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Ed Nyankori

Has the revolution begun?

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Firstly I don't understand why India and China are bundled with Islamic countries. Secondly I fail to see how it wont be a western economic choice over whether film survives or not- at the end of the day it will be Kodak and to a lesser extent Fuji's economic forcasts that decide whether or not film carries on getting supported (anyone shot on Agfa recentl?). Do I know what China wants? Do you mean politically or economically? They are the fastest growing economy and are heavily invested in technology (the fact they bought IBM gives that away), so I'd have thought they'd be more likely to invest in digital technology than reserecting film. As for Islamic countries, I fail to see how Turkey's relationship to film usage is related to Iran's for example. Finally the archival myth, this is complete nonsense, based on the fact that everyone has a few zip discs and no way to read the media! If film was such a great archival medium why would we spend millions every year digitally restoring old film? Whilst I agree there are problems with digital storage data in itself does not detiriorate- it is not organic so how can it? Don't get me wrong I'm not a death to film guy, but lets have some perspective.

I said I thought there was a 50% chance in 100 - 200 years. By "50%" I meant it could go either way. I'm not declaring I know which way it'll go. Are you?

 

I didn't "bundle" China, Inda and Islamic countries together. There's the word "or" in my statement above. Read before you post.

 

When I asked "Do you know what China wants?" I didn't qualify my question. I restate my assertion that neither you or I know what China wants, least of all 200 years from now.

 

I didn't say _which_ Islamic country may (may) possibly (possibly) hold sway over the future of motion picture technology, I simply stated I think it's as likely that China, India, or one or more Islamic nations has a 50% chance of having more affect over that future compared to the US, EU or the "West".

 

If you've been paying attention to recent world history or trends, it's fairly uncertain how much longer the US, the EU or the "West" will continue to "run the world", including establishing or maintaining motion picture standards and practices. I think it's a pretty safe bet that there's a 50% chance of China, India, or one or more Islamic nations taking on that role in 100 - 200 years time.

 

And, yes, China, India, or one or more Islamic nations are heavily invested in technology. Yep. And you think that indicates a long-term trend about film? You know more than me what's going to happen in 200 years? Really? Do you have a single eyeball in the center of your forehead and a halo, too? :)

 

As for why we spend millions digitally restoring "old" films: That's because there _are_ "old" films which have survived -- in many cases scores of decades or longer -- available to restore. On the other hand, there are probably hundreds of thousands of old TV shows and such which were only recorded on videotape which are essentially unplayable -- the tapes dried-up, brittle, oxides falling off. These latter cultural artifacts are already, or soon will be, lost forever.

 

Sure, modern data backup techniques and procedures can preserve and protect analog and digital video (and film transfered to video) files for a long time, but this is a relatively recent practice compared to its film counterpart. We'll have to wait another 100 years or so to see if these video/data technology and human factors fare as well as film has already proved capable of.

 

But my main point is that anyone who thinks "film" isn't likely to be in use in "100 - 200 years" hasn't been paying attention to life in general: None of us has the faintest clue what will be going on 200 years from now, period.

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Number two, sure the camera CAN still look totally video-ish. But just wait until it's in the hands of somebody who is going for a dream. This camera will generate some gorgeous imagery, especially with people striving for perfection.

 

And that my friend is true to any camera, not only HD, not only 3CCD and surely not only the HVX200. The truth is, there was so much hype about this camera that it was impossible to live up to it and it didn't. Just like the Matrix sequels!

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I bought my Auricon for ~$400. It shoots 16mm, with an optical sound track, and gets results far better than HDV.

Aww, Good for you! I don't believe one is better than the other. They're just different.

 

If it comes down to spending an additional $1k on film stock or $1k to get a bigger lighting package, a Fisher dolly, or a Steadicam rental, but shooting on video, I will choose video in (almost) every circumstance. The perceived boost in production value is much greater than shooting film without adequate lighting and camera movement -- in my opinion.

 

If budget allows, it is ideal to shoot film -- but, that isn't always the case.

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Point is, the HVX will bring a "Varicam" to to masses @ only $10,000 with storage media. The HVX is TRUE HD (Not HDV), It is TRUE PROGRESSIVE, TRUE FRAME RATES (12-60fps native), True 720 and 1080p modes, ect. I don't care how smart or gifted the shooter is, you can only do so much with a format. Interlaced videos will NEVER look as good as Progressive, no matter who shot it. 1 CCD will not look 1/2 as good as 3 CCD camera, no matter who shoots it. It's a technology thing... Unlike with film.

 

So look at it this way, for $10,000 you can get as close to film as you possibly can (unless you have $100,000 to fork over for a HDW-F900 or Varicam).

