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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old June 5th, 2006, 06:34 AM   #1
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XDCam HD and Discovery

I may have missed this in other discussions, but it is true that Discovery are accepting 35mb as an unrestricted format for their HD programmes.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 08:36 AM   #2
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Yes---they are.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 09:13 AM   #3
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I have seen this acceptance stated on many forums and user groups, but I can find no reference to the source of this statement other than "a guy I know at Sony" or "the sales rep". Can anyone actualy confirm that Discovery themselves have made this announcement?
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Old June 5th, 2006, 10:09 AM   #4
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Well I don't know if this qualifies as confirmation or not but in the Showreel Magazine review of the F330 Simon Wyndham says this.

"Sony has informed us that the Discovery Channel has just approved the MPEG HD recording format for unrestricted delivery as long as the 35Mbps HQ mode is used."

That from the fourth paragraph of the full article that can be found here-
Showreel Magazine

Maybe Simon can confirm this and provide a source.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 12:06 PM   #5
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Simon is pretty reliable. Why not call Discovery.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #6
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I notice the Creativevideo site in the UK is advertising the 330/350 as being acceptable to Discovery.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 05:10 PM   #7
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Just what exactly is XD 35mb 1080i/p that apparently makes it broadcast quality, is it a lower GOP form of HDV or is it some type of HD IMX? I heard somewhere Sony are going to be releasing a 70mb XDCAM version of HDCAM at some point as well for pro broadcast.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #8
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Yep, Discovery HD is indeed now accepting XDCAM HD unrestricted as long as 35mbps mode is used. But lets note that this is as acquisition. There may be confusion over delivery. They will probably still require the masters of the final edit on HDCAM or HDCAM SR.

John, the GOP stucture doesn't really have much to do with such consideration. At 35mbps there is a 40% increase in quality over standard HDV, plus the camera head, the important part, is of a higher quality than the lower end cameras too. Okay, it won't go head to head with a 2/3", but it is very, very good.

Will Sony release a 2/3" version of XDCAM HD? I think it is a given, although I have not heard anything concrete, and probably wouldn't be allowed to say anything even if I did know.

If we assume that Sony will eventually release a 2/3" XDCAM HD camera, I would look upon the F3xx series are being the DSR 300 series of the HD world (in fact it may well not be a coincidence that the model numbers tie in), and the 2/3" version being the DSR500 equivilent.

The big 'however' though is how much would a 2/3" version cost? And will Sony actually release one?
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Old June 6th, 2006, 07:21 PM   #9
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BTW Alister, you going to be taking that 350 into the storms this year? I am really interested in extreme weather such as tornados. I've just been looking at your amazing footage. I'm jealous!
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Old June 6th, 2006, 10:25 PM   #10
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I think if you give Discovery Channel an HDCAM or HDCAMSR or whatever kind of HD tape they want, nobody will know or care what you shot it with as long as it looks good. Many festivals now want HDCAM for projection, and that's their only requirement. Don't ask, don't tell; doesn't matter.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 03:13 AM   #11
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Just taken delivery of my F350, trying to work out the best setup for shooting storms as I leave for the US to go storm chasing for the second time this year on saturday.

I would imagine delivery would have to be HDCAM. Comparing the f350 against my Canon H1 and Sony Z1, my initial impression is that the F350 produces a much cleaner image with much greater dynamic range.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #12
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What lens did you get?
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Old June 7th, 2006, 09:44 PM   #13
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don't ask don't tell

Bill,

I had dinner with the Panasonic reps at NAB and one of them told me that Discovery HD engineers have taken footage from every HD / HDV camera in existence, studied it closely, shot it up to a satellite, brought it back down and studied it some more. He said they can identify any footage that comes their way, no matter how it is delivered....

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Old June 7th, 2006, 10:11 PM   #14
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Yeah those networks are pretty darn good at knowing what format footage was shot on. For instance, upcoverted Varicam 720p is NOT ACCEPTABLE for HDnet. Now that is getting pretty darn picky when a 65k plus camera isn't good enough.
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Old June 8th, 2006, 03:45 AM   #15
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The average broadcast engineer can tell the different between a 1/3 fixed lens and pro camera even if its shot in higher quality DVcPro 50 for example, anybody who tries to sneak anything past them is not going to last half a second.

Simon, thanks for the answer, but the my question was what is the GOP structure of 35mb XD? I am interested to know how it copes with digital broadcast?
I mean HDV looks great, but it some cases like busy crowd scenes it falls apart a little bit on digital broadcast.
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