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Father to be - how will the DV look in HDTV?

by chuchucuhi / August 28, 2006 5:47 AM PDT

I'm a father to be in a couple of months and my wife and I are trying to decide if we should switch from our current DV camcorder to one of the HDV camcorders to record these future memories. I do not currently own an HDTV so I cannot test out what it would look like but for any who may is there a big difference in the upconversion of DV content to HDTV? Does it look horrible? Anyone know of a website that may have visual comparisons? Thank you in advance.

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by drhiberd / August 28, 2006 6:45 AM PDT

I'm very happy with the way my standard defintion footage looks on my HDTV.

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I've seen HDTV, and been to a few seminars. It is well
by Kiddpeat / August 28, 2006 1:21 PM PDT

worth the investment although I cannot vouch for the cameras at the consumer level. You will have to check reviews for that. One caution: there's a lot of misleading hype around hi-def. Don't buy anything that doesn't support 1080i and/or 1080p. 1080 is the magic number. Anything less than that is not full hi-def.

Camera wise. The good ones are Sony and Canon. Specifically, the high end cameras that are up in the $3,000 plus range. Anything less than that should be carefully reviewed.

That's not to say that you will be making hi-def DVDs. That takes a lot of computer right now plus fairly high priced software. We may even have to wait for the new generation of DVDs for satisfying hi-def. What you will be doing is capturing the hi-def footage so that it can be used down the road. In the meantime, the camera's output can be downsampled to an SD video which can be worked with on a reasonably low cost basis. Hi-def is worth it, and now is the time to start capturing it.

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dv on hdtv
by OneIJack / August 31, 2006 1:45 AM PDT

Basically, the best way to describe it is looking at regular cable tv channels through an hdtv set. DV (as is most regular cable channels) is at best 480p, HDTV is either 720p, 1080i or 1080p with 1080p being the true HiDef (although, the difference between 1080i and 1080p to the human eye is very little). So, playing a dv signal on hdtv, the signal will be "scaled" up to fit the hdtv. The outcome depends mainly on the HDTV's scaling capabilities. Some of the cheaper bargain brand HDTV's have really poor scaling capabilities and the outcome will look like absolute crap and some HDTV have great scaling capabilities and you'll have a decent to good end result.

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Congratulations on your new expected arrival...
by boya84 / August 31, 2006 2:35 AM PDT

I have a Sony HDR-HC1. It is about a year old and has been replaced by the HDR-HC3. Both cameras can do either HD (1080i) or Standard Definition.

When you record in HD and playback through the camera on a Standard Def TV or monitor, the video signal will be down-sampled. Since the video information came from HD, its playback appearance is quite good.

When you record in HD and playback through the camera on a HD TV or monitor using the component cables (HC3) or HDMI connection (HC3), its playback appearance is AWESOME.

When you record in standard def, the playback on a standard def or HD TV or monitor is as good as the source.

There have been comments that both these cameras "don't do well in low light". I have taped rock and jazz bands in dark bars... it does just fine for my needs - basically providing live footage for the bands. When the HC1 was new, it was ~US$2,000. I understand the HC3 is around ~US$1,500. If you shop, you can probably find better pricing. I don't know how available the HC1 is - likely discontinued - but it has a few more "pro-level" manual adjustments the HC3 dropped. You may - or may not - care.

Canon only recently came out with their HD consumer camera. You can find the reviews... Beyond these cameras, the next is to jump to the US$3,000 range... and their form factor is a LOT bigger than the two Sonys or the Canon cameras mentioned above. JVC has an HD consumer camera out, but it has not been very well received... but it *was* first... I don't think it is produced anymore, though I could be wrong on this.

Also, it you do a search on the Sony HDR-HC1 and comparisons you will find a couple of forums - several months back there were videos posted. The HC3 *should* be pretty similar.

What will you be using to edit your video - or are you just planning on playback using the camera?

Since you did not tell us what your current DV camera is, it is a bit of a challenge to understand what you might be giving up. You also did not provide us with a budget you might have for this purchase. There are trade-offs and differences each step of the way... a low-end US$300 camera cannot compete with a US$900 3-CCD (which does REALLY well in low-light) vs a US$1,500 HD 1080i camera vs a US$8,000 HD 1080p 3CCD professional grade camera...

I would recommend staying with MiniDV tape format... and in the higher-end consumer/prosumer grade cameras - if you can afford the. They are small, easy to use and provide "adequate" quality. You can do a search to find any opinion you want... this is just my opinion.

Good luck! (My son is 19 and attending college; he's a great person and a great student. My wife and I believe we have done a correct job of raising an independant contributing member of society and we are very proud of his accomplishments).

Welcome to the world of parenthood! There is no "good" or "bad" age... only different phases of physical, emotional and intellectual growth. It is AWESOME and will go faster than you can imagine.

Again, congratulations!


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