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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 June 8th, 2006, 10:36 AM   #16
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I like the idea of a DVX 100 or a Sony Z1 or maybe a Canon GL3 with a tape drive SD and then a place to slide in a disc for HD. Plus it would all be 16:9.

This could mean I'm waiting longer!!
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Old June 8th, 2006, 01:43 PM   #17
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Dale Connelly,

If it means anything Panasonic prefers this format over HDV; thatís why they never used HDV. Also Sony is definitely replacing HDV with the AVCHD codec. As we all know HDV has a lot of bugs for example skipping frames every 20 to 50 minutes, and not to mention the codec has a hard time keeping the full resolution during fast passed action. This is why Sony uses 35MBPS MPEG2 on their XD CAM HD camera. Both Sony and Panasonic couldnít stand the HDV codec so they decided to develop a codec thatís a lot more sufficient.

If you were to take an HDV file and convert it to 10 MBPS using H.264 compression you would see the picture quality looks almost identical to the original and the average person wouldnít notice a difference. You should try this because I have and I believe you will be amazed. Just imagine the picture quality of a file being recorded straight to 18 MBPS using H.264/AVC compression.

I can go on and on about why I know this format is replacing the HDV format but it will take a while. You can read some of the posts by Barry Green that does an extremely good job explaining the advantages of H.264 over HDV.

Right now JVC and Canon needs to have a newer codec as well if they want to compete against Sony and Panasonic.
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Old June 9th, 2006, 10:04 AM   #18
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so I guess this could be the end of HDV. What about miniDV? I guess we will see Canon and Panasonic still making XL2's and DVX 100's for awhile. HD being the norm is still a few years away.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 06:07 PM   #19
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Does anyone know if the playstation 3 will support this format?
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Old June 16th, 2006, 12:09 PM   #20
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Their have been talk of both AVCHD and Blue Ray coexisting with each other and since it shares the same compression format, it should be able to play in a Blue Ray PlayStation 3 even thou itís a different disk.

I can just imagine the possibilities. Since a lot of people will own the PS3 when it comes out it will be very easy to finally share your HD content.
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 04:32 PM   #21
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The Z2 might not even use a tape or disc or crappy p2 card. It might use an HDD.

Plus the benefits of the pro version of AVCHD also means probable 1080p60 capture.
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 10:42 PM   #22
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AVCHD is really consumer/prosumer. The pro version of is the 50mb/s intra frame h264 Panasonic announced at Nab, and even then 100Mb/s 10 bit 4:4:4 would have been better choice for pro.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 12:36 AM   #23
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Jack Zhang,

Sony is definitely putting a blue ray disc drive into the successor of the Z1u.

I was chosen to attend a private Sony seminar before the first XD CAM came out. The Sony representative sounded very excided when he was talking about how blue ray was going to revolutionize the way we shoot video as well as saying how it will be more reliable than Mini DV.

By reading a lot of posts, I see that a lot of people donít like the idea of a camcorder recording to Blue Ray disc but at least in the bright side it would definitely keep the price of the media down. Also Blue Ray should be a lot more reliable than standard discs. Hopefully Sony doesnít use the same ones that are in the XD CAM camcorders because the prices would always stay the same.

Wayne Morellini,

100MBPS 10bits and 4:4:4 sampling. I see that you like to dream a lot. I do the same thing sometimes imagining what my dream camcorder would be like. Iím certain that the successor to the HVX200 will have 50MBPS with the compression standard of MPEG4 but you never know. The picture quality would be unbelievable if Panasonic used 100MBPS.

The rumored 8 core MAC would probably be the only computer that would handle 100MBPS MP4.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 04:01 AM   #24
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I would suggest you look at the other threads I have been on to find links to broadcast industry H264 spec (for archival, lossless and high bit depth) going into several hundreds of Mb/s. I call 50mb/s there pro level because it is the highest thing they have announced.

Rather than just basing things on dreams, I can say that a true pro level will produce pictures like cineform at 100mb/s, and that there are alternatives to an 8 core mac to work on such a stream, that even a PS3 would probably do it fine (unless those nasty bug claims come true) and future PC/MAC technology would also be able to manage it. Lossless level would be around 200mb/s+ (depending on bit depth and pixel format) I assume.

You, never, say you only want the deal the car man gives you, if you want a better deal. We are finally getting some descent deals, though, the deal I stated would be a bit more useful again.

One thing I would like to see though, is the accuracy of the encoding tables increased to get perfect pixel accuracy. The tables in MINIDV codec, loose some precision, so the picture is not entirely accurate, even if it is simple enough for every pixel to be recorded so. This is one reason you can't do lossless with normal Jpeg/MJpeg codecs don't matter how much bandwidth you use. On lossless codecs they use higher accuracy to ensure a lossless result.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 01:45 PM   #25
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Wayne Morellini,

I understand that higher bit rates have been used. I was only mentioning HVX200 size cameras. Like I said, you never know. Nobody expected Panasonic to have the DVCPRO HD codec into a camcorder a little bit bigger than the Panasonic 100 A/B. Hopefully Panasonic releases much bigger size cards.

