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Old February 5th, 2007, 10:05 AM   #1
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Do any TV channels accept HDV-based projects

I was recently reading an article where someone mentioned that the Discovery and History channels accept only DVCPro HD as the minimum HD standard (and only 25% of a project can even be that). HDV isn't accepted because it's an MPEG2-based standard and has a relatively low bitrate, reduced color space and potential artifacting.

I'm currently using a Sony HVR-V1U for a couple of 24P projects, none of them specifically aimed at TV, but it seems to me that I need to aspire to something better than this if I wanted to prepare material for TV (e.g. XDCam), or else end up renting all my camera equipment.

Anyone know if any of the US TV cable channels accept HDV-based projects?

Thanks
Greg
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Old February 9th, 2007, 11:57 AM   #2
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Hdv

Hmmm... I think we have an answer "no" not here in the uk anyway. The few I spoke too said no - xdcam-hd would be the minimum spec. Some went on to say they would like to see the bottom end production companies who use dv and hdv, cut from the tv production arena to keep up production costs.

I can't see that happening myself. Once HD becomes main stream in the home, demand for HD content will grown and the indies will be call upon to make the cutting edge and challenging documentaries/ dramas again. The big boys wont be able to keep up with demand.

I would say create the master as close to broadcast specs as possible with your kit. Only time will tell and you'll be ready.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #3
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Has been previously discussed on this site many times. Here are three of those threads:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=80922

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=82806

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=85869

In short, if it's not an HD channel then it's a non-issue.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
In short, if it's not an HD channel then it's a non-issue.
I don't think that's true, for example I believe that the History Channel is one of those non-HD channels that now requires material to be submitted in HD format.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Hartopp
Some went on to say they would like to see the bottom end production companies who use dv and hdv, cut from the tv production arena to keep up production costs.
I think that there's an element of that thinking in this - with consumer HD cams like the HV20 coming to market with 24P, one can't but help think that there are some worried prodcos out there as this becomes more of a level playing field.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 06:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Hartopp
Hmmm... I think we have an answer "no" not here in the uk anyway. The few I spoke too said no - xdcam-hd would be the minimum spec. Some went on to say they would like to see the bottom end production companies who use dv and hdv, cut from the tv production arena to keep up production costs.

I can't see that happening myself. Once HD becomes main stream in the home, demand for HD content will grown and the indies will be call upon to make the cutting edge and challenging documentaries/ dramas again. The big boys wont be able to keep up with demand.

I would say create the master as close to broadcast specs as possible with your kit. Only time will tell and you'll be ready.
Not true. Your answer couldn't be more wrong. Watch your TV it's full of HDV shot material.
In fact ITV advertised last week for director/shooters who could work on HDV.
The BBC have entire series that were shot on HDV.

What you can't do is shoot HDV and deliver HDV. You must deliver your programme on a 'pro' format like HDCamSR.

The BBC considers HDV to be 'standard definition' and accords it the same treatment (but then it also considers 16mm film that's been transfered to HD to be 'standard def).

Their guidelines state that no more than 10% (or is 15%) of a programme should be originated on HDV without their prior consent and a good reason as to why.

But there's the thing, they are only guidelines. Sometimes you have to use a small camera. If you've ever shot on a submarine or in a tank or...

Guidelines change over time, but one thing will remain constant, if your footage is compelling enough - they'll broadcast it.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam Hall
Not true. Your answer couldn't be more wrong. Watch your TV it's full of HDV shot material.
...
Guidelines change over time, but one thing will remain constant, if your footage is compelling enough - they'll broadcast it.
We had a similar discussionion the V1 forum - unfortunately, you couldn't base a business on that assertion. Yes, if I had footage of the Titanic sinking on a camera phone, it would sell, but not all projects will be that unique. For all practical purposes, when submitting to a channel as a HD project or a channel that only accepts projects in HD (an increasing number of those here in the US) HDV is effectively treated the same as SD content and it's inclusion within a project is heavily restricted. If you are working in the business of making HD conent for TV, you need a minimum of a F330/F350 XDCam or Varicam. Period. It's misleading to suggest otherwise.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 10:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Quinn
We had a similar discussionion the V1 forum - unfortunately, you couldn't base a business on that assertion. Yes, if I had footage of the Titanic sinking on a camera phone, it would sell, but not all projects will be that unique. For all practical purposes, when submitting to a channel as a HD project or a channel that only accepts projects in HD (an increasing number of those here in the US) HDV is effectively treated the same as SD content and it's inclusion within a project is heavily restricted. If you are working in the business of making HD conent for TV, you need a minimum of a F330/F350 XDCam or Varicam. Period. It's misleading to suggest otherwise.
That is what I said. I'm not being misleading. Read the post again. Period.
How much UK TV have you watched recently? There are markets outside the US, believe it or not.

