DigiBeta vs. Beta SP vs. DVCPro-50 at DVinfo.net

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Old April 1st, 2003, 07:52 AM   #1
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DigiBeta vs. Beta SP vs. DVCPro-50

What the heck are all these formats and which is better? Also, how do they differ from High Definition?

We have a client who is shopping around this huge corporate DVD project. We're doing the art-direction and interface design/branding, but we're also helping the client make an informed decision. The problem is, I'm un-informed...

We've narrowed it down to about 3 companies, but they all have different media that they'd like to shoot the footage on. One says that DVCPro is the way to do, especially if the final product will be DVD. Another says that their High-Definition is just a little higher-cost than Beta SP, but the quality and future-proof-ness of the footage would be a bonus. The other says that beta SP would be just fine for this project.

Who's telling the truth? What is going on here?

PS. The lifetime of the DVD project will only be roughly 2 to 5 years. We're not looking at archival quality for the footage, just what would give the best transfer to DVD.
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Old April 1st, 2003, 11:59 AM   #2
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for some info on formats

http://www.adamwilt.com/EBU-DV.html

IMO any of these formats would look very good on DVD .. they all use very good camera heads ... also i think they are all telling you "somewhat truth" as again they would all look going to DVD if shot /lit correctly/hi production values BUT it will come down to how they edit the MATERIAL ?? what are they using to edit ? if capturing to Hard drives ? then what compression ? ...

digibeta & dvcPro 50 IMO will outperform analog betaSp but you might ask how they intend to edit the tapes ?? are they going to capture the digital/analog formats uncompressed ? 2-1 compression ? 4-1 compression ? so one could shoot on digibeta and then capture to hard drives using 5-1 compression VS. shooting betaSP and capturing uncompressed or 2-1 then IMO i'd go beta SP .. or are they going to use SDI for the transfer to hard drives ??

what "hi def" format are they talking about ? i don't see any hi def listed ... digibeta is not hi def ..
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Old April 1st, 2003, 12:32 PM   #3
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I agree with Don. While there are some proprietary differences between these tape formats the main difference comes from the cameras that use these formats (most of which would be 1/2" or 2/3" CCD's). Any of them can record footage that's more than well-suited for DVD.

In the end, the quality of a DVD lies principally in how well the material was encoded to the disc. Like compressing footage for Web streaming the whole game can be lost in that last step.
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Old April 1st, 2003, 11:12 PM   #4
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Thank you very much for your replies.

None of the production companies said, specifically, how they would compress the video for editing. 2 of the 3 were going to edit on Avid systems, the third using a Media 100, I believe...
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Old April 2nd, 2003, 06:47 AM   #5
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All three formats can produce exceptional quality video. I've shot and edited all three formats and speak from experience. The quality of your final product (DVD) is limited by the weakest link in the production chain. The format recorded on, in this case, is not the weak link. Camera operator, choice of compression in editing and (in my opinion most important) how the video is encoded for DVD are the weakest links. I've seen many great videos literally ruined by poor quality encoding to MPEG-2 (DVD). Digibeta has a slight edge in picture quality, but if the edge would easily disappear if encoded poorly.
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Old April 2nd, 2003, 09:32 AM   #6
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What gives the highest quality MPEG2 compression, then? Does the studio have to have Scenarist to produce a decent transfer?

And, as to the editing, most companies say they work on Avid workstations. Are there different choices for the compression while editing on an Avid? What about a Media100? We've got one company who would be editing on one of those...

Either way, I think a new round of questioning is in order.

Thank you very much for your help!
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Old April 3rd, 2003, 11:03 AM   #7
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yes on avids/media 100 there are different compressions choices.
they could capture using a low "offline" compression - then when finished editing go back and recapture at broadcast quality ? or they could capture at 3-1 compression and just finish from there ... the final decision would come down to budget ($$$/time) , how long is the finished project/how much tape was shot / how much hard drive space is available.
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Old April 3rd, 2003, 11:57 AM   #8
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The codecs for doing the compression is different. I prefer Media 100 for heavy graphics and Avid for video. I notice more artifacts with graphics on Avids and video on Media 100. Try to look at their reels closely and match their experiences to you program needs.
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Old April 3rd, 2003, 04:58 PM   #9
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thanks again.
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