HV10 to DVD - how does it work, what are the options? Also, NTSC vs PAL? at DVinfo.net

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Old October 3rd, 2006, 07:32 AM   #1
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HV10 to DVD - how does it work, what are the options? Also, NTSC vs PAL?

More of a multifold practical question about using the footage than about the performance of the camera itself. I have never owned a camcorder before, so some of this might be considered "newbie" questions. Well, I am a newbie, so there it is.

The overall question is, how do I make playable DVDs out of the footage filmed with the HV10?

I am using an iMac G5, 1,9 Ghz, 2,5 GB RAM. If at any point of the process you think the computer might not be able to handle it (editing HD stuff etc), please comment on that.
I am assuming the first step would be to get the footage on the computer via firewire. From what I have read so far, I can do this with iMovie, and it happens in real time, i.e. 45 minutes of footage takes 45 minutes. I also read that the resolution is already downsized there a little, or somehow the quality compromised? What kind of quality/format video do I end up with on the computer, and how much space do they take up (say for 45 minutes)?

Then, I guess the footage can be edited, with this I have also no experience, but I imagine it being somewhat straight forward to cut certain scenes togeher and such.

Next big step though, making the DVD. What kind of limitations are there? Given the high (?) resolution and supposed size of the files, how much can I put on one double layer DVD? What resolution will it be in? Can I choose? Do I burn directly in iMovie?

Final question, at which point of the process can I decide if I want the DVD to be PAL or NTSC, if at all? I would like to be flexible, as I have friends in both regions that I would like to be able to share footage with by mailing DVDs.

Would appreciate any input, I am seriously considering buying this camcorder, but I just realized how little I know about using it the way I want to.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 08:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsten Poeppel
I am using an iMac G5, 1,9 Ghz, 2,5 GB RAM. If at any point of the process you think the computer might not be able to handle it (editing HD stuff etc), please comment on that.
Should be fine, you may want to consider a good external HD with a firewire 800 connection (that is if your imac has a firewire 800 connection) if not just go with a good fast firewire 400 external HD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsten Poeppel
I am assuming the first step would be to get the footage on the computer via firewire.
You would be assuming correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsten Poeppel
From what I have read so far, I can do this with iMovie, and it happens in real time, i.e. 45 minutes of footage takes 45 minutes.
Yes, real time when coming off DV tape. This is where hard drive, DVD, or memory stick cameras like the new Sonys have an advantage, 45 minutes of footage takes a minute or so to import into your computer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsten Poeppel
I also read that the resolution is already downsized there a little, or somehow the quality compromised?
The HV10 records in HD. If you shoot in HD and are going to end up on DVD there is no point capturing and editing in HD. So set the camera up to down-convert the footage to standard definition (SD) before passing it over the firewire connection to your computer.

This process gives you a wonderfully sharp and clear SD image.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsten Poeppel
What kind of quality/format video do I end up with on the computer, and how much space do they take up (say for 45 minutes)?
Not sure, maybe someone else can crunch the numbers for you ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsten Poeppel
Then, I guess the footage can be edited, with this I have also no experience, but I imagine it being somewhat straight forward to cut certain scenes togeher and such.
Yep, pretty straight forward in iMovie, chop the footage up and put it in the order you want !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsten Poeppel
Next big step though, making the DVD. What kind of limitations are there? Given the high (?) resolution and supposed size of the files, how much can I put on one double layer DVD? What resolution will it be in? Can I choose? Do I burn directly in iMovie?
Standard Definition.

From inside iMovie you can launch iDVD and burn from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsten Poeppel
Final question, at which point of the process can I decide if I want the DVD to be PAL or NTSC, if at all?
When you buy your camera !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsten Poeppel
I would like to be flexible, as I have friends in both regions that I would like to be able to share footage with by mailing DVDs.
You can convert between the two standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsten Poeppel
Would appreciate any input, I am seriously considering buying this camcorder, but I just realized how little I know about using it the way I want to.

It is relatively straight forward.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 08:26 AM   #3
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Thank you very much, very helpful!

Regarding PAL/NTSC:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Wilson
When you buy your camera !

You can convert between the two standards.

Interesting. How does this conversion take place? On the computer, before burning the DVD? How would I got about burning a PAL DVD with footage from an American NTSC HV10?
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 11:24 AM   #4
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DV footage files take about 13GB/hr on disk. I'm not sure if iMovie etc convert the files to any intermediate codec (compression format) for editing, I doubt it for SD DV, but I'm pretty sure they do for HDV. Other programs might avoid this extra work and possible quality loss in HDV.

HDV itself takes the same 13GB/hr file size, in its original MPG2 stream format. I don't know what size any intermediate codec formats take. Other programs also often render "proxy" videos, eg smaller-size/resolution copies of the footage, for easier use during editing (since it takes lots of CPU horsepower to process the large-res MPG2 data.) You edit on the proxy copy files, and then at the end all the edit changes point back to the original HDV copies.

Unless you have an HD-DVD or BluRay burner (and player), there isn't really a way to create an HD playback disk yet, so using the "DV locked" mode and having the camera down-res to SD DV on playback to the computer over firewire, is probably the best way to go. Easier editing in known DV format, still good quality and ease of SD distribution, but your original footage is in HD format for the future.

