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Old December 29th, 2007, 07:31 PM   #1
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NEO HDV for SD work.

I'm using NEO HDV it's great, don't want to use anything else. But I've got some VEGAS 40min PAL DV Widescreen work which is totally SD, with some Bluff Titler fx, through to the SD DV tape masters for DVD dupes.

Should I stay with NEO HDV for all this or not? Thx.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 07:42 PM   #2
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If you limit you generations, stick with DV, that will be simpliest given your DV mastering needs. While NEO is focused mainly on HD, it will work in SD if you can benefit from the increased color precision and better multi-generation handling.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 08:37 PM   #3
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Thanks David, I did some tests with Panasonic GS400 SD files using Main Concept and Pana capture codecs and I see the NEO HDV increased colour precision and the smaller files as big pluses, so I'll stay with NEO. And who knows, there may be revisions in HD later.

Is there anything in SD I should particularly watch out for along the way?
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Old December 29th, 2007, 11:17 PM   #4
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Make sure you playback settings switch to 601 for SD work.
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Old January 6th, 2008, 06:19 PM   #5
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Standard Definition in Cineform

By experiment (just now), I found it possible to encode from Sony Vegas (7 and 8) not only at HDV but also at Standard Definition. I am surprised that is not stated clearly anywhere I can find, since this is a great bonus, and my googling didn't bring anything up on it. Subsequently I found this thread...

I first made a Vegas 7 rendering of a DV file & project by defining the image qualities CF codec's encoding parameters, as presented in Vegas's Renderer, to be as for PAL-Wide DV. I tested its quality by difference-compositing between DV and CF tracks. The only issue was having to manually tell Vegas that the CF media it was reading was lower-field-first and aspect ratio 1.4568 (PAL DV Widescreen). Apart from that, Vegas automatically detected its resolution as 720x576, as indeed was reported by the standalone video file analysis tool, GSpot. No differences were observed, either with test-ramp or with real-world examples. Great!

However ... when I then rendered a similar SD project from Vegas 8, the result (and hence difference) unfortunately had a few "digital dashes" marring the image, moving with the image, appearing to be associated with edges between light and dark items. I wonder if this indicates a bug somewhere in the way Vegas 8 interfaces to its bundled version of Cineform's codec (which in that version of Vegas is still v2.8). I phrase that carefully so as not to place the blame on either party!

The same results were obtained whether I did the comparison (difference) test in Vegas 7 or 8. So it's only at the encoding stage that there is a problem.

At a higher level, I wonder if Cineform made the ability to handle SD more "officially", would this encourage both its usage and its compatibility in that mode.
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Old January 6th, 2008, 11:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Esp View Post
At a higher level, I wonder if Cineform made the ability to handle SD more "officially", would this encourage both its usage and its compatibility in that mode.
Hi David, yes I wonder that as I like others am in transition SD to HD and from past experience I need to be ready as HD will happen here...fast.

So while still doing SD stuff in Vegas VMSP 8c, I trialled NEO HDV and also found it'll handle SD to SD but as file conversions, I can't capture with it. I've found the converted files are smaller than the original capture files and seem less contrasty, less shiny blacks but more detail in shadows etc. ie better colour precision as David indicated.

Ditto telling Vegas lower field first etc. Haven't seen any "digital dashes" and haven't heard of GSpot, thx I'll check it out.

For this current job I'm using material from a Panasonic GS400 with the Pana DV Codec which to me does a better job than Main Concept. They are very close but I guess it follows that Pana would have the best codec for their own cams. There may be others that are better, but time..?? I have another problem for another thread...preview stutters, tried everything.

But is there a CF program to capture SD files from the GS400? At present I capture everything then NEO HDV convert the Ok takes to the project. I'd like to do while capturing from the 400.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 07:29 PM   #7
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Works fine with NEO 3.2.2

Having installed Neo HDV 3.2.2, it now works fine for Vegas writing SD as Cineform (no dashes).

Subsequently worked fine in the SD part of my production process. Not even necessary to de-assert the codec config's 709 flags - the difference (according to a Difference composite in Vegas) between original DV and the rendered CF was only visible when amplified by a Levels FX set to (0...0.01) -> (0...1). That's accurate enough for me!

So it's goodbye HuffYuv, hello disk space (and laptop processing speed) then. Still think Cineform is missing a trick by not advertising more obviously that it can handle non-HD(V) resolutions such as SD.

Last edited by David Esp; January 9th, 2008 at 07:49 PM. Reason: Additional info
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Old January 9th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #8
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"Less Contrasty" => Levels Re-Mapping

Just one concern, when you say "less contrasty" (and "more detail in shadows"), that immediately suggests to me that a levels range mapping has occurred somewhere in your process, maybe a codec setting or one of your apps might have done this surreptitiously. Somehow, your original 0..255 range may have got compressed to 15..235. DV is not that bad a format and any differences due to using CF instead ought to be just subtle ones.

This issue routinely arises in all sorts of contexts, even when using different makes and configurations of DV codecs. Some people/software use 0..255 (or 1..254), others use 16..235, the latter being the "Broadcast Legal" range which some people insist on, and there is no meta-info system in AVI format or whatever to distinguish them. Roughly speaking, 16..235 looks OK on a standard CRT-based TV and 0..255 looks OK on a PC. Flat screen TV's tend to have many configuration possibilities and media sources, including PCs...
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Old January 10th, 2008, 05:59 AM   #9
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Ok thanks David, I'll find out what I can and come back.
Cheers.
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