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


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Old June 26th, 2006, 11:31 AM   #1
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HDV Decks

Whats a good versatile deck to purchase for HDV work? So far, i have seen the JVC BRHd50U and Sony HVR-M25U ... Neither have SDI output options, and the prices aren't too high.. What isthe best choice for a HDV deck out there?
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Old June 27th, 2006, 02:54 PM   #2
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I recently found out that the JVC deck i was looking at , the BRHD50 does DVCAM and HDV, but only at 720P.

I plan on purchasing a XLh1 and a Sony Z1, whats the deck for me?
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Old June 27th, 2006, 03:50 PM   #3
 
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The Sony M15u and M25u are both 1080 decks, but neither will play back the XLH1's 24f mode. You MUST use the camera for that particular playback/capture.
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Old June 28th, 2006, 11:58 AM   #4
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Yes it depends on wich format of HVD you are capturing.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 11:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
...You MUST use the camera for that particular playback/capture.
Which brings me to a question that's been on my mind for some time... what purpose do the decks serve? I can't see the point to them.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 11:50 PM   #6
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The decks are there not to "save wear and tear on camcorder heads" like some people think... rather they are there to insure that the camcorder is free and ready to use. A camcorder which is being used for playback is a camcorder which is not making money. A deck keeps a camcorder out in the field, earning, shooting, where it belongs. A deck means increased productivity more than anything else.

The one exception to this right now is the Canon XL H1 in Frame mode. No currently available HDV deck supports it. This could change in the near future though.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #7
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The big issues I have come accross with the HD deck my company is using (HVR-M25U) is that there is only a firewire input for recording 1080i and we cant find a switcher that handles firewire 1080i (we tried the edirol 440 but have not found a way to convert the analog component to firewire for final recording). The oter issue that may just be a fact of using HD is that monitoring the end of the HD stream at the deck ther is a full one second delay on the lcd viewer and audio phone jack. This make monitoring the deck as the end of a live location production stream a bit strange.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 10:10 AM   #8
 
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Actually, it's a half second delay, but either way, it's a problem if you don't have live monitoring. This is why the cams also have analog output.
I'm unaware of any switcher at 1080 with firewire.
The Convergent Design box will accept analog in/firewire out.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 10:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
The Convergent Design box will accept analog in/firewire out.
It seems to me that it is actually HD firewire in and HD analog out. We need the exact opposite. (unless I am missing something on the Convergent design site).
Thanks for the help though.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 11:34 AM   #10
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so the Sony M25u is the most reasonable HDV deck to purchase at this point? So far, i've only seen decks from JVC and Sony..
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Old June 30th, 2006, 12:15 PM   #11
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Yeah, Sony deck, I use it all the time (shoot with an H1).. I disagree that using a deck isn't primarily to protect the camera - although it's true that it also frees the camera, the fact is running more than double the amount of tape through the camera (which is what you're doing if you use it for playback, right?) will not only shorten head life, but - and this is critical for HDV - it will greatly increase the possibility of dirty heads with resultant drop-outs...

If you only shoot 10-20 tapes a year, no big deal - but if you shoot like a hundred or more, get a deck...
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Old December 8th, 2006, 07:23 AM   #12
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That brings up a good question. What is the camera head life on a Sony Z1?

Sorry found the answer. Sony says 1200 hrs on the head and real life use is more like 1000 hrs.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 09:48 AM   #13
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I think the recording heads have nothing to do with playback?
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hewat
Which brings me to a question that's been on my mind for some time... what purpose do the decks serve? I can't see the point to them.
There are several reasons to use video decks, here are some of them:

(1) in an editing suite or facility situation, the ergonomics and form-factor of the deck are more appropriate than a camera;

(2) if you're going to shoot and edit at the same time, the deck gives the editor the ability to capture while the camera person is shooting;

(3) some studio decks provide component out, these decks make it easy to capture time-consuming to work with formats like HDV and capture them as component video into a Kona card in order to work with the video in uncompressed form. You can streamline workflow to capture HDV, DVCPRO HD and XDCAM HD all into a single intra-frame format for ease of editing and sharting in a facility situation;

(4) you might want to dub lots of tapes from one format to another, having decks for this is handy;

(5) and the most common reason given, to save wear and tear on your camera (see note below)

etc.


Note: though for single-shooter operations, a second camera often provides more versatility...
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