I'm a new HDe user doing an SD project with DV material.
What do most people use as their codec for input and render? Do they use DV or Media100i for input and render. I'm wondering whether the 486 x 720 vs. 480 x 720 may effect output to Quicktime and finally to mpgeg via BitVice. I've heard that there can be more zipper like artifacts introduced going the Media100i codec route.
In my limited experience of using the DV codecs in Media 100 HDe, I try to avoid them if i can. After a couple of jobs I decided to stick to the Media 100i codec if I could.
The main reason for this is that, at its heart, Media 100 HD is an evolution of Media 100i and there are still throwbacks to the colourspace and field order of the original software that seem to sit uneasily with the DV codecs.
Firstly, I make extensive use of the Render Range to Bin command, which just doesn't seem to work with the DV codecs - Media appears jaggy and lower-resolution when it comes back in. Manually setting the "HQ" setting in Quicktime helps but doesn't cure it, especially when you are matching media and comps together.
Secondly I use Boris RED a lot in my work. It isn't aware of the colourspace and field order issues so if you use the "Bin Browser" or "Movie File" imports, the media must be gamma corrected and field reversed to make it play well with stuff on the timeline.
Thirdly, the constant field reverses damage the uppermost and bottom most lines of video, which become apparent when viewed on interlace monitors, and when you export to DVD, as fluttering.
Personally, I no longer use Bitvice as it is not universal and is slow on my Mac Pro. I use Compressor, and that's where the beauty of a mixed codec system comes in. When I have finished my project in the Media 100i codec, I set rendering to a DV codec and render a title over the top (using it to mask off any unwanted crud at the top and bottom if I need to) and then export by reference. The reference file can then be used in Compressor without colourspace or field issues. And Compressor is very fast on a Mac Pro.
As I mentioned this is all because of a few kinks that are still present in my system (11.6.4, RED 4.1) which may be down to me, or software that is constanly evolving. I'm sure others here will have differing opinions and can put me straight if I'm wrong about anything.
Thank you Kieran for your comprehensive answer and thanks for your tip on encoding! I was also having some issues with colour shifts during transitions with DV encoded material and thought the codec might be the issue.
Keiran, you have touched on an issue that has been troubling me for quite a while since I have had to make some DVD's from old DVCAM masters. I have been acquiring the media into my version 11 (HD) and preparing my encoding with BitVice and, thinking the media was DV, have set the field as lower. This gave a 'juddery' image on the DVD and I then realised I had the codec set to Media 100 rather than DV. On setting top field all was well. So it's not just HD material that has to be top field but anything using the Media 100 setting?
Apologies for the delay in responding. In answer to your question, most PAL codecs with the exception of those based on the DV codec are top field first. So the PAL media 100i codec was made top field first, and to retain compatibility, this has carried over to Media 100 HD.