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HD to SD convertion woes

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mandeep singh
HD to SD convertion woes
on Jun 28, 2010 at 9:04:20 pm

Hello sorry if it is a lame question but , we do come here to increase our knowledge right?

My question is when i use blackmagic as preset for premiere pro and after editing the hd footage i export it has a mpg to burn on dvd for channels, the format to be delievered is always SD. So i wanted to ask what advantage i have if i am shooting on HD camera while i still have to deliever in SD.

Is it that in exporting it as a SD i get more detail and sharpnness then shooting directly at SD

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Trent Bingham
Re: HD to SD convertion woes
on Jun 28, 2010 at 10:11:54 pm

I am new to video editing so I apologize if my answer isn't helpful.

But to my knowledge you can render or export your HD footage in whatever way you would like.

I don't use adobe premiere, I use Sony Vegas Pro 9, but I can take HD footage and then export it to an HD .mpg file without any problem at all. When you say that you always end up with an SD file perhaps you just need to edit your render settings when exporting the file?

You also said you were trying to put that footage on a DVD. I'm pretty sure that the highest resolution a standard DVD supports is 480 so I don't think it is possible to take HD footage and implant it into a DVD. You could use an HDDVD or BluRay DVD which could support up to 1080.

To answer your question, I don't see how recording in HD and downconverting to SD for a DVD would have any advantages over recording in SD and burning that SD footage to a DVD.

But that's only speculation.

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Brian Louis
Re: HD to SD convertion woes
on Jun 29, 2010 at 12:51:01 am

[mandeep singh] "what advantage i have if i am shooting on HD camera while i still have to deliever in SD."
Footage shot in HD is always a bit richer when down converted, even if its a camcorder downconvert as you have more content to play with, Ppro with its High Quality setting is decent, better down converts using a program called Tempge another way is to use a freeware program called Virtual Dub, there is info on the net about using it.
Also shooting in HD gives you the advantage of having HD archive files for later use, you can store alot of video on a Terabyte drive for under a $100

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Joshua Helling
Re: HD to SD convertion woes
on Jun 30, 2010 at 12:30:44 am

Good points Brian,

To Mandeep

There are many converter softwares out there, including the adobe encoder which you can use directly from the timeline. Starting off with HD will typically yield better results typically because you are starting with a better quality.

But be aware, the encoding part, or rather how you go about encoding is probably the most important part of this step. All the quality of the source in the world won't mean a thing if it's not encoded properly.

Typically when starting with HD and converting to SD you want to make sure you know WHAT you are expecting out of the finished product. Example: What do you want the Aspect to be, Anamorphic, Cropped (pan and scan 4:3), letterboxed (4:3)? They will all yield different results.

Also if you are doing this for burn to DVD give good thought to the size of your file. If it's more than about 4.3 GB you might want to consider burning on DVD9 (approx 9 GB of space), but for that you'd need a dual layer burner (very common you might have one already). But know this and understand this, because if the project is long sometimes people tend to overcompress in order to fit it onto a standard DVD.

So make sure you understand what you want to deliver and make the right settings, and you'll deliver a good product.


Director of Support
Blackmagic Design Inc.

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mandeep singh
Re: HD to SD convertion woes
on Jun 30, 2010 at 7:22:44 am

Thanks Joshua,
That was helpful. Actually i shoot in full hd and edit it on windows platform and blackmagic extreme hd card. And when we finish editing we have to deliever the end product to the client in mpeg format and Standard Definition Resolution so that they can give it directly to broadcasting channels.

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