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AVCHD Format Discussion
Inexpensive High Definition H.264 encoding to DVD, Hard Disc or SD Card.


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Old May 12th, 2006, 06:57 AM   #31
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According to my own math, an 8cm DVD with AVCHD would give just 12 min. recording time at the highest quality setting (who'd want to use anything less?). Thanks, but I'll wait for the Blu-ray version, as I predict almost everyone else will do. However, unless Blu-ray blank disk prices come down, 8cm DVDs at current prices would give you about twice as much HD recording space for the money. Of course, future advances in blue-laser disk capacity might level this cost difference.

I also think there's a good chance that many (or all) AVCHD camcorders they might announce to use the standard 8cm DVDs, may end up being cancelled before they are ever delivered. This announcement about the format has obviously created quite a stir amongst video people and generated great anticipation about it. This may have been the purpose for the announcement, to set things up for the main event, when the Blu-ray models come out. The anticipation may serve them in the intervening period, to hold off some of the interest that the competitive HD-DVD format might be gaining by an earlier introduction for camcorders.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 07:55 AM   #32
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Can somebody show to me an actual DVD camcorder giving the same (or even quite the same) quality than a commercial DVD?
There's none...

Even in an HQ profile, the real time encoders of theses camcorders cannot produce a high quality SD picture: so, don't dream for a real HD quality with a real-time Mpeg-4 encoder on a consumer/prosumer camera!

Maybe we will see this type of HQ-HD MPEG-4 encoder on the professionnal cameras, but not before middle/end 2007.
When we will see this kind of encoder on the consumer camera (at a consumer price), the HD-DVD and/or the Blue-ray will be there... and we will see HDD in 2.5" of 300GB or even more (160GB actually, 200GB at end of 2006). SD cards or similar will hold 10 or 20GB (10 times more than a 8cm/4" DVD...)

Conclusion, IMHO, this format will have a short life on the DVD as a standard support... The only thing sure, it that the MPEG-4 AVC/10 will be the future standard of all the HD consumer/prosumers/professional cameras (whatever is the support of the data)... but not before 3 or 4 years!
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Old May 12th, 2006, 07:59 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno Donnet
Can somebody show to me an actual DVD camcorder giving the same (or even quite the same) quality than a commercial DVD?
There's none...
Can somebody show to me an actual VHS camcorder giving the same (or even quite the same) quality than a commercial VHS tape? There's none! We're talking about the consumer realm, where the key factor is not quality but convenience and ease of use. The quality will be "just good enough" like it always has been with consumer level gear.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 08:46 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Can somebody show to me an actual VHS camcorder giving the same (or even quite the same) quality than a commercial VHS tape? There's none!
Sorry, but many commercial VHS were worse than some good VHS camcorders...

I think you confuse the quality of the source (pellicular film) with the electronics quality. My point stays only at the quality of the compression: it's clear than no MPEG-2 real-time encoder will perform as well as a multipass software used for the authoring of the commercial DVD.
With the time, we will found more and more better real-time encoders, but not on cheap DVD consumer cameras.
The MPEG-2 HDV real-time encoders are currently the 'state of the art' on the prosumers/Indies markets. That's not the market of the DVD camcorders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
We're talking about the consumer realm, where the key factor is not quality but convenience and ease of use.
So why are you talking about HD for this population?

HDV has shown that the consumers are ready to spend their money on the HD stuffs. The bottom of the consumer market wants DVD? and wants HD? Now they have this new AVCHD format to answer their 'needs'.

But don't expect to do a better HD video with this format on a DVD camcorder (even if the figures show 1920x1080=full HD) than with, for example, a HDV (in 1440x1080).
IMHO, I think that this new format (on standard 8cm/4" DVD support) will have a shorter life than the actual HDV on DV support.

The 'real' full HD on consumers/prosumers cameras (with MPEG-4 or not and whatever is the media support) will not come before 2008/2009...
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Old May 12th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #35
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will MPEG4 finally replace MPEG2 for DV tapes? that's all i need to know =). solid state just isn't there yet.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 04:07 PM   #36
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i don't have any experience with purevideo, but here are some relevant links to the technology... one thing to note is that the matrox purevideo is apparently not the same thing as nvidia purevideo, but there are still editing benefits to be gained from using the matrox solution... gary bettan will know more about this stuff, but i think that nividia purevideo works for mpeg2, wmv hd, and aspect hd... if premiere is your gig, think future-proofing.

press release:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_28867.html
"Do not confuse the GPU effects with the new features that are enhanced by a fast GPU.
It is not just a few transitions. Rendering and exporting are both faster when they use the GPU."
http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx/.3bbfac2c/0
also see:
http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx?13@@.3bbecd0b/6

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno Donnet
But don't expect to do a better HD video with this format on a DVD camcorder (even if the figures show 1920x1080=full HD) than with, for example, a HDV (in 1440x1080).
IMHO, I think that this new format (on standard 8cm/4" DVD support) will have a shorter life than the actual HDV on DV support.
your point there is that the larger frame size would offset the inferiority of hdv mpeg2 on a smaller picture frame, given similar bitrates... seems valid to me to some degree.

i hate the thought of dvd acquisition, but hopefully it'll be a re-useable disc, which would be a lot more reliable than re-using tapes, so it's actually an advantage to some degree... there will probably be some type of fs-4 hdd recording solution available for this new format, so the little discs won't be a decisive factor for me.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 04:37 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno Donnet
Can somebody show to me an actual DVD camcorder giving the same (or even quite the same) quality than a commercial DVD?
There's none...
commercial dvd's are typically sourced from film, then tweaked and encoded with the very best equipment that hollywood has to offer... using gear that costs hundreds of thousands of $$$... how could you ever expect a dvd camcorder to compare to that?

