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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old January 10th, 2005, 06:36 PM   #31
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There may be a demand for a while. I don't know.

Things are always proportional. I don't believe that any more people will be successful with HDV in the film world than MiniDV people were in an SD world. The pro's always have better equipment, more experience, and more resources.

It will enable people to have their films shown in film festivals more for sure. But HDV will not give anyone golden Hollywood opportunities? Why? Because a low budget movie will always look like a low budget movie. It's just that in HD it will be in a higher resolution.

That higher resolution brings problems of it's own to the indie filmmaker. The first is that the digital indie filmmaker is not used to having their movie shown on a large screen AND having huge amounts of detail. Details and flaws in the sets, makeup, and other aspects will no longer be coverable by the lack of definition. I know professional TV makeup guys who hate working with HD because it really does put enourmous pressures on them.

So how do film people manage? Well, big Hollywood films employ the best. Those guys don't do TV makeup. But asking a TV makeup artist to work to similar standards doesn't work as well.

The same goes for set design and other aspects.

So I'm afraid I don't think HDV will give anyone any more opprtunities than MiniDV or SD. If in some universe a film producer was looking out for new talent and someone slapped two low budget indies on my desk, one made with MiniDV and the other with HDV, and they were both very well produced and made, what makes you think that the producer would automatically give the deal to the one shot on HDV? The same goes for film festivals. A movie isn't going to win an award because it's shot on an FX1 or Z1.

Any talk of golden money and fame opportunitues because of HDV should never be mentioned again because they ain't going to happen. Even if you did make an absolutely stunning movie with an FX1, you still need to sell it and market it. Hollywood has far more of that ability than any indie (yeah okay, let's leave Miramax and Lucasfilm out of the equation!), so the power will always be with the studios. Plus there will always be better equipment for them available including the possibility of 4k cameras!

Ahh, but with digital cinema it's cheaper to show movies, and the distribution network is therefore made more accessible to smaller companies. Sure. IF you show it at an independent cinema. As it is all the big chains are owned by the studios, and they ain't going to let the small guys take over.

In the future it may be possible to stream HD over the internet, thereby making it possible for guys like us to market ourselves much more easily. Although the fact remains that a big budget SFX extraveganza always looks better in the cinema. There's room at the inn for all. It's just that us indies will always be relegated to the smallest room in the house.
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Old January 10th, 2005, 08:31 PM   #32
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My 2cents....

Here in the northeastern US, VHS rental video will soon be moribund ... Best Buy etc barely sell videotape players anymore, video rental stores hate tangled, un-rewound tapes, yadayada....

So most people are or will soon will be renting DVDs, in 16:9 format.

People find it tedious watching 16:9 letterboxed on a 4:3 TV ... so they decide that the next TV they buy will be widescreen - maybe Enhanced Definition or maybe HD.

Then they want to play their home SD camcorder footage to their friends and family on their new widescreen TV and it looks...kinda cruddy!

So they look for a decent 16:9 camcorder. ...and find an appalling lack of info on how the consumer camcorders actually implement 16:9 (since the web reviewers and the retailers rarely have any accurate info about this).

Meanwhile, 2005 sees lots of buzz about the FX1, JVC GR-HD1s on EBay for under $1000, and (finally!) the release of cheap standalone media players capable of HD-WM9 (or similar) as well as the normal DVDs that people already have ....

User-friendly HDV editing capability is still largely missing in action, but with the free Cineform plugin coming to Premiere Pro, and so on, soon that gap is closing too.

Folks, I'd suggest that all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are RAPIDLY moving into place for a major surge in consumer interest in getting high quality home and event footage onto widescreen TVs. And HDV and WM9HD on red-lazer discs provides a viable route to achieve that.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 04:03 AM   #33
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"People find it tedious watching 16:9 letterboxed on a 4:3 TV ... so they decide that the next TV they buy will be widescreen "

Assumptions again. Film companies these days seem to be releasing more and more dual versions of their films on DVD. Bourne Supremacy was one where you could buy a 4:3 version and a 16:9 version seperately.

