Epilepsy errors. The HD Gordon is a simpler self contained unit, being considerably lower cost it has the advantage of being able to be installed in several areas of the operation.
When delivering a programme to S4C it will be expected that it will have met the HD Gordon Photo Epilepsy test.
S4C will have access to both types of analyser. Our ingest and Quality Assessment stations will have a HD Gordon unit attached. During ingest and Quality Assessment, the material will be passed through the HD Gordon unit to give a pass/fail indication. The Harding unit will normally only be used by S4C as a second level in depth analysis tool.
A recording report stating which analyser has been used should accompany programmes delivered. In the case of the Harding analyser a print out should be enclosed as proof of compliance. S4C will not normally need to repeat the analysis on our Harding unit, and proof that the programme has been tested will be sufficient.
In the case of the HD Gordon, no printout will be available if it passed. Hence confirmation from the production company that this unit was used to ensure PSE compliance is all that S4C will require. The material will then be subject to our own HD Gordon unit during ingest and Quality Assessment as standard practice and it will of course be expected to pass.
There are some dipswitch settings on the HD Gordon unit allowing the sensitivity to be adjusted.
S4C units will be set to the default values.