 

No, this camera won't change the industry, it's to small of a thing. Only larger camera like HDW series, D20, ect will be able to change hollywood. What the HVX will change though is the quality of materal being brought "Direct to Video" as we can finally move away from SD into the HD world for the cost of a cheap studio SD camera.

 

As to the whole "Film looks better than video" debate, I'm gonna keep my mouth shut. 96% of the audiance cant tell what something is shot on, even more in smaller towns (93% of the country) where people will be seeing it projected on very small screens anyway. Only people in LA/NY will be able to tell a big difference, since there local cineplex's have screens 100x larger than those in the rest of the country.

 

Go to IMDB, look around at how many people reviewed "Spy Kids 2" or "Once upon a time in mexico" or even "Star wars III", look at how many actually NOTICED it was video, and then look and see how many actually HATED the look. I counted about 2 reviews out of the total count that said they hated the "Video Look"... Point is, films vs. video may be important to die hard fans of a certain format (most people on this board) but you also have to think what 99.999% of the rest of the world outside of "Cinematography.com" thinks about it.

 

I want to shoot on film as much as the next guy, but for the price of 35mm stock, processing and Release print cycle, I can get a complete loaded HVX production package and use it over and over again, unlike the film which is a one time use. Plus in 35mm, you have your equipment, crew supports, insurance (if you rent), ect...

 

In the long run, its cheaper to shot with an HVX than 35mm film, no matter how many "Short Ends" you bought. Plus (froma directors standpoint) HVX allows you to practice your skills. for $20,000 I can make 100 films on the HVX or for $20,000 I can make one of 35mm... So the HVX will pay off in long run because it allows you to shoot film after films after film without paying extra.

 

It is true that everyone and there uncle will be able to shoot on the HVX, HOWEVER, for the really creative people, the HVX will open the door to the filmmaking world and allow people to finally get there project seen on TV or wide DVD release for $20,000 instead of paying to shoot 16 or 35mm. Try getting Scifi channel to release of video shot on the "JVC Consumer 1 chip NTSC" camcorder and you can start counted the amount of people that will laugh you out the door. HOWEVER, bring them a TRUR, GOOD HD Project, and see what happends.

 

TV is probly the best place this camera will take hold. Currently, no TV has the ability to display more than 720p anyway, so why not shoot in that format? Also the same with DVD.

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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This whole debate however depends on what you need... Like I recently bought a Sandisk Sansa 512MB MP3 Player w/ which can be expanded to 2.5GB for $50 plus its got a FM tuner... Sure, I could have paid $300 for a Apple Ipod with 5GB of storage. But at this point I'v got all my songs I like on my 512MB player, and its only 1/4 the way full. Point is, for me to buy an Apple Ipod is waist of money, since It dont benefit me in any way. Same with a camera, buy what you need, don't overkill it.

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Are there any 1080i TV's Stephen? most are 1080x720, at least plasma... Sure there may be high-end projectors in the $10,000 + range that ca do 1080i, but still, lets be realistic here. 720p material is more than MOST display devices will be able to project, unless your donal trump maybe..

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i'm 99% certain that there are indeed 1080 consumer tvs available.

 

Hi,

 

Some months ago, I read Wall Mart stocked a Westinghouse model for under $2000. This was confirmed by a CML regular, who also posts here.

 

Stephen

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my pioneer is 1080i- and that is down to the input source (a dvd to 1080i upres), i've been told it can play back 1080p, though i haven't had anything connected to it to test it as yet.

 

keith

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1920 x 1080p TVs are now available. Westinghouse, Samsung, and others. One significant question, which I've never gotten a clear answer to, is whether the HD cable networks are broadcasting in full 1920 x 1080 resolution, or something less. If you ask ten different salesmen, cable technicians, or even post houses, you'll get ten different answers. Does anyone know the correct answer? Thanks.

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This whole debate however depends on what you need... Like I recently bought a Sandisk Sansa 512MB MP3 Player w/ which can be expanded to 2.5GB for $50 plus its got a FM tuner... Sure, I could have paid $300 for a Apple Ipod with 5GB of storage. But at this point I'v got all my songs I like on my 512MB player, and its only 1/4 the way full. Point is, for me to buy an Apple Ipod is waist of money, since It dont benefit me in any way.

 

Actually the $300 iPod has 30GB of storage. That can contain 7,500 songs and cover art, 12,500 photos, or 75 hours of video. For $50 extra you can buy a remote control FM tuner.

 

But yeah if that's too much functionality for you, then you don't need it.

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the HD cable networks are broadcasting in full 1920 x 1080 resolution, or something less. If you ask ten different salesmen, cable technicians, or even post houses, you'll get ten different answers.

 

No I would not call what they are currently broadcasting full 1080. If you ever seen raw HDCAM or raw footage from the Varicam then look at what passed for broadcast HD, you would see the difference.

