UK & ROI Broadcast Specifications and Requirements

Regions Covered

✔ United Kingdom

✔ Republic of Ireland

To maintain a consistently high quality product, XR requires all material to be supplied to the following specifications:

Requirements at a glance

Unique identifier(s):

For the UK, a clock number (e.g. ADV/PROD001/030) is assigned during the Clearcast clearance process, see Clearance

The same format can be used for Ireland.

Some broadcasters use a different format for sponsorship idents.

Pre/post roll: Optional
Audio: R128
Clearance: Clearcast or directly with broadcaster, see Clearance for more information. 

Content Layout

Option 1 : Clock and No Freeze
UK content layout C only.png

Option 2: Clock and 10 second freeze

UK content layout C&F.png

Option 3: TVC only

TVC only UK.png

Uploading without a clock or freeze?

If you choose to upload a file without a clock or freeze, our platform will add them automatically prior to delivery.

Countdown Clock

If a clock is supplied, it should display a countdown starting at 10 and the following information:

XR UK HD Clock 16x9 Black.png

Clock must be mute

If there is any audio present on the countdown clock, the file will fail QC

File Specifications

  Preferred   Accepted
Format XDCAM 1080/50 Apple ProRes 422HQ 1080/50   Avid DNxHD 185x 1080/50
Container MOV or MXF MOV   MOV or MXF
Video Codec XDCAM 422 Apple Quicktime ProRes 422 (HQ)   10bit DNxHD
GOP Long GOP -    
Profile MPEG-2 422P@HL HQ    
Frame Size 1920x1080 1920x1080   1920x1080
Frame Rate 25 FPS 25 FPS   25 FPS
Scan Type Interlaced, Upper/Top Field First Interlaced, Upper/Top Field First   Interlaced, Upper/Top Field First
Aspect Ratio 16:9 16:9   16:9
Pixel Aspect Ratio Square Pixels (1.0) Square Pixels (1.0)   Square Pixels (1.0)
Video Bit Rate 50Mb/s CBR -   185Mb/s
Chroma 4:2:2 4:2:2   4:2:2
Audio Codec Integer (Big/Little Endian) PCM Integer (Little Endian) PCM   PCM
Audio Bit Depth 24bit 24bit   24bit
Audio Sample Rate 48kHz 48kHz   48kHz
Audio Bit Rate Uncompressed Uncompressed   Uncompressed

Title Safety

EBU R.95-1

All graphics, text, and frame composition elements should be placed within the safe title area to prevent key content from being cut off. safe_areas2.png

Video Levels

All video signals should comply with ITU-R BT.709-5 and video signals should not exceed the specified limits.

Video levels should not exceed 700mV, or fall below 0mv

Luminance (Y) -1% and 103%
(between -7mV and 721mV)
RGB video levels -5% and 105%
(between -35mV and 735mV)

Out of gamut tolerance

Whilst XR and the Broadcasters will reject illegal video levels, they understand there may be instances where it is difficult to completely avoid. Following EBU recommendation Rec.103-2000 they will therefore allow a small tolerance, assuming that no more than 1% of the active picture is in error.

Audio Levels

The loudness level of the programme material must be in agreement with the EBU R128-2014 directive, including the following delivery specifications:

EBU R.128-2014

• Integrated Loudness** Program : -23 LUFS
• Target Level Tolerance : +/- 0.5 LU
• Maximum True Peak : -1dBTP
• Maximum Momentary : No Limitations
• Maximum Short Term Momentary (3 Sec) : -18 LUFS
• Loudness Range : No Limitations

**'Integrated Loudness' is the definition for the target of the 'Programme Loudness' stated in metres in conformity with EBU Tech 3341.

Although the maximum true peak is -1dBTP, it is recommended by the broadcasters that the true peak should not exceed -3dBTP.

IMPORTANT Notes Regarding Audio Silence

• For the UK there must be a MINIMUM of 6 frames of audio silence at the start and end of the commercial
• Digital silence should achieve a recommended level not exceeding -70dBFS.
• Trace audio within the first or last 6 frames is a QC fail.

Audio Channel Configurations

Channel # Audio
1 Stereo Left
2 Stereo Right
Stereo with Audio Description 
Channel # Audio
1 Stereo Left
2 Stereo Right
3 AD Narration
4 AD Control Track (ducking audio on 1&2 when AD is playing)
Stereo with Adaptive Audio Description 
Channel # Audio
1 Stereo Left
2 Stereo Right
3 Collapsed Custom Mix & AD Narration
4 AD Control Track (completely ducking audio on Tracks 1&2 for the duration of the TVC)


Subtitles/Closed Captions for the hard of hearing can be added to your commercials for an additional fee. Please get in touch if you would like more information.

Audio Description

Audio Description (AD) makes content more accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. If you wish to supply your own AD, please refer to Audio Channel Configurations for the correct channel layout.

For further information, take a look at the UK & ROI Audio Description FAQs



Clearcast is the clearance body for TV ads in the UK. They review all commercials to ensure they follow the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (the BCAP Code), before they are shown on television.

There are a few stages to the clearance process so it's important to allow plenty of time for this .

Did you know you can send your ad to Clearcast for final approval via the XR platform?

Save yourself time and effort by creating one file for final Clearcast approval and delivery to broadcasters via XR. See Sending to Clearcast via XR for more info.


For Ireland, Clearcast approval is accepted for Sky Ireland, TG4 and Channel 4 Ireland.
Virgin Media Sales (VMS) and RTE, have their own internal clearance procedures.

Do you need help with clearance or regulatory compliance?

XR's Campaign Services teams can assist you! Please reach out to your local team for more information, addtional fees apply.

Ready to go?

Reach out to your local Delivery Team for the next steps

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