How To: Export OP1a compliant MXF video files in Adobe Premiere for Channel 7

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In Australia, one of the formats commonly used for television broadcast files is OP1a compliant MXF. Channel 7 has very specific requirements for how the file should be formatted for their primary and all their secondary channels. MXF is essentially a container, and inside it is the video content, the audio content, and it can also include the subtitle content. If you’ve never worked with broadcast media before it is a bit of an obscure format that you will probably not have heard of. Fortunately Adobe Premiere makes it extremely easy to export into this format. Below you will find the settings I use that are accepted by Channel 7. I cannot promise that your media will be accepted using the same settings, but I can’t see any reason it wouldn’t be.

1. Select your base format and presets

So to start with, open up the export dialog as you normally would be going to the File menu and navigating to Export > Media.

On the top right of the export dialog window you can see your “Export Settings”. Right at the top of this section, select MXF OP1a from the format drop down box.

MXF-OP1a-Format
MXF OP1a Format Selection

Directly below format, you can select a preset if you wish. There is a very long list of them available in the “Preset” drop down box. We will go through and configure the actual settings next, but I chose “XDCAM HD 50 Pal 50i” right at the bottom as my base preset because it is the closest to the specified requirements of Channel 7.

MXF-OP1a-Presets
MXF OP1a Video Preset Options

2. Customise the video settings

There are a number of options available in the video settings of the Adobe Premiere export dialogue and you can check out the screenshot below to see exactly how my video settings look.

MXF-OP1a-Video-Settings
MXF OP1a Video Settings

Video Codec: For this one you want to choose XDCAMHD 50 PAL (4:2:2).

Width: 1920

Height: 1080

Frame Rate: 25

Field order: Upper First

Aspect: Square Pixels (1.0)

Enable Smart Rendering Codec: Selected

Edit Units Per Partition: Default

3. Customise the audio settings

The audio settings are pretty simple, but pay particular attention to your channels and sample size, while they are the only settings they can get your file rejected if not set correctly. Check out the screenshot to see my settings.

MXF OP1a Audio Settings
MXF OP1a Audio Settings

Audio Codec: Uncompressed

Sample Rate: 48000 Hz

Channels: 8 channel

Sample Size: 24 bit.

4. Export

That’s it, you’re done. You can now export your video into an OP1a compliant MXF container ready to be sent to Channel 7. I would recommend saving these settings as a custom preset if you need to use it a lot. Doing so helps to ensure that you don’t accidentally miss a setting!

6 thoughts on “How To: Export OP1a compliant MXF video files in Adobe Premiere for Channel 7”

  1. Matt how do you layer your audio down if you have 8 channels tho? I put track 1and 2 as stereo and the rest as mono. But upon export only 1and2 can be heard and are converted to mono.

    Reply
  2. Hola Matt,

    yo hago la exportación y me va todo correcto. Me piden 4 canales con audio y así salen, aparentemente todo bien. Sin embargo, que probado a exportar la misma secuencia a .mp4 con sonido estereo y se oye mucho mejor, con un sonido envolvente muy bueno. Sin embargo, cuando exporto los 4 canales mono que piden el la tv, el archivo mxf se escucha como apagado.
    ¿Es normal? Lo escucho en el ordenador.
    Gracias

    Reply
    • Hola Andrea,

      Si tiene audio en los canales adicionales y lo está reproduciendo a través de una salida estéreo, entonces sí, sería normal que se apagara. Si está reproduciendo canales estéreo con sonido envolvente, también puede sonar ‘más completo’ si el dispositivo de sonido envolvente está enviando la mezcla estéreo a todos los altavoces. Esto significa que cada altavoz produce más sonido del que podría producir si estuviera reproduciendo una mezcla de sonido envolvente completa. ¿Tiene sentido?

      Reply
  3. Hi Matt – thanks for the article which was just the reassurance I needed to preflight my own material to send to Ch7. One thing… in the guidelines that they sent me they specified Audio = 2 channels. Maybe that is something they have changed (Feb 2021)?

    Reply
    • Hey Jon, I’m glad it helped you out! I’ve not done any for Ch7 for the last little while so it is definitely possible that they have moved to 2 channels. I’d definitely follow the 2 channel guidelines that they’ve provided for you.

      Reply

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Matt in Noumea

Matt works sort-of full time running his digital marketing business, TerraMedia. In his spare time though, he loves to travel with his wife, so they usually end up doing a lot of it.
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