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Old June 20th, 2005, 02:47 PM   #1
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Why is Sony flooding market with quality low cost HD?

IMHO, is to make sure they sell as many 1080i cameras as can. Will make it harder for Panasonic and JVC sell 720p. 1080i standard will get better entrenched and Sony will have 1080i market more less clear of their 2 big competitors. The reason is that Matsushita (Panasonic, JVC) are promoting 720p broadcast, wheras Sony promotes 1080i. It's undeclared war for world HDTV standards and we benefiting. If they all supported 1080i, we would not have any prosumer HD yet, would get to current price levels lot slower.

I think Matsushita sees dominance of 1080i, created by Sony, so they are trying grab indie filmmaker market with quality 720/24p and their new #200 model camera has excellent 1080i mode. Does not have uncompressed 1080p output, which means no native 1080p, instead 1080p derived from 720p or 1080i. If provided 1080p, Sony would follow, that would cut into their 1080p sales. They don't want war and erasure of high end equipment prices so I believe there will not be true 1080p consumer camera for while.

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Old June 21st, 2005, 10:42 PM   #2
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1080i is basically an old technology. Back in the 1990's Old Fashioned heavy bulky CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) Big screen projectors ruled. Back then it was cheaper to make a 1080i television than a 720p television because 1080i only has to display 540 lines at once rather than 720 lines at once. When the technology switched to fixed pixel displays like flat screen Plasma and LCD it was cheaper to make a 720p than a 1080p so 720p is the first choice for the more modern displays. But do you think that the American broadcaster wants to admit that they are still supporting obsolete technology? No way and thats why Sony is calling all its 1366 x 768 progressive displays high scan 1080i which sounds to me like a bunch of . But people never the less rush out to buy these so called Hi-Scan 1080i cameras ignoring the fact that all computer displays, plasmas and lcds are by nature progressive and then they try to Doctor up the images by so called de-interlacing and then they try to appease buyers remourse by deluding themselves into thinking that 720p is not real high definition. Hey but dont feel too bad Im thinking of buying an Old fashioned CRT 1080i television that weighs a ton because CRTs are good and cheap I like the colors and they handle motion far better than most LCD televisions and most broadcasting is 1080i and 720p converts nicely to 1080i with less artifacts than so called native 1080i
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 12:43 AM   #3
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1080i is here to stay. All the major cable conglmerates broadcastin 1080i even if the source is 720/60p,1080/24p or even streched up 480i (comcast does this a lot) Every HDTV sold supports it. Even with 720p and/or 1080p showing up,it's here to stay. HD is several resolutions, not one vs another.

And it looks great. I fail to see what every one is griping about. 1080i really looks great. geez. I'm watching it right now on Discovery HD. The program 'Road Trip' Seattle to Portland' is on.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 05:49 AM   #4
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Joe: I think anybody would agree that 1080i looks great (I do). I just find the
whole interlaced thing a problem (this seems to be the major problem for most
[technical] people). This should've been banned from the HD spec all together
in my very humble opinion. It has no place in this century. Yes, I know about
the technical "problems/issues" and why it was chosen. I still think it is a bad
choice :)

The "problem" is not really in the displaying part, wether a 1080p signal is
displayed in 1080i is not really an issue. Looks fine.

The "problem" is at the creation end. If I get a camera that does 1080i I have
sweet resolution but inheritenly a more video-ish look than a camera that
would do 1080p. I'm not looking for that in my fictional movie work.

Now people will start to say but what about the framerate. What about it?
If we can have 1080i at 30 fps we can have 720p at 60 fps which has the
same (actually more) motion "clarity" (or temporal resolution). So we could've
started out with version 1 of the spec that did 720p 60 fps and 1080p 30 fps.

Then version two of the spec (when the market was ready for the increased
bandwidth) could offer 1080p 60 fps.

Perhaps I'm just crazy, who knows....
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 12:50 PM   #5
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1080i will be a standard along with 720p on this new, upcomig HDTV generation. After that, it will die a quick, horrible death.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 03:33 PM   #6
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Gee! This kinda follows my earlier thread predicting that 1080i will someday die. It somehow dawned on me that soon there will be few CRTs. Then why create a signal that MUST be converted before display?
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 04:09 PM   #7
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In theory I agree with Rob's sentiments about progressive vs. interlaced. However, if you need a camera right now (as I did) then the Z1 was the one for me. The new JVC camera looks like it will cost more and be bigger/heavier than the Z1, whenever it hits the store shelves. The Panasonic looks compelling but it will be much, much more expensive when you include storage media.

I certainly would agree that if you don't need a new camera right now then you should wait awhile. There will be more choices and more price competition further down the road.

Sure, CRT's will eventually die (I don't know how you define "soon," but it's certainly a number of years away). But if you wait until then everyone will be telling you to wait for the new holographic 3d imaging cameras... or whatever ;-)

BTW, the FX1 and Z1 can both output 480p which looks terrific - I could hardly tell the difference from 1080i on my 17" widescreen LCD panel. The Z1 can also do 576 line 25p at which should look even better. The only "gotcha" is that they can't send this format over firewire, only through the component video port, so you'd need a capture card.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 04:20 PM   #8
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Flooding the market? Not.

