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HD production- in retrospect

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Kevin Ryan
HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 21, 2010 at 12:00:45 am

I just wanted to pose this question to video production people in the corporate world.
Was switching to hd for acquisition, editing and output worth it?
I work for a local government media department. We are still sd.
We create programming for our local cable channel. Special projects
are either projected for groups of citizens, authored to dvd or available on our website.
I feel dumb to say this, but I do not see the need for hd in our
corporate environment. What am I missing?

Kevin Ryan
Editor/Graphics
The Government Channel
City of Charlotte
Charlotte, NC


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Noah Kadner
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 21, 2010 at 12:20:30 am

For one- the possibility of your content not having a future when HD content is made a broadcast requirement- which could be someday. If that's not an concern don't sweat it. If you can't personally see the improvement in quality in HD then you are definitely not missing anything...

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Kevin Ryan
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 21, 2010 at 1:42:25 pm

Yes, there obviosly is a quality diference in hd vesus sd.

But;

Nobody in our corporate environment has a blu ray player.

Both our internal corporate intranet and our public internet site limit video to a size that I don't believe viewers could tell the difference between hd and sd.

Not acquireing, editing and archiving in HD has saved us a lot of
money for now. With our fixed budget, we have been able to produce more product by not switching.

We do not anticipate having to send an hd signal to our cable channel anytime soon

Kevin Ryan
Editor/Graphics
The Government Channel
City of Charlotte
Charlotte, NC


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Cory Petkovsek
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 21, 2010 at 1:07:35 am

Capturing HD, outputting SD will only require more processing power for your computers, more storage space and more time to deal with it all. HD to SD won't look any different than shooting in SD given the same factors(* see below).

However, As Noah states, it will future proof you should you explore broadcast or other mediums.

Along with HD technology comes these available benefits:
- Newer cameras with improved optics for better image quality
- Newer cameras with improved sensors for better image quality
- Tapeless acquisition! (Tapes really blow).
-- Ingest footage faster than real time (no capturing necessary)
-- Avoid tape errors
- HDV compresses about twice as much as DV, at higher resolution! (If you use tapes w/ HD)

Cory

--
Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video
http://www.CorporateVideoSD.com


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Noah Kadner
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 21, 2010 at 2:59:13 pm

Sounds like you're totally convinced you don't need HD- and that's fine. It's not like the SD you're making is suddenly going to rot away. Why argue the point then?

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Mike Cohen
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 21, 2010 at 3:49:06 pm

It is interesting to read this thread. So much of the COW and other areas on the web are focused on new technology and new workflows, yet here is someone who makes a living using SD video and seems to have no urgent need for HD. Sony and Panasonic might not like that, but it is all about your audience. If your audience watches public access television, which even on a digital cable system is likely not HD, then HD is not a necessity.

That being said, the argument for upgrading is:

HD Video may look better depending upon the shooting situation. It might not help with the school board meeting room, but it might help with a town event, marching band or whatever public events you shoot.

HD downconverted to SD DVD may give you a better result - somewhat subjective of course.

You have future proof material for that mystical time in the mid 21st century when local access cable IS HD.

You get some editing benefits if cutting in SD - you can pan or zoom the HD video within an SD frame.

You can pull better still images from HD video than SD - this might come in handy should you need pictures of a town official or other event for which there was no stills coverage.

You mention projecting video for an audience - HD video gives you the option for HD projection from blu-ray or HDV or whatever format you have. SD video blown up on a projector does not always look great without line doublers or other scan conversion.

To answer your question - was switching worth it?

Yes, but we did it slowly. We were shooting DVCAM with our HDV camera for the first year we had it, because we needed a 2nd DVCAM unit more than we needed an HDV camera, but we were thinking of the future when we bought a new camera. You might think of doing the same. Shoot DVCAM as usual, but shoot some HDV when you get the chance - compare and contrast.

Our customers do not necessarily discern a difference - they want a video of XYZ. Most of our videos are for the web or DVD. Most of our DVD's are likely played on a laptop.

But the benefits I listed above all come into play.

Your benefits will depend upon how you currently use video, but we have given you some things to think about.

