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Old December 17th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #1
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BR-HD50 to HD-TV = Dr. Jekyll / to Mac = Mr. Hyde

Surely I need help. I hope.. When viewing tapes recorded with my HD200, through the BR-HD50 and onto a small $300 HD TV that I'm using as somewhat of a monitor to help with capturing, the images are so beautiful I want to jump through the screen. But once I have them captured using DVHScap they look completely different, and kind of like *&$^%# (in comparison) if you don't mind me saying.

I could understand there being a big difference in footage captured uncompressed VS footage that was compressed and put onto tape. But what I'm seeing on the TV out of the deck is already compressed, right? Does it get compressed again through DVHScap? Am I missing a setting or nine somewhere on one of these devices, if not all of them?

I have compared frame grabs out of FCP which were converted by MpegStreamclip to Apple's intermediate codec - to the very same frames as they sit in the MpegStreamclip timeline before conversion. The two look the same. Both equally poorer than the very same frame being displayed on the HD TV, which is coming from the original M2t on tape.

For the record I have also used "Uncompressed 4:2:2" out of MpegStreamclip and I get the same results (not exactly, but similar enough, and also poor in comparison).

If anyone has any suggestions I would surely appreciate their help. Thanks and happy holidays!
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Old December 18th, 2007, 12:29 AM   #2
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Eric, how are you looking at the clips AFTER they are captured?
Are you still outputting to the same monitor? (doesn't seem to be!) If not, it's not a comparison. Cheap as the the HDTV might be, it is still tuned for video, and computer monitors are not. Especially favorable is that the BR-HD50 supplies a very clean HDMI signal out. Is it color, artifacts, motion, pixels that look bad on your system?

Now, if you put these same m2t files back on your deck, I think they will look the same. MpegStreamclip is not an optimized display - this is just a preview window anyway. An outboard video card is needed to output a live feed to a monitor from the computer with HD. You can send a full screen feed to one of 2 monitors from FCP, but it still isn't optimal for video.


I've been pretty happy staying in HDV for editing, although it does bog down sometimes, and there are slow parts of the workflow. If the footage needs color grading or there is a lot of overlays or compositing, it's worth going to a better format. I'd look at apple's prores if your system can hack it.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 01:14 AM   #3
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Thank you for your time Sean. You've hit the nail right on the head of my lack of an education. Since day one I've been learning all of this backwards - which is painful sometimes. And speaking of backwards, I have never sent anything up through the BR-HD50 from this Mac. I've only taken from it. And up until recently I've captured blindly, because I had no "monitor."

No pride here: Are you saying that I need two more things - an outputting video card and a real monitor? I do understand that there are differences in how computer monitors and HD TVs display color, so if you are editing for TV you shouldn't just use your computer. But I got the impression that the differences were in color mostly. Now your question about artifacts and pixels is making more sense. Yes, color is off. It's like something sucked a bit of life out of the images. There is more grain too, and not as much contrast. Perhaps more artifacts.

In that surf shot from yesterday the water was blue on the HD TV, but almost gray once on the Mac. The images were crisp and clean on the TV, noisy on the Mac. It was emotionally abusive I tell you...

I'm on a 2.7gig G-5, in FCP 5. Hopefully Santa's wife swings by for a little late-night on the 24th and brings 6 with her.

I'm sneaking up on better images Sean. Really workin' at it. Before it all looked like $*&%)@. Now at least there's a difference.

Could I go video card hdmi to the same HDTV, or do I really need to hit Mrs. Clause up on New Year's too, for a monitor?

thanks again brother.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 04:27 PM   #4
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I think the real test is taking your edit back to the deck and comparing that.
The m2t on your computer are exact copies of the data on your tapes. if you do a cuts only edit staying in HDV and put it back on tape it should look exactly the same as the master. playing your clips back in QT player with high quality enabled may also make a difference in previewing on your computer.
The bottom line is going to be taking some samples right through a workflow, and seeing them as they will be used. This can be a bit tricky, I know. Many of us are shooting HD and delivering SD with a future plan. My reference now is a recent high-end 720p projector - not really a accurate reference, but it sure separates sh*t from sh*nola, and lets me see my material next to commercial HD material. I'm also now burning hybrid HD on DVD-r for short programs for playback on macs or Toshiba HD-DVD players which is pretty cool for minimal investment. I'm archiving edits back onto HDV tape for SD programs I want to keep for future HD. Since I stay in native HDV for editing most of the time, this works for me. I have yet to move to fcp 6 too, with 60p functionality the big motivation, but some existing projects holding me back.
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