as for video camera encoders, the only reason that a delivery format like mpeg2 became viable in the first place was because of recent engineering improvements in the encoding arena, and how that was ported over to silicon.

this last nab had a number of h.264 products that had been put on silicon for the iptv industry, which has already spent millions of dollars on encoding and distribution gear... once a format hits silicon at that scale, it's momentum becomes overwhelming.

wrt h.264 power consumption... don't even try to judge that, until you have encoded h.264 with nero, and used it's media player to view the content... the speed and ease with which it works will astound you... and ateme has put that technology on silicon:
"Visitors to the ATEME booth (SU 256) will discover a very compact HD hardware encoder that fits in a 3-inch by 3-inch board. This broadcast quality encoder is 100% programmable and allows secure upgrade over time with the best-in-class picture quality and compression efficiency available."
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/...32&newsLang=en

that's just one example... what techniques might be available to reduce the power consumption of an h.264 encoder or decoder?:
"We have developed a novel Complexity Adaptive Motion Estimation and Mode Decision (CAMED) system to improve the selection of the motion vectors and motion compensation block modes in order to significantly reduce the computational cost while keeping the video quality virtually unchanged. Our current extensive tests show reduction of interpolation cost at the decoder by 30%-60% while keeping the quality loss within 0.3dB....Since the interpolation operation constitutes the largest computational cost component at the decoder, our results have great potential for reducing the power consumption in any practical video decoding systems using the latest video coding standard such as MPEG-4, H.264..."
http://www.ee.columbia.edu/~ywang/Research/camed.html
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Old May 12th, 2006, 10:13 PM   #38
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Interesting.

In the press releases they stated that they were waiting for Bluray to release h264 disk recorders on, but because Bluray is proving to be not cheap enough (apart from it's general delays) they are going with DVD instead. Probably means that it was due for earlier release then it is seeing.

From press releases, the ambarella pro video camera control and encoding chip consumes around 1 watt, the versions for small cameras are over a hundred to over a few hundred milliwatts.

The HDV encoder chips were possible because of advances long ago now. The ambarella uses other advances available at the time of the HDV introduction, that could have given a magnitude of extra performance at the time.

People call HDV 25mb/s, and HDV 2, but it is really HDV 1.?. HDV starts at around 19Mb/s. With 18Mb/s H264, we are, allegedly (from ambarella website) looking at performance 2 to 3 times as much (not that you will notice it visually that much). At those similar bit rates it certainly should be superior to HDV (as long as the H264 codec chip they use is a good one).

If they wanted something inferior for DVD at around 18Mb/s, why didn't they just stick with HDV. But I think the real purpose is that we will get 8-9Mb/s H264 as the normal mode, and 18Mb/s as the deluxe, spit your disk out quickly, mode, if it is not just reserved for expensive/hard drive version of the cameras.

Why am I so interested in it? I am more interested in better consistency in acceptable quality rather then big swings from acceptable to unacceptable quality. This represents an improvement over HDV for us.


Bruno

There may well turn out to be delays that might stall this for a year at least (though in reality it has been possible on consumer level before now, and on prosumer cameras probably a year or so ago, so delays are already in play in the announcement). When you can see a direct jump to consumer h264 at hundreds of milliwatts, you realise that it was possible 3 years before at 1-2 watts.

The reality is that DVD is not a good format for us, it should be directly suitable for hard disk, and SD is an viable option (there are consumer card to disk backup units out there). So when that time comes, it will probably represent what HDV could have been.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 01:58 AM   #39
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additional articles on AVCHD....

Sorry, Chris - not trying to take away from this site here - I thought since some reference has been made to various sites offering AVCHD "perspectives" incl. Mike's HDforIndies site, I'd offer that camcorderinfo.com seems to also be chiming in with their take on this... development!
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Old May 13th, 2006, 02:43 AM   #40
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That is amazing! I wonder how much it'll cost though...Panasonic already have their prosumer/professional model covered (HVX) for about 6grand. I'm thinking this might be around 3k. They might even pull off a ag-dvx100/ag-dvc30 kind of deal, with a lower and higher end AVC HD model.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 05:17 AM   #41
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but what I really want to know, is AVCHD GOP or Frame based?
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Old May 13th, 2006, 06:24 PM   #42
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I hope it's GOP based (which I believe it is from statements above) because it would not leave much room per frame for data otherwise.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 10:40 PM   #43
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well I reckon it would be because it's consumer based, if thats the case I'm sticking with HDV. Has it been officially announced that it would be GOP based? I checked out the specs and it didn't say.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 12:16 AM   #44
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Ahhh my brain!

Ok, someone tell me if this is a stupid thought. Theres HD-DVD and BluRay, are we gonna have a 1-2 year stint where we have to have both kinds of camcorders for our clients? (Say one client wants BluRay cuz thats all he has, another only has HD-DVD) Maybe even longer depending on the format war? Can the NLE's output HD-DVD to BluRay and vice versa? (I know they currently can't, but with the coding and such is it possible in theory)
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Old May 14th, 2006, 08:00 AM   #45
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HDV is a consumer format, as was MiniDV etc. This codec maybe better, except for processing in the short term. What the HVX200 replacement has, might be a good indicator of what is accepted as a minimum pro format in the future. If the HVX200 gets this codec, instead of 50mb/s h264, then this might be considered a minimum pro format along with XDCAM HD and the JVC format alternative for the 7000 camera. I am not talking about prosumer format, but pro format.
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