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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:18 PM   #1
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Downconverting - SQUEEZE or LETTERBOX?

So...you've shot some HiDef footage that you want to now cut. You decide to cut it in DV to make things easier for now. Time to capture....

Do you set your Z1 in as downconverted "SQUEEZE" or "LETTERBOX"??

Squeeze yields you a 1.212 PAR
Letterbox gives you a .909 PAR

What would you do? What DO you do? and why?

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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:30 PM   #2
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If you intend for the footage to be displayed on a widescreen television, you choose Squeeze (1.2 AR).

If you intend for the footage to be displayed on a conventional 4:3 television, you choose Letterbox (.9 AR).
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 03:11 AM   #3
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Is this just as an offline edit before returning to the HD version or are you intending to finish in HD after cutting the SD downconvert?

Since the ZI downcovert works with timecode enabling batch digitizing, does it matter? You could in fact do three versions, an anamorphic version for widescreen DVDs, a widescreen letterbox for VHS and a centre-cut 4:3 version for broadcast (or are all broadcasters accepting 16:9 versions now?)

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Old March 23rd, 2005, 09:16 AM   #4
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I would ALWAYS do Squeeze.

The whole point of the 720x480 1.2 PA DV standard is to maximize the vertical resolution of the signal. With squeeze you have 480 lines of vertical resolution as opposed to 360 in letterbox mode... and we know the raw FX1/Z1U signal has more than enough resolution to make those extra 120 lines useful. In addition, there's no overhead on using 1.2 DV as opposed to 0.9 DV.

If you're outputing to DVD you just make a widescreen DVD. All DVD players can play anamorphic DVD's - widescreen TV or no - so it's hardly a problem for playback.

While I imagine Barry's point of view is that if the customer has a 4:3 TV, the absolute BEST viewing experience for that TV will be if the signal is native 4:3 in order to avoid scaling artifacts on playback.

In my opinion however, you're not delivering them a viewing experience for a specific TV, you're delivering them a video of their event. It would seem to make sence to give the customer innately the best DVD you could (heck, this is why anamorphic DVDs exist). Why give them a product with 75% of the resolution available to them on a SD DVD, when your HDV source material is 450% the resolution the DVD can provide? At least provide 100%.

Its like playing back 5.1 uncompressed audio through a $10 mono computer speaker and being surpised you can't tell the difference between the 5.1 recording and a mono radio track.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 11:05 AM   #5
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I agree with Steven....Squeeze it Bay Bay!!!
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 12:17 PM   #6
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consensus to be squeeze on widescreen dvd , but what about if the output is gonna be beta sp tape for broadcast?
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rafael Cruz
consensus to be squeeze on widescreen dvd , but what about if the output is gonna be beta sp tape for broadcast?
In my case I did everything anamorphic, downconvert, edit, DVD. When I needed a 4:3 master for duplication to VHS I just took the anamorphic show and put it onto a 4:3 timeline and rendered it out as a letterboxed 4:3 image.

I then used it to make a master.

So I've got two masters of the show, one anamorphic and one letterboxed.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 01:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rafael Cruz : consensus to be squeeze on widescreen dvd , but what about if the output is gonna be beta sp tape for broadcast?
That's where you'd want the letterbox (or even side-crop) version.

For DVD, I agree -- always squeeze. But for the broadcast world, in the US, you have to deliver a 4:3 version. If you want the full 16:9 frame to be seen you have to letterbox it.
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