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In answer to the numerous questions that have appeared on the AVS Forum as to the new Digital Video Essentials, Joe Kane asked that I post this on his behalf.


Digital Video Essentials

High Definition Edit

21 May 2002

Digital Video Essentials is the latest effort of Joe Kane Productions (JKP). It is designed to help consumers with the transition from standard definition video to high definition and is being produced in the 1080p/24 frame format. The HD version of the program with 6.1 sound will be made available in the D-Theater format sometime in July. It will also be down converted to 480p/24 and 576p/25 for the first “True Progressive Mastering†of a DVD. Multiple versions of the DVD should be on the market in the September time frame.

As is usual with our company, almost every part of this production is stretching the limits of technology. We were among the first to produce in component D1 in 1988 with A Video Standard. We challenged the capability of the DVD format in 1997 with Video Essentials and are now pushing the limits of high definition video in addition to taking DVD forward into the world of true progressive video.

We are now at the editing stage of this program, establishing a group of “new†requirements of our system. First, it has to be format agnostic. We need to be able to work with images of any resolution and come out with the best possible HD format.

Many of our images are much larger than the 1920 by 1080 size of a 1080p frame. They are also in completely different aspect ratios. The images of the equipment remote controls are tall and thin. We're looking at about 1000 pixels wide by as much as 2540 pixels high. This size of image will allow us to pan up and down the remote controls while maintaining full output resolution within the area of the picture occupied by the remote. We can zoom out on the image to see all of it from top to bottom while still maintaining full image resolution. Images of rack mounted consumer equipment are also much larger than the 1920 by 1080 format. Here again we can design moves on the equipment in any direction at a true 1920 by 1080 resolution.

There are times when an image is considerably smaller than the output format. We can place that image inside the 1920 by 1080 frame at its real size, loosing nothing of its actual resolution. It just doesn't fill the frame, yet looks as detailed as anything else in the frame.

Second comes a flexibility to import layered graphics from other packages. We designed many of our devices so that they will change state or have functional motion. Importing the basic art allows us to set the pace of the motion in the edit. Normally they would be flattened or rendered ahead of the edit, leaving the editor with far less flexibility to stretch or shrink the time frame of the motion.

Equally important on our list is 10 bit processing on the input and output of the editing system. We are working with a lot of subtle changes in image levels over a large are of the picture. Eight bit processing causes contouring in the image. It steps from one level to another rather than making an analog-like transition.

Beyond that we need to be capable of handling picture information that goes above white and below black. As much as analog people have a lot to learn from digital, such as a format agnostic capability, the digital people have a lot to learn from the analog world, where there is no such thing as a hard clip at black or white. The dynamic range of the real world requires a bit of overhead. This is not accommodated in most HD digital editing systems.

Our requirements bring many important picture quality elements into the world of high definition editing. It puts the best of progressive digital together with the real world analog requirements of displaying video. Being format agnostic is an extension of our belief that when in the digital domain you need to look for its capability without imposing conventional thinking. Yet we bring some important analog capability that has been otherwise lost on the way to digital.

Joe Kane


Joe Kane Productions web site
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