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


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Old January 30th, 2006, 01:33 PM   #31
 
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Sorry Glenn,
like most others in this thread, I've gotta strongly disagree.
With all things being equal, I've yet to see any situation where HD is "lesser than" SD. I've been in too many broadcast houses, post houses, trade events, etc where this discussion has taken place, and even at the most snobby end of things (Good Morning America) they much prefer the Z1 for instance, over their much higher end Ike SD cams, because the additional resolution, even with the lesser saturation from a 1/3 chip, looks better than what they get in 2/3 chip from the Ike, when the Z1 is downsampled, or when the Ike is upsampled. Mathematically it might be a lesser quality image, but they don't care about math, they care about what they see.

You're arguing semantics vs practice. Look at the posts on this board, and every other board out there. Well-seasoned veterans of SD are moving to low-cost HD in hoards, because of the better image.

Of course "whether well done SD or HD is better" is subjective! It's equally subjective to say that a 2 megapixel still camera is better than a .4 megapixel still camera. You can argue all day long that people can't see the additional resolution, and I'll equally argue all day long that they can. How discerning they are or aren't isn't really part of the question. Bottom line is, when you're watching the bowl games in SD, then flipping to ESPN with 720p, then flipping to CBS where it's 1080, there is a huge difference that can't be ignored, and that certainly isn't subjective when you look at them side by side. Additionally, the 20" HD monitor isn't comparable to a 42" SD monitor, you're seeing two entirely different signals. HD at all pixels being native, means you have a 46" display for 720p, and a 60" display for 1080. If you're viewing SD and using the same 32 pixels per inch table, then you're looking at a 26" display. So, in your case, you're blowing up SD to 42" and downscaling HD to 20", and neither of those are very real world scenarios. The majority of television displays being sold to HD consumers are in the 42-60" range, and given the 3:1 rule of distance vs diagonal, this is about average for the typical consumer. You've seen our 12' projection system, and switching between the Sopranos broadcast at 1080i (downsampled to 720p due to my projector resolution) and the standard HBO broadcast channel is huge in difference. It's not much up for debate, as you've seen most folks here suggest.

I'd really urge you to get your hands on an HD camcorder of sort and go shoot, and then view it on an HD display that is current and not older and compare that to anything shot with SD at the same time. Otherwise, you're just shooting ducks in the dark and talking textbook vs real world practice.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 02:00 PM   #32
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Not to make a long thread longer, but one aspect that hasn´t been discussed much is the fact that many adopting these wonderful new toys are people that until now have been shooting DV25. DV25 certainly isn´t the best SD has to offer, but cameras recording 4:2:2 and with less compression like DV50 or digibeta, are much more expensive equipment. When you count in disk raids to edit uncompressed, and video cards, deck´s and so on, the hole workflow can cost quite a lot. Then HDV appears and suddenly you can shoot and edit high quality material with a cheap camera and an ordinary PC with a LCD. The bang for bucks factor is overwhelming, and that reason alone is what drives the market. For the new generation of filmmakers the choice will be obvious. They will soon enough learn that there´s more to it then a high rez. camera. But the entry level for good quality has changed.

It´s not the money anymore, but skills that matters. It doesn´t matter one bit what SD is capable of. HDV does it for less $ and is also prepared for the future.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 06:27 PM   #33
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To clarify:
What happened in that HD studio was that the LCDs were used as a display for the switcher. So each LCD display is sort of like a video wall. In that way, the signal is effectively SD.

The HD monitor effectively displays SD resolution since it's too far away. i.e. if you had a HD monitor 1km away, you probably can't tell the difference between it and a SD monitor.

So it's not a really good comparison because neither is really, truly HD. But anyways, this is kind of what happens in the real world. (Although one could argue that this particular setup is not real world.)

2- I've also seen DVCPRO HD 720p and 1080i footage on a HD broadcast monitor (Ikegami CRT) up close.

3- I've shot some material on DVCPRO HD (1080i)... unfortunately it's hard to view the footage at HD resolution. Usually the project just ends up in SD.

4- Obviously all factors being equal, a HD image will look better than a SD image.

