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-   -   How soon before SD dies? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/general-hd-720-1080-acquisition/55737-how-soon-before-sd-dies.html)

Rick Steele December 8th, 2005 01:49 PM

How soon before SD dies?
 
I only shoot in standard definition right now (wedding videography). Any guesses as to how long I've got?. I know it's a subjective call and it's been discussed a lot.

Will DVD players eventually be able to play all the formats? (single layer, double layer, Blu-ray, HD-DVD)

For under $100? In lets say 3 years?

Does HD editing require tons of drive space (at 1Gb per minute?) Will a 3.0ghz system be adequate?

Me head is spinnin' already.

Douglas Spotted Eagle December 8th, 2005 01:53 PM

Gonna be a long time before SD dies. SD production is dying already, but there are billions of hours of SD footage out there.

Yes, in 3 years all players will likely play all formats in some fashion. You'll see a buncha consumer BD players in 3 weeks at CES.

Depending on the type of HD acquisition you choose and NLE you use, it can run from 13 GB an hour to 600 GB an hour for storage. Figure around 40-100 GB for various median compression formats.

Ash Greyson December 8th, 2005 02:23 PM

A decade.... seriously... look at all the channels that exist. There is just not the bandwidth to deliver that much HD. New compressions are being worked on and it will be solved but it will take a while. Then the cost of production will have to come down as HD is prohibitively expensive for the down the dial networks. Honest, what does one have to gain from watching Dog the Bounty Hunter in HD?

I live in the 40th ranked US market and we have 200+ channels on digital cable but only 12 stations in HD. Half those stations are only HD in prime time, about 10% - 15% of their broadcast day. Right now if you totaled up all the programing hours, less than 3% is broadcast in HD. I say it is a decade before that number gets to 50%


ash =o)

Ken Hodson December 8th, 2005 04:47 PM

HD is now at the breaking point. It will not be a decade to get to %50. Everything is switching to HD for production, as it is no longer dramatically cost prohibitive. We are at the point now where, if you recall seeing the first DVD's for rent in the video store then suddenly within two years they dominated, HD is now in this possition. The slow uptake for HD will be due to people not wanting to buy a new TV when the old one works well. But for anyone buying a new TV a year from now it will be unheard of to buy SD. The major networks will have all their programing in HD.

Rick Steele December 8th, 2005 05:32 PM

Quote:

The slow uptake for HD will be due to people not wanting to buy a new TV when the old one works well.
Good point here. Even though DVD's took off there is a big difference in trashing an old VCR and buying a $250 DVD player. (vs. swapping the good TV for $1500 HD).

I also read that the average person replaces their TV about every 7 years.

Kevin Shaw December 8th, 2005 06:01 PM

For wedding videos you should start migrating to HD soon if you have high-end clientele, and whenever you can make it economically feasible otherwise. I personally think wedding videos are a good use of affordable HD technology, and that customers can/will appreciate it if you can figure out how to market it to them. For now the most practical way to distribute video shot in HD is on widescreen SD DVDs, which will look good on widescreen HDTVs and decent on standard SD TVs. You can also put HD video in compressed form on a DVD which someone can play on their computer, so they can get a look at the HD version of the footage while waiting for proper players to arrive.

In effect, SD is already dying for purposes of professional video production, and it's just a matter of time and economics now before most of us upgrade to HD. Given a choice it would be silly not to shoot in HD, but making the practical decision of when to buy new equipment is something you have to assess for yourself.

Leigh Wanstead December 10th, 2005 01:10 PM

I agree with ash.

Regards
Leigh

Douglas Spotted Eagle December 10th, 2005 01:44 PM

Read the original post; it's about viewing HD on the consumer side, not broadcast. As far as broadcast, the channel space is indeed there, whether it's being implemented or not. As far as HD viewing from DVD...that'll be common in the next 3 years, and quite possible in the next 5 months.
The consumer move to HD is very rapid in comparison, and you can't use the move from broadcast only to VCR, from VCR to DVD as gauges.
The BIGGEST crop of HD television buyers haven't yet purchased a television, but they're urging their parents to do so. With XBox and PlayStation being one of the most powerful points of impetus, you'll continue to see HD displays moving forward very quickly. Some manufacturers have already announced their intent to completely kill SD production. Walmart has almost overnight gone from selling dozens of SD models and one or two HD displays to virtually all HD displays. Saturation of HD in the consumer home may not take place overnight (it certainly won't) but the market is driven by what end users perceive to be the "gotta have" device, toy, display, or whatever else. And with all HD stations making huge marketing statements, coupled with consumer informatives from Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, etc...the move to HD will be substantially faster than any prior technology move.
At least, that's what every manufacturer and production company that's actively working are gambling on....

Pierre Barberis December 11th, 2005 12:23 PM

HD would take off like Bush Fire if...
 
We are speaking of the general public, of course. My bet is : 50% of sales Next year will be "HD ready" screens ( mostly LCDs) ( US and Western Europe)
Two years later, 80% or more. This will bring more than 50% of the existing park to be HDready in 2009 - or before.

