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Old June 16th, 2007, 11:24 AM   #1
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200/250 and Discovery HD Revisited

I was wondering if anyone was able to find out whether video shot at 720p60 with the 200 series cameras would be accepted by Discovery HD for 100% content instead of 15% like the Z1U/HVX200 cameras. I called and emailed them but got no response.

Thanks,

Forrest
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Old June 16th, 2007, 07:41 PM   #2
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Discovery is a 1080 network, so you'll need to transcode all 720 material no matter what. I'm pretty sure they won't take any 720 material. And beyond that, I'm sure the requirements are pretty specific.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 07:57 PM   #3
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No more than 15% HDV per show. My friend is a Senior Staff editor there.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #4
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I understand Discovery is a 1080 network. But, they also accept the Varicam, which is a 720p camera, as long as the master is in 1080i. My workflow would consist of shooting with a 200, editing in uncompressed or ProRes, then cross converting to 1080 and dumping to an HDcam master with a Kona card.

The Discovery specs that I was able to find on the internet are dated June 2006, and on this forum there has been recent rumors floating around that because the 200/250 chips are 1280x720 and don't "up rez" like the Z1U and HVX200 that the JVC cameras may fall within their parameters if one follows a workflow designed to retain as much quality as possible.

Just curious...I have a potential project in Asia that would lend itself to the lighter weight of the 200.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 08:26 PM   #5
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We've discussed this topic several times before, so there are some other, longer discussions to read through. Regardless of acquisition format, all submissions to Discovery HD are on HDCAM masters. This begs the question, how is anyone to know what format the material was originated on, be it HDV or DVCPRO HD or whatever (unless a camera appears in a shot, of course).

Shoot well, and they'll most likely have no need to question it.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 08:44 PM   #6
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Because along with your masters, you must also supply source tapes so they can recut the show to clock when they want to.

Also, its not as much about the HDV compression per say as they like the better quality a 2/3" HD chip gives.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gottshalk View Post
Because along with your masters, you must also supply source tapes so they can recut the show to clock when they want to.
First I've heard of that. Thanks for the info.

Quote:
Also, its not as much about the HDV compression per say as they like the better quality a 2/3" HD chip gives.
Right on. After all, the same restrictions apply to material originated on the Panasonic HVX200, due to its 1/3rd-inch chips.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #8
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It also depends who you are. Monster Garage shot half a program with a Z1 and half with their new SDX900 (no more Varaicam).

It was interesting to see the supposed difference between pro and prosumer. The fact was, they simply looked different. The DVCPRO HD looked -- after the Z1 -- too soft. The Z1 looked -- after the DVCPRO HD -- too sharp. But, after 30 seconds, both looked perfectly fine. In fact, if they had used a V1 it would have had more rez than the DVCPRO HD and less enhancement than the Z1.

Which means a "ban" is silly on HDV itself. Moreover, since camera technology is rapidly changing -- banning a certain chip size is equally stupid.

PS: "Because along with your masters, you must also supply source tapes so they can recut the show to clock when they want to." And, if you shoot P2 or to harddisk? Somehow this doesn't seem true.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #9
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I started the original thread about Discovery HD Theater's possible acceptance of the HD200/250 cameras for full acquisition. I reason I brought the subject up was because a dealer, while extolling the virtues of the cameras, told me they did. Sceptically, I grilled the salesman further and told him he needed to supply written proof. He said he'd get back to me, and of course he never did. I think he was a bit confused and thought Discovery HD's 15% rule of HDV footage meant the whole shebang.
Discovery HD tests every new camera that comes to the market. They run it through extensive tests, checking to see how the camera's images hold up through editing, satellite uplinking, etc. So far, no 1/3" chip HDV camera has passed their strict guidelines. I've also heard if you feel clever and try to sneak HDV video past their engineers, it won't work; they'll catch it and reject your project. But don't feel too bad; even Super-16 film failed their tests.
I was hoping that the HD200 series cameras' 720/60P acquisition with proper lenses made the footage smooth enough to pass their tests, and it very well might. The video I've seen from my 200 sure looks fantastic to me. I have yet to see an D-HD guideline updated since June, 2006, before D-HD could have tested the HD-200s. Of course, there's no getting around HDV's 19 mbps compression.
There is a series shot entirely on HDV, using Canon H1s, that is, or will, air on Lifetime. They passed the network's standards by shooting in HDV, using the camera's HD/SDI link to transfer all the footage to HDCAM, then use that as their editing master. It was then sent out on HDCAM and Beta SX. That seems to have fulfilled that particular network's acquisition standards. Maybe the same can work for Discovery HD?
But say you did shoot a program on HDV and it won't get accepted by D-HD. That's not the end of your project. Downconvert it to a standard format (DigiBeta, I'm guessing) and try and market it to other cable networks, maybe even the regular Discovery channel stations. It's got to look better than regular DV.
I also look at HDV as a learning tool. We can learn all the nuances of shooting and editing in a true HD format at a much reduced cost. With this experience, we can comfortably move on to more "professional" HD formats.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 08:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gottshalk View Post
Because along with your masters, you must also supply source tapes so they can recut the show to clock when they want to.