With precisely two consumer and two professional HDV pieces, half of which are not yet available, the other half being somewhat difficult to obtain, I would hardly call that "flooding the market." Sony still has how many standard definition DV camcorders in their current line? Quite a few, that's how many.

I'd like to know exactly what can't be done with either 720p or 1080i. How exactly are either one of these "not good enough" as the original poster seems to imply.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 04:33 PM   #9
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Seems to me it's just another religious argument. People who have chosen the One True Path of 720P want to feel they have been saved, and those who worship at the alter of the Great God 1080I also feel they are the Chosen People.

I'm an agnostic--I can get decent footage with either one, and if the end result needs to be the other format, I can worship at the alter of my God of Divine Software Solution to fix my stuff.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 04:52 PM   #10
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I'd agree that the market is far from "flooded," However I will say that Sony is pushing the FX1 much more aggressively than I ever saw with the VX-2000 or 2100. I live out on the edge of suburbia where the megastores have (so far) not appeared. There's a little local camera/home entertainment shop a couple miles down the road from me. They sell lower end cameras and camcorders, but probably make most of their money from home theatre systems.

Anyway, they always run a full page ad on the back cover of the weekly "shopper" publication here - you know, the kind of freebie newpaper where you read about the sale on pork chops at the local market. For the past 3 weeks half of that page has been devoted to an FX-1 ad "World's first recording and playback consumer high definition 1080i camcorder" it proclaims.

Now these guys didn't even know what a VX-2000 was when I was shopping around 3 years ago. But obviously they are making a linkage between the kind of person that will drop $10,000 on a home theatre setup and is looking for a way to impress their friends with a "Baby's first steps" video.

The forthcoming Panasonic and JVC cameras will be too expensive and pro-oriented to peddle to that crowd. The older JVC was targeted at this market but didn't seem to reach critical mass. So it's going to be interesting to see who steps up to the plate next. Sony is certainly trying to carve out their turf right now...
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 05:03 PM   #11
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Rob,

Although I personally am only interested in making fictional work, I still believe interlaced should keep existing. Because then there is a difference between the video look and the film look. What if everything in the news has a kind of film look? (And I know that there is more to filmlook then 24p).

I like the fact that we, as filmmakers can make an illusion with the choice of going to 24p (of 25p) that looks different then the 'reality' video thing.
Because it's fictional work. I like the idea of choosing to go into that 'fictional reality' and that you on the other side have the video look, that's great for reality programs and the news and stuff.
But that's only my opinion offcourse.
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 04:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Flooding the market? Not.

With precisely two consumer and two professional HDV pieces, half of which are not yet available, the other half being somewhat difficult to obtain, I would hardly call that "flooding the market." Sony still has how many standard definition DV camcorders in their current line? Quite a few, that's how many.

I'd like to know exactly what can't be done with either 720p or 1080i. How exactly are either one of these "not good enough" as the original poster seems to imply.
I meant flooding prosumer HD market.

I'm not saying 720p or 1980i are not good enough. For filmmaking 1080p is ultimate right now.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 12:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
For filmmaking 1080p is ultimate right now.
Nonsense. The ultimate would be UHD recording at 4K resolution for under $5000. Wait, make that under $500.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 11:19 AM   #14
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Here's a quote from Charlie Rhodes in his 4-06-05 Digital TV column at tvtechnology.com.

"The shadow mask three-gun color CRT was invented in Germany in 1938. That patent was discovered by researchers at the Sarnoff Research Lab and reduced to practice within about six weeks as a result of the competition between the CBS Field Sequential TV System and NTSC. Now, after 50 years of service, the color CRT has retired. HDTV, with its life-size screens, will carry on from here. If you don't believe it, just visit any large store selling TV sets to see what they are stocking and selling."

No CRTs, no need for interlaced scanning! I don't see this as a contest between two somewhat comparable (720p60 and 1080i30) formats, I see the DISPLAY part of interlacing disappearing. The question then becomes "why create it in the first place?".

It seems reasonable that 1080p24 could become a reasonable format for film, since the film folks have never seen fit to increase frame rate. I guess I've never quite understood that. Maybe it's the "fiction vs. reality" thing that Mathieu mentioned. Maybe film will disappear. Maybe our perception that a slow frame rate denotes fiction will disappear. I bet most of us who have been around long enough to watch the last thirty or forty years of motion picture and sound technology could not have come close to predicting what we see today! (Notice I said "motion picture" without a word about film OR tape.)

I used to believe that 1080i was the slightly superior format - and maybe I still do. But who is going to be able to watch it? Converting works, but I think will soon become a troublesome and unnecessary step.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 07:02 PM   #15
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Sony is pushing 1080i extremely hard. In Europe you have state controlled TV stations, like BBC, and private networks. In Czech Republic are also state controlled and private TV networks.

Sony went to all state controlled networks, in every European country, gave them 1080i HDCAM 730, HDCAM VCR, editing stuff, for one week. If they want to buy it, it's dirt cheap; the same price in every country. In Czech Republic 1 million crowns, or about 40,000 USD.

Czech television not has even opened the boxes. They just shoot most stuff on film; have own 35 and Super 16 mm labs where they process. News is shot on Digital Beta.

The country's TV broadcast is converting to digital, but not HD.

It's a war with Panasonic, 1080i vs. 720p.

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