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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old November 11th, 2005, 04:10 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet
Finally how many of us hand off 24p tapes to our clients anyways? .
we do very frequently...sometimes we get booked for the shoot and not the edit, sometimes we subcontract with a larger shop to shoot off location no editing...
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Old November 11th, 2005, 05:17 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Problem solved: stop using tapes for transferring data!
That's what I said earlier -- almost all of the HDV incompatibility goes away if you just don't use the tape. HDV is at its most compatible when it's on a hard disk. Only 720/24p seems to provide problems at that point, although I guess it's possible that the Canon 24f/30f footage may not necessarily be supported yet either.

For handing footage over to a client, obviously the HDV tape solution is extremely far from ideal, and handing over a P2 card is obviously not going to happen either (unless the client brings them with them? I don't see that happening though -- maybe the client will rent 'em? Eh... we'll see.) Handing over the footage at the end of the day is a gaping hole in the workflow -- and it's the main reason I bought an HD100, to use for those times when the HVX/P2 is not the appropriate solution. However, the HD100/HDV solution is not now a workable solution by any stretch of the imagination for that purpose, and I sent it back. Maybe six months or a year from now the bleeding edge will have sorted itself out, but right now it's completely not practical or workable for what I wanted. The only way to make it viable would be to transfer the footage over to a hard disk, to avoid the incompatibilities. And if you're going to do that, why not start with the HVX in the first place, sidestep the HDV issues entirely, and work with a cam that supports dubbing to a hard disk directly?

Maybe nNovia will come along with an ejectable-disk recorder that could be used for the purpose of handing footage over. Hopefully with a device that supports all three HDV formats and all the HVX formats as well.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 05:28 PM   #33
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Some of this is what makes Sony's HD XDCam interesting. Yes, clients would need the deck, but it is a disk based media that has affordable media...comparable to tape, I think.

Coming soon...this Spring I think.

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Old November 11th, 2005, 05:54 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Stephen van Vuuren
You can't just hand a HDV tape to someone and except them to play it. To claim yourself as "HDV ready" or "HDV Compliant" post house or film festival, you would need to own the current batch of cams.

Secondly, if you want to uprez to HDCam or DVCPro-HD, your post house will all the cams again to transfer off the tape. Or use some other convoluted route to get there.

Either Canon/JVC/Sony need to promptly release a universal, affordable HDV deck or just split the format to avoid confusion.

Or many will end up shooting Firestore which add much cost as well as weight to the HDV production plan though there are still glitches with NLE support as well.
So HDV - as originally devised - has to wear the disgust of those who demanded it give them far more than it ever claimed?!

The whole concept that many of the 'Johnny come latelies' to the HDV soap opera have no idea of; is that the HDV spec was devised to provide HDTV owners with a low-cost HD image for viewing on their HDTVs.

As HD broadcast doesn't have one truly recognised size, frame rate, bitrate etc, etc... but a whole slew of variations around a theme - it was only natural that HDV inherit the same loose structure.

Of course the possibility of HD level video sent some Indie wannabies and high tech hippie refugees into mind bending overdrive mode... but their grandiose visions weren't matched by the reality of JVC's early HDV releases. So, requests were made of the manufacturers - who, being ever ready to make a buck where possible - saw the opportunity to exploit the flexibility of HDV's range of specification with appetite whetting (if somewhat 'out-of-strict-spec') inclusions.

Some of the things mentioned as "breaking HDV" were nothing more than what some of these forums requested of the manufacturers. If it wasn't for the bleating, then HDV would very likely be 720p 25/30 and 1080i 50/60! People get what they ask for - but they still want more.

Was HDV designed specifically for production houses? For Indie productions or broadcast? So, if HDV comes up a little short of expectations that are way beyond what it was originally intended to provide; is it broken - or is the expectation flawed?

Human inventiveness being what it is... solutions for the 'flaws' in HDV are coming along at a rate that will make a pronouncement about it's useability redundant almost as soon as that pronouncement is made.

I seriously doubt that interoperability will require ownership of every HD/HDV camcorder...

It seems more likely that a computer will form the hub of any reasonable HDV based system. It's easy and cheap enough to ingest HD/HDV material via computer from any source, and output it to the relevant one for distribution. If the latest and greatest variation of what you've been asking for doesn't have immediate computer support - it's bound to appear faster than the hernia you'll give yourself from worrying about the "broken" nature of HDV!!

