[Tig] HDCAM 23.98p vs 29.97p & down converting...

Greg Dildine greg.dildine
Tue Jan 8 23:48:05 GMT 2002

For material that's primarily destined to be down-converted to NTSC/standard def-land (601 / 480iSD), which HDCAM capture rate are people seeing more of: 23.98p or 29.97p??

As our friends "across the pond" often point out, adding 3:2 to 24 material does not "improve" the imagery aesthetically speaking.  It would seem to me that capturing at 29.97p provides a progressive recording with a temporal resolution identical to shooting film at 30 or 29.97.  And, since a 29.97p capture rate can be more easily down-converted to 601/NTSC both on set and later (and needs no 3:2 to be added), that this choice might be "better" than 23.98p or 24p for HDCAM acquisition when the material is indeed primarily destined for standard def-land.

-Can anyone CONFIRM that 29.97psf (30P if you will) HDCAM when fed by one of Sony's studio decks into a daVinci 2K, that the 2K's downconverter will yield good 601 (or as Sony calls it "480i SD)?  

-Does anyone have any experience and comments on tape-to-tape color correction of 23.98p HDCAM material... where in order to yield a 601 down-convert via daVinci's 2K built-in down-converter, it would need to be first "converted" by adding 3:2 and making the "video" 1080i59.94 by Sony's F500 (with the appropriate boards) BEFORE it hits and passes through daVinci's 2K so their down-converter can provide the SD?  Has anyone actually sent HDW-F500 "converted" 23.97psf HDCAM original material through daVinci's 2K via this method (at 1080i59.94) so the 2K's down-converter can yield good/useable 601/480i?

-Does anyone have any comments on down-converting HDCAM in general?  Any boxes better than others?  Is Sony's built-in down conversion OK?  Sony mentions on their Cinealta website that the down-converters built into their HDW-M2000 & HDW-M2100 decks are "studio-quality."  This statement compares to their statement that their built-in down-converter on their portable HDW-250 is only "suitable for monitor quality."  Is there down-conversion quality that's "better" than Sony's "studio-quality?"  Or, does Sony mean "studio quality" is as "high-end" as down-conversion gets and needs to be?

Thanks for any info and comments,

Greg Dildine
Senior Colorist
Finish - Boston
greg.dildine at finishedit.com

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