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Old August 9th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #136
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Zimmerman
How far off is tomorrow?

There seems to be some product bias going on here but that is good.
?
I would tend to agree.
Here's how I see it.

Sony, one of two licensees of the format, says unequivacobly that AVC is a consumer format, both officially and in conversation. Greg is spot-on, no pun intended.
Here in Malaysia, one Panasonic person, in conversation, said the same although I don't consider that remotely close to any kind of a corporate statement.

One manufacturer, and all of their evangelists have screamed from the top of the mountains how bad MPEG and 4:2:0 is, how poor 25Mbps data rates are, and how weak temporal compression is for the past two years.
Canon, Sony, and JVC have all disputed that, and for the most part, HDV has been embraced worldwide to the tune of well beyond a quarter million units in only two years. Canon and JVC have both recently announced new HDV models, which further demonstrates a level of commitment.

Now, some evangelists for that same manufacturer that vehemently denounced HDV claim that a subset of the MPEG 2 format, that is more greatly compressed, same color space, less datarate is not only acceptable, but better. I'm failing to comprehend how that could possibly be so? The only serious benefit of one over the other is that audio is not muxed in the MPEG stream, allowing it to be any format. PCM, OGG, MP3, AC3, you name it, it can be there. Including 24 bit, 96K PCM or some compressed variant that doesn't currently exist. But saying that MPG2, 4:2:0 color, 25Mbps is "bad," but it's subset of greater compression, same colorspace and lesser bitrate is "good" is very confusing to me.

AVC HD has many profiles. The currently offered product profile is a non-professional quality. We all know that will eventually change. AVC includes profiles that allow for 4:4:4 color sampling and 10bit depth as well. Will those profiles be used? Absolutely. Otherwise, why do they exist? The question isn't "if" but "when." And I submit the when is a longer way off than folks are being led to believe. Incidentally, all this talk of "twice as efficient" is relevant only to low bitrates. As bitrate goes up, like anything else, efficiency begins to rapidly fall.

Moreover, having worked with the format, regardless of the HDI used, the current crop isn't ready for primetime yet. Captured as 4:2:2 uncompressed using an AJA card, that's a different story. Also not a sweet story for most users. Additionally, I'd like to know why the comparisons of AVC are constantly made only to HDV? Why not compare them to DVCProHD? Especially when discussing AVC-I, as that's a much more appropriate comparison.

I've never said the *format* can't manage growth, just that the current crop of camcorders are consumer.
How many formats have ever once approached maxing out their possibilities?

AVC will grow, of that I have zero doubt, and information to the contrary. But to deliberately throw red herrings into a discussion of the current crop of shippable camcorders (which would currently be ONE model) is wrong, IMO.
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Old August 9th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #137
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Ok, there are probably two things here. The Panasonic/Sony is a version of HiP/Level 4 encoded in an MPEG 2 Transport data stream. Isn't that the same data stream used for HDV?

H.264 doesn't cover the transport mechanism, so the combination, along with the support for specific audio channels, there is a new standard for a consumer HD format. Probably comparable or even superior to HDV formats.

However, what a lot of other people are adding, is the ITU-T H.264, also known as AVC and ISO MPEG4 Option 10, includes specs for a 10-bit 4:2:0, 4:2:2, and 4:4:4 encoding. This encoding holds the promise for a higher quality, lower bandwidth successor the DVCProHD and an equivalent capablity for non-Panasonic cameras. This could be recorded to solid state media, such as a P2 card, hard disk, or optical disk. It is possible (likely?) that 5.25 Blu-ray disk with 2008 technolgy would be able to store 3-4 hours of 10-bit 4:2:2 recording in real time. What the H1 and HD100 have shown is that sensor resolution does count and can be more important that recording format (which Panasonic should have won hands down, at least from a quality viewpoint). Hopefully the next generation of cameras will all have high resolution sensors.

This could mean the availablity of some very nice, hopefully affordable high resolution HD cameras with inexpensive, high resolution, highly portable recording in the next 3-4 years. That is about the same time frame from the introduction of the DVX100 to the present time.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 12:10 AM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
Canon and JVC have both recently announced new HDV models, which further demonstrates a level of commitment.
So, to delve further into this, are you saying that you believe Sony will be introducing more HDV models? Interesting. I still think that if they do, it won't be for long. Unless you think broadcast will completely diverge from consumer, unlike Sony's recent past (PD170/VX2100, PD150/VX2000, PD100/TRV900, PDX10/TRV950, PD1/TRV9?, Z1/FX1 etc). It is very clear that Sony Consumer has said that AVC-HD is the the format they'll be pushing in the future, so presumably an FX2 or later will be AVC-HD based. Are you saying that you think if an AVC-HD FX2 came out, then the accompanying Z2 would eschew AVC-HD and would actually install a tape and be HDV-based? I guess that could happen, but frankly I just don't see it.

