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Old December 9th, 2001, 03:09 PM   #1
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The next generation for DV

My partner and I were talking the other day, pondering the next generation for MiniDV and the business in general.

Talking about cameras I was trying to visualize what would be the next improvement for cameras, and thought about hardware codecs. The current process uses a 5:1 compression ratio. My thought is the next improvement will be a better, more effcient algorithm or hardware improvement for the codec that will:

1) Reduce compression atrifacts or compression levels themselves, and
2) Do this using the same bandwidth

My partner was talking about increasing effective pixels for CCD's or some new CCD technology.

Anyone else have any thoguhts or insights?
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Old December 10th, 2001, 08:21 AM   #2
 
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How about just getting rid of the default interlaced scan mode and replace it with frame mode. Seems like interlacing should be an option for work deading for TV, while most of the work I do stays on the computer screen. Interlacing causes a lot of heartache. Also, with USB 2.0 going to higher data rate, can't DV reduce some compression and go to something like 6Mb/sec?
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Old December 10th, 2001, 09:25 AM   #3
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Michael, you might be interested in another forum on this board entitled "Camera Evolution & Development" -- there is an interesting thread there. I should probably can that forum, since no one's using it, and bring the thread in here.

I'm thinking the next step will be native 16:9, with 24-bit audio. Something tells me that 1/4" CCD's will be considered "large" in the future,
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Old December 10th, 2001, 12:41 PM   #4
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while we are at it how about alpha support...
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Old December 10th, 2001, 01:10 PM   #5
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I think your right Chris, 1/4" CCD's with better pixels (more pixels) might be in the future. Heck, I have always wondered why they never had 1" CCD's back when size mattered.

I use frame mode for an effect in some of our shows, but I still like good-ol interlaced video. At NAB several years back, HDTV was introduced with all its glory. After all the hype I am still wondering what format(s) will make the cut. Maybe then we can talk about Progressive Scan.

I think reducing compression is my main concern, but not at the risk of bandwidth. We had just recieved the "lossless" compression package from Media100 at my last company before I opened my own shop. It was IMPRESSIVE, but what a storage and bandwidth hog. We had to upgrade our RAID drives and SCSI controler just to play that game. I think DV was a good compromise at its introduction, but there has to have been some other mathmatical genius who has improved the format to date.

I am not sure what alpha support would do, could you explain?
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Old December 10th, 2001, 01:21 PM   #6
 
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Clearly, I think you're right, Michael. Along with the next generation of DV, we desperately need the next generation of PCI bus and Hard Drive bandwidth improvements......and, as long as this is a wishlist, let's do all that for the same price...<g>. It would seem the PCI bus bandwidth is upon us with a 64bit bus...now what about those I/O bottlenecks on the HDs?
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Old December 10th, 2001, 01:58 PM   #7
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Compression reduction would reduce requirements across the board. Better compression in DV cameras would improve picture quality. Better compression would also improve digitzing quality of analog systems. And I am talking all in the hardware relm. Though software Codecs will be improved, in general it seems hardware upgrades are quicker than software upgrades. But again, technology is a feeding monster and will eat up the current "top of the line", and maybe the computer will be able to handle all processes on chip.

Just looked back at your post Chris. How did I miss the other forum? Must be this crunch before the holidays.

Have two shows and a commercial to get on the air before next Friday. I am still playing with the first show. (I have a 4:45:07 slot for my second segment, and 7:58:01 with the clips layed out. Time to go to voice overs to move the pace along.)
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Old December 11th, 2001, 07:08 AM   #8
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Miniaturization of CCDs

Chris et al.:

While I agree that the current trend in hardware development clearly goes towards miniaturization, I don't think this is a particularly fortunate trend as far as CCDs are concerned.

Isn't the idea behind 1/2" and 1" CCDs that you get depth of field comparable to 16 mm and 35 mm film? I have been an avid 35 mm still photographer for the last 10 years, and have only recently entered the video realm with a 1/3" 3-CCD camcorder. While I think DV is a very exciting medium, I am sorely missing the creative freedom that depth of field provides in 35 mm film.

How do you pros see this aspect?

This forum is excellent, by the way!

