HD at a Wedding Show UPDATE
A few weeks back I mentioned my plan to use an Apple TV to demo my HD wedding footage at an upcoming wedding show. The show isn't until this coming weekend, but I've made some choices and figured I'd share them.
First, I've decided NOT to use the Apple TV. I took some sample footage to an Apple store and previewed it there. The problem is that the Apple TV is made to stream data live over a network and can thus only take a certain data-rate. Using Quicktime's standard Apple TV export setting, I ended up with an image I didn't find thrilling.
It was ok, I'll probably buy an Apple TV for my home use someday, but it wasn't something that would turn heads at a wedding show. In fact, the SD DVDs I make from my HD footage look better than that when played on an up-converting DVD player.
And so that's my plan right now. I'm going to be playing anamorphic SD DVDs on a widescreen LCD HD set at the show. My promotional material says that the client gets an HD master tape and widescreen SD DVDs.
My plan, at the moment, is to eventually get into Blu-Ray production. I'm waiting for 3 things:
1) Apple DVD Studio Pro to support it fully
2) Drive prices to drop slightly
3) A client who actually ASKS about Blu-Ray!
The fact is, everyone just wants DVDs anyway. I'm hoping to impress people with the fact that they get an HD tape which can be copied to something else in the future. That should get some attention, even from people who don't own any sort of HD playback system right now.
Really, the fact that it's widescreen is what gets the most attention. Once I can get HD discs into people's hands I'll do it, but for now I think anamorphic DVDs are still the sweet spot for what clients want.
So I'll let you know how it goes after this weekend!
When you hand them the HD tape, attach a coupon for a "returning customer's discount" on burning it to Blue-Ray HD DVD for them. Might help convince them to come back.
"Oh, you wanted to RECORD that?"
[Jeff Carpenter] "I took some sample footage to an Apple store and previewed it there. The problem is that the Apple TV is made to stream data live over a network and can thus only take a certain data-rate. Using Quicktime's standard Apple TV export setting, I ended up with an image I didn't find thrilling. "
The image quality on a TV has nothing to do with the streaming over a wireless network, it may just take it a little longer to load in a file streaming. And lets face it for a showing like you are talking about you should really be loading the video files right onto the TV itself and not streaming.
I also have not had the greatest success with Apples preset, but after I tweaked it, my results were GREAT. My guess is that your footage was not 24p. The highest image size the TV c an play is 720, and keep in mind that the ONLY frame rate of 720 that the TV will play is 24p.
I am betting that your original video was not 24p. The presets that are there will automatically scale a video down to a frame size less then 720 and maintain your original frame rate.
My best images on the TV came when NOT using presets and setting the frame size to 720 and also changing the frame rate to 24p (my original was 1080i 60fps)
The resulting image looked GREAT.
Image quality is in the encoding settings not in the wireless network streaming!!!
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!
We did load it onto the AppleTV. What I meant was that the default quicktime export is optimized for streaming. Whether or not you actually stream it doesn't matter, it's already compressed down to a rate that COULD be streamed over a wireless network. It's good to know that some extra tweaking got you better results. I'll have to play around with custom settings and see what I can get.
But 24p wasn't the problem. It was shot and edited at 1080p 23.98 fps. The exported version was down-converted to 720p at 24 fps. I know I'm losing some resolution there, but that's not what I'm talking about. I was seeing too much 'blockiness' in the picture around edges of objects, kind of like a bad DVR. My DVDs aren't as sharp, but at least they don't have that problem.
I'll be re-visiting this issue if I can find a compression I'm happy with. I haven't totally given up yet.
Just F.Y.I., I tried something at a recent show that worked out pretty well.
My stuff wasn't shot and edited in the same exact format, but the situation was basically the same, meaning shooting and editing in HDV and ending up with a SD DVD.
Anyway...I had two monitors at the show. On one, I had a simple home DVD player hooked up to it, with a completed wedding DVD in it. This was mainly to show the menus and what they would look like, and it also gave visitors a chance to actually 'play' with it to get a feel for interaction, etc. I left this one on either the main menu or chapter menu page, which were both motion menus.
My main monitor was where I wanted a loop to be playing that people would see as they passed by...which is the one I wanted to look REALLY nice to draw people in. What I did was edit the collection of stuff I wanted to show, which ended up being about 15 minutes. I then took that and exported it straight back to an HDV tape, and then repeated that step and ended up with 4 'copies' of it on one 63 minuted tape.
At the show, I took my deck and hooked that up to my monitor (Samsung 26" LCD), as well as speakers, and simply played the tape. Yes, it involved rewinding, but only once every hour and it took less than a minute to do so. The stuff looked great and the plan seemed to work well.
Had anyone asked, I would have been honest and told them how it was set up, but the only ones that did were other videographers at the show!
Thanks. I'll probably try something similar. I'll report back next week!