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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old May 10th, 2007, 12:02 AM   #1
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Why Buy a $3k Computer to Edit a 1k Camera?

This whole HDV hype will never get off the ground until I can edit my $900 Camera's footage with a off the shelf $1500 computer and burn it with a $200 burner and watch it on a $300 to $500 TV. Right now if I purchased Canon's HV 20 I would have to buy a $3000+ computer to edit the footage and maybe another $1500 compression board to edit faster and more efficiently, and then burn my product on a $1000 burner and then buy a $2000 TV to enjoy the HD footage like it is supposed to be enjoyed. Then my friends also need a $1000 DVD player and a $1,500 to $2000 TV to enjoy the home movie I have given them. Wasn't this the same kind of money that was needed to edit with decks...and switchers and TBCS, and CGS and Toasters and controllers and and and. Are we moving ahead or burning bucks on yet a another new technology that is good for about 5 years and then goes up again in more mirrors and smoke? Your take?
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Old May 10th, 2007, 12:21 AM   #2
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Well, I'm using a $1000 computer and burning full high def on a standard dvd playing on a PS3 and a 7 year old 36 inch sony xbr that does 1080i. Looks fantastic. I burn longer length movies @ standard def (which looks far better than std def video burned at std def). I'm glad to have the footage in 1080i for down the road when I do have a newer TV @ 1080p and a blu-ray burner.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 12:25 AM   #3
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What format plays on the PS3? Is this MPEG2 burnt in data format i.e. PS3 media plays a media file or is an actual HD DVD?

I authored a 1080i HD DVD with Apple DVD Studio Pro 4.1.2 but the PS3 doesn't recognise it. Otherwise I just convert raw M2T files and play them from a USB stick.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 12:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ralph Bowman View Post
This whole HDV hype will never get off the ground...
Too late. It already has. HDV got off the ground a couple of years ago.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 12:30 AM   #5
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Such are the problems with being fairly early adopters. While I don't at all agree that you need a $3k computer to edit HDV (you can definitely get away with spending less than $1000), you're right that until the media and drives become as cheap as DVD, it's not going to become mainstream. Most people are just going to burn SD-DVDs of the stuff until the time comes where HD is easy and cheap to burn and watch. Future-proofing, man. In 10 years I'm gonna be so glad that I have HD footage of stuff I was working on "back in the day".
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Old May 10th, 2007, 12:34 AM   #6
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Well, I certainly have to agree with you on aq lot of the points you're making. I suppose one could argue that there "are" ways to edit the footage on a sub $3000 machine, it's not as simple as editing dv footage currently is. I, myself have access to high end gear at my work, but personally edit on a three year old Powerbook - so I cut in HDV on it, convert it to M2T, and play it back on a server type machine like the Avelink. But it's not simple, really.

But what really gets me is all the banter about HD acquisition - especially the RED, which boasts 4k resolution. Who is going to be able to take advantage of that in the current HD arena? I understand of course that the better quality your acquisition medium is, the better the end product will be - no matter what the end delivery ,method is. Everything shot for broadcast will be compressed by the time it reaches your eyes on your television (save perhaps via HD antenna, though I can't imagine that somewhere along the pipeline, there isn't some sort of compression.)

I've even read articles stating that the difference between 720p and 1080i is almost indistinguishable to the naked eye on many popular HD televisions - until you go with a large scale device. And I often wonder why I need 1080 resolution when so many productions are shot in 720p?

And as far as HDDVD and BluRay, I almost wonder if it will have a hard time competing in this world of streaming content. As I said, I stream much of my high def material from my computer to my television, and I see little need right now for HDDVD or BluRay. And you know, that's compressed HD as well!

Of course most of this argument is a mute point when you look back to 8 or 9 years ago when DV was first coming out. You needed a fast machine to edit it, if you didn't have built in firewire, it was an expensive add on, you didn't have any affordable way to burn it to a dvd, DVD players were still relatively expensive, so your main option was to output it to vhs to share with your friends.

It's both a frustrating and exciting time right now for HD. The fact that you can get a sub $1000 high def camera is nothing short of miraculous when you think of it. Just give it time.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 01:01 AM   #7
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I have a $1000 (Under $1000 now... pricedrops w/ AMD and whatnot) computer that edits HDV flawlessly (cuts and playback)

Real-time rendering isn't the best but it takes maybe 10 seconds to render at full resolution and I can watch it with no hiccups...

Either way, it's not impossible to work with... I sent the edited footage back to my camera and plugged it into the HDTV we've had for years (We have had this TV for 5+ years and haven't seen any HD stuff on it until now) and it looked amazing...

I think you're blowing it out of proportion, HD-DVD players can be had for $200 (xbox 360 version) or $3-400 (I saw the RCA one at Compusa for $260)

Even the footage burned to a DVD looks incredible, sure the HD stuff looks better but for how inexpensive this camera is the footage is amazing.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 01:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Joseph View Post
What format plays on the PS3? Is this MPEG2 burnt in data format i.e. PS3 media plays a media file or is an actual HD DVD?

