MiniDV and HD - am I missing something? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 09-24-2006, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I just want to make sure I understand something correctly.
HD Camcorders like the Sony HDR-HC3 uses a MiniDV tape - just like the MiniDV tape I used in my current Sony Handycam, right?

Now, when recording in HD mode, does it still record a whole hour on a MiniDV?
If so, that seems kind of magical since my Handycam records an hour of SD on a MiniDV. Am I missing some subtle point here?

I prefer MiniDV just because I think it's the best way to store footage in terms of longevity and least-loss. So, if this is no longer the case for HD camcorders, I would like to know that.

I guess my main question is whether there's some other medium used in HD camcorders that offers better resolution or less-lossy storage?
Or, to put it another way, if I get a MiniDV-based HD camcorder, will I be mad when I find out there was a better type of camcorder that I should have bought instead?

Thanks,


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post #2 of 30 Old 09-24-2006, 01:55 PM
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HDV uses the same tape and cassette as miniDV except is is recommended to use the miniDV Digital HD Video types as the coating has more density and less subject to dropouts.(It costs 2 times more). Both types will record 1 hr of video (reg DV can record 90mins at LP mode not acessible with HDV). The reason HDV can store 1hr with 1080i line resolution instead of 480i on regular DV is that it does not store video information the same way. Each regular DV frame contains all the info while HDV stores only the changes that occured since the previous frame. The process is called GOP (group of pictures).It takes less bits than if it was recorded like regular DV. It works similarily as MPEG encoding.You still get 1080i lines and all necessary info to restitute the picture but taking less space on the tape.
Anyway that is the way I was told it works. Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-24-2006, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Merci pour l'information (sp?:))

I use www.taperesources.com for my Sony MiniDV tapes (~$3US per) but the Sony HD MiniDV tape they show is ~$10 per tape. You indicated a 2X difference - can you point me at an example of HD MiniDV tape?

Also, is using standard MiniDV just fraught with problems? Or, is it one little glitch every hour of tape or something inconsequential like that?

Thanks,


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post #4 of 30 Old 09-24-2006, 10:43 PM
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I've had no problem using standard Sony MiniDV tape in red plastic wraps.
There is no mention of 'HD' in the tape, but it does say 'ME' for metal-esomething and its higher grade than generic MiniDV tape. I have not had a single drop out ever, but my use pattern is usually open a tape, shoot it full/half/whatever required for a project, then dump it to PC, and discard the tape.

P.S. It does not work "similarly" to MPEG2 encoding, it IS using MPEG2 encoding, with 15 frame (i believe) GOP. The data is stored on tape as MPEG2 Transport Stream. HDV bitrate is same as DV (25Mbps), so same length is written to tape.
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post #5 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 05:45 AM
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Hi Mitch G
mini HD tapes are same type/size as standard mini DVs. The tape lubricant is supposedly different and the packaging and cassette has a different colour scheme. Sony's wrapping is white and burgundy and Mini DV Digital HD VIDEO written on it and the cassette is beige. There is no indication as to what the base (formulation) of the tape is.
I paid ca 20.00 (canadian dollars) compared to ca 10.00 for regular DV. I only deal with my reputed photo dealer (at the store). I might find it cheaper on line but am weary of scams, bootlegged products, theft of payment info...etc. My tapes are all unreplaceable memories therefore I do not take any chances.
As far as dropouts are concerned, timecop explained it well. He is right about GOP being MPEG2 encoding and not similar and yes it is 15 frames for NTSC. With regular DV, one small misread bit of signal will invalidate pixels in one frame whereas with GOP it will invalidate all 15. Dropouts (if not corrected by the camera's internal circuitry or throught firewire to a computer) are minor nuisances on DV but are amplified for HDV. There is a lot of debate in many forums regarding the validity of using HDV or reg DV tapes. It could only be a marketing gimmick to grap more money. The jury is still out. Unlike timecop, I do not have firsthand experience with this as I am new to HDV. I'm still in the learning curve.Yearning to learn more from fellow members and don't mind being corrected if wrong.

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(Merci pour le petit mot en français).
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post #6 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input.


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post #7 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 08:11 AM
 
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I'm learning a lot from this thread. Thanks.

This is a bit OT, and I've read a few threads in other places that touch on this subject, but is it possible to (easily) put your HD material on a DVD for storage at least, if not playable.

TIA
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post #8 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 09:27 AM
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At 11GB/hr, you'd need a large DVD.

Blue-Ray and HD-DVD directly support HDV, so if you have a blue-ray recorder and/or player, you can write HDV to the blueray disk.
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post #9 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 09:33 AM
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It took a whole 4.7Gb DVD disk to store a 40min recording of "The Conan O'Brien Show" in a .ts format. I think it might have been 720p, but I can't remember. The only way to play it back is through my HTPC.
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post #10 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Continuing down this "storage" path, wouldn't it fine (if not better) to just store it on the original tape?
I guess I'm reacting to reports about recordable CDs? DVDs? degrading over time at the same or worse rate than tape.
That said, since it is digital tape, it shouldn't be as bad as analog tape degradation.

