Cinematography Mailing List - CML

 

Search

Up Rez

Published : 13th June 2004


I belong to both the video and HD lists and I posted some findings relative to DV up-convert to HD that I think may be of some interest to the HD list.

I have shot some sample exterior scenes with my PD150, DVX100 and a friends PDX10 and took them over to Crawford Communications here in Atlanta.

Thanks to Bill Thompson VP at Crawford for getting this done gratis.

Anyways they up-converted my source tapes and the findings were to me, startling.

The PD150 really didn't like the up-convert and looked much like pictures shot through the digital zoom circuit. The engineer said he has seen much better results from other PD150's so I may have a head issue.

The DVX100 looked really good up-converted and had I shot the test at 24p or 30p, it would have looked fantastic. I purposely wanted to stay out of progressive arena since I'm trying to see how well I can match pictures from my DV with my 700A which is not progressive.

Crawford recommended that in the future when up-converting footage from the DVX100 that I should not only shoot progressively but get an anamorphic adaptor as well.

They then showed my an independent film they are posting starring Tom Berringer. It was shot using 4 DVX100's shooting at 24p with anamorphic adaptors and the HD up-convert looked...well it looked great! They of course color corrected and punched up the picture a bit, but it looked very nice. This project is going to film out for theatrical release. I regret I didn't get the name of the film but when I find out I'll post it so list members can see for themselves.

Now the big news for me was when we viewed the footage from the PDX10, which is native 16x9. This is not a progressive camera and had no anamorphic adaptor so the engineer was doubtful it would look much different than images from the PD150, however the images were really, really good. I mean shockingly good.

For me this is good news because as I do depend on Mini DV to get shots in tight places, car mounts, car interiors and the like, it's good to know I'll be able to pretty much maintain my shooting style while moving into the HD arena.

I am not proposing up-converted Mini DV be a substitute for true HD, but for those special needs it can be intercut with HD footage without a lot of apologies and since we have no Mini DV HD cameras to speak of yet (The JVC 1 chip is NOT an option, tested it, hated it!) it nice to know there are options for Mini DV to be a companion to HD.

There is one caveat however and that is some networks such as Discovery Prime Time and Discovery HD will not accept any projects that have more than 25% of non HD originated footage and other networks are busy trying to come up with ratios as well, so that figure must be considered when shopping a project.

However with that being said, I'm guessing cost will drive the final
outcome.

Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta



Allen S. Facemire wrote :

>some networks such as Discovery Prime Time and Discovery HD will >not accept any projects that have more than 25% of non HD originated >footage

So...are they requiring audited documents showing origination format for all your source elements?

Martin Euredjian
eCinema Systems, Inc.
www.ecinemasys.com



Allen S. Facemire wrote :

>This past Friday I shot some sample exterior scenes with my PD150, >DVX100 and a friends PDX10 and took them over to Crawford >Communications here in Atlanta.

Those are interesting findings Allen I'm doing the same kind of evaluation at the moment with a Panasonic nv-mx300 (Pal - 1080p 23.98)).

What upconverter were you using top do your tests? And what was your destination frame rate? (You talk about broadcast delivery so I presume NTSC).

Sean Travers
Avid DS HD Artist.
www.post-digitalworks.com



It has been written :

>...some networks such as Discovery Prime Time and Discovery HD will >not accept any projects that have more than 25% of non HD originated >footage

>So...are they requiring audited documents showing origination format >for all your source elements?

You know if you can't tell the difference between native HD and unconverted SD I guess it doesn't make any difference. I would guess that maybe the only SD camera and recording that could possibly be "passed" as HD origination would be the Panasonic SDX-900. Have seen this and am truly impressed with the resulting HD picture.

Regards,

Bill Hogan



What are they up rezing with a Terenex up converter?

Elliott Dunwody
Partner
Bright Blue Sky Productions
4811 Rivoli Dr Macon, GA 31210
www.brightbluesky.com

"We Tell Stories...Let Us Tell Yours"



Martin Euredjian asks :

>So...are they requiring audited documents showing origination format >for all your source elements?"

As a matter of fact yes...usually in the form of A. Your video logs and B. Sources materials references.

I've had a number of projects nominated for Emmy’ s and one of their criteria is how much stock footage or footage not shot by the production company or their assigns is allowed. If memory serves it can't exceed 20% and as part of the application process you have to submit your logging notes as evidence.

One of my producers had a nice chat with PBS this past Friday to find out how much non HD they would accept on an HD project. PBS said this is a subject they are discussing right now and asked that I send him my concerns.

Now that I have entered the HD arena with a Sony 700A, I still have DV equipment and I still have to use it to maintain the look and style I have created for my company.

