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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking good so far, part 1 was amazing. Part 2 is on right now.


Watching via WNET-DT on Comcast, looks amazing in 1080i.
 

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arghhh, rub it in why don't you! was reading about this in the paper today; sounds like something the wife and I would love...but no PBS HD for D*...
 

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Notice there's a 2-disc Blu-ray version coming out next month. Thought my DVRed part 1 on PBS looked pretty good, too.


Despite some Googling on production, couldn't determine whether PBS here got a format conversion from the UK's BBC. Production writeups mention "filming" rather than video capture. While part 1 seemed reasonably crisp, other travelogues/documentaries on PBS or HDNet, such as Smart Travels or Rick Steves' Europe, do appear crisper, likely from 1080/60i capture/delivery not requiring format conversions. Noticed the same thing with European video capture of the world's coastlines series on HDNet . The India Blu-ray might appear exceptionally good if telecined from a 35mm film at 4k and downconverted, like King Kong and a sprinkling of other major features, but that seems unlikely considering the greater cost and anticipated audience. -- John
 

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I think pretty much every BBC HD documentary (apart from the Natural History stuff) will have been shot on video and won't use film. (Some of Planet Earth was film I believe) As mentioned in other posts the words "filmed" and "filming" are now generic for "shooting" and don't imply the use of film according to recent dictionary updates (annoying I know - as I used to pick people up on that all the time...)


Most - but not all - HD documentaries will use 25p rather than 50i as the shooting format - as in the UK they would previously have been shot on 25fps Super 16 (or for lower budget stuff DigiBeta or even DV at 50i but posted to give it a 25p film look) - as high end docs in the UK have traditionally been shot on film.


I suspect the major visual difference will have been the 25p rather than 50i (similar to 60i) format. 25p gives a less fluid "look" - but equally can deliver sharper images (though "crispness" is often associated with 50i or 60i as the higher rate motion can appear clearer - though often 50i/60i goes hand-in-hand with a bit of subtle edge enhancement to make things look a bit "sharper")


Colourists grading 25p video content sometimes aim to simulate film in more than the motion look, and it isn't unusual for it to be de-saturated a little intentionally, or to be given a more "filmic" grade in general.


The two main formats used for shooting BBC HD docs will be Sony HDCam and Panasonic DVCProHD (both 1440x1080/25p formats - one advantage of DVCProHD is that in 25p/50i it is 1440 horizontally, but this drops to 960 when shooting 30p/60i I believe) with some Panasonic P2 now beginning to be used. DVCProHD is the official standard AIUI. The BBC are steering clear of Sony's XDCam HD in-house because of the proprietary nature of the codecs and wrapper I belieev - though indies shooting for the BBC could be using it.


One major advantage of shooting 25p is that it allows for slow-down to 24p for sale to 60Hz territories, which doesn't require any frame-rate conversion (no interpolated frames just a 1:1 mapping) and thus delivers very good quality masters (albeit with a run-time change and some issues with music tempo - though not pitch if done properly) It also allows for high quality Blu-ray release - c.f. Planet Earth (the UK version of which is a 24p BD) and Life on Mars (25fps Super 16 slowed to 1080/24p for BD release)
 

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^^^Thanks for the details. "Shooting" (film/digital/video) makes sense, but using "filming" for everything in a dictionary(!) seems a bit loopy. Shooting at 24p/25p, for international conversion or deliberate 'filmic' looks sounds familiar. But seems puzzling if used for the Coastlines of Europe series, apparently made for French TV, I mentioned/linked above that aired Christmas on HDNet. The over-Ireland production seemed jerky enough here to have been shot at 25p, but all of the others seemed smoother motion-wise (I figured 1080/50i), yet less crisp than chopper overflights here (over Arizona, Philadelphia, British Columbia, etc.) that I've assumed were shot at 1080/60i (no format conversion). As I often mention, the 24p shooting of "Sunrise Earth" episodes, maybe Sony HDCAM 1080/24PsF, seem distinctly less crisp, yet with superb color, than most 1080/60i HDTV, and they're mostly extended static shots. Didn't see too many chopper shots so far in India, just to revisit OP. -- John
 

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Looked horrible on WETA-HD where the picture was so bit-starved it was mostly macro-blocking anytime there was any motion in the frame. WETA-HD crams three SD and one HD into its allocation. The show has some great footage and looks like it would be fairly spectacular on a true HD channel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
WNET has the primary HD channel and 2 subchannels, with the HD channel broadcasting in 1080i. That third subchannel must be killing your HD feed.
 