 

Currently broadcast HD is highly compressed. I've heard cable/satalite providers are doing the least they have to in broadcast HD. That once the entire broadcast industry is forced to switch over to digital they will spend more money and time on better compression schemes.

 

Right now the general consumer doesn't know the difference so they don't have to put much effort into it.

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No I would not call what they are currently broadcasting full 1080. If you ever seen raw HDCAM or raw footage from the Varicam then look at what passed for broadcast HD, you would see the difference.

 

Currently broadcast HD is highly compressed. I've heard cable/satalite providers are doing the least they have to in broadcast HD. That once the entire broadcast industry is forced to switch over to digital they will spend more money and time on better compression schemes.

 

Resolution and compression are two completely different things. The fact that there is a lot of data compression going on in order to fit HD information into a 6MHz broadcast channel has nothing to do with what format that compressed information is in. As for the compression scheme itself, for broadcast it's MPEG2 and that won't change anytime in the foreseeable future, because it's what specified in the ATSC spec. Satellite and cable can do what they want, which is why DirecTV, for instance, is going to an MPEG4 compression scheme in its next generation equipment.

 

You will never see anything other than highly compressed digital video in your home - and that includes both HD DVD formats - unless you buy your own personal HDCam SR machine. Not that I personally have any real problem with that. I happen to think the images you can now see on home screens is nothing less than miraculous. But we live in a technologically impatient world in which many people - especially those on Internet forums - will complain about anything they get, even if it's free. So be it.

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I jusy got back from seeing the film "Hoodwinked"... What a great movie! To bad it was in 1.85:1, because I failed to remember at showplace 11 they have 2.39:1 native screens, and they are small screens too. So I walk into the cinema and see a little TV box sitting on the wall in front of me. Thats what makes me thank god 1.85:1 native screens exist, the film would have been much more enjoyable had it been big enough to see...

 

Plus (although not the fault of the screen itself), They had masked it on the side, and for some reason the trailers they shows in 2.39:1 before the film where squeez in, making everything taller than it should have been. I'm unsure if this was a fault of trying to show a 2.39 imagine on a 2.39 screen masked to 1.85 or not, but if it is, it is not acceptable, even if it is "Just Trailers".

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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Resolution and compression are two completely different things.

 

Yes you can easily fill 1920x1080 pixel space. But neglecting the rest of the video signal with broad compression you forsake what makes HD - High Definition in the first place.

 

As for the compression scheme itself, for broadcast it's MPEG2 and that won't change anytime in the foreseeable future, because it's what specified in the ATSC spec.

 

Even within MPEG-2 not all encoding software and hardware are created equal. I've heard it could and should be better than it currently is.

 

You will never see anything other than highly compressed digital video in your home - and that includes both HD DVD formats

 

I'm not saying compression is bad in general. I'm talking about the method of compression. When I watch a television show on DVD, I often find the experience much better than when it was broadcast.

 

A lot of care went into the DVD's creation: compressionist, colorist, sound mixing. I see and hear the difference in the experience.

 

I expect with Blu-ray or HD-DVD compression will be used selectively as needed to fit the material on the disk, as well as preseverse motion and detail. I don't see this type of care being taken with current ATSC broadcast.

 

But we live in a technologically impatient world in which many people - especially those on Internet forums - will complain about anything they get, even if it's free. So be it.

 

I don't own an HD television. But times I have seen it I wasn't very impressed. Keeping in perspective of what the origianl HD image looked like in contrast to what it looks like broadcast, I feel there is a lot of room for improvement of the latter.

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I jusy got back from seeing the film "Hoodwinked"... What a great movie! To bad it was in 1.85:1, because I failed to remember at showplace 11 they have 2.39:1 native screens, and they are small screens too. So I walk into the cinema and see a little TV box sitting on the wall in front of me. Thats what makes me thank god 1.85:1 native screens exist, the film would have been much more enjoyable had it been big enough to see...

 

Plus (although not the fault of the screen itself), They had masked it on the side, and for some reason the trailers they shows in 2.39:1 before the film where squeez in, making everything taller than it should have been. I'm unsure if this was a fault of trying to show a 2.39 imagine on a 2.39 screen masked to 1.85 or not, but if it is, it is not acceptable, even if it is "Just Trailers".

 

You need to go to better theaters.

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Even within MPEG-2 not all encoding software and hardware are created equal. I've heard it could and should be better than it currently is.

 

You've "heard?" From whom, and where? Internet forums?

 

I'm not saying compression is bad in general. I'm talking about the method of compression. When I watch a television show on DVD, I often find the experience much better than when it was broadcast.

A lot of care went into the DVD's creation: compressionist, colorist, sound mixing. I see and hear the difference in the experience.

