Local community acess channels be affected by the HD switch?

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    • #43453
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Currently I help teach at a high school television productions class and we are considering moving slowly to HD simply for quality reasons concerning chroma keying and our main by weekly broadcasts. So my question is will our broadcasts be forced into HD when it comes time for the big switch?

    • #182395
      Avatarvideolab
      Participant

      First to answer your main question Community access channels will not be affected by the digital switch. The reason is that this switch is being mandated by the FCC and the FCC does not regulate cable broadcasts and would not be affected by the switch. The reason that the switch is taking place at all is to sell off the bandwith that current non digital signals are using to the cell phone companies (among others). So this would not affect cable at all since they do not broadcast over the air. Also a couple of side notes. This "switch" is not to HD as is commonly mis stated. It is a switch to digital. Which in some cases will be to a HD signal. In other cases like the stations I work for we are going to a SD digital signal for the time being. (HD is and has been for a while broadcasted over cable) Many stations not in top 20 markets are not going to HD for a while. (that being said many will or already have in smaller markets it really matters what the companies upgrade cycle is we still have fairly new SD equipment so ditching that for new expensive HD gear is not cost effective at the moment) Also about HD making your chroma keys better you may find that it may even make them worse unless you get high end equipment. The problem with keying DV footage (which is what I assume your using) is not the ammount of pixels but the color depth. Which in DV’s case is 4:1:1. If you are looking at going to HDV I have bad news because the color depth is not any better with that format. The images look great but the fact is that it has a 4:2:0 color sampling rate which is not very good for chroma keys. Don’t get me wrong though HDV does look great but I wonder about its ability to key well. (I should have prefaced this by stating that I have not myself keyed HDV footage but from what I know about compositing low color depth and high resolution means a great ability to see any imperfections and low color depth will make imperfections a great possiblility I would immagine) Moral of the story throwing a bunch of pixels at a key problem will not fix it. It will only make it more apperant. If your having keying issues I would ensure that your lighting set up is as even as can be. This will do better than a camera upgrade.

    • #182396
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hey Thanks for the info about the "switch". I had forgotten about the cable vs over the air as well so thanks for the re-update. Yes we are using DV camcorders currently but we also have DVC PRO cameras and a entire setup. Our keying problems are currently studio related but thats becuasee of temporary lighting situations as we do not have our proper lighting kits in yet from B&H. But my hope was to purchase the Panasonic HVX200 along with our Mac Pros with finial cut studio+Serious Magic to make it a more Chroma keying friendly setup. So would say a standard folding chroma backdrop and a HVX200 do the trick at say a autoshow without a light kit? Or is the extra money just not worth it?

    • #182397
      Avatarvideolab
      Participant

      I would suggest getting After Effects instead of Serious Magic it has much more uses besides keying and it is not much more expensive. AE is the industry standard for motion graphics and compositing in the television industry and is a great thing for students to learn.

    • #182398
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      We have both After effects and serious magic. The reason we have serious magic is to have virtual studios and such.

    • #182399
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      If you’re getting an HVX200, that camcorder can record to the P2 card with a 4:2:2 color depth, which should help your chroma-keying. Ive recently seen a review of Serious Magic Ultra keying software, which states that its keying is cleaner than that provided by the built-in chroma-keying of most editing packages. Their website talks about using a "vector" method of keying, which they claim makes a better key.

      Good luck πŸ™‚ ,
      Ken Hull

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