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(MPG4) Sanyo Xacti (all models)
A compact 720p MPEG4 digital media camera recording to SD Card.


 
 
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 10:06 AM   #1
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Editing HD1 with MoviePlus5 - HD DVD Next!

I've found an enexpensive program to edit HD1 MP4 files directly, and ultimately make an HD DVD using your EXISTING DVD burner.

Here are the steps:
1. Edit HD1 (or M2T files) on Serif MoviePlus5 and output HD WMV file.
2. Author HD DVD using Ulead DVD Moviefactory 5.
3. Put the disc in your Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD player and enjoy.

Serif's MoviePlus5 costs $80 downloaded, and discounts can be had at times as well. This is a very complete program for the price. I have been unhappy with the artifacts caused by the image stabilizer, as well as the "normal" mode in the HD1. I now shoot everything in the "soft" mode, and add detail gain in post. MoviePlus5 does this easily. I normally reduce chroma by about 5-10%, reduce contrast by just 2% or so, and set unsharp mask to one pixel radius, 50%, and 3% threshold. In a nutshell try the minimum radius, and then adjust the amount of sharpening to the desired level. Setting the threshold up a little keeps it from enhancing noise.

You must install Ulead Photo Explorer that came with the HD1. This will install the decoder for HD1 MP4 files. Then in MoviePlus, enter the "MP4" file extension as a desired input file type. It will then ask if you wish to use the Ulead decoder. You can then directly input HD1 MP4 files. You can also do this for any other file types you wish to use. I did the same for M2T files, and you can use any appropriate decoder installed on your machine.

Unfortunately, MoviePlus5 only outputs HD in WMV9 format, which is quite slow. Fortunately, this can create good looking video at less than 10 Mb per second, and easily get more than an hour onto a single layer red laser DVD.

Now the final step! Ulead DVD MovieFactory5 will author HD-DVDs. I have a fairly early version that has a choice to author BlueRay as well. I understand some later versions have these functions crippled. Anyway, I tested my process by taking a disc to a nearby Best Buy.

When using the Ulead pgm, my first suggestion is to disable the motion menus, audio for the menus, and use text only. This will speed up the process, and "waste" less space on your DVD. Also, you MUST check the box which says "Do not render compatible MPEG files" or something to that effect. This will keep the pgm from re-rendering your file to MPG2 and making it huge. Don't worry that you have a WMV file. HD DVD is compatible with MPG2, AVC, and VC-1 (AKA WMV). I would insure that my WMV file(s) is no larger than 4 GB (or about 7.5 GB for DL disc) to allow space for menus. When you are done authoring, you will not be allowed to burn an HD DVD, since you don't have the appropriate burner. Just make an ISO file then use another program to burn a DVD from that file.

There you have it! It will take some playing around, but it works. Before you ask, I hear that BlueRay will not recognize high definition on a red laser DVD.

Incidentally, my own HD-A1 is on the FedEx truck for delivery today!
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 10:12 PM   #2
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Sanyo HD1/1a Editing/Burning Hi-Def

David Kennett;

Here's hoping to save you a buck and a bit of time. You should be able to create a DVD Folder per Hi-Def spec (1980x1080 with AC3 5.1 audio) within Ulead VideoStudio 10 Plus --- without need of additional software. The approach I use is to output a given HD1 project to a single MPEG2 file (720x480); then commence a new High-Def "SHARE" project with the MPEG2 file. Meaning, simply SHARE/ the MPEG2 file as a HD DVD Folder.

Although I haven't as yet figured out how to directly burn the HD DVD Folder from Ulead VideoStudio 10 Plus --- I am able to burn it on a standard 4.7 DVD disc, using either NERO 7, or Ulead DVD MovieFactory 5. I don't own Serif's MoviePlus5, nor do I have Ulead Photo Explorer installed.

Worth noting is that, although MovieFactory 5 allows configuration only for AC3 Surround 2-channel --- if the HD DVD Folder to be burned was created with 5.1 surround specs (In ULead VideoStudio 10 Plus); the final product retains the 5.1 surround capability, even when burned in Nero, or MovieFactory 5.

For the record: I even up-convert MPEG2 projects (720x480) filmed with my SD Camcorders (tape and Hard Drive models) to 1920x1080 as indicated for the HD1/1a. Quality of the upconverted SD material is even better than HD1/1a footage, in many respects. Meaning that, if a given SD Camcorder shares none of the "weaknesses" of the HD1/1a --- then the upconverted SD video will be better than what is produced by the HD1/1a.

Sanyo, as well as upconverted SD HD DVD burned to 4.7 Disks are recognized as HDDV on my Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD player. I haven't yet experimented with Dual Layer (8.5) disks, but --- I have to believe that the process outlined above would work as well with the larger capacity disks.

Hope this helps,

HDG
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 08:32 PM   #3
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I guess the perceived quality is in the eye of the beholder. Upconverting SD to HD may in fact look better to you, but it is still 480p video for 4:3 ratio being manipulated to simulate HD, not true HD. If you simply adjust the iso to 50 manually and turn off the image stabilization, you'll be pleasently surprised how those 2 adjustments make a big difference in how the HD-SHQ recorded clips look. I use Ulead's videostudio 10 plus and I believe you could save even more time if you just export to WMV HD to burn to DVD, after shooting in HD-SHQ. I don't own the Toshiba HD DVD player, but I think it will play it.
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 11:28 PM   #4
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Eye of the Beholder?

