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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 17th, 2006, 02:05 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green

AVC-HD is something entirely different. That's the new consumer-oriented format designed to replace HDV;
Barry HDV is not going to be replaced by anything, why would Sony destroy its own product line with this new codec, they are set to compliment each other, like todays DV and DVD cameras. I seriously doubt they will be in direct competition with each other, 60min HDV or 20min AVCHD
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Old May 17th, 2006, 02:11 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green

AVC-HD is something entirely different. That's the new consumer-oriented format designed to replace HDV;
Barry HDV is not going to be replaced by anything, why would Sony destroy its own product line with this new codec, they are set to compliment each other, like todays DV and DVD cameras. I seriously doubt they will be in direct competition with each other, 60min HDV or 20min AVCHD.

It's like everyones dropping specs and numbers from the sky and not a single product of this new codec has not even come into the market yet.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 05:55 AM   #63
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Maybe tape based is not "fashionable" enough. Its a consumer oriented market and I have seen few consumers to colour correct their birthday or holiday videos (as oposed to the prosumers).
Most people want ultra sharp video for their ultra sharp HD flatscreen televisions.

What I am implying is that the prosumer segment is very critical in their judgement and somewhat heterogeneous in their demands. Consumers are easy to impress with HD logos, little spinning DVDs and real 2 megapixel video resolution (even though the 1/6" camera chip doesn't provide this ;-)

Last edited by Thomas Richter; May 17th, 2006 at 08:24 AM.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #64
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alright, but how does this format compare with pro-codecs?
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:55 AM   #65
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I remember Sony releasing disk recording still cameras. It did not become mainstream. They were much bigger than non-disk still cameras. Memory cards were not only much smaller, but more reliable and people were willing to backup their data with their own computers in order to avoid disk drives in their cameras.

These 8cm DVDs can hold only 1.36GB. Now if that is enough to store video, the age of memory card video cameras has come. Now you can buy cheap memory cards much bigger than 1.36GB to make your recording time longer. And you can back up several of these onto one cheap normal sized DVD with your computer.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jemore Santos
Barry HDV is not going to be replaced by anything, why would Sony destroy its own product line with this new codec, they are set to compliment each other, like todays DV and DVD cameras. I seriously doubt they will be in direct competition with each other, 60min HDV or 20min AVCHD.

It's like everyones dropping specs and numbers from the sky and not a single product of this new codec has not even come into the market yet.
Maybe Sony woke upto the fact that Panasonic was going to do this, where ever they liked it or not, and rather than risk getting left behind in a format war, where they had the inferior product, they went with it.

Dropping specs etc, it is based on h264, HDV is based on Mpeg 2, both are well enough understood to make some comparison. Unless they stuff it up, it should be better.

Now, if only there was 10 bit and 4:2:2, or 4:4:4 at 25mb/s (yes quality would suffer a bit, but that would be the compromise). I always wanted 25-50Mb/s H264 GOP, but I suspect that the 50Mb/s H264 non-GOP will not be too significantly better then 100Mb/s DVCPROHD (except in resolution and colour depth).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre Barberis
IMO
3/ AVCHD editing is going, IMOO, to be the key acceptance factor for this new format. Or will the guys at Cineform support this as just another input format for their wawelet encoder?
We have been discussing it with David from cineform, in one of the SI camera threads, and he is rubbing his hands already, so it might well happen.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 01:27 PM   #67
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This excites me...

I am not a Pro guy, but I love the look of 24p, and I want to dabble in HD. I was going to buy and HVX200 next year, and get a mac with FCP Studio to edit the footage. But I was seriously concerned about the out lay of cash for such a system.

But this new AVCHD sounds great. I wonder will Final Cut EXPRESS be updated in the future to edit this, in 24p. Wouldn't that be a blast? I could run it on a MacBook. Talk about a nifty low end, HD workflow. Shoot HD in 24p and edit it. I know it won't be in the same league as the HVX and a Big Honkin' Mac, but it might just smoke the JVC HD100. At least be close.

Heck, might even try a Feature Film on it. For fun.

