Quality control checklists for transactional TV

Quality is important at Apple. To ensure we receive the highest-quality assets, your content must meet our technical specifications and style guide. For additional information on assets, see the Apple Video and Audio Asset Guide.

For library seasons, once all expected number of episodes to launch are delivered, Apple reviews a sample of the encoded files for errors. Since we don’t review every single file, it’s important that your internal team or encoding house thoroughly checks all content for errors before delivery. We also check for errors in the metadata, artwork and preview from each episode. If we find one or more issues in one of the reviewed files, we assume that it is the case for all videos within the season.

For currently-airing episodes, quality check often takes place after episodes are already live. This makes it especially important that your internal team or encoding house thoroughly checks all content for errors before delivery. If we find a QC issue during our review, we may remove the content.

Before you deliver your assets, perform a quality control review of your assets and metadata using the below checklists.

Asset pre-check

Item How to verify
Source quality Assets must be the highest quality that exist in the marketplace.
Video file Check the video file for defects at the beginning, middle, and end.
Video frame rate The video’s native frame rate must be the same as the source frame rate (HD, PAL, NTSC) and match our specifications.
Cannot open/corrupt file Make sure all asset files in the package can be opened, viewed, and played.
Incomplete file Verify that all files in the package are complete.
Taglines, logos, legalese No logos, ratings, advisories, or FBI warnings are allowed.
Native field dominance Determine if the video source is progressive or interlaced, and make sure the tag is accurate in the header information.
Audio Check audio levels. Ensure the language is tagged correctly and is in linear pulse-code modulation (LPCM) format.
Metadata Make sure your metadata is formatted correctly and complies with our style guide. Use an appropriate locale to represent the language.
Artwork Artwork should meet our specifications. Make sure to review considerations for each piece of artwork.
Episode previews Be sure your episode previews comply with our style guide.

Video (full and preview)

Item How to verify
Aspect ratio Video assets must be the original aspect ratio.
colr, fiel, gama atoms Atom tags within video asset headers should be set and corrected as needed.
Cropping Video assets should not be cropped. Proper crop values must be specified in the XML to allow content to be presented properly across devices.
Digital hits Examples are rectangular color blocks, or splits within a frame, and are a reason for QC rejection.
Dropped/duplicate frames Videos with sequential frames that contain no distinction or movement will be rejected.
Encode/display bounds Video assets must have correct display measurements and can’t distort the aspect ratio.
Interlacing Interlacing artifacts must be removed.
Motion/image lag Ghosting effects, moving image doubles, or image overlaps will be rejected.
Native frame rate Current frame rates of video assets should match the original native format. See the Television Content Profiles in the Apple Video and Audio Asset Guide.
Video codec Video assets must be encoded in ProRes 422 HQ format or 4444 or 4444 (XQ).


Item How to verify
Audio missing Include the appropriate audio files (5.1 or stereo).
Audio assets must be high quality, without any errors.
Distortion Audio assets should be clear, not distorted.
Drop outs Audio assets can’t drop out during playback.
Dubbed audio missing All provided dubbed audio should represent all dialogue present in a content. Use appropriate locale to represent the language.
Labeling Audio configuration labeling needs to be correct and should include the correct channel designation for 5.1, or stereo audio as listed in Audio Channel Assignments.
Sync Audio dialogue and sound effects need to be in sync with the video’s action.

Burned-in subtitles and closed captions

Item How to verify
Burned-in subtitles Subtitles should be complete, in sync, and correctly translated. Use the appropriate tagging as burned-in subtitles and a locale to represent the language.
Forced narratives Forced narratives should be in sync, and correctly tagged as a burned-in narrative to supplement the plot of the story. Use the appropriate locale to represent the language.
Closed captions TV episodes for the United States require a Closed Caption (CC) file that is synchronized and complete. TV for other English speaking territories should also include a CC file when available. See the TV Closed Captioning Profile for details.


Item How to verify
Season titles The season title should be accurate, match the content and be formatted correctly. See season names, season types, formatting, capitalization, and dubbed and subtitled content to comply with our style guide.
Episode titles The episode titles should be accurate, match the content and be formatted correctly. See episode titles, episode titles for compilation, box set, or bonus content, and capitalization to comply with our style guide.
Description Series, season, and episode description should be accurate and in the correct language. Use appropriate locale to represent the language.

Quality control notes

Provide quality control (QC) notes when you have additional information regarding the quality of your content. QC notes can be provided using the <comments> tag in the XML when the notes are less than 4000 characters (for standard 8-bit alphabet characters). Delivering QC notes as a PDF file is also supported.