If HDV seems 'broken' to some folks who are maybe considering it as an alternative... don't buy into it! Steer clear, go too an alternative format and hardware... If nothing is available, wait for however long it's going to take to fulfill your wish list.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 06:52 PM   #35
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Wise words, Steve.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 08:19 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
The only way to make it viable would be to transfer the footage over to a hard disk, to avoid the incompatibilities. And if you're going to do that, why not start with the HVX in the first place, sidestep the HDV issues entirely, and work with a cam that supports dubbing to a hard disk directly?
But HDV does support direct dubbing to hard drive recorders, and can record four times as long on a given size drive (compared to full-bandwidth DVCProHD). Plus with the HVX200 it costs four times as much to transfer and archive a given amount of footage, which could start to add up if you do long-form recording. So both options can have their place using an identical workflow, and then it's just a question of whether you want lower cost or higher bandwidth footage. No workflow difference provided your editing system can handle whatever footage you give to it.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 12:23 AM   #37
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Face it people we are now entering the world of HD which as much as we want it to be will never be as easy to deal with as DV was. This is a whole new beast and we need to get used to starting all over again in terms of workflow and editing performance. In a few years everything will get caught up again. (I hope)
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Old November 12th, 2005, 07:10 PM   #38
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The cheapest way to archive HDV material is not with hard drives but rather with Data DVD discs. An hours worth of HDV can be stored on 2 Data DVD discs for a cost of less than 1 dollar. These Data DVD discs will work on most Windows XP computers with the appropriate software downloaded. Thus the computer becomes the universal HDV deck.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 08:28 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy James
Thus the computer becomes the universal HDV deck.
From my perspective, the fact that with HDV,the computer is more than an option - it's integral to the HDV workflow... may prove to be too big a paradigm shift for those used to working without the necessity of computer skills.

Because of HDV's attraction to more than those just wishing to move on from the previous generation of 'affordably priced' video technology - it seems that there's a number of detractors and some of the undecideds, failing to account for the importance of computing technology in the HDV experience... so they seldom refer to it and the solutions it offers (and when they do it's because they've found some "quote somewhere" that spooks 'em like horses getting spooked at the gate...).

With the power of computer technology so tightly knit into the HDV workflow, the inherent specification flexibility HDV has, seems to provide greater opportunities for those clever enough to recognise and exploit them.

For those who can neither recognise, nor have any wish to exploit what others may see - that's fine, and they don't have to buy into 'it'... but; failure to see something others can doesn't mean HDV is "broken".
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Old November 12th, 2005, 08:51 PM   #40
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
From my perspective, the fact that with HDV,the computer is more than an option - it's integral to the HDV workflow... may prove to be too big a paradigm shift for those used to working without the necessity of computer skills.
Steve, I agree with you whole heartedly, but interestingly enough, the computer is also the most flexible, and least important component in some circles.
You need a cam
You need a display device

Any computer can be successfully used for HDV editing, you just have to decide whether you want to edit proxies on a slow machine, edit native HDV on a very fast machine (and still drop frames), edit with a DI, or edit 4:2:2 YUV on a monster system with a fast RAID and hardware card for I/O. So, the camera and display become the primary tools/stay the primary tools, and you can then use anything from a PIII laptop to a dual dual-core system with an 8-drive Raptor array or similar.

As far as cost per hour, DVDs marginally beat HDD for HDV storage, but only just....And given that you can put nearly 24 hours of HDV on a 300GB drive at a cost of 100.00, and have fast seek/access times....I'll stick with hard drives.
But for general data distribution, you're right, DVD is quite useful and easily shared between all platforms
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Old November 13th, 2005, 01:33 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
So HDV - as originally devised - has to wear the disgust of those who demanded it give them far more than it ever claimed?!

The whole concept that many of the 'Johnny come latelies' to the HDV soap opera have no idea of; is that the HDV spec was devised to provide HDTV owners with a low-cost HD image for viewing on their HDTVs.
I don't think you are accurately responding to my issue. HDV is called a "format". HDV is defined as HD MPEG-2 written to tape. The file on the hard-drive is not "the format". "The format" is the tape speed, type, size datarate etc in the recording medium the format defines. Every HDV camera has a HDV tape deck. Otherwise, it would not be HDV but a MPEG-2 camera...

Your points about low-cost HD and forum feature demand are all well-stated, but they don't really address the issue other than confirming my point that HDV is now more a "multi-format standard" like "HD" and not a "format" like "DVCPro-HD:"
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Old November 13th, 2005, 01:46 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
From my perspective, the fact that with HDV,the computer is more than an option - it's integral to the HDV workflow... may prove to be too big a paradigm shift for those used to working without the necessity of computer skills.
How do you arrive this conclusion? I fail to see any connection between contentment with HDV and computer skills....
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Old November 13th, 2005, 05:20 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen van Vuuren
How do you arrive this conclusion? I fail to see any connection between contentment with HDV and computer skills....
How?

