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Old August 30th, 2005, 08:41 PM   #1
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No down-conversion over firewire?

The short answer seems is no ó at least it doesnít look like it.

Iím a new poster to this forum, but I have been following the discourse on the HD100 for several weeks. Thanks to all posters for all the information sharing.

Last week I spent several hours with an HD100 at Abel Cine Tech in New York. I like the camera a lot for its price and have one on order for an upcoming project. To me, the biggest disappointment (besides the viewfinder & LCD, which are very mediocre, and the lens, which I will replace asap) is the fact that, unlike the Z1, the HD100 cannot downconvert HDV to DV over the IEEE 1394 connection. This was determined by hands on testing and also confirmed by a phone call to JVC (which the helpful guys at Abel made for me). There is a very misleading switch by the 1394 output that gives the impression that you can pick the output format to be either HDV or DV, but in fact, this switch must be set to the recorded format or you get an error message (as others have noted elsewhere on this forum). So it seems that the only purpose of the switch is to keep you on your toes.

Well, OK, I shouldnít be capturing from the camera anyway. So Iíll invest in the deck and do my down-conversions there. Only problem is that in my reading of the HD50 manual, it seems to have the same limitations as the camera. All mention of down-conversion functions pertain to the analogue component out or the HDMI out, and not the 1394 out. Like the camera, the HDV/DV switch must be set to match the recorded format. I could go component into my DVCAM deck, but Iím not really sure what kind of signal Iíll be getting.

Of course, I could just shoot in DV format. After all, my first delivery will be in SD. But the client would like me to shoot the footage in HDV for later repurposing, hence, the interest in down-conversion. Yes, I could just edit in native HDV and then render down to SD for delivery, but Iím not sure there will be any Mac based support for HD100 HDV on either Final Cut or Avid express Pro (my two editing platforms) in the required timeframe (October delivery). Sorry for all the verbiage, but Iím sure others will be facing these issues as well. Any thoughtís out there about this apparent limitation?
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Old August 30th, 2005, 10:44 PM   #2
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This is very interesting, because I had a conversation with some one at B & H today while getting a quote for the HD100 and the companion deck and he informed me that the deck could down-convert via firewire. I don't know what to think, because I don't want to always shoot in SD even if I will be posting in SD. All I can say is that I hope that the deck does do the down-convert and that you have been misinformed. Hopefully someone in the know will chime in and give us a definite yes or no answer.
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Old August 31st, 2005, 12:02 AM   #3
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It doesn't really matter as much as you think anyway. With the FX-1, the perceived use of 1394 downconvert was to capture in DV while letting the camera downconvert. Later you'd recapture in HDV with the same master clips in the bin. I know, I started a project this way back in February..."Capture HDV->DV now, and when FCP gets native HDV I'll recapture".

In practice it never worked out because HDV can never capture in the same contiguous chunks that DV will...imagine where I had captured each roll all in one chunk (these were camera rolls from a concert). When I went back to redigitize in HDV after FCP came out, I found out that FCP would not recapture without breaking master clips into pieces. I had to pretty much recreate half my project because of that.

If you're that worried about it, shoot HDV, capture HDV, then have media manager make new DV media from your HDV master clips. Then cut DV.

BTW, FCP will work with the HD100 if you shoot 720p30. If you NEED to shoot 24, you can do that and then capture with DVHSCAP, and use MPEGSTREAM clip to make DVCPROHD 24p media that FCP can deal with.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 03:18 PM   #4
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Unbelievable, that the HD101 cannot downconvert over firewire - another killer criteria for me. Sorry to state so, but I have no intention to buy the deck, only to be able to downconvert, what the sony HC1 can do successfully.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 08:23 AM   #5
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I am very dissapointed to realise this too. I had taken this as a given. I assumed any camera at this level would allow you to shoot in HDV for archival and capture in DV for current DVD production without having to spend a few more thousands on a deck.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 11:51 AM   #6
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I read in the prospect that you can downconvert over firewire. Of course there is no way to DV because it's another story but SD should go. That would mean faster editing instead of HDV or am I wrong?

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Old September 22nd, 2005, 09:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang Schmid
Unbelievable, that the HD101 cannot downconvert over firewire - another killer criteria for me. Sorry to state so, but I have no intention to buy the deck, only to be able to downconvert, what the sony HC1 can do successfully.
Wolfgang, you shouldn't be using the camera as a deck. The heads are not designed to take the wear and tear that shuttling tapes means and they will clogg faster. You should consider the deck very seriously. I know it's an extra expense but in the long run it's quite necessary.
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 11:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Bakala
Wolfgang, you shouldn't be using the camera as a deck. The heads are not designed to take the wear and tear that shuttling tapes means and they will clogg faster. You should consider the deck very seriously. I know it's an extra expense but in the long run it's quite necessary.
Yes and No. Yes, since I agree that the deck is designed for that purpose. No, since the manual states on page 63 "If you convert video recorded in DVD format to DV format or vice veraa and output it, the colors may change".

