SD Verses HD/HDV for present/future TV & DVD sales - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 29th, 2006, 07:42 AM   #31
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Standing
I'm trying to sell DVDs of indie docs to a broad audience, you're trying to get someone to pay you to do event videography. SD makes the most sense for my customers, HD makes the most sense for yours. One size does NOT fit all.
Fair enough as far as statistics are concered, but keep in mind that SD and HD are not mutually exclusive formats. You can easily output SD from HD source today and keep the HD version on hand in case anyone ever wants that, so why limit yourself to the SD option? (Other than the cost of equipment.)
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2006, 09:32 AM   #32
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Worldwide
Posts: 1,589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
(Other than the cost of equipment.)
...Precisely.
__________________
www.WILDCARP.com
www.NIKON.me.uk
Tony Davies-Patrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #33
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
You can easily output SD from HD source today and keep the HD version on hand in case anyone ever wants that, so why limit yourself to the SD option? (Other than the cost of equipment.)
As I said before, if I were in the market for a new camera, I wouldn't consider anything that didn't have HD AND SD capability, for exactly the reasons you mention above. However, since my current camera meets my needs and works fine, the question is really when to make the jump into HD.

To do HD well, the cost of the equipment is nothing to sneeze at. If I want to maintain my current SD workflow but produce an HD-resolution product, I need to not only buy a new camera, but a new deck, a new dual-core editing workstation, and an HD-resolution monitor. Even if I go with the cheapest decent HDV option, that's still pushing $10,000.

I'm probably going to also need new extra batteries, battery charger, a wide-angle adaptor and a carrying case. It's quite possible I may also need to get a portable digital audio recorder to make up for the loss in audio quality of HDV, additional lights to make up for the lower light sensitivity, and a portable HD monitor to provide accurate focus. That could easily add up to another $10,000, or more.

So, after spending $20,000+ on a complete HD setup (to say nothing of learning new equipment and workflow), I'm still going to be delivering a Standard Definition DVD to the customer -- something I can do now, quite well. That strikes me as kind of silly. For folks who are catering to a niche market who can afford HD-everything, by all means, jump into HD with both feet. For folks like me, it makes more sense to let the Blu-Ray / HD-DVD / H.264 WMV delivery format issue get settled, let those kind of decks get some percentage of market penetration and then look at upgrading to HD.

By that time, the second-generation HD prosumer cameras will be out, with
more and better features, bug fixes, and probably at a lower price. I'm not entirely sure those cameras will still be HDV, either. They might just as easily be a ported professional HD codec. Or maybe, by then, everyone will be watching 320x240 video on their cel phones, HDTVs will be gathering dust at Best Buy, and the whole argument will be moot. ;-)

When I made the move from analog video to DV, that choice worked well for me for 15 years and counting. I expect to get a similar length of service when I go (and I eventually will) with HD.
Brian Standing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2006, 01:04 PM   #34
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Sherburn, England
Posts: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
one problem with that scenario is that you've locked yourself into what will be an inferior, if not obsolete, camera, well before the year 2011 arrives... and you haven't benefited financially from it at all.

so you shoot hdv until 2008 or 2009... no doubt a successor to the h1, or better competing cameras, will be out by then, shooting who knows what format.
Dan I shoot wildlife and I'm looking to build up a library, so if HD DVD becomes viable in our guesstimate year of 2011 then I will have 5 years of footage to work with - a much better option than only having 2 years.

I don't see myself as locked in to the H1. If I get 3 years use out of it that will be fine, anything extra will be a bonus. Sure better cameras will come along and I'll weigh up their costs and benefits, but my battleground is a sub $10,000 camera with interchangeable lenses and they are not common.
Paul Doherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #35
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
Brian: your assessment is mostly logical but leaves out a few key points.

(1) Shooting in SD essentially forces you to decide up front whether to produce widescreen or 4x3 output, with limited ability to convert to the other ratio while maintaining decent quality. So most videographers are still defaulting to 4x3 ratio because they figure that's the safest thing to do, but it's the worst choice if you want footage which will look good on HDTVs. Shooting in HD solves this problem nicely now for all customers for both SD and HD delivery, in a way inherently better than you can do with any SD camera.

(2) If you know you plan to upgrade to HD and you know it's going to cost real money, does it make more sense to wait until the last possible moment to start buying new gear and then do that all at once, or maybe get started sooner and do it gradually? Granted you'll get better gear the longer you wait, but that will always be true so at some point you just have to take the leap and get started. I've noticed several videographers buying the least expensive HDV cameras for their own personal use and to get some early HD experience, and those same cameras will still be useful as "B" cams well into the future when HD acquisition is required for most projects.

