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HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions

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Ben The Camera GuyHDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 11, 2006 at 4:48:21 pm

I am considering buying a XL H1 Camera and I know it records onto tape in HDV, but I also know it has the JackPack, which supposedly does "uncompressed hd"...I am confused, for me to record in a pure hd format with that camera, do I need to attach another device to the cmaera via the hd-sdi out, or do i record to the hdv tape and then capture through the camera's hd-sdi out (to a computer's hd-sdi in)...and obviously there's a quality difference, but is it that different between the two? I'd like to edit in this "pure hd" format, but it is very unclear how to do so (especially with all these formats, is there anyplace that just explains everything?)...I'm just curious...

~ben

ps- i heard that there are some artifact problems with the XL H1...anyone know anything about this?


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Barlow EltonRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 11, 2006 at 6:22:20 pm

Yes, you need to attach a computer w/SDI card or HD deck w/SDI in to record. I have a G5 w/KonaLH card, and it records the SDI out of the H1 into another formats, and does a remarkably great job converting to DVCPROHD. You can also record the SDI output from HDV tape playback and convert into said format. Still looks great...the only hitch is you have to capture audio and timecode separately.
You can capture the analog audio outputs via Kona or even the G5 miniplug input and sync w/SDI video. Works surprisingly well.

I'm not enamored of native HDV editing, as it is a lot of overhead for the computer, and a huge compression pass anytime you render anything. For this reason, I only acquire HDV with my H1, but don't edit in the format. I've settled on DVCRPRO HD 100 for the time being, but am experimenting with other codecs and formats too.

I love the SDI option.


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Ben The Camera GuyRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 11, 2006 at 11:55:09 pm

so you can capture in hdv, and send it to your computer as uncompressed hd (through the kona card)?...cool, can you monitor it externally too through a card like that?


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Frank NolanRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 12, 2006 at 1:19:46 am

[Ben The Camera Guy] "so you can capture in hdv, and send it to your computer as uncompressed hd (through the kona card)?...cool,"

Not exactly! Yes you can transfer from the tape via a Kona card and capture in the NLE using an uncompressed codec, BUT the footage has already been compressed into the HDV Mpeg2 format and the transfer is not UNcompressing it. Once it is compressed to tape the information that is lost during the process can NOT be put back by just re-digitizing it to an uncompressed codec.


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Ben The Camera GuyRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 12, 2006 at 1:31:18 am

this might be beating around the bush a little, but how do you record pure hd...do you have to have the camera connected to a computer while you're recording? seems a little much for a EFP setup, especially for a college student...


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Frank NolanRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 12, 2006 at 1:55:56 am

[Ben The Camera Guy] ".do you have to have the camera connected to a computer while you're recording?"

Yes, or to a HD deck like a D5 or something similar.



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Ken HodsonRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 11, 2006 at 11:59:01 pm

"You can also record the SDI output from HDV tape playback and convert into said format. Still looks great...the only hitch is you have to capture audio and timecode separately. "

Well the real "hitch" is once you capture to tape it is compressed to HDV format. Only by capturing live, can you output uncompressed.

"I'm not enamored of native HDV editing, as it is a lot of overhead for the computer, and a huge compression pass anytime you render anything."

I don't know of anyone who edits HDV natively. The major NLE packages on PC and Mac platform all use an intermediate codec or some other system of non-destructive editing for all HDV workflows. Most people are quite astounded by the quality of HDV off of the tape. I would recommend to anyone to work with some HDV footage befor investing in very expensive uncompressed capture equipment. It might just be good enough, and often is.


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Ben The Camera GuyRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 12, 2006 at 2:08:37 am

this is where i wish i could go to NAB and play with cameras and equipment to see what I like...i wonder if one day someone will invent a device that will record uncompressed hd streams straight from a camera to an ipod-like device (like the firestore, which does hdv only)...oh well i think i might just stick with the xl h1 and hdv for now, knowing i can always hook the same camera up to a deck and shoot uncompressed if I choose to do so...


