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HD Deck recommendation?

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Sketchy
HD Deck recommendation?
on Jul 10, 2007 at 5:17:47 pm

I'm looking into an HD deck that would be suitable for broadcast. Currently we produce spots and content in SD, however we have had several clients interested in moving to HD. At the moment we deliver to the networks via DigiBeta, or BetaSP. What format of HD would be most compatable with the networks? What deck would you recommend? Thanks for your help.

Lance


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john sharaf
Re: HD Deck recommendation?
on Jul 10, 2007 at 5:23:47 pm

Sketchy,

You really should ask the "networks" you are presently delivering to to specify their accepted HD formats. HDCAM, HDCAM-SR and D5 are the accepted standards, but this only complicates the matter of which of three decks to buy. Furthermore, the delivery format might be different from your acquisition format, necessitating another vtr for ingest.

JS


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Sketchy
Re: HD Deck recommendation?
on Jul 10, 2007 at 5:29:35 pm

Thanks John,

Three distinct "standards"...Lovely. I'll ask around and see what the are looking for in terms of format. What is Sony's standard? The rest of my rack is populated with Sony and I've always had good luck with them.

Lance


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john sharaf
Re: HD Deck recommendation?
on Jul 10, 2007 at 5:52:07 pm

Sketchy,

Sony acquisition standard HD formats are XDCAM, HDCAM and HDCAM-SR, delivery in the latter two. Panasonic acquires in DVCPRO100 and delivers in D5. On the horizon however is acquisition and delivery in MPEG4/AVC-I which offers better quality with storage savings and delivery could be by computer file.

Because this type of gear is so expensive and changes so often, it really pays to learn all about it before you spend the big bucks. Mistakes can be very expensive!

JS


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Sketchy
Re: HD Deck recommendation?
on Jul 10, 2007 at 6:12:45 pm

Thanks for all of the info John, I'm at the very beginning of my research into this so I really appreciate your advice. I'm wondering if such a breakthrough (MPEG4/AVC-I) is on the horizon, maybe we should continue to shoot in film, and just have it transferred to hard drives as HD. Then I could edit it in HD, and send the final commercials out on hard drives to be transferred back to HDtape in whatever format we need. Am I way out in left field or does that sound viable? Also, any idea how far the horizon is?

Lance


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john sharaf
Re: HD Deck recommendation?
on Jul 10, 2007 at 6:23:22 pm

Sketchy,

The reason many producers have abandoned film in favor of HD production is that the modern HD cameras successfully imitate film cameras both in motion simulation and with cine gamma curves which emulate the ability of film to control highlights and reach into the shadows. In addition the resolution is much improved over previous video formats. All this comes with a considerable savings of money in film purchase, processing and telecine. As most postproduction now is done in the digital domain (are you still slicing film and finishing with answer prints?) HD cameras also simplify the workflow and save considerable time.

There are very few reasons to continue to produce in film, especially if your distribution is to broadcast or cable clients, and you should seriously be considering a purchase (or rental) of HD cameras like the Cine Alta, Varicam or HDX900. JMHO.

JS


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Sketchy
Re: HD Deck recommendation?
on Jul 10, 2007 at 10:05:00 pm

Thanks again John,

Unfortunately I don't have as much to do with the production end as I would like, just the post production. I agree with your opinion though and will be pushing as best I can in that direction. In the past they've always shot film, then I would get a stack of digi Beta tapes. This has worked very well in the past, but times they are a changing. I will be using the information you provided to push for skipping film, and working in HD from the start. They tend to think that the "warmth" is lost without actual film, but I disagree. Thanks again, and if you can think of anything else to support the arguement, links and such...let me know.

Lance


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Steve Wargo
Re: HD Deck recommendation?
on Jul 11, 2007 at 7:50:21 am

[Sketchy] "They tend to think that the "warmth" is lost without actual film," The warmth is very important to the directors but the people who are paying the bill are looking at million dollar savings and when it comes to having the warmth of the film or the warmth of the cash... well, like you said, the times they are a changing. There is a new car national commercial playing right now that was obviously shot at 30fps and when it comes on, I ask people how they like the difference and they ask "What difference?"
I don't recall the carmaker but the car is black and driving down a mountain road.

And, you asked about sending hard drives. That will never happen. You'll be able to stream them in before then. A movie theater here in Phoenix gets their HD movies over a DSL at night.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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