Thoughts?


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post #11 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 09:57 AM
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If you search on the internet, there are A LOT of discussions about storage and what media to use. I know that this forum will head down that path soon. A lot of people argue their methods, and what type they use, but I think it all comes down to what your goals are because everyone is different.

One of the reasons I stayed away from a HD camcorder is because there wasn't an easy way to edit, store the content, and then distribute to family and friends. Since I'm using SD content, I like to download the tapes to my computer, edit them and put it on a DVD with menus. I keep the original tapes in a waterproof / fireproof box. I planned on deleting the original content off of the harddrive, but it hasn't gotten that full yet. I'm still debating if I want to backup the edited version on DVD or the full recording of the tape. I've only heard of DVD's detiorating quicker, but this was supposedly using permanent marker on them for labeling but I've never seen proof of these statements. A lot of mixed information out there.
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post #12 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 10:43 AM
 
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Neuner: Thanks for the info.
Also: What software do you use?
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post #13 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrano
Also: What software do you use?
I use Pinnacle Studio Pro, but would NOT recommend it. It is easy to use and has a lot of features which is what sold me on it, but it has a lot of problems. I didn't read about all of the issues until I encountered them on my own. Since I paid $100 for it and *think* I have solutions to the problems, I keep using it.

I tried Adobe Premiere, but it was just too advance for me and I didn't have time to learn it all. Wish I did, it sounds awesome.
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post #14 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch G
if I get a MiniDV-based HD camcorder, will I be mad when I find out there was a better type of camcorder that I should have bought instead?

Thanks,


Mitch
I thought this was funny because just after I bought my Sony PDX10, the price dropped and every major brand introduced a HD camera that wasn't that much more than what I paid for mine. I guess there will always be a better one out there... I do love my camera though. It takes incredible video. I am constantly getting comments and questions as to if it is shooting in HD because the picture is so clear & vivid.
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post #15 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 11:27 AM
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I just purchased my Sony HDR-HC3. I will capture the HD signal with my Apple Final Cut Express HD ver 3.5 software and edit in HD. When my editing will be finished for DVD burning, I will first export to tape on a HD DVtape so that when family and friends and I have a Blu-ray or HD-DVD, I will not have to start over my project. In the meantime, after exporting to tape, I will export my project to iDVD or DVD Studio Pro and burn it to SD DVD. as I presently do. I have heard that vidEo shot in HDV and then burned to SD DVD has a better image. I am eager to test that claim as soon as my 2 unfinished SD editing projects are done.
Also, I have read that home burned DVD last only 2 to 5years. It has been over 3 yeras since I burned my first DVD videos and they still look pristine. My 21 year old video 8 cassettes are also ok. I will soon edit and transfer them to DVD so I will know first hand if there are any deterioration. Will post info then.
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post #16 of 30 Old 09-26-2006, 12:11 AM
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You should check out this thread:

The Official AVS Guide to HD DVD Authroing

It shows you how to burn your own HD DVDs from HDV tapes. Several posters shoot on Sony HC1s and HC3s, edit the HD video in their favorite software (I use Adobe Premiere and the Aspect HD plug-in for realtime HDV editing), and then burn HD DVDs that play back in Toshiba HD DVD players.

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post #17 of 30 Old 09-26-2006, 05:49 AM
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quick questions:

1. When you record in HDV, is it possible to playback in 480i? Reason being is that after recording in HD, I want to be able to copy (via S-video out) to a standalone DVD recorder. Also is there an option to display 16:9 on a 4:3 TV (letterbox, non anamorphic)?

2. If I use Final Cut Pro, is it possible to do frame accurate editing due to its GOP scheme? I assume it would because I can do frame-accurate editing on a regular 480i MPEG-2 shots.

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post #18 of 30 Old 09-27-2006, 08:07 PM
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I have the Sony HC3 and you can playback from the camera to a tv set or standard DVD recorder in composite/component/HDMI. A S-video cable is optional. You set the camera to HDV to DV and it will downconvert the signal.As far as viewing on a 4:3 TV, the Sony operating guide is not clear.I only have 16:9 tvs, so I cannot check it out. When I burn my DVDs, I always have them flagged for auto conversion (letterboxing) so that they can also play on 4:3 tvs. There is also a firewire (Sony calls it iLink) you can connect to a computer for HDV TO HDV or HDV to DV for downconverting to 480i. You did not mention what Final Cut Pro version you had. You need FCP HD to work in HDV. Otherwise you use the downconverted signal to edit your work.
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post #19 of 30 Old 09-27-2006, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meriadec
I just purchased my Sony HDR-HC3. I will capture the HD signal with my Apple Final Cut Express HD ver 3.5 software and edit in HD. When my editing will be finished for DVD burning, I will first export to tape on a HD DVtape so that when family and friends and I have a Blu-ray or HD-DVD, I will not have to start over my project. In the meantime, after exporting to tape, I will export my project to iDVD or DVD Studio Pro and burn it to SD DVD. as I presently do. I have heard that vidEo shot in HDV and then burned to SD DVD has a better image. I am eager to test that claim as soon as my 2 unfinished SD editing projects are done.
Also, I have read that home burned DVD last only 2 to 5years. It has been over 3 yeras since I burned my first DVD videos and they still look pristine. My 21 year old video 8 cassettes are also ok. I will soon edit and transfer them to DVD so I will know first hand if there are any deterioration. Will post info then.
I use imo vie hd with my mac, and have burned copies through idvd. the quality is definitely not HD. I have noticed jaggies and general lack of sharpness with the transfer to SD DVD.