In practice, you're going to have limited time (i.e. render time, shooting time / grabbing focus) and money. You also have distribution considerations... HD is currently not very widespread (this will change of course).

Is it better to shoot HD, or to shoot better SD? The answer is subjective and I don't have anything to add.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan

Certainly in the future there will be HD of some sort. However, I'd just hold out and let the early adopters figure stuff out (and wait for prices on HD equipment to drop further). In some broadcast scenarios it does make sense to go HD. In other cases like weddings and corporate video, SD DVD is likely your best bet. Yes HD DVD players are coming out, but it's going to be two competing formats and they will also be fairly expensive that there won't be good market penetration in a while.

Huh?
Not to be smug or give you grief but before we made the transition to HD we had the transition paid for and HD making a profit because it was part of creative presentations and a requirement for some of the new broadcast creative.
It wasn't a whim or a look toward the future it was an immediate need for my production company this month and from here on in.
HD simply is right now.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
A substantial portion of the wedding industry will remain SD until the majority of household DVD players are replaced by HD.
In general I'd agree that this will be a gradual transition, but I don't think it will be long before anyone spending any serious money on a wedding video will consider having it recorded in HD. Personally I think it's a shame we're not recording all wedding videos that way now, but of course it does cost something to do so and most customers don't get yet why they might want to spend that extra amount. Eventually HD will be standard for anything above bargain-basement videos, but not right away.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 10:20 PM   #36
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I agree with Spot. HD is coming and it's coming pretty fast. I keep putting off buying a camera, because I think HD is the way to go. I hope the prices keep dropping!!
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Old January 30th, 2006, 10:37 PM   #37
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My Hopes

Personal Thoughts:

Right now we are on the verge of a revolution. HDTVs are only half the battle. The other is distribution as everyone points out. Now that consumer HDDVD players (and soon to be released Blue-Ray players) are becoming available, the small time producer will have a means of direct distribution to the consumer. Corporations will be able to use HD materials for in house videos edited in Final Cut and shown from a DVD player to “The Big Screen” in the conference room or with projector on the wall via an inexpensive off the shelf play back device. Additionally we hope that most modern laptops can already play HD based DVDs for field reps and the like.

Basically we hope that the demand for HD will grow as quickly as people have an easy way to use their own material. Let’s face it, if you have invested even as little as $5k in an HDV rig, having a way to display your material from something other then the camera or a $3500.00 deck has to come and coming they are. Even minor festivals would be hard pressed to refuse an HDV Indie if it were delivered in a format that could be handled by an $800.00 consumer player. Especially since the number of HD Indie producers will only continue to rise as this technology becomes ever less expensive.

Just some thoughts from someone who really wants HD to take off.

Dave
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Old January 30th, 2006, 11:58 PM   #38
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Don't get me wrong.
I've shot a bit of HD and seen my work on a HD broadcast monitor (from up close, so viewing distance isn't an issue). In ideal conditions, HD does look significantly less blurry than SD.

I just don't think it's a big a deal as some people say it is. i.e. it's not as big a deal as DVD versus VHS. It doesn't do my laundry either.

Perhaps I've been a little too disappointed with HD... the work I've done ends up in SD or lower resolution. And I'm mostly interested in color correction so I tend to push filters to the extreme (i.e. 30:1 rendering is ok with me)... HD means much longer render times.

Is HD worth waiting for? I'm the kind of person who would and wouldn't wait for it. I wouldn't wait for the rendering... I would wait for computers to get faster.

Fair enough?
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:11 AM   #39
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point #4: HD edited on an SD timeline allows for more creativity to pan/scan and zoom without losing resolution. So, if I want to zoom in a little to draw attention to a speaker, I can. If the shot simply doesn't frame right, I can move around and reframe it, etc.

To me, HD is SD on steriods, and HDV makes it on the cheap. Five years ago we spent nearly $10K for an uncompressed video toaster for SD. Two years ago an upgrade to HD was looking more like $60K (not including the camera). With HDV, I can get the whole shebang for less than $30K -which includes the camera, (unless I opt for that matrox axio -but that's not much over 30). That's still less than the cost of new BetaSP cam, or what we used to pay an outside firm for a 60-minute package. Nuts. For the first time in my life I realize that I could afford my own production system for the same price of a luxury car.

