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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 9th, 2009, 06:26 PM   #1
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Delivering HD content

I've been an addict of this site for nearly a year now and have been moved and amazed by the work that is displayed regularly. Just a question. All of those stunning HD trailers and SDEs that I've been watching are beautiful.

How do you deliver them to your brides? I've done 3 Blu Ray weddings and 3 or 4 HD dvd weddings before that (sad to say... probably the only guy in America who thought that was the format that was going to catch on!) . I shoot all my weddings 16:9 and HDV 1080i. But don't sell many Blu Ray packages, so I'm delivering most of my work down formatted to SD.

So do I have any options in delivering HD to the customer outside of the widescreen SD dvds that they are getting? Your thoughts will be appreciated and I'm sure valuable.

Thanks,

Steve Pustay
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Old November 9th, 2009, 06:53 PM   #2
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I have an option that I can burn HD files converted into mp4 (h.264) format, so they can play it on their computer. More and more customers have Media Center PC's connected to LCD in their living room. Simple solution, yet great quality.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 09:10 PM   #3
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Only 1 out 10 couples ask us for a Blu-ray. Most don't have blu-ray players. I would assume even less would even know it's possible to hook a computer up to a TV.

But that's a great option to give couples, fo sho.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 01:10 AM   #4
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Steven,

There are ways to greatly increase the quality of your HD-SD footage. I used to be absolutely disgusted with the down-converted quality from HD, but after learning some tricks - I'm very happy with the final delivered HD to SD DVD these days.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 10:07 AM   #5
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In addition to designing advanced motion menu templates for Blu-ray and DVD, I also work closely with a high end production company in Southern California who specializes in Indian / South Asian Weddings. 9 out of 10 of our clients request a Blu-ray version of their video. I think location and who your market is plays a big part in demand for the Blu-ray format.

Prior to Blu-ray burners becoming available, we delivered our clients a data dvd containing an HD video file(s). Unfortunately one of the major components that made our videos unique and desirable, our advanced motion menus, were not able to be used with just a data file. Our clients did appreciate having an HD version of their video, but it just wasn't the same without the menu which really engages the viewer. If you do decide to offer this, you should definitely use the h.264 codec.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 12:11 PM   #6
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I have included a post dated Blu-ray disc for the past year with all my packages. I edit/render in HD then compress to SD and keep the HD renders. I recently ordered 50 discs from B&H and have started sending out my blu-ray discs to clients.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #7
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I have been shooting in HD and outputing to both DVD and BluRay since late 2007. More, more and more customers opt for HD package with BluRay disc. I have customers come to me because I have BluRay offering. I"m sure there're other better HD delivery format and method. But for most people, loading a disc to a player and enjoy it on a big screen TV is the easiest.

- Set top bluray player is getting cheaper and cheaper. I bought a Sylvania BD player from Amazon for $150. It's getting more and more affordable.

- LG BluRay burner is also around $150 from newegg.com

- Inkjet printable blank media goes from $18 a disc to now about $3 a disc.

Many people already have PS3 and more and more getting a BluRay player. There is a bit of learning curve in outputing HD, authoring BD, and a workflow change. So, to stay in the business, it's no excuse not to output BluRay as an offering.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 03:58 PM   #8
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We are probably within months of the definitive, noticeable market shift to BR... Refurb Samsung BR players are showing up sub $100, new ones are coming down, and as Taky notes, apparently burners and media are becoming almost reasonable...

I wouldn't be surprised to see the BR player be a hot "cyber Monday/Black Friday" item, at around a $99 price point...

I know the last movie I bought, I debated quite a lot... BR... DVD... BR... DVD... went DVD, but I think I saw that "UP" releases today with BOTH formats in one package (and a digital version as well, if I heard right!). Will check that out, and if the price is right, there won't even be a debate - I have BR capability in a laptop now (plays my jerry-rigged BR on DVD disks, and they look simply stunning...), so it's becoming a viable economic option IMO...

I can produce those improvised BR-DVD's for now, and it won't be long before that $150 burner comes down sub $100...
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Old November 10th, 2009, 04:32 PM   #9
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Steven:

I think we all have the same questions as you. Like Ken said, there are ways to make the downconvert to widescreen DV look really good like using a Lanczos algorithym image scaler, but it takes work.

I wish they made burnable combo discs so one side would be DV and the other Blu-Ray. Currently Im thinking about just producing a Blu-Ray disc along with every DV widescreen delivery since it's very little work.

