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Old October 23rd, 2005, 06:37 PM   #16
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Ultimately it will be the market that decides whether or not the XL-2 stays or goes. Right now the cry is to think twice before you spend thousands of dollars on a standard definition camcorder that will be obsolete in a few years. Some will heed the warning others will ignore it. If enough people refuse to buy standard definition camcorders the XL-2 will be discontinued.

The naysayers say there is no way to distribute high definition video. The reality is that they refuse to distribute high definition video simply because they do not want to change.

Now about JVC. The camera professionals bashed JVC when it
introduced the worlds first consumer high definition video camera saying it was unreliable.
However lets use this analogy. If JVC had the first color video camera available and all the other video cameras were black and white would you buy a black and white video camera just because it was reliable and had a hundred year warranty?

My brother in law declares he cannot afford HDTV because it costs too much money. But he gladly pays 80 dollars a month for his cable bill. If he had an HDTV he could receive free HDTV broadcasts over the air and save a lot of money. But of course he will not do this because he believes you can't get something for nothing. But with HDTV there really is such a thing as a free lunch.

People say that standard definition television is not broke so why fix it. I would agree that progressive scan standard definition is not HD but it is a darn good picture. But interlace SD has got to go. If you look closely you can see ugly black horizontal scan lines and its like watching television through a set of venetian blinds. High definition on the other hand is a rock solid picture.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 08:07 PM   #17
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If enough people refuse to buy standard definition camcorders the XL-2 will be discontinued.
Nonsense. Standard definition will be around for quite some time to come. Nobody outside of the HD pioneering realm is going to "refuse" to buy superb SD gear that is now far more affordable and more readily obtainable than it ever was before.

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The naysayers say there is no way to distribute high definition video. The reality is that they refuse to distribute high definition video simply because they do not want to change.
Incorrect. If you shoot a wedding on in HD, how exactly will your clients view the finished product at home? Because there is currently no practical way to distribute high definition video, that's why.

But then, this is Area 51 so you're free to believe whatever you want. Reality has absolutely nothing to do with the discussions on this particular forum.

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If you look closely you can see ugly black horizontal scan lines and its like watching television through a set of venetian blinds.
It would seem that you're sitting far too close to the TV. But that would definitely explain where the real problem is here.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 10:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Doug Boze
I laughed when I read the comparison between HD and SD to color and black & white TV. Lest we forget, our color system was a compromise because (surprise! surprise!) the established base was black and white, and you couldn't reasonably expect everyone to scrap their existing sets and buy new, far more costly, color ones. That's why the US went with NTSC and not PAL, which we originally came up with. Even so, a decade after its introduction, not everybody had color sets and, for that matter, not all TV was produced or broadcast in color. That last is an important point. If it wasn't to be broadcast in color, it wasn't produced in color.
Totally incorrect, Doug. There was never an intent to do PAL in the US. The two systems are different mainly because the power line frequency was used as a clock for the vertical sync rate. And just for correction, NTSC is both black and white and color. It stands for National Television Standards Committee. They developed both systems. To make it backwards compatible with BW sets, the NTSC slightly increased the horizontal and vertical refresh rates to make room for the chromaburst subcarrier. The standard is 8 to 11 cycles of chromaburst reference that ride on the back porch of the horizontal sync pulses. The refresh rate was 'close enough' that the older b/w sets could lock into the 59.94hz vertical rate vs. the 60hz rate and the 15734hz vs. the 15750hz horizontal rate that was used in b/w transmission. You might have had to adjust the horizontal and vertical hold controls a touch but otherwise compatible. Pretty ingenious for that day and time.

The comparison BW/Color SD/HD is valid and it will make people curious enough to switch over when time to replace their set comes along. For others, it will happen by 2009. The federal government is looking to subsidize the cost of getting all broadcasters converted to digital transmission by then. A tuner box will be available to make analog sets compatible so no one gets left out. At that time, the FCC intends to re-allocate the current broadcast frequencies to other services. And HDTV sets started selling in Wal-Mart within the last year. If Wal-Mart is selling it, mass market acceptance will come quickly because they never carry the big ticket stuff. All the large and medium tv markets have HD broadcasts. Dish Network offers an HD sat receiver. Comcast cable offers HD cable receivers. More and more material is being originated in HD with each passing day. I have had an HD set since Sep. 2002 and have witnessed the rapid growth of programming available in HD within the last 3 yrs. The 3 major networks have all their weeknight prime time programming in HD. The Late Show with David Letterman just made the switch. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno has been HD since before I had my set. Conan O'brien is in HD. Wheel of Fortune switched over year before last. ABC Monday Night Football switched 2 seasons ago. CBS does most college football games in HD. FOX does most sports programming in HD including the current World Series. Need I go on? HBO, Showtime, ESPN, HDNET, Discovery Channel, yep, all available in HD.

