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Old May 11th, 2006, 02:03 AM   #1
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New Panasonic HD Direction?

I took delivery of an HVX200 and a couple of P2 cards in early March and am generally satisfied. It wasn't possible to attend NAB this year, but like most everyone here I was eager to learn what Panasonic was planning for future HD. Among their new announcements was a full size P2 HD camera scheduled for delivery sometime next year, which looks great. The camera has DVCPRO HD encoding like my HVX200 but it will also feature H.264 (MPEG4?).

Today, I found an interesting article by Tore Nordahl lauding Panasonic's move away from 100Mbps framebound to this "more efficient" compression method: http://www.coax.tv/ (The P2 benefits of H.264 are mentioned in Nordahl's article).

So, my question: If H.264 is a great thing and Panasonic's future direction, what is Panasonic's plan for an H.264 migration path for my new HVX200?
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Old May 11th, 2006, 02:59 AM   #2
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That is indeed a very interesting article, though I would doubt that it would be possible to upgrade exisiting HVX200s to H264 - it sounds the sort of change that would be implemented in a newer model in due course. Any official comment from Panasonic?

I also find the addition of broadcast radio links to the JVC cameras interesting. Currently, radiocam transmitters make already heavy cameras even heavier, when the circumstances they are most likely to be used in tend to call for a smaller, lighter camera. The JVC in this mode looks to offer a very interesting alternative.

But finally I note from the article: "Grass Valley's INFINITY DMC (Digital Media Camcorder) remains our current choice for being nearest our "Ideal HD ENG Camcorder",........ ". It will be interesting to see how the choice of JPEG2000 for that compares with H264 for Panasonics new camera, but in principle I applaud the choice of 50/75Mb switchable within the Infinity. Now if Grass Valley bring out a 1/3" variant, styled more like the HD100/200, that would be really serious competition for the HVX200........
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Old May 11th, 2006, 03:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Diesso
Today, I found an interesting article by Tore Nordahl lauding Panasonic's move away from 100Mbps framebound to this "more efficient" compression method: http://www.coax.tv/ (The P2 benefits of H.264 are mentioned in Nordahl's article).

So, my question: If H.264 is a great thing and Panasonic's future direction, what is Panasonic's plan for an H.264 migration path for my new HVX200?
The new codec is great for P2 cards, but:

1) I've been creating samples. Then I decode AVC and decode DVCPRO HD. The AVC takes about 10X longer to decode.

2) Therefore, this is likely to require a quad-core Intel chip. These will come on-line next year.

3) The hardware encoder will be a very high performance chip. Very high clock rate and thus heat. So putting it into a handheld may not be easy.

4) So don't look for an upgrade to your HVX200.

5) This is long range move for Panasonic. Not clear yet if it will be High Profile, Level 4.1 (H422P@4.1) H.264 encoding, at up to 50Mbps, or if it will be the Simple Studio Profile at:

L2 (ITU-R709.60I:422) = 1920x1080 at 60i, 10-bits, 4:2:2 at up to 600Mbps.

L3 (ITU-R709.60I:444) = 1920x1080 at 60i, up to 12-bits, 4:4:4 at up to 900Mbps.

The later two are attractive given P2 can Xfer up to 640Mbps.

PS: XDCAM HD supports up to 144Mbps -- enough for HDCAM or Simple Studio Profile at L2 (ITU-R709.60I:422) = 1920x1080 at 60i, 10-bits, 4:2:2.

PS: With the announcement that Panasonic is going with AVCHD for SD card video -- it is more likely that P2 will get High Profile, Level 4.1 (H422P@4.1) H.264 encoding, at 50Mbps.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; May 11th, 2006 at 01:46 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 11:46 AM   #4
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Panasonic distributed a press release this morning about a new MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format, called AVCHD, and jointly developed with Sony. It records to 8cm DVD media, but Pansonic also distributed a press release this morning stating that they are developing the AVCHD format to also record to SD based recording media.

Link 1: http://www.digitalproducer.com/artic...e.jsp?id=42795

Link 2: http://www.digitalproducer.com/artic...e.jsp?id=42794
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Old May 11th, 2006, 12:23 PM   #5
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See also our DV Info Net discussion thread about the new AVCHD format, with links to several press releases from both Sony and Panasonic:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=67127
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Old May 11th, 2006, 12:29 PM   #6
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Hmmm...Sorry for missing that other thread Chris. I did a quick search and missed it...
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Old May 11th, 2006, 01:43 PM   #7
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This is NOT the same Profile@Level of H.264 that will be used on P2. This is High 10 profile (Hi10P) Level 4.0 which has a maximum of 20Mbps.

High 4:2:2 profile (H422P) Level 4.1 has a maximum of 50Mbps.

So this thread remains relevent for P2.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
1) I've been creating samples. Then I decode AVC and decode DVCPRO HD. The AVC takes about 10X longer to decode.
there is something clearly wrong with your workflow there.

perhaps you are trying to do this on a mac? are you using the so-called qt-compatible "h.264"? what encoders are you using?
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Old May 12th, 2006, 09:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
there is something clearly wrong with your workflow there.
I expect you are working with a "distribution" Profile version of H.264. So your experience is not relevant to Panasonic's codec for P2.

I'm not using QT because there are no OS X players that can play High Profile, Level 4.1 (H422P@4.1) which is an "acquistion" Profile and Level.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 05:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
I expect you are working with a "distribution" Profile version of H.264.
doubtful, because i've never heard of any h.264 "distribution" profile before... did you coin that term yourself? i don't think that it's an official spec of any kind.

i'm still trying to figure out what basis you used for determining that h.264 is 10x times slower to decode than dvcpro hd.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 06:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
doubtful, because i've never heard of any h.264 "distribution" profile before... did you coin that term yourself? i don't think that it's an official spec of any kind.
Both Baseline and Main can be used for "distribution" because both use 4:2:0 sampling. Since that's not what Panasponic would be using, I'm not interested in which it is.

Since you seem not to be working with High Profile, Level 4.1 (H422P@4.1) -- on what basis do you have for doubting the 10X value? You seem very certain, yet seem to have no data at all.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 06:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
Both Baseline and Main can be used for "distribution" because both use 4:2:0 sampling. Since that's not what Panasponic would be using, I'm not interested in which it is.
it's not? so where is the official panasonic announcement that backs that up?

at least we can agree that there is no such thing as an h.264 "distribution" profile... and i'm sure that people can make up their own minds about the validity of your decoding speed claims, based on the evidence that you have provided so far.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 09:03 PM   #13
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I've just run my encode tests again:

1280x720: 11X difference between DVCPRO HD and High Profile, Level 4.1 (H422P@4.1) -- both with 8-bit samples.

1920x1080: 8.5X difference between DVCPRO HD and High Profile, Level 4.1 (H422P@4.1) -- both with 8-bit samples.

With 8-bit data, it's about 300MB per minute.

With 10-bit data, it's about 375MB per minute. (High Profile supports 10-bits.)

DVCPRO HD is 1GB per minute.

So an H422P@4.1 codec is at least twice as efficient -- which matches Panasonic's claims of 2X.

Because of a known error in the H.264 files, I can't run decode tests at this time. The decoding ratio could be larger or smaller than 10X.
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