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HVX for HD Broadcast


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#1 catherine lutes

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 11:52 AM

I am potentially shooting for a travel doc show that had their workflow all mapped out with the HVX200 and now are being told they have to deliver according to the Discovery HD channel tech specs.

Apparently Discovery HD does not accept more then 15% HVX footage, and so now they are left trying to find a solution.

One question that has come up is can it be upressed to a suitable HD standard? How do they know what the original format is?

I would love to hear from anyone who may have some experience with this

cheers
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 12:02 PM

My understanding of Discovery HD is that they don't accept 1/3" CCD cameras for more than 15%. So it's the camera that is the problem, rather than your HD shooting format.

I don't know if they're going to accept the 1/2" CCD Sony EX1, I heard they were testing it.
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#3 Boyd McCollum

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 05:04 PM

One question that has come up is can it be upressed to a suitable HD standard?



I don't have any experience with Discovery HD, but you could ask them directly on upressing the footage, though I doubt that's going to improve the footage any, or that they will change their policy. From the programming I've seen, it's as much about the HD-ness of the look as anything else. The resolution on the HVX just isn't the same as a 2/3" HD camera with real glass.

How do they know what the original format is?


I imagine when they throw it on a high-end HD production monitor, and after watching 1000's of hours worth of programming, it'll be pretty obvious.

You could try sneaking it by them, though I'm not a fan of that approach, or rework your workflow to use a camera that's in spec. At least you know up front - the worse would be to shoot with the HVX and have the program rejected.

I'd be interested to find out what their decision is on the EX-1.
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#4 Walter Graff

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 06:56 PM

They require HDCAM delivery and have all sorts of silly percentage requests for aquisition. It is not based on anything but politics. I and others have given many of these cable outlets stuff shot 100% on cameras and formats they said no to, and at the end of the day none of them knew. But if your producer has made it clear you are using prosumer equipment to Discovery, then you will be scrutinized so you will have to aquire on 1080i like they like. Next time, just keep quite and no one will ever know the difference. Of course they wold if you did not know how to shoot well with a particular camera or format so I don't just want to make it sound like the cameras are all the same. I just got a call from a NY DP who shot an entire program on Varicam for a major cable outlet but is now being told that it can not be accepted because of that . Absolute poppy cock!!!
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#5 Tom Lowe

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 11:23 AM

The HVX barely holds up at its supposed resolutions, so no, I don't think it upsamples well at all. I used to own one.

Why not use that new 1/2" Sony EX-1 camera that shoots native 1920x1080. Then you could use your HVX only for overcranked shots, if you need them?

Edited by Tom Lowe, 16 March 2008 - 11:24 AM.

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#6 catherine lutes

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 02:28 PM

As I kind of knew when i asked there is no easy solution to this problem. If they want to match those specs they are going to have to do some reworking to their budget to pay for a better camera package I guess.

anyone have any thoughts on the hpx500? if we keep the hvx200 as b cam, how well do you think these 2 would cut together?

thanks for the advice on the sony ex-1. I will do some more looking into it.
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#7 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 02:52 PM

As I kind of knew when i asked there is no easy solution to this problem. If they want to match those specs they are going to have to do some reworking to their budget to pay for a better camera package I guess.

anyone have any thoughts on the hpx500? if we keep the hvx200 as b cam, how well do you think these 2 would cut together?

thanks for the advice on the sony ex-1. I will do some more looking into it.


Hey,
I just AC'ed a feature pickup day where they were using the HPX500p. They had origionally shot the feature on an hvx200 with a redrock adapter. The director and the DP were very aware of the image quality and did a lot of testing before comitting to that setup. I enjoyed working with the HPX500. We had a 16gb and 3- 8gb cards. You can shoot quite a lot of footage on there, especially if you have someone downloading footage for you.

The only thing I absolutely hated was the Stock Canon HD lens. It breathed horribly. I would rent a better lens for sure. Do your research. Camera is a bit heavy, but not too bad.

Jamie
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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 03:39 PM

I gather the UK's Channel 4 HD specs are even tougher, they insist on only 1080p.

BTW They're currently still transmitting only on SD.
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#9 Phil Connolly

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 03:41 PM

I gather the UK's Channel 4 HD specs are even tougher, they insist on only 1080p.

BTW They're currently still transmitting only on SD.


Channel 4 are transmitting in HD on the Sky platform, its a simulcast of their SD service so a lot of it is up-converted SD.

But they are pretty stringent on the HD deliverables, 1080/50i or 1080/25psf are the required delivery formats. I think with careful shooting and post production they would accept EX1 footage, but maybe not HVX-200.

But the thing to remeber with broadcaster spec sheets is that they are for commissions, it doesn't apply to purchased material. Ideally they would like everything to conform to the spec, but if a production doesn't comply they still may show it. C4 have broadcast plenty of horrible looking doco's shot on nasty formats - but these are usually acquisitions and as such the broadcaster has no say over the shooting format. But the like the film eg 'super size me' but 'super size me' NTSC DV 60i converted to 24p then converted to PAL - looked horrible, failed its QC, but still got broadcast by C4

But if your doc is commissioned, I would abide by the spec sheet as its part of your contract to do so, if you don't they can justifiably withhold payment. That said on a commission you should be getting sufficient money to make the production on the format the broadcaster requires.
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