Out of these, 50% will buy a HDV camera to "run the show" for their family, vacation, birthday parties, trips, etc.

My personal experience is that when you have seen it once, you want it and get it - if you can afford- immediately.

So IF
a/ We do not enter into one of these stupid format wars
b/ Displays are not bogged with yet another input format (HDMI for the poor, or GoodBye Component,etc..who knows)
c/ The next version of the HC1 ( or equivalent ) sells street price for 1100/1200$

my bet is that 33% or more of the camcorders sold in the west (and Japan, of course) will be HD by 2008, 50% by 2009.

I initialy thought that want you needed also was a "cheap and easy to learn" editing software, but nevertheless only 10% of amateurs do edit their footage...Of course a simple "cut and paste" (MPEG2 ??) editor would help...if appropriately popularized, without all the bells and whisles of the Adobe, Canopus, Vegas, even Ulead, etc. REAL simple.

So i think that 10 years is a far too long horizon. I would bet for five.

Robert J. Wolff December 11th, 2005 01:33 PM

Good day, Rick & Company.

I think I will stick this old Wolff's neck out, and disagree with the group.

The days of SD are over, NOW!!

What format of HD that is going to replace it, I do not know. Nor, do I particulary care. I am sure that them that sell me my equipment, will do a good job of taking care of my needs, to insure their future.

But, I would opinion that the broadcast/cable days have been numbered, by the new phenom, the Podcast.

It is here, NOW, not next year.

It is going to destroy the old antiquated systems that we have used for so many years. Ease of use, great bandwidth, etc., will take over media within @ 2-3 years. Look at what Apple and 2 of the networks are doing. And today, NBC announed their net news is now on the web, 7 days a week. You are looking at the bycycle pedal being replaced by the "pedal to the metal", at this time 100 years ago.

The only major expense that your client/consumer will incur, will be that 65'' wall screen……, cheap! Probably in the range of $20/inch, and probably less.

Rick. I am not an event shooter. You know your business better than me. I would only suggest to you that you sell those buggy whip stocks (SD) now, and not next year.

Keith Wakeham December 11th, 2005 06:14 PM

I think that HD is unfortunately a technology where people will have to be force feed and told "you like it because its better". Why? IMHO its the same reason Joe average buys LCD tvs. The "Cool" factor and that it does look better than their 20 year old Zenith or broken Walmart TV. Most of these people could care less about HD because DVD is the best thing since sliced bread but they think a disc is a disc. (If I had a nickel for everyone who asked me to explain how to copy a dvd and found out they only had a CD burner - I'd have a few dollars).

So we use HD because we see all the advantages but they just see the end result. A lot of the RF bandwidth is getting freed up and that means in one analog channel you can divide it up to about 5 HD signals or 10 or more SD digital. So plenty of available space for digital channels. If you can fit 125 Analog channels in the bandwidth you can have lots and lots of HD and SD digital.

Ash Greyson December 12th, 2005 01:54 AM

With the proliferation of MP3 players while DVD Audio and Super Audio CD die a slow death, the public has spoken loud and clear that CONVENIENCE is much more important than quality. At some point it is "good enough." Myself, who owns 4 HDTVs, and other in forums like this lack the objectivity to comment as average Joe. Are you guys aware that a whopping HALF the people who OWN HDTVs have never seen a FRAME of HD on them? Read this article:

http://webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?SESSIONID=&aId=6521

For blueray or HD-DVD to succeed it must NOT focus on an image upgrade but other things like having and entire season on ONE disc, not 5 or 7. DO you really think average Joe wants to buy another version of 5th Element when his 480P suberbit already looks amazing to him?

I will bet anyone any amount of money that there will not be more HD broadcast than SD within the next 5 years. For every ABC there are FORTY Outdoor Channels. HD has become cheaper but it will remain prohibitive for most who want to keep their current workflow.

What if tomorrow there were 100 HD channels running 24/7??? Currently the tech does not exist to get that much bandwidth of HD over satellite/cable....MAYBE over fibre but that will require a build in most areas of the country. You see, it is not as simple as a $6000 Panny HD cam....




ash =o)

Kevin Shaw December 12th, 2005 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
I will bet anyone any amount of money that there will not be more HD broadcast than SD within the next 5 years.

Maybe not, but it would be an equally safe bet that five years from now almost no professional video projects will be recorded on SD cameras. If nothing else more and more broadcast and independent video will migrate to widescreen SD delivery, which will require native widescreen cameras for best results. This will be the death knell for 99% of current SD cameras, which are primarily designed to shoot 4x3 video.

Ash Greyson December 13th, 2005 12:30 AM

Actually Kevin, you hit on the bigger concern for Joe Average... filling his screen! Most people with 4:3 TVs HATE 16:9 but as we see more 16:9 TVs we see they hate watching 4:3 on it so much they are willing to stretch or zoom the image. I do believe you will see more content being delivered in 16:9 as the slow migration to HD happens.


ash =o)

Kevin Shaw December 13th, 2005 12:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
Most people with 4:3 TVs HATE 16:9 but as we see more 16:9 TVs we see they hate watching 4:3 on it so much they are willing to stretch or zoom the image.

