Is there any current DV system that handles both ntsc,pal and HDtv format editing? : LUSENET : Editing DV Films : One Thread

HI I am going to be editing 4 hours of video shot in india on digital beta SP...the end product has to be exportable to ntsc and pal....I want to use Speed Razor 4.5 and the DSLE card set....anyone with any experience with this before I authorize the expenditure?...Thank you for your help.

-- Mark McCrickard (, November 03, 1998


I have a Digisuite LE system with SR 4.5 and love it. If you're interested in system specs, I'm running it on a... Dual Pentium II 400mhz cpus Intel motherboard Adaptec 2940 (I think that's the correct #) U2W SCSI card 9 gig Seagate Barracuda system drive 18 gig 'cuda audio and animation drive 54 gigs of video space (6 9-gig 'cudas arranged in two drive stripes) CD read/write drive (external scsi) Sony DRV 1000 mini dv/dvcam drive Sony UVW 1800 Beta SP deck JVC SVHS vcr (for dubs down to s/vhs)

All in all, a great system. Remember, if you want to get the full benefit of the LE, don't skimp on the drives and scsi control card. Drive stripes of three, with the Seagate Barracuda LVE drives, and a good SCSI card lets me pull off 15mb a sec transfer rates, ending up with a virtually lossless image (1.5 or less:1).

When you consider plug-ins, I strongly suggest you consider Film FX2-- not just for film look, but for great color tinkering and ntsc color checking. You should also check out the SR mailing list hosted by

As for NTSC & PAL, I know they have SR versions for both, but I don't know about how to handle both (aside from conversion options outside of the core NLE system). I'm sure the folks at in-sync could clear up the options.

Good luck, -- John

-- John Windmueller (, November 16, 1998.

The easiest way to do what you want to do is to buy a $600 NTSC/PAL VCR. It will allow you to record from any one to any other. I recently asked a sales person at B&H (800-947-9929) this question. He claimed not to know of any NLE system that would do such a thing. He suggested several VCR's that would accomplish such a feat. On the second note, I was on the phone with Sony Technical today for a long time and also the inept Sony sales team for the east coast in Tneck NJ. When asked, the Tneck people transferred me 6 times; ultimately to an indecypherable foreign-speaking repair guy in the basement who then transfered me back to the initial IS. (Ignorant[of virtually any and all factual or helpful information]Secretary) But the very helpful person from Sony Product Operation Support Center(800-883-6817)informed me that befor compression, HD signals (bit rates) typically take up 1.5gig per second uncompressed. Now the compression used is MPEG2, so I believe it can be compressed up to 20 to 1. That is unconfirmed, however I believe I've read that somewhere. Anyway, even at 20-1, that would be 50mb per second. Lord have mercy. Mercy, mercy, mercy. DV is 3.2 meg per second. The camera I am interested in is the HDW-700 costing $73,000. Chump change when compared with the cost of film. And when transfered from HD 16:9 to 35mm film the result is better than if it were origanally shot with film. I had to go before I got an answer on their editing solution, but they're sending me all the info. (I'm getting married tomorrow) I'm sure that they will recommend a linear solution at this point, but I have been assured that by the end of this year the HDW-700 will have the 24P feature which is what we all dream of in our deepest, most liquid fantasies. (24 frame per second progressive scan) When that happens the file sizes will be managable and NLE may be an affordable solution. When I recieve more information I'll post it. Till then happy trials. Brian Meade

-- Brian Meade (, June 05, 1999.

I presume we'll eventually see a multiformat system (in fact I suspect Apple's Final Cut is most of the way there already), but a quick comment on HDTV vs current DV data requirements:

As I understand it, standard resolution NTSC digital video is 720 x 480 pixels per frame. Amazingly enough, this is true of everything from Digital8 all the way up to D1. The different formats differ only in how much they compress. D1 doesn't compress at all. All forms of DV compress by throwing away some of the color resolution (4:1:1 for everything but Panasonic's costly DVCPRO-50) and then by applying a digital compression algorithm to squeeze each resulting frame by a factor of 5 to 1.

To the best of my knowledge, HDTV simply doubles the horizontal and vertical resolution to 1440 by 960. It's basically four standard resolution images stuck together into a 2x2 grid. (The 16:9 aspect ratio is achieved by using short, fat pixels rather than the tall, thin pixels of conventional 4:3 television. If they used square pixels they'd get 3:2.) This is the main reason a broadcaster can send four standard programs or one HDTV program in the same channel.

By using bigger CCDs and four DV codecs working in parallel, it should be possible to put an HDTV image on a standard DV tape running four times as fast as normal. Hence I suspect it won't be long before we see HDTV camcorders. (I also expect they will ludicrously overpriced at first...)

I also expect us to see standard-to-HDTV digital "filter" software that interpolates pixels to give the illusion of higher resolution, so that what you shoot today will still look cool on HDTV.

About MPEG-2 vs DV compression: MPEG-2 is best thought of as a delivery format. It achieves much higher compression ratios than DV because it doesn't just compress each frame separately as DV does, it compresses groups of frames. (That's how you can get a whole movie on one side of a DVD.) But the editable version of MPEG-2 doesn't get any better compression than DV. If you shoot DV there is no point in recompressing to another format for editing unless you absolutely have to.

-- D Gary Grady (, July 04, 1999.

Just like to register an opposing opinion to Brian's assertation that HD transferred to 35mm is better than if shot originally in film. It's not even close. I'm a professional out here in that godforsaken wasteland of LA. I work in network TV as a writer/director/creator and have made a film as well; I know what I'm talking about. There isn't a Director of Photography alive who will support Brian's statement. Not one. HD, when lit properly, transfers well to film and in interior situations looks pretty damned good -- but not nearly as good as film. Exteriors tend to be flat and disappointing. Progressive scan will certainly help the situation, and, as the release mediums go digital, more will certainly be shot on HD. But given the budget, film is the choice, particularly if film is the release medium.

But what about Blair Witch and The Celebration type films? Sure. Content over form. It all depends upon what you want your movie to look like. Better to do it on DV than not do it at all. I'm just saying that film is still the richest and most detailed medium.

A simple rule is this: if you're doing a credit card production, shoot video, post video, then screen your film for distributors. If the content's good enough and they're dying for it, let them pick up the tab for 35mm transfer and the new mix. BUT - if you absolutely know that your project is going to wind up on film, shoot on film. The costs will be roughly equal to the cost of shooting video and then transferring it to film -- and the quality will be far superior.

In television, we've been pricing out the cost of film vs tape for years... it just doesn't add up (although it's getting close).

-- Jim Parriott (, October 23, 1999.

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