Could someone explain the ID-1/ID-2 system to me? at DVinfo.net

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Old June 17th, 2006, 11:42 AM   #1
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Could someone explain the ID-1/ID-2 system to me?

The camera I am using is a Sony TRV260. I was lookin through the manual last night and as fa as widescreen goes it makes mention of my camera using the ID-1 or ID-2 system. I'm having a little trouble understanding this, and to make matters even more complicated for me I can't tell if my camera shoots true widescreen or not. When I put it in 16x9 mode parts of the top are cropped but I gain more information on the sides. Could someone please help me out with this?
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Old June 17th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #2
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That system embeds a code in the video stream which can cause certain compatible devices to switch to widescreen mode. For example, if I shoot a tape in 16:9 mode on my PDX-10 and then play it on my VX-2000 the camera will automatically letterbox it on the LCD screen. Likewise, if I capture the video it should tell my NLE to use widescreen mode.

When you burn to DVD's it should also tell your software to go into anamorphic mode. And when playing the DVD the player should automatically provide a letterbox if connected to a 4:3 TV.

That's how it should happen, but in reality I find it doesn't always work so well. I don't think there are a whole lot of 4:3 TV's that will automatically switch to 16:9 mode for example. And if I watch on any of my widescreen TV's/monitors then the id has no effect - in this case the display mode is controlled by a button on the remote.

Now as to whether your camera can shoot "real" 16:9, there's no way to know without looking at the specs. I know that a number of Sony's consumer cameras can shoot true 16:9 though, and it mainly has to do with the resolution of the CCD's. See if you can find that spec in your manual. As a general rule of thumb, if your camera was made in the last few years and if it can shoot still images at megapixel resolution, then it probably can shoot true 16:9.

One way to tell is to shoot a resolution chart and examine it closely. As an example, look at the tests I shot with a VX-2000 (which doesn't do real 16:9) and a PDX-10 (which does do real 16:9). The difference is pretty clear when you look closely: http://www.greenmist.com/dv/16x9/

Download and print the chart from John Beale's website (http://www.bealecorner.com) here: http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/re...1956-small.jpg

When you frame the chart it's important that you align it to just fill the frame in the vertical dimension (it's a 4:3 chart, so this means there will be extra space to the left and right of the pattern in 16:9 mode). Also note that your camera LCD won't show all the way to the edge of the image, so you'll need to look at it on a production monitor or else on your screen as you capture via firewire.
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Old June 17th, 2006, 08:52 PM   #3
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I captured some footage from my camera in widescreen mode with Adobe Premiere. In a widescreen project there are no bars on the TV and in a 4:3 project there are. I'm guessing this is a good thing. I'll try the chart you supplied me with. Thanks Boyd.
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Old June 17th, 2006, 09:37 PM   #4
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You have to make a distinction between video being in the proper widescreen format and a camera which shoots "real" 16:9. There are many cameras which can record in anamorphic widescreen mode, but their CCD's aren't high enough resolution to give you a high quality image.

Unless the CCD's have enough pixels, these cameras just crop the 4:3 image and then stretch the center 720x360 pixels vertically to make it anamorphic (so it will comply with the widescreen format). But the result is a 25% loss of vertical resolution and an image which looks soft.
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