If you use a photosensitive epilepsy (PSE) testing device, you might need to update it soon. From the 1st January 2019, all approved PSE testing devices will have to comply with the latest Ofcom definition of a flash sequence.
All broadcasters in the UK must comply with Section 2.12 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code (detailed in Annex 1 of the Ofcom Guidance notes), which provides guidance to UK TV broadcasters and producers on how to minimise the risk of causing PSE events.
After a complaint showed inconsistencies in the interpretation of the Broadcasting Code Harm and Offence section that details the requirements for PSE testing, the International Telecommunications Union have decided to amend the definition. This means that all programmes will have to be tested using PSE algorithms that comply with the latest revision.
• If you own a testing device, check the table below to make sure the PSE testing version is approved, then update your device when the version becomes available.
• If you hire devices, contact your supplier beforehand and make sure they confirm their testing devices are compliant. Ask what device they use and check it matches the ones in the table below.
• If you are booking external QC and PSE testing, contact the tester beforehand and make sure they confirm their testing devices are compliant. Ask what device they use and check it matches the ones in the table below.
Here are the products that the UK broadcasters have agreed competently perform PSE testing, with information about which PSE version you need to be running:
|Company||Product Version(s)||PSE Current Version||PSE BT.1702-1 Version Required from 01/01/19||Comments|
|Cambridge Research Systems||FPA V3.4||FPA V3.4 No change||Note: Cambridge Research devices can also be used to test Live (or as Live) programmes using the Legacy Mode|
|FPA Server V3.0.0 or later|
|FPA UK Digital V0110 or later|
|Tektronix||Cerify V7.8.0 or later||FPA V3.4||FPA V3.4 No change||Cerify uses a licensed Cambridge Research Systems algorithm.|
|Aurora V3.6 or later with FPA option||FPA V3.4||FPA V3.4 No change||Aurora uses a licensed Cambridge Research Systems algorithm.|
|Aurora V5.1.331 or later ProVersion||Tektronix PSE V5.1||FPA V3.4 Update required||Tektronix has ceased support for the Tektronix PSE V5.1 Algorithm. An update to use the FPA V3.4 algorithm is available for all supported Aurora V5.1 customer|
|Interra||Baton V4.2 – V7.3||Interra PSE V1.0||No longer supported in the UK Update to V7.4 is required|
|Baton V7.4 or later||Interra PSE V1.0 (Low sensitivity)||ITU-R BT.1702 2018 (V1.0)||Available now|
|Interra PSE V1.0 (High sensitivity)|
|Vidcheck||Vidchecker V4.5 to v6.1||Version no longer supported||No longer supported in the UK Update to V8.0 required|
|Vidfixer V4.5 to v6.1|
|Vidapps-PSE V1.0 or later||Vidcheck PSE V5.0||Vidcheck PSE V5.1 Update required||Available now|
|Vidchecker V8.0 or later|
|Vidfixer V8.0 or later|
|Cel-Soft||PSE-Check V2.410 or later||Cel-soft PSE V1.5||Cel-soft PSE V2.0||Available now|
|Reel-Check Solo V1.410 or later|
|Reel-Check SE V3.410 or later|
|Venera||Pulsar V4.3 and higher||FPA V3.4||FPA V3.4 No change||Pulsar uses a licensed Cambridge Research Systems algorithm|
|EditShare||Quales V1.1.0||Quales V1.1.0 No change||The Quales PSE Algorithm was developed and approved after the inconsistency was discovered and therefore compliant when first approved|
Remember, any programme that is tested on a non-approved device will not be accepted by the broadcaster. If the device you use isn’t from this list, you will need to purchase or hire a compliant device to ensure your programmes are not rejected.
The UK broadcasters have been working with the approved testing device manufacturers to ensure that all devices will be ready in time. Some devices are already compliant, and those that aren’t will be updating the PSE test as part of their normal support and maintenance contracts before the deadline. These changes will only affect programs delivered on or after 1st January 2019, so you don’t have to worry about retesting programmes that have been delivered before that date as this particular issue is extremely unlikely to occur and the broadcasters are not concerned that programmes already delivered will cause a complaint.
Both broadcasters and therefore supplied content must comply with the Broadcasting Code and so, as broadcasters are ultimately responsible for ensuring the safety of their audiences, you should contact the relevant broadcaster to find out what products they recommend.
If you use Vidchecker for your PSE testing, you will need to be under support to upgrade to version 8 (due to be released at the end of November) which contains the post-January 2019 PSE test changes. If you’re unsure about whether you have support or need to set up a quote, please get in touch.
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