Does anyone know if the new sony Hard Disk and DVD HD camcorders do a better job then mini HDV??
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post #20 of 30 Old 09-28-2006, 05:10 AM
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meriadec, thank you for your input. I'll check which Final Cut Pro the studio I'll be working with uses.

joaquin, in theory the visual of AVC-HD should be better than HDV. HDV (a subset of MPEG-2 HD) is 1440 x 1080 running at 20 Mbps . AVC-HD is 1980 x 1080 running at 10 Mbps which is mathematically equivalent to 40 Mbps MPEG-2 HD. How AVC-HD perform in real life, I don't know but if AVC BD is any indication, it will be better than AVC-HD and less chance of any drop-out. On the flip side of the coin, however, AVC-HD requires more powerful CPU power to encode the analog signal into compressed HD signal, so although on paper it's definitely better, it depends on the implementation, just like 6 Mbps store-bought DVD looks better than 9Mpbs camcorder DVD (in terms of block noise, mosquito noise, jaggies, macroblocking etc).

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post #21 of 30 Old 09-28-2006, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo
Also is there an option to display 16:9 on a 4:3 TV (letterbox, non anamorphic)?
Don't know if this will help, but my Sony PDX10 records in true 16:9 SD. If I hook the camera straight to my 4:3 television with S-Video, it fills the whole screen and looks vertically squished. If I hook it straight to a 16:9 set, it fills the entire screen and looks natural. If I download the video digitally to my computer and burn it to a DVD and play the DVD on my 4:3 set, it retains the 16:9 ratio with black bars on the top and bottom. Not sure to reason to all this but with an assumption that the DVD player recognizes the signal appropriately and displays it as such.
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post #22 of 30 Old 09-28-2006, 08:05 AM
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Thanks Neuner for the info. Although your info seems to be valid for SD general, I don't know whether it's valid for HD in general. I know for sure JVC HDV cam does have the feature of selecting output for HD, downconversion to SD 16:9 and SD 4:3 letterbox within the camera. This feature is not listed at all on the Sony or Canon HDV cameras. One would think Sony and Canon would put more details on the spec and features page on their website.

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post #23 of 30 Old 09-29-2006, 05:33 PM
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thanks for the input david, i guess the new hard drive hd camcorder from sony is going to be the one to get! i just don't understand why they price the hdv and the hard drive hd so closley?
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post #24 of 30 Old 09-29-2006, 05:48 PM
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camcorderinfo.com have a preview of AVC-HD unit. According to them AVC-HD is not ready for prime time (lots of artifacts and noise) although on paper it's supposed to be better than HDV.

I guess they skimp on the sensor quality which yield to noisier image, and noisier image is more difficult to be compressed which yields to AVC atrifacting. I'm just theorizing here.

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post #25 of 30 Old 10-04-2006, 12:02 PM
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Is there an HD hard drive camcorder? Something that can be attached to a PC via USB/Firewire and shows up as a hard drive in your computer and you can simply copy the recordings as files from the camcorder rather than having to capture a stream real time?

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post #26 of 30 Old 10-04-2006, 12:50 PM
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Yes, the compression they use is AVC-HD. It's available as DVD+/R format or HDD format. Same picture quality.

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post #27 of 30 Old 10-04-2006, 08:53 PM
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Ok, Thanks :-) I love the conveinience of drag-and-drop - I'll have to look further into it.

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post #28 of 30 Old 10-05-2006, 05:06 AM
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cnjvh,

I apologize if I keep your hopes up, but drag-and-drop capability may not be there.

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post #29 of 30 Old 10-06-2006, 06:39 PM
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You might be interested in this camcorder. It uses a new format called "P2". This is a completely solid state format (memory card). This is more of a professional rig, but may be the wave of the future. To get set up with this camcorder with accessories will set you back about $5,000.00 to $6,000.00. An external hard drive that mounts directly to the camcorder is also available. You can capture and edit the footage with Canopus Edius Pro HD software and the Canopus Edius NX capture card. This video format is also compatible with Avid Express Pro HD and Apple Final Cut Pro.

You will need a beefy computer for the editing. It must have hard drives with Raid 0 separate from the system drive(s).

The video is DVCPRO HD, 1080i/720p at 100Mbps. This camcorder is also a varicam for ultimate flexibility. The audio is 48 kHz 16 bit 4 channel.

Google these items for more info.

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post #30 of 30 Old 10-07-2006, 05:32 AM
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yeah but the P2 cards cost as much as a high-end consumer miniDV camcorder ;)

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