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Does HD production increase quality on SD broadcasting?

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Daniel Appelt
Does HD production increase quality on SD broadcasting?
on Oct 9, 2015 at 6:20:55 pm

Does HD production increase the quality of SD channels? I work at a public access channel, and we have SD channels. I'm trying to encourage the board to invest in HD equipment, but they don't see the point in it since our channels aren't HD.

So I'm looking for opinions, thoughts or advice: does using HD equipment in any way increase the quality of an SD channel?

I usually end up at this site to answer my technical questions, but I couldn't find anything on this subject, so I finally signed up. If anyone knows of another thread where it's discussed, I'd love it if you posted a link to it.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts!


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Mark Spano
Re: Does HD production increase quality on SD broadcasting?
on Dec 8, 2015 at 3:50:37 pm

The simple/broad answer is "no". The main reason why HD equipment doesn't improve the SD quality is because HD is square pixels and SD is rectangular pixels. The scaling effects going from HD to SD are generally worse than if the source was SD to begin with. This is not true, however, of 4K/5K/6K downscaling to HD. Both of these are square pixels, so you can get really good scaling between them.

Now there's always an argument for better equipment. For example, there's a good chance a great modern camera like an Alexa would capture a better quality signal overall, that even scaled to SD would better your existing equipment. Things like dynamic range, camera color gamut handling, lenses, that type of thing can have a good effect on the overall output. But scaling it to SD will always take a big chunk out of the quality.



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