The EyeHeight Broadcast Legalizer Plug-in

The EyeHeight Broadcast Legalizer Plug-in

July 19, 2015

File based or software video legalization can be hard. Check out this Insight to see how EyeHeight is making video legalization simple

NOTICE: This plugin is discontinued

According to Eyeheight’s webiste, the software discussed in this article was discontinued in 2019. We’re keeping this Insight online for another year or so, in case someone out there is still running it and needs to reference this video. Hat tip to Mixing Light member Chris K. who brought this to our attention!

A Video Legalizer For The Most Popular NLE Platforms!

Many of you know that I’m a little obsessive when it comes to video legalization.

And you probably also know if you’ve taken a listen to many of our ‘From The MailBag’ episodes that I’ve been pretty adamant that hardware legalization is the only way to achieve dependable legalization results.

Nearly every application (NLE or dedicated color app) has some sort of broadcast legalization effect, but in my experience they all have trade-offs and some of them don’t even work particularly well.

Years ago at IBC, I wandered over to the EyeHeight stand.

For those of you in Europe, you’re probably familiar with the company but if you never heard of EyeHeight, they are a top-end manufacturer of hardware legalizers, stand-alone color correctors, and other broadcast gear.

At the time of that IBC, I was exploring the market for hardware legalizers, but I was also very much interested in software or file-based legalization.

Martin Moore from EyeHeight was nice enough to take the time to show me a new plug-in they had developed for Final Cut Pro 7 that integrated a lot of their proprietary technology from their hardware legalizers.

I really liked what I saw and over the next few months tried as much as I could to use the plug-in on real-world projects.

The plug-in produced pretty good results – but man was it slow to render!  So much so I just kind of gave up on it.

Well flash forward a few years to last week, I got an email from Martin reminding me that the plug-in now worked not only in FCP 7 but FCP X, Premiere Pro and Media Composer, in addition, a lot of the functionality had been improved.

But here was the best part of the email:

From now (July 2015) until IBC (early September 2105) the EyeHeight legalization plug-in is free and has no restrictions! After that, you can license the plug-in for 50% off!

So what better time to show off this pretty cool plug-in and share my thoughts.


When I originally posted this Insight my understanding was that if you grabbed the plug-in before September 2015 it was yours to use forever – for free.

Turns out this is not correct and my mistake.

For the entire summer, you do get access to the legalizer package for free & unrestricted UNTIL September 2015 – which is a substantial trial period. While the normal demo only lets you render a few mins of video this unrestricted (extended trial) version has no such limitations. So get legalizing!

In September, you’ll have to license the plug-in but EyeHeight is offering a substantial 50% discount to do that.

I’ve updated the movie below to reflect this updated/corrected information.

3 Plug-ins In One

After heading over to the EyeHeight website and downloading & installing the plug-in package, you’ll notice that you actually get three plug-ins or components.

  • BroadcastLegal – we’ll cover this in detail in this Insight.  Besides being straight forward to use (choosing presets) it offers a ton of manual control as well.
  • BroadcastEvaluate – much like a color overlay mode that you’d find on a field monitor this plug-in lets you visualize with a color overlay what parts of the signal are illegal for a particular standard of your choosing. You can use to prior to color correction to know what areas to of a shot to attack because they’re illegal or use it as a QC tool after you’ve legalized and done your final renders to check that your deliverables are legal (note I don’t show this second step in the movie below)
  • BroadcastSafeArea – think of this plug-in as marker overlays on steroids. Providing a huge number of presets and extremely configurable, it’s a fantastic tool for when you need to check the plethora of broadcast safe zones that are mandated by broadcasters these days.

In the movie below, I’ll show you the Evaluate & Safe Area portions of the plug-in package in Premiere Pro (my host of choice) but I’ll focus mainly on the BroadcastLegal component.

Flexible & Powerful

The EyeHeight team, in my opinion, has done a great job balancing pre-set ease with engineer level tweaking within the BroadcastLegal plug-in.

You can simply apply the plug-in and choose a preset like EBU 103 or choose a more conservative or more liberal pre-set.

But, when you need to have more control and desire a ton of ‘tweakability’ then jumping into the User Adjust mode will give you exactly what you need.