Also, its not as much about the HDV compression per say as they like the better quality a 2/3" HD chip gives.
And if your source tapes get lost in transfer, then what? That's an unusual request. I would never release my source tapes. I'd give them an HDCAM master of all the raw video. Maybe that would do it?
Would producers of a program even allow someone else at a network to change their "baby" without their say-so? I can see D-HD requesting a project be trimmed for timing purposes, and the original creator of the project doing so, then sending back the new final master.

There's no getting around the superior resolution of 2/3" chips. But Discovery HD now allows the XDCAM HD's 1/2" chips for full acquisition (at 35 mbps). Here's hoping for our HD200s!
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Old June 17th, 2007, 08:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Of course, there's no getting around HDV's 19 mbps compression.
There is a series shot entirely on HDV, using Canon H1s, that is, or will, air on Lifetime. They passed the network's standards by shooting in HDV, using the camera's HD/SDI link to transfer all the footage to HDCAM, then use that as their editing master. It was then sent out on HDCAM and Beta SX.
The HD-SDI link did NOTHING to either preserve or improve HDV. In fact, by going to HDCAM they simply added another stage of compression.

Of course, they may have believed it improved HDV or they may have snuck one over on LifeTime. Or, they may have wanted the convenience of HDCAM ingest. But, improve on HDV -- not one "bit" better.

PS: HD2 is 25Mbps not 19Mbps.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; June 17th, 2007 at 07:55 PM.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 10:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
I started the original thread about Discovery HD Theater's possible acceptance of the HD200/250 cameras for full acquisition. I reason I brought the subject up was because a dealer, while extolling the virtues of the cameras, told me they did. Sceptically, I grilled the salesman further and told him he needed to supply written proof. He said he'd get back to me, and of course he never did. I think he was a bit confused and thought Discovery HD's 15% rule of HDV footage meant the whole shebang.
Discovery HD tests every new camera that comes to the market. They run it through extensive tests, checking to see how the camera's images hold up through editing, satellite uplinking, etc. So far, no 1/3" chip HDV camera has passed their strict guidelines. I've also heard if you feel clever and try to sneak HDV video past their engineers, it won't work; they'll catch it and reject your project. But don't feel too bad; even Super-16 film failed their tests.
I was hoping that the HD200 series cameras' 720/60P acquisition with proper lenses made the footage smooth enough to pass their tests, and it very well might. The video I've seen from my 200 sure looks fantastic to me. I have yet to see an D-HD guideline updated since June, 2006, before D-HD could have tested the HD-200s. Of course, there's no getting around HDV's 19 mbps compression.
There is a series shot entirely on HDV, using Canon H1s, that is, or will, air on Lifetime. They passed the network's standards by shooting in HDV, using the camera's HD/SDI link to transfer all the footage to HDCAM, then use that as their editing master. It was then sent out on HDCAM and Beta SX. That seems to have fulfilled that particular network's acquisition standards. Maybe the same can work for Discovery HD?
But say you did shoot a program on HDV and it won't get accepted by D-HD. That's not the end of your project. Downconvert it to a standard format (DigiBeta, I'm guessing) and try and market it to other cable networks, maybe even the regular Discovery channel stations. It's got to look better than regular DV.
I also look at HDV as a learning tool. We can learn all the nuances of shooting and editing in a true HD format at a much reduced cost. With this experience, we can comfortably move on to more "professional" HD formats.
Thanks for the clarification, Glen. It falls into my original line of thinking concerning HDV and D-HD. I'm in the market for a new camera (my FX-1 is dying after many, many hours of use) and have several projects in the works. The 200 series cameras have caught my interest, and I'll be getting a demo from JVC this week. I've never owned JVC products...being a Sony guy since starting in the business 20+ years ago.