Mike Cohen

Medical Education / Multimedia Producer


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Mark Suszko
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 21, 2010 at 3:49:27 pm

I work in a state government media operation (I do not speak in any official capcity) Our shop is still 90 percent standard def, though we are transitioning into more HD. My personal view is that most of our customers and most of the news stations that use our footage, still use SD. Heck, I sent Nightline some footage of Obama early last year and they chose to get it in betacamSP instead of h.264 or mpeg2 DVD. We make PSA's in high definition, but nearly all the distribution has been in standard def anyway, because that's what the bulk of stations still ask for. Part of that I put down to the lack of a reasonable HD media distribution standard; I think BluRay will become that, potentially. But virtual distribution is coming on strong. This shipping tapes mentality is slowly changing as FTP over shipping physical dubs gets more acceptance. It would get accepted way faster if they could pick ONE standard for FTP....grrr....


Further, some progam materials you make for certain purposes just do not and never will benefit from higher definition, any more than they would benefit from 5.1 Dolby Surround, Omnimax, or 3-D. Bumping these kinds of jobs up to HD only creates more storage issues, expense, and time spent rendering.

I think you have to pick which things are worth that supposed "future-proofing" need, and just how many people in your market really require a particular program be HD. Local city council meetings look fine in wide-screen SD; I don't really *need* to see a yelling alderman's spittle-flecked face in that much detail.:-) We do a lot of training videos for state workers, and most of that would not be any better for being able to see the blemishes on the presenter's face in more detail. The content and needs of the audience overrides the choice of format. The best money spent is usually on a good script, versus making something weak, but in high-def.

And when you are serving the widest possible audience with public information, on a budget, you want to choose the formats that are most accessible to the largest number of people, without needing everybody to do expensive upgrades. Right now that is SD video on SD DVD's, and web streams using various codecs that are scalable to the user's connection speeds. That's how I look at it, anyhow.


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Noah Kadner
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 21, 2010 at 6:14:45 pm

On the other hand- if you *have* the budget to go HD now it's going to make you look really, really good in 2 years when some executive/manager says, "Hey can we start repurposing stuff we shot last year for our brand new HD channel?"

And you say, "Sure, no problem we've been shooting HD for years now. Just give us a day to re-output our projects from the HD masters and we're all set."

As opposed- to, "Gosh no, we've been shooting SD for all this time. But we can offer some really cruddy looking up-converts of all the content we've shot so far, a lot of which was once in a lifetime moments."

Just playing HD Devil's Advocate there... :)

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Mark Suszko
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 21, 2010 at 6:34:08 pm

Crap in High Def is still crap; just with more dynamic range.


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Noah Kadner
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 21, 2010 at 7:17:09 pm

I'm not talking about content, I'm talking about resolution. If HD meant a required higher definition quality for content there would be a lot of folks out of business in this business already. :)

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Mark Suszko
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 21, 2010 at 9:29:45 pm

A talking head and powerpoints don't need high resolution. Unless the powerpoints have some super-detailed photos in them. An interview of a WW-1 vet might, since that's something you want to preserve for the ages. There's a sliding scale for what content deserves what format, and part of ti has to do with how much the issue of resolutino actually contributes to the material, and how ephemeral and short-lived the material is. Just shooting literally everything in HD makes little economic or practical sense, if an SD recording does as good a job for what's needed.


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Noah Kadner
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 22, 2010 at 6:27:26 am

Or 35mm vs. Super 8 if you really wanna go down that rabbit hole...

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Martin Curtis
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 22, 2010 at 12:13:00 pm

I'm in the same boat and I'm still using SD for much the same reasons: 1 DV camera and 1 HDV camera, 2 iMacs with never enough space, 1 Panasonic CRT monitor, delivery on DVD or intranet and I have never seen a BluRay player (in order to get HD out of one you have to go HDMI and none of our projectors have that), material that mostly doesn't benefit from HD, material that will be outdated next year - never mind next decade.

I'd love to do HD, but that would involve replacing basically ... everything. "Clients" don't pay me or my unit.

I did see some sweet surgical videos shot in HD by Greg Ondera. I do have a surgical series coming up. Hmmm...


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Mark Suszko
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 22, 2010 at 3:19:21 pm

Surgical videos are an obvious case where higher resolution is what you want and need.


