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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
Topics about HD production.


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Old October 7th, 2004, 06:04 AM   #16
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There are ways to reduce the effect by for example splitting the
channels and working on the seperately. However, it will never
be as good as when you had it uncompressed (ofcourse).
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Old October 7th, 2004, 10:24 AM   #17
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Graeme, I have ordered a FX1 and in preperation have treated myself to a new Toshiba 26", 16x9 HD set ( about the lowest cost I could find that was 16x9 in Ottawa). I have also changed my Digital cable box to the HD box. This is all in the last two weeks and have the following observations. The PBS Detroit channel is probably the ONLY true HD channel with good picture and 5.1 sound that broadcasts all the time. Most of the other channels are still 4x3 and are likely not from original HD material ( the picture difference is VERY obvious) The multiple conversions between analogue and digital from original, cable transmission,and TV line doubling/expansion to 16x9 for 4x3 picture, create the potential for an awful picture. In fact I can confirm that my JVC I'art 24" on straight cable ( no box) on the same channel is considerably better than the component input to the Toshiba from the Digital box zoomed to fill 16x9 screen!!!!! That said, the picture from PBS is startling with great 5.1 sound, several programs on the other channels in prime time are clearly true HD. I think that there is a lot of digital artifacts due to interaction between the program source and the TV's enhancement circuitry, sort of double re-encoding!! that creates a lot of problems on poor source material. A bit like doing two encode decode cycles and then applying digital zoom!!! Certainly on this small Toshiba I have better performance from the Y/C input than the component for some sources!!! I have a DVI to HDMI cable coming today so will see if this makes a difference. I am sure things will be a lot better when the transmission is digital all the way to the display with no re-encoding involved. Most of what is seen in the big box stores I am sure is standard definition, seen on all the TVs in the store. The HD sets process the video ( line double progressive, zoom to 16x9 ) and performance is really poor or show DVD's which of course are not HD and suffer the same processing!!! The only demos worth watching in Ottawa are PBS or the Rogers demo channel.

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Old October 7th, 2004, 03:04 PM   #18
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Simon,

A lot of people are finding success with HDV, as they did with mini-dv. No one ever suggested that HDV or DV was pro HD and SD, if that's what you're saying.

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Old October 7th, 2004, 04:19 PM   #19
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Why shoot in anything higher than 8mm?

Interesing thread, one that I would believe was posted more from and understanding perspective than a condescending perspective.

The questions seems rhetorical but why even consider HD or Film for that matter? No one has a film projector at home to view the content natively right or the 4:4:4 colorspace that film is capable of? True HD monitors and projectors aren't able to resolve the full resolution of true HD, why bother? Mainly because the target audience will always have a viable method to view the recorded material whether it be film, HD or HDV. It can always be produced and marketing 'down'.

As for HD now with HDV you have a few less expensive options for presentation to friends, family and business partners.
  • Downconvert to DVD - The increased resolution will always present more detail when downconverted than DV would converted to DVD.
  • WMVHD baby! - You can convert HDV to WMVHD and store up to 2 hours on DVD! You could present the WMVHD contents via laptop or PC to a multimedia projector or connect it directly to a HDTV set.
  • D-VHS - With players costing as little as $300, you could edit and store your results on D-VHS with the same codec as it was created in with little hit on quality. A D-VHS player can be brought to the presentation or if a friend or family member has one they could use it to view footage from the JVCs.

The future option of course (specifically for the JVCs) is to be able to present the HD material on an HD optical format like the upcoming Blu-Ray or HD-DVD formats. I'm sure the Sony FX1 would be able to be recorded to these formats as well, we're just not sure at this point. Regardless of which one dominates, since MPEG2 is a standard on both, I'm sure we'll have no problems with footage from HDV cameras.

Not only that but I would consider the format ahead of the curve especially from a consumer standpoint now. Everytime I show off any footage from my HD1 people stare in awe at the wonder image quality. I take my HD1 to the local Best Buys and Circuit City's (electronic retailers) here in the states to just awe people about every other month. :-) HD from a consumer camcorder...doesn't get any better than this.

As far as MPEG2, I guess if you don't have any experience with it you really don't know. Although the codec is antiquated, it's still very effective for delivery gorgeous video. MPEG2 HD done right is a spectacle to behold. I've been in the HD viewing side of things now for over 4 years. I've yet to see any HD program that wasn't simply breathtaking, especially programs shot in HD video like the ones on Discovery HD etc.

MPEG2 shouldn't even be considered a downfall in my opinion. Hell even on DVD, MPEG2 is wonderful as you mentioned. Ask the typical consumer and you'll see why DVD has taken off like no other media in the history of home cinema.

