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Old October 3rd, 2003, 12:00 AM   #1
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HD movies: Distribution

OK, so there are 2 ways to distribute your HD movie:

1. On tape - D-VHS or camera itself (latter is bad idea, you don't want to kill the cam's heads too soon, so use your camera for recording only)

2. On a PC (Mac- or IBM-compatible).

Let us know how do YOU distribute your HD movies!
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Old October 3rd, 2003, 12:34 AM   #2
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D-VHS gives superior image quality...and its so much better to see HD on a HDTV rather than a monitor. Especially the flat screen LCDs with all of their motion artifacts like ghosting. (I love looking at my apple LCD, but it just can't compare to watching it on an HDTV). Video is not very good on any flat screen LCD, and many people these days have a flat LCD as their PC monitor.

Now, we at home actually use our PC as an HTPC and hook it up to a HD front projector and it looks great. But, for distribution, I definitely would not count on having other people set their computer up properly to play HD.

Far far too many people have lower end computers that will show jerky HD on the PC. We tried that once and shot a wedding in HD (rich client). And gave him 100 copies to play on WMP9 files. He said over 50% of his guests couldn't play it on their PC...all had configuration problems. So we ended up just making a few copes on D-VHS for him instead. Mass market PCs aren't ready for HD yet. Take a look at HD T2...they had to bundle it with a DVD because they knew too many people would have problems with it. If you look at www.avsforum.com. Even hard core HTPC fans can barely play it smoothly on their PCs. We can play it fine on our HTPC, but that is after alot of tweaking and we have a very high end system.

Stick with DVHS for distribution, better picture and less headache.
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Old October 3rd, 2003, 05:18 PM   #3
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But how about multi-channel sound?

Say, you have a 5.1-channel Premiere Pro project.

It exports nicely in Dolby Digital as .ac3 file etc., but how do you get it on D-VHS tape?
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Old October 3rd, 2003, 07:35 PM   #4
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I'm going to suck it up and get that aspect thingy. I'm going ask their support that same question :o).
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Old October 3rd, 2003, 07:58 PM   #5
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Lisa, got my copy of Vega and I must say I am very impressed with it. I have not seen a need to demux the clips like others have talked about. I simply rename the files and they just drop right in. I will put together a short piece tonight and post it on the web.

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Old October 3rd, 2003, 09:06 PM   #6
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Mike, what about *exporting back* from Vegas to D-VHS: how is it done with HD video accompanied by the 5.1 Dolby soundtrack?

Do you have Vegas+DVD version?
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Old October 3rd, 2003, 09:55 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Raskin : Mike, what about *exporting back* from Vegas to D-VHS: how is it done with HD video accompanied by the 5.1 Dolby soundtrack?

Do you have Vegas+DVD version? -->>>

I just got Vegas+DVD yesterday so far so good I played with the demo with SD file last week so I got a pretty good start on how it works. It is slower working with native format m2t files from the camera than if you convert to AVIís however AVI file are huge so you better have a real big hard drive (300Gb+) if youíre going that route.

From what I am seeing you will need a very powerful PC to cut clips if youíre doing anything with multiply video tracks. I am using a 3.0 Ghz P4 w/1 gb ram and its fairly slow rendering if your doing things like picture in picture. I am working on an example I will post later tonight. Simple transitions are no problem at all, Vegas renders them quickly and smooth. I don't have a D-VHS deck perhaps I may look into one soon. I have been playing around encoding with WMP9 because of Microsoft compression should allow a full 2 hours on a standard DVD. WMP9 does support 5.1 sound but I am ways away from trying that out.

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Old October 3rd, 2003, 10:27 PM   #8
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wmp9 is great, except you cannot use it as a distribution platform at this time: it imposes too many requirements on the pc that plays it.

So we are back to D-VHS format.

I understand that you don't have a deck, but you do have a HD1/10 camera, correct? This should be the same.

It still would be very interesting to see whether Vegas is able to output multiplexed video+5.1 Dolby TS file back to tape (whatever the device).
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Old October 4th, 2003, 11:39 AM   #9
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Mike, if Vegas doesn't have a direct m2t TS file output, then just output in MPEG2.

