Tutorial:

Understanding HD

What can you do with HD today (spring 2007)

What HD video device can you purchase (in an affordable price segment) today:

  • HD screen from any manufacturer, either as a TV or a PC type screen
  • HD player
    • in HD-DVD format (like Toshiba or MS Xbox)
    • in Blu-Ray format (like Sony PS3 or Panasonic)
  • HD camcorder
    • in HDV format (from Sony, JVC, Canon,…)
    • in AVCHD format (from Sony or Panasonic today)

HD burners for PC: even though some are announced or available already, the price for such devices and/or the needed disk-types will remain expensive.

Although HD is a generic term for High Definition, it actually covers a wide range of formats that have been developed by various manufacturers. Not all of these formats are compatible among each others, e.g. you can not playback a HD-DVD disk on a Blu-Ray player and vice versa. Also the camcorder format may not be ideal for the format of the player. Screens are agnostic to the used HD standard (although plasma displays may only play one framerate), however they may show lower quality if the used HD resolution is not ideal for their specifications.

Your Camcorder:

HDV (HD1 or HD2)

AVCHD

Standard

What can you do with the recordings:

Tape based. Uses MPEG 2 encoding

DVD disk, harddisk or solid state disk based. Uses AVCHD (h.264) based encoding

Mini-DV tapes, DVD

Direct playback from camcorder to the HD screen

Yes

  • In HD* with HDMI or component connection)
  • In Standard Definition with composite/S-video (Scart) connection

Yes

  • In HD* with HDMI or component connection)
  • In Standard Definition with composite/S-video (Scart) connection

Yes

  • In Standard Definition with composite/S-video (Scart) connection

Using Pinnacle Studio Plus or Studio Ultimate, version 11

Import native HD video footage into your PC

Yes
From tape to hard disk via a FireWire / DV port

Yes
As a video file via a USB2, DVD player and/or smart card reader

Only Standard definition

Edit and create a HD-DVD format disks

Played back on HD-DVD player devices* or on PC with a HD-DVD software player

Yes*

  • Import, edit & burn native HD-DVD video format, for optimal export speed and highest possible quality.
  • Create HD-DVD discs with menus
  • Burn high-quality HD-DVD on a standard DVD media, using a standard DVD burner.

Yes*

  • Smoothly convert video format from AVCHD to HD-DVD
  • Create HD-DVD discs with menus
  • Burn high-quality HD-DVD on a standard DVD media, using a standard DVD burner.

Only Standard definition

Edit and create a AVCHD format disks

Played back on Blu-Ray player devices* or on PC with a AVCHD software player

Yes**

  • Smoothly convert video format from HDV to AVCHD
  • Burn high-quality AVCHD on a standard DVD media, using a standard DVD burner.

Yes**

  • Import, edit & burn native AVCHD video format, for optimal export speed and highest possible quality.
  • Burn high-quality AVCHD on a standard DVD media, using a standard DVD burner.

Only Standard definition

Edit and create a Standard DVD disks

Played back on DVD player devices* or on PC with a DVD software player

Yes

Video quality is downgraded from High-Definition to Standard Definition

Yes

Video quality is downgraded from High-Definition to Standard Definition

Yes

Export as file (like WMV, Mpeg 2, Mpeg 4, DivX…) and playback with a software player or some selected hw players.

Yes*

Yes*

Yes

* the framerate of the format recorded by the camcorder must match with the format(s) the player is capable of at playback. I.e. the framerates of the used TV standard (PAL or NTSC) must be the same. If this is not the case, the playback will stutter or it will not play at all.

Playback of video on a HD player device in the correct speed requires that the player is capable of the framerate of the camcorder recordings: this is 25 fps is for countries using the TV standard based on PAL framerates, and 30 (29,97) fps is for countries using the NTSC standard. If the device allows both framerates, the format used may switch automatically (for players only) or needs to be switched manually (for camcorders mainly). This is also true for the direct playback of the camcorder on the HD screen.

The currently available models of the Toshiba HD-DVD players do not yet include the firmware for 25fps (50i) playback, also the Microsoft Xbox HD-DVD player does not yet playback these burned DVDs. The Sony PS3 Blu-Ray player is capable of 25 fps playback.

** this will be available with Studio 11.1 (free patch for download)