I personally find letterboxed 16x9 footage on a 4x3 TV to be much less distracting than "pillarboxed" 4x3 video on widescreen HDTV. I'm starting to notice some TV shows being broadcast as 16x9, or even 4x3 footage mixed with 16x9! This will apparently be a gradual transition, but eventually the trend appears to be toward widescreen recording and distribution of all video material. SD is on its last breaths now at the recording end, and will start to die next year at the distribution end.

Leigh Wanstead December 13th, 2005 12:53 AM

I would like to tell a story about my experience.

I posted some video I shot for others to view on my website. It is not even hd, just some 720x480 29.97fps with 500kbps wmv format video. Some cameramen complained to me to say the file too big. FYI the file size is less than 100mbytes.

I can't beleive it. If that file size is too big, how can normal people view hd contents through web? Internet is future, right? ;-)

Regards
Leigh

David Kennett December 13th, 2005 12:50 PM

Maybe not all viewers will update to HD immediately, but digital delivery of video is a certainty. We all know that broadcasters must finish their conversion to digital by 2009 - though I will take no bets.

I am retired from broadcasting and video production, and recently had an opportunity to have a technical tour of a local Comcast head end. I was impressed! Out of 700 MHz of available bandwidth, 500 MHz was being used for analog channels, leaving only 200 MHz for all their SD digital channels, 8 HD channels, 46 music channels, over a hundred movies "on demand" including several in HD (from a VERY impressive disk array), and high speed internet. While those analog channels must be maintained for the existing customer base, it is also obvious that converting completely to digital would make much more efficient use of spectrum.

Oh! EVERY new tuner box is capable of HD!

Take a look at what BB and CC are selling, and you pretty well got your answer.

Kevin Shaw December 13th, 2005 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leigh Wanstead
If that file size is too big, how can normal people view hd contents through web? Internet is future, right?

The internet is not likely to become the primary means of distributing TV/video content any time soon, and definitely isn't up to the task of distributing full-quality streaming HD content. Of course if you really want to plan for the future you should be prepared to deliver video on anything from cell phones to wall-sized HDTV displays, and that means starting with the best possible image quality to cover all output options.

Boyd Ostroff December 13th, 2005 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
The internet is not likely to become the primary means of distributing TV/video content any time soon

Up until recently I would have agreed with this, but I'm not entirely sure now. Granted it will take a little while to put the infrastructure in place. Just a couple months ago Verizon strung fiber throughout my area and I can now get 15mbs FIOS for the same price as my 4mbs Comcast connection.

Verizon is making a huge investment in rolling this out as a solution for telephone, video and internet connectivity. It will be a few years before it reaches a large number of people (I think they're nearing the 1 million home mark now). But they very definitely plan to offer HDTV over fiber:

http://www22.verizon.com/FiosForHome...osTV/hdtv.aspx

http://www22.verizon.com/FiosForHome...netForHome.asp

Mathieu Ghekiere December 13th, 2005 04:07 PM

I have the feeling in Europe, SD won't they very soon.
Some people talk about HD, but only people who are busy with making video etcetera, and even they aren't planning to buy a HDTV soon.
I think most people have some opinion like this: if my old set breaks, and I have to buy a new one, THEN I'll look for HDTV.
But in Europe (well, Belgium anyhow) there isn't so much hype around HD, and I think there are barely networks that send out in HD.
And you can't even put HD media on a medium, exept for some WMV9 files or dvd's, but that's not a c'mmon standard now, in people's living rooms.

I think people are overestimating the time SD will die.
HD is good for capturing much resolution for people who MAY one time blow their film up or at least project it. But for the c'mmon man, I don't think it's such a big deal for now, people only now really are accustomed to DVD.

Boyd Ostroff December 13th, 2005 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
I think most people have some opinion like this: if my old set breaks, and I have to buy a new one, THEN I'll look for HDTV.

I know a number of people who have an opinion more like this: "I hope my old set breaks SO I can buy a new HDTV".... or at any rate I didn't shed any tears when the power supply failed on my 7 year old Sony 4:3 WEGA last year :-)

Sales are strong for LCD and plasma screens in the US this holiday period; it will be interesting to see some numbers after all the dust settles. Prices are dropping pretty fast too. Whether this creates a big demand for HDTV is of course another thing, since a lot of people are more excited about just getting a big screen than the quality of what they watch on it...

Steve Crisdale December 14th, 2005 12:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
a lot of people are more excited about just getting a big screen than the quality of what they watch on it...

Sad but true...

I've been looking at some of the X-Box360 forums - just to get a sense of whether it'll do the HD media portal thing I want it do do, and it's pretty clear that many 360 users haven't got HDTVs and that they haven't got a clue what's involved in HD, it's delivery in any form or it's appreciation on a true HD screen.

Many queries I saw posted indicated that as long as a screen was large and wide, they were content. I don't expect the 360 will boost HDTV sales as I'm not seeing much comprehension on the X-Box forums of what's involved. Many responses from those who thought they knew all about HD were just laughable, and added more confusion than was already there...