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Martin Curtis
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 23, 2010 at 10:26:53 am

[Mark Suszko] "Surgical videos are an obvious case where higher resolution is what you want and need.
"


Agreed and since this one will be ENT (small surgical area, need to get in close) I'll probably use my little Canon HFS10 in 1080. This is only my second go at surgical videos in OT so I am learning as I go. Lucky I have a strong stomach.


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Terry Mikkelsen
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Oct 21, 2010 at 8:44:45 pm

The last time I did ENT surgery, we were able to get great video from the scope. The monitor had BNC outs, which we hooked up a deck and recorded along with 2 cameras.
Even if you bought a DVD recorder from walmart, its a small cost and provides a great look.

Tech-T Productions
http://www.technical-t.com


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Jeffrey Gould
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Oct 21, 2010 at 8:55:36 pm

Great suggestion Terry, but I'm shooting HDV and probably recording to a laptop using On-location. I'll be situated whet I can film both monitors...you just gave me an idea though, if I did record the actual scope, I could do PIP. I have a Sony DVCam deck, but DV is lower field and HDV upper...am I asking for trouble? Thank you Terry

Jeffrey S. Gould
Action Media Productions


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Terry Mikkelsen
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Oct 21, 2010 at 9:00:27 pm

Are you talking about doing a PIP live? Or are you thinking about doing it in post?

I guess if you were doing it live, the mixer should time the two components and would be fine.
If you do it in post, simply convert one of the formats to the other before editing. (or both - as I often like to transcode to ProRes)

Tech-T Productions
http://www.technical-t.com


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Jeffrey Gould
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Oct 21, 2010 at 10:12:18 pm

In post using Premiere on PC with Matrox card. I guess I could capture using component into an Hdv project and then it should be compatible. Jeff

Jeffrey S. Gould
Action Media Productions


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Jeffrey Gould
Re: For Martin
on Oct 21, 2010 at 8:20:58 pm

Sorry for the slight off topic reply, but I just posted a question about surgical procedures and forgot to mention that I'll be shooting in HDV and with an EZFX Junior Jib. Same procedure, sinuses Any suggestions or a link to view Greg's videos? Thanks

Jeffrey S. Gould
Action Media Productions


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Martin Curtis
Re: For Martin
on Oct 23, 2010 at 5:06:05 am

Greg Ondeira and Mike Cohen are the surgical video experts here - I'm just learning. The only suggestions I have are be on good speaking terms with everyone in the room before everyone starts donning masks and the person requesting the vid needs to make sure everyone is on board with the shoot so you can ask/suggest things to make the shoot worthwhile. And don't drop anything in the patient.


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Jeffrey Gould
Re: For Martin
on Oct 23, 2010 at 2:11:33 pm

I agree 100%, which is why I went down there last week. The Surgical manager is very accommodating, he's even going to have the scope manufacturer on premises when I set up to make the scope feed into my deck is working correctly. Communication is key. Thanks.

Jeffrey S. Gould
Action Media Productions


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Gary Hazen
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 22, 2010 at 4:45:07 pm

You need to reframe the question. The question isn't should I be shooting and finishing in HD now? The question is will I be expected to deliver in HD 5 years from now? If the answer is yes then you need to plan accordingly and work toward that goal. Spreading out the purchasing over 5 years makes the transition far less painful. One of the things you should be doing now is shooting your SD material in 16:9 (full height anamorphic). Scaling up 16:9 SD source footage to HD looks OK. Scaling 4:3 SD source footage is less than ideal - you're trying to fit a square peg into a rectangular hole.

Again, looking forward - what will be the norm 5 years from now ?


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Kevin Ryan
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 23, 2010 at 4:02:54 pm

(Again, looking forward - what will be the norm 5 years from now ?)


Prognostication about the future of communication is fraught with danger.

I believe corporate production will be completely dedicated to internet/intranet.
We will have to learn how to make programming look good on a small
screen... smartphones.
High production value will become less important. The message will be short and sweet.
Being well versed in greenscreen will be a plus, if not a necessity.
On rare occasion will we pull out the stops and be involved in a big production...maybe for projection....HD

Kevin Ryan
Editor/Graphics
The Government Channel
City of Charlotte
Charlotte, NC


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Martin Curtis
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 23, 2010 at 10:54:36 pm

[Kevin Ryan] "I believe corporate production will be completely dedicated to internet/intranet.
"


I'm sick of little silver/purple spinning discs.

