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How to determine field order in a CORRECT way?

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Niklas Wikman
How to determine field order in a CORRECT way?
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:32:24 am

I have a problem, that I hope you guys can help me with.

Before switching to HD, we shot DV50 (using an HPX500). No worries then, DV50 PAL 16:9 is interlaced, lower field first. (As with all DV codecs).

Then we switched to HD, using the same HXP500. We shoot 720P50 over DVCProHD. It's progressive, so no need to think of field order.

Then we have a few projects shot in 1080i, where the HPX500 was one camera, and the other was a HPX200.

I use the VideoSpec 0.9.8 to see codec and field order (so that I can compress to MPEG-2 with correct settings. But the seq settings in FCP and the info reported in VideoSpec differs...

FCP seq setting: DV50 PAL, lower field first
Videospec reports: DVCPRO50, upper field first

FCP seq setting: AppleProRes422, upper field first
Videospec reports: Apple ProRes422, lower field first

And to make things even more confusing, some of my files has the same report in both FCP and VideoSpec.

Should I relay on what FCP reports? Or is there any other (free) app that is absolutely correct in reporting codec and field order?


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Tom Bucknall
Re: How to determine field order in a CORRECT way?
on Feb 5, 2014 at 12:02:02 pm

I use MediaInfo (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/mediainfo/id510620098?mt=12) which you can download from the App Store.

FCP has always (to my knowledge) handled Interlaced and Progressive badly, specifically when working with ProRes as it doesn't provide any suitable indication that there is a difference between the two.


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Niklas Wikman
Re: How to determine field order in a CORRECT way?
on Feb 5, 2014 at 12:11:12 pm

Thanks. Actually I have both VideoSpec, MediaInfo and also MediaInfo Mac.

If I launch a ref movie that FCP says is DV50, lower field first, MediaInfo reports that the file is DV50, upper field first, but that scan order is "stored/displayed inverted". Does it mean that the file IS actually lower field first?

I really need to be sure that the field order is correct, since it would take too much time to make samples of all 20+ movies that will end up on a SD DVD....



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Dave LaRonde
Re: How to determine field order in a CORRECT way?
on Feb 6, 2014 at 10:11:43 pm

Then prove it to yourself the easy way before you get started for real: take a clip of each sort that you have, set their field orders as you think they should be, trim them to a short length, put them in the timeline you intend to use, export and author to a DVD. Then you'll know.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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