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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old August 7th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #106
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anyone know when this is going to be available so people can check out the visual quality?
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Old August 7th, 2006, 10:23 AM   #107
 
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Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu
anyone know when this is going to be available so people can check out the visual quality?
You mean AVC HD? Or AVC Intra?

AVC HD cams are out in pre-production models, and the shipping models are expected in the next month. As soon as we're released from NDA, we can put up footage.
AVC Intra, I don't have any knowledge of these products whatsoever.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 10:42 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
This is *potentially* correct. But then it's not AVC HD, it's simply AVC that departs from AVC HD at that point.
I believe that you are entirely correct -- AVC Intra is not AVC-HD but rather a separate format that is, as far as I know, proprietary to Panasonic. At this point, most "information" about it is speculative.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 01:49 PM   #109
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hte one for consumers, which is intra- i believe.

i'm assuming the AVC-HD is for pros.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 01:56 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu
hte one for consumers, which is intra- i believe.

i'm assuming the AVC-HD is for pros.
Reverse that. AVC-HD is primarily a consumer format, and Intra, professional. That said, AVC-HD, particularly at 24 Mbps and with 24p capability, may prove more than adequate for some professional applications.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #111
 
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Originally Posted by Lawrence Bansbach
That said, AVC-HD, particularly at 24 Mbps and with 24p capability, may prove more than adequate for some professional applications.
It could, but bear in mind that there are a LOT of other components to making the image worthy of professional use.
Prefiltering, DSP, glass, and a host of other related components and processes determine the majority of the image. All of those components add up in cost, and with AVC HD aimed at consumers, the goal is quality control and cost reduction, not a raise in quality that would carry a price level along with it.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 03:58 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
It could, but bear in mind that there are a LOT of other components to making the image worthy of professional use.
Prefiltering, DSP, glass, and a host of other related components and processes determine the majority of the image. All of those components add up in cost, and with AVC HD aimed at consumers, the goal is quality control and cost reduction, not a raise in quality that would carry a price level along with it.
The recently announced Sony models peak at about 15 Mbps, not the 24-Mbps maximum in the AVC-HD specs, and neither model supports 24p. So it appears that there will be AVC-HD quality "tiers" -- I was thinking about prosumer-level camcorders with these two features. At that level I would expect at lenses, imagers, ADC, etc, to be at least as good as those found on the Z1 or the HVX200.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 06:31 PM   #113
 
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Originally Posted by Lawrence Bansbach
The recently announced Sony models peak at about 15 Mbps, not the 24-Mbps maximum in the AVC-HD specs, and neither model supports 24p. So it appears that there will be AVC-HD quality "tiers" -- I was thinking about prosumer-level camcorders with these two features. At that level I would expect at lenses, imagers, ADC, etc, to be at least as good as those found on the Z1 or the HVX200.
There are no, and will not be, "prosumer AVC" camcorders from Sony for a long, long time to come.
It's ridiculous that any of this speculation ever came about (not pointing at you, Lawrence) about AVC in the professional world. It's a consumer format, was developed as such, and currently implemented only as such. More compression is not a good thing, it's a bad thing, overall.
Talking about comparisons of AVC vs HDV, is seriously misguided, particularly when discussion of AVC-I comes into the mix. It's all conjecture, and from my own viewpoint, it seems like an attempt to divert focus from one format to another, even though the "other" format is mere conjecture and non-existent at this point in time.
It's frustrating, because while it's apparent folks want more picture for less cost, AVD HD is * not* the answer. There are a lot of problems with it as a broadcast format in it's current inception, ranging from the complexity of the deblocking algorithms to the bitrate, etc. It's even more frustrating to see discussions of AVC-I come into the AVC HD discussions. *IF* AVC-I comes to fruition, it will first likely be based on the consumer codec, as development of a new compliant codec will be so expensive it would easily put the cam out of cost-range for most, and second, once it is out in whatever inception, it will be more in the mid-camera price range, I'll wager, even if based on the consumer codec.
For some reason, folks seem to tie much of the AVC HD excitement back to "MPEG sucks."
No, MPEG doesn't suck, *some* MPEG encoders suck. For the most part, there is no spec for MPEG encoding . From HDV to HDCAM SR, MPEG is in constant production use, whether it's Canon, JVC, Sony, or others using this format. The temporal compression allows for big frames (in other words, full size frames) as opposed to other popular formats that have small frames that are then expanded on output or in post, using header information to control the conversion. This is why some formats are seen as "soft" by many folks vs what the HDV camcorders offer.

