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DVCAM for broadcast SD television. Opinions please.

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Tim Snider
DVCAM for broadcast SD television. Opinions please.
on Oct 19, 2005 at 2:44:17 am

Hi all,

For those of you that have successfully broadcast your work over the airwaves to television homes across America, let me hear from you. I've just recently been a part of a television show that used the following workflow...

Source captured with Sony DSR-500 with YJ18x9 lens (DVCAM)
Footage captured with DSR-1500A via Firewire into Final Cut Pro, edited in NTSC/DV
Mastered to Betacam SP via component cables to deck from DSR-1500
Uploaded via satellite uplink for stations to weave into programming schedules

The resulting broadcast image looked horrible to me. Grainy, noisy, just really lousy. So here's the opinion part. Which part or parts of that signal chain was the biggest detriment to the end product?

I realize that Digibeta or DVCPRO50 would be a better source format.
I realize that a better lens may give a clearer image.
Editing in an uncompressed codec for post would clearly be better.

But in order of priority, where is the biggest difference seen? My guess is in the originating source format.

Thanks for your input.
Tim



Tim Snider
Deja View Media, Inc.


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Matte
Re: DVCAM for broadcast SD television. Opinions please.
on Oct 19, 2005 at 11:17:45 am

[Tim Snider] "Source captured with Sony DSR-500 with YJ18x9 lens (DVCAM)
Footage captured with DSR-1500A via Firewire into Final Cut Pro, edited in NTSC/DV
Mastered to Betacam SP via component cables to deck from DSR-1500
Uploaded via satellite uplink for stations to weave into programming schedules

The resulting broadcast image looked horrible to me. Grainy, noisy, just really lousy. So here's the opinion part. Which part or parts of that signal chain was the biggest detriment to the end product?"



You tell me.

At what POINT in the chain did you see the quality drop?






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Perch
Re: DVCAM for broadcast SD television. Opinions please.
on Oct 19, 2005 at 2:32:24 pm

[Tim Snider] "Source captured with Sony DSR-500 with YJ18x9 lens (DVCAM)
Footage captured with DSR-1500A via Firewire into Final Cut Pro, edited in NTSC/DV
Mastered to Betacam SP via component cables to deck from DSR-1500"


Tim - this isn't too far off from what we use. We shoot on a DSR-390 and playback on a DSR-45, BUT we capture 8 bit Uncompressed through our AJA iO instead of DV. This way any layering and graphics look better. Then we also dump out to BetaSP for broadcast.

I've found the end result, for what we are doing, to look better with this route than capturing and working in a DV timeline.



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Tim Snider
Re: DVCAM for broadcast SD television. Opinions please.
on Oct 19, 2005 at 10:50:50 pm

Thanks for the reply. As I suspected, I should've captured 8-bit uncompressed via SDI through my AJA KONA 2. I never really saw a degradation of the production in my studio. But I'm monitoring via YUV component out from the deck. I'll make sure that if I use DVCAM in the future to capture via SDI, edit in 8-bit, then finish YUV to the Betacam deck.

Thanks again.
Tim



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R. Hewitt
Re: DVCAM for broadcast SD television. Opinions please.
on Oct 19, 2005 at 3:32:30 pm

Are you using a digital or analogue sat uplink?

Analogue sat links are noisy and digital ones are mostly MPEG2. The limited bandwidth on digital sat links and realtime MPEG2 encoding on the truck will never do your footage justice. You're also starting with a compressed acquisition format.

At what point in the chain do you first see the picture degrade?


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Tim Snider
Re: DVCAM for broadcast SD television. Opinions please.
on Oct 19, 2005 at 10:52:18 pm

Thanks for the input. I'll ask the distributor who feeds it to the various PBS affiliates if it's analog or digital. I can't do anything about that, I know. However, editing in 8-bit uncompressed will help.

Thanks again.
Tim



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Matte
Re: DVCAM for broadcast SD television. Opinions please.
on Oct 20, 2005 at 12:18:45 pm

[Tim Snider] "However, editing in 8-bit uncompressed will help."


It COULD help, but only in regard to adding somewhat complex graphics.
DV/DVCPro can look SPECTACULAR if its a clean image from the camera.

But dubbing DV into an 8-bit timeline and editing will NOT IMPROVE its original image or cause it to look cleaner on output from the edit system.
Again, Uncompressed editing does help you only IF you are adding lots of titles and graphics.
But, in any shots free of graphics, the edit image will still be the same quality
as the camera-original.
And, except for the areas rich in graphics, if you edit on a DV timeline, the image quality should be very high (identical to the camera original).

You should ALWAYS monitor your edit on an external broadcast monitor during the edit.
That way, you will immediately see what your output quality will look like in the "real world".

If your edit looked good on the monitor when you finished...

AND you are seeing the overall image looking noisy on-air,
I, like others, would look at the Betacam dub and the Sat.-Uplink as the real culprit(s).



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jason levy
Re: DVCAM for broadcast SD television. Opinions please.
on Oct 20, 2005 at 2:36:37 am

this from a network we deal with..

Many satellite feeds are digitally compressed 4:2:0.. therefore if you shoot 4:1:1 the final product is effectively sampled at 4:1:0 causing very poor color sampling.

Jason


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