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-   -   I wish I could afford HD... (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/area-51/64120-i-wish-i-could-afford-hd.html)

Frank Granovski April 1st, 2006 05:21 AM

I wish I could afford HD...
And that is why I'm posting it here.

It's not that I cannot afford an HD cam, it's all the other stuff!

K. Forman April 1st, 2006 08:00 AM

I'm with you there. I finally get an oppotunity to buy a camera, and money isn't an issue. The H1 seems to be at the top of the list, along with the HD100. But then, I'll be needing to drop another 15K just to edit the Hd. That doesn't even include a deck, but then, there is none for the H1.

Robert Kirkpatrick April 3rd, 2006 08:31 AM

Hmm. I'm confused. I bought an FX1 and I'm working with HDV just fine on my old system (2.6 ghz, 1.5 gig ram, Vegas editing). The only thing I upgraded was my hard drive space (a RAID system) and I bought Cineform Connect HD to act as as intermediary, but that wasn't 15K. Of course, I only make short films, so maybe it would be insufficient for features or longer work. And yes, the render times are a pain -- but it is possible.

Unless you guys are referring to actual HD (and not HDV), in which case, just ignore my post. :)

K. Forman April 3rd, 2006 08:44 AM

Robert- You're right, it can be done much cheaper than 15K. I was shopping the net for HD systems the same day I responded, so I still had some of that "kid in a toy store" mentality. In my case, I don't want to build and shake down another PC, plus having to debug new software. Since I'm still running on Win2K, I figured it would just be easier to get a nice Avid turnkey system. It was either that, or a Mac with Final Cut... *shudder*

Kevin Shaw April 3rd, 2006 09:21 AM


Originally Posted by Robert Kirkpatrick
Unless you guys are referring to actual HD (and not HDV), in which case, just ignore my post. :)

Once again please note that HDV is a legitimate way to record a high-definition video image, and that other common HD acquisition formats are far from being full-quality HD. The closest thing to "real HD" most of us are going to see any time soon is the HD-SDI output on the Canon XLH1...which is an HDV camera.

Robert Kirkpatrick April 3rd, 2006 09:37 AM


Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
The closest thing to "real HD" most of us are going to see any time soon is the HD-SDI output on the Canon XLH1...which is an HDV camera.

Yeah, HD-SDI is what I meant when I wrote "actual HD" (as well as referencing higher end cameras -- my bad. :) I just wasn't sure what type of HD the original poster was referring to -- if he was referring to say some of Thompson's higher end stuff, yeah, that's pretty expensive. But if he was referring to HDV, I think that's more possible, since from my experience, it doesn't require much more. (For me, the camera was by far the most expensive part.)

Peter Ferling April 3rd, 2006 11:13 AM

I don't think you have to worry about it just yet. The direction is HD... but the adoption rate for viewers who can watch is also slow, because these folks are also facing the high cost of viewing. Other than sat/cable, the publication and distribution is yet unsettled. The new HD-DVD and Blue-ray players are poised to hit the market, and have yet to be worked out.

Unless your handing this stuff over for HD broadcast, then HD or HDV is a personal decision. As such, and with current hardware, there are issues you must be willing to take on.

Give it a couple of years, when the mandates for digital TV have come through, and 64bit computing hits the streets in full swing, with a few more generations in processor advancement to boot. When consumers will have decided the format of choice that we should target. More tools should be on the shelves by then, and you'll have a greater choice, and with competition, should be more affordable.

Kevin Shaw April 3rd, 2006 12:33 PM

One alternative worth considering for now is to shoot and deliver widescreen SD footage, which if done properly should look better on an HDTV than 4:3 output. So get anamorphic lens adapters for your SD cameras, and/or start buying HD cameras and downsampling to widescreen SD for delivery. HDV works fine for this latter approach, so if you can afford the cameras you can get started now using all your other equipment and your customers' standard DVD players connected to their HDTVs.

Wayne Morellini April 3rd, 2006 11:05 PM

Recently there has been a spate of sales of HD cameras, HC1's for down to $1.3K, and FX1's for down to $1995.