This is why I did the up-convert tests but still the question begs to be asked and answered, "How much up-converted material will networks accept on an HD project...and if the up-converted material looks as good as I saw, what's to keep me from doing whole projects with say a DVX100 with an anamorphic lens or the Sony PDX10 and up-converting to HD?"

I've jumped into the HD pool and really didn't think I would be much more involved with DV or the video DV list but I finding myself more interested in DV as it relates to HD so now I'm on both lists and learning more about both mediums daily.

DV to HD looks damn good...done right, so it looks like I'll be keeping my Mini DV cameras for a while longer...except for maybe the PD150!

Sean asks :

>What upconverter were you using top do your tests? And what was your >destination frame rate? (you talk about broadcast delivery so I presume >NTSC)

NTSE it is and they went through the TeraNex Xantus, which may be a bit over kill but I wanted to see the very best quality I could.

My next test will be simpler up-convert using gear that maybe I can actually afford.

Of course the big ticket is the HD recorder/player which my editor will have to bear, with some support from us I'm sure.

I'm hoping I can find a moderately priced device that will afford us the opportunity to enable us to do our own up-converts since we will be doing a fair amount DV to HD, at least until the newer generation mini HD cameras become a reality

Regards,

Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta


I'm hoping I can find a moderately priced device that will afford us the >opportunity to enable us to do our own up-converts since we will be >doing a fair amount DV to HD

You may wish to consider Panasonic's deck which can handle everything from DV25 straight up to DVCPro50-HD, upconverting on the fly.

One-deck-fits-all, for $35G of course.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Allen S. Facemire wrote :

>One of my producers had a nice chat with PBS this past Friday to find >out how much non HD they would accept on an HD project.

And...would film-originated material telecined to an HD standard fall under the non-HD category?

>My next test will be simpler up-convert using gear that maybe I can >actually afford.

You might want to have a look at Miranda's Aquilia series. I used it in an installation several years ago (when they first came out) and the results were impressive. There were a few things they couldn't do at the time, but, I think the currently shipping product is substantially improved.

Martin Euredjian
eCinema Systems, Inc.



Mitch wants to know :

>And...would film-originated material telecined to an HD standard fall >under the non-HD category?"

The following comes from their website and I'm guessing it's OK to quote since they want everyone interested in doing business with PBS to know this info....

WHAT IS HIGH DEFINITION (HD)?

High Definition is defined as picture formats 1080i and 720p/60 and Dolby AC 3 Surround Sound. During the transition period of undefined length, PBS will accept programs as high definition in 1080i and 720p formats. HD programs are programs with 700 or more lines of resolution. For example, Super 16mm may be acceptable as a high definition acquisition format if properly transferred by a high-resolution telecine. Producers should consult with PBS regarding their high definition production plans.

Stereo will be the minimum audio requirement for HD programs. Programs produced as HD programs will be subject to all requirements as set forth here and in PBS' "Technical Operating Specifications" Manual for standard NTSC programs.

HD program submissions must be submitted on the HD CAM tape format."

Notice they do not address percentage of non-HD material.

They're debating that presently!

Learning even more!

Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions Inc.
Atlanta


HD program submissions must be submitted on the HD CAM tape .format.

We want the highest quality format possible on the most compressed delivery format you can give it to us!

Mitch Gross
NYC DP


We want the highest quality format possible on the most compressed >delivery format you can give it to us!

I know you're partially kidding here, but geez Mitch, chill out. PBS jumped into HD before any of the networks except CBS did and made what were the appropriate equipment purchases at the time to do it. They're not the wealthiest organization around, and besides, for broadcast there's nothing wrong with HDCam. The reality is that the compression levels used for broadcast and the limits of consumer HD monitoring equipment are far, far more significant than one generation of HDCam - and yet the results, to my eyes at least, are still pretty damn satisfying. We're not talking about image acquisition for theatrical release here - hell, we're not even talking about image acquisition. We're talking about delivery formats.

Sarcasm has its place, but to constantly rag on something just for the sake of ragging on it is a bit ridiculous.

Mike Most
VFX Supervisor
IATSE Local 600
Los Angeles


Sarcasm has its place, but to constantly rag on something just for the >ragging on it is a bit ridiculous.

Oh okay, you're right. It's just that they specified it as the one and only way they would accept material. As soon as anyone puts up limits they're just asking for it a little, right?

Mitch "Where is the smiley face?" Gross
NYC DP



OK guys, take a deep breath and go back to your respective corners. We all love DVCAM despite it's obvious faults.