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Ken HodsonRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 12, 2006 at 4:47:10 am

Ya nothing the size of an iPOD yet! You have to comprehend the size and speed of HDD system to capture uncompressed HD. The closest setup that I know to what you are wishing for is a product by Cineform. It captures live feeds to its visually lossless 10-bit ProspectHD codec. It only requires one 7200rpm drive, but uses two in RAID 1 for data protection. It runs about $10,000, and is still a fair sized box. All solution require more than a battery.


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David CherniackRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 12, 2006 at 12:45:14 pm

[Ken Hodson] "I don't know of anyone who edits HDV natively. The major NLE packages on PC and Mac platform all use an intermediate codec or some other system of non-destructive editing for all HDV workflows."

FYI

Axio handles it natively in real time by uncompressing it on the fly to 1920X1080 10 bit colour space. And it can do it with two channels and effects.


David
AllinOneFilms.com


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Steve ConnorRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 12, 2006 at 12:56:28 pm

We edit it natively in FCPro 5, with a fast system it works fine, we even get real time CC and scaling etc, the ONLY pain for us is the render at the end, quality, even with captions and titles is better than a lot of people would have you believe, sure it's not as good as DVCPro HD or uncompressed, but as a low cost option it's better than it probably should be.

We also work uncompressed HD as well and the difference in quality is not as vast as you would think.

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Barlow EltonRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 12, 2006 at 4:29:09 pm

Yeah, it's that last part I don't like, and I don't like the response when scrubbing too...and that's with a G5 Dual 2.7 and a Kona card which is supposed to accelerate HDV. (it helps with scaling, mainly) To be fair, the response isn't a dealbreaker, but the format just doens't feel as fluid and smooth to edit as DV100 and others codecs in FCP.

The way I see it, you can always go back to native HDV material if needs be, and painstakinly render new GOP's (conform timeline)and then finally output to HDV tape, but my likely deliverables will be SD in various forms, and h.264 for HD DVD in the future. My preference is to edit in a good quality intermediate, and then convert to whatever codec is needed for the final product.




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Ken HodsonRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 12, 2006 at 7:52:19 pm

I think you miss what editing natively means. This falls under the "or some other system of non-destructive editing" that you quoted from me.

Axio does not edit HDV natively. HDV


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David CherniackRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 12, 2006 at 8:37:52 pm

[Ken Hodson] "I think you miss what editing natively means."


Hi Ken,

Not really. The AVI wrapper in Axio is just that - a wrapper. The long GOP transport stream remains intact and the material is stored on the drive at the same native HDV data rate (25 mb/s). It's converted on the fly when playing it to 10 bit uncompressed where all the effects are done in RT. So it is native HDV editing without the renders and with the benefit that all effects are done RT in the uncompressed color space.

You are right in that if you want to go back to HDV tape there will be a render. But Axio is made to go out via HDSDI in real time. The point being if you want to go back to HDV tape you shouldn't be thinking about higher end solutions. As I said, the info was FYI.


David
AllinOneFilms.com


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Ken HodsonRe: HDV vs. Pure HD and Hardware Questions
by on Feb 12, 2006 at 9:35:49 pm

"The major NLE packages on PC and Mac platform all use an intermediate codec or some other system of non-destructive editing for all HDV workflows."

I think that clearly fall under the catagory of "other system of non-destructive editing", as you quoted from me.

The Axio needs a complete render to go back to HDV. This is not a bad thing as most of us value speed and flexability and quality over export to HDV speed. Yes it does use the "native footage" and that is why I specified, "other system of non-destructive editing". We all know that straight out "native HDV" editing is slow, degrades fast on renders, and does not work for any advanced workflow (AE or such). So lets not confuse the issue any further by convincing people that the Axio system and native HDV editing are the same thing.


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