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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old July 14th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
The downconverted footage comes no where close to the HDV resolution and is much closer to regular SD than HDV.
Well thats just because it IS still DV !!! 720 x 480 resolution! Of course itll look nowhere near as good as Hidef footage. Its just nice quality SD footage, but its still exactly the same resoltion as any other SD DV camera will give (NTSC = 720 x 480).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
Still, I find it odd that if so many people are impressed with HDV-->SD footage, then why aren't my family/friends who don't know a thing about video, film, etc.?
Pehaps because they are used to you showing them HDV footage, and so when you show them SD footage (as downconveted footage is) you have instantly lost exactly 4.5times the pixelcount. So thats my guess - youve been showing them HDV footage for the last month or two and when you show them SD footage of course they're going to say its unimpressive. You have to remember that the SD quality footage achievalble is GOOD but itīs still just SD footage.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 02:37 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohit Chadha
When I hooked up my A1U to an SD TV via S-Video, it looked very good! The DVD conversions look softer, with less "punch", it's like I've lost a good bit of the clarity of the original footage.

How are others getting the best DVD output from their A1?

I think you mixing up things a bit. There's no DVD type output on the A1 or any HDV camera. There might be S-video, which still is SD, and composite, which is lower quality.

The only HDV output you have to use to get HD are the three component RCA connectors you should have on the camera and on the HDTV. Now: the TV having component input doesn't mean it's really HD. The TV specs have to say it's maximum resolution, which might be 720p, 1080i or 1080p.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 02:41 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos E. Martinez
I think you mixing up things a bit. There's no DVD type output on the A1 or any HDV camera. There might be S-video, which still is SD, and composite, which is lower quality.

The only HDV output you have to use to get HD are the three component RCA connectors you should have on the camera and on the HDTV. Now: the TV having component input doesn't mean it's really HD. The TV specs have to say it's maximum resolution, which might be 720p, 1080i or 1080p.
Maybe I didn't explain it clearly - what I meant by "DVD output" is exporting from the Premiere Pro 2 timeline (using AME, or other MPEG encoder), after editing in HDV.

IOW, when I hook up the A1 via S-video to a regular SD TV, that looks great (as far as SD content goes, of course). But editing in Premiere and converting to SD (MPEG2-DVD), I seem to lose a lot of quality - wondering if I should just downconvert in-camera and capture DV for editing in Premiere? :)
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Old July 14th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #34
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hdmi

I guess there is at least one advantage to the HDR-HC3 it has a hdmi connector to see full rez on your hdtv..
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Old July 15th, 2006, 01:28 PM   #35
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RE: Thinking of buying the HVR-A1U

Not really an advantage, as both the HDMI and Component will provide full resolution to an HDTV set, provided the HDTV has a full resolution input. Remember, in the case of a Component input on an HDTV set, the input may or may not be full resolution.

thnaks, Scott K.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 06:27 PM   #36
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However, doesn't the HDMI send a digital signal to the TV? That would implicitly have a higher resolution. Although sometimes analog signals are more visually appealing.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 10:14 PM   #37
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While HDMI is digital it doesn't mean its a pure digital transfer from source to display. Often there is an analog conversion that goes on behind the scenes before being output to HDMI/DVI. There are just too many external factors such as scaling and DSP processing to accurately compare component, DVI, and HDMI. What looks good on one setup might not be so hot on another.

Just a side note, but I still prefer component video cables for their ability to run long distances. Ever try to get a 30ft HDMI cable? See also: Digital Cliff Effect.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 11:13 PM   #38
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How do I check if my TV has a full HD resolution input for component.

Last edited by Alex Thames; July 16th, 2006 at 12:13 AM.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 11:49 PM   #39
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I'm going to assume you meant COMPONENT because composite is for plain old standard def stuff. That being said, if your HD TV set has component inputs then it'll show you whatever resolution it's native for displaying assuming that your source is that same resolution. So if you have a nice 1080i set and are sending a full HD 1080i signal over component then you'll be seeing the 1080i image.

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Old July 16th, 2006, 12:06 AM   #40
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Oh, heh, typo, yeah, component. But I'm confused, above someone said, "Remember, in the case of a Component input on an HDTV set, the input may or may not be full resolution." My HDTV is 1080i and I am playing directly from my Mini DV tape which recorded HDV 1080i by my HVR-A1U. I connected it to my HDTV via componenet cable, but the footage just doesn't look impressive or like the resolution I'm seeing on my NON-HD laptop monitor screen (which is 4:3 aspect ratio, so the picture gets letterboxed). I'm wondering if this is because my laptop screen is that much smaller so the image looks sharper and higher res than the image blow up to 27" on my HDTV?

Or is it like the guy said, not all HDTV have full resolution input? Even when I connect my A1 via component cable to my HDTV and move my camera around my house, the picture of my house doesn't look very sharp to me.
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Old July 16th, 2006, 12:56 AM   #41
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How does other HD material look on your set? The component inputs will carry whatever signal you send through them. There's been some anxiety over a broadcast flag that studios could eventually use to force people to use HDMI to carry full HD signals but that's not in play in your case since it's coming from your A1U.

