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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
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Old July 24th, 2008, 04:02 PM   #1
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A Little Poll for XDCam HD Users

On the subject of making Standard Def DVDs from your finished XDCam HD projects, how would you rate the quality of your results (scale from 1 [awful] to 10 [excellent])? Those who rate an 8 or above please share your specific procedure. Thanks.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #2
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The best result onto a dvd I've gotten so far is to shoot 23.976 and then in Avid do a video mixdown at the 36mb rate. 115mb on sections with graphics if they're central to what's going on in a scene or credits.
Leave it anamorphic.
Make a QTref file and in Sorenson set the data rate to 6900-7200 and of course set to 16:9 bot field first.

If shot at 35mb with cine 1 or 4, lit well, etc... you'll be happy.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 06:46 PM   #3
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so far 8

The best result onto a dvd I've gotten so far is to shoot 23.976 and then in Avid do a video mixdown at the 36mb rate. 115mb on sections with graphics if they're central to what's going on in a scene or credits.
Leave it anamorphic.
Make a QTref file and in Sorenson set the data rate to 6900-7200 and of course set to 16:9 bot field first.

If shot at 35mb with cine 1 or 4, lit well, etc... you'll be happy.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dutch Rall View Post
The best result onto a dvd I've gotten so far is to shoot 23.976 and then in Avid do a video mixdown at the 36mb rate. 115mb on sections with graphics if they're central to what's going on in a scene or credits.
Leave it anamorphic.
Make a QTref file and in Sorenson set the data rate to 6900-7200 and of course set to 16:9 bot field first.

If shot at 35mb with cine 1 or 4, lit well, etc... you'll be happy.
Thanks for your reply Dutch. My workflow is as follows:

-Shoot 23.976 at 35mbps
-Edit in Final Cut Pro in native XDcam awith Render settings on ProRes 422.
-Export as self-contained QT "Using Current Settings"
-Have used Sorenson Squeeze 5 and Compressor to do the DVD MPEG-2 compression
-Have used Toast 9 and DVD Studio Pro to do the burn

My results are less than stellar. I'm wondering where the weak link in the chain is. I'm considering trying a hardware version of the above by using the SDI out of the XDCam deck going straight to a DVD recorder with SDI in (Phillips or Pioneer, can't remember which). Will this be cleaner?
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Old July 25th, 2008, 08:55 PM   #5
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My first suggestion would be to try and export your project from Final Cut as a qt reference file.
"Using Current Settings" may be adding a compression step that you don't need.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #6
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due to the Long GOP nature of the source codec, exporting a QT ref movie from an XDCAM seq won't remove a compression step (unless you have fully force rendered all the sections of the timeline anyway, in which case that self same compression step has already been applied)

you might want to experiment with editing in a ProRes sequence (you should get relatively snappy performance with a good mac), rather than editing native XDHD with ProRes renders, and then export a QT movie w/ current settings (ProRes) as your master ... not sure if/how this might help you (i don't do the dvd thing myself) but it would certainly speed your self contained or qt ref. export time!
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Old July 29th, 2008, 12:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Andy Mees View Post
due to the Long GOP nature of the source codec, exporting a QT ref movie from an XDCAM seq won't remove a compression step (unless you have fully force rendered all the sections of the timeline anyway, in which case that self same compression step has already been applied)

you might want to experiment with editing in a ProRes sequence (you should get relatively snappy performance with a good mac), rather than editing native XDHD with ProRes renders, and then export a QT movie w/ current settings (ProRes) as your master ... not sure if/how this might help you (i don't do the dvd thing myself) but it would certainly speed your self contained or qt ref. export time!
Yeah Andy I had the same idea so I tested it recently. I took the same hour-long show and cut it in one FCP sequence as ProRes and in another sequence as XDCam HD with ProRes renders. I exported "using current settings" from both sequences and compared the final QT files side by side on an Apple 30 Cinema Display. I saw absolutely no difference in quality at all. I went ahead and burned DVDs from both QT files. I used Sorenson Squeeze 5 and the two resultant DVDs, once again, looked identical. The only difference is the ProRes QT is aprox 4 times larger than the XDCam HD QT.

Would I gain anything by capturing my XDCam HD footage via my Kona 3 card in Real Time as a ProRes file and then cutting in a ProRes timeline? Kinda ruins the advantage of the XDCam HD workflow if that is true.

All that said, I'm wondering if anyone out there has had better luck with Hardware DVD burns letting the XDCam HD deck do the downconvert and having a DVD recorder with SDI in do the burn. Anyone tried that?
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 10:24 AM   #8
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>The only difference is the ProRes QT is aprox 4 times larger than the XDCam HD QT

I'll bet that wasn't the only difference :-) ... I reckon your export time (to ProRes) was significantly faster too, no?

How did you find the performance of the native XDHD sources when editing directly in the ProRes timeline versus the XDHD timeline w/ renders set to ProRes? How long did the export to self contained take with each? Now compare this workflow too, take your XDHD native edit (w/ ProRes renders) and export that using Export > Quicktime Movie but this time, instead of Current Settings, set the Settings to Apple ProRes 422.

The point of the exercise is/was hopefully that regardless of the chosen method you'll see you get the exact same quality output at the end of the day and the exact same compression/recompression is happening regardless ... which leaves you free to simply choose the edit workflow that offers you the best timeline performance / export speed combination.

Regarding the capture via HDSDI direct to ProRes, certainly thats a viable option, but again the final result will be the same. (in this case the XDCAM > ProRes compression hit happens at capture time instead of at final export). For me then, thats where the pro vs cons scale tips towards the cons. The slower ingest method and the considerably larger and faster storage required to deal with the footage isn't really that attractive an option when I can get native timeline performance with my raw source and still enjoy fast renders w/ ProRes etc etc

Sorry, I've wandered off topic with this ...of course none of this is helps with your original problem of how to improve your DVDs :-(
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 12:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Mees View Post
>The only difference is the ProRes QT is aprox 4 times larger than the XDCam HD QT

I'll bet that wasn't the only difference :-) ... I reckon your export time (to ProRes) was significantly faster too, no?

How did you find the performance of the native XDHD sources when editing directly in the ProRes timeline versus the XDHD timeline w/ renders set to ProRes? How long did the export to self contained take with each? Now compare this workflow too, take your XDHD native edit (w/ ProRes renders) and export that using Export > Quicktime Movie but this time, instead of Current Settings, set the Settings to Apple ProRes 422.

The point of the exercise is/was hopefully that regardless of the chosen method you'll see you get the exact same quality output at the end of the day and the exact same compression/recompression is happening regardless ... which leaves you free to simply choose the edit workflow that offers you the best timeline performance / export speed combination.

Regarding the capture via HDSDI direct to ProRes, certainly thats a viable option, but again the final result will be the same. (in this case the XDCAM > ProRes compression hit happens at capture time instead of at final export). For me then, thats where the pro vs cons scale tips towards the cons. The slower ingest method and the considerably larger and faster storage required to deal with the footage isn't really that attractive an option when I can get native timeline performance with my raw source and still enjoy fast renders w/ ProRes etc etc

Sorry, I've wandered off topic with this ...of course none of this is helps with your original problem of how to improve your DVDs :-(
Thanks for wandering off topic. You have helped me come to the exact same conclusion on workflow. When the Convergent devices product is widely available, there will in fact be a reason to change workflow as the original recording will be vastly superior to the XDCam HD recordings to disk. Our next set of cameras will likely be the new breed of 50mbps, 1920 x 1080, 2/3", 4:2:2 XDCam HD cameras. I'm holding out for the Cinealta offerings that will hopefully be introduced at NAB 2009.
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