New to Digital Video and need some help

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by electro, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. electro

    electro
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    Hi all,

    Been a lurker on these forums for a while and could use a hand. When it comes to photography, I am completely comfortable with it and feel I know enough to get the results I want (own an SLR). With shooting video, TV formats and especially HD content I get confused and am not familiar with it.

    To cut a long story short I got a good deal on a HD Video Cam and couldn't say no as I wanted one anyway for taking pics of our baby due soon. So I now am the proud owner of a Toshiba Gigashot 40GB A40FE which can do Full HD. I don't have a HD telly yet or a huge monitor but I still want to shoot HD for the future...or do I. See my questions below and Im sorry they are so mixed. The FAQ didn't help much as it seems out of date. I have searched and am still doing with many threads open trying to learn!

    1: What is the difference between a HD TV and a 24inch PC monitor that does 1920 x 1200 res?

    2: Can my normal 1280 x 1024 PC monitor view HD shot content in 720 and/or 1080 ? Is it just a case of full 1080 would not fit on the screen but 720 would?

    3: Why when I shoot in ful HD quality with the cam, but then plug into a normal TV that isnt HD ready with svideo/scart does the normal TV still play it? What is it playing? DVD / Standard Digital quality? Should I shoot all my stuff in HD if this the case so I have a choice later? Any disadvantage to shooting in HD for me?

    4: The files created regardless of quality setting on the cam (SD/720/1080) creates a .mpeg file. Am I right in thinking then that a PC should be able to play any quality level as they are all converted to a mpeg?

    5: When I play back the recordings on the cam they look good with no stutter and when panning it doesnt flicker etc. Why when I go to play the file on my PC (my PC is OK spec) does it look artificaty, stutters, skips and the video plays much faster than it should. i.e. Video finishes and then the shound will keep going for 20 seconds so the sync is all out.

    6: Is it normal to experience such issues when dealing with HD files on computers? Should I record it all through my DVD player first to DVD? I only have a standard digital DVD recorder though.

    So confused :(
    Just wanna do the best thing so I have it right for when baby comes.

    Cheers all
     
  2. glesgaguyav

    glesgaguyav
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    1. HDTV's have internal scalers that accept a signal and scale it to suit, they can accept interlaced or progressive video, monitors are progressive only so would need a scaler/convertor for use as a TV.

    2. As above, you can buy convertors that turn a PC monitor into a TV

    3. The only way to view HD is via the HDMI or in some cases the component(720p) outputs, the camera downconverts internally and outputs the HD footage as SD via the svideo/composite connections, always best to shoot HD and keep it for future use

    4. .mpeg is usually easier to play on a PC than AVCHD

    5. Sounds like your PC is struggling

    6. Video is best watched on a big TV, if you can't watch your HD footage now then just create SD DVD for viewing now then save the raw files on a DVD/HDD for future use when you have an HDTV.
     
  3. electro

    electro
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    Thanks for your help but im still confused.
    OK...so the mpeg files that are created when I shoot in HD, are these .mpeg files always created as standard def? Or is there a difference between a file created when having shot in 1080 compared to standard digital?
    Are you saying that they only way to capture the content to a file as HD, is to view it via a HDMI lead and then record the footage being played by the camera?
    Ah im such a noob

    What do you mean by mpegs are easier to play than avchd ? What is an avchd file stored as format and extension?

    With regard to point,6, basically you are saying just shoot in HD all the time for future proof. But what if I want to edit and put together a film with HD content. How to I edit HD files on a computer?

    I don't get point 1 and 2 about convertors? :(

    Sorry for my questions
     
  4. glesgaguyav

    glesgaguyav
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    Sorry Iam not famillar with the secific cam so...

    Standard MPEG files can be SD(.MPEG) HD (MPEG-2 with a file extension of .M2T(s)) both types of files are easier to play and edit on a PC
    compared to AVCHD with a file extension of .MTS which is much more compressed therefore is harder to process
    So if your cam is creating .MPEG files then, unless it's non standard codec, it may be capturing in SD mode, but if the cam is set for HD then it will be HD no matter what the extension says

    Check the specs of the cam to see what format it captures in, if it's AVCHD then it will say so, whether it's MPEG or AVCHD format you should have software supplied with the cam that will create SD DVD's from the HD footage (most cams do) without changing the origional HD footage which can be saved for future use

    The cam will record HD footage(if it's set for HD) but when playing back through a TV via any connection other than the HDMI output, it will be converted down to SD

    regards point 6, yes just keep the cam set for HD, transfer the footage to your PC, either use supplied software (usually basic) or get a video editing program that can edit HD footage (most now do)

    As I don't believe you can plug your cam straight into your PC monitor (different connections) you would need a convertor device, I may be wrong as it has been some time since I purchased a PC monitor they may have completly different connections now, my last one was the CRT type:D
     

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