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CSI - 720p or 1080i?

Discussion in 'TVs' started by Tony B, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Tony B

    Tony B
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    I know we are only getting an SD broadcast, but the picture quality in CSI is so stunningly good (thank you Philips) I can only count the minutes until we see it the way it was meant to be seen.

    Anyone know which format it is recorded in - 720p or 1080i?
     
  2. Muf

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    Tony, there is a section of CSI shown on the HD Forum test loop which is 1080i and it looks great but of course this is no indication of how it was recorded.

    Jim
     
  3. Starburst

    Starburst
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    CBS is one of the broadcasters that favour 1080i, I think it's safe to assume that is the format their programming is record at apart from movies of course:)

    It is regrettable that UK viewers for the most part are provided with less than ideal SD digital broadcasts, give the standard def PAL format enough bandwidth it could look exceptional as demonstrated by SKY1 recently when their stat muxing was providing around 8mbs.
     
  4. Tony B

    Tony B
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    Any chance of a link, Jim?

    TIA

    Tony B
     
  5. Rimmer

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    CSI is produced in 1080p. All US filmed drama or comedy is produced in 1080p and downconverted to 1080i or 720p for broadcast.
     
  6. Muf

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    Starburst, At the moment, the Prosieben HD channel transmit their SD material on the HD channel (at 1920 x 1080 18 Mbps) while they are not transmitting HD source material. So this has got to be PAL at its best and some of it looks fabulous especially some studio shots and some of the adverts. However it is still a long way off from HD.

    Tony, You must be a big CSI fan, the HD Forum test loop is transmitted from Hotbird 13 East 11013, H. The CSI clip is only a minute or two long I am afraid.

    Thanks for the facts Rimmer.

    Jim.
     
  7. Starburst

    Starburst
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    I am in no way saying that high bitrate SD digital PAL spec broadcasts are a substitute for HD but there is a huge gap between what UK digital broadcasts could look like and what for the most part they actually do.
    High Def now in the near future is/will be out of range for the vast majority of the public but a reduction in the compression used on the existing SD channels could improve the service at no direct cost to the viewers.
     
  8. Tony B

    Tony B
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    Not so much a big CSI fan (although I do quite like the characters in the Vegas version) more a big fan of the stunning photography and image quality.

    I would not have thought that I would be saying this but Channel 5 are demonstrating to the BBC just what can be achieved with current broadcast standards.

    I still say roll on HD, though (and get rid of all the crappy shopping channels at the same time...)!
     
  9. Muf

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    Sorry I gave the wrong impression Starburst, I was agreeing with you that Digital PAL looks great when unfettered by bit rate limitations. I simply threw in the fact that it was no match for HD.

    Jim
     
  10. MikeK

    MikeK
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    Oh how Rupert would squirm at such a thought! :) :)
     
  11. Stephen Neal

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    I would be surprised if ProSieben were still using PAL (i.e. composite subcarrier based techniques) as a production system. Far more likely that they are using, as almost everyone in Europe is (apart from old regional news installations), digital component standard definition systems.

    The improvement of digital component over PAL is significant - especially when it comes to lack of cross-colour, cross-luma, and massive improvements in chroma resolution over subcarrier systems.

    If you are taking an uncompressed standard def signal and upconverting this to HD it will look a hell of a lot better than PAL.

    (Or did you mean 625/50 aka 576/50i when you said PAL?)
     
  12. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Thought Channel 5 (aka Five) is hardly looking great on DTT these days - it used to look excellent.
     
  13. beeblebrox12

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    Everything HDTV that CBS broadcasts (including CSI) is 1080i.
     
  14. Stephen Neal

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    I would be surprised if it were shot in either of those formats. I'd expect it to be shot either on film, or 1080/24p, and edited in 24p.

    If it is then shown on NBC or CBS I'd expect the 1080/24p to be converted to 1080/60i for delivery (graphics may be added after the 1080/60i conversion if they want fluid rolls/crawls - though most US series seem to favour static captions?)

    If it shown on Fox or ABC then I'd expect the 1080/24p to be converted to 720/60p. I don't think much at all gets produced in 720/24p - as there are real benefits for producing drama at 1080p - and no major cost differences AIUI.
     
  15. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Hmm...

    Whilst CBS may BROADCAST all their HD In 1080/60i - it doesn't mean that all of their HD is shot in this format.

    It is a bit like saying that everything the BBC broadcasts on analogue is PAL - whilst this is true, it doesn't stop the BBC showing stuff originally shot on film, shot in NTSC, or shot in HD...

    The OP was asking about the recording format - i.e. how the show is shot and edited - not the transmission format. In days gone by it was common for these to be the same - however these days it isn't.

