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Old February 17th, 2007, 02:26 AM   #1
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2/3" XDCAM HD Model and the codec

hey so its rumoured that a 2/3" 4:2:2 50mbs model of the XDCAM HD series is in the Sony pipeline - maybe to debut at NAB.

Obviously nothing has been announced and it's all covered by NDA's but, if this was a 4:2:2 50mbs model would it still be Long GOP Mpeg2 (ie in reality higher bit rate HDV).

or would it actually be a frame based HD codec?

the XDCAM HD idea is rather compelling and we are seriously considering it as our acquisition format but the Long GOP does give me the heebee geebees! i like everything about the camera (350) and the workflow except for the HDV like "uncompress and recompress" science that taxes your CPU in Post. I am much more comfortable with a true 4:2:2 colour space and frame based editing.

any thoughts?
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Old February 17th, 2007, 02:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Nevison
I am much more comfortable with a true 4:2:2 colour space and frame based editing.
Me too, but expect the new camera with the double price of the 350 and the availability will be at least one year from now. I talked to some current users and they all don't have any inconveniences with the data rate.

If You can wait - then wait. But if You need good HD equipment right now, then buy now.

Matthias
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Old February 17th, 2007, 06:41 AM   #3
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mid 2007 was their own projection, for the 2/3" 4:2:2 model, some 2 years ago, by now I would expect it to have slipped, so NAB this year seems unlikely ... it seems like they have only just acheived full distribution of the 350's ... i'd be happy to be wrong though. bring it on I say!

wil it be Long GOP? I would cerainly expect so. the HDV spec produces some stunningly good video, (my favotite description of HDV is "its much better than it ought to be") and with double the data rate we can expect some spectacular pictures.

MPEG editing doesn't really give us any problem ... in the timeline its handled really very well. the "conform" process when mastering back to disc seems to trouble some folks, but I think most overlook the speed advantages to the workflow in the earlier import stage, which far far outweigh any delay at the export stage ... and even that delay is less and less of a problem as the processors become more and more powerfull
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Old February 17th, 2007, 09:55 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Andy Mees
MPEG editing doesn't really give us any problem ... in the timeline its handled really very well.
Me neither. And I'm on a completely different NLE/platform, I think.

Editing native MPEG has certainly gotten a bizarre bad rap. Apple, particularly, has given me everything I need to do it as cleanly and quickly as technically possible. Which is to say the MPEG goes through exactly one decompress cycle, no recompresses (if I choose), and it edits more or less like DV on a new machine.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 12:13 PM   #5
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With the release of the Panasonic HPX2000 and soon to be released, cheaper HPX500, Sony better release one with 2/3 CCDs or CMOS imagers.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Mees
the HDV spec produces some stunningly good video, (my favotite description of HDV is "its much better than it ought to be") and with double the data rate we can expect some spectacular pictures.
The XDCAM HD format IS NOT HDV!

The HDV spec requires a mini-dv tape media and a data rate of 25mbs CBR.

XDCAM HD is a format that has even higher image quality than HDV.

Also, as per the rules of DVINFO, I'm moving this thread to Area 51 as it is speculation about unannounced products.

regards,

-gb-
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Old February 17th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #7
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Hi Greg.

Quote:
The XDCAM HD format IS NOT HDV!
well of course its not, mate! i'm certainly didn't say so, although you clearly felt i inferred it and took some degree of offense. apologies for that, no offense was intended.

i was talking far more broadly. heck, DV, DVCPROHD and HDV might be loosely grouped together under the "DV variant" banner. technically, the comparisson of XDCAM to HDV is far closer.

HDV and XDCAM are based on the same MPEG-2 compression technology.
HDV uses Main Profile @ High 1440 (MP@H-14) MPEG-2
XDCAM uses Main Profile @ High Level (MP@HL) MPEG-2

you can see a good explanation of the differing MPEG-2 profiles and levels here:
http://digitalcontentproducer.com/vi...ofiles_levels/

Quote:
The HDV spec requires a mini-dv tape media and a data rate of 25mbs CBR.
I'm not sure thats true. I don't think the HDV spec "require's" MiniDV at all, although its use was a no brainer. As the HDV format's data rate was supported by the existing tape format, utilizing MiniDV was an obvious easy migration path for selling a new consumer format to an existing user base. As it is though, the HDV format could be recorded to any suitable media.

Quote:
XDCAM HD is a format that has even higher image quality than HDV.
XDCAM HD in SP mode is almost exactly the same as HDV, using a 25 Mbps CBR codec. Obviously the professional glass and chips make a world of difference when comparing the quality of XDCAM HD in SP mode and its consumer sibling HDV, but it isn't the format.

Quote:
I'm moving this thread to Area 51 as it is speculation about unannounced products.
He he. I don't mind if you don't mind. We're hardly in the realms of wild fantasy here, but rules are rules. :)

thee mid 2007 for the 2/3" 4:2:2 model comes direct from Sony, they also mentioned doubling the capacity of the XDCAM media ... that link above provides the info "Sony talked about MPEG-2 being written to XDCAM at up to 80Mbps."

Speculators jump on in!

cheers
Andy
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Old February 17th, 2007, 09:27 PM   #8
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Andy,

You are correct that I concluded you were applying the HDV moniker in the XDCAM realm. So many have tried to say that XDCAM HD is just HDV that I've started to get sensitive where the two are mentioned in the same breath.