The consumer should actually be the last piece of the HD puzzle. The shooting techniques for HD are different and videographers need to have a jump on the learning curve. The time to LEARN to shoot HD is NOW so you will be ready when delivery is feasible. And I am one that says you shoot HD now if you can and deliver in SD. Why do you think so many commercials are showing up in your 4:3 set in letterbox format? Those companies are futureproofing their material to the forthcoming widescreen standard. Most of those are being shot in HD or film as well.

Doug, I'm sorry but I think your timeline is just a little too conservative. The HDV format offers the smaller operators a chance to have something to offer in HD just as mini-dv does compared to DVCPRO, Betacam or Digibeta.

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Old October 25th, 2005, 12:28 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston
Totally incorrect, Doug. There was never an intent to do PAL in the US.
In the literal sense, no. In the technical sense, yes. CBS wanted, and indeed, with the blessings of the FCC, experimented for a few months in the early '50s with an incompatible color transmission system. There were other systems similar and divergent, but the "NTSC 2" won out after an enormous amount of work. What is sad is that it never reached the goals set for it. Well, that's the "free market" for you.

Getting back on topic, of abandoning one standard for another, I happened to watch the History Channel's "The Color of War" tonight. Nobody watching this today can fault the vision (no pun intended) of using 16mm cameras loaded with Kodachrome to record this singular chapter in human history. Some footage is pedestrian or banal, and of low quality. But much is of a poignancy and a vividness to startle one off one's seat. The sight of of the blood splattered within the nose of a bomber wrote an entire page...

How long was this footage available but not seen? The answer is all too obvious.

But would you spurn it, Greg, because it wasn't shot in 35mm? Yeah, sure, William Wyler was one of the cameramen, but so what? They had the technology, but chose the commonplace. This sounds too much like the Betacam SP vs. DV wars for comfort.

Shall we ask, "what is broadcast quality?" Answer: anything they show. Anything you didn't see isn't broadcast quality.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 08:20 AM   #20
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I was convinced that I need HD. But not so much anymore. You add up the cost of the camera, computer upgrades, the cost is just to high.
I went into a high end electronics store a few weeks ago and ask when a HD-DVD player would be out. Maybe at the end of the year, but the cost will be very high and the guy was kind of unsure what the format it will be and if it will stay the same. I think we are at the beta/vhs debate stage.

Plus like Chris said the prices of really top quality SD equipment is going to keep SD around for years. (I hope!!)

The big guys on TV are switching to HD but they are probably using $100,000 cams too. Kind of hard to compare that to a $5,000 to $10,000 HD camcorder.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 01:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Doug Boze
Shall we ask, "what is broadcast quality?" Answer: anything they show. Anything you didn't see isn't broadcast quality.
Brilliant, I love that quote. It rings so true. Nice to hear it again, every once in awhile, to keep me honest and grounded.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #22
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Interesting thread!

I'm also at the stage of "should I switch to HD, or not?". And one think keeps me from going to HD right now... yeah, well, aside from the money issue! I'd rather have clean SD then crappy HD. I've been so far disappointed with the current crop of HDV. And I'm waiting to see footage of the HVX200, and Canon's HD-SDI output (don't much care about HDV for now). Hey, I might even get myself a DVX with the andromeda mod. Who knows...

Oh yeah! I concur that another showstopper for HD is the lack of standardized delivery medium. What good is HD if you can't show it off, aside from some non-standard player supporting XYZ format. Sure HD runs on a PC, but hey! Most John Doe's don't have the necessary hardware to run it.

On a side note, aside from freelance work by night, I work at a regional cable TV station by day. The day we start broadcasting in HD is the day the Best Buys and the Walmarts don't carry SD TVs... And even then. Have you looked at the crap that is being broadcasted on some HD channels? Content aside... ;-) but the compression artifacts are disgusting! Hey look, we broadcast 1080 lines.... of crap! Hence my motto: "I'd rather have clean SD then crappy HD".