Because those who are capable of extracting the most from such a new 'format' as HDV, are those willing to experiment with the software, rather than expecting an "out of the box" solution.

A HDV camcorder will provide playback functionality via it's tape deck with a HDTV. In that sense it fulfills it's major function of providing HD quality video to be viewed on an appropriate viewing device.

To get more out of HDV of any flavour, it's up to the capabilities of computer and software.

As for confirming that HDV is more a "mulit-format standard" like "HD" not a format like "DVCPro-HD", I'd imagine that would only be natural as HDV wasn't ever designed to be like "DVCPro-HD" or DV or Digi-Beta or...

If it truly was; as all the early HDV press releases stated, designed as a "format" to provide 'low-cost' HD level video suitable for viewing on HDTVs - which are all (or should all be) capable of 720p and 1080i playback either native or scaled, then surely it has lived up to it's original intention... Aberations such as JVC's 24p inclusion are sweeteners which the increasing sales momentum of Sony's HDV offerings have cajolled from the competition in order to be competitive.

Again. If you don't appreciate what's being offered with these camcorders... and the format known as HDV appears too convoluted and "broken" to you - don't buy into it, or wait until something comes along to change your mind.

BTW, HDV camcorders are actually very much MPEG2 cameras!! Each HDV spec'd camcorder has a Mini-DV tape deck capable of recording MPEG2 transport stream high level video of either 720p or 1080i. The deck was included purportedly to allow the use of cheap Mini-DV tape cassettes, and some degree of DV backward compatibility.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 09:05 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy James
The cheapest way to archive HDV material is not with hard drives but rather with Data DVD discs. An hours worth of HDV can be stored on 2 Data DVD discs for a cost of less than 1 dollar.
HDV has the same data rate as DV, so about 13GB per hour or basically three standard-size DVDs. If it costs ~$5-6 to store that on a hard drive versus $1 or so on DVD, what's your time worth to split a one-hour project into three pieces, burn three discs and keep track of those when you need to retrieve the video in the future? Disc-based storage will make more sense when we can buy 15 GB HD DVDs at a reasonable price
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Old November 13th, 2005, 11:23 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
How?

Because those who are capable of extracting the most from such a new 'format' as HDV, are those willing to experiment with the software, rather than expecting an "out of the box" solution.
Again, that point is fine, but that's not what this discussion is about. It's about the HDV format created by Sony, Canon, JVC is broken. Let me quote from the official site:

Tokyo, Japan, September 30, 2003 - Canon Inc., Sharp Corporation, Sony Corporation, and Victor Company of Japan, Limited (JVC) today announced that the specifications which realize the recording and playback of high-definition video on a DV cassette tape have been established as the “HDV” format.

I don't know how else I can make this point clear.

BTW, you are incorrect that I or probably many others "lack" the necessary computer skills to adopt HDV - I think there are many other reasons people have hesitated to buy the camera and/or adopt the format. I worked full-time in the computer field for ten years designing and managing networks for publishing companies. I currently still do some part-time IT consulting (pays bills better than video production in my neck of the woods).

But now I'm primarily a filmmaker and am currently working on a 1080p uncompressed HD experimental short for blow-up to 35mm and IMAX which is being created 2/3 in computer and the rest with composited DVX footage because I can't afford a CineAlta or Viper rental...I would say I probably push the computer digital video envelope just fine.

I have not bought a HDV camera because of the cameras (Sony are interlaced only and too many HDV artifacts, JVC and Canon have unappealing lens choices for my needs, JVC some glitches as well). I'm leaning to the HVX though still shopping and waiting to see what other options pop up.

The discussion here is not about any of these things though, it's about the wider pro, post and shooter markets that are going to run into issues with playback and transfer of tapes, and yes there are people there that lack computer expertise. However, as a former IT professional, I know the success of a format depends on ease of use for the non-expert.

"HDV" as a format is broken in this important area unless strong action is taken to clarify, re-integrate and move it forward.

Without a strong prosumer and pro base, Sony, Canon, JVC might not sell enough cameras (outside of some people on DVInfo and other niche area) for the format to sustain itself over the long haul.

And if people start getting a sour taste in their mouth with problems, that will be tough to market out of.

Given the rate of change, full HD recording with HDV-like compression may arrive soon enough to quickly obselete HDV, but then again, perhaps not.
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