As for future commitments from the other manufacturers, Sharp has never produced any HDV models, and Canon has (as far as I know) expressed interest in AVC-HD. As for JVC, there was one interview where Matsushita said that JVC would not be producing any AVC-HD products.

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Now, some evangelists for that same manufacturer that vehemently denounced HDV claim that a subset of the MPEG 2 format, that is more greatly compressed, same color space, less datarate is not only acceptable, but better. I'm failing to comprehend how that could possibly be so?
Well, let's clarify a few facts instead of resorting to spin, please. First, I never said AVC-HD was "acceptable"; I'm an intraframe kind of guy and don't care for temporal compression at all. But I acknowledge that many people have found HDV acceptable, so for THEM, I would think they would find AVC-HD more than acceptable. And whether they or we find it acceptable is largely irrelevant, as the two dominant behemoths have declared AVC-HD is going forward (and besides them, a few others who have standardized on AVC include HD-DVD, blu-ray, NHK, BBC, DirecTV, DISH, the DVB, France, Estonia, Lithuania, Brazil, Tokyo Broadcasting System, Nippon Television, TV Asahi, Fuji Television, TV Tokyo, Euro1080, Premiere in Germany, ProSieben HD and Sat 1 HD, SkyHD, Sky Italia, USDTV, 3GPP, the Motion Imagery Standards Board of the US Department of Defense, NATO, the Internet Engineering Task Force, and lots of others at least according to Wikipedia).

Like it or not, embrace it or not, it's here and it's going to be huge.

But the concept that it's "a subset of MPEG-2" is completely erroneous, it's an unrelated compression system which has been lumped under the category of MPEG-4 Level 10, but has little to nothing in common with MPEG-2. Second, it's the same color space, yes, which I also find less than desirable. But how can you completely gloss over other, very viable improvements? Dude, I know you love your HDV, but come on...

AVC-HD is full-raster. This is not an improvement?

It's over twice as efficient in encoding. This is not an improvement? (talk about "at lower bitrates" all you want, but it is substantially more efficient than HDV)

It's uncompressed audio, at up to 7.1 channels. This is not an improvement?

And, it's open-standard. You gotta love that.

AVC-HD is everything HDV is, with better/more efficient compression, full-raster recording, and uncompressed audio. In every possible comparison it comes out ahead of HDV, except for 4:2:0 and long-gop structure (where it ties). What I've always said is: if someone finds the 4:2:0 and long-GOP nature of HDV acceptable, why wouldn't they be happier with the same color sampling, the same long-GOP nature, but more efficiency (which makes it about the equivalent of 36-megabit HDV), full-raster recording, uncompressed audio, and native 24p support?

Quote:
The only serious benefit of one over the other is that audio is not muxed in the MPEG stream, allowing it to be any format.
Well, this shows me that you don't understand the excitement over the AVC-HD format at all, if you think that's the only serious benefit.

The first, #1, most-important, serious benefit to AVC-HD is: it's compatible! HDV is not. Can't you see that as a massive improvement? Cross-manufacturer, cross-platform, cross-industry. No more decks that will only play one format but not the other, etc. This is a MAJOR improvement.

Second, it's tapeless, which is the way things are going. To some of us, that's a massive improvement. I understand there are those who will cling to their tapes until the end, and that's fine, they're welcome to them. But there are very valid benefits to going tapeless.

Third, it's a better codec, and I can't fathom any respectable engineer arguing otherwise. 18 megabits of H.264 will deliver a substantially better, more robust image than 25 megabits of MPEG-2 any day of the week, and will be more resistant to motion artifacts or other issues.

Fourth, it's endorsed by both major manufacturers. It's not a "format war" within itself. That can only be viewed as a good thing.