    Whilst it is likely that CBS shows will be shot 1080line as CBS broadcasts 1080/60i, there is no guarantee the shows will be shot interlaced, they are more likely to be shot progressive at 24p if they are drama (as film runs at 24p and so 24p video is more "film-like" in motion terms than 60i video - which looks, well, like video)

    (It may well be that drama shot for the 720line networks - Fox and ABC - is still actually shot 1080/24p and cross-converted to 720/60p using 3:2 pulldown - as there is no quality loss in shooting 1080/24p vs 720/24p - and major benefits when it comes to preserving the quality of your archive, and ensuring the best re-sale value to other broadcasters - who may well be 1080 line)
     
  16. beeblebrox12

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    I was saying strictly how it's deliverd. CSI is shot in 24fps, like every prime time drama/comedy - that can be noticed easily by the film-like movement. It is only logical that it is shot in 1080p too.
    CBS has made the earliest and greatest effort to bring up high quality HD signal to the public. Their picture is top notch among broadcasters, which is mostly due to the good gear and great experience CBS producers and engineers have. Regardless of how their signal is delivered to the public (it's always 1080i but quality may vary on different providers), CBS PQ stands out among the networks. Even on my 720p TV.
     
  17. Abstrakt

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    Bit of confusion in this thread. ;)

    All three CSI series are shot on 3-perf 35 mm film. The negative is then scanned at either 2K or 4K resolution by a lab, yielding a Digital Intermediate. All post production then takes place in the digital domain.

    The post house delivers each completed episode on an HD-D5 master tape (1080p/24) to the network. The latter will re-encode it in whatever format it has chosen to broadcast -- in CBS’s case that would be 1080i/60.

    However this process does not apply to all the US series that are currently broadcast in high def. For instance many shows are shot in Super 16 mm nowadays, such as the O.C., the West Wing and Lost.

    It is also not necessary (or cost effective) to use Digital Intermediates on every show. Most of these filmed series are still processed photo-chemically and then post-produced by traditional means, before being transferred to HD.

    And of course a few shows are shot straight on HD video. The latest (and final) season of Star Trek Enterprise is shot on Sony HDCam in 1080p/24. Sitcoms are often shot in this format as well. While some are even shot natively in 720p: Arrested Development is shot using a Panasonic VariCam in 720p/24.

    The bottom-line is that each production will choose to originate on whatever format they prefer, according to their own artistic and/or financial reasons. But rest assured that any of the formats I mentioned above can result in an exceptional high def broadcast. ;)

    Cheers.
     
  18. sheggsl

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    My undertsanding is that CSI, like a lot of series is shot in film and then telecined to HD. I have the HD tapes of CSi going back to series 1, and I feel that the PQ has actually detoriated. Programs shot in HD Video are quite few, mainly CBS comedy's Like "King of Queens" and "Yes Dear" and the PQ of these are normally stunning. I beleive Video based HD is on average better than film based. Problem with film based is that there so much that can go wrong in the transfer process that will compromise on the final video PQ.

    Good case in point is to compare HD versions of shows like the Oscars, Grammy's and Superbowl entirely shot in HD 1080p to series like CSI, DHW, NCIS, CSI Miami etc. Having said that even the bad HD transfer still trounces SD.
     
  19. Stephen Neal

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    Hmm - the "video" shows you quote are all "bright and shiny" entertainment or sports shows, where bright lighting, and bright colours are the norm. (They are all either interlaced or high frame rate progressive - 60i or 60p?)

    The dramatic stuff you quote is all - well - dramatic - so it is not highly lit, and brightly coloured. To establish a "gritty", "realistic" mood it is shot and graded deliberately to be a bit de-saturated and grainy, compared to the "bright and shiny" stuff you mention above. It will also have the lower frame rate motion as it will be 24fps sourced, not 60i or 60p.

    Whilst you can argue that the "picture quality" is lower - this is an aesthetic judgement. If you shot CSI Miami in the same way as the Oscars or the Grammys it would cease to feel like CSI wouldn't it?

    It is the perpetual argument of technically excellent picture quality versus artistically excellent production.
     
  20. Abstrakt

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    Amen to that! :smashin:

    Ironically the CSI series, along with other Bruckheimer-produced series like Without a Trace and Cold Case, are among the most unrealistically lit dramas on TV. They are also shot on high contrast stock to further increase the visual impact. The result is a picture that many people will find pleasing, but I consider it the cinematographic equivalent of turning the contrast all the way up on your TV set, thinking you’re getting a better picture.

    Some filmed shows are actually shot at 30 FPS, by the way. Film cameras aren’t limited to 24 FPS and when you’re not aiming for theatrical distribution you can run them at any speed you like. Shows often filmed in 30 FPS include sitcoms, commercials and music videos.

    Cheers.
     

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