I learned a short while back what it takes for an HD format to be fully approved by Discovery Hd for unlimited aquisition. They have a codec torture test scene that gets ingested, uploaded to their satellite, brought back into a set top receiver and analyzed on the end user display. I'm simplifying a bit here, but the acceptance of XDCAM HD in 35mb vbr for unlimited program content by those guys says a lot about the format.

As to what we'll see at NAB, all I can do is smile at this point. I know you said your information came straight from Sony, but Chris' rules are that unless an official announcement is made, we have to put all speculation in this forum to maintain information integrity.

I'm fairly sure however about the requirement of tape based media for the official 'HDV' logo to be branded on a piece of gear. I should look it up for sure.

No hard feelings Andy, I just want to keep folks from associating XDCAM HD with HDV because they are indeed different levels of image quality. And I want to make clear that I'm not knocking HDV cause like you said, it looks better than it should. And that's not unlike the reaction some have had to XDCAM HD for what it is.

Here's a link with a table of the HDV specs. http://www.hdv-info.org/HDVSpecifications.pdf

BTW, my former employer has a facility in Kuala Lampur.

-gb-
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Old February 17th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #9
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I'm with you brother.

In the right hands XDCAM HD in HQ mode is a beautiful thing to behold.
We shoot it globally as our primary acquisition format.

My "comments from Sony" are 2 years old and as such quite outdated, hence my willingnes to share... and as I mentioned at first, I'm not holding breath for anything at this years NAB. A public announcement of the roadmap at best. (I'd be happy to be wrong!)

Other than being a bit "in the sticks" as it were, Kuala Lumpur is great ... did you ever get the chance to visit? There's a bunch of monkeys in my garden right now, stealing the fruit from my mango tree ... buggers.

cheers
Andy
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Old February 21st, 2007, 08:24 AM   #10
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a guy i know who runs a production company is thinking of investing in xdcam hd but was told by his rep not to as the 2/3rd inch is coming out and will make the 1/2inch un-saleable...

thoughts?
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Old February 21st, 2007, 01:00 PM   #11
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Greetings gents,

I met with some Sony reps a couple of weeks ago and here's what I was told: The 2/3" XDcam HD will be announced at NAB this year. Even though it will be introduced at NAB, it will not be available until late '07 or early '08. If they are saying that, I would bet on early '08 at best. This timeline was disappointing to hear to say the least.

It will supposedly have a maximum data rate of 50 mbs and 4:2:2 color space. And like others have speculated--about twice the cost of the 1/2" models. They also hinted at some cool new surprises/features but would not elaborate further other than to say those features would be made public at NAB.

Unfortunately I didn't ask about the compression method. Maybe that's one of the surprises about which they were hinting. We are in the same boat as many here in that we really want and need to get in to HD acquisition with this camera but would prefer the 2/3" sensors even at the higher cost. We're a bit disappointed it is taking Sony so long to get this camera to market.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 08:33 PM   #12
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I usually edit some internal material of mine as mpeg2 50 mbit 4:2:2. This format really is amazing and clean. The extra bits and 4:2:2 make it almost perfect in terms of raw image quality. It is of course a long GOP form of mpeg2 but with a much higher datarate.

the format will have to use the 4:2:2 profile/high level which is what is usually used for 4:2:2 color. With SD material it was 4:2:2/main.

I have used this format as a way to deal with uncompressed HD material without having to drop it all the way down to HDV. I really wanted to keep the 4:2:2 color but didn't need the video as uncompressed so I came up with a way to convert and work with the video in a easier to use format.

In order for mpeg2 HD to use I frames only it would have to use a much higher bitrate. The max for mpeg2 is 300 mbit/s which gives roughly a 3.3:1 compression ratio or a similar rate to 50 mbit SD such as XDCAM SD or DV50. Some people say you can get by with as low as 100 mbits/s but I find this to have a lot of added noise and artifacts.

50 mbit/s for HD is a really high datarate and could look almost as good as uncompressed except for perhaps some of the most complex scenes in the world such as 100's of flashs at a movie premiere or something like that.

I usually render lots of motion graphics materials with thousands of particles and lighting effects running all over the place with this format and I have yet to break it. I am interested to see if they will use 1440x1080 or 1920x1080 with this new camera. I render everything as 1920x1080 and it works great. Of course 1440x1080 would have even less compression and since HDCAM records as 1440 anyway it isn't really a bad thing.
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Old March 11th, 2007, 03:41 AM   #13
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Last year at IBC, after coaxing much a Sony representative, I was hinted that a 2/3 inch XDCAM HD should be expected by IBC 2007.That comes in line with the rest of the speculation in the thread. Since Panasonic is on the offensive I expect to keep their promise and with a better than expected price.

Also in Greece the 900R is heavily discounted by the official Sony importer (around 40%off) which IMO implies that the days of HDCAM (not the SR version) are numbered.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #14
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I've searched around for a couple hours now. One question is still unanswered: Is 50 mbit sdcam 8bit or 10bit? I'm really hoping for 10bit here.

And since this is in the Area 51 realm, I'm really hoping for an ex2 that will record to 50mbit xdcam recording to 128 gig sxs media to come out at nab 2009.
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