I recently worked on a graphic card for a Star Trek DVD commercial and I thought it would be boring fun to talk about the Action Safe Area! Many graphics are broadcast in HD but there must also be an alternate version for people watching in standard definition.
One solution is to design for the 4:3 Center Cut. This is where you use the title and action safe area is based on a 4:3 frame in your HD 16:9 comp. You’ll notice that After Effects CS4 has 2 extra lines for the interior Center Cut to help you practice safe action (for your designs).
Some people have a tighter recommendation for the safe area so please check with your format specialist.
UPDATE: This also applies to widescreen DVD menus as well…