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Steve Douglas

Beneath the Sea video competiton

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I was told that the Beneath the Sea is accepting HD DVDs. However, probably due to nomenclature they are using I am confused. HD DVDs stopped being made when the only manufacturer of HD DVDs halted all production. That company was Toshiba, the only manufacturer of the HD DVD players and theatrical releases. It used a red laser as opposed to the blue laser of BluRay. So, unless the judging panel is viewing off an old Toshiba HD DVD player, I don't see how people can submit films in that format. They can take their HD movies and down convert to making an SD DVD easy enough which is what many are doing. Apple users can not burn to Blu Ray since Apple software is not capable of BD discs and Apple, to the dismay of many, never got the license for BluRay production.

I can make a DVD for the old Toshiba HD DVD player if that's what judges will be using but I do not know. A better way for everyone, and one that the Aggressor competition is using is to make what is called a DATA DVD. In this case, the uncompressed HD/HDV/AVCHD movie is transferred to the DVD as DATA. When the disc is installed in a Mac, you would open the disc and drag the movie to the desktop and play it from there in full resolution. You would not play it directly off the disc. I am not sure whether a DATA disc made on a Mac would be playable on a PC, maybe/maybe not.

I guess what it comes down to for me is that while I can submit a SD version of an HD movie on a DVD, I would rather submit a fully non-compressed, full resolution film. Does any one have thoughts or suggestions regarding this issue. It seems that the more I know and learn, the more I realize how much I don't know and need to learn.

Steve

Edited by steve

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Heya Steve

 

Didn't Final Cut Studio start supporting Blu Ray on its last update? I'm still using v2 which doesn't support Blu Ray, but I'm pretty sure the latest versions do. You can also maybe send in a Data disk with a ProRes/HDV/AVCHD/H264 formatted film on it along with your DVD. That way if they have the ability to read it they can play it back in full res, but if they don't then there is still the DVD that can be used.

 

Many entry requirements have changed recently to keep up with technology, for example the recent North Sea Film Festival was data entry only with no tapes or DVDs allowed (just data DVDs, USB Flash cards etc). I think the easiest way to enter these days is on a data disk with some kind of cross platform standard. QT seems to work well on all platforms and programs like MPEG Streamclip work great for formatting into the desired codec so that would be my choice. Someone sent me a .wmv file the other day with a graphics animation on it and trying to run it on my mac was like trying to run a Ferrari on Kerosene! :P

 

Cheers, Simon

Edited by SimonSpear

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Simon,

Completely agree with you that the DATA disc seems to be the way to go. My original self contained 5 min film was over the 4.7 limit but I just transcoded it from Pro Res 422 to Pro Res LT and it fits perfectly.

Will follow your suggestions. No, I wish FC allowed for Blu ray but it is a licensing thing which Apple doesn't want to spring for. From what I was told, the cost would be per computer and it was pretty high.

Take care,

Steve

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It just occcurred to me. Will a DATA disc made on a Mac work in a PC? I know you can't play a data disc on most computers, the movie has to be copied over to the hard drive but does it make a difference between the two types of computers?

Steve

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Hi Steve

 

I just assumed that anything that could play in QT on a mac would play in QT on a PC. I've just tested that theory on our rather crusty old PC and while the ProRes file that I tried played fine, the HDV file didn't as QT was claiming it needed additional components. Hmmmm I wonder if this happens on newer PC's too? (ours is like 7 years old running XP).

 

Cheers, Simon

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Both PCs and Macs require the MPEG-2 Playback Component to play HDV etc.. It's 20 dollars. I had to buy it to get MPEG Streamclip to read my HDV on the PC. Presumably it was bundled with FCP or something, which is why your Mac would play your HDV.

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Ah I see. Well most festivals still have HDV as one of the main entry formats, so I should imagine they'd have the MPEG license. Nick wouldn't your editing software allow you to playback HDV.mov files regardless or is the license specifically required for QT?

 

Steve I just looked at the entry requirements for Beneath the Sea. It says the film entered should be able to be played back on Windows Media Player. Eeeek that's tough for mac owners to do. I played around a bit and I managed to get a PhotoJPEG encoded .avi file to play on WMP, but I couldn't seem to get anything else to work. WMP is not cross platform so it seems a very strange choice for a festival.

 

It would certainly be nice if festivals had some standardised format for entry, with maybe a brief tutorial on how to create those files in MPEG Streamclip or some other cross platform software. You can encode a 5min 720p film at very nice quality for around 100mb these days so with services like 'You Sent It' you wouldn't even need to put anything in the post, you could do it all digitally. Purely digital files are still new, but hopefully this will come with time! :P

 

Cheers, Simon

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I completely agree with you Simon. The problem which didn't exist only 5 years ago, but does now, is that there are a huge number of codecs out there and too many variations of the same formats.

However, BTS, is a fairly prestigious competition, and I would hope that they would use something more advanced than WMP.

Steve

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As Steve and I have privately discussed, we at Beneath the Sea are going to try using a DATA disc. If we don't get things working for this year's contest, we hope to have systems in place to do this for next year.

