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M. Oliver Watson
Appropriate format usage
on Aug 19, 2008 at 7:51:22 am

Hi,
I was wondering if someone might be able to explain when it is appropriate to use certain formats such as 720p vs.1080p, 1080i vs 1080p and any other format combinations available? I realize that it may be a loaded question, but I'd even be grateful for a website that explains the subject in simple straightforward terms. I really do want to understand. Thanks in advance! -- Michael O. Watson

M. Oliver Watson


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Richard Herd
Re: Appropriate format usage
on Aug 19, 2008 at 7:50:39 pm

I hope my post isn't too oblique.

The thing to be sure of is (that) the monitor on which you plan to display your picture will resolve the signal being fed to it (through the input you plan to use).

For example, the back of most monitors have several inputs to choose from, so you need to make sure the signal being output from your camera (or DVR) matches the input of your monitor. You'd think this wouldn't be an issue, since the cables match up, but it is an issue. Often, the monitor and the camera have menu settings where the signal can be manipulated, so it all matches properly. I'll state the obvious, so please don't think I'm being rude: reading the manual for both the camera and the monitor goes a long way to explaining some very important details.

Having said that I recommend http://lurkertech.com

From a more creative point of view, the appropriateness between 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 2k, 4k (and 6k so they say!) is very hard to quantify and turns into cost-benefit analysis. I'm the first to admit I have a lot to learn, so, from personal experience, I am not using high end system because that also means I risk capturing more noise than signal--and that's too expensive. As my skills improve, okay, maybe I'll move upwards in capture devices, but it's not like you can say, your movie will be better simply because you shot with "X gadget."

Here's a quick question to get you started thinking about the whole topic: Where are you going to store the data?



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Jeffrey Buras
Re: Appropriate format usage
on Aug 20, 2008 at 4:51:12 am

720p60 is good for fast motion because of the faster frame rate. That's why most sports are broadcast in this format.

1080i30 is good if there isn't a lot of motion, because you won't notice interlacing artifacts.

1080p24 gives a "cinematic" frame rate at HD resolution.

1080p60 is even better than 720p60 for the same reasons and is also good for slow-motion shots. But there is no ATSC standard for 1080p60, so over-the-air broadcasters can't use it unless it is conformed to 720p or 1080i.


I recommend you read up on resolution, frame rate, and interlaced/progressive footage. Once you understand these concepts, it's quite easy to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each format.



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Jeffrey Buras
Re: Appropriate format usage
on Aug 20, 2008 at 5:06:24 am

It doesn't get more simple than this explanation:
http://www.digitaljuice.com/djtv/segment_detail.asp?sid=57&searchid=58010


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M. Oliver Watson
Re: Appropriate format usage
on Aug 20, 2008 at 5:54:28 pm

Jeffrey,
Thanks a million for answering my question in such simple terms. Due to a forced career change I have an opportunity to follow a dream. At fifty years old I've got a lot to learn, which means asking some pretty basic questions. Your reply was invaluable and the video clip was icing on the cake. I was under the impression that the whole reason for choosing one format over another was based on whether a project was being released on DVD and whether it would be seen on Big screen, wide screen, etc. I will take your advice on continuing to research the areas that you mentioned. Again, thank you! -- Michael O. Watson

M. Oliver Watson


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Richard Herd
Re: Appropriate format usage
on Aug 20, 2008 at 8:22:13 pm

I think that's a pretty good rule of thumb, but the sampling frequency and codec also play important roles.



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M. Oliver Watson
Re: Appropriate format usage
on Aug 20, 2008 at 6:21:31 pm

Richard,
Thanks for answering my question. Unfortunately, I am very new at the digital media profession and perhaps my question was too basic for this forum. But, if I read you right, I must keep in mind which device my project will be viewed on based on the differences in technology. If I am correct, thank you for enlightening me. If not, pretend that I never posted my question and I'll disappear into novice oblivion forever! Again, thanks a million!

M. Oliver Watson


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