I do have concerns about the JVC 720p60 workflow after reading threads about ingest problems into FCP, but am interested in seeing for myself how smooth the video looks.

My first choice is a camera that won't hit the market until fall at the earliest...the XDCAM EX. But, the projects are now! I may buy a V1U to get me by, or possibly rent for awhile.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 11:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
The HD-SDI link did NOTHING to either preserve or improve HDV. In fact, by going to HDCAM they simply added another stage of compression.

Of course, they may have believed it improved HDV or they may have snuck one over on LifeTime. Or, they may have wanted the convenience of HDCAM ingest. But, improve on HDV -- not one "bit" better.

PS: HDV2 is 25Mbps not 19Mbps.
Well, if they were doing HD-SDI out of the camera live, if it's like the JVC 250, then there is no HDV compression. To be honest, for most "reality/home improvment" shows HDV would look fine.

And JVC's HDV rate is 19Mbs with a 6 GOP.

Matthew
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Old June 17th, 2007, 12:07 PM   #14
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Forrest,
I also was in the market for a new camera - and ended up purchasing an HD200 after doing much research and hands-on experience. It's also my first JVC camera. If you've been in the business for over 20 years like myself, then you'll appreciate the camera's control layouts. It's very much in the style of Beta SP-type camcorders, with a real honest-to-gosh lens.
The XDCAM EX willl have 1/2" chips, so that might be the small format camera that finally gets accepted by Discovery HD. I'm not sure if it'll record at 35 mbps (D-HD's requirement).

As far as ingesting 720/60p, my buddy has FCP 6 on a G5 Mac, with Black Magic. We were able to ingest 60p, 30p and 24p with no problems. He had to try a different route to ingest the 60p, but it worked flawlessly after he figured it out. (I can ask him how he did it, if anyone likes). The different frame rates also edited seamlessly together. It looked fantastic!

Steve, I never said the Lifetime project preserved or improved the HDV video. That was the workflow they chose, for whatever reasons. Personally, I love the way HDV looks. Doesn't outputting HDV through HD/SDI come out at 4:2:2 color sampling? If so, maybe that's why they chose to use HDCAM as their editing master.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 12:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Forrest,
I also was in the market for a new camera - and ended up purchasing an HD200 after doing much research and hands-on experience. It's also my first JVC camera. If you've been in the business for over 20 years like myself, then you'll appreciate the camera's control layouts. It's very much in the style of Beta SP-type camcorders, with a real honest-to-gosh lens.
The XDCAM EX willl have 1/2" chips, so that might be the small format camera that finally gets accepted by Discovery HD. I'm not sure if it'll record at 35 mbps (D-HD's requirement).

As far as ingesting 720/60p, my buddy has FCP 6 on a G5 Mac, with Black Magic. We were able to ingest 60p, 30p and 24p with no problems. He had to try a different route to ingest the 60p, but it worked flawlessly after he figured it out. (I can ask him how he did it, if anyone likes). The different frame rates also edited seamlessly together. It looked fantastic!

Steve, I never said the Lifetime project preserved or improved the HDV video. That was the workflow they chose, for whatever reasons. Personally, I love the way HDV looks. Doesn't outputting HDV through HD/SDI come out at 4:2:2 color sampling? If so, maybe that's why they chose to use HDCAM as their editing master.
Glen,
I'd be interested in your buddy's route concerning 60p. I'm currently running FCS 2 on a Mac Pro with a Blackmagic Intensity card, but am considering a Kona LHe or Blackmagic Multibridge Pro. The mixed timeline option in FCP 6 is great. I've been playing around with it and it does seem to work very well.
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