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Old November 16th, 2004, 07:47 PM   #1
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Best codec for HDV to SD

A shot in the dark here, but if one was to use the FX1/Z1 in HD mode in 60i @ 1/60 with the intention of broadcast distribution on a variety of SD formats - 3/4", BetaSP, DV, Digibeta - what intermediate or editing codec would yield the best results? Would image quality be more preserved in an umcompressed SD format compared to DVCPROHD?
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Old November 17th, 2004, 06:11 AM   #2
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If you are editing then you are just working on the original captured
format, why would you want to change that (unless it is for other
reasons like speed)?

The real question would be what format to export it to and that
depends on your final delivery format (3/4", Digibeta etc.) and
what kid of equipment (ie, that will tell you which codecs you
*CAN* use) you are going to use to get it onto that format .
Digibeta will probably give you the best results in for broadcasting,
but I have no idea how you record to that or what codec they
would be using for such work.
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Old November 17th, 2004, 08:46 AM   #3
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So far it looks like Cineform has the best HDV editing codec with their Aspect HD and Connect HD products. Using Cineform with Adobe Premiere Pro or Sony Vegas will allow you to retain the HDV source image quality until you're ready to do your final output, at which point you simply define the output resolution and format desired and let the rendering process run. You'd want to investigate what output formats are currently supported and what process will be required to get from finished timeline to a deliverable master tape. And note that since HDV is 16:9 ratio whereas SD is usually 4:3, you'll have to decide whether to do letterboxing or an anamorphic output and deal with the consequences of that decision. This last point may be a bit of a headache in some circumstances.

As I understand it, DVCProHD uses a lower horizontal resolution than HDV and so would be inherently lower quality for editing than other full-resolution approaches. However, if your intended output format is SD video then this might be less of an issue.
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Old November 17th, 2004, 09:58 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately, I feel have to go with FCP or Avid due to the fact that I need to rely on freelancers or newly-minted editors looking for some first-gig experience for the bulk of my post work. IMHO, Premiere, Vegas, and Canopus may really restrict my options in that regard.

As far as I know, Apple and Avid have yet to release their HDV solution, and I'm not exactly comfortable in attempting to edit native HDV in a highly compressed format with a good deal of effects and animation, which is why I am looking for alternatives even if it requires greater storage.

I guess the bottom line I am looking to retain as much resolution as possible on final output to a SD brodcast format while taking into consideration the somtimes heavy effects added along the way.
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Old November 17th, 2004, 12:20 PM   #5
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Mike: you can work with HDV using FCP HD today if you're willing to take the time to convert your source footage to the DVCProHD codec. For SD output I would think this should work fine, and I'd expect you'll find more people who can support that option than have the setup to deal with uncompressed SD. Avid should be releasing their HDV solution soon, and Apple is rumored to be working on a new HDV solution to be available sometime next year.

Regarding editors trained in various software packages: Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas both have a fairly significant user base, and any editor worth their salt should be able to learn either one if there's a paycheck on the line for doing so. I saw an online survey recently where the number of responders using Vegas was higher than those using FCP.
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