My HD1 produces excellent images with no hint of MPEG2 artifacts. Any problem related to the camera is with the other hardware like the lens (chromatic aberration), lack of manual controls, the CCD color process (which produces the chroma noise), etc.

Quote:
The tapes are unreliable and susceptable to even the most microscopic piece of dust or condensation.
I've used DV for over 6 years and I've never had any problems with the hundreds of tapes I own! I've gone snorkeling with them, to the beach, on amusement park rides, skiing. I use them in the snow, rain, fog, water and I've not had one single tape glitch (knock on wood).

Quote:
Rubbishy compression all round for years to come...
I'm not sure what you're watching but until you get all the details together and learn about the video and audio aspects of MPEG2, then you won't understand. Granted there are more effcient codecs out, MPEG2 is in it's prime now and people have learned to tweak it to get the best results from it. The mastering process has gone full circle and the results today show in comparison to MPEG2 footage from just 2 years ago.

Quote:
God only knows what kind of horrible artefacts HDV produces if you shot against a graduated plain blue sky for example.
I've seen none in my footage, I'd be more than happy to share some of those with you for your discerning pleasure.

Troy
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Old October 7th, 2004, 04:40 PM   #20
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Hi Troy.

It would be fantastic if you could post up some direct screen grabs at full resolution in a variety of situations for us to see. For example some high motion grabs, some panoramas with smooth graduated colours etc.

With regard to DVD, it is true that the MPEG compression looks good (though not as good on a large projector I might add). DVD's do look pretty bad if you look at them closely. However with commercial DVDs somebody is there to manually examine bit rates.

My problem with HDV is that it is doing one pass compression to fit a high def picture into the same area normally occupied by an SD picture.

Further, what about chroma keying? DV is bad, but what's MPEG 2 like?

I also think that having MPEG 2 really does limit development. There needs to be a bridge between HDV Mpeg 2 and high end high def used on HDcams etc. Perhaps the new IMX Sony camera will solve this, albeit in an expensive way for every day people.

Could you also post some still grabs of HDV when it has been processed and recompressed with titles and something like the Magic Bullet process with before and after effects so we can see what the differences are. It would also be cool if you could post some SD shots of the same shots as HDV for direct comparison.
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Old October 7th, 2004, 05:06 PM   #21
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The indie movie Recon 2020 which use my Film Effects, was shot mostly on DV apart from a section in HDV on the JVC. Bad news is, that even when mastered to DigiBeta, the HDV stuff looked a lot worse than the DV stuff, but that's because the JVC camera is a one chipper, and has poor manual controls and is over-sharp. With the new Sony, I think we'd all hope that the HDV would look better than the DV at DV rez. I'm hoping to get into our local Sony dealer asap to see it when it's available here, and also to have full HD monitoring gear in the edit suite so that I can really see what it's like and what it's capable of.

Graeme
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Old October 7th, 2004, 06:12 PM   #22
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Ron, I was in Bleeker, watching what looked like HD olympics, and some Rogers stuff, ER perhaps. My other experience with HD broadcasts was Discovery Channel in Boston, USA. Most looked great until the picture moved. Then it was rapidly down hill, showing the same kind of artifacting you get on low bitrate MPEG2.

Yes, it's a crying shame that a picture that starts out digital, can get converted back and forth between analogue and digital, even over cable to your house. I detest both the picture quality and programme quality of TV these days, no matter if it's UK or Canada, and am just buying what I want to watch on DVD. Since the UK went digital, the picture quality dropped through the floor. I had some 90's TV taped off air BBC2 on miniDV, and showed it to a Canadian friend, and they were floored by how good analogue broadcast TV in the UK used to look.

Dynamix says they'll have pro FX1 before too long, and will have an open day to show it off. I guess we'll see it then. I'm getting an HDLink for the edit suite, along with a Black Magic decklink, so I'll be able to view full quality 1080 HD, and really see what it looks like. I hope it looks better than DVCPro HD, which to me, is way too artifacty.

Graeme
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Old October 7th, 2004, 06:48 PM   #23
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Graeme, I have ordered my FX1 from Bleekers. Having had my Toshiba now for 3 weeks to the day I have found that the Y/C input gives the most pleasing picture because there is only one stage of 16x9 conversion and up conversion. This is true for DVD's especially, component out from my DVD players causes some video delay and artifacts. The one example of HD in Bleekers that was truly stunning was playback from a D-VHS deck of a commercial DVHS tape. Smooth motion, no artifacts that I could see in the short time I was looking at the video. This was in the West End location on a projection system filling a wall!! I am more and more convinced that the majority of HD programs are up rez versions and when played back on a HD TV potentially cause problems with the TV sets processing. A true 720P or 1080i program results in no processing and thus conflicts and consequent artifacts. Not sure if this is th case but there sure is a BIG difference in plrogram sources.
I think this represents a huge opportunity for true HD programming. In this regard the JVC and Sony FX1 will I am sure produce better results than the multi processed HD content currently available.

