Castle Content Delivery Specifications

v1.3 | Last Edited April 01, 2020

Introducing Castle

This guide is designed to streamline the process of getting your content or livestream onto the Castle platform.

Castle is the home for faith-based, family friendly programs designed for people of all ages.

Thank you for partnering with us to bring premium content to our audience. 

Please feel free to direct any questions you have to our team: [email protected]

Content Preparation Checklist

All content whether uploaded or live-streamed requires the following elements. See full details below.

  1. The video(s)
  2. The metadata for each video
  3. Formatted key art for the series + episodes 

Delivery

All content can be sent digitally via the cloud storage of your choice, or send hard drives to: 

Castle Team
℅ Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. 
1295 North Service Road
Suite 100
Burlington, Ontario Canada
L7P 4W1

Please note: Feel free to send your data early and it will be scheduled for automatic release on the agreed upon date. In the event that your video content and data arrives later than the agreed upon date, Castle reserves the right to extend the content expiration date by the same number of business days.

Content Specifications

  • If you are one of our church partners we ask that your message be free from announcements and worship music. See the FAQ on our partner page

Video Specifications

  • Video is exported in a compatible format (see details below)
  • Video does not contain leaders, colour bars, tones, commercials, slates, watermarks, black-holes etc.
  • Please clearly indicate all important details in the file names - title/series, season, episode
  • Where appropriate we recommend sending a trailer for your content. This may be used not only on our platform, but our YouTube channel and social media as well. Trailers should not contain any calls to action (e.g. visiting a website) and should be “evergreen” (avoiding statements like “coming soon” etc)

Video Technical Requirements

  • Container: We support most standard containers such as MP4, MOV, AVI, etc.

  • Scan Type: Progressive - we convert all videos to progressive for playback. For best results, we recommend deinterlacing videos prior to upload

  • Resolution: Videos come in all shapes and sizes but the following are some of the most common formats. We recommend compressing your video with a pixel aspect ratio of 1:1, or square pixels.

    720p HD
    16:9 aspect ratio
    1280 × 720

    1080p HD
    16:9 aspect ratio
    1920 × 1080

    2K
    16:9 aspect ratio
    2560 × 1440

    4K UHD
    16:9 aspect ratio
    3840 × 2160
  • Codec: For best results we recommend H.264, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), H.265 (HEVC)

  • Frame Rate: Please use one of the common frame rates; 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60

  • Bit rate:  If your video editing software gives you the option, choose a “variable” bit rate and select a value 10-20Mbps. If you have the ability to set the CRF (constant rate factor), we recommend setting it to 18 or below. For ProRes, follow the standard presets in your video editor to export your file. For example, ProRes HQ for 1080p at 29.97 fps has a target bit rate of 220 Mbps in Final Cut

  • Audio: An audio track is required in order to upload and transcode your video

    Codec: AAC
    Bit rate: 320 kbps
    Sample Rate: We accept most sample rates, but common ones for video are 44.1kHz & 48 kHz.
    Channels: Stereo - L & R (NOTE: If you want to upload Surround 5.1, please read this guide.

Downloadable Compression Presets

We have attached some settings presets below that you can download and import into Compressor, Adobe Media Encoder, & Sorenson Squeeze 9 to use to export your work to our specs

Metadata Specifications

  • Each respective video should have its own Metadata file (see template info below)
  • Send Metadata in a common file format (.docx, .PDF etc) rather than email
  • Make the Series / Episode name clear in the Metadata file
  • Closed Captions should also be included (more details below)

Closed Caption Specifications

  • Format: SRT or VTT
  • Timecode: MUST be in SRT format, like this: 00:00:07,751. Notice that it starts with "00". Other formats sometimes start with "01". This "01" will offset your timecode for SRT by 1 hour in our video player. You can use Jubler to fix this 01 issue by shifting the time. The subtitles need to reference the Media timecode and not the SMPTE timecode.
  • Framerate: Closed captions must match the frame rate of the corresponding video file
  • Encoding: Make sure the SRT is in UTF-8 format. That works best when displaying foreign characters.

Metadata Template

Copy/paste the contents of this spreadsheet into your word processor or spreadsheet editor to prepare copy/pastable metadata with your video.

Key Art Specifications

  • The Castle Platform uses distinct key art for a series and each respective episode. Single-video content (e.g. movie, event, documentary) may only need one image
  • The artwork must be family friendly
  • The Castle platform image ratio is 16:9 (4K - 3840x2160px preferred, or HD - 1920x1080px)
  • Send key art and any required fonts in layered .PSD (Photoshop) as well as a web optimized 72dpi .jpg
  • Series artwork must include title-artwork on the image. Refrain from including additional logos, cast, URLs etc.
  • We request the title-artwork be included on its own transparent PSD layer, or as a png
  • Castle may promote your content on social media in a square image ratio, feel free to include a 1:1 image ratio

Live-streaming

We can live-stream your event on Castle. After the event is finished recording it will automatically be transcoded and added to our catalogue for your audience to view afterward. We request 72 hours advance notice to set this up.

