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Old January 26th, 2011, 07:03 AM   #16
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Absolutely 0% of my work makes it to sites like YouTube, as I produce broadcast TV commercials. As someone posted, advertisers slow to adapt HD as only 13% of commercials are HD. Well to be honest, The decision to either produce in HD or SD has nothing to do with the advertiser, and everything to do with where the commercial is going to air. For a TV station to convert it's infrastructure from SD to HD is a larger undertaking than most people realize, and is a huge expense. For example, in my local market only two TV stations are able to accept commercials in HD. Let's not forget that TV stations had the huge expense of converting from an analog to a digital transmission stream not too long ago. So it will be some time before every TV station is fully HD compatible. I will say that the last 4 cameras we have purchased have all been HD, and I charge the same price per hour for editing SD and HD. As far as SD or HD for consumer use, sorry I really don't care about what uncle Bob shoots on or how long it takes him to upload to YouTube.

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Old January 26th, 2011, 07:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
SD is more than sufficent for most purposes.

But try telling that to the marketing departments. They need something to make the masses buy a new TV or camcorder or video-player, so they force the idea that SD is old, outdated, and inferior to HD. Because of what they are fed by the marketing departments, most consumers don't understand all the components in the HD pipeline and how it will effect what they are watching on TV. They don't understand that having a HDTV doesn't mean all those TV shows still shot and broadcast in SD will suddenly appear sharper, or that a Blu Ray player is not very helpful without also buying a HDTV.

They go to the shop, looking for a new camcorder or whatever and the sales clerk says "you have to get this one because it does HD" and they believe him. Then they come back a week later and say "my HD camcorder doesn't look any better than my old one" and then the clerk says "that's because to get the benefit of the HD camcorder I forced you to buy, you have to buy this gigantic HDTV and a new top-of-the-line PC as well. Otherwise you basically just threw away $1000 on that camcorder."

The same thing is happening now with 3d too. It's being used as leverage to force consumers to upgrade their TV's again.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 09:55 AM   #18
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While I understand this is primarily a forum for video professionals...I think how "the masses" shoot and edit their video (and what they do with it) is very important.

There is a gigantic paradigm shift happening right now---from old-school marketing (pushing information, talking AT people, shouting about features and benefits, etc) to Web 2.0 marketing---which is all about participating WITH the masses (e.g. thru social media, but not limited to only that).

A big part of the new-school of marketing is authenticity---people's "bullsh*t radar" is higher than ever---meaning slickly-produced video often results in skepticism and doubt from typical consumers.The popularity of reality TV and YouTube have made lame-quality video footage a hot item, because people think it's "real." I know as production professionals many of us hate to hear that, but it's true. Look at the video quality of the most-watched videos on YouTube and you'll see exactly what I mean.

I'm not suggesting we should all champion crappy video...but rather saying that if you try to step out of your "video professional" shoes and take a cold, hard, objective look at what's big these days...it's NOT quality. It's content, content, content. (And authenticity---which for better or worse is inversely proportional to quality.)

On a different front, look at the audio industry. Years ago, audio hardware/software makers started shouting about 24-bit...48-bit...then 96-bit audio. Some high-end people bought it...but for most of us (even a trained professional like me) it's pointless---you physically can't hear any differences beyond 16- or 24-bit audio---you've exceeded the human capacity for perceiving the difference. We may not be there with video yet...but we're getting very close.

I'm not trying to make any specific point. :-) Just musing aloud. Well, I guess I was making one point---which is that from a marketing perspective, we as professionals *need* to be paying attention to what Uncle Bob does with video---because if we're beyond Uncle Bob's daily reality, then he'll ignore us...which is to our detriment!

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Old January 26th, 2011, 11:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
As someone posted, advertisers slow to adapt HD as only 13% of commercials are HD. Well to be honest, The decision to either produce in HD or SD has nothing to do with the advertiser, and everything to do with where the commercial is going to air. For a TV station to convert it's infrastructure from SD to HD is a larger undertaking than most people realize, and is a huge expense. For example, in my local market only two TV stations are able to accept commercials in HD. Let's not forget that TV stations had the huge expense of converting from an analog to a digital transmission stream not too long ago. So it will be some time before every TV station is fully HD compatible.
I'm in the local viewing area of the US's first HDTV station, WRAL. It's been fully HD for ages. And to illustrate your point, the commercials on WRAL come in all shapes and sizes, from straight up SD (4:3, broadcast pillarboxed), to widescreen SD (broadcast with a black frame all around), to standard HD (16:9). The oddest thing to me are the HD (4:3) commercials (I'm guessing they figure it looks better to those cable customers still using analog SD 4:3 TVs, but IDK), and the occasional HD widescreen (something around 2.4:1, shown letterboxed).

The thing I find most interesting is of course how people react to it. I was watching a basketball game the other day in beautifully detailed HD (national game), and Ford (national ad, not local car retailer) was showing SD widescreen commercials that looked just amazingly crappy in comparison. My wife pipped up that the low quality ad sure made her want to buy a Ford (she can do sarcasm when the mood strikes). I'm sure that's not the impression Ford wanted to make, but that's what happened.

Companies aren't stupid. Even Ford ;-). I would expect that they have an idea that this happens. And over time they'll be taking into consideration how their commercials look and sound in comparison to the content they are "interrupting" so to speak.