I authored a 1080i HD DVD with Apple DVD Studio Pro 4.1.2 but the PS3 doesn't recognise it. Otherwise I just convert raw M2T files and play them from a USB stick.
It's the raw M2T on a standard DVD.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #9
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I don't even see the point of this thread.....It is easily possible to keep the cost down to the $1000-$1500 range. Besides, who cares if the camera only costs $1k if the quality is there??
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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #10
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cos its better than buying a $1k computer to edit $3k camera? ;)

actually at uk prices (not the cheapest) you can chuck together a 2.4Ghz core2duo system with 2gig of ram, 2x 250gig hard disks, dvd writer, 512Mb dual DVI output nvidia card, all shoehorned into a little shuttle xpc box, along with twin 19" 1440*900 res LCD panels and a keyboard and mouse for 1950 US (1000 quid UK)
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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mark Joseph View Post
What format plays on the PS3? Is this MPEG2 burnt in data format i.e. PS3 media plays a media file or is an actual HD DVD?

I authored a 1080i HD DVD with Apple DVD Studio Pro 4.1.2 but the PS3 doesn't recognise it. Otherwise I just convert raw M2T files and play them from a USB stick.
To play on the PS3, it would need to be H.264, VC1, or MPEG-2 (enhanced) in the correct format to play as HD. The PS3 will not play HD-DVD format as it is Blu-Ray. Different file format in how the startup and menuing is done from what I have seen.

You might be able to play the M2T on the PS3, but you may have to copy it to the hard drive. Don't have one and have not heard that anyone tried, but it might work.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:02 AM   #12
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Go to any builder of HDV editing computers like Guy Graphics or B and H and look at the specs and then the price. No one sells an HDV editing computer with compression boards for under $3000. The price is more like $6000. Why? because a $1500 computer is inefficient, complete with workarounds and crashes and render rage sessions. And can you hand Aunt Tillie your Hi DEf DVD to see your kids little league game? She will look at you with fish eyes and wonder if it will make a good coaster. Because she does not live in the world of PS3's...My point is money. To be up to date and be able to communicate this wonderful new technology takes more money than the general public has at this time...So HDV is a nice dream for gear heads and videophiles...but for the general public?
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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:09 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ralph Bowman View Post
So HDV is a nice dream for gear heads and videophiles...but for the general public?
The general public will do what they've always done with their home videos: rewind the tape in the camera and then hook the camera up to the TV to watch what they've shot.

Most of the general public will have HDTVs before they buy an HDV camera anyway.

Also, technology drops in price fast. In a year, the cost of the components you mention will be vastly lower. I built a PC last year for my landlord -- he wanted everything top of the line (didn't want a Mac ;), but just for office work, no editing, gaming, etc -- the components cost over $1000 on Newegg. I kept his components in a "Wish List" on the site. This year, the same list of components cost $248.

Ralph, exactly what is your point? What does it matter if the "general public" can't afford what it takes to edit and display true HD footage? (Even though I don't agree with that. People afford what they want to afford.) I mean, I can't take advantage of the great features of a Ferrari or Lambhorgini, but that doesn't mean there's not a market for them.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Bowman View Post
So HDV is a nice dream for gear heads and videophiles...but for the general public?
Ralph's right guys. I'm going to return my HV20 and pull out my JVC VHS camcorder circa 1991 and get real. What was I thinking?
(BTW - I also have a $1500 PC that edits HDV flawlessly and renders SD mpeg2 at 2X realtime, plus previews HDV full screen on a 32"LCD HDTV [$699 6 mos ago]. My HDV-to-SD DVD's look great on my 42" plasma [$1799 2 1/2 yrs ago]) (Hmmm, maybe I should really get real and go back to my Sanyo 20" CRTV too while I'm at it.)
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Old May 10th, 2007, 11:34 AM   #15
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I don't know anyone who'd casually go out and buy a turnkey HDV editor. But those specs will filter down eventually.

My old P3-933 (brand new then) was middle of the road when I had my Elura. MiniDV was new, WinMe crashed all the time, and I barely had enough space to edit a full tape. There were 'pro' class systems like Ralph mentioned but they weren't affordable. DVDs weren't available and even CDROM wasn't common enough to share with all my friends and relatives. I had to redub to VHS. I even learned to edit between MiniDV and VHS direct from the camera (I thank Canon for keeping the analog input ports). Sure it's inconvenient, but it was new technology that gave a very nice image even when downgraded.

Nowadays almost any PC can do better than that old P3 (I still have it and use it for DV extraction ... go figure). I burn DVDs for sharing or post online. Last year I bought a spare camcorder for 1/10th what I paid for the Elura (7 years later). Did I overpay for that technology with money and inconvenience? Maybe. I could have waited longer for it to get cheaper and done C-VHS instead. But then I wouldn't have the 720x480 progressive images of my relatives that have passed on. Nor the nice videos of travels and family events. I was paying for the preservation of memories using the best medium I could pay at the time. So now I'm doing the same with HDV. Would I buy a $3k system to edit? No. Do I wish it didn't cost 3k at this time? Yes. But I can wait. Tape is cheap and I can re-dub to a higher grade later on when the price has caught up.
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