I see a lot of tips for getting h264 renders onto web streaming sites in 4K but not much on TV. Should I just go with Animation/lossless for my “master”? seems crazy for a 22 minute program but HDD is cheap now so it’s doable. The content consists of detailed animation including 3d rendered scenes source material.

Would 4k on h264 5.2 be adequate? Any artifacts going h264 -> broadcast?

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The reason for mastering out to an uncompressed / minimally lossy format is so that you have a master copy, which you can then use to make other copies, without generation loss, or having to re-render.

You don't have to use Animation. There, I've said it. While it's mathematically lossless, it's only 8-bit, so swings ± roundabouts. While I used to only ever render Aniamtion ever, these days I prefer DNxHR or Cineform with 10-bit colour, the file size is better and you have four times as much colour information. If you're on a mac ProRes 4444 is a good option.

But the first step is check with the broadcaster to see what their tech specs are. The broadcaster where I work mostly take ProRes, so I make proRes submasters from my master copy using ffmpeg. No seriously, check, because they will reject stuff that doesn't pass their quality control.

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