Jessica Gallant
Los Angeles based Director of Photography
West Coast Systems Administrator, Cinematography Mailing List
https://cinematography.net


Sarcasm has its place, but to constantly rag on something just for the >sake of ragging on it is a bit ridiculous.

I'm never quite sure how these discussion threads end up where they do.

But since it has, I must say that if sarcasm creeps in, it is usually the result of viewing the inevitable results of processes like the ATSC which was so corrupted by the Japanese manufacturers (through the political-economic voice, NHK, of MITI, the Japanese government controlled manufacturing industry support/management agency) undue influence on the U.S. advanced standards selection committee. Very simply, the Japanese had a huge investment in early 1035i/Muse HD technology. Their investment was so big that MITI blocked the introduction of 720P technology by Japanese companies until well after folks like PBS and CBS (pre-emptively) made equipment purchase commitments to the very companies that benefited most from MITI's obstruction of technology.

It was so blatant that Panasonic pulled their first production model 720P equipment from the public showing area of the NAB, most say because NHK and/or MITI threatened them (with economic sanctions?) into doing so. Some think that MITI even unduly influenced U.S. broadcasters directly. Joel Brinkley wrote an interesting book on the ATTC/ATSC process; the title escapes me, but I recommend you all read it.

Our standards adoption process was very political and ignored good technology through much of its evolution. So if sarcasm creeps in, it should be noted that it is AT LEAST a little ironic that MITI's poster children, their own Japanese manufacturers have benefited most from the implementation and sale of less-than-optimum (interlaced) formats to their benefit and to our future imaging technology’s detriment. That our government allowed such blatant intervention into our economic, technical, and political systems baffles me, with no sarcasm intended. That intervention resulted in a de-facto implementation by major broadcasters, of such poor interlaced formats into what was intended to as a future proof bench marking process, is, with no sarcasm intended, a travesty.

We, as a nation which purports to be an technological world leader, have allowed another to dilute our leadership because of not-very-transparent economic manipulation by that nation. In the process we have been left to argue among ourselves that formats like interlace are "not so bad" and "a big improvement over 525i", simply because of our weakness of technology leadership, instead of having seized the opportunity to take the high road our national character would have dictated. An in the process, instead of recognizing and penalizing the perpetrators of the HDTV technology hijacking process, we have, and continue, rewarded those companies that (through MITI) reaped the rewards of their duplicity.

Sound harsh?

At least it is not sarcastic. And for those who would label this is a personal attack, this is my personal opinion based on my observations of the ATTC/ATSC process and of many others, who took the time to research and review the process. I sincerely hope that whether it is LowDef HDCam characterized as HiDef, part of the delivery process, of the compromises caused by the injection of profoundly damaging interlace artefacts into compression or other delivery vehicles, or simply simple recognition of and allowance for 1080i cameras to coexist in a process which was created to product "highest and best" standards benchmarks that we would at least learn something from our mistakes in this process.

I would hope that we would, as we go forward in imaging technology, not simply accept our mistakes and move on without understanding that it is imperative that we apply our own national technological intellect and economic mandates to the advancement and implementation of all technologies so deemed for use by us. That process may very well, and probably must, include technologies from other nations. Fine as long as those other nations don't have their fingers inextricably embedded, economically or politically, in the decision making pie.

GEORGE C. PALMER
HDPIX, INC.
HD and Digital Imaging Services
www.hdpix.com



George C. Palmer wrote :

>Joel Brinkley wrote an interesting book on the ATTC/ATSC process; the >title escapes me, but I recommend you all read it.

It's called "Defining Vision", and it is a very interesting read. I
second George's recommendation.

Chris Freilich
Cinematographer/Gaffer
Virtuoso Films
New Jersey, USA



George C. Palmer wrote :

>We, as a nation which purports to be an technological world leader, >have allowed another to dilute our leadership because of not-very->transparent economic manipulation by that nation.

You've got to be kidding. "Diluting our leadership??" It's just television, for Christ sake. Calm down. You'll live longer.

>Fine as long as those other nations don't have their fingers inextricably >embedded, economically or politically, in the decision making pie.

Excuse me, but when was the last time there was a competitive American manufacturer of consumer electronics and specifically, television sets? Or video cameras (consumer or professional), for that matter? Have you heard the words "global economy?" This is a prime example of it. The US still leads the world in many things, but consumer electronics technical innovation is not one of them and hasn't been for a long, long time. Political entities (and the US government is most definitely one) survive on political contributions and the financial power that giant multinational corporations can supply. If you find this offensive, I agree with you. But if you don't accept it and deal with it you're just being completely unrealistic, especially in the current political climate. If you expect any government, especially the US federal government, to be highly principled and immune to such influence, you're living in a dream world.