AVC HD is a great little format, designed for delivering very good quality content over small bandwidth, which makes it easy to store on mem sticks, microdrives, 3" DVDs, and other consumer-friendly formats. It's incredibly efficient, very cheap codec to license, and "good enough" for consumer use without a lot of processing for acquisition.
When the Sony cams start shipping, it's expected you'll see a lot of comparison to the HDV output, and I just hope a lot of folks are not disappointed if they're waiting to make decisions on whether to buy a Sony, Canon, or JVC HDV camcorder over the Sony AVC HD camcorders for professional or semi-professional use. Based on what I'm seeing, they likely will be.

We *really* need to get an AVC-I forum going, because discussion of AVC-I in this forum is like discussing XDCAM HD in the HDV fora. It's confusing, and is leaving more questions than answers for some folks.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 07:36 PM   #114
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never mind...

Last edited by Barry Green; August 7th, 2006 at 08:12 PM.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 03:28 AM   #115
 
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AVCHD is only up to twice as efficient at low bitrates. Once you hit 18Mbps or so, efficiency is not tremendously different than HDV or any other MPG-derived format. The efficiency by comparison diminishes as bitrate rises. Processing coefficients become more challenging, processing horsepower goes up substantially. All things considered it actually becomes less efficient overall at high bitrates. With current development, the gains don't offset the costs. But, like anything else, this is likely to change.

It's significantly more compressed than HDV or any other heretofore format. This presents problems. Have you attempted to edit AVC HD yet?
Try it. You're throwing away more information than ever before, and complex frames suffer if you keep the spatial values intact.

The audio benefits significantly in the AVC format, since there aren't any significant restrictions on audio formats for MP4 and audio isn't interleaved as it is in HDV. That said, I've not run into any of the heavily purported audio problems that some assign to HDV.

Press releases from Sony are press releases from the consumer division of the company. You know that just as well as I do. Bending words doesn't benefit anyone.
Sony Broadcast didn't do a press release for the HC1, HC3... the consumer division did. Just as the same division announced the AVC HD format. Sanyo says "We're redefining High Definition...." Would you suggest we accept the HD1 is "redefining" HD in the professional or prosumer realm?

Will AVC grow? Obviously. Will it be the current AVC-HD profile as the foundation? Maybe. Will it be AVC-I? Perhaps. Dunno. Way too early to tell.

But the bottom line for now is that AVC HD as it stands is a budget format. It might grow into something else, I hope it does.

All that said, I do understand the position; Panasonic desperately needs this story to offset the small frame antiquated format of DVCPro and it's DV-based variants.
It's likely ill-affordable to create their own codec and expect to develop a competitively priced camcorder. They need something that will record to P2 and other static media easily in big frame format, so AVC becomes a logical answer. Of course they need to champion it as it's another opportunity to bash MPEG 2. Ironically, AVC is a subset of the MPEG 2 that's been bashed for the past two years. More ironic is that the 4:2:0 colorspace is now acceptable when for the past two years, it hasn't been acceptable.

Regardless of what you or I say, feel, want, or believe....AVC HD is at this time is aimed squarely at low-cost buyers and non-professional user. Neither of the two announced camcorders have professional features included. I can say with at least some surety that Sony, Canon, JVC, Grass Valley, and Ikegami aren't doing anything with it on the professional/semiprofessional side at this point, but I'm equally confident you're speaking for Panasonic, and they're a big player (Grass Valley's MPEG 4 is not AVC).
We might as well be discuss MPG 7 and MPG 21-based camcorders too. After all, they're part of the various future mpeg profiles too. If we're relying on conjecture to generate a new market or discourage users from a current market, we might should go deeper into the realm of "maybe."

Next year, the year after...AVC HD or one of it's variants could be the new DV. A lot could happen in the next 24 months. But the issue we're faced with here, now, and in this particular forum, is that folks are being grossly mislead about what AVC HD currently is, and what it will be for at least some time to come. It's currently only leading to great confusion.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 08:16 AM   #116
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I have the money to buy and I will by the time the new Canon's come out. It looks to me like HDV is pretty well dug in for now. I've seen some really good stuff shot with the Z1U. I'm sure this canon will be there too.