We will send you a streaming key that will look something like:

Recommendations for a successful live-stream:

  • There are a lot of technical facets at play during a live-stream that can become points of failure. We highly recommend you also be recording the video locally so that it can be uploaded to Castle afterwards in case of technical difficulties
  • Test the live-stream and audio before the event. We can start streaming in advance of the advertised start time with a count-down to troubleshoot any issues ahead of time
  • The most reliable Internet connection when streaming is connecting directly via Ethernet to a dedicated network. A general rule of thumb is to have twice as much upload speed available as the bitrate you want to stream at.
  • To get the most out of the cloud transcoding feature, we recommend that you configure your encoder as follows:

    Video bitrate: 5000kbps
    Audio bitrate: 256kbps
    Resolution: 1920x1080
    Frame rate: 30 frames per second
    Keyframe interval: 2 seconds

Contact

Please feel free to direct any questions you have to our team: [email protected]


Content Policy Guidelines

All videos, photographs and other content (such as cover image and product descriptions) (collectively,“Content”) posted or uploaded to must adhere to the following Crossroads Christian CommunicationsIncorporated (together with its parent, subsidiary, affiliated, related and successor entities, “Crossroads”,“CCCI”, “us”, “we”) content policy guidelines (the “Content Policy Guidelines”).

Content Review

We reserve the right to determine, in our sole and absolute discretion, the appropriateness of all Content for publication on our services and including, without limitation, the appropriateness of suggested content ratings for all Content. In an effort to provide the best customer experience, we may choose not to offer your Content or otherwise restrict its availability. We may also terminate your participation in program sites situated at web platform, https://intothecastle.com (“Castle” or “Program Site”) if you don't adhere to this Content Policy. If, after we have suspended or terminated your account as a result of failure toad here to this Content Policy, you submit the same or similar Content through separate or different account(s), we similarly reserve the right to terminate such account(s). If, after we have terminated your account, you open a new account without our prior express permission, you hereby irrevocably and unconditionally acknowledge and agree that notwithstanding the terms of such account, we do not and will not owe you any License Fees in respect of such unauthorized account and you hereby forfeit same and agree to immediately repay us an License Fees paid in contravention of this Content Policy.

I. Offensive Content
Content containing sexually explicit content, gratuitous nudity, erotic themes, violent acts or other graphic content, dangerous or unlawful content, hateful content, harassment or are not eligible for publication, inclusion and/or promotion through Castle. Content containing any offensive content may not be materially amended or edited from its original form to circumvent this restriction. No reconsideration will therefore be made for publication of content that was previously denied by Crossroads and/or deemed or determined at the sole discretion of Crossroads to have been materially altered from its original form so as to circumvent this restriction.

Sexually Explicit Content

• Content containing depictions of pornography or explicit depictions of sexual acts or nudity.
• Content that glorifies illegal sexual acts.
• Content primarily intended to sexually stimulate.

Violent or Graphic Content

• Content that contains graphic depictions of extreme gore, decapitations, unsettling content, and/or excessive violence intended to shock the customer.

Dangerous or Unlawful Content

• Content that promotes, endorses, or incites the viewer to engage in dangerous or harmful acts.
• Content that promotes organized crime, terrorism, or other illegal activities.
• Content that glorifies or promotes illegal acts of animal abuse or torture.
• Content that provides advice on how to begin or be involved in an illegal lifestyle.
• Content that gives guidance on how to create or build dangerous materials.
• Content that glorifies or promotes illegal or controlled drug use.

Hateful Content

• Content that contains derogatory comments, hate speech, or threats specifically targeting any group or individuals.
• Content that promotes hate speech, incites racial or gender hatred, or promotes groups or organizations that support such beliefs.

Harassment and Cyberbullying

• Content containing abusive, debasing, and/or humiliating language.
• Content that promotes or facilitates stalking or intimidation.
• Malicious or harassing video content including, but not limited, to video obtained without consent.

II. Illegal and Infringing Content

We take violations of laws and proprietary rights very seriously. It is your responsibility to ensure that your Content (including all elements thereof, i.e. music and other images or content included in yourContent) doesn't violate applicable laws, including, without limitation, copyright and trademark laws, and does not infringe upon the privacy, publicity, or other rights of third parties. Please be aware that just because third party images or content is freely available to you does not mean you are free to include same within your Content for any purposes associated with Castle and/or Program Site otherwise. We expect and require that you have cleared all rights in and to your Content without restriction or limitation. It is an express term of our agreement with you.