 

There is no difference in the colorist or the sound mix; DVD's of television programs are, for the most part, made from the same studio master that's used for the network delivery. The only difference is in older programs that were posted on film, in which case the film has generally been retransferred to a new HD master, from which the downconversion is made for the DVD release. For any recent programs, the source for the DVD is exactly the same as for the original broadcast.

 

I expect with Blu-ray or HD-DVD compression will be used selectively as needed to fit the material on the disk, as well as preseverse motion and detail. I don't see this type of care being taken with current ATSC broadcast.

I don't own an HD television. But times I have seen it I wasn't very impressed. Keeping in perspective of what the origianl HD image looked like in contrast to what it looks like broadcast, I feel there is a lot of room for improvement of the latter.

 

It's not a matter of "care." Broadcast deliveries are made on HD videotape. All compression (other than that of the videotape format itself, although most network deliveries are on D5 or HDCam SR these days) in the broadcast chain is applied at the time of broadcast using hardware encoding, and for all networks other than Fox, at the local affiliate level. Fox uses a "splicer" system in which the ATSC stream is encoded at the network center, and any local branding - local station bugs, for instance - are inserted into the already encoded stream.

 

If you don't have an HD television, how can you intelligently and informatively make the statements you've made here? Or are you judging by the images at your local Best Buy? Clearly your comments about DVDs are also influenced by the apparent fact that you're watching "broadcast" signals either on an over the air analog feed, or over a cable feed. In either case, you're comparing apples and bananas. Before complaining about the current state of the art, you need to actually experience it. You might be surprised.

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Hi,

 

> Even within MPEG-2 not all encoding software and hardware are created equal. I've heard it could and

> should be better than it currently is.

 

This is indubidably so. I know this from many hours of working with software whose mathematics I understand and have examined, and which they frequently advertise - "half pel" motion compensation compresses worse than "quarter pel" motion compensation; I know why, but frankly anyone with eyes doesn't need to.

 

> For any recent programs, the source for the DVD is exactly the same as for the original broadcast.

 

Yes. And the broadcast master went through a 1U rackmount MPEG-2 encoder with a latency of about two seconds and a pricetag of about $15,000. The DVD went through a quarter million dollar Hitachi encoder which has an air-conditioned machine room all to itself. Even if the bitrates were the same, which they aren't, the DVD would still look better.

 

You can make a TV-bitrate clip look as good as a bad DVD with careful encoding.

 

> I don't see this type of care being taken with current ATSC broadcast.

 

No care is taken with the encoding whatsoever; it's an unattended process.

 

I once worked on a digital satellite channel which had the superb wheeze of pre-encoding all their stuff with slow-but-great software encoders; this tiny-bandwidth channel ended up looking better than some that paid a much bigger ticket for their bandwidth.

 

> But times I have seen it I wasn't very impressed.

 

Me either. Commercial expediency (get lots of channels on the satellite so we can sell lots of advertising) will out. Any piece of HD I've seen - from NAB to Sony showrooms to domestic feeds in the US - has always looked very considerably better than standard def analog broadcast NTSC. Whether some of it looked better than really good DTV-B component PAL is sadly questionable.

 

> It's not a matter of "care."

 

It's about the network caring enough about supplying a high quality product that they're willing to overlook increased cost of bandwidth. This is a judgement call (even if it is a judgement call of how much can we get away with) and yes it is a matter of care.

 

Mike, it's OK to question people's sources, but there's no reason to be so unpleasant to the guy - especially when he's fundamentally correct.

 

Phil

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Guest AshG

I have had a 1080i HDTV for 4 years... Hoodwinked is a great story, not the film itself but how it got made, a true indie film! I am very good friends with the Directors/writers... their story should inspire all... The HVX is not a revolution, just a tool. When digital happened in a big way for audio it sure didnt cause a revolution of good music... just the opposite.

 

 

 

 

ash =o)

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thats nice David, "Just go to a better theater"... Great, lets pack up the family and head to New York to see the next film. Where I live, this is as good as it gets (well almost)... What really ticked me off is they put this film in there smallest cinema, the one with no Surround Sound, No stadium seating, very small screen... Plus there sound system is so old, and the volume was not up very high, so it made some things hard to hear.

 

Thank heaven's we have TWO theaters here, one is 100x better than the other, even though there the same chain. Showplace 12 (the new one where I work) has 1.85 screens, Stadium Seating, DTS 6.1 and Dolby 6.1 Surround in all cinemas. Sure we have some small screens, but the smallest screen is about the size of the average screen at showplace 11.

 

Problem is? Only film's they open at 12 are Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Hostel, Narnia... you know, the films that are more "Important", so whenever you wanna see an art film or smaller in scope film, usually your forced to head to showplace 11....

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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