Also see:


Some of the guys here are doing this cheap uncompressed HDSDI hard drive recorder. Component in is on the cards eventually, but you can buy a component to HDSDI box for less than $1K and use that for the conversion in the meantime. This would allow you to use HD cameras with uncompressed component outs.

K. Forman April 4th, 2006 06:13 AM

I've been reading about Keith Wakeham, and his field recorder. it sounds like a possible solution, and his guesstimated price was around $2500? We'll have to wait and see if he can finish it. There is also a Russian field recorder out there that looks promising, but I couldn't find a price on it. It is also supposed to record 4:2:2 uncompressed.

Jack Zhang April 7th, 2006 12:13 AM

Hopefully I'll get a Z1 soon or Z2!

J. Stephen McDonald April 9th, 2006 10:53 PM

Those worrying about the adequacy of HDV, should consider how its 25mbps CoDec compares to the HDTV that is sent over broadcast and cable channels. The channels with the highest HD bit-rate, use only 19mbps, while some others get by with only 13mbps or less. The best that current consumer HDTV monitors can display, is 768 scanning lines. The better CRT monitors can resolve only about 670 lines, while others with larger dot-pitch sizes can manage only about 570 lines. As picky as broadcast networks have always been about their sources, they have never been able to deliver images into the homes of viewers that were as good as the better high-end consumer camcorders of the day could produce. Already, a couple of video professionals have reported that their new Sony HC3 camcorders put a sharper and richer picture on a screen that what comes from broadcast HDTV.

Wayne Morellini April 10th, 2006 07:18 AM

Yes, I agree. There is also the other problem, that codecs in camera might need extra bandwidth, because the $20K ones used at TV stations are better (but TV stations squeezing bandwidth still compromises this).

There is opportunity though, the two HD DVD formats will be allowing better quality then the cameras. Cinema can use better. But, the reality is HDTV is moving to Mpeg4 (maybe h264) in some markets, and not all markets have such narrow channels and could do with higher quality/bandwidth footage.

What do you mean J, about HD resolutions? There is true 1080 large panels out there, and many 1080 capable computer monitors.



Nick Jushchyshyn April 10th, 2006 08:31 AM

As long as you can invest in the capture gear and harddrive space, just about any computer made in the last 3 years with a reasonable amount of memory should be "usable" for handling HD.

The folks at ILM were doing VFX on 2k film scans using beige power macs back in 1998 for Episode I.
I've edited 4:4:4 CineAlta F950 captures on a 2.6Ghz/256Meg Ram laptop running little 'ole Media Studio Pro.
In short .... it can be done, even with SDI capture.

The big trick is to research your editor's ability to use low res, compressed proxy files to do an "offline" style edit for realtime performance, then do a final render to a low compression output from the original captures.

The final trick is output, but you can always output back to the camera or even DVHS deck for your own stuff, and send hard drives out to a better equiped shop to output material your clients want delivered in HD ... an expense you charge them for of course.

J. Stephen McDonald April 10th, 2006 08:28 PM


Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
What do you mean J, about HD resolutions? There is true 1080 large panels out there, and many 1080 capable computer monitors.



Two things about that: First, there are many HD monitors of all sorts that are promoted as being 1080-capable, but can't really resolve that many lines. This is just a continuation of the marketing tactics that have been used to push wide-screen TV sets for the last dozen years. It's not an issue you will likely see discussed on any type of TV news program. There are some very expensive monitors, mostly thin-panel types, that may be able to show all 1,080 scanning lines. But, they are not common or affordable by any but the most affluent (and extravagant) buyers. Broadcast-level 1080 monitors would also fall outside the reach of those with ordinary assets.

One of the reasons that the 720p HD programs on our ABC and Fox networks often look just as good as the 1080i on NBC and CBS, is that the monitors commonly used by most of us, can't show more lines than that. My CRT set shifts everything to 1080i and although that many scanning lines may be sent to the screen, its dot-pitch of .64mm can't resolve more than 670 of them. It's a sharp-looking picture and I'm pleased with what I get for the price, but most of these current HDTVs pretty much clip off any edge that broadcast cameras have over good consumer models. As has always been the case, broadcast compression causes a leveling of the output quality of what most of us see at home.

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