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Forums Broadcasting Broadcast HD 720 vs 1080?

  • Broadcast HD 720 vs 1080?

     Lars Larson updated 11 years, 5 months ago 5 Members · 7 Posts
  • Lars Larson

    April 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    First of all, thank you or your time.

    I am in advertising, and when it comes to production I’m wondering if working in 1080 or 720 is better. By the way I’m working with the HPX500 and Final Cut Studio.

    besides conserving hard drive space, I know the obvious answer is 1080p, but I’ve heard that 720p is better for chroma keying. Is this true?

    Is is okay to put a 720 clip on a 1080 timeline for broadcast, qualitatively speaking? – and vice versa?

    I imagine I should work solely in 1080 unless i have a shot with variable frame rate or I have to chroma key. Will this work?

    Are there any other issues I should know about?

    Sorry for all the questions. I have some shoots coming up and I don’t really have time to experiment.


  • Joey Burnham

    April 9, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    As far as I know (and I could be wrong, but don’t think so) is that the only difference between these two formats is size. There are many flavors of both 720 and 1080 regarding frame rates, but when push comes to shove it’s only that one is bigger than the other.

    the only reason I can think of someone saying that 720 is better for chroma keying is that there less to key. 🙂

    you can put 720 in a 1080 timeline but you will need to scale up the footage, thus losing resolution.


  • Bob Zelin

    April 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    the native resolution of your camera is DVCProHD, which is 720p.
    You will gain nothing by working at 1080i. However, ultimately, you will have a delivery requirement from your clients, so they may want their final tapes delivered to them on a Sony 1080i format. It’s not up to you or me.

    Bob Zelin

  • Mark Suszko

    April 10, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Bob, if I can ask, what if any “standard” would you pick to be most compatible with HD stations for news footage? I ask because it is kind of murky, in our market, perhaps 2/3 of the stations use 720p, the rest 1080i, on the cable, all the HD we see here is 720 except for high-tier on-demand movies. So we argue on settings all the time. We shoot on the Panny 900 and generally go 720p in DVCProHD, for aquisition and edit. If I know they want 1080 i some place in particular I suppose I could output a 1080 version, but I’m trying to shoot for one main format. I know, that’s wishing pretty hard, these days… but what would you suggest, if the fotage is mostly for nwes or spots/PSA’s?

  • Bob Zelin

    April 11, 2009 at 12:34 am

    there is no answer to this question. In my market (Florida), almost 100% is 720p, all Panasonic. If you want to deliver HD to a station, it’s going to happen with a AJ-HD1400.

    With that said, NY and LA (and Discovery) want HDCam, and Discovery and NBC/Univeral will only accept Sony SRW 4:4:4 1080i.

    It aint’ up to me – and it ain’t up to my clients. And NO ONE accepts data.

    Bob Zelin

  • Asmund Voll Tesdal

    April 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    [Joey Burnham] “the only reason I can think of someone saying that 720 is better for chroma keying is that there less to key. :)”

    First thing that popped into my head was that if we’re talking 720p vs 1080i (not 1080p), I’d guess progressive footage would be easier too key than interlaced. But I have no idea how much that difference would matter compared to the increased resolution of 1080i.

  • Lars Larson

    April 11, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Theoretically that all makes sense. But rendering aside, a key is a key whether it’s 480 or 1080p. I would instinctively, I guess, just want to work with a progresive scan when keying.

    I suppose that keying in 720p with this camera, the Panasonic HPX500, might be cleaner because the extra lines using 1080 are interpolated. Right? At least maybe that’s why I was told that.

    Does a 720 image scaled to 1080 look that bad?

    . . .

    To spur a rabbit, why won’t networks accept digital? I’m mean, that’s the program. FTP, people, c’mon. Beta is long overdue for retirement.

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