There are some ways to create HD disks, eg WMV-HD or HD MPG2/MPG4 "file only" disks, but only a few players will handle those. You have to re-compress the HD video to fit an hour on 4g/8g-dual layer DVDs, which will take a long time.
Other alternative is to use an HD media network player, like Apple's coming iTV, which will take whatever-format HD files (MPG2, MPG4, etc.) over a network from your PC harddrive (or maybe USB2-attached storage), and play that over HDMI or component to your TV. I'm hoping/waiting that my Tivo S3 will do that for me soon.


re PAL vs NTSC, most editing programs should let you convert formats during editing/rendering (eg from DV to DVD MPEG2)... there may be some slight losses or imperfections (eg since frame speed and size is not the same.)
Just change the render output format, and the target format for the DVD, it should be handled- I'd assume Apple's software should handle this OK.
Note that these days, many PAL DVD players actually will play NTSC OK, you might check which gets best results.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 04:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Gould
Note that these days, many PAL DVD players actually will play NTSC OK, you might check which gets best results.

Good point.

Also computer DVD drives are not NTSC or PAL specific, so if your friends have a computer that play DVDs it doesn't matter which standard you send them.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 01:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Wilson
The HV10 records in HD. If you shoot in HD and are going to end up on DVD there is no point capturing and editing in HD. So set the camera up to down-convert the footage to standard definition (SD) before passing it over the firewire connection to your computer.
I've heard this before but I don't really understand it. Based on this logic, there should be no difference between footage shot on DV and footage shot on 35mm, if they both end up on a DVD.

Can someone explain this?
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Old October 10th, 2006, 01:48 PM   #7
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Here's how I see it:

You can record everything in HD (1080i) on the tapes. You can also play this back in HD on the camcorder itself.

But at this point you cannot burn a DVD with HD content on it. So when you "capture" (record onto the computer) the footage, you might as well downconvert it to SD, as you most likely will not have the processing power to edit it in HD, nor the means to burn it onto a disc that can play it in HD. (Unless you have a bluray or hd-dvd burner, as well as a bluray or hd-dvd player hooked up to your tv).

The only thing you are downconverting to SD is the COPY ON YOUR COMPUTER. At a later point you can go back to the tape, and capture it on the computer in HD.

But the main point is, the signal going from a DVD to your TV will be in SD. Period. So there is no point of capturing and editing the footage in HD on the computer, if it's just going to end up on DVD. Downconvert it right away, and make your life (editing) a little easier.

Am I getting this correctly?
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Old October 10th, 2006, 02:12 PM   #8
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there are differences of opinion on this topic. there are times when i shoot in HD and let iMovie/iDVD downconvert to SD for DVD delivery. there are times when i shoot using an FX-1 in SD mode, when i am doing a two-camera shoot (matching FX-1 to XL2 or, in some cases, GL2) on a product or event to be delivered in SD. it is easier to match two sets of SD footage than it is to render an HDV clip in the timeline.

having done a lot of both of these types of work, my opinion is that it is better to shoot HDV and let the editor downconvert it prior to delivery than it is to downconvert out of the camera. i think the image is stronger (sharper, better color space).

other users will have their own view....
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Old October 10th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #9
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Better colorspace was the first thing that came to mind for me, since HDV is using MPEG2 already (4:2:0) which is the same as DVD. If you downconvert to SD DV (4:1:1) you throw away color information that the DVD would have been capable of displaying.

I'm still learning about the inner workings of the various codecs but it would be very useful to have someone with a stronger grasp on the subject illuminate the rest of us. It seems like there should be a definitive answer on the subject, as well as a way to "preserve" as much of the quality of the original HDV footage as it makes its way to the DVD.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 04:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
But the main point is, the signal going from a DVD to your TV will be in SD. Period. So there is no point of capturing and editing the footage in HD on the computer, if it's just going to end up on DVD. Downconvert it right away, and make your life (editing) a little easier.
On the other hand, if you edit your video in HDV, down convert the finished program to standard DV to burn on a DVD, and then save the finished edited HDV video out to a tape on your HV10 to archive, you'll be ready to burn it onto an HD - DVD ( or Blu Ray ) when those burners come out, or can watch it via component using the HV10 as a deck now. That's my plan. Why edit twice.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #11
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If you have HD footage and encode at the best possible settings, maybe even use Dual Layer to reduce compression would you not have better quality video than if you recorded and edited in SD?
This is what I plan to do, and maybe even keep the HD footage on tape
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Old October 16th, 2006, 11:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Wilson
The HV10 records in HD. If you shoot in HD and are going to end up on DVD there is no point capturing and editing in HD. So set the camera up to down-convert the footage to standard definition (SD) before passing it over the firewire connection to your computer.
From my point-of-view, it depends on the power of your editing computer and NLE. If you can edit in HD without the process grinding to a halt then do so, and archive your finished HD, widescreen programme back to HDV tape when you have finished. Then, at the point that you want/can afford HD-DVD, BluRay or whatever, you can go back to this master tape. In the mean time, down-convert to SD MPEG2 as the final stage before authoring a normal DVD.

The situation that I expect to be in, however, is that I will need to save my pennies for a few months between buying an HDV camera and upgrading my computer and software, which will be about 4 years old by then. This is not too much of a limitation given my amatuer projects, especially since I've still got 10 years of S-VHS archive to work through...! In the mean time, if I need to edit anything from the HDV camera, it will have to be down-converted to good old DV by the camera.
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