Sure, we'll still produce SD, and until something replaces the current DVD production model, my guess is that HDV equipment will run it's warranty long before blue-ray or HD-DVD finds it's way onto Mr. Joe Adverage's entertainment stand. In any case, we'll be ready when that happens.

Pete
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Old January 31st, 2006, 06:07 PM   #40
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The truth of the matter is that BOTH SD and HD are in greater demand than ever. Everyone I know in production is SWAMPED. There are people on the bleeding edge who want HD and there are people who need press kits, infomercials, etc. etc. etc.

If you look at the spectrum of TV channles there is a very minute % of the broadcast day in HD, it is ever growing but it will be a decade before it outnumbers SD. I think people always try to use primetime on the big networks as the benchmark but how many people in these forums are targeting that? Same way with all the posts for a "film-out"....

I do know a lot of music video production companies are moving to HD, but that is from film. HD is a trend, a growing trend but there is lots of time left and lots of money to be made with SD...

My point is not to deny that HD is eminent, it is only to be fair to those seeking advice on a REALISTIC timeline in regards to purchasing equipment, etc.

Also, not sure what happened to my other posts but I have seen SDX900 SD footage uprezzed to HD and it looked GREAT, way better than anything I see out of an HVX or XLH. If you have seen "The Making of Smile" on Showtime HD, they cut SDX with HD and you cannot tell the difference.


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Old January 31st, 2006, 06:18 PM   #41
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Ash, I agree, SD is still there. Just that I'm not going to reinvest in SD equipment, when I know that HDV/HD can be had for not much more, and can do just as good or better than SD. It's technology, it happens. Take advantage, c'mon in, the waters warm... join us... (resistence is futile... :)
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Old January 31st, 2006, 07:03 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
I have seen SDX900 SD footage uprezzed to HD and it looked GREAT, way better than anything I see out of an HVX or XLH.
Your points are well taken and there's no doubt plenty of money to be made yet producing SD video, but I haven't seen any upsampled SD footage which looked like anything other than upsampled SD when viewed on a good display. Maybe footage from an SDX900 intercuts nicely with HD because it looks so good in terms of overall image characteristics, but the resolution is still limited to basically 1/3 megapixel and that's just poor. Most photographers avoided digital still cameras like a plague until they got to around 5-6 megapixel resolution, and yet for video we're willing to accept less than 1/10th of that?

By all means keep making money with SD if you can, and use good SD cameras when it makes sense to do so. But let's admit that the basic resolution of SD video is so low, it's a wonder anyone ever accepted it.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:58 PM   #43
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Ever seen a 480p DVD? That is SD and to average Joe is not discernable from DVD. I did an A/B on Shrek 2... splitting hairs really.

Quit thinking merely in terms of lines and pixels. When you SEE good 2/3" CCD SD bumps to HD, then you will realize that it looks BETTER than native footage from the Z1u. You mention digital stills... a higher megapixel on a SMALLER sensor will generally not look as good as a lower megapixel on a larger sensor.

Again, the Showtime HD show "The Making of Smile" looked great, most everyone who has seen it has been impressed.



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Old January 31st, 2006, 10:00 PM   #44
 
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I think this is a good time to close this thread, since it's no longer offering up new information. Please start a new thread if you have anything new to add to the subject.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 10:00 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ferling
Ash, I agree, SD is still there. Just that I'm not going to reinvest in SD equipment, when I know that HDV/HD can be had for not much more, and can do just as good or better than SD. It's technology, it happens. Take advantage, c'mon in, the waters warm... join us... (resistence is futile... :)

No resistance... I had 2 shoots today with a Varicam and I also use an HVX200 and an XLH (I do not OWN those, just have fairly unlimited access). Equipment is not an investment, it is a tool. If you can make more money with the $100 hammer, GO FOR IT... if not, buy the $20 hammer.



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