Quote:
But saying that MPG2, 4:2:0 color, 25Mbps is "bad," but it's subset of greater compression, same colorspace and lesser bitrate is "good" is very confusing to me.
Because a) that's a straw man argument, I don't know that I've ever said 25mbps of 4:2:0 MPEG-2 is "bad". I've said it's amazing for what it is, that it usually looks surprisingly good, and that it's a fantastic technical achievement. But that I don't trust it because it can and does fall apart in certain circumstances and I won't risk it. Some will, that's fine. Some have, got bitten, and abandoned it (like Monster Garage and WETA/Kong).

Second, I haven't said that AVC-HD as a format is "good" either. I've said that it will replace HDV, and it will. I have said that it's better than HDV, and it is, in every measurable way except the camera heads that are currently using it. That doesn't mean that I think it's appropriate for professional use, but I do think it will prove better and more acceptable than HDV was once there's a camera out that does it justice. Whether it crosses the line to "good enough" still remains to be seen, but obviously different people place that line at different threshholds.

Quote:
Additionally, I'd like to know why the comparisons of AVC are constantly made only to HDV? Why not compare them to DVCProHD?
Because AVC-HD and HDV are animals of the same kind, and DVCPRO-HD is an animal of a different kind. I would compare a 4:2:0 long-gop codec against a 4:2:0 long-gop codec as those are animals of the same kind. I wouldn't lump a 4:2:0 interframe long-gop codec against a 4:2:2 intraframe-only codec because those are animals of a different kind.

DVCPRO-HD would be more fairly compared against an intraframe codec like AVC-Intra. And that day will come, and I don't doubt that AVC-Intra will come out ahead in that comparison. Phil Livingston already said that the 50-megabit AVC-I looks as good as the 100-megabit DVCPRO-HD, while still being intraframe-only.

Quote:
I've never said the *format* can't manage growth, just that the current crop of camcorders are consumer.
What you've said is that AVC-HD is only a consumer format and I'm pretty sure I've read where you've said it will only ever be a consumer format. And that's the part I disagree quite thoroughly with; I say that the current Sony cameras are consumer-only yes, but that someday someone is going to produce a camera head worthy of the format (such as a Sony Z2 or a Canon XLH2) and when they do, AVC-HD will not be pigeonholed as a "consumer format." It's a better format than HDV, and sooner or later some manufacturer is going to say "hang on... why don't we make an AVC-HD version of this camera instead of just using HDV with it" and that's when things will start to get very, very interesting.

Quote:
How many formats have ever once approached maxing out their possibilities?
BetaSP and DV, for two. I'm pretty sure that you can't extract much more out of BetaSP than the BVW600 got from it, and I can't imagine there's much left in DV that an SDX900 can't get from it. But it took years to get there, obviously the first crop of BetaSP and DV cameras didn't come close to maxxing out their format's capabilities.

Quote:
But to deliberately throw red herrings into a discussion of the current crop of shippable camcorders (which would currently be ONE model) is wrong, IMO.
Hold on there a minute. Who's throwing out red herrings? This is a thread for discussing THE FORMAT, not for discussing the current crop of underpowered consumer cams that Sony has saddled the format with. There are other threads and other forums for discussing the UX1 and comparing it against current HDV offerings or whatever. In this thread (at least judging by the title of this thread) we were supposed to be discussing the format itself. If anyone has done anything "wrong" (wrong? "morally and ethically incorrect?") by discussing a format and its potential... well... sorry, can't see eye to eye on that one. Especially since we have plenty of history to base that discussion on, having seen how HDV was introduced, the first product having been an ultra-consumer format, people saying it's "consumer only", then the FX1/Z1 hit and people changed their minds. Seems eerily familiar to me.

Last edited by Barry Green; August 10th, 2006 at 12:44 AM.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 12:42 AM   #139
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Everything I've read has indicated that H.264 is a much better compression algorithm than H.263 and MPEG2. Since AVCHD is being encoded at about the same bit rate as HDV (please correct me if I'm wrong), the image should be better. Especially around motion.

A quick scan of the Internet will show many presentations on H.264 showing the motion improvements.

What is also interesting is that Panasonic choose to use the encoding for a storage and not a quality improvement vs. DVCProHD. An interestng comment on the quality of the H.264 encoding algorithms.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 01:09 AM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ziegelheim
Everything I've read has indicated that H.264 is a much better compression algorithm than H.263 and MPEG2.

A quick scan of the Internet will show many presentations on H.264 showing the motion improvements.
True David, but have you encoded an H.264 file recently? It's definitely a hurry up and wait process at the moment. Not suitable for acquisition, just delivery. It's an excellent coding scheme in terms of efficiency, scalable from cell phone to full raster HD. But right now, you pay the price in terms of encoding time to get that efficiency.

