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Old December 5th, 2005, 11:37 AM   #1
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HDV vs other HDs for broadcast (somewhat long)

OK, a friend is looking to put together a small broadcast studio, and wanted me to help him figure out what kind of aquisition, etc. equipment he should be looking at, on a small budget.

The studio will have several small rooms (think 12x15 or so) for filming small instructional-type stuff, a set (think of something like a typical local news desk type set), and a theater.

The stuff in the studios will all be pre-recorded stuff, but at times there may be need for broadcasting live stuff from the theater... Nothing is definite yet. I don't know his total budget yet either.

He wants to do everything in HD so he won't buy SD stuff and then have to upgrade and repurchase a lot of the equipment in a few years.

Initially I was thinking something along the lines of the following...

For the small rooms, space will be an issue. Probably need 2 cameras (likely 1 hand held & 1 permanently mounted or on a tripod). I was thinking possibly the JVC GY-HD100, most likely either in HDV to tape or uncompressed HD-SDI out to a control room w/ a big server on it. Portable, cheap, uncompr. out, and ability to fit into a small space are reasons that make the HD100 very attractive for this purpose

For the theater, I have been looking at the P2 eng-type stuff, and although I am very early on in looking at this stuff, I am currently leaning towards the Grass Valley Infinity. There would be 2 or 3 cameras for the theater. In a 3 camera setup he is thinking one in the back on a tripod or pedestal for long shots, a hand-held on stage for close-ups, etc. and possibly a 3rd suspended in the air and moveable & remote controllable, or a "swinging seat" type setup like you see when large concerts are being filmed. If we went w/ the GV Infinities for this setup we would either be writing to their RevPro media, or HD-SDI out. Another option that I have just started looking at is the comperably priced Ikegami HD/eng style cameras as they can record to native DNxHD - Avid's native HD compression codec. I can't recall off of the top of my head if the GVs support that, or if we would do it on the back-end by running HD-SDI out into something like a Avid Media Composer Adrenaline HD setup or something like that.

For the News Desk setup, we are still kind in the air about it. POssibly 2 more GV Infinitys?

For any field work that needs to be done, well that's kinda up in the air right now. Grab some of the GVs from the theater, or grab some of the JVC HD100s from the small rooms and throw a wide angle adapter or lens on them?

So my questions are, are these decent choices? What if we use the GV and a camera dies and we have to use a JVC as a back up? Will the footage match up well enough? I suppose if we run the HD-SDI out in a studio environment it will be a lot easier to match up the footage since we won't be dealing with different compression rates and hence largely different looking footage. Is this "Good enough" for now, at least until (if) things take off and more better equipment can be purchased? Hell, I'd go w/ all HD100s with better lenses running HD-SDI out everywhere except for maybe the theater if I felt that it would not look bad broadcast over HD! For the theater, however, I am definitely leaning towards the GVs simply because it is a much more demanding environment, and with lighting difficulties, etc. I think that the limitations of 1/3" CCDs vs the 2/3" CCDs of the eng-style GVs will be hugely apparent in that environment.

As far as the "news room" goes, there really won't be any live stuff going on, so I think that we can get away with using cameras w/ no CCUs. we just stream the footage to disk and do multi-camera edits, etc. in post. Is this reasonable?

For the theater, would we really need cameras that have or can get CCUs for them, or will someone running a decent video switcher be good enough for that? Since most of the News room cameras will be in a very controlled environment, we can probably leave a lot of the settings on the camera as set & forget and leave adjustments up to the operators rather than having CCUs so a control room director can control all of this. Is THAT reasonable?

For the back end, we need equipment that can input HD-SDI, and do multi-camera editing. The uncomressed HD footage requires TONS of HD space, so I was really looking at something like the Avid Media Composer systems which can compress the HD-SDI input to their DNxHD compression codec, which the avid systems can then edit. This would save us on a lot of disk space.

Another alternative would be a setup using something like a Black Magic DeckLink card & a Final Cut Pro HD editing system... I know that GV has an "HD Broacast in a box" system, and I have not yet looked at that.

