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View Full Version : How good is A1's HDV for online video?



GL2guy
10-31-2006, 02:38 PM
I am very interested in purchasing the Canon XH A1 camcorder and had one simple question as I am new to the HDV camcorder scene.

99.99% of all the video's I produce are for the web (rarely ever are seen on actual tv sets)... and thus I am looking for crisp sharp videos that can fill up the entire computer monitor.

Can anyone who has experience with editting HDV content for computer-viewing tell me how HDV picture quality compares to the movie trailer HD movies you would find at, say for instance, www.apple.com ?

Uncompressed HD is out of the question, for various reasons, and if HDV can give me this clarity, then the A1 is an 'all go' for me.

Anyone know if I can get super clear/crisp full-screen size video for the internet out of HDV? Thanks for your opinions and advice.

magichristopher
10-31-2006, 06:35 PM
You can certainly get good enough video for web streaming from HDV, quality depends on how it is shot, the content captured, and how well you compress it for delivery.

Obviously HDV isn't a streaming format but H.264 will certainly suffice for your needs, but I can't imagine it will be leaps and bound better than your GL2 once it is downrezzed and compressed, unless you require 24f or XLR inputs.

I would honestly suggest staying with the GL2 if the web is your delivery medium, the XHA1 wont really have any advantages that I can really think that will make the audience appreciate it more once it is delivered.

DavidBeier
10-31-2006, 09:22 PM
Someone asked a similar question when wondering what to shoot for YouTube. For web compressed stuff, unless you actually have the space to let people download in HD resolutions, it's really not worth getting an HD camera.

henry cho
10-31-2006, 10:23 PM
i'm currently working on a website for an unnamed car company where hours of custom videos are being shot in hd, and will stream via flash at 16:9, with a default resolution much higher than that of sd video. i would tend to agree that if shooting for standard web window sizes of 320x240, etc, there is no need for an hd cam. but i would add the web video landscape seems to be changing very quickly.

GL2guy
11-01-2006, 06:32 AM
You guys can't possibly say that SD online video is even close to HD online video??? Unless you are talking about thumbnail size video clips, there is a HUGE difference between video shot in HD and those shot in SD. Since computer monitors are much larger than SD's max res of 720x480... you are looking at major pixelation and fuzziness if you ever want to make a video "full-screen" like so many people do in WMP for instance.

And to be frank... video served online at 720x480 still looks like crap when shot with an SD camera. The only time video will look good at 720x480 with a SD camera is if you are zoomed in close on something like filling the frame with a face or something.

I have dedicated servers for these videos... so I am not simply posting webcam vids to youtube. This is business.


I would honestly suggest staying with the GL2 if the web is your delivery medium, the XHA1 wont really have any advantages that I can really think that will make the audience appreciate it more once it is delivered.

What about the incredible increase in sharpness and clarity? As mentioned above... computer screen resolutions have more pixels than HD televisions are is far less forgiving than tv with low res footage. So if you want to have online videos of anything bigger than thumbnail size... and have them look professionally crisp and sharp... HD is the only way to go. No matter how you cut it... SD stinks for online videos of larger screen sizes.

magichristopher
11-01-2006, 07:17 AM
I agree,

HD has more rez than SD. What type of videos do you do, that makes web delivery the only medium? It seems rare, especially rare that the resolution quality supersedes the actual content being delivered.

I have done many videos online for business training, and the resolution was far from what I desired, but the clients have all been stoked, as the content was what they were after.

I agree that in a perfect world I would have loved to do those same projects in HD and deliver them, but server speeds can't yet handle them demands of HD for highly
accessed content, from various people with different connection speeds.

You mentioned that SD looks like crap, yet that has been the standard for many years. Could it be that you are having problem with compresssing your content too much.

If it truly is bussiness, and the client desires HD, then by all means, by an HD camcorder. It will definately pay for it self quickly if your clients desire it.

meta4
11-01-2006, 07:23 AM
It's a good point to consider and try to solve.


Are your videos comingo out crappy due to SD camcorder or because of online compression???
If it's the latter, then no HD camcorder will improve that. I would first look into more advanced compression techniques for online video. How are you currently compressing? Have you looked into CleanerXL?

When distributing video on the net, there are way more factors than just the camcorder. Most other factors are far cheaper too.

GL2guy
11-01-2006, 08:26 AM
Hey guys... yea compression of SD video certainly doesn't help either... but even if it was a perfect world and my SD footage didn't need compressed at all... SD still looks bad because it just can't pack in enough pixels to make a crisp and clear video on a computer screen. My SD content looks great on a 60" plasma, but computer screens are a whole nother story unfortunately... for all the above mentioned reasons.

My compression workflow consists of Sorenson Squeeze 4.3. And because I am a bit of a stickler for image quality, I always use the Sorenson Pro Codec with 2 pass.

But since I haven't had any experience with HDV... I wasn't sure how "impressive" HDV footage would be (on a computer screen)... as opposed to the SD footage I am used to (shot with my GL2).

I have seen numerous samples of HD videos online... but they never say if they were originally shot in UNcompressed HD or whether it was shot in HDV, DVCPRO25 or 50, etc etc.

So does anyone know where I can find some quality HDV video samples so I can get an idea of what HDV looks like as oppossed to raw HD? Thanks

Elton
11-02-2006, 12:00 AM
So does anyone know where I can find some quality HDV video samples so I can get an idea of what HDV looks like as oppossed to raw HD? Thanks

dvinfo.net (XL-H1 sample clips) and xlcinema.com

Peter Reynolds
11-02-2006, 09:59 PM
Hi there.

I'm sort of in the same boat as GL2guy. I've been shooting with a Canon XL1 for years. The majority of it gets compressed as Real Media files for streaming on the web. Size: 480x360.

Now I'm assuming that HDV compressed will look better than SD compressed. However, does anyone know the difference in file size?

For example, a 5-minute SD clip, encoded in Real Media, 480x360 at 256 Kpbs is around 10 MB.

How large would an HDV file be, encoded using the same specs?

Thanks.

GL2guy
11-02-2006, 10:18 PM
Me Myself... I have been doing some research on stuff like that... and eventhough I don't have any hard numbers... all I can say is that it is remarkably similar as far as encoding sizes. I just watched a 800px wide 20 minute video that looked absolutely drop-dead stunning HD and it was encoded in H.264 at 130mb! 20 mins!!! I couldn't believe it... I thought that was impressive.

Elton
11-03-2006, 12:41 AM
Now I'm assuming that HDV compressed will look better than SD compressed. However, does anyone know the difference in file size?

For example, a 5-minute SD clip, encoded in Real Media, 480x360 at 256 Kpbs is around 10 MB.

How large would an HDV file be, encoded using the same specs?

Using the same Real Media specs its should be the same file size, but might look slightly better.

Peter Reynolds
11-03-2006, 07:46 AM
Thanks for the input guys. If anyone else has any hard figures on file size that would be great.

I have to assume that the quality would be more than just "slightly better" as Elton said. This is HDV after all and compression is just garbage in garbage out. That is, the better original you start with the better the results.

What do people use for encoding HDV files to Real Media/Windows Media/MP4 etc? Right now I'm using Real Producer Plus, and the plug-in that goes with Premier Pro - however that's for SD files.

Sorry if this question is in the wrong thread. But I figure if I'm going to invest in the A1, I'll have to calculate the other purchases I'll have to make.

Thanks again