When dedicated hardware H.264 chips come along as they did for MPEG2 years ago, you might get realtime encoding. But for now, I know of nothing that offers that option.

Wow, we all seem to be beating this poor horse to death.

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Old August 10th, 2006, 02:05 AM   #141
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Quite obviously, the AVCHD cameras are doing HiP@Level 4 encoding in realtime. And Panasonic seems to have a solution for their P2 cards. Also, various broadcast hardware is available to encode video streams as HiP@Level4. (note: there are many more to encode MP@Level 3.)

It seems the solutions are nearing our doorstep...just not there yet. Like HD itself 2-3 years ago when the HD1 came out.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #142
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BARRY GREEN STATED /"Third, it's a better codec, and I can't fathom any respectable engineer arguing otherwise. 18 megabits of H.264 will deliver a substantially better, more robust image than 25 megabits of MPEG-2 any day of the week, and will be more resistant to motion artifacts or other issues."

Yes, probably true with a night long encoding on a powerful specialised workstation with appropriate hardware for minutes of HD video.

But i dont think that this is what we are going to get in a battery powered realtime encoderonboard a consumer cam ! THEORETICALLY, we agree, with some "declining advantage " when resolution increases. But a format is just as good as its realworld ENCODER IMPLEMENTATIONS. ( decoders usually are easier). And there is a big difference between encoding in a studio a Feature movie and doing recording on line .

Another point worth considering was the recent Soccer WorlCup, so called HD, broadcasted under some MPEG4/ H264 in some european countries. Very questionable definition, improvemnt verus SD noticeable but diaspointing. Even with the big guns of the big networks!
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Old August 10th, 2006, 08:06 AM   #143
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So I guess what you guys are saying is,,,,there will be better formats in the future. The big companies are battling it out. The new Canon's are awesome. Don't buy Sony, Canon or any HDV camera they are outdated, AVCHD is for consumers, AVCHD will be the standard,,,,,,

My guess is it will be blue ray. Sony will win. Record, then pop it in your Playstation.

But unless something really big happens in the next few months, or maybe if Sony or Panasonic tops the new Canon A1 I'm going to buy that and without a doubt HDV will live on for a few years. There is too much support for it right now and for some reason people still like tape! Companies like Canon are not clueless and would not introduce new HDV camera's if AVCHD was going to wipe it out anytime soon.
Same as Panansonic coming out with a DVX100b last year. A new 4:3 SD camera? I didn't get that one, a 16:9/4:3 (not the P2 model) would have been better but they must have thought the 4:3 market is going to be around for a few years.

So I don't thing 16:9 AVCHDHD is going to wipe out all other cameras anytime soon. Now if someone announced a new Z1U or DVX100 with AVCHD and SD soon I would think about it if I knew I could edit it. I know my mac can handle HDV. We will see.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 08:36 AM   #144
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There is nothing in the AVCHD standard that would prevent it from being written to existing HDV DV tape drives. The new format is encoded in the existing MPEG 2 Transport envelope. What you may see, in fairly short order, is an XH-A1s that uses the new format.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 08:41 AM   #145
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You think a A1s model already? Sorry but no way.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 09:54 AM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ziegelheim
There is nothing in the AVCHD standard that would prevent it from being written to existing HDV DV tape drives.
Nothing except the fact that the format specification clearly indicates tapeless recording media only. There will be *no* tape-based AVCHD camcorder, guaranteed.

Quote:
What you may see, in fairly short order, is an XH-A1s that uses the new format.
In fairly short order? No. Not going to happen.

Eventually, Canon will most likely do an Optura / HV10 style AVCHD camcorder. Remember that Canon is always the last of the major manufacturers to bring any new format to market. They were last for DV, DVD, HDV, and most likely they will be the last for AVCHD.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #147
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This is a great discussion. Obviously there are going to be promoters and doubters of any new format. What I find especially intriguing is that fact that it is tapeless. Which means the vieo is just a big chunk of data. So their isn't any kind of loss from drop-outs or copying it.

What I'd really like to see is how are we going to edit the stuff. What kind of hardware/ software will be needed? If you can't edit and work with the footage, then it's nothing more than point and shoot. Potentially a huge business, but not really effecting the folks here.

Could we see a 3 teir approach?
1) AVCHD as the consumer format. Point, shoot, copy to DVD (blu-ray or HD DVD). transcode for Utube & the web.