Funny HD-DVD note: On the Black Friday sale a few years ago I bought all the $99 Toshiba HD-DVD players they had at the local Wal-Marts and gave them to clients as part of the package with a HD-DVD disc (burned from Ulead). Well, that turned into a bust for HD-DVD. So you were not the only HD-DVD early adopter. The HD-DVD scenario has made me wonder about my plan for delivering Blu-Rays. The technology could change before someone without Blu-Ray ever got a player.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #10
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My LG BD Burner bought in 2007 was over $350. It is now around $150. That's a great price to get start. Not a whole lot of investment. Of course if it's your hobby, $150 might not be justified. If that's for business, that's the investment that makes you stay ahead of the game. Well, not really ahead these days but at least it makes your business competitive.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 06:25 PM   #11
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I noticed a Blu-ray player in Sam's Club the other day for $122.

I think we are near to the shift away from DVD.

Blu-ray has been seen by the consumer as that "high end" format. But I believe once people see the images and can buy a player at wal-mart for $100 DVD will be left in the dust.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 08:24 PM   #12
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With the demise of CRT TV's, virtually any TV that one buys now is a HD TV. When more people find that players are within their budget, most will want to take advantage of HD on their HD capable TV.

If you have concerns about Blu-ray, you can also use other means of HD delivery such as the WD TV player. These simply plug into the TV via the HDMI port.

It's worth offering HD as a delivery option. If presented properly, some will choose it. I suspect that over the next year more people will want it. It's probably a good idea to offer HD in more than just Blu-ray. The WD TV player is just a bit over $100. If you offer a HD delivery choice, you won't sound like a Blu-ray "missionary."
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Old November 11th, 2009, 01:07 AM   #13
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Well, if one was to follow Disney/Pixar...

Just came back from Wally-mart:
"UP", DVD $15.96...multi disc DVD set w/ some extras, 19.96...

4 disc set, BR, BR extra features, DVD, and a "digital copy" disc with unlock code for iTunes and Windows Media... $19.96

HMMMM, which one to get??? If I only had a brain...duh...

I think it sets a pretty solid "media delivery" precedent - BR, DVD and a digital copy (which I suppose could be HD? Have to check it and see what the exact format is on the disc, but no reason not to deliver both HD and SD once you've rendered anyway...). The proverbial writing is on the digital wall, the days of SD are numbered.

IMO it's just a matter of how soon BR players and burners break the $100 street price point, and the tech becomes mainstream. With backwards compatibility with DVD and CD, it's just a matter of when the BR players and burners become "affordable" - the media has already come down a lot. It's hard to argue the economics when DVD players and burners are around $30 for a decent one, BUT, it's also hard to argue with the improvement in quality (and you get 4x the pixels!)
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Old November 11th, 2009, 06:34 AM   #14
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Although the BD format is still difficult to handle (but much easier since 2007), for me it's the best option for HD delivery. The reason is simple (and mentioned before). Motion menus. I hope I don't sound arrogant but we build very good menus, movie-like style. Always custom, almost hand made, animated with submenus and extra features. We spend time building the menus and the couples really enjoy them every time. Offering the job in a removable Flash drive so they can play it on PC or through the -also mentioned- excellent WDTV is not elegant I think. Good menus add too much to the overall presentation that we just can't go without them.

Another option, but not without its limitations, is the AVCHD discs. Depending on the duration of your events (a really big wedding couldn't fit in a single disc, even double layer) you can create a DVD with HD quality for using in both desktop Bluray players AND PCs with the usual DVD-ROM drives (provided the PCs have an adequate video card). The advantages of AVCHD disc are that you can create it like you create your regular DVDs or BDs, with full menus and such. The disadvantages are the encoding times of AVCHD (compression is AVC and that means sloooow) and the limited capacities (you can put 1 hour and 5 minutes in a double-layer DVD in full quality AVC from HDV source, that means around 14Mbps, more if you drop the quality). The basic advantage though is the playback using a PC without the need of a Bluray player and the extreme requirements BD demands.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 06:52 AM   #15
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If we were really close to widespread Blu-Ray adoption, it would be prudent to just start delivering both a DV & HD disc right now at no additional cost.

However, I don't think we are even close to Blu-Ray being mainstream. When I count up every TV system I have seen in my extended family, there is not one Blu-Ray player, and no plans for one (unless a DVD player breaks). And frankly, no need for one. The quality on the latest commercial DVD releases is really good. On small HDTVs (40" & smaller) a commercial DVD produces a great image.
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