The key here is to be as (reasonably) cheap as possible, flexible, be able to match footage reasonably well/easily, and be able to compress the uncompressed footage as highly and yet lossless as possible in order to save on disk space requirements.

For these reasons I am thinking to run the cameras out HD-SDI (so as to avoid the limitations of the HDV compression codecs on the JVCs & better be able to adjust to match footage & make editing easier) & do any copression on the backend with hardware that will compress much better than the codecs in the camera(s).

At this point I am thinking around $35k/ GV Infinity (they are $20K for the body) not including media & $6k for each JVC, plus ~$1500+ for the WA adapter & HD wide angle lens. For the backend DI/edit stuff, I am not sure about the price. I figure at this point, one step at a time. Once I can figure out if my suggestions will work OK, I'll get into detail about the pricing of the back-end stuff. RIght now I want to lay out all of my (somewhat lower budget) options and find out where the price/functionality trade-offs will be. I know that a full blown Avid DS system & their Quantel competitors run at around $250k. He is hoping to get away with a back-end/post solution that will be significantly less than this.

I know some about the limitations of the JVCs & HDV and hope to avoid much of that via HD-SDI out, and at least for the small rooms we won't need wide-angle stuff, so the WA limitation of the stock fujinon lens is OK for that situation. I think for things like diffraction limitations, etc. with the JVC in that environment it really won't be that big a deal, and I wonder how much stuff like that would even be at all noticable....

Tips, ideas, comments, etc. are all helpfull!!

Alex F
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Old December 5th, 2005, 08:50 PM   #2
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Okay, the big problem I see is that as far as I know the JVC HD100 does not have HD-SDI out. Only component. So for every camera in use you would need a component to HD-SDI convertor for every camera. The XL H1 is the only Prosumer (well, kind of prosumer) that has HD-SDI native in the camera. Unless thier is some studio version of the HD100 that has HD-SDI that I don't know about.

Sorry I can't help you on anything other than that. Your in a realm I've never had to deal with. I'd try and keep formats to one type as much as possible but when you have varying levels of cameras this is difficult.

When you shoot HD-SDI are you planning on recording the live feed when your broadcasting. If so what is your backup medium. Are your planning to export to a datatape or using a deck to archive your footage.
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Old December 5th, 2005, 08:56 PM   #3
 
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If you want SDI out, I'd go for the Canon. No worries of split screen, great glass (that I've seen thus far, anyway) SDI ability, plus a lot of great features. Then you don't need a component/SDI converter, and it's clean from chip to HDD... More money...but from all outward appearances a significantly better camera, and fits your needs.
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Old December 5th, 2005, 09:09 PM   #4
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Ah, yes, I must have misread the specs on the JVC. I thought it had a native HD-SDI out. OK, so then the Canon does seem a better choice.

Has anyone heard anything about a more ENG style P2 camera coming from Panasonic that would be just a step above the HVX200? I would be real interested in how much they would be charging for that as well... Something like that, depending on the price & physical size, could be used for everything, & if it is too big, the HVX200 might be good for those tight spots in the smal rooms. I had heard rumblings about Panasonic coming out w/ a new P2 that will be a step above the HVX200, like an HD version of the SPX700/800. The only thing about the p2 is that right now the medium is very expensive & the HVX200 also only has HD component outs...

The guy is not looking to purchase for a while, and will eventually get someone that can really put together a system for him, etc. He just wants me to give him a round-about budget (read bottom end) ball park, but something that is at least realistic..

Thanks,

Alex F
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Old December 5th, 2005, 09:49 PM   #5
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Here's a couple other options to consider:

http://www.thomsongrassvalley.com/pr...ras/family_hd/

http://www.ikegami.com/br/products/sdtv/dng_frame1.html
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Old December 6th, 2005, 12:59 PM   #6
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I was looking at those, though I was looking at the GV Infinity. Its a much cheaper HD ENG type camera, basically GVs equivalent to the Ikegami that you linked to.

I think for the theater, something along those lines are the way to go. For the "news desk" set, I am wondering what I can "get away with", and for the small rooms I definitely will need something handheld and small, like an HVX200 or the Canon...