By the end of the SD era, commercials generally looked considerably better than the broadcast shows. For the money spent, they should have. And people sort of expect this now. I find it interesting that part of the fallout from the great HD change over is the reversal of this situation. I did not expect it.

I'm not saying it's good or bad, or really drawing any conclusions one way or the other. But it is interesting to watch it unfold.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 01:37 PM   #20
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Scott,

Unless I've got you wrong (or am seriously out of touch!) - you are confusing bit depth with sampling rate. Bit depth is generally 16 bit or 24 bit with sampling rates of 44.1 (CD), 48 (DVD) and 96K. And yes most people can't tell the difference BUT there is a real reason for using 24 bit to record in quieter environments as it gives you far more headroom and a better S/N ratio - you don't have to push the record levels up high thus reducing noise considerably and if you have to push the levels up in post, at 24 bit, there is little noise increase. At 16 bit the noise increase is considerable either way.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 02:07 PM   #21
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Not much point if the output format is only destined for website or Powerpoint delivery.

One major customer of ours ONLY EVER wants 640x480 WMV files - so: SD is OK, but HD is OK too, if I can't be bothered to switch. There is NO chance of ever being asked by this customer for any other format, so SD is OK.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 02:34 PM   #22
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Is there a place for SD? Sure there is - it's called 1998.
Heh.

But seriously, I still get requests for SD shoots, although I prefer HD. Recently, I shot for a national news organization and a nationally broadcast TV program, and they both requested DVCPRO 50. I don't know why, they certainly can handle the HD workflow.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #23
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Out of interest, when you refer to "SD" in the US, is it likely to be 4:3 or 16:9?

In the UK, HD broadcasting came later than the US - but 16:9 SD broadcasting started back in around 1998. The result is that although the majority of broadcast programming is only now starting to go HD, it's been a long time since any new programmes were made in 4:3.

That seems to have filtered down to non-broadcast work as well, and I'd guess that a lot of cameras like Z1s were bought primarily to give native 16:9 (at SD) rather than HD as such. As far as this thread goes, then whatever the situation may be with HD v SD, I'd argue the place for 4:3 SD is rapidly disappearing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson
And to illustrate your point, the commercials on WRAL come in all shapes and sizes, from straight up SD (4:3, broadcast pillarboxed), to widescreen SD (broadcast with a black frame all around), to standard HD (16:9). The oddest thing to me are the HD (4:3) commercials (I'm guessing they figure it looks better to those cable customers still using analog SD 4:3 TVs, but IDK), and the occasional HD widescreen (something around 2.4:1, shown letterboxed).
The aspect ratio was always going to cause more problems than HD/SD, but if 14:9 is used the difficulties should be kept small. The basic idea is that if a programme is made in 16:9, the analogue (4:3) network gets a 14:9 letterbox. If it's wanted to use 4:3 archive in a 16:9 programme, it gets pillarboxed. The whole thing sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is - if you want more details, 14:9 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .
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Old January 26th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #24
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i thoroughly agree with david.

as i offered in an earlier post, if only my dvx100b shot native 16x9, i would be a happy producer!

with my efforts on client's websites and distributed via dvd, standard definition video remains part of my workflow.

when i can, i shoot everything 16x9 and my clients are pleased.

ymmv

be well

rob
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Old January 26th, 2011, 04:40 PM   #25
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Almost everything here is still SD 16:9.. Some football and concerts gets shot in HD but that's about all. Atleast in the broadcast world, it actually seems like HD is more accepted in the lower scale market (the professionals), though that is mostly for Youtube use.. with eventual downscale to SD broadcast.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #26
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David,

Not to speak for everyone or the entire US, but what I have seen (and what my clients request)
is pretty much standard 4x3 SD. I think you guys over 'the pond' adopted the 16x9 SD much
more than we ever did.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 02:42 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
In the UK, HD broadcasting came later than the US - but 16:9 SD broadcasting started back in around 1998
I'm trying hard to remember the first time I saw a 16:9 TV on sale here in the UK. I remember it was a 32" Philips CRT and I remember my surprise at the thought that a lot of the picture tube seemed to be missing. I reckon it was about 1996, and all that could be shown on it was stretched 4:3 material. Looked to be a silly move to me, as DVDs were sill behind the curtain.

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Old January 28th, 2011, 11:28 AM   #28
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Europe had PALplus 16x9 long before the U.S. had HDTV. As I sat in my hotel room in Amsterdam one night in the early 90s, I recall marveling at the image quality PALplus had to offer compared to NTSC.

In the end, it's not so much a matter of SD vs. HD nowadays, as much as it is 4x3 (1:1.33) vs. 16x9 (1:1.78).

My cable box and Blu ray player upscale SD content that looks relatively decent. It's the 1:1.33 aspect ratio that I find irksome.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 11:37 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
Not to speak for everyone or the entire US, but what I have seen (and what my clients request)
is pretty much standard 4x3 SD. I think you guys over 'the pond' adopted the 16x9 SD much
more than we ever did.
I don't think I've shot any 4 x 3 since about 2000. For a number of years you had to protect the action for that aspect ratio, but it's not really a consideration now.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 11:48 AM   #30
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I used to hate having to "shoot and protect" - you just couldn't depend on what the final composition of the shot would be.
In the end, I used to tell my cameramen to frame for 16:9 and be damned...
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