Last edited by Liam Hall; February 21st, 2007 at 10:35 AM.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 11:45 AM   #8
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I think this quote sums up what I really wanted to say far better.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony Michael Wilson
When DV was first introduced, we saw all sorts of restrictions by broadcasters attempting to limit its use but just a few years later I cannot think of one high-end programme I worked on that did not incorporate a significant proportion of material shot on DV or DVCAM. Of course, delivery was DigiBeta and finishing was all done uncompressed but once producers saw the quality of DV/DVCAM material shot by professionals with a decent lens on 2/3" chips, there was no going back - no matter what the broadcasters said in public. I'm sure it will be a similar story with HD: Broadcasters and others will try to ring-fence the premium nature of HD for as long as possible to hold on to high rates and recoup the enormous investments in HDCAM gear (for example) and early HD post suites but HDV cameras will continue to improve, computer technology will catch up and uncompressed HD for post will become more affordable and - as long as delivery is on the required format and shooting and post are done to professional standards - people will stop asking too many questions about the acquisition format. Sure, uncompressed HD acquisition will remain the order of the day for the high-end digital cinema world and huge budget series but for the a large amount of HD programming in the future for broadcast, I'm sure that HDV will be more than adequate. Well shot HDV looks great on cameras like the HD100 and the consumer won't care how much the camera cost but producers will and they'll be very happy to have saved a small fortune on gear so that they can make more money!
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Old February 21st, 2007, 12:03 PM   #9
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Mark,

I couldn't agree more. Apologies that I misunderstood your original point.

The BBC technical guidelines for HD production make for quite a funny read, given they seem to ignore their own specs on a daily basis.

Cheers,

Liam.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 05:47 PM   #10
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Shows like Dirty Jobs or Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel use Z1u's all the time. You see them constantly. I'd say about 60% of those shows is HDV footage.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 11:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam Hall
There are markets outside the US, believe it or not.
With respect Liam, that's a tad condescending. I watch a lot of British TV (since I'm from London and split my time between the US and UK) and also American TV (since I'm American and it's my base). I think I have a pretty good feel for TV productions on both sides of the pond since I've been researching this like mad over the past few months, and no one that I've heard about is commissioning HDV projects per se from production houses. Also, it's not simply a question of the delivery format being incorrect:

Quote:
What you can't do is shoot HDV and deliver HDV. You must deliver your programme on a 'pro' format like HDCamSR
Experienced eyes at places like the Beeb and Discovery will be able to detect low bitrate MPEG2 artifacting, as well as the 1/4" or 1/3" chips used in these prosumer cameras, whatever high end format you provide it in.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 02:54 AM   #12
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I second this one....you see the Z1U's a lot on Discovery.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Winter
Shows like Dirty Jobs or Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel use Z1u's all the time. You see them constantly. I'd say about 60% of those shows is HDV footage.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 08:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Quinn
Experienced eyes at places like the Beeb and Discovery will be able to detect low bitrate MPEG2 artifacting, as well as the 1/4" or 1/3" chips used in these prosumer cameras, whatever high end format you provide it in.
Hi Greg,
Please forgive my writing style, I certainly do not mean to be condescending. Indeed, I agree with almost everything you have written on this post - and you certainly should be looking at higher spec cameras if you want to work in TV day in day out.

Where you are wrong, IMHO, is I never said you should base a business on the assumption that HDV will get broadcast if it's good enough, just that they do broadcast it.

I could give you a list of programmes that are shot on Z1U's or similar- not least the BBC's brilliant documentary series on the Iraq war.

I've been asked by several producers and production managers to shoot HDV for broadcast. Only last week ITV advertised for shooting directors, the week before a PM working for CH4 asked if I would shoot segments of their show - on HDV.

I actually work across all formats from HDV to 35mm film. I have 'experienced eyes' and can spot a 1/3" camera through a pair of fish net stockings and UK television is full of it.

I hope the bit-rate police at the BBC and discovery can also spot it, as they are the ones commissioning it. But let's not fall out over it.

Cheers, Liam.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam Hall
I've been asked by several producers and production managers to shoot HDV for broadcast. Only last week ITV advertised for shooting directors, the week before a PM working for CH4 asked if I would shoot segments of their show - on HDV.
That's encouraging for me, since I'm currently HDV-based.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam Hall
I hope the bit-rate police at the BBC and discovery can also spot it, as they are the ones commissioning it. But let's not fall out over it.
Agreed, and thanks for your input to my original post
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:30 AM   #15
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Two years ago I was doing behind-the-scenes for a UK-based dance company in Miami, and they had four F900s going, plus some dudes had four Z1u's that had an HDNet sticker on each one. Hmmm...I was shooting on a PAL GL1 or GL2.

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