Then use Womble to change that file into m2t.
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Old October 4th, 2003, 11:55 AM   #10
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<<<-- Then use Womble to change that file into m2t. -->>>

Alex, I just downloaded it and I'll give it a try.

Mike
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Old October 4th, 2003, 02:55 PM   #11
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The Hollywood guys do it on DVD, which while not HD is the best mass distribution we have at the present time.

If it's a project for a client, consider including a DVHS deck in your quote. For about $300, it would feed HD to the company HD TV or to a good quality projector.

Just a thought.

Cheers
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Old October 4th, 2003, 11:56 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Raskin : Mike, if Vegas doesn't have a direct m2t TS file output, then just output in MPEG2.

Then use Womble to change that file into m2t. -->>>

Alex,
I used Womble to convert it to an m2t file and it downloaded to the camera fine. Great tip! I don't have much need because I don't want to use the tape transport in the camera but for JVC 30K D-VHS deck uses itís a great tip. There may be one in my future. My house is wire with Cat5 so I can move files all over the place without much problem. The thing thatís keeping me from the JVC-30K deal is it as just component out so I need an RGB transcoder ($300 ouch) to connect to my projector.

Thanks again!
Mike
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Old October 5th, 2003, 12:27 AM   #13
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WM9 seems to be the best route for distribution. Much better compression scheme than MPEG2. The entire Landmark Theater chain is installing Digital Cinema Projection that supports WM9. This will be great news for Independent Filmmakers regardless of what format they aquire in.

Jay
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Old October 5th, 2003, 04:27 AM   #14
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Lisa, I've been following your posts for a short while. And I've been messing with m2t files for a bit. (Go see my recent post over at the "Open DV Discussion Forum" under the topic "Realtime WM9 encoder cards".)

I notice in your post that you say "far, far too many" have lower-end PCs that can't keep up with the data rates required to play HD smoothly. I don't mean to come down on you, but really, the only ones who can play HD on their PCs are either the ones in our business or the geeks who sit around tweaking their systems. That's what, maybe 20% or less of the market? From my own experimentation at attempting to play back the WM9 I've encoded, the best I can play smoothly is ~6.5 Mbps speed. This is on a 2.4 GHz system with 750 MB RDRAM (~$500).

Now, if I go out and buy a $500 "gamers" graphics card with hardware video acceleration, I can be assured of watching T2 fine (as could probably someone with a 2.0 CPU). But, remember, the majority of our clients are still on dial up. A $100 AGP card is stretching it for them.

Just curious, what rate did you encode your WM9 at? And what are the specs of your home system? Do tell.

Fine, you had a rich client who would pay for the 100 DVDs you made. That's fine. But from what I've seen from dealing with this all, I would've known going into it that only a small percentage of the 100 are going to be able to play. Just don't know if I could go ahead and take the cash myself. Not to be on you. Business is business. Each has to make up his/her own mind regarding the ethics of it.
Regards,
Dave
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Old October 5th, 2003, 01:26 PM   #15
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Dave, you don't need an expensive graphics card. 3D gaming cards of the ultra high-end do little to accelerate 2D over lesser cards. I'm not saying get an ISA Trident, but my $65 Radeon 8500 128mb works quite well. As would most any DX7,8 or 9 card.
Sometimes compressed video will play better when it is in a larger file size. eg. WM9 10Mbps vs. 6.5Mbps. The 6.5Mbps is far more compressed then the 10Mbps so it needs MORE CPU power to uncompress as it plays. The 10Mbps or higher is not a challenge for even the meekest of modern graphics cards.
Check to make sure you are fully defraged and your drives are all in DMA mode. Your system should handle that video easily. Hell my Duron 1gig 512mb plays WM9 6.5Mbps files with only a few hic-ups.
If you make the file size large it will stress your HD's. If you make it small it will stress your CPU. Amount of ram and video card only have to be average for playback.
Ken
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