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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old December 13th, 2005, 12:53 AM   #16
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I would like to tell a story about my experience.

I posted some video I shot for others to view on my website. It is not even hd, just some 720x480 29.97fps with 500kbps wmv format video. Some cameramen complained to me to say the file too big. FYI the file size is less than 100mbytes.

I can't beleive it. If that file size is too big, how can normal people view hd contents through web? Internet is future, right? ;-)

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Old December 13th, 2005, 12:50 PM   #17
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Maybe not all viewers will update to HD immediately, but digital delivery of video is a certainty. We all know that broadcasters must finish their conversion to digital by 2009 - though I will take no bets.

I am retired from broadcasting and video production, and recently had an opportunity to have a technical tour of a local Comcast head end. I was impressed! Out of 700 MHz of available bandwidth, 500 MHz was being used for analog channels, leaving only 200 MHz for all their SD digital channels, 8 HD channels, 46 music channels, over a hundred movies "on demand" including several in HD (from a VERY impressive disk array), and high speed internet. While those analog channels must be maintained for the existing customer base, it is also obvious that converting completely to digital would make much more efficient use of spectrum.

Oh! EVERY new tuner box is capable of HD!

Take a look at what BB and CC are selling, and you pretty well got your answer.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 02:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh Wanstead
If that file size is too big, how can normal people view hd contents through web? Internet is future, right?
The internet is not likely to become the primary means of distributing TV/video content any time soon, and definitely isn't up to the task of distributing full-quality streaming HD content. Of course if you really want to plan for the future you should be prepared to deliver video on anything from cell phones to wall-sized HDTV displays, and that means starting with the best possible image quality to cover all output options.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
The internet is not likely to become the primary means of distributing TV/video content any time soon
Up until recently I would have agreed with this, but I'm not entirely sure now. Granted it will take a little while to put the infrastructure in place. Just a couple months ago Verizon strung fiber throughout my area and I can now get 15mbs FIOS for the same price as my 4mbs Comcast connection.

Verizon is making a huge investment in rolling this out as a solution for telephone, video and internet connectivity. It will be a few years before it reaches a large number of people (I think they're nearing the 1 million home mark now). But they very definitely plan to offer HDTV over fiber:

http://www22.verizon.com/FiosForHome...osTV/hdtv.aspx

http://www22.verizon.com/FiosForHome...netForHome.asp
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Old December 13th, 2005, 04:07 PM   #20
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I have the feeling in Europe, SD won't they very soon.
Some people talk about HD, but only people who are busy with making video etcetera, and even they aren't planning to buy a HDTV soon.
I think most people have some opinion like this: if my old set breaks, and I have to buy a new one, THEN I'll look for HDTV.
But in Europe (well, Belgium anyhow) there isn't so much hype around HD, and I think there are barely networks that send out in HD.
And you can't even put HD media on a medium, exept for some WMV9 files or dvd's, but that's not a c'mmon standard now, in people's living rooms.

I think people are overestimating the time SD will die.
HD is good for capturing much resolution for people who MAY one time blow their film up or at least project it. But for the c'mmon man, I don't think it's such a big deal for now, people only now really are accustomed to DVD.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 04:40 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
I think most people have some opinion like this: if my old set breaks, and I have to buy a new one, THEN I'll look for HDTV.
I know a number of people who have an opinion more like this: "I hope my old set breaks SO I can buy a new HDTV".... or at any rate I didn't shed any tears when the power supply failed on my 7 year old Sony 4:3 WEGA last year :-)

Sales are strong for LCD and plasma screens in the US this holiday period; it will be interesting to see some numbers after all the dust settles. Prices are dropping pretty fast too. Whether this creates a big demand for HDTV is of course another thing, since a lot of people are more excited about just getting a big screen than the quality of what they watch on it...
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Old December 14th, 2005, 12:06 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
a lot of people are more excited about just getting a big screen than the quality of what they watch on it...
Sad but true...

I've been looking at some of the X-Box360 forums - just to get a sense of whether it'll do the HD media portal thing I want it do do, and it's pretty clear that many 360 users haven't got HDTVs and that they haven't got a clue what's involved in HD, it's delivery in any form or it's appreciation on a true HD screen.

Many queries I saw posted indicated that as long as a screen was large and wide, they were content. I don't expect the 360 will boost HDTV sales as I'm not seeing much comprehension on the X-Box forums of what's involved. Many responses from those who thought they knew all about HD were just laughable, and added more confusion than was already there...