[Kevin Ryan] "High production value will become less important. The message will be short and sweet.
"

That's important now, yet people still insist on "can ya film my riveting 2 hour PPT presentation - it's so great everyone will want a copy".


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Bill Davis
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 24, 2010 at 1:51:32 am

My answer is hidden in this short bit of imaginary dialog based not so loosely on real life.

Client: Hi Bill, great news, we have a new video project consisting of a few simple 10 minute training modules and I've got you a budget of 20 grand!

Me: Great. Oh, by the way how much can we spend if I can do the whole thing in HD instead?

Client: 20 grand.

Me: What if I add really outstanding fancy, schmancy motion graphics titles - like you see everywhere these days?

Client: 20 grand.

Me: What if I can to deliver it in SD, HD, letterboxed and pillarboxed, encoded into 23 different formats and in both NTSC and Pal?

Client: 20 grand.

Me: Oh.

Client: Oh, and I told the company IT guys that after it's done you'd help them with distribution, web posting and the SEO stuff as well, that cool?

Me: (knowing when I'm licked) Mumbles "sure"

FCP since NAB 1999
creator: muti-track movies
http://www.starteditingnow.com


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Cory Petkovsek
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 24, 2010 at 12:59:49 am

Well if we're looking forward 5 years, let's look back 5 years. Here are my subjective analyses:

2005
Desktop monitors: 19" pretty big and affordable
Home TVs: 27-32" common, small amount of HD users
Business projectors: 640x480 - 1024x768
Phones: No widespread video
Website: Crappy video, maybe some HD for download
Movies: Red One had been announced but not really available
Movie theatres: IMAX was cool

2010
Desktop monitors: 22-24" pretty descent and affordable
Home TVs: ~32-40" common, many HD users, many flat panels
Business projectors: 800x600 - 1920x1200
Phones: Video becoming more common, iphone already plays HD
Website: Video looking pretty good, lots of streaming HD available
Movies: Red One recently upgraded w/ new sensor; Epic almost ready (5k standard);
Movie theatres: 2K, 4K and 6K movie projectors being installed

2015
Desktop monitors: 26-30" pretty affordable
Home TVs: 40"+ hd flat panel std
Business projectors: 1280x720-2k
Phones: Video widespread (same as web video)
Website: HD Video widespread
Movies: Red One retired, Epic widely used w/ 65mm sensors probably
Movie theatres: 4K standard, some 6-8k+

What will specifically affect you is that computer screens are getting larger (because they are affordable and result in less eye strain). This automatically makes everything higher resolution and therefor smaller.

Your SD videos will now be a little window on the screen instead of a large video. As monitors become sharper, artifacts will be come more noticeable. Also better looking video is continually coming out. Thus your video will begin to look poorer compared to modern stuff.

However, whether or not people care is subjective and is your real business decision. And it sounds like you've already made that decision. Being a video production company, I of course am betting my business that at least some people will care.

Cory

--
Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video
http://www.CorporateVideoSD.com


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Michael Slowe
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 24, 2010 at 7:21:10 pm

No contest in my humble opinion. Got to go HD. I still output to SD DVD's but the resultant downscaled picture is still better than my stuff of five years ago shot DVCAM on a DSR 300. As someone else wrote the new cameras are better with larger chips (sensors) in the main and better low light performance. Post has presented no real problems provided you work in ProRes HQ which gives great pictures but not needing multi TB's storage. I've seen my recent stuff in cinemas on a huge screen played in a BD player most of which have upscaling built in.

Sure you can get by shooting SD as long as it's in 16:9 aspect but not I fear for too much longer. I feel things are moving faster here in Europe than America which, historically, is unusual.

But of course, as ever CONTENT IS ALL.

Michael Slowe


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Mike Cohen
Re: HD production- in retrospect
on Sep 28, 2010 at 9:45:32 pm

To the original author Kevin - sorry I did not register your name when I initially replied. Good to see you here on the COW.


Mike Cohen


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