Spot (Commercial) Specifications


  • QuickTime H.264 or Apple Pro Res 422/422HQ .mov file – 1920x1080i@29.97 or
  • High Definition Spots: 720p@59.94fps – 16:9 720×480 or
  • SD Sposts: 720×486, 29.97i for SD Spots 4:3

Audio Format

  • Stereo on channels 1-2

Audio Levels

  • Audio levels for ALL channels can peak but not exceed -8dB. We will accept instances that exceed -8dB, but overall audio shall not exceed -8db


  • Each spot’s content MUST BE EXACTLY 30 or 60 seconds in length
  • The file name MUST BE “client name-spot name-date of upload”

The Importance of 4:3 Center-Cut Safe

  • The introduction of high definition television super-sized our television sets from the square look of the 4:3 aspect ratio, to the widescreen 16:9 ratio. If you acquire your content in HD, the natural instinct when shooting HD is to use the entire 16:9 frame for composing your shots.
  • Currently, most televisions networks in US markets do broadcast in HD. However, since there are still a significant amount of 4:3 television sets still in use, every one of these HD stations also simultaneously feed SD signals of their content to their SD viewers. In fact, the majority of the US viewership is actually watching in SD. This means your cinematic 16:9 content is being down-converted to the 4:3 screen ratio for SD viewers.
  • If your final program is heading to broadcast on television, it is important to know how your content may actually be seen by your audience (both HD and SD) and how you can prepare your final cut so that it is optimized and looks the best in both formats.

Creating 4:3 Center-Cut Safe Content

  • In order to be eligible for this often requisite method of down-conversion, your picture (and graphics) need to be center-cut safe.
  • Creating center-cut safe content starts with proper framing of your talent during production and correct location for your graphics in post. Follow these simple steps to create content that can handle the inevitable down-conversion of your HD content.
  • Shoot protect for “4:3 Visible Area.” Keep all important framing/content in the center 3/4 of the 16:9 screen width when capturing footage.
    Create graphic elements that do not exceed the center 2/3 of the screen width (4:3 safe area).
    Edit your program using our center-cut safe template dropped on your timeline over your footage.
  • Why is this important? Old tube (CRT) televisions were designed with significant over-scan built-in (5-10%) to hide a variety of picture imperfections due to design, manufacturing, and technology limitations. As these sets aged a variety of other mechanical issues would cause the scanning area to change or grow. The rule of thumb is still to accommodate for the lowest common denominator, which in this case is the tube television.

The results:

  • 4:3 safe 16:9 image on an HDTV 4:3 safe 16:9 image
    center cut on a tube TV 4:3 safe center-cut
    image set on an HDTV
    A clean, professional looking image displayed properly across all broadcast outlets.
  • Send an email to your NMS rep after you upload to: Our dropbox can also be found on our website: (scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “dropbox”)

Any Questions Please Contact Our Production and/or Traffic Departments: