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Old May 19th, 2007, 10:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Antony Michael Wilson View Post
Technically, it is HDV1 not HDV2.

I do not think that it is a conspiracy theory to suggest that any broadcaster or producer would discriminate against cost-efficient technology or that any manufacturer of high-end technology would wish to protect that technology within their own range by limiting the capabilities of their cheaper gear.

It is clear that Discovery and other channels have technical quality control for good reason. It is also clear to me from years of finishing programmes for broadcast delivery, that tech. review specifications and other delivery guidelines are also very frequently infected by technical snobbery and by a desire to ring-fence a certain stratum of the industry. At the moment, HDV is falling foul of exactly the same silliness as DV several years ago. These days, a vast amount of respected TV programming is actually shot on DV or DVCAM. Economics come into play, the rules get bent and eventually everyone accepts that a given format is just fine for telly.
Of course there is HDV material that gets done right, and mastered to HDCAM, it slips through just fine. But that's because the shooter knows the limitations of the equipment/format and doesn't push it to the point of exposing its weakness.

Believe me, I'm not anti-HDV. I think it produces beautiful imagery. There may in fact be some 'snobbery' involved as well. But DVINFO is not the type of forum where we engage in those types of accusations.

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Old May 19th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
DVINFO is not the type of forum where we engage in those types of accusations.
Couldn't have said it better myself... let's keep it technical, please. Conspiracy theories and related internet fodder are best aired on one's own site / blog / whatever, but not here.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Ok, so now I've heard a rumor that Discovery HD will now accept the HD250 (and I assume the HD200) for full acquisition for their programs. I know D-HD accepts the Sony XDCAM HDs at 35mbps for acquisition, and they're kinda-sorta HDV, but I think the HD250 is a bit of a stretch. Is 720p60p that good? All programming is mastered to HDCAM, of course.
Discovery HD will accept some HDV, but for no more than 15% of an HD program's content. Even the Panasonic HVX200 can only be used for 15% content, and it shoots in DVCPRO HD. The last specification info I saw for D-HD was only updated to June, 2006.
If Discovery HD, which has some of the toughest standards in the HD industry, accepts the HD250, then that makes that camera the bargain of the decade.
Does anyone have any links to other HD cable channel production guidelines?
Is there anyone out there who knows if this is more than just a "rumor?"
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Old May 19th, 2007, 12:25 PM   #19
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Well, the intent of my original post was not to open discussions of conspiracy theories, or whatnot. I was merely looking for confirmation from more learned and knowledgable members on this board as to the technical merits of the HD250. I was - and still am - hoping someone has definite news as to the acceptance of this camera for the Discovery HD network. Googel and Yahoo searches have proven ineffective, nor is there anything on the JVC website. If there's anyone on this board who has direct contact to the JVC corporation, they might be able to gather more information. I am hoping, anyway.
My original question still remains. if the HD250 (and HD200) camera is accepted to the high standards of D-HD, then this is surely the best bang for the buck amongst all the available HD/HDV-capable cameras. I am looking to purchase an HD camera in the near future, and cost is certainly a factor. If the HD250 can shoot for Discovery HD, then it can shoot for anybody, as far as I'm concerned. For its cost, it would be a tremendous bargain.
For the record, I love the images from the JVC GY-HD line of cameras. But then, I'm not an engineer at Discovery HD. I'v never shot an HD program that was submitted for that network's approval. But it would sure be nice to have the equipment that would make that a possibility in the future.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 12:36 PM   #20
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On a purely technical level: If broadcasters that proscribe and/or set limits on HDV content accept material properly mastered to HDCAM which was originally shot on any form of HDV, it means that they are incapable of reliably telling the difference. This, in turn, means that anyone out there worried about or interested in this issue, should be re-assured that such 'technical' delivery requirements should be taken with a pinch of salt. For years, I have been given technical delivery schedules that rule out DV-acquired content. On every single film delivered to stations on DigiBeta, anywhere between 10 and 100% of the content was shot on DV or DVCAM. I feel that it is important that those who frequent the DVInfo boards who do not have this technical experience should be aware of this and not be unduly intimidated by technical delivery specifications.

Tech. specs are clearly there for a reason but an engineer that sets guidelines that he/she is incapable of verifying is going well beyond good practice into the realm of - shall we say - unhelpful.

Of course, anyone funding/commissioning a film has every right to specify the acquisition format. However, my considered opinion is that - whether the HD100 series is 'allowed' or not - these cameras are certainly capable of producing images that are good enough for HD broadcast and - in addition - capable of passing HD tech review. It is also worth noting that the quality of certain HD broadcasts often falls very short of what I would describe as a premium image - technically speaking, of course.

To Glen: Many members on this board have frequently proved that you can shoot beautiful HD images on this camera series, so my advice would be to go ahead and buy/use these cameras if you like them. If a channel that broadcasts HD really likes anything you've done, they'll buy/show as part of a decision based primarily on content, I'm sure. Give them a master on the format they specify, follow the delivery requirements for that master and you'll be fine. Producing stuff for commissions is another matter, of course.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #21
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I highly doubt that it's about preserving large crew requirements. For one thing, what large crew requirements? I know you film guys are all used to having 5 guys operating one camera but that's just not necessary for video. One guy can run the camera whether it's a PD-170 or an F900. Camera rental is a good chunk of the budget but what camera you pick really only affects the rental budget and not your crew requirements.