Copyright Infringement

• Original creative works/third-party content that you did not create and do not have a license, release, grant of rights and/or assignment to exploit.

Trademark Infringement

• Content that contains trademarks that you have not obtained the rights to use.

Violations of Privacy or Defamation

• Content containing another’s personal information.
• Content that contains untrue statements about an individual that are intended to harm his/her reputation.

III. Public Domain Content

We do not accept public domain content or content which is undifferentiated or barely differentiated from other Content.

IV. Poor Customer Experience

We do not accept Content that contains external links, tracking tags, or functionality which is unsupported by Castle and/or Program Site, We further reserve the right to reject any Content which, in our sole and absolute discretion, is of a poor quality and/or provides a disappointing or poor customer experience.

Quality Issues
• Content that contains a source file where the audio and video durations do not match.
• Content that contains a cover image which does not include the title name.
• Content where captions are missing, out of sync, or inaccurate.
• Content that contains watermarks, logos, or references to an inaccurate distribution channel.
• Functionality or calls to action that are unsupported and outside the scope of Castle’s application.
• Metadata and/or cover images that are misrepresentative of the content.
• Content or metadata in an unsupported language.
• Content that is duplicative to a title already live within Castle.
• Content that does not rely on a video experience (e.g., content consisting of static image(s) and/or content lacking significant visual variation).
• Content that is freely available on the web, including content with open/public copyrights.

Business Promotion and External Links
• Content that implies a partnership with Crossroads or misuses a Crossroads logo or Crossroads branded product(s).
• Content that contains a URL, external link or call to take action outside of Castle.
• Content containing an advertisement or consisting solely of advertisements.
• Content which leverages, misuses, portrays affiliation with, or otherwise uses another party’s brand in a manner that is confusing to customers.

V. Country or Region-Specific Restrictions

Some countries, territories and/or regions in which we distribute Content may have more restrictive standards regarding what qualifies as "Offensive Content," or "Illegal and Infringing Content." Certain countries, territories and/or regions may, for example, include more restrictive limitations on the display of tobacco branding and drug use, as well as what constitutes unacceptable offensive, illegal, or infringing depictions. Content may, as a result, be subject to publication restrictions in certain countries/territories.

We may restrict Content from sale/publication/exhibition/license in any country, territory or region where the sale or distribution of such Content would violate the laws, cultural norms, or sensitivities of any country, territory or region, or for any other reason, as determined in our sole and absolute discretion.

Content Policy Updates

This Content Policy may be updated by us at any time giving reasonable notice of the revised terms(including by email and/or by posting on Castle and/or feature, as applicable), and this Content Policy maybe supplemented or modified by agreements entered into between us and you from time to time. We recommend that you periodically check Castle to ensure you are aware of recent changes.

Content Provider Guide

All Content deemed acceptable at the sole discretion of Crossroads Christian CommunicationsIncorporated and its parents, subsidiary, affiliated, related and successor entities (collectively,“Crossroads, CCCI, “us”, we”) for uploading in Castle and/or Program Site located athttps://intothecastle.com, must be identified by their appropriate title, or subtitles if available (in SRT format), and program description together with running times. The Content Provider acknowledges and agrees to provide Crossroads with the foregoing information in connection with each Content.

Content delivered to Crossroads shall be finished, fully edited, close-captioned (if available), and titled and fully language dubbed (preferably) in the English language or synchronized (preferably) in the English language dialogue, sound and music and in all respects ready and of a quality, both artistic and technical, adequate for exhibition via online streaming.

The below sets out the physical, material, technical, and/or other delivery requirements of Content Provider concerning Content to be supplied to Crossroads (collectively, the “Delivery Materials”). Such Delivery Materials shall be in full compliance with this and all other notices found throughout theProgram Site. Any other matters not specifically addressed herein concerning Delivery Materials and related requirements of Content Provider shall be governed by the terms and conditions of the DigitalVideo License Agreement.

Delivery Date:

Content Provider shall ensure that all Delivery Materials are uploaded onto Program Site no later than 30 days after an account associated with the respective Content is created. Each Content shall be associated with its respective account as created and maintained by Content Provider on theProgram Site.

Promotional Materials:

All advertising and marketing materials in connection with Content, existing and future materials as they become available, including and not limited to the following:

• Thumbnail image of Content: (1920 pixels by 1080 pixels)
• All developed print, audiovisual media and online resources
• Text-less/layered promotional trailers
• Layered promotional files, graphics, artwork
• Trailers (10 seconds, 30 seconds, 50 seconds, and 2 minutes), if available
• Interviews with key Film talent, if available

Other Materials:
• Lab Access Letter (if applicable)
• CRTC# or Canadian Radio Television Certificate # (if applicable)