If I'm burning to DVD, is there a difference between SD and HD?

M. Malone

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 11, 2004
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Hello everyone, I have been playing with a Sony CX7 Handycam for a day now, in the camera I have the choices HD and SD, I would really appreciate it if someone can give me insight on the differences. Obviously HD is clearer, but take someone like me for example. I make movies using iMovie, then burn them to DVD with iDVD, how is HD better.

Today, I shot some footage once with HD and again with SD, took both and burned them on a DVD and viewed them on my DVD player, I really can't tell the difference. Is there something I'm doing wrong? I would love to make good use of this camera.
 

Nermal

Moderator
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Dec 7, 2002
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I'm pretty sure that iDVD will convert to SD. As far as I know, you need DVD Studio Pro to make HD DVDs, plus an HD DVD player (including Apple's DVD Player app) to play them back.
 
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M. Malone

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Original poster
Mar 11, 2004
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I'm pretty sure that iDVD will convert to SD. As far as I know, you need DVD Studio Pro to make HD DVDs, plus an HD DVD player (including Apple's DVD Player app) to play them back.
so in other words, in my case I don't need to bother with HD quality since iDVD will downgrade it anyway?

if that's the case, what are recommended ways to make simple movies that would still utilize this camera's capability?
 
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Nermal

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If you plan to keep the source files for an archive then it's better to record them in the highest quality available. Apart from that, I can't really comment: I don't even own a camera.
 
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seany916

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Jun 26, 2006
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I don't use iDVD, but in DVD SP, the HD-DVD setting burns a beautiful DVD that can be played on a Mac in HD quality, but won't play on a set top DVD player. Again, I don't know about iDVD. Try it and let us know.
 
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M. Malone

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Original poster
Mar 11, 2004
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thank you all for your replies, I would like to ask my question in a different way.

I have owned a Sony Handycam that uses Mini DV, after shooting my movies, I would plug it in with firewire, export to iMovie, edit, then create with iDVD, video quality was great. What I use to do was make several DVDs and send them to relatives. Now with my new HD camera, I still plan on making DVDs the same way. My question is, what type of settings would I need in order to have the video quality on par with my mini DV camera once it reaches the DVD?
 
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Lebowski

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Oct 10, 2005
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Phoenix, AZ
you can shoot in HD on the sony, and set it to downconvert to DV. Then you have the actual tape shot in HD, and what you capture to the computer is DV. You will get better color depth, and still have the high res tape if you wish to author to HD in the future.
 
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twoodcc

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Feb 3, 2005
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i'm in a similar situation, except i haven't bought the camera yet.

is it really worth getting an HD camera if i don't have any way of burning it to any media? since i don't have a blu-ray or hd-dvd burner, should i just stick with a SD camera?
 
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Flynnstone

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Feb 25, 2003
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I don't use iDVD, but in DVD SP, the HD-DVD setting burns a beautiful DVD that can be played on a Mac in HD quality, but won't play on a set top DVD player. Again, I don't know about iDVD. Try it and let us know.
How long will this HD DVD play? which flavour of HD?

Anyone know if iDVD can do this?

Can a G4 mini play back this DVD onto a 1080p screen?
 
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martychang

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Sep 3, 2007
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Similar situation here as well. I was given this as an assignment at my trade school, in which I'm doing an IT program. We're mostly open admission, people start the program at different times in the year, so lectures are recorded, edited, and burned to DVD, then you have a list to go down as part of the curriculum, which points you to the DVD lectures as you reach those points in the curriculum.

Bottom line, my instructor upgraded from a self-built PC to a Mac Pro for the video editing, and he doesn't know anything about Macs, so I was assigned to figure it out. Part of the deal is he wants to do HD now that he has a machine that's capable of it(the camera can record in up to 1080i, he was just recording in SD because his current rig wasn't bulky enough).

We're using Single-layer DVDs, and the lectures can range from about 40 minutes to nearly 3 hours, so getting this onto DVDs from 1080i source material requires brutal compression, and splitting them across 2 or more DVDs for the longer ones. I can't even use the HD setting in DVD Studio Pro with the footage I have so far, I'd need him to structure his lectures to break at certain intervals to do so.

I was beginning to wonder if there was ANY benefit to doing it in HD considering our humble media for burning. If there isn't, then I'm going to definitely recommend doing it in SD again, it only takes about 2 hours to encode one DVD of HD material, imagine how fast the Mac Pro would do SD!
 
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berkleeboy210

macrumors 68000
Sep 2, 2004
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Boston, Massachusetts
I know this tread is about a Sony Cam. But I just bought the SD5 from Panasonic, and it comes with a DVD Burner, where you can burn AVCHD Discs right from the camera directly, and play them in full 1920-1080 on your PS3's Blu-Ray Player! Pretty awesome, if you haven't bought the sony yet, i'd look at the sd5, works great with iMovie!
 
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Just to add my little contribution.

This is the dilema of early adopters(HD) ... not everything is in place.

Apple doesn't provide so far any way to create any of the two regular HiDef discs. (FCS has the little trick of using regular dvd... but humm humm)
So is there really a point to get and edit the video in HD?
Well if the plan is to get stuff to a lot of people then ... HD will remain for a long time a niche. so SD will be more than enough for the next coming years. So saving money and time and when the the whole pipeline (camcoder->burner) will be available and cheaper. and more people will be equiped with hd player.
Burning a HD edit onto dvd is giving you the exact same result as shooting on SD.

That said the reasons to go for hd now are
- when burner and player are more spreaded, the movie is ready for hd.
- downgrading HD to SD is not hurting anything, so from an HD edit, the work can always look good in SD... this is not the case the other way round.
- It give you practice with HD, most of the TV prod ask for HD format nowday.
- you can alway record your editing back on your camcoder on HDV tape and play them via th camcoder or the mac...


Technology is coming , Apple was an early adopter on the HDformat but to many surprisingly slow on burners (well not too many people would add 800/1k to their purchase to get a new burner)
 
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MacNut

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Jan 4, 2002
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It can't hurt to buy an HD camera now (if you can afford one) even if you are not ready to shoot HD. The SD will still look good but when you are ready to shoot HD you have the ability.
 
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Ho and one more thing...

If you don't mind going for something else than Apple... then "Adobe premiere cs3" come with "encore cs3" that can author bluray and hd-dvd...(or so they say... i didn't try but you can even get a trail version of it) and you'll have to buy some external burner of the format you want.

notes that cs3 is only available for mac/intel (reason why i didn't try it myself)


humm humm on second look . it seems to only support bluray burning
 
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twoodcc

macrumors P6
Feb 3, 2005
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It can't hurt to buy an HD camera now (if you can afford one) even if you are not ready to shoot HD. The SD will still look good but when you are ready to shoot HD you have the ability.
yeah, but if you wait and just get a SD camera now, you'll save money, and when it comes time to buy an HD camera, there will be better and cheaper ones out
 
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