To setup SD requires zero to a minute amount of technical ability and intellect. HD requires a little to semi-reasonable intellect and basic technical ability...

Which do you reckon fits the bill for most of the masses? SD ain't gonna 'die' in any sort of a hurry!!
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Old December 14th, 2005, 01:34 AM   #23
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HDTV broadcasts have so far been the only reason to purchase a HDTV. Now Xbox 360, followed by the soon to released PS3 and a HD-DVD player (or two). Once a kid see's what a 360 looks like on a HDTV what do you think they will want to watch it on? I'm not saying that everyone is going to rush out and buy one, but if it is time for the family to get a new TV what do you think they will get with a 360 sitting in the living room? Dad will go along with it as every watcher of NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB wants a HDTV once they have see it in action. Virtually all of the big networks prime time lineup is HD. Little by little the reasons not to buy HDTV are disappearing. Hooking up a HDTV definately is not one of them.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 09:39 AM   #24
 
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It's soon more than just the launch of Xbox, too. With CES in two weeks, the BD consortium is sending out announcements like snowfall, with all sorts of BD devices being shown, the first test pressing of BD-delivered film will be there as well ("Charlie's Angels," what a weak first release).
Then we'll have PlayStation in March, with BluRay built in plus a dual head vid card for 1080p delivery.
So...the deterrents to owning HDTV are quickly falling behind. Broadcast will definitely be the last player to arrive on the field in full uniform.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 10:05 AM   #25
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All this says nothing of the improvement in SD delivery of HD shot material. I moved to HDV more because of native 16:9 than I did because of it being HD, but now that I've made that jump, I am so much happier with the quality of my SD work. Native 16:9 is a jump of 25% vertical resolution, and HDV downconverted in the camera looks sharper still. I believe that it is because the downconverted HDV has 480 (in NTSC land) unique lines instead of what is essentially 240 (because of even/odd line averaging for extra gain) in DV. I know when I show people stuff I shot burned to a regular DVD, they pretty much all think it's HD and can readily see the difference.

Now in order for me to move to HD delivery, several things need to happen: A format needs to be standardized, a lot of people need to have compatible players, and burners and blanks to have to be available for a reasonable price. When all this happens, on my clients with the biggest TV sets, there will be quite a difference, but for the majority of people watching on 37" or less sets, the difference between HDV shot material delivered in SD or HD will be subtle.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 10:09 PM   #26
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It seems the question isn't how fast will SD die, but how fast can we kill it?

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Old December 15th, 2005, 05:40 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kavi
It seems the question isn't how fast will SD die, but how fast can we kill it?

Jay
Frankly speaking, I don't want to kill it. I have invested US$10,000 on cameras. So it is not my interest to kill it.

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Old December 23rd, 2005, 11:43 PM   #28
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I find this conversation really interesting personally, so I'm inspired to write a small essay for no particularly good reason except to ramble...

Let me start by saying that I'm somewhat of a home amateur audio/videophile who dables in guerilla-style a/v recording for fun (read: I have a day job, and it has nothing to do with a/v production). I think this puts me somewhere between the typical pro around here and some joe blow consumer who knows nothing about any of this at all -- I'm a fairly serious enthusiast if you will. <SMILE>

I purchased my first HDTV about two years ago at this point (50" rear-projected LCD, which I consider to be in the sweet spot for price vs. value in the HD tech market along with DLP). I'm currently shooting video with a Panny GS400, and making "audience recordings" of local musicians and bands with Studio Projects C4 mics or AT933 mics > UA5 pre/ad > via optical into Nomad Jukebox 3 at 44/16 or 48/16. I've also been an avid gamer for more than twenty-five years at this point (I'm 36 now). I state all of this as background for my opinion on the matter at hand and because I'm currently in the market for a second videocam and am having a terribly hard time deciding on which direction to go.