If this thread continues, it should probably be in Chat (just saying it before Geoff or one of the listmums does...)

Mike Most
VFX Supervisor
IATSE Local 600
Los Angeles


Joel Brinkley wrote an interesting book on the ATTC/ATSC process; the >title escapes me, but I recommend you all read it.

The book is entitled, "Defining Vision" by Joel Brinkley. I remember mentioning this book on CML three years ago as the defining piece of journalism on the whole process of developing high definition broadcast standards. It still stands as a must read for anyone interested in why we have to shoot the way we do for television.

Chris Taylor
DGA/IA 600
Santa Monica, CA



George C. Palmer wrote:

>I'm never quite sure how these discussion threads end up where they >do.

George, as you know, I agree with much of what you have to say. However, I'll recognize that there are two worlds at odds here. Some of the work you and I do outside of the industry would have anyone thinking differently. Our D.O.D. friends want to be as far from the infamous ATSC table as humanly (and technologically) possible.

We must recognize that in the context of making TV shows and theatrical product, throwing out the old and embracing the new simply didn't fit the economic and political models in existence when some of these decisions were made.

Regardless of who was pushing in what direction and for what reason, the minute it was decided to maintain a link to the old ways all hope was gone anyhow.

Yes. Interlace is horrible. Fractional frame rates are terrible. And, even worst, the fact that the World didn't take the opportunity to agree upon a common standard is just, well, baffling.

This very subject has been hitting home hard these last couple of days as I've been working on some rather complex polyphase filter designs. In looking at what you have to do to deal with interlace and weird frame rates while retaining the semblance of a picture you can't help but ask yourself :

How in the world did we get here?

And so, I just went over to Amazon and bought the book you pointed out.

It'll be interesting to find out.

Martin Euredjian
eCinema Systems, Inc.


Joel Brinkley wrote an interesting book on the ATTC/ATSC process...the >title escapes me, but I recommend you all read it.

I've always thought most of his reporting was, at best, lame. In 2002, he was still confusing Digital with HD. He's the Gina Kolata or Judy Miller of HD reporting!

Jeff "avid reader" Kreines


We want the highest quality format possible on the most compressed >delivery format you can give it to us!

We talked about this before, they want this because their on-air compression system is very bad and they want as little data in the incoming signal as possible because then their own compression doesn't have to work so hard.

Cheers

Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based
www.cinematography.net


I've always thought most of his reporting was, at best, lame. In 2002, he >was still confusing Digital with HD. He's the Gina Kolata or Judy Miller of >HD reporting!

At first, I was also offended by the technical inaccuracy of his reporting; as if someone had assigned someone from the Society Page to write reviews of books on nuclear fission, but what finally won me over to the book was the sheer insight into the ATTC/ATSC process. I had the opportunity to talk with one of those (ATTC/ATSC participants) quoted in the book and he confirmed the accuracy of the author's insight of the strangely-overbearing-outside-influence-heavy process even though his grasp of the language and technology itself seemed quite uninformed and awkward. And to his defence, the technical terminology in our business is, one would have to admit, complicated and even strangely non-uniform i.e. what does "more" depth of focus mean?.....in film it's actually less!...or is that depth of field?...

To an outsider, or even to some insiders the lingo of our business is, at best, confusing. It would have been nice if someone who had a firm grasp of technoese had chosen to write a book with that level of insight, but I'm just satisfied that someone did.

GEORGE C. PALMER
HDPIX, INC.
HD and Digital Imaging Services



George C. Palmer writes :

>the technical terminology in our business is, one would have to admit, >complicated and even strangely non-uniform

Have you ever tried to explain "color timing" to an outsider? Never mind the use of the archaic "ASA."

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



Two comments :

>the technical terminology in our business is, one would have to admit, >complicated and even strangely non-uniform

Much like the people in it.

>Have you ever tried to explain "color timing" to an outsider? Never mind >the use of the archaic "ASA."

Hey, I still use ASA. Fortunately I never learned DIN.

I've got this book on my bookshelf. I'll have to add it to my long list of books to read in the near future. I'm curious to see what it says about the rumoured tactic of designating large portions of the spectrum for HDTV and then re-designating them for standard digital television at a later date. Fortunately the bandwidth issue isn't as much an issue as it used to be, with cable and satellite resources available.

I just wish we'd figure out a GOOD standard for HD origination so we can get on with it.

Art Adams, DP [film|hdtv|sdtv]
Mountain View, California - "Silicon Valley"
http://www.artadams.net/


Sponsored by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CML Home CML-Tests Home

© copyright CML - Cinematography Mailing List all rights reserved