What do y'all think?
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:13 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Murrin
Heck, might even try a Feature Film on it. For fun.

What do y'all think?
The format is not the sole factor that determines quality. I do believe that this format should be notably superior to HDV, but if the camera attached to the format is a little 1-ccd handycam, then the end result wouldn't be comparable to a top-end HDV camera like a Z1 or HD100.

You'd have to have all elements of the chain be comparable before you'd see a viable alternative. So if the manufacturers develop cameras that are worthy of exploiting the format's capabilities, then you might have something there. But if it's stuck onto the back end of a tiny pocket-cam, then just because the recording format is better, you still won't have a competitive product.

Think about it like this: a $299 Sharp Handycam records in the same codec using the same compression and basically the same format as a $15,000 Sony DSR450WS. But the images that end up on the final tape are night and day different.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jemore Santos
Barry HDV is not going to be replaced by anything,
Thoroughly disagree. AVC-HD is definitely intended to replace HDV. The entire broadcast industry is looking at standardizing on H.264. The very fact that Sony is cooperating with its blood enemy Panasonic on this format is telling, as is the statement in the press release that says the two companies will "extensively promote the format throughout the industry."

Quote:
why would Sony destroy its own product line with this new codec,
Three reasons:
1) progress moves on. MPEG-2 is old and dated, being 14 years old. AVC-HD is new, better, takes up less space, and is being adopted by the EBU for HD transmission in Europe, and by cable and satellite dish distribution here in the US.

2) they want to transition to blu-ray camcorders. They can't do it yet, blu-ray isn't available and affordable enough yet, so Sony is starting with red-laser DVDs, but recording video that is compatible with blu-ray players. Panasonic is skipping the disc entirely and going straight to memory cards, but the footage would be compatible with a blu-ray player. Both companies are firmly convinced that blu-ray will be the future.

3) this is Sony we're talking about. Sony introduces formats, it's one of their hallmarks. Beta, BetaSP, 8mm, Hi8, DV, Digital8,DVCAM, HDCAM, HDCAM SR, BetaSX, MPEG-IMX, DigiBeta, MicroMV, HDV... it's what they do. DVCAM replaced BetaSP. MPEG-IMX is designed to replace DigiBeta. MicroMV and Digital8 were meant as proprietary alternatives to DV; they flopped but they still tried it.

And AVC-HD offers everyone a way forward.

Think about it: we're talking about what will be the standard in the future, not the state of the market today. Sure today you've got people buying tape-based HDV product, but we're not talking about today, we're talking about today's replacement. And think about the state of today anyway: the HDV market is fragmented and splintered; there are basically three relatively incompatible formats being offered under one banner ("HDV"). The second-largest camcorder manufacturer didn't even participate in it. But now, with AVC-HD, it all comes together: tapeless, new codec, format compatibility, a path towards the future with blu-ray... and both the major players are on board, announcing a unified/compatible standard. H.264/AVC is quickly becoming a computer file transfer standard, and the convergence between computer and video will continue. The DVB has approved H.264. The EBU is going with H.264. H.264 is the foundation for IPTV as well.

No doubt about it, AVC-HD is meant to replace HDV. Whether it WILL replace it or not, that's up to the customers and what they choose to buy (BetaSX was supposed to replace BetaSP, but never did, nobody bought into it, they bought DVCAM and DVCPRO instead; I'm sure Sony wanted MicroMV to supplant DV as the new consumer format but nobody bought into it either). So I have no doubt that both manufacturers would like to see HDV replaced by AVC-HD.

Quote:
It's like everyones dropping specs and numbers from the sky and not a single product of this new codec has not even come into the market yet.
Well that's true, and it will probably be months before the first product does come out. The HDV standard was formally announced in September of 2003, it was 13 months before the first product bearing the HDV label (the FX1) hit store shelves.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #70
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Barry Green,
I am not happy that you have already clearly indicated the advantages of H.264 over HDV. You said a lot of the things that I was already going to post. I will just add to it.

