I have a question for all. If a company was advertising that they had an HD Suite available for rental, wouldn't you expect that they would have at least one flavor of HD deck to ingest from and to output to?
The guys making the real fast money these days in HD might be the ones that own an actual expensive deck, and just rent 'em out constantly. Some guy made a killing, I read, just creating a database in LA where people with HD decks could hook up with people needing rentals of those decks for ingest or play-out. it wound up cheaper to rent the deck just for a day than to own it.
A smart businessman these days doesn't tie up his capital any more than he absolutely has to. So you might very well see more HD editing suites than decks to support them. When decks become passe due to some better technology, maybe flash memory cards, maybe something else, their prices will come down and they will become more of a commodity item.
Right now, the costly HD decks are the main gatekeeper between the lowly prosumer hordes and the elite producers, in the same way you needed to be able to afford to buy one-inch decks and betacam decks to be able to play in TV in the 80's. The gate's a lot more porous now than it was back in that decade, there's more ways around things today due to technology advances. The rate of change continues to accellerate, destroying some market niches as it fosters other new ones.
[Mark Suszko]"The gate's a lot more porous now than it was back in that decade, there's more ways around things today due to technology advances. The rate of change continues to accellerate, destroying some market niches as it fosters other new ones. "
Folks like CineFilm Lab here in Atlanta are a great example of helping to open the gates. They're a film lab, color grading facility and tape transfer facility that also invested in Final Cut Pro. You can send them any film or tape format (and I mean anything) and they will digitize the media in the format of your choice and send you back an hard drive all set for editing.
When you're done, send the hard drive back to them for the mastering to the tape or film format of your choice. This is a REALLY great service for folks who do not want to invest in the decks for editing.
I agree wholeheartedly. Buying a $50k HD deck is similar to, if not worse than, ponying up for a CineAlta camera. Why part with all that precious cash when you can rent as needed?
These days HD is a pretty fluid term depending on your client's needs - Walter points out that he uses DVCPRO HD and HDV, my studio does just about every project in DVCPRO HD these days, and no one can really say that we don't "do" HD. It may not be uncompressed 4:4:4, but it's still a valid flavor of HD unless you're a real purist.