Setup level - obselete in a digital world?
We just got new pannie SDX900 cameras. In a truly painful process of checking the integrity of our signal path, we've discovered the cameras have the option of turning on or off setup. Our engineer insists this is an artificial additive - we don't need setup, and the only reason it's there is to satisfy the 'old' engineers who are used to looking at a 7.5 set on a analog scope. I maintain that since we do everything (low-end 'corporate' type stuff to broadcast stuff for national distribution), we need to use setup. Am I thinking analog in a digital world? Right now, we've got all our acquisition gear switched to add setup, and all our decks and editors set up to pass the signal w/o adding our cutting setup.
What are you folks doing?
[Jon Zanone] "What are you folks doing?"
Well, right now, I'm sippin' a cool one, savoring a stogy, and readin' a Grisham.
But if you're talking about "setup"... no thanks, I've been trying to "cut down" a bit.
Digital does not use or need setup.
If you shoot and edit in digital, don't add setup.
Don't ever "add" it UNLESS and UNTIL you finally take the project on the last step to an analog format (if ever).
Your engineer is correct so take his advice and don't second guess him or her.
The 7.5A NTSC output setting on the SDX-900 allow adding setup to the composite output only while leaving the digital recording without setup.
This feature goes back to an original request by NBC to add the feature to their Panasonic camcorders.
The feature is quite useful for monitoring the NTSC output in an environment where setup will be required for eventual analog release.
Unless you are familar of viewing images without setup you may have problems lighting for scenes in which the black level is much lower than what you were expecting.
Just keep in mind that when using the 7.5A camera setting it will not effect your digital recording it only deals with the NTSC viewing output.
The two other camera settings are 0 and 7.5. 0 will record no setup on tape and output no setup via the video outputs. The 7.5 setting will record setup on tape and output setup.
The 7.5 camera setting is not recommended is you intend on capturing digitally and maintaining a digital post production route.
If you use it by mistake during playback on a studio vtr you can remove setup via the remove setup vtr menu.
I to am in a digital world outputing to Analog. We are all SDI capturing to a IMX deck and some xdcam decks for ISO. We do however output our edited product to BetaSP through our system via a AJA SDI to Componet converter. Our Cameras are Ikegami HL-60s.
Should we shade everything to 0ire and then raise it to 7.5 in our editor for output?
[tony salgado] "Your engineer is correct so take his advice and don't second guess him or her."
Let me guess - you're an engineer! :)
I should have been more specific on my situation. I am capturing on either a 900 or a pannie 700. Our broadcast stuff goes to a Meridian Avid SDI in / out, then to SDI (DVCPro) or RGB (BetaSP). Our XPress Pro's are RGB in and out. For our studio, we go through a GVG 110 (RGB). For our corporate type stuff, we go camera to XPress Pro to DVD (and sometimes tape). Essentially, we have our foot in the digital door but still live in an analog world.
What I'm hearing is I don't need setup period. Should I acquire sans setup and add in the deck when I know I'm delivering to a TV station?
Knowledge is power, except in this case. It causes confusion!
It always seems the issue of setup in a digital versus analog workflow creates some misunderstanding.
So to keep it simple Setup is only required in an analog environment (ie outputting to betacam sp, vhs, viewing on a analog monitor etc).
Since you are mixing and matching post production flows SDI and component analog I would recommend adding setup via the vtr when needed and recording in camera at the 0 setting so all your field masters can be digitized either in SDI without setup or into a analog setup with setup added.
Your video controller may find it easier to set the camera in 7.5A mode so he can view the NTSC output with setup added which may be the method he or she is more familar with shading cameras. This also makes it easier to light for the shadow areas.
I had a recent job with six sdx 900's where I did ISO on board recordings as well as a composite line cut. The camera were set to 7.5A mode (on board SDI recording with no setup but NTSC output for feeding video control as well as director's monitor's had setup added. The trick was setting the dvcpro studio vtr set to remove setup during input. Such a method allowed for maintaining no setup for the ISO and line cut thereby avoiding major confusion later during digitizing.
[tony salgado] "The camera were set to 7.5A mode (on board SDI recording with no setup but NTSC output for feeding video control as well as director's monitor's had setup added."
God I miss the days of three major worldwide standards (Secam, Pal, NTSC). "Digital is going to be so great, the entire world will have the same standard............." RIGHT!!!!!!!!!
I'll do my best to help you here. Set-up (pedestal) isn't actually needed with today's TVs... if they are adjusted for a signal without set-up. My understanding is that set-up was originally added in the early days of TV to provide a "buffer" between luminance and sync. Unfortunately, anything that is going to be broadcast, cablecast or played back in a venue with other programs that are using set-up should also have set-up included. Otherwise, people would have to re-adjust their TVs between programs.
With that said, if you're recording on a digital format, there's no need for set-up to be used in the original recording (in most cases). If you're transferring to a NLE (especially if you're going in SDI or Firewire), just add pedestal when outputting to tape. I found some of this out the hard way. On a regular program I shoot, the signal I was capturing live to an AVID Adrenaline via an analog component input was fine... no set-up problems. But, whenever the editor would capture footage from one of the ISO VTRs via SDI, pedestal was always added again. That was resolved by making a different choice on the VTR we were capturing from (AJ-SD93). It was kinda buried in a set-up menu on the deck, but after a little head-scratching, I found it.
Here's the best advice I can give if you are uncertain. Record color bars on the camera and play back on the VTR in question or capture to your NLE. When you view the footage on a waveform monitor, see if the system has added set-up. If you recorded without set-up and it's being added only once on playback, that's good. If it's being doubled, you may need to change the setting on the playback VTR or in your NLE. On a Panasonic AJ-SD93, I believe the playback setting should be "thru", but check your operator's manual to be certain.
On the SDX-900, there are a couple of settings for set-up. One records set-up on the tape. Another setting doesn't. In the 50mb/sec mode only (I think), there is a third choice. That choice doesn't record set-up, but it does output set-up to the monitor-out signal for convenience.
Do you have the Goodman's Guide for the SDX900? If not, you should have it... it's worth every penny if you have to buy it. As far as I know, Panasonic is still giving it away to anyone who purchases the camera, but you have to ask for it... contact Jan Crittendon at Panasonic. That's how I got mine.
Someday, we'll be able to do away with set-up altogether, but for now...
I hope this helps!
Thanks for all the help!
Steve, I'll contact Panasonic and get that book. I can always use 'library' material ;)