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These Are the People in Your Neighborhood
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Old July 10th, 2003, 06:05 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Las Vegas, NV USA
Posts: 18
Jack of all Trades, Master of None

I am the chief (actually only) engineer at a small university television station in Las Vegas, NV, and have a lot of experience with analog video, mainly broadcast equipment. The whole new world of DV makes video production a different game. The DV equipment today can outperform most analog equipment with the exception of studio cameras. So I am now trying to learn all aspects of the DV world.

Past Experience: Still photography, Electronics Engineering (specializing in DSP), High-Speed Cinematography (100 to 10000 fps, 16 to 70mm), High-Speed Video (300 fps).

Currently At Work: DVCAM (DSR-200, DSR-300, DSR-30, DSR-80, DSR-1600, DSR-1800), BetacamSP, Avid Xpress, Avid XpressDV 3.5, Panasonic mini-DV, JVC mini-DV, and lots of other industrial grade cameras, recorders, equipment. I do video and audio engineering as well as systems design, installation, and bench repair. Lots of other small jobs, too.

At Home: Took on a big project (28, 70 minute lectures) at church using Sony DSR-250 camcorder (I needed two-hour recording), StealthZoom, FireStore FS-1, (4) CoolDrives 80G Ext. Firewire, Gateway 700, 2.4Ghz, Gateway 18" LCD monitor, ADS Pyro Firewire Card, Lacie External FireWire 80G HD, EZQuest Boa DVD burner, Adobe Premiere 6.5, After Affects 5.0, Sound Forge XP Studio 5.0, Adobe Illustrator 10.0, more.

Some audio (microphones, booms, DAT, etc.), motion picture (Arri 16BL, Russian KNHOP 35mm), lighting (american grip, KinoFlow, LTM Pepper) and still photography (Pentax 35mm, some 6x8cm, even an 8x10 view camera!) equipment at home, too.

Ironically, I have lots of video and audio equipment at my disposal, but I still get the most requests for still photography! I think the biggest reason is that most people think any camcorder can record an event, but one needs a professional photographer for stills. This should change.
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Old July 16th, 2003, 08:51 AM   #2
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
That should definitely change indeed! Anyways, welcome to our
space on the web, glad you've found it. Seem to me like you
are in a really interesting line of work surrounded by a lot of neat
stuff.

What is your experience with broadcasting DV?
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Old July 17th, 2003, 03:58 PM   #3
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Las Vegas, NV USA
Posts: 18
DV On the Cable

We have a small television station and a channel on our local broadband, Cox Cable. The channel runs student produced news and entertainment plus professionally produced distance education classes.

In our studios we use Hitachi cameras and BetacamSP recorders. But most of the field shoots use the Sony DVCAM cameras. Some field shoots are just for roll-ins and some are completely shot in the field. Our student news is all shot on DVCAM and then edited to BetaSP for packages.

We have been using DVCAM since it was introduced many years ago.

Much of our post production happens in the Avid Xpress which we must go in and out through analog component video. However, the DVCAM material blends well with the studio BetaSP material.

Distance Ed is also shot using DV cameras, cut & edited on a Video Toaster and recorded on BetaSP.

The film department here on campus shoots and edits most of their shorts on DV which we air also.

So nothing originates, edits, and airs on DV. But much originates on DV cameras. The DV cameras match well with our equipment. But the overall quality is not up to par with broadcast television networks. But for the money, we actually look quite good.

Most of the local TV news stations here use higher end DV cameras (JVC and Panasonic mainly).
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Old July 25th, 2003, 03:51 AM   #4
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
Hmm.. that's quite interesting. Do you have to legalise any of
that "DVCAM" footage, or?
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Old July 30th, 2003, 11:35 AM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Las Vegas, NV USA
Posts: 18
Legalizing DVCAM

Yes, but not more than any other camera.

Almost all cameras, even our broadcast quality Ikegami HL-V55, allows luminance to peak over 110 IRE. The Sony DSR-300s do the same. Peak luminance is internally adjustable on the Ike, but I keep it high for headroom and keep the knee smooth. If light and camera are controlled properly, the signal never gets to maximum. The BetaSP on the Ike can handle the headroom and can even exceed specs a little without clipping. Obviously digital formats cannot handle this so Sony put in a strong Auto knee for high luminance, which works fairly well. Naturally it is better to light the scene right to avoid forcing the Auto Knee too much, thus avoid luminance clipping and loss of detail in high luminance areas.

All our cameras including the DVCAMs use 7.5 IRE for black setup. My DSR-250 does as well.

Chroma rarely goes outside of max saturation, but the imagers themselves can resolve more than the NTSC signal, causing some coloration errors.

We use waveform monitors and vectorscopes with proc amp controls for almost everything including inputs & outputs of our nonlinear editors. We can use proc amps because we go in/out of the editors in component analog. We teach the students to use the scopes/proc amp controls. I always monitor the record signals from our studio so we are rarely out of broadcast specs. I often must adjust a playback tape (again, using proc amp controls) to make it legal.

If you would like, I can start a thread on some of these issues in a different department instead of the "neighborhood"? Any topics I should share my experience with?

Dan
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Old July 30th, 2003, 12:00 PM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Las Vegas, NV USA
Posts: 18
Sometimes don't legalize

Rob:

I should also metion that I don't legalize DVCAM at my editor at home, which is all DV, I/O and editing. I don't have external DV processing so I can only adjust within Premeire. Unfotunately, Premiere does not have any waveform monitoring so I couldn't adjust if I needed to without output to a composite analog signal and into a waveform monitor. But DV to analog converters are always off calibration so monitoring on an external analog composite waveform monitor is inaccurate. Someone should make a DV waveform monitor.

The stuff I am editing does not go to broadcast (yet) so I am letting blacks fall below 7.5 when adjustment is too time consuming. But all my original video has set up at 7.5. It is only Premiere and After Affects that encourages additional elements to go below the 7.5. All luminance, original and edited, is below 100 IRE.

I do use a scope at home to verify. One thing I noticed is that the camera's video output does not put out a full 140 IRE video signal. Peak whites hit around 90 IRE and sync hits 37 IRE. The gain on the output amp of the composite video output on the camera is obviously adjusted low on my DSR-250. I have experienced this on many other DV cameras, also.
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Old July 30th, 2003, 05:54 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
Quite interesting. Thanks!
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