Talk:Safe area (television)

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Changes in standard[edit]

In March, 2010, these standards were changed by SMPTE. I will attempt to edit those changes into this article. TeamScottSmith 17:27, 10 February 2014 (UTC)


Additionally, the graphic in this article showing the safe area for PAL 720x576 is incorrectly illustrated. It is created as actual 720 pixels by 576 pixels, not taking into account PAL's pixel aspect ratio - thus causing it to display in wikipedia as narrower than it should (since computers use square pixels). The equivalent PAL dimensions when expressed in square pixels should be 768x576, in order to accurately show proper 4:3 aspect ratio. See Pixel aspect ratio The same would be true for NTSC 4:3, which would be 720x480 non-square pixels, but displays properly on computers at 640x480 or 853x480 for 16:9 video, due to proper horizontal scaling of nonsquare pixels.

As a broadcast engineer, I oppose merging Overscan and safe areas. They are two different concepts. Safe areas are largely made to compensate for overscan issues, but is its own thing. TeamScottSmith 17:27, 10 February 2014 (UTC)


There is a suggestion to merge "Safe Area" with "Overscan". I think they should remain separate articles. I think the 5% and 10% refer to distance, not square area. So if you have 480 lines, the title safe lines are from 49 to 432. Indie_Film 23:24, 3 June 2007 (UTC)


This article doesn't make sense without a diagram.

Anyone consider adding a diagram since the bot destroyed the existing one? I would, but I only know the percentage of screen area that is title safe, I don't know what the margin percentage is.

I have no idea if things are the same in Britain, but there is a safe area diagram with percentages at this site . RadicalPi 06:04, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Have a look at this EBU Recommendation: Television Production for 16:9 Widescreen: Safe Areas, taken from [1] --Fransdj 10:29, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

merge again[edit]

I Support merging Title safe and Action safe into safe area not overscan, as they fall into policy based techniques rather something that's part of broadcast television's hardware technical spec like overscan. Framing shots, graphics and captioning decisons are based on safe area standards. Eventhough overscan is the reason safe areas exist they're still separate topics. -IncidentFlux 21:45, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I greatly support merging Title safe and Action safe into safe area. Merging overscan into safe area should probably done too, but it's not quite a slam dunk like the other merges I mention.Bollinger 01:34, 5 October 2007 (UTC)


In the Hollywood I knew, at least, the screen areas were called "safe action" and "safe title," but a film so-composed was said to have been shot "TV-safe." Is this nit worth including?Jim Stinson 03:24, 12 July 2007 (UTC)


"Safe area" is also the designation for a United Nations protected zone. There should be some sort of disambiguation link. 13:39, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Adding pixel co-ordinated[edit]

It would be handy if someone could post to this page the pixel co-ordinates of these "title safe" and "safe areas" within the 720x576 section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:52, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Why clean up tag?[edit]

So what exactly is the reason the clean up tag? Does the person who put the tag on even remember? That person ought to read WP:RESPTAG. Cromulent Kwyjibo (talk) 21:35, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Why does overscan exist?[edit]

Hallo, i found this page as one of the only places mentioning the safe areas, and i would like to ask some questions for the experts on the subject. Hopefully someone will take the time to update the page, so beginners, and novice editors like myself can feel more at home when editing for TV.

It would really be nice if some experts on the subject would provide some more reasoning, and technical explanations. I'm somewhat of a computer expert, and we do not have these so called "safe areas" on the modern computer screens, which makes it hard for me to accept that i need to account for these so called "safe areas" when editing something for TV, even when its just for personal use.

I quite simply don't get why some of the picture is cut away, even on on some modern TVs. Why doesn't it just automatically adjust the picture to fit, within the viewable area. Like the early computer monitors from around the 80s and upwards (if i remember correctly) I don't even think that there is a picture outside the viewable area on modern computer-screens, i do however remember how old monitors was able to display some picture below the edges of the screen, if you configured it to do so. Or if you where running a game/app which altered the configuration, and ofcause would need manual adjusting. In other words, this issue was mostly dealt with by the manufacture, and rarely an issue with any running app or movie you play. The outside of the viewable area, was simply black, unless you adjusted the picture to be "pushed" out there.

How are novice editors to know what's going on, when their subtitles are cut in half, or removed entirely? That's just an example, because that was how i found out about the safe areas. I can imagne that TV-stations would have rejected my movies, if i didn't find out about these safe areas before i send them off.

Computer screens show the entire picture, without cutting away any of the picture, so TVs should be able to do the same!!

I just don't get why the manufactures of these devices, didn't account for this on their part, seems like a huge mistake if you ask me. Also since there is no way for us to know the safe-areas on each and every TV Screen. We just use these guidelines, as of whats generally viewable. like we did in the early days of webdesign, for example, around the issues with resolution (800x600).

I also don't quite get why we should let a part of the recorded picture go to waste, perhaps its time for the manufactures of these devices to move on to the next level, and get rid of these issues. And if not, why sould it be like this?

I don't expect any answers on the talk page, but would be nice if some of these questions could be answered in the article. NuaTV (talk) 14:34, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

The "good old" TV screen (CRT) were not rectangular, they had rounded corners. A screen which is 10" wide at the center might only have a width of 9" at the top or the bottom. A CRT computer screen features a rather wide black (or sometimes colored) border, thereby ensuring that no displayed information gets lost, not even in the corners. On a TC svreen this would mean that the picture area would be significantly smaller ("windowboxing"). With overscan, the picture size could be miximized, at the expense of losing the informaton in the corners (where usually nothing really happens). Another issue was "pumping". As the circuitry in a TV set was meant to be affordable, not perfect, the picture size typically changes with luminosity. On a compter CRT, this is easily visible as the broder width changes. On a TV screen, this issue is made less noticeable by providing another bit of overscan.
Now, technology has advanced. Many people have perfectly rectangular flat screens in "native HD resolution", as still the picture gets blown up to discard some of the borers for overscan. Yup, HDTV was made for CRT screens; this also explains the "i" formats.
So, part of the TV viewers own CRTs, which require overscan for a pleasant viewing experience, and another other part owns flat screen, which "emulate" overscan. Only a negligible group has underscan capable devices. So, we're likely to be stuck with overscan. -- (talk) 11:48, 12 April 2010 (UTC)


I think that this article should at least mention that some of the "Invisible area" is used for transmitting Teletext. -- (talk) 11:54, 26 December 2011 (UTC)