So, if you think about to start your small company, the investment in the camcorder is high enough in the beginning. So, I tend to ignore that the deck is better - in the beginning.

But I would like to have a clearification, beside the fundamental statement that you should not do so.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 09:34 PM   #9
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We have two of the JVC BR-HD50E decks and as far as I can tell, the analog outputs will down convert to SD but not the firewire. The down converted output on the analog component outputs is quite good. You can select the aspect ratio or letter boxing. Perfect for a system with a Kona or other capture card. All HDV is recorded in 16 by 9.

I don't think you can do down coverted firewire in hardware with this system and you will have to do a render in software. I'd love to be wrong about this but I dont' think so.

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Old September 26th, 2005, 10:53 PM   #10
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It only makes sense to bring in the data as HDV instead of SD and work in HDV until final output. The only limitation currently for Liquid and FCP is the HDV24P incompatability. I'm not sure about the Cineform editors. Maybe someone else can enlighten us.

I can speak for Liquid and say that there is no gain at all in trying to bring the project in and convert to SD to edit it. It's better to work in HDV until the final publish to DVD or whatever SD delivery format. Bringing in HDV natively and editing it that way until final publish is the best method with regard to Liquid.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 11:09 PM   #11
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Not quite true. Final rendering to DV (fusing) will take much longer, and any effects such as LTW/DTW and CX colour corrections which require rendering will take much longer to process.

Workflow may be the same but the processing power and time to render will be much higher working in HDV for a DV result.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 11:30 PM   #12
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ProHD 720p edits like DV25 on a capable Liquid workstation, suprisingly so. I've been working with it for about 4 weeks without a hitch with predictable results and easy editing. Rendering is extremely fast as well. I'm delighted to the point of jumping ship with Panasonic gear. If I do jump ship however it'll be with at least 1 BR-HD50 deck.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 12:06 AM   #13
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In another year is anybody going to really down convert HDV to SD in order to edit on a crappy system? Plus who really wants to deal with going back to an old project hoping everything loads up well. What if the next time you open that project you are in a new version of your editing software and the project will not open correctly? I say spend the little extra time now to edit in HDV and output a SD DVD, SD DV master and a HDV master. Now when your client is ready for HD you will not have to deal with as much work.

720p HDV is much easier for systems to handle than 1080i is. In Liquid I can edit 2 streams in realtime with effects with a simple P4 3.2 GHZ. Any current dual cpu or dual core cpu will smoke 720p HDV.

You could always just add a $295.00 SD decklink card to capture SD from the component but I think you would end up creating more work than it is worth in the long run.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 12:26 AM   #14
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Yes, it is very true that 720p can be edited much easier, compared with 1080i - and that is another reason for 720p. But SD quality is nice, if you convert it down in a HC-1 oder FX1 - and very fast too.

We have developed another script for Vegas, that allows us to apply an automatic scene detection, based on a workflow where you capture both SD and HDV. And the script allows you to switch the SD files - where you make the editing - back to HDV, similar to gearshift. However, if you are not able to downconvert the material in the camcorder, you are not able to use that script. Ok, I am also a fan of gearshift.

But I think, it is simply not ok for an 75000 Euro system, to be not able to convert to SD. Where a 1500 Euro system - the HC1 - can do so. That makes me upset, and I think it is a reason to avoid to buy the HD101.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 12:40 AM   #15
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I can capture uncompressed SD via my component analogue inputs on my Pro BOB if I really wanted to, but then I loose all but optical scene detection etc and I am only making wedding videos. I just want their master tapes to be HD but their production to be DVD at the moment. You can't sell HD delivery as there is no viable delivery mechanism for the mass's yet.

Anything you can do in HD with Liquid you can to 2 -3 time faster in SD (in respect to rendering and RT layers etc). So with 720p you get 2 layers, I get 3 with my system (Dual 3GHz Xeon with HT), but I get more with SD and effects rendering is still much faster with SD than HD, I use a lot of SloMo (lots of 'romantic' wedding clips etc) so I end up rendering a lot.

Each to their own, but I personally think it is a big missing feature. Hopefully ScenalyzerLive will support HDV capture sooner rather than later and possibly RT DV capture conversion as well. Shouldn't be beyond the realm of a fast system.
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