The consumer may well get a new TV that is widescreen. But I can tell you right now that the vast majority will not buy a new TV for the sake of it! DVD has taken over 6 years to get where it is now, and that's just ONE piece of equipment. With HD you are talking about upgrading everything from the TV, to the Sat/cable box, to the DVD player/recorder.

For sure HD will become the standard at some point. That is inevitable. But people here seem to think that its going to be tomorrow just as soon as the general public hear about HD. Most of the general public could care less, and many, stupid as it seems probably couldn't tell the difference between HD and SD. Especially on a smaller screen in many living rooms. I know many people with a 16:9 TV here in the UK as such TV's are quite popular. Even with our digital 16:9 TV broadcasts, I've seen quite a few people who haven't even set up their DVD players and digi boxes for a 16:9 TV. So they happily sit there watching a 4:3 broadcast or DVD stretched across their screen!

Even if everyone has HD, you still then have to wait for the film companies to transfer all their film releases to HDDVD etc, and then you have to buy them all over again (and we end up going through the damn Star Wars and Indiana Jones debacle again!) And these problems are just in the US. What about many other countries who don't even have HD broadcasting yet?

"So they look for a decent 16:9 camcorder"

So things will take even longer! Everyone will have had to have upgraded their TV's before they realise they need a new camcorder! The popularity of HDDVD film releases will be the thing that propels HD takeup. If everyone replaces their VCR's with recordable DVD the HD takeup will be even slower. Why? Try pursuading a member of the general populace that they need 2 DVD players!

". ...and find an appalling lack of info on how the consumer camcorders actually implement 16:9 (since the web "

No member of the public outside enthusiasts like us will even think to look for such information anyway, or even care less. All the public want's is a camera that does what it's supposed to do with the minimum of fuss. If consumers cared so much for technical details you would be seeing far more takeup of genuine HDTV's. As it is you see people buying HD ready TV's that can't display the full resolution.

"of cheap standalone media players capable of HD-WM9 (or similar) as well as the normal DVDs that people already "

Look, this is just plain stupid. When HDDVD is finally released, now you are suggesting that people should buy a new TV, a new cable box, a new camcorder, a new DVD player to play HDDVD's, a new DVD recorder when one becomes available, and also now you think people are going to be sold on having to buy something called a media box! It won't work! Not outside the enthusiast market at any rate. But even as technical toy fan even I don't want all that damn equipment cluttering up my room! Where in the hell am I supposed to put all that stuff?!

People here need to grow a reality cell. New technology never succeeds purely because it's better than the old. You only have to look at all the different Sony formats there have been in the past.

" RAPIDLY moving into place for a major surge in consumer"

No they are not. 10 years minimum. And even then SD DVD will still be the prevalent playing medium. How is it rapidly moving into place? What are your reasons for thinking the takeup will be high thereby making a surge in tgetting fully HD entertainment systems in peoples homes? What is your reason for thinking the general public will want to buy all this new equipment? And what are your reasons for saying it will be rapid?
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Old January 11th, 2005, 08:33 AM   #34
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Simon -

I disagree. All that MiniDV did was make digital editing of standard definition video, a technology that had been available to masses for more than 30 year, more available. I owned a black & white video camera a beta max in 1980. I couldn't really edit with it, but I was able to create a couple of 'movies'.

But there WAS a HUGE breakthrough at that point in time - unfortunately it came to us in the form of pornography. The technology of the day allowed for the cheap creation and distribution of that material to the masses. Without pornography, we would not have see the profliferation of the VCR. You might not beleive that, but I firmly believe that it is true.

We are standing at the same technology cusp today - except the demand is going to be for something different. (there may be a demand for HD porn - but I'm not going to discuss that here)

I FIRMLY believe that in less that 24 months there is going to be EXPLOSIVE GROWTH in the delivery of HDTV sets - and INCREDIBLE DEMAND for HD CONTENT. That demand will include conversions of 35mm film - but will also include NEW CONTENT!