For me, the User Adjust mode is where the EyeHeight video legalization plug-in shines.

You have the ability to choose between RGB only, YRGB (an awesome option!) Composite (choose PAL or NTSC) or Composite + RGB modes and then in each mode, you can have manual control of clipping and knee (soft clipping).

Since more and more deliverables don’t require composite legalization anymore I’ve been using the YRGB option to great success.

After choosing a legalization option, opening the categories for RGB or Y, for example, allows you to set clipping and soft clipping as you see fit.

For me, it’s the soft clipping functionality of this plug-in that really makes it a pro option.

Way too often, software legalizers produce ugly hard clipping artifacts where more sophisticated legalizers – like my trusty Harris DL860 allow for soft clipping which generally give you nicer looking results when the legalizer is doing large fixes.

Will the EyeHeight plug-in replace my DL860? Probably not for all workflows, but I think it’s a really viable choice, renders pretty quickly and if you don’t have a hardware legalizer is a fantastic (and free) option.

Don’t forget!  Time is limited to use the EyeHeight video legalizer plug-in for free!  Head over to now.

Any questions or thoughts please use the comments below.

– Robbie

P.S. What about an OFX version?  As of right now, there is not an OFX version of the plug-in. I’ve written to the EyeHeight team and will let you know as soon as I hear back if they plan on releasing an OFX version.

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Homepage Forums The EyeHeight Broadcast Legalizer Plug-in

  • Rob, I may be wrong, but I think there is a bit of misunderstanding about the free offer here. I’ve downloaded the FCPX version, and here is what I find in the readme file: ‘INSTALLATION – MAC ibc2015, This trial will allow unlimited use of the BroadcastLegal plugin until Sept 1st 2015.’.

    So to me it is not you grab it before Sept. the 1th and then you can use it for free as if you’ve bought it, but means that the unlimited features trial period is extended up to Sept. (instead of the usual 15-30 days). I’ll be glad if you can prove me wrong though. Maybe this is what you meant when writing this Insight, but when reading it, we understand the plugin is forever free as soon as downloaded before Sept.

  • Robbie Carman

    Yes FREE is my understanding. Now that I look at the marketing on the website again you could be right – lets hope not

    That would suck. In the Premiere Pro version there is no such mention in the read me of free until Sept 1st 2015. I’ve written Martin from EyeHeight for clarification.

    If you are correct then that’s pretty darn misleading as its really just an extended trial.

  • Browsing their website unfortunately I think I’m right. They should write ‘extended trial’ as you suggest, to me in that state it is just misleading and unfair.

  • Robbie Carman

    yep you are correct. I’ve updated the post & updated the movie with the correct info. I agree a bit misleading, and apologize if I added to any confusion.

  • Great insight. Looks super useful and will be helpful for these weirdo hybrid Rec709 UHD deliveries that I’ve been seeing. An OFX version would be ideal. Are you still using the plugin?

  • So I just looked at Joey’s Resolve 14 videos and am wondering about gamma mapping as a way of legalizing shots. I’m going to load up 14 and do some tests. By the looks of it, it would replace something like the eyeheight plugin and allow one to “negotiate” the grade with the legalizing. Have you looked at the R14 gamma mapping as a legalizing method?

  • Nope. I did some preliminary tests and Gamma mapping in r14 is super helpful for reigning in Saturation issues in the bright parts of the image, but it still does not reign in the gamut excursions in the dark areas. I will test out the eyeheight plugin at some point.

  • Robbie Carman

    Justin. Sorry for the late reply. No I don’t use it often. Eye height is still updating it. So it’s still a viable option.

  • Robbie Carman

    You do know there is a broadcast safe option in resolve right? This would be more geared to what you are trying to do. With that said, I still if mission critical for rgb gamut excursions trust my DL 860 but more and more the broadcasters im dealing with – Discovery, National Geogrpahic etc just dont care like they used to. This is especially true with OTT deliverables in wide gamuts like P3. Then no one cares!

  • Robbie Carman

    It’s gamut mapping not gamma. this wouldn’t work for legalization purposes of working in the same gamut. This control is meant in an RCM workflow to deal with (mainly) large gamut to small gamut workflows (P3 to 709 for example). If your looking for a helping hand the broadcast safe controls within Resolve would be a better option

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