2) HDV and DVC Pro HD continue to be for those of us here. The folks who actually create digital content?

3) Broadcast HD for the bigger guys.

For me this is quite interesting. The simple truth is that only a fraction of those people who shoot video edit it. Of those the great majority are just looking to cut out the crap, add some titles, beasic effects and a soundtrack. Then share it with friends & family via DVD or web. For these folks the tapeless AVCHD is the perfect solution, especially if it can go seemlessly t other media for delivery.

But that still leaves everyone here. The video editiors and independent film makers and event videographers and small post production facitities. Not the mass market, but still a very nice niche. One that is growing and is migrating to HD.

Just some thoughts. In my discussions with our NLE vendors, the only group that seems to really have this new format on the map is Sony Vegas. Avid, Adobe, Apple, Canopus and Matrox are all asking us about what we think about it - but not really saying anything more. They appear to be sitting more or less on the sideline and waiting to see if and how it actually takes hold.

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Old September 15th, 2008, 06:13 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Nothing except the fact that the format specification clearly indicates tapeless recording media only. There will be *no* tape-based AVCHD camcorder, guaranteed. . . .
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Originally Posted by Gary Bettan View Post
This is a great discussion. Obviously there are going to be promoters and doubters of any new format. What I find especially intriguing is that fact that it is tapeless. Which means the vieo is just a big chunk of data. So their isn't any kind of loss from drop-outs or copying it.

What I'd really like to see is how are we going to edit the stuff. What kind of hardware/ software will be needed? If you can't edit and work with the footage, then it's nothing more than point and shoot. Potentially a huge business, but not really effecting the folks here. Gary
Here's my 2 pennies (btw, not worth much these days :o) . . .

We have been considering an HMC150 which is an AVCHD camera also and I spoke with both Panasonic and Sony about them and this is the consensus that I derived from those technical conversations:

1.) AVCHD was designed out of the desire to produce a quick easy to use consumer HD format for youtube, iPod, streaming, cell phones, that would utilize efficient methodology to acheive big pictures in small packages for internet and uploading/downloading.

2.) Proof of this (they both said) was that the format was first and foremost sent to the consumer market with both DVD and HDD cameras which is the way the product was initially intended foregoing the opportunity to move the product into the prosumer lines with obvious limitations to bandwidth on color, gamma, and other such editable features that many pro folks like.

Lastly, on this whole direct-to-edit solid-state one always has to consider the often overlooked obvious . . when one's work is sent to solid state it is at risk of disappearing right before their very eyes in a flash or heartbeat or as some easterners say "a New York minute." Most will say, "awwww but . . " Here's the facts, we (through operator error) have lost four major projects using very expensive and very reliable solid-state media and to that end lost 1,000's over it and our only lost client since we been in business. So, we went to HDV tape with solid-state which gave us the best of both worlds BUT that doesn't mean that there aren't other options . . like the SafePhoto II, wherein one could shoot, dump the files into the SPII and KEEP the SD card so that there is 100% back up. However, if I were a wedidng videographer or an event videographer (and I am) I would not shoot to any solid-state media WITHOUT also shooting/recording to some other media at the same time just because before getting to the back up method, you have to have material on the card.

Have you ever lost any media on an SD or CF card? Ever forgot to tell Windows to unmout the card and then have the card lock up? Ever accidently offload data from a card onto a HDD and have the HDD fail? Ever offload from a card to a HDD, reformat the card, then accidently delete the offloadded data from the HDD? We have . . all these. :o(
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Old September 15th, 2008, 10:47 PM   #149
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One can "lose" your data whatever format it's in, or what it's on... proper planning would provide for at least a backup copy if not triple redundant copies in mission critical situations - that's a simple fact of ALL digital media, PERIOD, tapes included.

Tape dropout or tracking failure is ugly, I'll take a non-mechanical recording method any time, but of course you need to adjust workflow so EVERYONE touching the media understands backup protocols... Tape may be more "durable" and in some respects more convenient for long term storage, but barring a large EMP pulse in my general vicinity, I'm comfortable with redundant hard drives backed up fairly regularly, along with DVDs. Sure wish BluRay would become more affordable!

I'm not sure about the "consumer" orientation... perhaps it was ORIGINALLY intended to be a low grade format, but it seems to me that with several generations of refinement, AVCHD cameras are producing video every bit as good as HDV if not better. IIRC MP3 was originally a "low grade" lossy format (and still is I suppose), but considering the market penetration and the varying compression ratios and all, it seems to have become a robust method for delivering audio on a massive scale in many different ways, and via various media. I remember early JPEGs, and they looked like doody... now... it's a standard format and can deliver pretty respectable quality. AVCHD may be the video equivalent??