To setup SD requires zero to a minute amount of technical ability and intellect. HD requires a little to semi-reasonable intellect and basic technical ability...

Which do you reckon fits the bill for most of the masses? SD ain't gonna 'die' in any sort of a hurry!!

Ken Hodson December 14th, 2005 01:34 AM

HDTV broadcasts have so far been the only reason to purchase a HDTV. Now Xbox 360, followed by the soon to released PS3 and a HD-DVD player (or two). Once a kid see's what a 360 looks like on a HDTV what do you think they will want to watch it on? I'm not saying that everyone is going to rush out and buy one, but if it is time for the family to get a new TV what do you think they will get with a 360 sitting in the living room? Dad will go along with it as every watcher of NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB wants a HDTV once they have see it in action. Virtually all of the big networks prime time lineup is HD. Little by little the reasons not to buy HDTV are disappearing. Hooking up a HDTV definately is not one of them.

Douglas Spotted Eagle December 14th, 2005 09:39 AM

It's soon more than just the launch of Xbox, too. With CES in two weeks, the BD consortium is sending out announcements like snowfall, with all sorts of BD devices being shown, the first test pressing of BD-delivered film will be there as well ("Charlie's Angels," what a weak first release).
Then we'll have PlayStation in March, with BluRay built in plus a dual head vid card for 1080p delivery.
So...the deterrents to owning HDTV are quickly falling behind. Broadcast will definitely be the last player to arrive on the field in full uniform.

Laurence Kingston December 14th, 2005 10:05 AM

All this says nothing of the improvement in SD delivery of HD shot material. I moved to HDV more because of native 16:9 than I did because of it being HD, but now that I've made that jump, I am so much happier with the quality of my SD work. Native 16:9 is a jump of 25% vertical resolution, and HDV downconverted in the camera looks sharper still. I believe that it is because the downconverted HDV has 480 (in NTSC land) unique lines instead of what is essentially 240 (because of even/odd line averaging for extra gain) in DV. I know when I show people stuff I shot burned to a regular DVD, they pretty much all think it's HD and can readily see the difference.

Now in order for me to move to HD delivery, several things need to happen: A format needs to be standardized, a lot of people need to have compatible players, and burners and blanks to have to be available for a reasonable price. When all this happens, on my clients with the biggest TV sets, there will be quite a difference, but for the majority of people watching on 37" or less sets, the difference between HDV shot material delivered in SD or HD will be subtle.

Jay Kavi December 14th, 2005 10:09 PM

It seems the question isn't how fast will SD die, but how fast can we kill it?

Jay

Leigh Wanstead December 15th, 2005 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay Kavi
It seems the question isn't how fast will SD die, but how fast can we kill it?

Jay

Frankly speaking, I don't want to kill it. I have invested US$10,000 on cameras. So it is not my interest to kill it.

Regards
Leigh

Bill Binder December 23rd, 2005 11:43 PM

I find this conversation really interesting personally, so I'm inspired to write a small essay for no particularly good reason except to ramble...

Let me start by saying that I'm somewhat of a home amateur audio/videophile who dables in guerilla-style a/v recording for fun (read: I have a day job, and it has nothing to do with a/v production). I think this puts me somewhere between the typical pro around here and some joe blow consumer who knows nothing about any of this at all -- I'm a fairly serious enthusiast if you will. <SMILE>

I purchased my first HDTV about two years ago at this point (50" rear-projected LCD, which I consider to be in the sweet spot for price vs. value in the HD tech market along with DLP). I'm currently shooting video with a Panny GS400, and making "audience recordings" of local musicians and bands with Studio Projects C4 mics or AT933 mics > UA5 pre/ad > via optical into Nomad Jukebox 3 at 44/16 or 48/16. I've also been an avid gamer for more than twenty-five years at this point (I'm 36 now). I state all of this as background for my opinion on the matter at hand and because I'm currently in the market for a second videocam and am having a terribly hard time deciding on which direction to go.

After more than two years owning (what I consider) a sweet HDTV, it is still a rare day that I watch any HD at all. There isn't that much programming out there that I personally like, and my wife and I are so in love with our Standard Def TIVO box, it's hard to watch anything with commercials anymore. That said, SD encoded to MPEG2 on Tivo and then replayed blown up to 50" is a sight to behold -- NOT! The picture quality sucks so bad sometimes I feel like I'm streaming video from the Net! But sometimes, you deal, because of the content and the convenience, even if you know what this tech is capable of (man I wish I had one of those DirectTV HD Tivo boxes). In fact, we routinely Tivo HD programming such as The Office and Conan, only to watch it in letter-box AND pillar-boxed compressed MPEG2 Tivo form later -- OUCH! BTW, this is a perfect application for the "zoom" aspect ratio on your HDTV. For a long time I wondered why that setting was even needed, but I soon figured out it is perfect for widescreen stuff that is being broadcast in 4:3 letterboxed format, thus leaving black areas around the entire picture on a widescreen TV. The image quality gets even worse when doing this because you are effectively blowing it up even bigger, but to each his own, I'm of the bigger is better camp as long as it's NOT stretched (that's one thing I will never do, watch anything when the aspect is stretched).

