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  • Exhibition of uncompressed SD – how?

  • Daniel Jewesbury

    July 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    I shoot film on Super16, which I transfer to DigiBeta and edit using an AJA Io LA connected to my Mac. I use FCP, and never go back on to 16mm for exhibition, but I’ve yet to find the best way to exhibit this material once the finished piece is made. Galleries and museums generally have very different types of equipment for digital playback (and of course the crucial thing is also the quality of the projector being used), so there’s no clear ‘standard option’.

    I’ve been advised to use Mini Macs, from which I’ve played DVCPRO50 files quite happily, though I’ve no idea if they’d handle 8-bit or 10-bit (I don’t own one I can mess around with; anyway I doubt it). I’ve been advised to use video servers but I’ve also been told that there’s no point if I’m not using HD (in which I’ve no interest). I’ve even been advised by some people just to stop complaining and burn a SD DVD – compressing all that beautiful uncompressed video into 8 Mbps.. I know it can be done.. but WHY would you do it if there were an alternative?

    What opinions / advice do people have? Stick to a compromise format like DVCPRO50 and play from Mini Macs? Or does anyone have experience of something that’ll play 8-bit or 10-bit and which is somehow not beyond the budget or understanding of the average art gallery?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Nick Righton

    July 17, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Have you considered utilizing the Apple PRORES 422 codec? For standard def you will end up with a bit rate around 42Mb/s and a compression that according to many is not discernible with the naked eye (especially if coupled with lower end display devices).

    Good Luck,


    I wish I was good at one thing rather than average at many, but oh well.

  • Daniel Jewesbury

    July 17, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Thanks Nick. I’d read a little about ProRes but am only updating to FCP 6 next month so haven’t had a chance to try it. I’ll give it a go and see what happens. One problem I had before involved a very slow fade to black (minutes in length) at the end of one piece of work, which even 8-bit uncompressed couldn’t handle due to the very subtle gradation of blacks; eventually I found a workaround to smooth the contour lines I was getting but I’d be interested to see what ProRes does with it.


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