Tip #1572: What Is Range Check?

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1572: What Is Range Check?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Safe video levels are essential for any video not posted to the web.

The Zebra or Herringbone pattern flags shadow or highlight levels that are illegal.

Topic $TipTopic

Range check is a special option in the Viewer > View menu that flags shadow or highlight levels that are “illegal” for the timeline video clip containing the playhead.

If you only post video to the web, you don’t need to worry about video levels, the web will play anything.

However, if you need to submit programs to broadcast, cable, DVD, digital cinema or many streaming services, such as NetFlix, you need to be SURE your video levels are within spec.

There are four options:

  • Off. This is the default setting.
  • Luma. This flags luminance levels that are excessive.
  • Chroma. This flags color levels (mostly saturation) that are excessive.
  • All. This flags all illegal levels.

Excessive luma levels are those above 100% IRE or below 0% IRE (for Rec. 709 media) .

Excessive chroma levels are those that are over-saturated. (Saturation levels will vary by luminance levels.)


Range check simply flags problematic footage. You correct this using either one of the color grading tools or Broadcast Safe. (See Tip #1573).

Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

2 replies
  1. Kirby J
    Kirby J says:

    I mainly post to the web, however I use this feature in every project, just to develop good habits. My next project is for broadcast, will definitely apply this feature. Depending on the project, I find the broadcast safe effect may crush the oversaturated chroma levels too much. I prefer to adjust the range manually, then apply broadcast safe thereafter.

    • Larry Jordan
      Larry Jordan says:


      It is always the best idea to color grade first, then use Broadcast Safe to trim any excesses. I agree with your approach.



Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *