View Full Version : HDV. Not now, not ever.

01-14-2006, 06:41 PM
TV Technology this month had a good article on Panasonic's HVX-200. Panasonic's Chief Technology officer said they felt HDV was not a viable format and decided NOT to support it. Interesting for all those investing in it.

01-14-2006, 09:43 PM
Hmmm... Interesting. I wonder what they have up their sleeves for the next wave of technology? I say next wave(generation), because no one is going to spend thousands for a tv/theater system and just dump it.

01-14-2006, 11:49 PM
Silk, they are talking about passing on supporting the HDV compressed "flavor". Not HD.

01-15-2006, 12:35 AM
Oh, OK thanks for clearing that up. 'Cause I could have sworn they had HD TV's.

01-15-2006, 10:22 AM
Yes, Panny is very heavy into investing in the future of HD. But they're taking it a few steps further.

Instead of cameras that compress data like HDV does (which has about the same bandwith as SD ~ 25 Mbps I think), they are offering full, uncompressed HD at 100 Mbps.

Their new HVX-200 records directly to a P2 card, no more tape. Plus, it records full 100Mb HD, 50 Mbps (DVCPro-50) and normal DV. Brilliant camera. Can't wait for mine.

Their view is that HDV is a consumer format to that you record birthday parties on, then watch without edits on your HD set. However, it is so compressed, that you lose color depth and other information. It's not a professional format for editing, FX, etc, then rebroadcast.

I agree and support the direction they are going. I think SD is pretty much dead and HD is the only way to go at this point forward. Of course, SD will be broadcast for several more years, but if you're going to invest in cameras and editing equipment at this point, it better be HD due to the direction we're headed. Of course, that's just my opinion.


01-15-2006, 11:06 AM
It's not a professional format for editing, FX, etc, then rebroadcast.

That's odd, because a number of people have said they've been shooting HDV footage which has ended up in fairly high-end HD documentaries. One even said their producer dumped a $100k HDCAM for a Sony Z1 because the difference in quality of the finished footage simply didn't justify the cost.

For decently-budgeted drama, yes, you wouldn't really want to shoot on HDV. But in general it's plenty good enough for documentary use and low-end drama, and a huge step up over DV.

Meanwhile, the HVX tests I've seen on the web claim that the HVX200 has lower resolution than the Z1 (which itself has lower resolution that Canon's HDV camera), and produces a noisy picture.

The only downside I've found with editing HDV is that the compression tends to flatten out large areas of solid colors (e.g. flat-painted walls), and that can cause artifacts after color correction. Other than that, it's a great product for the price, and vastly more convenient than recording to expensive P2 cards.

01-15-2006, 11:22 AM

Didn't mean to start something heavy here. I was just mentioning what it seems like Panasonic's thoughts were. As I said, they feel HDV isn't a pro format, it's consumer.

That doesn't mean you CAN'T use it for documentaries. Just like standard def DV can be used for film blow ups. It can be done. Just doesn't have the color depth, rez as 35 mm film.

Resolution wasn't what I was comparing, either. The key was bitrate. Once you compress HDV to fit onto a miniDV tape, you've squeezed the info into one quarter of the size. It's like a 7 megapixel still camera JPG versus a 6 megapixel tiff file. The tiff will have more data than the jpg due to compression. Both are still great pictures.

Plus, the 4:2:0 color depth of HDV hinders pulling keys for chroma work, which is my personal main interest. Using LW for set extensions on greenscreen plates, you should get better keys from DVCPRO HD, which is 4:2:2. You even mention this in your statement.

Plus, as you even said:
For decently-budgeted drama, yes, you wouldn't really want to shoot on HDV. But in general it's plenty good enough for documentary use and low-end drama, and a huge step up over DV.

I agree, it's a HUGE step over DV. I was just saying Panny isn't supporting it because they are not focusing on the consumer market. At least that's my impression. And, yes, P2 is expensive, but there are alternatives, like the Firestore drive and a few others like that. But like every media, price will drop in time. And that's what Panny is looking at: long term.

I think we both agree, just saying it differently!

Great to hear your thoughts on it Mark!

Warm regards,

01-15-2006, 11:38 AM
"Dumped a $100,000 HD cam for a Z1 because not enough difference"?
I love when trade rags throw statements from interviews like this.
I'm sure it's happened, but there has to be more to it i.e. did he overbuy on the first camera? Do his jobs not support the purchase and he's making an excuse? Did he realize he needed smaller? Was low light more important then quality? There's more to it then that.

The other thing we gotta understand is "Stats" just like politics, are easy to miss-use terms like "Digital, Resolution, 2/3 inch ccd's, HD, Professional, broadcast quality", etc.
Unless you understand those terms, you will believe the HYPE. All companies are now throwing those terms around like candy.

As I've stated here before, do your homework. Don't believe the hype or even what others here say. As you make decisions, you better understand why.
Lord knows the more I investigate the future, the more undecided I get! :p