I think Panasonic made a mistakes by not having a DVX100 type camera with HDV. They bet on P2 but the cost is just to high for a lot of people. If they would have came out with a 16:9/SD/HDV they would have sold like crazy.

When you hear the AVCHD talk it is usually just to make HDV look bad. It's once AVC comes out HDV will dry up and blow away. But if it is that good so will the SD DVX100 and all other SD cameras.

I will spend my money now on the Canon A1 or maybe if Sony comes out with
something new by October.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Bob Zimmerman
I think Panasonic made a mistake by not having a DVX100 type camera with HDV.
Well they *couldn't* make a DVX100 type camera with HDV, because they're not part of the HDV consortium. So I think what you meant to say is that Panasonic made a mistake by not choosing to be part of the HDV consortium. I don't see that as a mistake. They're selling the HVX200 faster than they can build it. Seemingly Panasonic choose to skip HDV altogether for their own reasons, for better or for worse. It's only a "mistake" if it affects their solvency, and I don't believe Panasonic is about to collapse as a result of not offering HDV.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
There are no, and will not be, "prosumer AVC" camcorders from Sony for a long, long time to come.
With every respect Douglas, you have been wrong before, so there does remain the possibility that you may be wrong again, and pigs may once more take to the skies:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....6&postcount=21

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Old August 8th, 2006, 03:54 PM   #119
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Well they *couldn't* make a DVX100 type camera with HDV, because they're not part of the HDV consortium. So I think what you meant to say is that Panasonic made a mistake by not choosing to be part of the HDV consortium. I don't see that as a mistake. They're selling the HVX200 faster than they can build it. Seemingly Panasonic choose to skip HDV altogether for their own reasons, for better or for worse. It's only a "mistake" if it affects their solvency, and I don't believe Panasonic is about to collapse as a result of not offering HDV.
I think they miss some sales by going the P2 route, but if you say there selling bunches of them that's good. But the prices to run one is to much for a small timer like myself,,,so they really screwed up!!

I guess none of these companies can please everyone. I'll just be glad to have something again in the next couple of months.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #120
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Not to challenge you, Douglas, but you seem to be painting AVCHD with an excessively broad brush in your attempt to portray it as a consumer format. A few points:
  1. Nowhere on the AVCHD information site is the format called a consumer-only format.
  2. The current AVCHD specs are at 1.0; since May they have been revised (Memory Sticks, SD memory cards, and hard disk drives have been added as storage media and the maximum data rate has been raised to 24 Mbps). Who knows when subsequent versions of the specs will be released or what they will contain?
  3. The spec supports 24p for both 720p and 1080i. There's no real need for 24p in a consumer camcorder, especially given the complexity of inserting 24p into an interlaced signal. Any arguments for 24p in HDV camcorders were made with an eye toward professional applications, specifically film release.
  4. AVCHD is nascent, and judging its quality -- or predicting its future -- based on Sony's inaugural camcorders would be silly.
  5. You say "once you hit 18Mbps or so, efficiency [of AVCHD] is not tremendously different than HDV or any other MPG-derived format." Again, I would think it premature to judge the potential of format from the quality of a consumer camcorder. AVC (a.k.a. H.264 and MPEG-4 Part 10) is a wide-ranging set of specifications of which the current incarnation of AVCHD is only a small part. Whither AVCHD? I don't know, but if you do, please share (that is, when your NDA expires).
  6. "Press releases from Sony are press releases from the consumer division of the company. You know that just as well as I do. Bending words doesn't benefit anyone. Sony Broadcast didn't do a press release for the HC1, HC3... the consumer division did. Just as the same division announced the AVC HD format." The initial products, which don't support even the full range of the current spec, are obviously targeted at consumers (albeit relatively well-heeled ones), so I would expect the first press releases to come from the consumer division. But I wouldn't use Sony as any indicator of whether AVCHD has a future as a prosumer format. Sony will be the last company to add a usable 24-fps feature to an HD camcorder costing less than $10,000, so I don't doubt that Sony will wait a long time before releasing a 24-Mbps, 24p-capable, third-inch CCD/CMOS chip camcorder.
  7. Editing AVCHD might currently be a bitch. The same situation held at release of HDV. It's very, very stupid of manufacturers to release a format before they line up software-vendor support, but it happens.

Last edited by Lawrence Bansbach; August 8th, 2006 at 07:09 PM.
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