(3) As several of us have noted, you can't build up HD sample material if you don't have an HD camera. You also can't come back in time and shoot today's events in HD for future viewing pleasure unless you have a retrofitted De Lorean with a time flux capacitor and a 1.21 Jigawatt power source. :-)

(4) Some of your customers and competitors are already buying inexpensive HD cameras, so it's going to get harder and harder to justify not offering some sort of HD option. If you set a price for an HD upgrade and no one wants to pay it you're off the hook, but at least offer customers a choice!

(5) You can't learn the ins and outs of HD production if you don't do it. When the day comes that someone really wants to pay you something to shoot in HD, will you be ready?
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2006, 01:53 PM   #36
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
Quote:
(1) Shooting in SD essentially forces you to decide up front whether to produce widescreen or 4x3 output, with limited ability to convert to the other ratio while maintaining decent quality.
Nothing of the sort. It is extremely easy to make a 4:3 output out of 16:9 without seeing or losing quality. I doubt anyone here would be able to see a loss if I made a 4:3 crop for 4:3 output to DVD in Vegas. You'd have to magnify it in Photoshop to see.
Simon Wyndham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2006, 03:49 PM   #37
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Brian: your assessment is mostly logical but leaves out a few key points.
(2) If you know you plan to upgrade to HD and you know it's going to cost real money, does it make more sense to wait until the last possible moment to start buying new gear and then do that all at once, or maybe get started sooner and do it gradually?
Sure, gradual makes sense, but I don't necessarily have to start with the camera. I could (and very well may) spend my first money on upgrading my workstation, getting an HD monitor, finding a dual-system audio solution that will work with HD and making sure all my other production and post-production gear is HD-ready. All of these things will continue to work with any HD format, and will help me in a SD environment, too. Since I don't shoot a lot of library footage, I can rent an HD camera as projects come up, and be ready to edit and work with the footage. Meanwhile, I'm not locked in to a particular brand or flavor of HD camera, and I can try them out at my leisure and wait for one that really knocks my socks off.
Brian Standing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 08:29 AM   #38
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
It is extremely easy to make a 4:3 output out of 16:9 without seeing or losing quality.
To some extent I'd agree with this statement, which makes it even more ironic that most of us are still shooting 4x3 SD instead of at least shooting widescreen. If we could just convince ourselves and our customers to accept widescreen SD as the new baseline standard, we'd be doing the future a favor.
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 08:32 AM   #39
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Standing
Meanwhile, I'm not locked in to a particular brand or flavor of HD camera, and I can try them out at my leisure and wait for one that really knocks my socks off.
A fair statement, but it's amusing how often the term "locked in" gets used lately in discussing this topic. As if buying one type of camera today somehow precludes you from buying anything else in the future -- is there some secret illuminati which checks and enforces this? :-)
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 09:34 AM   #40
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
A fair statement, but it's amusing how often the term "locked in" gets used lately in discussing this topic. As if buying one type of camera today somehow precludes you from buying anything else in the future -- is there some secret illuminati which checks and enforces this? :-)
For many of us, especially those of us who are doing independent moviemaking on our own projects rather than work for hire, a camera represents a significant investment. It is not a purchase we can afford to take lightly. I rarely have enough money in the bank to replace my camera, so when I do, I had best make sure I choose one that will serve me well for some time. In addition, many accessories, such as batteries, cases, lens adaptors, etc. are peculiar to a particular brand or model of camera, adding to the expense. I can't put Canon batteries on a Sony. This is what I mean when I say "locked in."

I wish I had the money to buy a new camera every year, but I don't.
Brian Standing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 10:41 AM   #41
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
I've just been having a long discussion with one of Europe’s biggest sellers of DVDs, and asked about SD 4:3, 16:9 and HD production/sales. The simple answer was that they still make and sell more 4:3 than wide 16:9 (although 16:9 is slowly growing), and even more interesting is that they have, as yet, no intention whatsoever of producing HD format in the near future, and cannot see it happening at all for a long time to come. They say that this year’s sales of their SD DVD sports line (golf/football/fishing etc) are at a phenomenal level in UK and across Europe.

The fact that I am in talks with the same company for future production of my own DV films in DVD format has put my mind at rest, and I can remain confident in remaining with high-end SD cams (with their efficient and easier editing workflow) for a long while yet.