After more than two years owning (what I consider) a sweet HDTV, it is still a rare day that I watch any HD at all. There isn't that much programming out there that I personally like, and my wife and I are so in love with our Standard Def TIVO box, it's hard to watch anything with commercials anymore. That said, SD encoded to MPEG2 on Tivo and then replayed blown up to 50" is a sight to behold -- NOT! The picture quality sucks so bad sometimes I feel like I'm streaming video from the Net! But sometimes, you deal, because of the content and the convenience, even if you know what this tech is capable of (man I wish I had one of those DirectTV HD Tivo boxes). In fact, we routinely Tivo HD programming such as The Office and Conan, only to watch it in letter-box AND pillar-boxed compressed MPEG2 Tivo form later -- OUCH! BTW, this is a perfect application for the "zoom" aspect ratio on your HDTV. For a long time I wondered why that setting was even needed, but I soon figured out it is perfect for widescreen stuff that is being broadcast in 4:3 letterboxed format, thus leaving black areas around the entire picture on a widescreen TV. The image quality gets even worse when doing this because you are effectively blowing it up even bigger, but to each his own, I'm of the bigger is better camp as long as it's NOT stretched (that's one thing I will never do, watch anything when the aspect is stretched).

We subscribe to Netflix and watch tons of docs and movies via DVD using a decent DVD-player that up-rez's to 720p/1080i. I haven't sprung for an x360 yet, but I can't even imagine playing my standard old-school xbox 1 on anything except through the component cables (which for most games only provides 480p, but that 480p looks twice as good as the standard 480i coming out of the composite cables). I think for avid gamers, the older set, not the youngsters, many of us DO know exactly what HDTV resolutions mean and it DOES matter to some of us. Many of us are also hardcore PC gamers, so the resolutions some of us play at on our PCs make 720p at 30 fps look like a joke (try doubling the framerate and jumping the res at the same time!). This is why PC gamers often just laugh at console gamers. But with the coming out of the x360 and PS3, you might see more of the hardcore PC gamer types be willing to cross-over to console gaming because the resolutions and frame rates are starting to be competative (well not really, but way more so than before). For this type of consumer, not the young kids, but the "older ones" like myself, the case is becoming more and more compelling to just spend the extra cash to go HD. But, I still think that might be the minority for a while. The young console gamers might tell their parents to go HD because of the x360, but I think the parents will only do it if it makes sense for THEM, not their kids (unless you spoil 'em of course).

My opinion is that HD is going to take a while to really have deep penetration into the average home, but that HD aquisition will grow much faster and sooner regardless of the last mile problem. This makes sense to me because people don't replace their TV sets that often, but I agree, when they do, chances are they'll start buying HD. However, there are millions of households in the states that simply can't afford to blow the extra cash right now on HD. When those prices start coming down, I'm sure we'll start seeing even more penetration at that point. Also, with HD only being available via cable and sat right now, there is a real lack of content out there pushing people to go this route. But again, that change is clearly on the horizon as well with more appliances delivering HD content (x360, PS3, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, and more Network stuff, etc.).

Even so, it seems pretty early on the home adoption front. I work for a large, well-know firm, and if I walked around my floor and took a (decidely un-scientific) sample of people who own a HDTV or have plans to buy one, it's only one or two out of 30 people on my floor. Moreover, these people, even the ones with an HDTV, are for the most part totally clueless about the technology -- they think they are watching HD when playing a DVD. This type of thing makes me think twice when I hear predictions of 50% penetration in five years in the home, maybe, but I'm not so sure.

Now, for me personally, I think I love the widescreen format more than the HD format (and yes I know HD is widescreen, but I'm making the point that SD in widescreen accounts for a lot of the value, more so than the picture quality). I simply couldn't imagine watching DVD's in 4:3 anymore -- I simply couldn't do it. 4:3 is dead for me when it comes to movies. However, I might be perfectly happy watching 24fps 480p DVD's for a long time still. Also, when I bought my GS400, I thought the widescreen feature would be nice, but after the first day shooting with it, it became clear that I would never shoot 4:3 with this camera EVER again. (For those who don't know, the GS400 may be a consumer cam, but it's got 3 CCD's and it has true widescreen capabilities -- it's NOT scaled). This little cam impresses the hell out of me on a regular basis even when I watch the footage blown up to 50" on my TV. Widescreen RULES! Hi-Def? It's great no doubt, but at the same time, whatever, remember, I'll watch tivo'd SD on a 50" screen too... But this gets back to the widescreen thing, which I personally think is the most compelling reason of all, it simply is the future without question. Also, someone earlier mentioned how the Euros seemed un-interested in the whole HDTV phenom. I'm not so sure that surprises me considering they are used to PAL not NTSC, which has more (spatial) resolution, and if I'm not mistaken, have had access to more widescreen aspect ratios for longer than we have in the states?