Must keep my eye open for the Dynamix day.

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Old October 7th, 2004, 10:14 PM   #24
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<<<-- Originally posted by Simon Wyndham : So imagine how long it will take HD-DVD to become the normal format.-->>>

I'm actually hoping blu ray becomes the next standard. It probably will, since Sony owns PS, Columbia, TriStar, and MGM. By the time HD DVD is ready for distribution, Sony will probably have already filled enough homes with blu ray games and movies to monopolize the media format market. Now, how about if the FX1 pro recorded to blu ray? That would be something!
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Old October 7th, 2004, 10:27 PM   #25
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In the latest Film and Video magazine, they do a great article on HDV and the only complaint was D-VHS tapes are a little flimsy (the tape itself, not the case it's in).

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Old October 8th, 2004, 03:05 AM   #26
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Charlie, from what I can gather the Sony XDCAM recording system is based on Bluray.

So yep, if they can not only record to Bluray it would be great, but that bitrate will have to go up too.

How are people making sure they are getting accurate focus with these cameras?
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Old October 8th, 2004, 02:21 PM   #27
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Thanks for setting things back in the realm of the educated Troy.

People, HDV has been out for a while now. Try reading and searching/researching about HDV befor you half guess the reality of the technology. HDV is not a new format that just came out with the announcement of the Sony cam. The questions and debates many are proposing have long ago been discussed. I wellcome everyone to check out the JVC HDV forum and start reading. There is a bounty of information there with links to many clips and stills. As well as every technical aspect of HDV dicussed to the fullest.
Many of you may be new to HDV, but you must remmember many of use have been here since the beginning, and do not appreciate know-it-all's dropping in telling us what is good or bad about HDV when it is obvious they know nothing.
Questions are much more appreciated.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 03:23 PM   #28
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Ken, it's not a case of knowing nothing. Even Adam Wilt has pointed out in an article that HDV is not very good for adding titles to or other processes without an intermediate format. From the looks of it another $499 has to be spent on a system that takes the HD stream and stores it at a much higher bitrate to help alleviate these problems. So the way I am dubious over MPEG2 for HDV is not without foundation at all.

I believe that using MPEG 2 onto standard DV tapes to store a High Def picture is like putting an old 1.1 litre Fiat engine into a Ferrari Enzo. The limiations of MPEG 2 have been known for a long time. Surely they could have made the new cameras record to a much higher bitrate at least but have a reduced recording time on normal DV cassettes, but then have more recording time on specialised HDV tapes. That's not ideal, but a better solution in terms of quality down the editing line than is offered at the moment.

To make matters worse the audio is compressed. DV was just about saved by it's audio even if it was 16-bit. But having MPEG audio as the source is not very good at all no matter how you look at it. 384kbs might well be a target for final encoding and compression to Dolby Digital. But for the master source it's just not good enough.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 03:40 PM   #29
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Simon,

I just have one question for you, and please answer this:

Have you used either the JVC HD10 or HD1, or the new Sony FX1? I can tell you that, aside from the lack of manual audio controls, the audio sounds great on the HD10.

Please don't pass judgment on a camera if you haven't used it. If you have, then please tell us your experiences with it.

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Old October 8th, 2004, 10:24 PM   #30
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Well said, Heath, and thank you.

I am reminded of all the nay-sayers from 1995 who were adamant that the DV format couldn't possibly be useful in any way as a business or entertainment tool for serious video production... and yet, it is. Thousands of times over.

This is simply a matter of history repeating itself. Someone takes a look at the specs and the numbers and emphatically proclaims that the HDV format is horrible, even though they've never touched an HDV camera (they don't have to, I guess).

I've got some news. The HDV format is what it is and it's not changing. There are a number of manufacturers who have worked together developed it, and I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that their engineers know what they're doing. HDV is about to become the next revolutionary phase for affordable video production -- HDV is now what DV was in 1995: an entirely new format which clearly bears some very promising potential. And just like we had during the previous DV revolution, there's always someone who'll say "it's not good enough." Maybe it's not good enough for the tastes of that particular person, but clearly it's good enough for the vast majority of the market. And that fact makes this a moot issue for our purposes here.

The HDV format is not going to change. It's a published specification. You either investigate it through hands-on touch-and-try self-research and embrace it, or you choose some other higher-end HD format such as HDCAM or DVCPro HD. To disregard HDV based solely on its numbers is not a very intelligent assumption to make.
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