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XDCAM 1080 50i looks awful after downconvert to SD

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Tony Raphael
XDCAM 1080 50i looks awful after downconvert to SD
on Feb 10, 2012 at 1:13:00 pm

I'm hoping someone might be able to help me solve a problem...

I've been shooting a series for broadcast television with my PDW800.

We are shooting 1080 50i HD422, and the edited program is down converted to 720 for broadcast at standard def.

The program - when broadcast looks absolutely awful. Soft, over saturated, no depth in blacks. It is cut against GoPro footage which looks a million dollars in comparison.

The footage that goes into the edit does not look this way. The camera is set up in a fairly standard way, with a very small amount of extra chroma and reduction of the black gamma - at the request of the broadcaster and post house.

I have enquired with post, but haven't had any concrete answers, which is frustrating.

Does anybody know at what stage the image is being degraded so badly? It looks like very poor VHS footage when broadcast!

I have some suspicions, but nothing I am sure of.

Thanks, Tony

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Bruce Rawlings
Re: XDCAM 1080 50i looks awful after downconvert to SD
on Feb 16, 2012 at 7:07:16 pm

I would use the BBC camera settings as a starter. How is the SD conversion carried out? We drop HD programmes to HDCAM tape and then use Sony VTR SDI output as the source for making SD copies. Quality is fine. This workflow allows grading etc to be carried out in a consistent regime before down rezzing. All pictures should then be equal before the final process and degradation should be across the board.

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