The masses will be STARVING FOR IT. That is where I see incredible opportunity. HDV could allow a small entreprenuer to start a 'micro-studio' that could produce content to compete with the big boys. Why? Because the barrier to entry has been lowered dramatically. The lumbering giants HATE this idea. They want to control content and they are starting to see that they might lose that control.

There may be a huge paradigm shift in the way content is delivered. The possibilities of 100% digitally produced & delivered content are endless!

We live in a very exciting age!
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Old January 11th, 2005, 08:49 AM   #35
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I mostly heartily agree

While, I don't know that the growth of the next 24 months will be explosive, I certainly can tell that it's not going to take 10 plus years...at least not in America. People keep citing the acceptance and proliferation of older technologies...but they fail to realize that the world is changing constantly. For instance, 10 years ago, there was no such thing as the internet (at least not as it currently exists--those of us "early pioneers/adopters" never dreamed of what it is today), satellite TV was for the extremely rich, and editing video on a pc was laughable. It's not just that DVD's have been accepted in 6 years...everything has changed. And here in the states, there is barely a thought given to Standard Definition in our programming. Let me explain that...

1. It is quite nearly impossible to watch any TV and not see at least 1 ad for HD programming...if not several an hour.

2. There is never an ad for a sale on SD TV's...every commercial you see for TV's--HD (or at least ED--what a crappy idea...).

3. In the actual programming, all your favorite characters watch an HDTV--exuding coolness for all to see.

and

4. Outside of Japan, America is quickly becoming the most gadgety, tech-savy group in the world. I don't know of one male between the ages of 20 and 50 that either doesn't have, or doesn't want an HDTV (albeit most of them fall into the wanting category).

Sure, the entire populace over 60 probably wouldn't know the difference between 320x240 web video and a 4K film scan... (okay, that was a gross exaggeration, I apologize if it offends) but for the most part, we've got an entire media industry (TV, News, Advertisers) telling us constantly that we need HD if we truly care about our families, our social standing, our status as a human being (isn't it amazing what commercials actually imply?).

So my thoughts are...

No, the majority of people do not have HDTV...but

Yes, the majority of people are being told by the people they listen to the most (TV/CELEBRITIES/CORPORATIONS) that they not only want it, but that they need it.

We have made a fundamental shift in the past 100 years--away from a logic base, print based public discourse, to an emotional based, visual based discourse and culture...and the more that affects us, the quicker we will latch on to what they tell us...HD.

Now, my statements are filled with exaggerations and representations of opinions as fact...but so were Simon's and others who think that HD will never catch on...
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Old January 11th, 2005, 09:31 AM   #36
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People buy things if they think it's convenient, not because they are told to.

Japan has had HDTV since the 80's, and yet the takeup there is still very slow indeed. My sister lives there and she doesn't know what HD is until I told her!

I'm sorry, but none of you guys are looking at history to see the real time it took for new technology to become mainstream, and that includes VHS.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 12:56 PM   #37
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Simon,

First of all, you don't understand capitalism (or the current state of most of the world) if you think people buy things for convenience only...people are sheep and they buy what they are told they need to buy--ask anyone in advertising, hollywood, mainstream media, etc... And actually, what you said is correct to a degree, but only if it's explained. You said, "People buy things if they think it's convenient," (boldening mine). The reason people think anything is convenient--is because they're told that this new technology is convenient or better or will somehow transform their lives--that's the whole point of advertising in the television age...an emotion-based, visual-based age.