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Looked great on KERA Dallas, OTA. Very engrossing documentary. Looking forward to next week's installment.
 

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I'm taking religious studies this semester, and this show was quite awesome to watch. Two thumbs up for me for the educational content, and of course the HD quality was amazing on OTA.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTGuy09 /forum/post/15500462


and of course the HD quality was amazing on OTA.

I have never seen amazing HD quality on our PBS affiliate, with all of the multicasting they do.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason /forum/post/15483652


Notice there's a 2-disc Blu-ray version coming out next month. Thought my DVRed part 1 on PBS looked pretty good, too.

Thanks for the info! hopefully netflix will have it (it's not listed now). I wish PBS would put more of their docs on BR! there is a fantastic ken burns F.L.Wright doc that got a horrible transfer on dvd (non anamorphic) though you could tell the source material was gorgeous.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 /forum/post/15484182


One major advantage of shooting 25p is that it allows for slow-down to 24p for sale to 60Hz territories, which doesn't require any frame-rate conversion (no interpolated frames just a 1:1 mapping) and thus delivers very good quality masters (albeit with a run-time change and some issues with music tempo - though not pitch if done properly) It also allows for high quality Blu-ray release - c.f. Planet Earth (the UK version of which is a 24p BD) and Life on Mars (25fps Super 16 slowed to 1080/24p for BD release)

Unfortunately, the BBC policy is to post everything in the 50i domain so you get 50i motion on crawlers, CGI and variable-speed motion which makes conversion to 24fps problematic.


BTW,the Life On Mars Bluray are upscaled from SD (at least according to the back fo the box).


Steven
 

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?? I thought part 3 was supposed to start tonight?


they are playing the first episode again - was there a schedule change?
 

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Originally Posted by huskie2000 /forum/post/15538945


?? I thought part 3 was supposed to start tonight? they are playing the first episode again - was there a schedule change?

That's what happened on WTTW in Chicago.

There is a rebroadcast on 1/14 at 2:30am for parts 3 and 4.

I've set my recorder.

Hoping for 3 and 4 versus 1 and 4.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Johnson /forum/post/15545874


That's what happened on WTTW in Chicago.

There is a rebroadcast on 1/14 at 2:30am for parts 3 and 4.

I've set my recorder.

Hoping for 3 and 4 versus 1 and 4.

There might have been a problem with the national PBS feed last night. We got part 3 via KET (KY) but there were a lot of audio mode flip flops and dropouts for the first 2-5 minutes ... and things started going wacky again near the end.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged /forum/post/15545999


There might have been a problem with the national PBS feed last night. We got part 3 via KET (KY) but there were a lot of audio mode flip flops and dropouts for the first 2-5 minutes ... and things started going wacky again near the end.

I just looked at a bit of my recording on the computer from WTTW (HD) and didn't notice any of the glitches you mention. The printed member guide listed the correct episodes (3, and 4) as did the PBS on-line listings for WTTW. But the WTTW on-line schedule showed episodes 1 ("Beginnings") and 4 as broadcast.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Johnson /forum/post/15546110


I just looked at a bit of my recording on the computer from WTTW (HD) and didn't notice any of the glitches you mention.

And was that part 1 (one) or part 3 (three)? You guys just said that you didn't get part 3 last night ... we did get part 3, but there were "issues."


I'm reasonably sure that KET is getting everything (HD) via pre-feed instead of the "live" primetime PBS feed. Hence, my theory that there may have been something wrong with either the master or the feed (or the local copy) of part 3.
 
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