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Old February 13th, 2005, 04:32 PM   #1
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HDV Hits Airways

"HDV Hits Airways - WCBV shoots with new Sony Camera" is the title of an article in the February 16, 2005 issue of "TV Technology" magazine (an industry tradepaper).

Unfortunately, the article is not yet on the TV Technology web site.

However, here are a few excerpts:

The article states that, "ABC affiliate WCBV - TV in Boston has proved the broadcast viability of HDV by airing an original production shot with Sony's HDR-FX1." The production, entitled, "Haunted New England," aired on January 26, 2005 on the magazine-format program, "Chronicle." According to the article, this was "... a full-fledged HD broadcast shot with Sony's HDV camcorder."

The article goes on to relate that, "The bulk of HD production at WCBV is shot using three Ikegami HL-V90 1080i cameras with $27,000 lenses. Each package costs about $80,000." The article states that Sony lent the station a FX1 "to play with" and "the station videographers and engineers were startled."

The quality? According to the article, The Director of Engineering at the station stated, "We compared the footage to the Ikegami ... and we could see a difference, but it wasn't the type of thing where we'd say, 'we can't use that.' "

The article goes on to relate that Art Donohue, a videographer and producer on "Chronicles" was "effusive" about the HDV camera at a station screening of "Haunted New England" last month. According to the article, he indicates that he felt it to be important that HDV footage could be intercut with footage shot on high-end HD cameras. And, the article indicates that "the engineers at the screening were all impressed by the relative sharpness of the image and its viability for broadcast." (However, at the same time, the article relates that, "There was some debate over whether image softness is due to the lens or the MPEG-2 compression.)

The downsides, according to Donohue: "The cons are that it doesn't look very professional ... It's hard to keep steady doing hand-held shots because it doesn't sit on your shoulder. It is more fragile [than the Ikegamis] and the optics are not that sharp."

The editing workflow employed by the station involved taking the analog component out from the camera and re-digitizing it onto DVCPRO HD for online editing.

The article concludes by stating, "What this portends for the future is low cost HD production acceptable for most professional applications," and that A&E, while initially rejecting HDV as a high-definition format, may reconsider the format as cameras and quality improve.

Hopefully, the full article will be on TV Technology's web site in the next week or so.
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Old February 13th, 2005, 04:54 PM   #2
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Many thanks, Bill -- much appreciated,

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Old February 14th, 2005, 06:53 AM   #3
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I think they've missed spelled the called letters - it should be WCVB, and not WCBV.

They're in my neck of the woods, so I'll start watching and also talk to my contacts there to see what's HDV and what's not.

Christopher C. Murphy
Director, Producer, Writer
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Old February 14th, 2005, 09:52 AM   #4
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Murph: You are right ... it is "WCVB" ... my mistake ... I guess my fingers were a little dyslexic.

Also, I forgot to mention that the author of the article is "Geoff Poister," and that there is a pretty cool picture of a smiling Art Donohue standing between one of those $80,000 Ikegami's on sticks and a FX1 on sticks.
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