The Newsroom

BBC Six

Photosensitive epilepsy warning at the start.

WO
Worzel Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
Didn't know where to post this, but Simon McCoy's been caught sitting down on the job again... Laughing

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JO
Joe
At least he's put down the other 499 pages of his script, I suppose.
DA
davidhorman Channel Channel Islands
They've just incorporated the footage of Cummings leaving Downing Street into a montage on HIGNFY without a warning.
NG
noggin Founding member
They've just incorporated the footage of Cummings leaving Downing Street into a montage on HIGNFY without a warning.


If you mean a warning because of flash photography...

HIGNFY is a recorded show, and therefore will have had to have passed an Ofcom-approved Photosensitivity and Flashing Pattern (PSE and FPA) test, so no warning will be required. The material will have been tested (and edited or modified if required) prior to delivery and broadcast. All delivered shows are required to deliver with a certificate demonstrating that they have passed.

Unless exceptional circumstances exist you aren't allowed to include content that would fail a Harding or similar PSE/FPA test in delivered shows.

Live shows, shows with fast turnaround inserts, and fast-turnaround as-live shows which don't have control over all of their content can use the warning approach instead. (Think News bulletins, Eurovision Song Contest, live pop concerts, global events etc.)

Live entertainment shows (like Strictly, X factor and The Voice) that do have control over their content ARE expected to run a Harding over their rehearsals and confirm that their rehearsal passes a Harding, and modify the lighting, staging or camera coverage, it if it doesn't.

Warning before content that would fail a Harding (or similar) test isn't an option for conventionally delivered recorded shows, you have to ensure they pass.
Last edited by noggin on 24 November 2020 8:57am
TE
Technologist London London
It is worth noting the ofcom code on PSE ..in full

2.12 Television broadcasters must take precautions to maintain a low level of risk to viewers who have photosensitive epilepsy. Where it is not reasonably practicable to follow the Ofcom guidance (see the Ofcom website), and where broadcasters can demonstrate that the broadcasting of flashing lights and/or patterns is editorially justified, viewers should be given an adequate verbal and also, if appropriate, text warning at the start of the programme or programme item.

The intent is that there is no Material transmitted which will (probably ) cause fits ...... with a Minimal derogations in editorial grounds ...

In reality there is a tendency to call out News material which just looks a bit "flashy". Whether on not it would pass a Harding test ...
this is probably a good thing ...as it is far from clear what the criteria should be from panels rather than CRT.....
but it's not something you can easily or ethically test .

Ofcom is not very pleased when a broadcaster does infringe when they have control of what is going on ..... and this may extend towards all programming .
TI
TIGHazard Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
It is worth noting the ofcom code on PSE ..in full

2.12 Television broadcasters must take precautions to maintain a low level of risk to viewers who have photosensitive epilepsy. Where it is not reasonably practicable to follow the Ofcom guidance (see the Ofcom website), and where broadcasters can demonstrate that the broadcasting of flashing lights and/or patterns is editorially justified, viewers should be given an adequate verbal and also, if appropriate, text warning at the start of the programme or programme item.

The intent is that there is no Material transmitted which will (probably ) cause fits ...... with a Minimal derogations in editorial grounds ...

In reality there is a tendency to call out News material which just looks a bit "flashy". Whether on not it would pass a Harding test ...
this is probably a good thing ...as it is far from clear what the criteria should be from panels rather than CRT.....
but it's not something you can easily or ethically test .


Ofcom is not very pleased when a broadcaster does infringe when they have control of what is going on ..... and this may extend towards all programming .


I can honestly say that, with family members who do suffer with photosensitive epilepsy, that some pre-recorded, presumably harding test passed material, has activated it - including shows on the BBC.

I will say the broadcasters are incredibly apologetic when I do complain.
DE
deejay Oxford
The U.K. does , I believe, have some of the strictest flashing images restrictions in the world when it comes to broadcast television. That’s a genuinely good thing, and it’s fairly easy (in BBC news at least) to get material tested ahead of transmission so that a warning can be given. But the onus is on the people preparing the material to remember to do it and get it checked. These are also the same people who are usually working at the last second to very tight deadlines. Headline sequences for example can still be editing and dropping into the order moments before transmission. It’s not uncommon for a load of press flashes to go off when someone arrives in Downing Street - that’s usually the shot they’ll want for the headline. A lot of people think it’s restricted to flash photography and so while they’re better at remembering to get that stuff checked they don’t think about prominent colour/contrast changes etc. And as has been said, sometimes it’s not stuff like flash photography that fails the Harding.
Two minutes regions...
NG
noggin Founding member
A lot of people think it’s restricted to flash photography and so while they’re better at remembering to get that stuff checked they don’t think about prominent colour/contrast changes etc. And as has been said, sometimes it’s not stuff like flash photography that fails the Harding.


Yes - there are also repeated patterns that will fail an FPA test like Harding as they are also problematic. Red flashes are also a particular problem.

I've seen still images fail (a photo of a boat on a lake with rippling water for instance), the patterns created by a US flag fluttering graphic fail etc. I've also seen flash photography sequences pass with flying colours if the contrast level hasn't been too great.

A live Harding tests for luminance flashes, red flashes, patterns and extended luminance and red flashing (if you have repeated red or luminance flashing for longer periods you have to use a lower threshold). You get a continuous graph showing excursions above the fail threshold and thumbnails of the frames that have failed. All exportable as a PDF. You are expected to provide the PDF showing a pass, or an equivalent, with any delivered programme.
Last edited by noggin on 25 November 2020 11:28am - 2 times in total
MA
madmusician Central (West) Midlands Today
I remember that the launch of the London 2012 brand (back in 2007, which led to the spoof Metropol logo, still in use today!) contained a video which was provided by LOGOC to all broadcasters and which failed the Harding test. The BBC were found in breach by Ofcom for having broadcast the sequence and their defence was basically 'we thought, given this was an official PR video release, that it would already have been checked'.

(Page 4 onwards of this PDF: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/45157/issue92.pdf)
AM
AlfieMulcahy Meridian (South East) South East Today
I remember that the launch of the London 2012 brand (back in 2007, which led to the spoof Metropol logo, still in use today!) contained a video which was provided by LOGOC to all broadcasters and which failed the Harding test. The BBC were found in breach by Ofcom for having broadcast the sequence and their defence was basically 'we thought, given this was an official PR video release, that it would already have been checked'.

(Page 4 onwards of this PDF: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/45157/issue92.pdf)


Page couldn't be found
Hello, I'm using WhatsApp
TI
TIGHazard Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
I remember that the launch of the London 2012 brand (back in 2007, which led to the spoof Metropol logo, still in use today!) contained a video which was provided by LOGOC to all broadcasters and which failed the Harding test. The BBC were found in breach by Ofcom for having broadcast the sequence and their defence was basically 'we thought, given this was an official PR video release, that it would already have been checked'.

(Page 4 onwards of this PDF: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/45157/issue92.pdf)


Page couldn't be found


You have to remove the bracket from the link
DA
davidhorman Channel Channel Islands
The U.K. does , I believe, have some of the strictest flashing images restrictions in the world when it comes to broadcast television.


Now, I may have this wrong, but isn't that also partly down to some successful lobbying by the team that developed that Harding test in the first place? Perhaps not as true as it was, but I seem to remember vaguely hearing that no-one was terribly sure about the science behind the Harding test, but it provided a (propreitary) standard, and standards are good, so it was adopted, and now it's something of a self-perpetuating model?

Or does Ofcom now fully and publicly codify the requirements in terms of frequencies and levels that are illegal?

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