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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old June 16th, 2008, 05:19 PM   #1
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Digital Transmission, help me understand

Will 525 lines of resolution still be the FCC standard?
If not what will be considered broadcast quality by the FCC.
Is there a place on the air for DVCam acquired video?
My real question is will my Ikegami HL-DV7 capture a digital transmission
legal image?
Please keep in mind how I've bungled the question when assuming any knowledge on my part when you answer.
Thanks,
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Old June 16th, 2008, 07:17 PM   #2
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The changeover to digital transmission is for BROADCASTING standards, not production standards.

It simply means that instead of broadcasting an analogue signal, the stations will be broadcasting the EXACT SAME CONTENT as a digital signal.

If you have an analogue set, you will need a set top converter to recieve the signal over the air.

If you have an analogue set, and RECIEVE YOUR SIGNAL VIA A CABLE PROVIDER - do nothing. It will continue to show up on your screen.

PS> It does not mean that everything is going 'HiDef'.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 07:51 PM   #3
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First the 525 line system is counting every scan line both visible and blank. This is called SD (Standard Definition) and is often written as 480i or 480/60i. That is 480 (visible) scan lines presented at 60 fields (interlaced) per second. Two fields combine to make one frame of video.

The SD resolution dates back to 1946 when regular black and white broadcasts of TV as we know it today began. The analog broadcast system is still in use and full power stations will continue to broadcast analog signals until midnight, February 17, 2009. After that date only Low Power (1,000 watts or less) and Translator (Relay) Stations will continue to broadcast TV using an Analog TV signal.

Back in 1999, the first stations began to broadcast their TV signals using digital. From that point onward more and more stations are broadcasting using a digital signal. At some time in the future, both Low Power and Translator stations will switch to digital. However, no date has be set for that switchover.

With analog, there was only 1 standard, the 525 line system, that we call 480/60i.

With digital there are 3 major standards being used (1 SD and 2 HD):

480/60i = The exact same standard as today's analog TV.

720/60p = The image is 1280h x 720v at 60 Frames per second (non-interlaced). Both FOX and ABC use this system. Some of the PBS stations use it too. This resolution is very good for fast action sports.

1080/60i = The image is 1920h x 1080i at 60 Fields per second (interlaced). CBS and NBC use this system. Some of the other PBS stations PBS stations use this system. While not as good as 720/60p for fast action sports, for other things, it does offer the highest resolution.

As it stands today and will hold true for a few years, programs are being created and broadcast in SD. So, one does not need to rush out and get an HD camera, but just like the transition from Black and White to Color, we should see a shift from SD programs to more HD programs in the future.

Likewise, while there are a lot of TV sets that only display SD video, more and more sets that can display HD video will appear. For the SD sets, the HD video can always be down converted to SD. The DTV converter boxes can do this and only cost $40 to $80. These boxes are now being sold in the stores and allow an older analog TV to work with the digital broadcast system.


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Old June 16th, 2008, 09:36 PM   #4
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Thank you Bob,
480i will be the 1st to go away I'm guessing?
Then will 720p will be the bottom rung for a couple of years?
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Old June 17th, 2008, 11:58 AM   #5
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In the switch from Black & White to Color, Black & White did not go away quickly, it was a slow shift.

So, I'd expect 480i to slowly shift from being used over the years to more HD. Where HD is both 720p and 1080i.

As for 720p, that may be a different story; 720p does have an advantage over 1080i with fast action, slow motion, and freeze frames. So, there's a reason to have 720p.

Now, there's a lot of talk of mastering in 1080p. We will be limited to broadcast in 1080i, but there's nothing stopping a station from mastering in 1080p (other than cost). The idea is shoot and edit in 1080p, then depending on the need, down convert to 1080i or 720p.

Maybe in 10 years, that will be the way everyone shoots, but as for today, HD is either going to be 1080 or 720.


NOTE:
Some shoot in 720 at 60p, 30p, and 24p; this is broadcast in a 720/60p signal. The "extra" frames are repeated to match the 60 FPS rate.

Others shoot 1080 at 60i, 30p, and 24p; this is broadcast as a 1080/60i signal. The "extra" frames are repeated to match the 60 Field Per Second rate.


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Old June 17th, 2008, 12:17 PM   #6
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thank you again for making this easy to understand.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 05:50 PM   #7
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By February 2009 the FCC has mandated that TV stations transmit a digital signal (i.e. a signal based on zero's and one's). This transmission does not have to be HD only digital. This does not affect production only delivery so it's the broadcaster's problem.

However, in answer to your second question you would be nuts to buy or invest in SD equipment with the transition to HD occurring in everything from corporate to broadcast video production. To echo Bob most networks are moving to a 1080 signal.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 05:59 PM   #8
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I guess I should have put in my original message I am trying to justify the purchase of a
AG-HPX500
2/3" 3-CCD 16:9 P2 HD Camcorder.

The nature of my job is that I create and deliver VNRs(video news releases)
As of now I shoot DVCam, edit FCP and deliver Beta SP cause everyone still has an at least one Sony1800 in their station. I'm trying to get a handle on the future.
There are 4 standards at 5 stations here!
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Old June 17th, 2008, 07:29 PM   #9
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Ah, "Can I justify an upgrade?" - always a tough question.

DO you NEED it to produce a project now? Will you make more money or get more work with the upgrade? If yes, then no sense in waiting. If no - then waiting will usually result in the same product at a lower cost later, (reduced to move) OR a better product available for nearly the same cost.

This is true of any gear decision really.


Then again, if you've got oodles of money, then 'justifying' a purchase comes down to "I want the newest, NOW!"
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Old June 18th, 2008, 06:23 AM   #10
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It's mostly the later, I am very lucky.
But I get a strong sense that If I don't strike now it could be a long time till the opportunity presents itself again.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 12:34 PM   #11
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A key advantage of going with the AG-HPX500 is you can shoot in DVCPRO 50 for SD shoots and then shoot in DVCPRO HD for HD shoots.

Then again, you could always shoot in HD and those who want SD, just down convert for them...

However, it's a tough question of what are you going to pay to get this camera and any editing upgrades vs. how much more will it generate for me compared to if I don't get it.

On one hand, if you may not have any funds in the future to get the camera when you need it, maybe getting it now is the better choice.

On the other hand, if you could get funds xxx years from now, the HD cameras will be an improved technology and may cost less...


Tough decision


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