Philip Raymond;

Ironically, the HD1/1a settings that you recommend are what I ordinarily use (i.e. ISO 50 with Image Stabilization OFF). Essentially, I've discovered that the HD1/1a performs best when filming close-range scenes, rather than landscape and distant objects. I recently filmed an antique car event, followed by an Air Show with vintage planes on the tarmack. The antique car event was on a bright and sunny day. The Air Show was filmed on a very cloudy day, at a relatively high elevation (Airport). My HD1 produced spectacular results of the large subjects being filmed. The "Cloudy" Scene Mode setting is especially good; as is the "Daylight" Scene mode for evening sunset filming.

Okay, so having acknowledged the virtues of the HD1 in the particular circumstances cited, it's only fair that I mention the unfavorable performance conditions in which the HD1 produces unacceptable results. Examples: Ducks on a pond on a blue-sky, sunny day; panoramic landscape scenes; filming distant objects beneath a canopy of trees; filming village scenes with row upon row of brick buildings.

Now, regarding your suggestion that I try burning an HD WMV disk --- I'll have to give it a try and see if my Toshiba HD-A1 is capable of playing this format. I'm inclined to think that it won't, but --- I will give it a try (with an RW disk).

Meanwhile, you'll have to enlighten me as to why you say that the upconverted SD video that I create is at best 480p???? Keep in mind that the upconversion process that I use includes 1920x1080 resolution and a Variable BITRATE of 25000 kbps; not the 9 kbps employed by the Sanyo HD1. When played back on the Toshiba HD-A1, it displays a detected 720p, or 1080i indication, same as commercial HD DVDs.

I'll allow for a few scenes shot by the HD1 in my comparative analysis, as being better than those upconverted, etc., etc. However, OVERALL the upconverted SD video of my Sony DCR-SR100; Panasonic GS250; and Canon Optura S1 ---- is conspicuously better than that of the Sanyo HD1 --- in High Definition. I recognize that the conclusions I've reached may be seen as heresy, by those who believe the HD1 to be a true, High Definition camcorder. But, my eyes do not deceive me with the conclusion I've reached.

I validated my "perception" by showing a 45 minute presentation to fellow camcorder/video enthusiasts (and acquaintances). Identical scenes were filmed with the HD1 and with my Sony SR100, each amounting to 45 minutes of content. I upconverted the footage from each camcorder to 1920x1080, and output as HD (25000 kbps). I then played back each program on the Toshiba HD-A1 for spectators to see --- without identifying which camcorder was used for which presentation. I should mention that the HD1 footage was review first, followed by that of the Sony SR100. All in attendance UNANIMOUSLY acclaimed the Sony SR100, upconverted video as conspicuously better than that of the HD1.

PS ... the only aspect deemed more favorable with the HD1 was "Saturation". Otherwise, the overall quality of the SR100 won the day.

I welcome any thoughts or comments you wish to make on my "irregular" experiment and conclusions. Oh, and by the way --- I still love my lesser-performing HD1 and intend to use it for close-range filming, as indicated heretofore.

HDG
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Old September 24th, 2006, 12:42 AM   #5
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First off, I don't doubt what your own eyes (and your friends eyes) are seeing, I'm simply trying to state a simple mathmatical conclusion. The Sony sr 100 records 480i in 720x480 SD video. The Sanyo HD 1 records 1280x720 HD, both record at 30 fps. The Sanyo is recording 2.5 times the amount of pixels per frame than the Sony. Upconversion is creating the altered bit stream that your Toshiba player is detecting as HD, because that is an HD standard stream. But it's the pixel count in the recording process in the camera that is different. The upconversion is simply spreading out the fewer pixels generated by the Sony into a higher speed (aka HD standard) bit stream. Bit streams don't create an HD picture. You could upconvert a VHS tape using a digital capture card to the same HD bit stream rate if you wanted to, but that wouldn't be HD either. As for the picture quality, what brand/type of TV are you comparing these on? You mentioned the problem with the Sanyo doing distance shooting of landscape. Perhaps the Sanyo kicked into digital zoom mode when you zoomed in beyond 10x. If the Sony has a stronger optical zoom lens than the Sanyo, that would explain a lot. I don't know if that's in fact, what may have happened, I'm just guessing. If not, then it just comes down to what your own eyes are telling you. If the Sony looks better to you in those situations, stick with the Sony. It's a good camera, it's just not "HD" by definition.

Last edited by Philip Raymond; September 24th, 2006 at 01:44 AM.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 12:43 AM   #6
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This extra post is a mistake, sorry!
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Old September 24th, 2006, 09:38 AM   #7
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Perception is everything, ... maybe?

Philip Raymond;

I appreciate the technical explanation you gave concerning the initial "resolution" of the HD1 vs that of typical SD camcorders. Seriously.

In view of the fact that the HD1 was born with greater potential than lesser, SD camcorders; it's clear to me that this so-called, High Definition baby fails in many respects to live up to its potential. Nothing worse than an under achiever!

When it comes to video, what truly matters in the end is: performance and how good it looks. Thanks for convincing me not to buy the next generation model of the underachieving, Sanyo HDxxx camcorder.

HDG
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