Sri Lanka investigates Channel4 execution video

Siri Hewawitharana, an Audio/Video professional who has worked in the broadcast industry, told the Island newspaper that the Channel4 execution video looked to be doctored.

Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defence has released an analysis of the execution video. The original video was available to download --unedited-- on the Tamil Tigers' official website, Tamilnet.

The original video in 3GP format which was circulated by a previously unknown organisation, calling itself "Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka," can be downloaded here. You will need Quicktime player to playback 3GP videos. The images are disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

Below is the article in full published here under's licensing terms.

Technical analyst exposes 'C- 4' gutter journalism

- Video created from a video camera, not from a mobile phone.
- Sound dubbed: a case study for gutter journalism.

In video coding or broadcasting to create a final video for any occasion it is the practice to start with high quality video first while transcending with editing for a final product. Mpeg4 is a compressed format.

If one considers the Channel- 4 video:

● It says it came from a mobile phone video source. There are only two formats in mobile video formats. One is an old 3GP format and the other an advanced Mpeg4, H-264 part 10 which is MP4 format which is highly processor intensive encoding and due to this issue, mobile phones in the present markets does not produce high quality videos. Such processors are not that powerful to take good quality video that Channel- 4 claims since channel - 4 video is much high quality than existing Smart phones can create TODAY.

● Within H-264 coding we also have extra component called Motion Vectors (VMC) which are used to predict motion on temporal and spatial domain. The Channel - 4 video have quite high quality VMC(motion Vector) and this VMC came from a video camera and not from a mobile phone source. Also Mobile source also tend to be blotchy in nature when it come to motion.

● Since original video is from AVI and QuickTime format, the whole video scenario indicates that ORIGINAL video is of high quality that came from a video camera source since mobile formats does not use AVI or Quicktime which are high quality video formats.

● If they changed the mobile format to AVI or QT then the final video will be of poor quality. In the analysis it was found that the AVI and QT formats are of very high quality.

● Also it is quite explicit that the camcorder video was transferred to a computer for editing and sound was dubbed later, and gun shots were not synchronised with the video, and normally audio is always way ahead of the video since video processing takes time and in this case the audio is very late INDICATING a very amateurish video and audio editing.

Audio dub stopped at 1:02.125

EDITED Video stopped at 01:02.312


(Siri Hewawitharana, former head of Cisco's global broadcast and digital video practice, has held a number of significant business development and technical leadership roles with some of the world's most successful telecommunication and broadcasting organisations. These include head of systems engineering for Star TV Hong Kong, head of visual communication for OTC and director of engineering for WIN TV. As chief architect of Optus' Network Systems Design Broadcast and Satellite TV operation, Mr. Hewawitharana was responsible for creating and operating Optus' $47 million Pay TV Video Operations Centre.)

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