16:9 - How will this affect existing video cameras

Birdman wrote on 10/8/2004, 12:18 PM
With the "mandatory" move to HDTV as of 2006, how is this going to affect users of 4:3 camera owners? Obviously, there are still going to be a lot of TV's that utilize the 4:3 ratio for many years to come...Or do I have this all wrong....Is HDTV a delivery method as opposed to an the aspect ratio. (By the way, my Pana AG-DVC200 doesn't shoot in 16:9 or 24p)

Thanks for any input - David Bird


rs170a wrote on 10/8/2004, 5:59 PM
,,,"mandatory" move to HDTV

The move is to DTV (Digital TV), not HDTV (Hi Def TV). There's a worl d of difference here. All that the move to DTV means that the signal will be broadcast in digital form as opposed to analog. The image size remains at the standard 720 x 480.
As far as HDTV is concerned, at last count (in NTSC land at least) there were 18 different variations!! Individual broadcasters "seem" to have standardized on a format - but they're all different!! Some are going 720i or 720p and some are going 1080 i or1080p. The poor consumer is stuck with having to pay the extra costs for a decoder that can up/down res the signal for viewing on an HDTV set.
For more info, check out the FCC's DTV site or the Digital Television site.

farss wrote on 10/9/2004, 1:02 AM
I cannot really comment on otherc countries but in this sunburnt land if it ain't 16:9 you cannot sell it. Although DVB is only a delivery mechanism most of what goes out on it here is 16:9, whether it is SD or HD. SD 16:9 TVs are now very cheap and the consummers are lapping them up, 4:3s are even cheaper but there's been a flood of very cheap 16:9 sets. We've bought one and feed it from a SD DVB receiver via RGB and it looks great. The whole setup cost less than the 4:3 TV it replaced.

rs170a wrote on 10/9/2004, 5:32 AM
..in this sunburnt land...

Australia, right? The problem in the USA and, to a lesser extent, in Canada (my home) is that the FCC is so slow it's not even funny. Canada, because of the US influence, is taking a wait and see attitude as to what the FCC will eventually do. The major broadcasters, as I said, are pushing ahead with whatever they think is the "best" format.
Most of the rest of the world long ago switched - either to HDTV (Japan) or, as you said, to 16:9 (England, Australia, etc.).
The truly sad part of all of this is that, at least 10 (if not more) years ago, the broadcasting industry, together with SMPTE, was ready to set an international HDTV standard and, at the last moment, one country said "Umm, hang on just a minute". The consequence was going back to square one and all the various standards that now exist. Don't you just love bureaucrats? :-(

farss wrote on 10/9/2004, 7:45 AM
You're right, I cannot for the life of me understand why even with HD we are still stuck with two different base frame rates. I guess the camera manufacturers love it (or do they?).
rs170a wrote on 10/9/2004, 9:51 AM
I guess the camera manufacturers love it (or do they?).

I personally don't think they do because of the extra R & D costs involved. They've got enough to worry about with who's going to win the BetaCam replacement wars. Sony & Panasonic both have their solutions but the differences in recording formats are driving the end user crazy. Add HDV to the mix and it's no wonder a new "standard" has yet to be adopted.

Birdman wrote on 10/9/2004, 10:18 AM
Okay, so the way I understand it, the FCC regs stipulate HTV? As respects the ratios, they are not NOT stipulated BUT a flood of 16:9 TV's are hitting the marketplace, prices are going down pretty rapidly, the consumers are apparently going to embrace this format sooner rather than later (aren't credit cards wonderful) This means that the TV stations and cable companies will HAVE to deliver 16:9.

If I get all this, in the very near future if I wish to do a commercial for my local auto dealer, I will have to deliver HTV to the respective TV station or cable company (cable insert ads) AND probably in both 16:9 and 4:3 formats?

I supose this means that my standard issue Pana will be substituted for the boat anchor I currently use (my old 486 Pentium)

Say it ain't so, Joe....

David Bird
Barry_Green wrote on 10/9/2004, 10:26 AM
<<You're right, I cannot for the life of me understand why even with HD we are still stuck with two different base frame rates. >>

By "two different base frame rates" I assume you mean 50i and 60i, right?

The reason is pretty simple: we have about 50 years of archived material that someone may want to display. Old NTSC material will easily up-res to 1080/60i a lot better than it would to 1080/50i. Old PAL material will easily up-res to 50i a lot better than it would to 1080/60i.

If by "two different frame rates" you meant 720 vs. 1080, well, that was a compromise reached between the progressive-scan and the interlaced camps. Computer manufacturers wanted progressive scan, and some of the networks agreed (they see a lot of convergence between computers and television and digital broadcasting). But other broadcasters insisted that interlace was the way to go. So the final ATSC standards include 1080 at 60i and 50i and 24P, and 720 at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p.
Barry_Green wrote on 10/9/2004, 10:30 AM
<<Okay, so the way I understand it, the FCC regs stipulate HTV? >>

The FCC does not specify HDTV. They specify DTV. Digital broadcasting. Not high-def.

Companies are free to broadcast high-def if they want, and all high-def broadcasts are being done digitally, but digital broadcasting does not mean it HAS to be high def. The ATSC specifies 18 formats of digital broadcasting, and I think only six of them are "high def".

All high-def is 16:9, but not all digital broadcasting formats are.

As far as local car commercials, there's no telling what you may have to do in the near future. The 2006 deadline will almost certainly slip, and as far as 16:9 and 4:3, I think that's why Britain went to 14:9, a compromise between the two ratios that will display somewhat acceptably on both sets.
Birdman wrote on 10/9/2004, 10:43 AM
It appears to me that different TV stations and cable companies are going to select their own standards....so....my best bet is to confirm with the stations and cable companies that I most frequently utilize what their respective requirements are/will be....

This sounds like more capital investment and new learning curves...

Anybody wanna buy a nice Panasonic cam?

Regards - David Bird