Second of all, history is not going to be what sets the pace for the switch to HD. Will it be instant? Obviously not. Will it take 10-15 years from now? Absolutely not. The only history you can look at to show you any kind of estimate, is the last 10 years... The world has changed how quickly it assimilates new technology (thanks due largely in part to who is telling them what to buy and why they're being told to). The only technology left from over 10 years ago in the entertainment biz is basically CD's (talking consumer level here...) Satellite TV is as big as cable, satellite radio is catching on like wild fire, the internet EXISTS, people are already weening themselves off of CD's in favor of downloading (both legally and illegally) music and video content. On Demand Television is already being developed as an alternative to the current broadcast model. Acquisition models have changed and/or been completely invented due to the DV format. 5 year olds have computers today as powerful as Nasa's 20 years ago...and can do more with them.

I have looked at history...and since the invention of the telegraph, each new phase of technology takes less and less time to be assimilated...that's simply the world we live in today.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 01:13 PM   #38
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Kevin, I understand what you are saying (and I took marketing at college). But there are limits. Although the prices are coming down, people can still see past the marketing hype once they go to a shop and find out all the pieces of equipment that they need to replace in order to be fully HD. Once the customer gets to the checkout and has to hand over the money, that's where the illusion will collapse. Plus because DVD is relatively new in consumers minds, they will ask why they need to replace it when they have only just got it. People can be told that Armani suits are some of the best. But it makes no difference if they can only afford to shop at GAP!

Japan is a good example of a technologically mad country that has had access to HD since the late 80's, that still hasn't become mainstream. As I pointed out in a much earlier thread, when I asked my sister to get me some DVD's once, she was amazed to find that many shops were still mainly VHS!

History is a good indicator of how consumers choose what to buy. What advantage does HD give on a 14 inch TV in the kitchen for example? The advantage of HD depends much on screen size and viewing distance.

Then we come to other countries. The US as I have pointed out many a time, is NOT the world. Now I know you US people may like to think that it is, but it isn't. And just because HD may or may not take off in the US, it doesn't make a monkeys bit of difference to the rest of us. Why?

Bandwidth. While cable is available in many places, there are still many without cable access. There are also many who don't want to pay for satellite subscription, but even with satellite, there is still bandwidth availability problems.

So far as terrestrial transmission goes, there is only enough transmission bandwidth available for one station at the moment. Currently that is being taken up by a test transmission system that the different TV companies can use to test HD out.

But until ALL analogue transmissions are turned off across the whole of Europe, there will be no terrestrial HDTV here simply because it's a physical and scientific impossibility. So first we have to convert everyone to SD digital, which I suppose in Europe isn't too bad because we have had 16:9 digital transmissions for a while and the resolution is higher than NTSC. But only after that can the real push for HDTV be made.

But bandwidth is not the only thing stopping HDTV in Europe. Copyright is causing major headaches because of the number of countries that border each other. This is something else that is holding things up.

You need to look at this from a world perspective, not from a US one.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 01:21 PM   #39
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i think Kevin and Simon are both right, folks buy stuff for all sorts of reasons...

but a good rule of thumb is folks who buy stuff they don't need or can't afford are sheep

folks who buy stuff they need buy for conveniece wether it be price, location or what not

most folks do a little of both, they buy a sheepishly huge suv and shop for the best price on gas augh...
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Old January 11th, 2005, 01:25 PM   #40
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<<<-- Originally posted by Simon Wyndham : You need to look at this from a world perspective, not from a US one. -->>>

Actually, when it comes to what my business is doing and who I'm marketing to...no, I don't I need to be concerned with the status of things in the US. And while I'm certain that other parts of the world will be behind in this conversion process, as America leads the way, they'll follow shortly. Maybe the UK is 15 years off from HD assimilation. The US is hardly that far off.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 05:24 PM   #41
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Ok so I buy the new Sony Z1. I upgrade my FCE to the just out today FCE-HD. I burn on my Superdrive. So it will still be SD I'm watching on the DVD right? But your saying it should look better than SD? Now is what you burned HD or is it you just don't have a HD DVD player to watch it!!