We subscribe to Netflix and watch tons of docs and movies via DVD using a decent DVD-player that up-rez's to 720p/1080i. I haven't sprung for an x360 yet, but I can't even imagine playing my standard old-school xbox 1 on anything except through the component cables (which for most games only provides 480p, but that 480p looks twice as good as the standard 480i coming out of the composite cables). I think for avid gamers, the older set, not the youngsters, many of us DO know exactly what HDTV resolutions mean and it DOES matter to some of us. Many of us are also hardcore PC gamers, so the resolutions some of us play at on our PCs make 720p at 30 fps look like a joke (try doubling the framerate and jumping the res at the same time!). This is why PC gamers often just laugh at console gamers. But with the coming out of the x360 and PS3, you might see more of the hardcore PC gamer types be willing to cross-over to console gaming because the resolutions and frame rates are starting to be competative (well not really, but way more so than before). For this type of consumer, not the young kids, but the "older ones" like myself, the case is becoming more and more compelling to just spend the extra cash to go HD. But, I still think that might be the minority for a while. The young console gamers might tell their parents to go HD because of the x360, but I think the parents will only do it if it makes sense for THEM, not their kids (unless you spoil 'em of course).

My opinion is that HD is going to take a while to really have deep penetration into the average home, but that HD aquisition will grow much faster and sooner regardless of the last mile problem. This makes sense to me because people don't replace their TV sets that often, but I agree, when they do, chances are they'll start buying HD. However, there are millions of households in the states that simply can't afford to blow the extra cash right now on HD. When those prices start coming down, I'm sure we'll start seeing even more penetration at that point. Also, with HD only being available via cable and sat right now, there is a real lack of content out there pushing people to go this route. But again, that change is clearly on the horizon as well with more appliances delivering HD content (x360, PS3, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, and more Network stuff, etc.).

Even so, it seems pretty early on the home adoption front. I work for a large, well-know firm, and if I walked around my floor and took a (decidely un-scientific) sample of people who own a HDTV or have plans to buy one, it's only one or two out of 30 people on my floor. Moreover, these people, even the ones with an HDTV, are for the most part totally clueless about the technology -- they think they are watching HD when playing a DVD. This type of thing makes me think twice when I hear predictions of 50% penetration in five years in the home, maybe, but I'm not so sure.

Now, for me personally, I think I love the widescreen format more than the HD format (and yes I know HD is widescreen, but I'm making the point that SD in widescreen accounts for a lot of the value, more so than the picture quality). I simply couldn't imagine watching DVD's in 4:3 anymore -- I simply couldn't do it. 4:3 is dead for me when it comes to movies. However, I might be perfectly happy watching 24fps 480p DVD's for a long time still. Also, when I bought my GS400, I thought the widescreen feature would be nice, but after the first day shooting with it, it became clear that I would never shoot 4:3 with this camera EVER again. (For those who don't know, the GS400 may be a consumer cam, but it's got 3 CCD's and it has true widescreen capabilities -- it's NOT scaled). This little cam impresses the hell out of me on a regular basis even when I watch the footage blown up to 50" on my TV. Widescreen RULES! Hi-Def? It's great no doubt, but at the same time, whatever, remember, I'll watch tivo'd SD on a 50" screen too... But this gets back to the widescreen thing, which I personally think is the most compelling reason of all, it simply is the future without question. Also, someone earlier mentioned how the Euros seemed un-interested in the whole HDTV phenom. I'm not so sure that surprises me considering they are used to PAL not NTSC, which has more (spatial) resolution, and if I'm not mistaken, have had access to more widescreen aspect ratios for longer than we have in the states?

However, there seems to be a really compelling case for HDTV aquisition starting right here and now. It downscales to really nice-looking SD, it always permits widescreen format (by definition), it can make really sweet transfers to film (getter better by the day especially when combined with 24p capabailities, and computer and HD-DVD/Blu-Ray distribution will be a reality in the not too distant future). It kind of reminds me of some of the audience audio recording I do. I aquire in 16-bit format, keep the masters, maybe share via Bit Torrent if the band is OK with that, but ultimately, I encode it to MP3 (sacraledge!), and listen to it that 99% of the time out of convenience. BUT, I always have the masters still. Maybe someday, when portable players have a terabyte of storage, I'll go back to my wav masters and use them again. Anyway, if a client demands HD, or if you end up transfering to film or going HDTV to cable, then at least YOU CAN! But if you only need SD, then you can just down-rez. It's the best of both worlds. Except, of course, for the added complications in workflow, but even that seems to be slowly working itself out.

Continued below...

Bill Binder December 23rd, 2005 11:44 PM

Continued from above...