Too bad that the JVC does not have the HD-SDI out. I looked at the Miranda HDV->HD-SDI box, but didn't price it. It wants an HDV (IOW, already passed throught the MPEG-2 codecs) signal from what I gather. The JVC's component out is pre-codec (they advertise it as "uncompressed" component out).

Nice that the Canon has the HD-SDI out. Sucks that it's not really a progressive camera. Even at 720 it's frame and not progressive. :-(

I want an HVX200 P2 w/ cheaper storage & swappable lenses :-) THat would be perfect.

Alex F
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Old December 6th, 2005, 01:34 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Filacchione

Too bad that the JVC does not have the HD-SDI out. I looked at the Miranda HDV->HD-SDI box, but didn't price it. It wants an HDV (IOW, already passed throught the MPEG-2 codecs) signal from what I gather. The JVC's component out is pre-codec (they advertise it as "uncompressed" component out).
AFAIK, everyone's component out (in hdv land) is uncompressed, or precompression, in other words. Of course, it's chroma subsampled, but then most everything is.
Convergent Design's HD/SDI box should be out soon, that'll take component and convert it to SDI.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 01:52 PM   #8
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Just as exciting in my opinion is Convergent Design's HDV LE which will take the firewire out of the camera, split the signal into Uncompressed SDI, analogue audio and timecode with RS422 connection.

This way, you can bring ftg into Kona (or Decklink) as DVCProHD or another codec rather than HDV.

By the way, Alex, the Canon is not 720 at all...it's 1080i and of course, f.

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Old December 6th, 2005, 02:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Filacchione
Sucks that it's not really a progressive camera. Even at 720 it's frame and not progressive.
Early frame-mode images suggest the 24f on the XL-H1 isn't bad, but there is something to be said for shooting 1080i and then rendering to the desired output in post. For example, I can see a definite difference in image quality between 1080i rendered to 1080p and the same footage rendered to 720p, so if your goal is maximum resolution then 720p may not cut it. If your goal is clean frame grabs that may be a different story, but for video 1080i has its place.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 04:44 PM   #10
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Ultimately 1080i vs 720p doesn't matter *that* much for what you are suggesting as frame grabbing isn't really that important to him :-)

He wants 720p for basically 2 reasons:

1) No interlacing artifacts - again ultimately it's not *that* important (we are not going to be freeze-framing a golf ball flying in the sky on a large screen or anything), but prog does look a little cleaner if the home user decides to freeze frame or slow down what is on the screen via their DVR, etc.

2) Less storage requirements for 720p

As far as 720 on the canon, I assume you are right. The page basically advertises it as "HD resolution" w/ selectable frame rates, one of which is 30f, whihc I guess is why I mistakenly assumed 720. I have docs & reviews of the camera, I just need to pull them out...

Does anyone know a projected price point for the CD coming-soon component-SDI box?

The rumors for the P2 ENG style camera were around $23k, but there was some controversy on DVXusers as to whether this included a lens or not.

If P2 media prices do fall in the next year, and the p2 eng-style camera ends up being 23k w/ lens that would be great, and an obvious solution. However right now, paying ~$3-4k for 16 minutes of recording time is NOT a good solution (based on 2 8GB P2 cards). I do need to look at that camera more closely however...

THanks,

Alex F
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Old December 6th, 2005, 05:44 PM   #11
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Would it be feasible and make any sense to take HD-SDI out of the Canon XL-H1 and record that signal on a deck or computer in 720p? Seems to me that the Canon is almost ideal for the situation under discussion, because it offers uncompressed HD in the studio (without any converters hanging off the camera) plus affordable HDV recording out in the field.

As far as editing is concerned, you might take a look at the Cineform Prospect HD "injest" version, which costs about $3500 per workstation and gives you real-time capture to a minimally compressed codec. I don't have any experience with that, but it sure sounds better than spending $250K for a high-end editing setup. They're also planning to offer a deck which records to this format for around $15K, although I think you could build a computer-based version cheaper.
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