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Tucker Lucas
720x486 versus 720x480
on Jun 30, 2010 at 4:50:06 pm

So I have a bit of a conundrum.

I work for a small cable tv show, and have been supervising our post production for a few weeks ever since our old production head quit. He had us running on an antiquated system, capturing off of DVCAM tapes to an uncompressed Cinewave format on old G5 towers in SD (and a G4), and then mastering back to DVCAM for broadcast.

Anyways, our Cinewave system and these towers have been buggy as all hell, and each edit bay he set up was incompatible for various reasons with every other edit bay we have.

The owners of the company have since promised a complete equipment upgrade for us once Apple releases towers with the hexacore processor (hopefully that day will come soon), but in the mean time we are stuck with what we've got. The other editors and I have been mulling over the possibility of just editing everything in DV, since we start on DVCAM tapes and end on DVCAM tapes, and the uncompressed Cinewave codec takes up a ton of space. We feel it would also help with our compatibility issues, since most of us personally own Intel Macbook Pros which we could edit segments of the show on.

While going through this process, we've run across the issue of the NTSC standard of 720x486 versus the DV standard of 720x480. For broadcast we've always sent our show out at 486 since we were told the extra six lines of resolution were utilized for closed captioning. So here are my questions...

1. What would be the simplest way to capture and edit in DV, while maintaining our 720x486 requirement for broadcast?

2. Is it true that those six lines of res are used for closed captioning?

3. Are they used for other anything else?


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Scott Davis
Re: 720x486 versus 720x480
on Jun 30, 2010 at 4:57:55 pm

Lucas, there is really no reason in hell to convert DV to uncompressed. Some possible reasons are if you are doing a lot of compositing, CC work, green screen. But even then I don't think it is worth the hassle, the storage space, the extra render times....

What do you deliver on? What kind of show is it? Cuts only? Heavy graphics? That is a big factor in figuring out your best workflow.

Scott Davis
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Tucker Lucas
Re: 720x486 versus 720x480
on Jun 30, 2010 at 5:02:12 pm

We master episodes onto DVCAM tapes and send them out for broadcast.

Yeah, the fact that our old production head had us doing everything uncompressed is pretty ridiculous. The only thing that's holding us up from going completely DV is the 720x486 vs 720x480 resolution question. We want to make certain that we are giving the broadcast stations the resolution they need. That's our big question.

-Tucker


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Scott Davis
Re: 720x486 versus 720x480
on Jun 30, 2010 at 5:06:41 pm

If you are laying back to DVCAM then you are delivering 720x480. DV is by definition 720x480 not 486. Beta, D-Beta are 486. The uncompressed 720x486 is a completely absurd middle step. Shoot DV, capture DV, output DV. Simple, cheap, easy. Don't make it unnecessarily complicated.

Scott Davis
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