Now, for me personally, this complex situation and critical turning point is making my decision to buy another camera particularly confusing and difficult. I want to upgrade my cam situation to more of a prosumer level and keep the GS400 as a second cam. At the same time, I don't want to drop a bunch of money on something that is going to be obsolete in a couple of years. This is further complicated by my constrained budget -- remember, I'm just an "enthusiant," a fairly serious one, but one who's nonetheless not doing this as a profession. I'm leaning towards getting something like a DVX100B, XL2, or PD170. But the Sony HD cams are mightly tempting at this point too. The HVX and H1 are probably just out of my reach because of price. I seem to really be graviating to the DVX, but the switchable lenses and native widescreen of the XL2 keep nagging at me. Once you've been bitten by the widescreen bug, like I have even with the GS400, it's really hard to imagine shooting in 4:3 ever again. But honestly, I'm looking for a slightly lower-profile looking cam too, so the DVX works a little better on that front than does the XL2 -- basically, I'm not looking for something that screams "do you have a permit to be shooting?" Also, because I shoot music a far amount, audio is very important to me. And although I have a stand alone audio rig (pre, a/d, mics, etc.) that works great for guerilla style stuff, I'd definately like to be able to go straight into the cam via XLRs instead while still being confident in having a decent (and quiet) pre/ad to work with, as well as the ability to go line-in and bypassing the cam's pre's altogether. I really like the DVX in that respect, as opposed to add-on adapters and such for the XL2, but tough call. I still need to do a little more research on the audio side of these two cams because I'm not up-to-speed on the pre's and a/d's in them.

But after all of this HD talk, I start doubting myself on this prosumer upgrade path of mine. I mean, this is a major purchase for me, and I don't want to end up with buyer's remorse in a few months. But it seems the Sony's are the only HD cams in my price range, and I'm not that confident in them, and especially so from the audio side of things. Also, I need a workflow that my resources can reliably handle from end-to-end because I am mostly a one-man shop. Right now, I'm pretty experienced with Vegas, Sound Forge, and DVD Architect along with a bunch of VSTs and plugs and other encoding tools (Sorenson and some freeware apps). I'm not so sure my computers can handle the HDTV workflow right now, so that's another really important consideration for me.

So that brings me back to actually being in the opposite position as I think the masses are going. I think HDTV has a while yet to penetrate the consumer market in any major form, but on the production side, it makes total sense and I bet we'll seen widespread adoption over the next few years. But for me personally, I think I'll end up staying on the early adopter side as far as the consumer playback goes, but will stick with the tried and true SD solution on the production side until the cams become more affordable and the computer horsepower to NLE the stuff catches up a bit for laptop-like editing. I just wonder if this approach will make anything that I do produce uncompetative with all of the HD productions that will inevitably creep into the indy shorts and docs space -- or will I be safe working in 4:3 SD for a few more years?

WOW! Now that was a long post... :P

Joe Barker December 24th, 2005 12:24 AM

HD tech or good story,whats the most important?
 
As long as credit is readily available and people’s desires for the latest and greatest electronic fads intensify, I guess HD is also being superseded by some newer, more exciting system as we speak. It’s disappointing that amidst the frenzy of gadgetry and special affects the true art of movie making is disappearing from Hollywood. The creative ability to tell a good story.

Konrad Haskins December 24th, 2005 05:55 AM

How soon before SD dies? Not for a very long time. People are still buying SD TV's, SD DVD's & Players and yes even VHS in big numbers. Lots of great little movies are only available on VHS. I was buying VHS for Christmas because the content never made it to DVD. First thing is to transfer them to DVD's.

HD is getting there all be it in a messy way with lots of 733 and 768 HDTV's being sold, old HDTV's that can not display HD copy protected content and the ever present threat of new technology.

HD-DVD is probably going to be around Christmas '06 the spec is not even final. BlueRay will ship Spring '06 for around $300 in the form of the Sony Playstation 3.

Maybe a better question is: When will HD content be a big market? I'd guess in a few years. But that is between the customer and the supplier. Some customers have only use for SD and others want all HD and want it know.

Steve Crisdale December 24th, 2005 07:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Konrad Haskins
BlueRay will ship Spring '06 for around $300 in the form of the Sony Playstation 3.

Maybe a better question is: When will HD content be a big market? I'd guess in a few years. But that is between the customer and the supplier. Some customers have only use for SD and others want all HD and want it know.

You truly believe the PS3 is going to be $300?!!

I know Sony may be prepared to take some loses to try to knock off the lead that Microsoft has with the X-Box360, but $300 for what they are touting as vastly superior to the X-Box360 would be financial suicide.

HD content is very definitely beginning to reach (quantity wise - maybe not quality wise!!) the point in those countries that adopted HD early and with some sort of governmental guidelines for it's implimentation: like here in Australia, where those thinking of getting a new TV now know what they are missing out on with SD technology.

Does the term 'rapid acceleration' make sense in describing the take-up rates of HDTV in some parts of the World over the past 2-3 months. Of course it's serendipitous that prices on HDTVs (especially LCDs) have dropped dramatically.

SD will be around as long as there's fear about Digital TV and it's delivery, as well as it's cost, so if you're afraid... and it's too expensive for you just keep watching your SDTV until analogue transmissions cease - which they will. See that's an important part of all of this that get's lost in the 'fog of war'... that HD is indelibly linked to digital transmission, and digital transmission doesn't necessarily mean HD!

For some parts of the World that may come a lot sooner than for other parts of the World. It may well be that Asia and Australia go full digital before the States, which in turn will probably drop analogue before anywhere in Europe.

