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Torsten Joyce

Big Bang Theory ISO

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Have yo ever seen the Big Bang Theory on TV or on Netflix? Well I've been watching it for a while and it seems to me that they don't use a lot of studio lights. All shots look grainy from a high ISO, is what I think. If you would have a different explanation, please let me know 😁

From a fellow cinematographer, Torsten Joyce


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I used to QC the master tapes for UK broadcast, the footage always looked clean, similar to any other multi-cam sitcom on video. General high key light. The focus is very deep its clear they are smashing in a lot of light. 

Unless later seasons have been experimenting with "film look" grain processes I suspect is the distribution chain.

Its quite a thing to watch the high bitrate image coming off server or HDCAM-SR tape in the transmission suite at the same time as the live off air return. What the viewers see at home is horrible compared to the masters. Its really shocking when you side by side them.

Netflix is inconsistent in quality, their 4K orginals look pretty decent on the 15mbs stream. But there are quite a few shows, particually things mastered to Digi-Beta that look awful on Netflix and much worse the the source tape. Quite a lot of shows I QC'ed at C4 are on Netflix and they don't always look great - they seem to dump PAL video to 480 lines for some reason as well. 

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