Now if only Panasonic and Sony would release these MPEG4 camcorders with much higher zoom like 20X for example. This would be good for both consumer and professional models. If Canon can do that with the GL2, then why cant them?
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 10:26 PM   #26
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That's OK Paulo, sorry.

There are just people around that always call something they haven't seen, or don't want to figure out, or can't, dreaming, because they don't know what they are talking about as much as they think. This is a real negative bane on any true creative development process. I prefer to be positive. It is better to get the information, look at it from all possibilities, and make a decision on it's suitability. Experience is not the best indicator of what is possible, rather than seeing how to get around it ;) (i.e experience dictates that a cave can be a home, then why develop anything else?).

Anyway, yes because the Panasonic 50Mb/s is a intra codec, and the 19Mb/s is an inter, I suspect (means I don't know but believe) that apart from 4:2:2 and 10 bits, the image quality will be broadly similar to the 19Mb/s codec in good conditions, but for extreme scene changes and low light noise, I suspect the pro codec will walk over the 19Mb/s inter codec. For PRO, consistent "quality" is important, and the intra also allows for easier editing. I would have preferred a 50Mb/s inter codec for the pro version, or 100Mb/s intra frame.

It is possible to make a handheld DVCPROHD like hard disk camera for $300+. There is at least one chip that will compress a stream at DVCPROHD like rates. I posted a link to a component recording card that uses this chip for around $300 sometime ago in alternative imaging. If you want to put in real development time there are a number of other possibilities. Not dreaming, just good old fashion time, effort, money and intelligence.


Thanks

Wayne.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 08:21 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
AVCHD is really consumer/prosumer. The pro version of is the 50mb/s intra frame h264 Panasonic announced at Nab, and even then 100Mb/s 10 bit 4:4:4 would have been better choice for pro.
I don't think it's certain that Panasonic won't support 100 Mbps. In a sidebar to ("Sony, Panasonic Launch AVCHD", entitled "Is Panasonic Deviating from DVCPRO?," author Craig Johnston states: "This new AVC intraframe codec offers significantly better compression quality than older MPEG-2 codecs, providing DVCPRO HD 100 Mbps quality at half the bandwidth, or better quality at the same data rate [emphasis mine]. . . . According to Phil Livingston, Panasonic's technical liaison, if a new codec offered only a 10 or 20 percent improvement, 'You'd say "no thanks, I'm not interested. It's not enough gain in quality or enough savings in bitrate to derail the train." . . . But when you get to double, i.e. half the data rate or double the quality, now it's worth talking about bringing a new technology to market and suffering the difficulties of explaining why there are both.' " I think it's pretty clear that Panasonic is at least considering 100-Mbps "AVC Intra," which could yield full 1,920 x 1,080, 10-bit encoding, or 4:4:4 or some combination of the three. Whether Panasonic implements it is another matter. I personally think it would be foolish not to. Sure, doubling the recording duration is nice, but with increasing P2 capacities, potential alternative solid-state storage (eg, 64-GB Compact Flash drives), and hard-drive solutions, recording duration will become less of an issue. However, image quality will always be an issue.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 11:01 PM   #28
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How about camcorder direct to HD dvd

It seems to me likely that at least consumer, and perhaps prosumer, HD camcorders will probably record high bit-rate HD, encode it in AVC at 35 Mbps or less, and output it for direct recording onto Blu-ray or HD DVD. Think about the ease of use for people with little technical knowledge !
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Old July 8th, 2006, 04:12 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Donnell
It seems to me likely that at least consumer, and perhaps prosumer, HD camcorders will probably record high bit-rate HD, encode it in AVC at 35 Mbps or less, and output it for direct recording onto Blu-ray or HD DVD. Think about the ease of use for people with little technical knowledge !
Yes, I think its established that Sony definitely, and Panasonic I suppose very probably, plan to offer HD consumer cams that record straight to Blu-Ray. The problem right now is of course the lack of Blu-Ray drives in any form factor for a reasonable price. Hence Sony's plan to release AVCHD camcorders with standard DVD recording drives and Panasonic will be going the SD card route. I like Panasonic's approach better in this case. Purchasers of early Sony AVCHD cams will have camcorder envy withing a very short period when the Blu-Ray versions are released, but the Panasonic cams will just gulp down the bigger SD cards as they become available.

Now if these companies would only give us the slightest clue as to product details and/or release dates...

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Old July 9th, 2006, 02:04 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Donnell
It seems to me likely that at least consumer, and perhaps prosumer, HD camcorders will probably record high bit-rate HD...and output it for direct recording onto Blu-ray or HD DVD. Think about the ease of use for people with little technical knowledge!
Yep, just like we'll be able to do soon with HDV and XDCAM HD footage, both of which happen to match playback options supported by Blu-ray and HD-DVD players.

AVCHD as currently defined in the Sony press release will not be suitable to replace HDV due to limited recording time per disc, and will probably die a quick death once a better blue-laser recording version is announced. The Panasonic proposal to record AVC onto SD memory cards at 50 Mbps makes much more sense for professional purposes, and will be a useful tool in another year or two once cameras and editing solutions are in place.

Didn't Sony announce the FX1/Z1U cameras at NAB a couple of years ago? If so, next year's NAB sounds like a reasonable time to announce a successor, with cameras shipping at the end of 2007 and in volume the following Spring.
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