Anyone want to sacrifice an animal and divine the actual days and times for the digital takeover from it's entrails? Once you've got that sorted then the exact day and time of SD's demise should follow like thunder after the lightening.

Greg Boston December 24th, 2005 09:14 AM

Latest word here in the US is by 2009 the switchover will be complete. Congress has approved a monetary amount to help those who can't afford a new tv by then to obtain converter boxes to work with their existing sets. It could happen sooner depending on market forces, including those who want to make use of the current analog tv frequency spectrum once it's reallocated to other services.

-gb-

Boyd Ostroff December 24th, 2005 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Boston
It could happen sooner depending on market forces, including those who want to make use of the current analog tv frequency spectrum once it's reallocated to other services.

That's the change to digital TV I think, not necessarily high definition. And as you imply, if you read between the lines the real motivation has nothing to do with providing higher quality TV broadcasts. Other people want the big part of the RF spectrum that's currently devoted to television. I read somewhere about government agencies linking this to the criticism of not having adequate communications systems in the wake of 9/11.

Regarding the PS3, I thought this was interesting:

http://yahoo.businessweek.com/techno...222_242937.htm

Quote:

at this point, nobody besides Sony has any idea what the Cell will allow the PS3 to do. Game developers say they haven't seen a prototype that comes close to the blazing processing speeds and life-like graphics of the commercial-ready console Sony is promising. Though Sony declines to comment on such complaints, in November it failed to deliver on a promise to send game creators an upgraded prototype

Simon Wyndham December 24th, 2005 01:27 PM

You'll find that many members of the pubic don't actually care all that much about television picture quality. I've had conversations about HD with many non media involved people and they all look with blank faces when I tell them about HD.

I also have doubts as to statistics that talk about the number of HDTV's sold. This is because many manufacturers have moved vastly towards an all LCD or plasma line up. So many of the televisions sold are HDTV by default, and not necceserily because the purchasers have bought them with HDTV viewing in mind.

When I first saw high def it was on a very high end production monitor displaying a full 1080 resolution. It was pretty mind blowing. But then it should have been for the 30 odd k that the screen would have cost to buy!

However recently many of the stores over here (UK) have started to show HD demos on plasmas and LCD's. I recently went into one store and saw such a demo. Yes, it looked very, very good. It was on a 50" plasma and was very clean, with strong colours and a lot of depth. I still had to check whether it was just a very good SD signal though or a HD one. As it happened it was a true HD feed taken from a dedicated box streaming off HD footage from a hard drive.

So I do wonder what kind of benefit the average person who buys 28" and smaller sized screens and who places their TV in the corner of the living room and sits watching it from 8-12ft away will get from HD.

HD is great for techies who examine a picture by sticking their face up to the screen. For most 'normal' people the enjoyment they get from TV is in the content, not the picture quality. If it wasn't then why are there so many people out there watching TV with bad reception and widescreen televisions with a stretched 4:3 picture?

Douglas Spotted Eagle December 24th, 2005 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
You'll find that many members of the pubic don't actually care all that much about television picture quality. I've had conversations about HD with many non media involved people and they all look with blank faces when I tell them about HD.

I also have doubts as to statistics that talk about the number of HDTV's sold. This is because many manufacturers have moved vastly towards an all LCD or plasma line up. So many of the televisions sold are HDTV by default, and not necceserily because the purchasers have bought them with HDTV viewing in mind.


While this may indeed be true in the UK, in the US and Asia, it's absolutely the opposite of accurate. While my neighbors aren't into HD and what it can bring, (and I can't allow my neighbors to help me form an opinion) the general public is clearly into this world, especially women and guys who like sports. I've just spent a week touring different retailers selling the products as an "undercover" agent looking to buy a display. The amount of interest I've found in talking to people around the south western US, north eastern US, and Pacific Rim is astounding. The amount of knowledge that people have is equally surprising. What folks know about HDTV is significant, and moreover, what they don't know about DTV is significant. Many are still tying the two together.
As far as numbers of displays sold...given that many independent researchers are all within close numbers, I'd wager it's fairly accurate. Radisson and Hilton together just bought over 650,000 displays alone for their Pacific Rim and South Eastern Asian operations, and in the US, Radisson purchased an additional 175,000 displays. In other words, those sorts of purchases also skew the numbers, but play a big part in the desirability of consumers. Long standing in the auto market has been traction in the rental industry. Therefore, if folks see these in hotels, they want them in their homes, too. Content will only grow more and more, further fueling the desire, and the manufacturers in the US have only just now started the first full-fledged HD marketing campaign that is cross brand combined. In other words, the wave is just starting to build in my opinion, based on what I'm seeing out there. 22 different stores in 4 major chains in a week, in 5 different markets....not a complete cross-section, but a consistent one at that.

Konrad Haskins December 24th, 2005 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
You truly believe the PS3 is going to be $300?!!

Steve,

OT My folks live in Bowral NSW.

The $300 is best guess from the spoiler sites. Sony has an installed base of 200,000,000+ Playstations they don't want to price it for slow sales. The game makers are all having below expected sales as everyone is waiting on PS3. I don't own a console and the only reason I'd ever buy one is if it was an affordable HD disc player.

