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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old January 26th, 2005, 06:35 AM   #1
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1080 to SD is better than 720 to SD...

Well, this may seem almost obvious but just wanted to confirm:

we shot FX1 NTSC test footage at 1080/60i and first converted to 720/25p intermediate to simulate film look.

Now using same source footage, we also created 1080-24p intermediate via Sony Vegas 5d...

We made progressive SD DVD's of both: 2-pass, high average variable bit-rate, etc.

Observations/conclusions: 25 vs. 24 is negligible, with 25 actually seeming a bit more "fluid" or smooth - both match DVX/XL2 type 24p very closely...

1080 24p to SD DVD looks crisper, sharper, "better" than 720/25p to SD DVD... definitely, the "higher" the input the "better" the output in terms of SD DVD final product...

We played both DVDs on 2 identical Panasonic broadcast monitors side-by-side simulataneously and asked visitors to the t.v. station to watch and pick which one they liked better: 1080 24p won every time, with comments like "that's sharper - looks clearer" etc.

In the process of trimming our 10 minute clip down to send to Chris Hurd to host so you can all see for yourselves - should be ready later today!

FX1 is on location right now so can't confirm with test charts just now - but folks, really, seems like keeping your stuff at 1080 until final SD DVD output is the way to go...

Am really glad Sony took 1080 route vs. JVC 720 route... Yes, there IS a difference!

Cheers!
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Old January 26th, 2005, 08:15 AM   #2
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But .... you've included a 1080i to 720p conversion in your process, which native 720p footage wouldn't require.

I'm sure the 1080i to SD route is better on your Sony's footage, but I doubt that tells us conclusively about how native 720p to SD conversion will perform.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 08:23 AM   #3
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but I've also included a 1080i to 1080p conversion as well...

okay, okay, I'm not saying 720p sucks. It looks fabulous, actually - I'm just trying to emphasize that yes, with the FX1, it does seem that 1080 to DVD looks better than if you say use 720 as an intermediate... just pointing out some fun observations...

I guess the take home message is that choosing your "HDV intermediate" can have an impact on the quality of your final SD DVD... 720 renders faster for people with sluggish computers and they might be tempted... well, you definitely ARE sacrificing quality in the final product if you go this route, no doubt about it...
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