The only other factor that may push me earlier towards HD/HDV format equipment (and in my case it is more likely to be the XL-H1) is the possible screening of some of my future work for TV programs such as Sky & Discovery; but, and it is a big but - even though some of my colleagues in the field already have moved to HDV format - and ALL of them are still down-converting their footage to SD anyway - it is still a fact that hundreds of Discovery channel programs originally made in both SD & HD are still being converted on to normal SD DVD discs and sold throughout the world in millions.
I'm not surpirsed they said HD wasn't in the cards quite yet - we still have to go through the equivalent of the Betamax/VHS Wars regarding the HD-DVD standards. But I'm surprised at what you've said regarding 4:3 versus 16:9 SD as 16:9 has been the standard aspect ratio on much of European broadcast TV for a number of years. IMHO, the logical approach to use today is to shoot 16:9 HD or HDV, perhaps composing the shot with attention to its compatibility with pan-and-scan 4:3, and then downrez to 16:9 SD in post for distrbution. This workflow of downrezzing the HDV in post gives a generally higher image quality than either shooting native 16:9 SD or downrezzing an HDV image to SD in-camera. This way you have the best possible SD image now and your camera original masters are "future-proofed" by being in HDV for later reuse for HD broadcast or on HD-DVDs when the dust settles after the format war is resolved. If you've used a tool like Cineform to bring your footage into your NLE for editing, a lot of the headaches of editing native HD go away and it's a relatively simple matter to render the final program to SD now and then re-render the same project in HD later if desired.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 01:11 PM   #42
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Carlsbad CA
Posts: 1,132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Oh yea of little faith! I've met wedding videographers who are cleaning up with high-end clients shooting HDV for over a year now.
how can they "clean up", when there is no delivery format for hdv? what are they giving the client? sd, of course! the fact that you haven't made any money off of hdv proves my point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
(3) As several of us have noted, you can't build up HD sample material if you don't have an HD camera. You also can't come back in time and shoot today's events in HD for future viewing pleasure.
once again, that is not relevant to your wedding videography business, because your customers won't be coming back a year or two later for the hd dvd version.

btw, what are you using for an hdv playback deck while editing? let's not forget to add the expense of a deck into the cost of switching to hdv.

paul, i'm with you on the h1, it has real lens options, and soon there will be battery-powered hd recorders that you can plug into it, so you'll have options other than hdv... i think there could also be ways to monitize wildlife footage on the 'net, and you don't need hdv to do it... hi-8 or whatever would look great!
Dan Euritt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 01:17 PM   #43
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Worldwide
Posts: 1,589
"...IMHO, the logical approach to use today is to shoot 16:9 HD or HDV..."

Yes, Steve, this is what most of us have been saying...but as Brian so rightly mentions - "...For many of us, especially those of us who are doing independent moviemaking on our own projects rather than work for hire, a camera represents a significant investment...(including related accessories etc)..."

That is why many of us choose to continue using the 4:3 & 16:9 SD cameras (that we already own, or can afford to buy)...because they provide the best possible quality - within our own price range - to enable us to provide the best end product for present and future sales to our intended audience.
__________________
www.WILDCARP.com
www.NIKON.me.uk
Tony Davies-Patrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 01:29 PM   #44
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
how can they "clean up", when there is no delivery format for hdv? what are they giving the client? sd, of course! the fact that you haven't made any money off of hdv proves my point.
You might try asking the people who have been more successful at marketing HDV to high-end clients: they're the ones who are "proving the point." And as I'm sure we've discussed there are ways to distribute HD content to customers today, mostly using Windows Media. ;-)

Quote:
that is not relevant to your wedding videography business, because your customers won't be coming back a year or two later for the hd dvd version.
What's relevant is my ability to show HD content and demonstrate an ability to produce it to future potential clients. I'm shooting HD for all projects now, because I want the option to use sample clips in future demo reels.

Quote:
what are you using for an hdv playback deck while editing? let's not forget to add the expense of a deck into the cost of switching to hdv.
I've been using the FX1s to bulk capture footage, but will probably switch to the HC1 now that I have that. Total cost of an FX1, HC1 and accessories ~$5000: not bad compared to DV or any other current HD camera option.

Quote:
i think there could also be ways to monitize wildlife footage on the 'net, and you don't need hdv to do it... hi-8 or whatever would look great!
True enough for internet distribution, but shooting HD doesn't hurt you any there either.
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #45
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
...For many of us, especially those of us who are doing independent moviemaking on our own projects rather than work for hire, a camera represents a significant investment...(including related accessories etc)..."

That is why many of us choose to continue using the 4:3 & 16:9 SD cameras (that we already own, or can afford to buy)...because they provide the best possible quality - within our own price range - to enable us to provide the best end product for present and future sales to our intended audience.
I wouldn't scrap a perfectly usable SD camera just yet either but if one were buying new or finding age creeping up one's existing hardware, say it's getting near the end of the useful lifespan of the recording heads, that sort of thing, then HDV for the replacement should get very careful consideration IMHO.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:29 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network