Cheers,

Ron
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Old December 11th, 2001, 07:16 AM   #9
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My Wishlist

Hello all:

Here's my wishlist for the future of DV:

- 16:9 CCDs
- Higher resolutions (how about 4 k-lines ;-)
- Progressive scan at full resolution
- Tapeless storage (HDD, optical or flash-memory)
- Real continuous tones trhough improved compression algorithms

FWIW,

Ron
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Old December 11th, 2001, 08:04 AM   #10
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Hmm, interesting Ron!

See my FireStore review on dvinfo.net -- we are now in an age where we can record on location without tape. It's HDD recording, not completely portable but definitely a step in the right direction.
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Old December 11th, 2001, 08:22 AM   #11
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Firestore

Chris:

Yes, I read your report on the Firestore with great interest. Still too big for me, though. If they took the same enclosure, and put in two hot-swappable 2.5" HDD bays, we'd be talking!

Cheers,

Ron
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Old December 11th, 2001, 09:50 AM   #12
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Will be great when we can record right to the drive we will be editing from. No more digitizing or transfering tape. Will also be nice to just have everything available. I don't know how many projects I have done that I have to go back to tape to grab a b-roll clip or something.

Bandwidth is changing everything in technology. NTSC levels (7.5 to 100) was all based on available bandiwdth for the time. Add sync, subcarrier, blanking, etc. and there wasn't much space left for high quality video. Today, like the internet, bandwidth is less of an issue, and the better transports give way to more space for information. Be it TCP/IP packets or color and picture information. And the transports work hand in hand with the better compression we are asking for.

I haven't had problems with creativity using smaller CCD's, but it definately is a different animal. I envy people who started in photography or film and then work in video. I really didn't understand the relations to aperature/iris/gain until I started fooling with personal photography. By no means do I consider myself a consumate video professional - I shoot an outdoor video program and it is run and gun - but given an extra couple seconds for setup I try to do more than what I see done in similar programs.

16x9? Haven't even had time to play with it myself.
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Old December 11th, 2001, 10:09 AM   #13
 
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As someone with extensive still photography experience, I'd like to add that it can be a double edged sword. While the correlation of aperture, shutter speed, and film speed are well understood, I have some difficulty accepting 1/60 sec as "standard" shutter speed. LOL....I'm so used to shooting 1/500 at ASA 100! And the quality of the video image just seems so lacking compared to a nice 35mm or 2 1/4 sq. I'm pretty spoiled, huh? So, I continue on my quest for perfect resolution on video...even if it's intentional "grain". And, I gotta add, I'm having difficulty coming to grips with this "white popping" problem with video where the whites wash out and detail is lost. Right now, it's leading me to underexpose....live and learn. Maybe some "contrast" control can be added during capture...long before post.
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Old December 11th, 2001, 10:55 AM   #14
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As I learned:

- Here are the NTSC broadcast specs
- Here is a waveform monitor
- Here is the camera
- Make it all work and look good

I've only been behind the camera for the last 6+years. Most my previous 11 years was behind the racks and event setup. Maybe this type of ignorance is bliss?

One of the draw backs I see in smaller CCD's is that you have to clamp down whites and loose detail to be in spec. I love the setup control (kinda works like contrast) on the XL-1S. Can even out the picture between blacks and whites. While you still loose some white detail trying to keep below 100 IRE, you can get more of an even feel by bringing in some detail normally lost in deep blacks. Visually pleasing.

Larger CCD's, at least with current cameras, definately handle contrast better. I think the JVC has black stretch and white stretch.

Try shooting a hunter in camo, against a tree, in the shade, shooting turkey in a sunny Arizona field. Can't set the iris and move between field and hunter. Hate to use it, but auto irs, along with very slow pans, does work well. But then it is hard to control white peaks, and I do have to fix it in post. You're right Bill...living and learning.
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Old December 11th, 2001, 06:29 PM   #15
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4K lines would equal 35mm motion picture film resolution. Good luck! Just some tidbits:

Star Wars Episode II was shot entirely on video with a resolution of *about* 2K lines. Do you ever think that the computer generated special effects in some movies like Perfect Storm and others just look soft and not as detailed as the rest of the film? That's because the computer graphics are rendered at 2K lines and can't match the resolution of the rest of the film. Big budget movies have the option of rendering at 4K lines. Star Wars Ep II is going to look pretty soft in the theaters. Don't sit too close to the screen.
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