The issue is whether HDV running at 25 mbps can hold up through all the processing and transcoding that happens between when you shoot it and when the viewer sees it. No more, no less.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 02:39 PM   #22
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This debate seems to come round every once in a while.
The simple answer is that whilst these cameras are not approved for broadcast acquisition by the likes of the BBC or Discovery, there are in fact a great many shows that are entirely shot on these and other similar cameras.
The reasons are simple enough, even if the guidelines are complex or ambiguous. You can get great images with these cameras, but you can get better images with other cameras. You can test that both objectively and subjectively. However, if your footage is compelling enough and your camera was the best tool for the job, then it will pass.

If I had footage of Tony Blair and George Bush having a...(insert from your own imagination) ...then the BBC and Discovery would be delighted to broadcast it.

There is a longer answer and it involves pdf documents, lets not go there.

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Old May 19th, 2007, 02:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen View Post
I highly doubt that it's about preserving large crew requirements. For one thing, what large crew requirements? I know you film guys are all used to having 5 guys operating one camera but that's just not necessary for video. One guy can run the camera whether it's a PD-170 or an F900. Camera rental is a good chunk of the budget but what camera you pick really only affects the rental budget and not your crew requirements.

The issue is whether HDV running at 25 mbps can hold up through all the processing and transcoding that happens between when you shoot it and when the viewer sees it. No more, no less.
One guy can also use a film camera and you can also have 5 people in a HD camera crew. The issue is the concatenation with all these different codecs.

For certain types of productions I'd imagine they'll make case by case exceptions, but for most productions XDCAM HD (or some of the new $20K cameras) is difficult to argue against on a budgetary level, especially with the new XDCAM EX coming out.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 04:48 PM   #24
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The number of people operating a camera has a lot less to do with abilities or nostalgia than it does with the demands of the situation. It's easy enough to pull focus,iris,and zoom on the shoulder on an ENG camera, with the ENG/doc look. But can you hit the exact same focus, iris and zoom pull 37 takes in a row on your own, with NO slop? Try pulling your own focus and iris on a steadicam, while dimming an obie light. Is it most efficient for the camera op to load and label his/her own tapes and tend his/her own batteries on a shoot that's a single 12 hr. day? How about on a dolly - can the op push the dolly, pull focus and frame the camera while raising and lowering the arm? It's certainly possible, but the point of division of labor is to do exactly that - allow people to concentrate on one or two duties with more accuracy and speed than a single person doing everything. 5 people running a camera isn't necessarily lazy, nostalgic, or stupid. If everyone is good at what they do, it's probably very efficient, accurate, and fast.. regardless of what camera they use. And again, crew size depend on the complexity of the shot.



Truthfully, if you're gearing up for a show that D-HD has bought, and you're trying to spec cameras, then this is a perfectly valid question. If you're sold on a particular camera's look and usability for the content you wish to produce, then it can sometimes be helpful to shoot tests and submit them to QC at Discovery. They screen footage and come back with a definitive answer if the footage is "good enough" or not.

If one is simply trying to shop for a camera, then I would avoid bandwagon reasoning. Because Discovery thinks x-y-or z camera is good enough, then why does that necessarily make it right for me? Does that mean I can't produce my own films or content with anything less than an F900? As it's been said by the majority of users here- most cameras, in the right hands, can look fantastic. If the content is good, and the camerawork is good, then few people will notice what format it was shot on.

Oh, and if you shot a series on spec on your own equipment, and D-HD picked it up, then congrats - they probably could care less what camera you used, they liked it. Nuff said.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 10:37 AM   #25
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Some of the recent posts in this thread have become argumentative and sorry to say, we don't do that here. Those posts are no longer in view. Take it to private mail.

Thanks,

Greg Boston
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Old May 21st, 2007, 11:13 AM   #26
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Is it possible that the limitation has to do with the chip size of these cameras, not just the format they record in?
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Old May 21st, 2007, 05:03 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Nick Kesler View Post
Is it possible that the limitation has to do with the chip size of these cameras, not just the format they record in?
Tests on the Canon XL H1 recording Cineform onto a Wafian from the HD SDI have given pictures that hold up against the Sony F900 recording onto HDCAM. So the 1/3 CCDs aren't the main limiting factor.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 10:18 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen View Post
You're still avoiding my point that nobody with eyeballs would seriously compare the look of 30p with the look of 60i, even if they're both "technically" 30 frames a second.
Since we are talking HD here, and virtually all HD monitors/projectors display progressively, doesn't it depend on how the monitor de-interlaces the signal? My understanding is that many systems combine the fields to create a progressive frame (at 30fps or for 24p originated material at 24p with repeat frames) and that the alternative of uprezzing a field of 540 lines to a full frame at 60fps looks worse.
With the popularity of 1080i for cable HD, I would hope there is a better decoding solution - I'd like to know (but will remain a progressive evangilist)
How does this get interpreted to modern non-interlaced displays?
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 06:32 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
Tests on the Canon XL H1 recording Cineform onto a Wafian from the HD SDI have given pictures that hold up against the Sony F900 recording onto HDCAM. So the 1/3 CCDs aren't the main limiting factor.
I have no direct experience, but every interview with a DP who has looked at cinealta vs film has commented that it was the "way" film over exposed verses video. Video tends to hard clip.
so when these tests are run -- are they run in really harsh conditions?
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 09:06 AM   #30
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I have no direct experience, but every interview with a DP who has looked at cinealta vs film has commented that it was the "way" film over exposed verses video. Video tends to hard clip.
so when these tests are run -- are they run in really harsh conditions?
This was the Scott Billups test, it didn't involve shooting any film (only the XLH1 and F900) as such, although I believe they did a film out. Rather, I was making a point regarding if the 1/3" sensor or HDV was the limitation. Basically, the Canon/CineForm held up extremely well against the F900/HDCAM.

Certainly, any of the F900 and HDW 750 Cinealta cameras I've used don't handle highlights as well as film.
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