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Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD

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Anthony Phillip
Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD
on Dec 30, 2010 at 6:43:14 pm

Is it possible to upconvert digital SD files (footage thats already been captured) to HD using the Kona LHi?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD
on Dec 30, 2010 at 8:25:18 pm

Not with the same machine no.


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Jason Brown
Re: Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD
on Dec 30, 2010 at 8:49:24 pm

I've always wondered why this would be done...is there advantage to taking, say 16x9 anamorphic sd betacam and upconverting to 1920?

I've always thought there is a ceiling...sd can only look as good as sd...right? Its like dubbing cassette tape to cd, will only sound as good as a tape can sound. Is it a workflow thing? Easier to mix sd into hd timeline by upconverting?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD
on Dec 30, 2010 at 8:59:29 pm

"Easier to mix sd into hd timeline by upconverting?"

Precisely.


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Jason Brown
Re: Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD
on Dec 30, 2010 at 11:12:35 pm

So jus to beat a dead horse :)

There is NO quality advantage to up converting 16x9 SD footage to HD? correct?

I've always been confused about this because I was sold a kona card from a dealer making the claim of higher quality results...although I had my doubts...


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD
on Dec 31, 2010 at 12:29:27 am

Higher quality results from what? That's a statement that needs a proper context.

No matter what, sd will never be hd. There is very expensive and dedicate xhardware that does pretty nice work, but it's still not hd.

When up converting with a capture card, the quality is pretty good, it's real time and inexpensive.

I would not recommend up converting and editing an entire sd sourced show in hd just because you can.


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Shane Ross
Re: Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD
on Dec 31, 2010 at 2:57:03 am

Upconverting SD to HD via a capture card like the Kona 3 or LHi is a HARDWARE upconversion. The resulting image is far superior to that of just dropping an SD captured clip into an HD timeline and rendering. The difference is so great that my wife could tell the difference.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Jason Brown
Re: Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD
on Dec 31, 2010 at 3:54:17 am

OK...so after reading Jeremy and Shane's comments...I take it that it's a "your experience may vary"? Should I digitize and look at them to compare?

I have a project taking some decent looking masters from betacam - anamorphic 16x9 and converting them to a digital format to get rid of the analog tapes.

Should I capture them to an SD ProRes codec...or should I upconvert...I'll be using an MXO2 for this project...not my Kona.

The final use of these isn't determined...it's archive at this point...but space won't be an issue.

-Jason


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD
on Dec 31, 2010 at 4:03:11 am

If going for an archive and throwing away the original media, I personally, would capture in SD.

You can always convert later if you need to, but you'll never be able to get the originals back.

Yes, testing and taking a look is always best. Your needs might be different from what I would do.


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Joseph Owens
Re: Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD
on Dec 31, 2010 at 8:02:32 pm

The vast majority of my work is 1920x1080, 16x9. That said, many of my clients bring a mix of source material, which I naturally "upconvert" or at least digitize off tape (superior results using the Kona3 input) at that resolution. It does not convert SD into HD by inventing lost detail -- it merely oversamples something that was 720x486 -- and if the original was very high quality, you can expect not to lose anything.

The real trick with a lot of legacy footage is that its 4x3, or worse, 16x9 letterboxed. Best case scenario is that the DBeta, or whatever, was mastered 16x9 anamorphic. That actually works quite well. Nevertheless, even the Kona "blow-up" strategies work amazingly well.

I am required to do software "uprez" as well. Case in point a couple of days ago, I got a downloaded al-Jazeera clip (intended for a 1080i60 timeline) which arrived 1280x720 25p mpg4. Is there anything about this clip which isn't completely wrong for its intended use? But Compressor, cranked up to its "best" settings, at least yielded a result which the producer said looked "a bit too good", now we have to put all the station bugs back in to make it look like streamed media again. All I see that's really objectionable, artifact-wise, besides a general softness, is of course the mpg block compression.

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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Lawrence Marshall
Re: Upconverting Digital SD Footage to HD
on Jan 4, 2011 at 5:16:37 pm

Last year I worked on a film that was shot standard DV 4x3. I submitted it to various film festivals (it has been screened at 37 festivals thus far). Several of the festivals accepted only HDCAM for screening masters. I took my Mac Pro to a local post house, hooked it up to one of their HDCAM decks, and sent my standard DV timeline through my Kona LHI card, upconverting in real time to HiDef (with pillarboxing for the 4x3). I went to one of the festivals (the Woodstock Film Festival) and saw my film projected on a fairly large screen in a theater from the HDCAM tape. It looked extremely good from a picture quality standpoint.


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