Just my two cents.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 09:20 PM   #23
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Well if you want to all but eliminate compression artifacts you should try the 720p format. I shoot 720p at 30 frames a secound and if there is a compression artifact I have not seen it. I have even shot footage out of a side window of a car. ABC, Fox and ESPN all support the 720p format.

For standard definition cameras to be phased out high definition videos and players have to be more readily available. Right now if you go to your local video store you will be lucky if you find even one high definition title. When Blu-Ray is introduced video stores will start to stock more high definition movie titles.

In 2004 21% of all televisions sold were HDTVs. However since HDTVs are more expensive, more dollars were spent on HDTV then they were on standard definition. So dollarwise HDTV already has the majority of market share. By 2010 70% of all televisions sold will be HDTVs and 63% of households will have an HDTV.
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Old November 16th, 2005, 04:55 PM   #24
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What I think Chris is trying to say is that performence of the Canon XL-2 cannot be judged by watching it on a cheap analog television. If that were the case then the days of the XL-2 would be numbered. However with its progressive scan capability the Canon XL-2 would qualify as an Enhanced Definition camera. If you hooked up the Canon XL-2 to an Enhanced Definition Plasma television the results would indeed be superb. Of course it would not be HD but it would be a pretty darn good picture and not blurry like the typical cheap analog television. And the contrast ratios of an ED Plasma may be even better than the LCD HDTV.

For me I was fed up with my old analog 8 camcorder and my circa 1988 analog television. So I decided to go HDTV with the firm belief that my old equipment was obsolete. And yes I firmly beleive that it is very fair for me to say that my old equipment is obsolete. But it would be very unfair if I declared in my zeal that all enhanced definition video equipment is obsolete. As long as footage from the XL-2 is demonstrated on a good quality television I would think that production of the XL-2 will remain until the end of the decade.
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Old November 17th, 2005, 10:46 AM   #25
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I agree with Tommy. I have hooked my XL-2 to my 65" HDTV via S-Video and was very pleased with the picture quality. It holds its own very well as an SD camera.

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Old November 18th, 2005, 10:49 AM   #26
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As I've mentioned on other forums both Sony and Panasonic, and indeed the likes of Ikegami have very recently released new SD 2/3" shoulder mount models. If SD was to be dead in a short time these cameras would never have been developed because their main market is the broadcast sector.

At the viewing distance most people wacth their televisions from they would be hard pressed to make out the detail in an SD picture let alone an HD one.

Many people forget when they aregue about HD and SD that they need to look at things from an everyday persons perspective. Most people aren't sat with their noses up against the TV looking for the various picture improvements or defects.

Let me ask those of you that can receive HD broadcasting and have TRUE HD televisions. When you watch The West Wing, or CSI or whatever on your TV, are you constantly thinking "wow this in in high def!" or do you become so engrossed in watching the programme that you don't even contemplate what kind of format it is in? Most general viewers aren't looking at the TV and going "Wow, I can see that guys facial detail in the background over there!" when they watch programmes. They are more concerned with the programme content.

I've spoken to a few people who aren't into video making about high def. Most of them don't know what it is, and even when I explain what it is they are indifferent to buying a new TV-set to watch it.

Lets take DVD's as a good example too. I like to watch my DVD's on a really good widescreen TV with surround sound. Most of my friends and other people I know still watch DVDs on a small 4:3 television in bog standard stereo, or straight through the TV speakers connected with composite video cables.

In other words they didn't upgrade their TV's to get the extra quality benefits that DVD offered them. They don't see the extra quality DVD has over VHS. Those same people will not upgrade to HD for the same reasons. They just do not care enough about the picture quality to want to bother with the expenditure.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 08:29 PM   #27
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Actually a lot of people in America are buying HDTVs in order to save money. With my old analog television my rabbit ear antennas could only pick up a snowy picture but with my digital HDTV my indoor antenna can pick up a crystal clear free high definition signal. So now I don't need to pay cable bills anymore and I use that money to pay off my HDTV. Of course my programming is more limited so its a trade off. So now the poor have a choice they can get free HDTV broadcasting with limited choices or they can pay to get standard definition cable television with more choices. To be honest with you my family thinks HDTV is no good because the Disney channel is only available through cable. However soon there will be over the air digital subscription broadcasting services so that means my basic service will be free and I only pay for the premium channels. With cable you have to pay for basic before you can get any premium channels.
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