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Old January 5th, 2009, 12:44 AM   #1
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Is HHDV for BluRay (HD disc) good enough today?

When HDV first came out, many broadcasters and commercial DVD companies dissed it, saying the compression was too lossy and editing wasn't purfect.

Now, fast forward to 2 years later, full HD is available, yet the HDV format has really proliferated the marketplace.

Is HDV as comparable as HD today? If you made a Blu Ray DVD with it and brodcast it on a 1080p HD TV set and compare it to uncompressed, will you see the difference?

Is is acceptable to use HDV to master HD discs for sale to be played on HD hardware?

Your thoughts?
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Old January 5th, 2009, 01:33 AM   #2
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FWIW, I've experimented of late with burning stuff shot with AVCHD (close enough to HDV) onto a regular old DVD for playback on a BR player. I'm still fiddling with optimizing, but it looks lots better than an SD DVD.

I don't know that it's up to broadcast "standards" per se, but depending on your content and audience, HDV is probably doable.

Keep in mind it's ALL typically compressed - just a matter of how much. There's a lot of 1's and 0's in an HD image stream... bitrates and bandwidth along with storage media all factor into the "final" image quality.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Ng View Post
If you made a Blu Ray DVD with it and brodcast it on a 1080p HD TV set and compare it to uncompressed, will you see the difference?
Yes, but... I think you have to consider HDV within the context of the entire delivery workflow. If you look at the technical aspects of the high-end HD cameras (not HDV), they will provide technically better image quality than an HDV camera. They simply preserve more of the source image. Consider that 444 or 422 will always have higher fidelity than HDV's 420.

Quality can also be lost in editing. Re-compressing a highly compressed format (which can be argued HDV is) will degrade image quality further. Then you have to transcode to the BD format. More loss likely there.

The old axiom of starting with the highest quality possible and retaining as much as possible through the production flow has never been more true. It's significantly harder to do with HDV than it was with even DV. Producers need to be more diligent than ever to preserve quality.

To your final question, is it acceptable to make BD from HDV? Sure. An HDV to BD project can look orders of magnitude better than a standard DVD. Will it look like "Planet Earth"? Probably not.

Your term "acceptable" is going to vary widely depending upon who you talk to. The engineer working for Discovery Channel would likely say it's not acceptable. But the guy with a 42" HD TV connected to a US$300 home-theater-in-a-box would probably think it's fine. You could have asked a, "why is there air" question here, but it should spark some lively discussion.
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