Panasonic have already stated the reason that they are going to this format is because they knew that the HDV format was already doomed. As you all know Panasonic will release all future DVCPRO-HD cameras with some form of MPEG-4 codec’s and don’t be surprised if by this November you will see an H.264 option for the HVX200. Even the next Z1U and FX1 may use the H.264 codec.

The prices will be at around 1500 to 2000 dollars for the consumer camcorders. Panasonic will have 3 CCDs and Sony will definitely use at least a 3 Mega Pixel CMOS chip. Also each company will have GS400 type of manual control on their top consumer version. Yes these two companies worked together to make the AVCHD format but they will not let the other make a much better product.

It may sound all speculation but one thing is certain, AVCHD will take the industry by storm.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 11:18 PM   #71
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What was the HD1/10?

I think it was inevitable, mpeg4 was meant to replace mpeg2, but that got mucked around, here, all these years latter, it's successor is doing that (and the VP codec looks significantly superior again). HDV 720p, and XDCAM HD both delivered substantially on the 1080i HDV spec (but seriously 1080p could have saved the day). They skipped out of the fire, I feel that this time they got the consumer format right. It also helps that there is a push on in the TV industry for h264, and that this fits the standard channel.

The things about quality of cheap cameras using this. Yeah, I imagine the sub $1K cameras are going to have the usual image quality issues. But for the more expensive cameras 18mb/s is what should be expected.

I suspect that we might find that 720p is still the best compromise of quality and resolution though. It is the data rate per pixel rather then the compression standard that matters when the going gets tough. I still think that even though the 50Mb/s no-gop pro version will deliver over this, that it is still a compromise, hopefully the HVX200 replacement gets it. I think they need 100Mb/s no-gop h264, or gopped 50Mb/s, for real pro and cinema work in the 10K-50K+ range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Murrin
But this new AVCHD sounds great. I wonder will Final Cut EXPRESS be updated in the future to edit this, in 24p. Wouldn't that be a blast? I could run it on a MacBook. Talk about a nifty low end, HD workflow. Shoot HD in 24p and edit it. I know it won't be in the same league as the HVX and a Big Honkin' Mac, but it might just smoke the JVC HD100. At least be close.

What do y'all think?
Not on the present Macbook, unless you use an intermediary codec like cineform. Not very optimised for h264 unfortunately, it should be able to play back at various resolutions though. I don't know about the Pro through, but new chips and chipsets coming this year, so hopefully the Pro will get an upgrade.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 11:27 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira
The prices will be at around 1500 to 2000 dollars for the consumer camcorders. Panasonic will have 3 CCDs and Sony will definitely use at least a 3 Mega Pixel CMOS chip.
But when will they release a HVX100, or AVCHD 100, that would be substantial. The first 18mb/s h264 pocket camera is in two months, lets hope that a 100HVX can arrive in that time as well. I hope they release with high latitude, low noise cmos sensors (IBis5a, Altasens, Foveon and other competitors come to mind) even a Kodak 100K -ev well ccd.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 07:29 AM   #73
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Now if only AVCHD and the other disk and card-based HD formats would have compatible output streams, so they could be transfered to HDV tape for dependable and longterm archiving. Perhaps HDV recorders could have an alternate mode that would accept these bitstreams for storage on tape.

Those who rely on these disks and cards to keep their precious video productions intact, may have a bitter disappointment 5 or 10 years in the future. The claim of disk makers that they will last a "lifetime", is already being undermined by delamination and other breakdowns of many video disks. Solid-state cards may or may not endure better. Most people who use card-based camcorders, will transfer their recordings to disks, anyway.

I won't trust anything important to either type of media. The fact that all my evaporated-metal videotapes from as far back as 17 years, still play back flawlessly, supports my preference.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 02:34 PM   #74
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isn't h264 a resource hog whether encoding or decoding? that's been my experience with h264 HD trailers from quicktime (and for your record, i'm using coreavc to play it back, not quicktime container).
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Old May 18th, 2006, 04:45 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu
isn't h264 a resource hog whether encoding or decoding? that's been my experience with h264 HD trailers from quicktime (and for your record, i'm using coreavc to play it back, not quicktime container).
have you tried using the nero media player on those quicktime trailers?
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