Simon Wyndham December 24th, 2005 04:21 PM

Douglas,

There are also facts and figures that point to the fact that many people who own HD sets can't actually receive HD, nor even realise that they need to subscribe to a HD channel.

For big screens HD gives an advantage. But speaking personally I do not know a single person who owns a large TV. Amongst the people I know my 32" widescreen is the largest among them. And I sit at a fairly close viewing distance. Most other people do not. The fact is that if you can't see the pixel structure you are not gaining anything at all from HD resolution.

There have in fact been a number opf debates over here on the radio with various professionals discussing HD over here. The overwhelming argument in those features was that it was the content that mattered. Most of them pointed outright that they didn't give a stuff about the resolution. And in fact everyone I have spoken to has also said that they don't care about the resolution. Some of these have also seen the HD demos in the electronics stores.

Perhaps it is just the UK attitude that we just don't care about gloss and instead prefer better quality content. Just an observation not a criticism.

Steve Crisdale December 24th, 2005 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
For big screens HD gives an advantage.

But speaking personally I do not know a single person who owns a large TV. Amongst the people I know my 32" widescreen is the largest among them. And I sit at a fairly close viewing distance. Most other people do not. The fact is that if you can't see the pixel structure you are not gaining anything at all from HD resolution.

Perhaps it is just the UK attitude that we just don't care about gloss and instead prefer better quality content. Just an observation not a criticism.

Mmmm... That's so subjective it's not funny. While it's hard to disagree with HD gaining greater advantage over SD with every bit of increase in screen size, it's very dependent on the visual acuity of the individual viewing the image.

The number of folks out there with colour blindness, short/long sightedness and visual disorders of some sort or other is beyond one's comprehension. Even worse is the fact that those with such visual acuity disorders think that what they are seeing is exactly what everyone else sees. Some will even lie to avoid embarrassment, while others just display anger in the hope that their visual failings will seem less of a problem than their angst.

As for sitting close enough to view the pixel structure... what kind of TV have you got?!! If I sat that close to my 83cm LCD HDTV, I'd find the tip of my nose getting squashed against the screen!! Maybe people in 'Ole Blighty' seemingly don't care about "gloss" because they actually can't see it, and what they really need is good optometrists.

Enough with the levity... If you cannot see the difference in quality between 1080i and 720p on a monitor you are viewing - then it's either your eyes or a crappy monitor/screen. To not see noticeable enough difference between HD and SD on a monitor/screen indicates something is seriously wrong - not just with the viewing device or the eyesight of the subject, but also the processing power of the viewer and their mental capacity to accept something they may in actual fact be 'against'.

For instance: a work colleague hassled me to come and look at my HD setup... He knocked the image from the Aquos 83cm LCD HDTV as nothing spectacular, after avoiding looking at it from the distance I suggested (and where my lounge is positioned) preferring to stick his eyes as close to the screen as possible without actually touching the bloody thing!!

Then, he went all 'oowie gooie' over the HD via DVB-t on one of my PCs. Now a 19" CRT at 1280x1024 is nowhere in the same league as the 83cm LCD HDTV... yet he's now going about telling everyone that HD looks better on a 19" CRT.

Sure; he's probably jealous, and knocking what he sees as my "HDTV pride and joy" no doubt makes him feel marginally superior to me in discernment, but I couldn't give a "rat's" about anything other than the misinformation that he's now promulgating. That's one reason that I now tell anyone else who asks about coming to have a look at my HD setup to "check out HD at one of the major retailers - they've got plenty of HDTVs to look at"... I know they think I'm being elitist and arrogant and downright unfriendly, but I'd much rather they make their minds up without passion or malice or any other emotional input.

Konrad... Your folks are in Bowral eh? Crikey; I could hit Bowral with a decent spit if the wind is blowing strong enough!! It's only about 30 miles as the crow flies... just a shame there's a flamin' big valley in between here and there, making the journey more like 90 miles.

I suspect there's been some quality attempts from Sony "true believers" to stop 'ship jumpers' going to the X-Box360 which is $400 right NOW... How realistic do you think PS3 at $100 less than X-Box360 is... given it's supposed to have HDMI, Blu-Ray drive and supposedly superior processing power for 1080p rather than 1080i? Methinks whacky weed is getting a very big workout for a growing number of soon to be disillusioned Sony fanboys .

Konrad Haskins December 24th, 2005 06:33 PM

$300 or $400 it is still an artificially low price for a brand new technology video player. I read reports of a Japan only HD-DVD that was multiuples of that price. The first VHS and DVD players were multiples of $400 before you adjust for inflation which would only increase the gap.

The real point is Sony is going to put millions of Blu-Ray players in homes before HD-DVD even gets of the ground. The actual Blu-Ray player instantly achieves massive economies of scale. That means sony can flood the Christmas '06 market with $199 Blu Ray players. Merry Christmas '06 it's "*&^%$#" Sony BetaMax v. VHS all over again.

PS I'm still pissed about the BMG virus.


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