Been pondering the lifespan of DV25... at
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Old January 19th, 2004, 02:41 AM   #1
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Been pondering the lifespan of DV25...

I'm currently in the process of looking to add some more gear to my video collection and one of the candidates was a DV deck (To date I've only been using my XM2). Then I started thinking about (Obviously) how tightly these decks are generally tied to one format and at some point DV25 is/must go out and all this stuff will become obsolete. Now this isn't going to stop me from getting one, but I wonder what anyone - especially those who keep up with the play as far as DV technology goes - thinks about the lifespan of DV25? It's getting pretty old now isn't it....

Being a consumer format I tend to feel that we're more likely to see changes than those with the pro formats who have hundreds of thousands (And more) invested in their gear. And the fact that it's an aging format, and, I think, very limited (HDV inside it seems to be a joke to me) I can forsee the manufacturers deciding in a year or less that they need to change and starting to do so. Now I know this doesn't mean that our gear will phase out overnight, we probably have a few years yet, but it sort of sucks in my opinion when you weigh it up against the pros.

Anyway, just a thought I thought I'd share and see if anyone has anything to say on the matter!

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Old January 19th, 2004, 02:52 AM   #2
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Just my conjecture, but I think we have a few years. Until there is a reason for small to mid market tv stations and the bulk of tv programming to be done in HD, there just isn't insentive to improve the format.

DV is really more capable than all but the newest camcorders. And moving to HD is a big step, unless your willing to give up the low compression rates of DV.

Personally, if it wasn't so darn expensive, I would rather go to digibeta than most of the HD formats. Nothing I do is going anywhere but mid market television. 10bit luminance is more appealing than higher resolution.

That said, I think there is alot of work for anyone with a full on HD rig. But for what I do now, I don't see the benefit.
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Old January 19th, 2004, 09:27 AM   #3
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We moved away from Betacam SP about 4 years ago and into DVCAM. At that time I thought I wanted to go with a DV50 format or with Digibeta, but I began to think that Digibeta's days were numbered and the cost-value relationship wasn't too appealing. My main reason for converting was that the old BVW300 was getting too old for yet another head replacement and needed to be upgraded. I found that DVCAM, with a DSR500 and a couple of DSR1800 decks for both suites, was better quality than the Betacam SP I had been shooting. So for not much over $50K I was able to go digital and actually improve our quality (I kept the old lens, otherwise the cost would have been another $15K). It would have cost about 3 times that to go Digibeta, and that wouldn't have made any more money for us.

My rationale at the time was to make the conversion as cheaply as possible, because I thought both the DV25 and DV50 formats would be obsolete in about 5 years and we would then jump to HD. However, things haven't been moving to HD all that rapidly, at least in our world. With year 5 of shooting DVCAM coming up, I am still happy with the quality and have no problems with it. I see no reason to upgrade to a better format in the near future. Eventually, of course, everything will probably turn to some HD format, but I'd bet that for at least the next 3-4 years I'll still be shooting DVCAM. In fact, this year, if alll goes well, we're planning on buying some HMI lighting, a new dolly and jib and other production items to upgrade location work, rather than putting money into a format upgrade.

I would be much happier if he world would convert to 16:9 right now, if all cameras would get 16:9 chips and if Panasonic develops that cool chip array storage system to start replacing tape. I think it has more promise than Sony's bluewhatever thing. Although, it's going be very difficult to beat out tape as a reliable, cost effective medium.
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Old January 19th, 2004, 02:07 PM   #4
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It appears that the tape format will be around for quite a while. The big camcorder manufacturers have agreed on a format for recording HD onto the DV25 format. The first consumer example is the JVC HD camcorder. More are on the way.

I'd guess that we will see DV25 format HD camcorders from all the major manufacturers within 24 months. Maybe even NAB 2004.

When I say format, I mean physical format and circuitry. It does not mean the format of the recorded/transmitted signal.
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