 

Unfortunately (or perhaps it is fortunately), as noted above, the coding keeps changing on what is available and the equipment needed to handle it. In addition, many of us shoot stills and need to be educated as to what is being done in video. We have been getting hi def video's from the video winner for showing at the Film Festival.

 

In the meantime, we hope to see many of you at the show.

 

And remember, you still have 11 days to get your entries in to this year's competition. Visit us at www.BeneathTheSea.org

 

Bob

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Hi Bob

 

Great to see that you are looking at all the alternatives. Perhaps we can help in creating a standard format for entries with a brief tutorial on how to encode them? If that was then adopted by all competitions/festivals it would be a major help for submissions. Just because we shoot video doesn't mean we know much more about codecs that stills shooters! :P I do know that Quicktime is cross platform as a media player and MPEG Streamclip is cross platform and can encode out to almost anything from almost anything. I think those two would be a great option to use. I know Steve does training so he'd be the logical choice to ask to do the tutorial! :)

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Bob goes out of his way to quickly answer inquiries and provide suggestions, which he did for me as I had a little piece I wanted to submit. He is soooo correct in that video used to be the prodigal son of Photographic competitions, if video was even considered. Now both Photo and Video are 'almost' equally at the forefront and new alternatives for achieving the very best quality need to be explored.

Steve

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Perhaps we can help in creating a standard format for entries with a brief tutorial on how to encode them? If that was then adopted by all competitions/festivals it would be a major help for submissions.

 

Simon,

 

We'd be happy to have someone knowledgeable on this work with us on drafting such a tutorial.

 

One caveat. We believe it is important to be inclusive (as well as get high quality). Rember that not all of the entrants are as sophisticated as this group.

 

Bob

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Ah I see. Well most festivals still have HDV as one of the main entry formats, so I should imagine they'd have the MPEG license. Nick wouldn't your editing software allow you to playback HDV.mov files regardless or is the license specifically required for QT?

I don't think so, but I never actually tried that prior to purchasing the Quicktime MPEG playback component. In Sony Vegas I edit in native HDV format (.m2t, MPEG-2 transport stream). This is what I capture from tape with HDVSplit. It never goes into a Quicktime .mov wrapper. I don't think I've ever even had an "HDV.mov" file on this computer. But I do transcode to Quicktime for sending to Apple folk. I transcode my interlaced HDV to Motion JPEG B .mov, or send DV as DV .mov.

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I wish FC allowed for Blu ray but it is a licensing thing which Apple doesn't want to spring for. From what I was told, the cost would be per computer and it was pretty high.

 

You can sort of do blu-ray from Final Cut, nothing fancy on the authoring features, but can be done. Has been in the new Studio (with Final Cut 7)

 

From the Apple Site

 

 

Blu-ray disc and DVD burning2

You can now easily burn a Blu-ray disc or a DVD directly from Compressor. Quickly add a menu to your disc by choosing one of the beautiful Apple-designed HD or SD templates included in Compressor. Because Compressor uses an open XML-based template format, you can import third-party or custom templates for a specific look.

 

2Blu-ray recorder required for burning Blu-ray discs

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Really don't want to go out and buy an external blu ray burner but I guess I would have to. Does anyone still use the Toshiba HD decks anymore? I know Apple still has the settings for them in Compressor, don't know why they kept them there when Studio 3 came out. I still have several HD DVDs of different theatrical movies that are still in their wrappers and never opened.

Steve

Edited by steve

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Really don't want to go out and buy an external blu ray burner but I guess I would have to. Does anyone still use the Toshiba HD decks anymore? I know Apple still has the settings for them in Compressor, don't know why they kept them there when Studio 3 came out. I still have several HD DVDs of different theatrical movies that are still in their wrappers and never opened.

Steve

 

 

Nowadays the blu-ray burners are not too painful. OWC has some offerings that are (relatively) inexpensive compared to where things were not too long ago. I have not done detailed price comparisons, since I use OWC alot. They have an option at $199 and another bundle for $347 which includes Toast. Actually I should get one of them, been waiting for media to drop to more reasonable levels, and they seem to be there.

 

I still have a Toshiba HD that works and burn Red Dye discs to play on that. Grabbed some movies when they were blowing those out. Figured what the heck.

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OWC does make quality externals so would guess that their burners are also good. Never been overly fond of Toast in past versions, have no idea what they are offering now in menu creation or templates for Blu Ray.

Steve

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OWC does make quality externals so would guess that their burners are also good. Never been overly fond of Toast in past versions, have no idea what they are offering now in menu creation or templates for Blu Ray.

Steve

 

 

Toast was really good at one time, have not put the new one through the paces. It is all fairly basic (Toast, FCP), Encore has some more. Really a matter of degree in terms of authoring and how far you want to go with it. Basic stuff (playback of blu-ray quality on blu-ray), FCP, Toast will get you by. Encore, a bit more.

 

In other words, it is getting into the nuts and bolts more (authoring) or just putting stuff on blu-ray to playback. After the bells and whistles or the menus and interface, comes down to the footage. Knowing your footage, any of those things are going to do you more than fine... :)

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