However, there seems to be a really compelling case for HDTV aquisition starting right here and now. It downscales to really nice-looking SD, it always permits widescreen format (by definition), it can make really sweet transfers to film (getter better by the day especially when combined with 24p capabailities, and computer and HD-DVD/Blu-Ray distribution will be a reality in the not too distant future). It kind of reminds me of some of the audience audio recording I do. I aquire in 16-bit format, keep the masters, maybe share via Bit Torrent if the band is OK with that, but ultimately, I encode it to MP3 (sacraledge!), and listen to it that 99% of the time out of convenience. BUT, I always have the masters still. Maybe someday, when portable players have a terabyte of storage, I'll go back to my wav masters and use them again. Anyway, if a client demands HD, or if you end up transfering to film or going HDTV to cable, then at least YOU CAN! But if you only need SD, then you can just down-rez. It's the best of both worlds. Except, of course, for the added complications in workflow, but even that seems to be slowly working itself out.

Continued below...
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 11:44 PM   #29
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Continued from above...


Now, for me personally, this complex situation and critical turning point is making my decision to buy another camera particularly confusing and difficult. I want to upgrade my cam situation to more of a prosumer level and keep the GS400 as a second cam. At the same time, I don't want to drop a bunch of money on something that is going to be obsolete in a couple of years. This is further complicated by my constrained budget -- remember, I'm just an "enthusiant," a fairly serious one, but one who's nonetheless not doing this as a profession. I'm leaning towards getting something like a DVX100B, XL2, or PD170. But the Sony HD cams are mightly tempting at this point too. The HVX and H1 are probably just out of my reach because of price. I seem to really be graviating to the DVX, but the switchable lenses and native widescreen of the XL2 keep nagging at me. Once you've been bitten by the widescreen bug, like I have even with the GS400, it's really hard to imagine shooting in 4:3 ever again. But honestly, I'm looking for a slightly lower-profile looking cam too, so the DVX works a little better on that front than does the XL2 -- basically, I'm not looking for something that screams "do you have a permit to be shooting?" Also, because I shoot music a far amount, audio is very important to me. And although I have a stand alone audio rig (pre, a/d, mics, etc.) that works great for guerilla style stuff, I'd definately like to be able to go straight into the cam via XLRs instead while still being confident in having a decent (and quiet) pre/ad to work with, as well as the ability to go line-in and bypassing the cam's pre's altogether. I really like the DVX in that respect, as opposed to add-on adapters and such for the XL2, but tough call. I still need to do a little more research on the audio side of these two cams because I'm not up-to-speed on the pre's and a/d's in them.

But after all of this HD talk, I start doubting myself on this prosumer upgrade path of mine. I mean, this is a major purchase for me, and I don't want to end up with buyer's remorse in a few months. But it seems the Sony's are the only HD cams in my price range, and I'm not that confident in them, and especially so from the audio side of things. Also, I need a workflow that my resources can reliably handle from end-to-end because I am mostly a one-man shop. Right now, I'm pretty experienced with Vegas, Sound Forge, and DVD Architect along with a bunch of VSTs and plugs and other encoding tools (Sorenson and some freeware apps). I'm not so sure my computers can handle the HDTV workflow right now, so that's another really important consideration for me.

So that brings me back to actually being in the opposite position as I think the masses are going. I think HDTV has a while yet to penetrate the consumer market in any major form, but on the production side, it makes total sense and I bet we'll seen widespread adoption over the next few years. But for me personally, I think I'll end up staying on the early adopter side as far as the consumer playback goes, but will stick with the tried and true SD solution on the production side until the cams become more affordable and the computer horsepower to NLE the stuff catches up a bit for laptop-like editing. I just wonder if this approach will make anything that I do produce uncompetative with all of the HD productions that will inevitably creep into the indy shorts and docs space -- or will I be safe working in 4:3 SD for a few more years?

WOW! Now that was a long post... :P
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Old December 24th, 2005, 12:24 AM   #30
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HD tech or good story,whats the most important?

As long as credit is readily available and people’s desires for the latest and greatest electronic fads intensify, I guess HD is also being superseded by some newer, more exciting system as we speak. It’s disappointing that amidst the frenzy of gadgetry and special affects the true art of movie making is disappearing from Hollywood. The creative ability to tell a good story.
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