Sure the purist may still have a love affair with vinyl records and Hi8 tapes or whatever, but technology moves on. EVERY "new" technology always meets with it's detractors and goes through a learning curve before it either suceeds, disappears, or gets replaced with something else that's better (or better marketed).

From my standpoint, the first multicam shoot I did with AVCHD cameras sold me - dump 3 cameras to disk, less than 30 minutes from start to editing a 30 minute event, while it was still fresh, editing was a breeze, little or no color correction or tweaking needed, hit render (and yes, wait a long time...), burn to DVD, looked simply awesome, and painless workflow.

I'm interested in the HMC150, although I wish Sony would get off their bum and do something similar, as they seem to have hit a home run with the latest generation of tapeless cams in both the consumer and pro space, leaving a big toothless gap in the "prosumer" zone where the HMC resides...
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Old September 16th, 2008, 12:06 AM   #150
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Dave, by all means I'm not suggesting that solid-state isn't an excellent method of video production and I'm not saying that AVCHD isn't a great format, what I am saying is this . .

SOLID STATE IS VOLATILE - With tape (or other immediate copy method) there is a lot less chance of total failure, and if you are a wedding videographer, walking away with a card that might be good and might not and/or might get messed up in the transfer or virus or ?? is dangerous. I would NOT want to tell a bride that I "lost" their data. I'm sure I'd find out what data really meant by the time she found me. On the other hand if one can afford a volatile format that can disappear in the blink of any eye, then so be it but in our broadcast, wedding, event, operations where we get "one shot" to get it right and if we miss it, it isn't just "oh well," it's lawsuit, customer complaint, better business bureau, and very dissatisfied, mad, upset, vomitting . . well I may be going a little overboard but you get the point :o) Personally we've lost 4 projects due to stupidity on operators and one of them was ME :o( However, in producing over 156 video projects last year and just shy of that in the three years that preceded it, we've lost one tape and that was a broken tape which BTW, was sent to California and for $25 which included return shipping, we got the tape back minus 3 seconds of video. Not a bad workflow. However, with P2 solid state in only one years use we lost 3 projects data through operator error and one through HDD failure - one of which cost us our only lost customer since we began video production operations in 2000.

AVCHD BETTER? - We like AVCHD and were set to go 100% with it, studying just how we'd get 100% back up in the field, but when we looked at the footage from cameras like the HMC150, we simply didn't see that much improvement over HDV. In other words, perhaps we have arrived so high in definition and codec manipution inside NLE's that HDV or AVCHD is the same as six of one or half dozen of the other or even half full half empty. We recently saw a bicycle scene shot on an HMC150 and just weeks earlier had shot our own bicycle scene from a simliar angle, similiar lighting, etc. and although not exactly the same side by side shot, here's what we did see: 1. the foalage looked lower in definition than our HDV footage did; 2) there were what appeared to be pixel blocking along the edges of the foalage and sky which we do not see virtually ever on HDV although we don't have a lot of HDV experience (three months total); and 3) the colors do not appear any richer or cleaner than HDV, let alone the low light grain is similiar or even worse than we observe with our newly purchased HDV.

DIRECT-TO-EDIT & SONY - Sony actually does have an HDV solution that satisfies what you were referring to as similiar when they came out with the HVR-Z7U that comes with solid-state Compact Flash with a built in (removable) Memory Recording Unit (that we've actually used on our DVX100B's) and thus we are able to record to both tape AND solid state at the same time and accordinly satisified two goals: A. Direct to edit as you indicated AND B. 100% back up on tape as we like.

In closing, I'm not against any format or process, I am also not loyal to any company or product (all they all want is your money) I am however into warning new folks who are anxious to jump in the water and get wet and have fun not to make the mistakes I have and discover that there are sometimes a lot of bolders or shallow spots and to look hard and deep and talk to people who have had bad experiences not just the ones that are experts on A product or biased to a product due to allegiences because the real truth is learned in failures, not success. Any product or process is great when it is working right or in a particular right situation but in a bad one or in failure is where the rubber meets the road to success or failure. Sticking with alligences nearly cost me my business in NLE's but we managed to come out alive and no longer.

Now I've spent 3 cents :o)
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