View Full Version : Broad HDV question

08-05-2005, 09:14 AM
Hope people don't mind my rather general question on the whole subject of HDV.

From what I've read so far, the issues with investing in HDV are....

You can get an HD camera (all of which have their pros and cons it seems) but to actually produce HD content (meaning the final product your eager audience will be watching), you need to invest in all types of equipment to handle your HD footage from your HD camera.

For example, if I got an HD camera - Sony, JVC, whatever - and I use my regular firewire connection to put it on my pc, as soon as it gets to my pc, it's now SD right? If I can't use Firewire, then I need some minidv tape deck to put the footage on my pc, right? And I need an HD monitor to really be able to do the editing?

On the other hand, I could get an HD camera, live with the fact that for now, my final, edited stuff will be SD (maybe very good SD) until I slowly build my HD compliant system.

You can probably guess I'm pretty confused by the whole HD world! and I haven't mastered the SD world!

08-05-2005, 09:32 AM
I should add that if anyone has any good resources to recommend - books, websites, etc that would be great, and probably easier than typing out a long reply.

08-05-2005, 09:55 AM
All HDV you ingest to your computer via firewire remains HDV until you covert it. I mean, capturing HDV with FCP, Avid or Premiere Pro (Cineform) will produce a HD image. It is my understanding that the z1 can downconvert HDV to DV via firewire (correct me if I'm wrong) but it is an option, not a must. There is even some capture utility that directly produces a m2t HDV stream, without intermediates.

So, your HD remains HD.

The problem is what to do once capture, since there are so few HD delivery ways. I use HDV primary for shorts and feature length, both fiction and documentary. Once I've captured and edited it, I produce a SD DVD within my PC. I can also export a uncompressed downconverted version (I take this to digibeta out), or an uncompressed HD out, as files, for film out. The HDV never goes back to HDV in my workflow, and all passes are uncompresses, except capture.

The best resource you can get is a book by VASST, HDV: What you need to Know. Also JVC and sony whitepapers are quite useful

Good Luck.

Mr Floppy

08-05-2005, 11:16 AM
dstevens , I think you got a little confused by the capture of HDV.

As Mr_Floppy says, you can keep HDV as HD when capturing through firewire, HOWEVER, you will need a computer capable of handling HDV. Although the bitrate is the same or less than mini-DV, it requires a far more powerful computer and pretty up to date NLE. I would recommend FCP 5 (Although I am still on FCP4) because it has native support for HDV; that means it doesn't need to be recompressed on capture. ProHD still appears to have issues in FCP5, but it is very early days and they should be fixed soon.

08-05-2005, 12:37 PM
A good resource on the camera itself is the "HandsOn HDV" DVD guide (see link below). This does not get into the specifics on the actual editing of the footage but more about the camera itself.

For some good info on HDV (and links to more info) try


08-05-2005, 01:19 PM
Thanks, I did a little more research after posting which cleared up some of my misconceptions.

I currently Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 and I read some of the ads for AspectHD... sounds wonderful, has anyone tried it?

08-05-2005, 01:36 PM

I use Edition and Premiere. Edition's way of handling HDV is native which means no intermediate codec (cineform). This means alot to the 4:2:0 colorspace which doesn't have alot of lattitude for compress and recompress. The other software than handles HDV natively is FCP.

The other poster is right, you need a horse of a PC (dual Xeon) and at least a G5 Mac to edit HDV with multiple streams in real time. If you choose not to edit in real time then the render brings all of your color corrections, FX and transitions down to a single stream anyway.