I guess the first thing to check is make sure your broadcast HD channels look good. Easiest one to check is HDNET as that's always going to look the best because Mark Cuban knows how to do it right. If that looks good then there might be something else at work but the component concern is way down the list. Does your set have some kind of setup option for automatically setting the resolution for the component input so in the case of the A1U it would automatically run it through at the sets native resolution of 1080i.

Just a thought. Good luck. I'm going to bed. :)

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Old July 16th, 2006, 08:06 AM   #42
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Quote:
I'm wondering if this is because my laptop screen is that much smaller so the image looks sharper and higher res than the image blow up to 27" on my HDTV?
Seeing your footage on a smaller screen will definitely look better. I'm guessing you have a CRT based HDTV if its native resolution is 1080i? My HDV footage looks a lot better on my 34" Sony HD CRT (1080i) than it does on my 50" Sony LCD HDTV (720p).

One thing I just remembered and it may not apply here is that some TVs have two sets of component inputs but one might only be 480i and the other 1080i. I think I recall a Samsung DLP that was like that. Might be worth looking into..
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Old July 16th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #43
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Hey Alex and Mohit, please see this thread (by yours truly). If you are using Premiere Pro 2 and Adobe Media Encoder to go from HDV to DVD, you are losing a lot of quality, but there is a fairly simple (and free) workaround that will give you stunningly better results.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=70792
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Old July 16th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #44
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Hey everyone, I made a mistake. My memory served me wrong, and it wasn't the component cable that was giving out the unimpressive resolution. It was the A/V cable, which brought it down to I guess SD? Maybe less than SD? I plugged in the component cable into the Y/Pb/Pr Component input in my HDTV and now the picture is much better. I'm impressed with the improvement, however, still not totally satisfied with HDV in general. There are still very noticeable improvements that can be made. For the record, my HDTV is a Syntax Olevia 27" HDTV 16:9 LCD, HD-Ready.

I read this somewhere: "Component In (YPbPr) for progressive scan and (YCbCr) for interlaced scan." Is that true? My footage is 1080i, so interlaced not progressive, but when I plug the component cable into the YCbCr holes, I can't get any picture (just blue screen) to display on my TV, even when I go to the source and say its YCbCr. But when I plug the component cable into the YPbPr holes, the picture comes out as HD resolution, though I'm not sure if its interlaced or progressive now. And if it's progressive, did I just lose some resolution from the de-interlacing that must have occured somewhere?

More from that review: "A Toshiba SD-6915 DVD changer with progressive scan output was connected to the YPbPr component input on the LT30. A Dish Network PVR was connected to the S-Video input. According to the manual, there is a second component input labeled YCbCr for interlaced input. In spite of it being labeled differently than the progressive scan input (YCbCr is the nomenclature for digital component input), we suspect that both are analog component inputs. The bottom line is that there are two component inputs, but only one is designated for progressive scan inputs."

And from another review, which seems different than the above review: "Along the bottom edge you have the separate SD and HD component jacks (where ‘SD’ means it only accepts 480i, and ‘HD’ means it accepts 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i signals), plus associated RCA stereo audio jacks for each input. In addition, this area also features all of the ‘output’ jacks, including a headphone jack, stereo RCA jacks, and a subwoofer RCA connector. Needless to say, that’s a ton of cables crammed into a very small space, and you might need to pull cables in front to get to the cables in back. I would have loved to see two full component inputs here as well, rather than one ‘crippled’, but for people without progressive-scan DVD players, the TV will take care of progressive-scanning the input on the SD jacks, and that leaves the other set available for full hi-definition off of a receiver or cable box, or XBox! If you have multiple hi-def component inputs, you’ll certainly want to invest in a component switcher, a home theater system that does switching, or a higher-end switcher/scaler."

Thanks for all the help.

I have another question though. Most people will probably not shoot their HDV project and have the final editted version printed back to tape for the purpose of putting that tape back in their camera, plugging in the component cable, and watching the hi-def resolution that way. I would imagine most people would bring the footage on their tape into a NLE (non-linear editor program) and edit their project, then render it into some kind of format using whatever codec.

My question is how can I render to a format/codec that will retain as much of the native HDV resolution that I can. I know when using capturing applications like HDV Split, the files are captured as .m2t (transport mpeg2 files), and the resolution and quality cannot get better than that coming from a HDV camera.

However, putting these .m2t clips into the editing timeline and rendering to whatever end format will lose some quality, right? Even if I'm using a virtually lossless codec like HDV-1080i intermediary Cineform codec, right? Or is this incorrect? Then, after changing the .m2t files, which are difficult to edit with, to the Cineform intermediary, I'll have to re-render again to my end format, maybe .mpg4? I've heard .wmv or .mov is more for web files, but they greatly lose resolution?

What is the best end format to render as to save the resolution. I don't care about file size and compression, unless the compression does not lower resolution, not even slightly. I just want the best format to retain as much resolution as possible.

As I understand it, even the best format at the end is not up to par with the native .m2t file, but it can be close, right?

In the end, what I'd like to do is film using my A1 (HDV 1080i), put it on my computer and render as a format that loses as little resolution from the .m2t file as possible, then be able to play it from my computer while it is connected to my HDTV and have my HDTV display the hi-def resolution. Is that possible? What connection would I use to connect my computer to HDTV to retain the resolution? VGA (it didn't seem like HDV to me)? S-video? Haven't tried personally.

Last edited by Alex Thames; July 16th, 2006 at 02:57 PM.
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