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Photosensitive Epilepsy Testing

by | Jun 2, 2022

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Photosensitive Epilepsy (PSE) Testing: Warner Bros. Discovery’s Standards

Effective June 5, 2024:

WBD’s updated Photosensitive Epilepsy testing policy for content delivered to Discovery’s Producers Portal goes into effect on June 5, 2024. Please note, this testing applies to content delivered globally, but local jurisdictions outside North America may have different procedures after technical evaluation.

We will have a new resource page available on the Production Guide and distributed via email as soon as we can. We appreciate your cooperation at this time and are available to answer any questions you may have.

PLEASE REVIEW: Below are answers to some PSE-related “Frequently Asked Questions” we have received from our production community since February. Please read below and reply to this email or your network contacts with any questions.

  • As of June 5, 2024, WBD will only be using the Cambridge Research Systems Harding Flash Pattern Analyzer to assess for PSE failures on incoming program master files delivered to Discovery’s Producers Portal. If your teams have delivered content to us since February 2024, you may have seen Harding notes on your tech evaluation reports already, as that is when we began running this analyzer. Since February, content has only gotten a full fail status where the Harding analyzer and our retiring analyzer detected the same harmful patterns.
  • All new episodic masters and content delivered after June 5, 2024 will be subject to this assessment only.
  • Existing episodic masters and content accepted before this date will remain accepted/approved unless there is reason to request redelivery.
  • Pre-checking or paying for certain tools is not a requirement of delivering to Discovery’s Producers Portal. All content will be assessed on inbound delivery regardless.
  • You may continue pre-checking with tools that do not run Harding FPA, but a pass certificate from another analyzer does not guarantee that your master will pass the Harding analyzer, and certificates from non-Harding analyzers will not be accepted going forward to overturn a Harding analyzer failure.
  • WBD will be using Telestream Qualify to complete the Harding FPA assessment. As we gather information about any other software tools tuned to Harding FPA (such has Harding FPA Desktop), we will provide that information as a part of our permanent resources.
  • The Harding FPA is a unique algorithm with different sensitivities than our retiring analyzer.
  • All framerates delivered via Discovery’s Producers Portal after June 5, 2024 are subject to the new testing algorithm. The retiring policy excluded some framerates.
  • Your Technical Evaluation report is available via the Producers Portal (or via email for some operating territories). As always, you will receive timecode-based feedback about any technical failures, including PSE.
  • PSE failures that are full vendor faults and out of the allowed specification boundaries, which will typically require redelivery, will be marked as a “VF” in the right-hand column of your report if you receive a PDF. Other content may be flagged if it is close to failure parameters. If you ever have questions about accessing or interpreting your report or next steps, please reach out.
  • In some situations, local legal and/or regulatory guidelines outside of North America may dictate how/if your network requires redelivery or edits for PSE faults. Please reach out to your network contact if there are any questions about your local territory’s rules.
  • Your network contacts will be able to explain to you options available for extenuating circumstances, such as Harding failures close to scheduled premiere. Licensed acquisitions with failures also may be handled case-by-case, depending on operating territory. WBD has considered these possibilities within our policy.

Producer Updates as of February 21, 2024:

Our multimedia visual products require approved flash pattern analysis to check for photosensitivity if they may be a problem for photosensitive viewers. WBD continues to use industry-standard software to test all incoming content.

POLICY CHANGE:

Program masters delivered to Warner Bros. Discovery via producers.discovery.com on and after February 22, 2024 will be evaluated with a different flash and pattern analysis software than content delivered prior to this date. We understand you may have questions if your program’s technical evaluation report contains different feedback after this date. To accommodate active production delivery timelines, WBD will enter a policy adjustment period described here, until June 2024.

TIMELINE:

POLICY STARTING ON FEBRUARY 22, 2024: If content falls outside the test parameters, it may be rejected. The operations team will work with you to determine a path forward based on legal requirements, including the current policy of allowing certificates from compliant flash and pattern analyzers. You may see different information noted in your technical evaluation report from our flash and pattern analyzer.

POLICY STARTING ON JUNE 5, 2024: At the end of the policy adjustment period in June, content that fails the PSE testing within WBD’s automated supply chain will be rejected based on those standards only. The acceptance process comes to a halt until the content passes this evaluation.

Warner Bros. Discovery strongly recommends that providers use a Harding Flash and Pattern Analyzer on all content before delivery to ensure it meets those standards.

As always, the deliverables and operations teams at WBD are available to you and your network contacts to answer any questions regarding any faults within your master technical evaluation reports.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.