So really if you want to see the full HD you would have to run direct into the HDTV set?
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Old January 11th, 2005, 05:33 PM   #42
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Lets agree to disagree

I don't want to hurl insults - that's not my purpose. The differnce between the opinions of folks like Simon, who "took marketing in college" and say, Steve Jobs - who DIDN'T take "marketing in college" is a bit of vision of that which cannot be seen. I am NOT by any means making any claim to be a visionary.

At the same time, I think that HDV, and this breakthrough in technology IS going to make a difference -- and while my examples might seem extreme -- , are they really? I remember paying $1000.00 for a reference grade DVD player in 1995 and my biggest problem was finding content. I had to buy everything mail order. In less than 4 years DVD was MORE than mainstream, and I think I helped add to it. I used to buy and give the players and DVD's as gifts to friends and family.

I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters - and 4 of them have HDTV's today. Only 2 receive content that is in HD format - and I'm the only one in the bunch of 6 that has a 4:3 aspect ratio TV! (I have a Sony RPTV that does a 16:9 anamorphic squeeze for HD)

They are SCREAMING for it - I'm screaming for it - the WORD is. I find myself watching stuff on network TV that I would NEVER consider watching only because it's being broadcast in HDTV - out of my 225 channels of cable, (I get every pay station) I only get 8 in HD. Can you see the problem here?

My brother easily has the means to buy one of those $12,000 plasma displays - in fact we were looking at one at Sony's display in NYC recently - and his arguement to me meant perfect sense - "what's the point?" So - I can hang it on my wall? So what? If I could hang it on my wall and get those pretty pictures I see at the SONY store, I'd buy it in a heart beat. This is from a guy who had an iPod on the day they came out - and now he has 4 of them and they are the central component to his entire music system (car, home, kids, etc)

The problem with HDTV is a simple chicken/egg one. Which one we have today doesn't matter - we need the other one. SOMEBODY has to make it. MILLIONS of people are going to be demanding it in a couple of years. HDV will allow tiny, independent producers who never though that they could create content to create it. I want to be one of those people.

I didn't take marketing in college, I have to admit, I don't have a degree and couldn't sit still long enough to get one. My hat's off to all that did.

I was able to create a software company that made a little bit of money during the 1990's and the turn of the century. Software development is dead in the US - that's been handed over to the cheap labor in India by the huge US corporations. HDTV is alive, well and ready to start kicking - and I wanna be there when it starts to kick.

I have no idea what I'm doing here ranting about it here. I'll see you on the other side guys. As I heard another visionary say, -- Lead, follow, or get out of the way!

We are living in some VERY exciting times! I hope to run into some of you on the way.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 05:37 PM   #43
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Mr Dylan -

No, it will STILL be SD video if you burn it onto DVD. No matter what you do. It might look a little bit nicer, I'm not sure, I have no experience. BUT, if you want to spring another $300 for a JVC 300000U D-VHS player and record in 1080i, then you will have 1080i content that will amaze and delight your friends and family for the moment.

It would be as amazing as if you made your own DVD in 1998! (Which would have been IMPOSSIBLE unless you spent $500,000+ for the first copy)
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Old January 11th, 2005, 06:03 PM   #44
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Bill, how would you connect to the DVHS recorder? All that I've heard suggests that the FX1 and Z1 are not compatible with DVHS.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 06:12 PM   #45
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You can't connect them directly. Interestly enought, my only experience doing this was JUST today. You can pull video from the FX1 using the CINEFORM tool for Sony VEGAS, and it will record right back out to the D-VHS deck.

I just did it, not an hour ago. I also did it, sort of, about a month ago, with the previous version, but that version didn't capture to well from the FX1.

Interesting that you should mention that, as that's what I was expermenting with just now.

I have never tried to connect the two directly. I understand the FX1 uses a PES and the JVC a MTS (slightly differnt transport streams, the Sony being one layer above the JVC in the hierarchy of transport streams)

BTW: I notice that the JVC software does not recognize the Sony camera out of the box, but with a little tinkering DOES recognize the PES stream for some reason. Too bad the software is so bad. I found it unusable as compared to Premiere, Vegas, FCP.
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