I do sports video for a small school. I upload games to Youtube and also make end-of-season jump drives with video from the season for the players who want it.
Up until now, I’ve just been using H.264 4K (150 Mb/s), recording at about 1 GB/minute. I edit in Premiere, then export at about 1 GB/minute as well. A single basketball game will usually be about 50 GB on a USB drive with this method.
But my JVC camera <b style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit;”> can record ProRes 422HQ 4:2:2 (about 16 GB/minute), and I’m tempted to try it, even if just for a few games. (I’ll have to buy a $475 attachment to do it).
My main question is this:
No players are going to want to pay for close to 1 TB of storage per game. But if I compress the final 422 HQ output down to the usual 50 GB, will I end up with better video than what I get with the H.264 that I’ve been using? If not, how much could I compress my 422 video but still end up with noticeably better video than the H.264 version?
I could always just store a few games at 422HQ and know that in a few years, I could go back and edit the games and by then people would probably have computers/storage options that could handle massive files, but would prefer to give them hi-quality video now, if possible.
I’ve had many former players who have asked me for video from many years ago, and the difference between SD and HD (a switch I made about 10 years ago) is so great, that I assume that 10 years from now, 422HQ will seem to be much better than H.264 422.
ProRes 422 HQ will give you a better start – less compression and better editing experience. Editing H.264 can be CPU intensive and re-compressing the H.264 can result in less than desirable results if you compress too much. However, you will quickly find out that keeping all that ProRes footage will soon fill hard drives, fast.
You will want to keep H.264 as your delivery video. Most people will be relying on Windows Media Player or consumer electronics to play back the video. Most will not play back ProRes video files. Plus, bitrate may be too much for many thumb drives.
So, if you think you will continue to have enough storage for ProRes files, I’d say go for it as a acquisition format. But, you may soon find out that storage will be your biggest problem.
What I find is with the higher quality codecs like ProRes 422HQ I can punch/zoom in closer on certain events and it still looks good in it’s delivered quality, despite not technically having the resolution in the source footage to do so.
An issue I ran into early with high-data-rate formats like this is that you need huge amounts of space to store them, so I went the HDD route. Problem is, a HDD may not be fast enough to playback the video realtime in your timeline, you might need an SSD or NVME drive for that. So hard drives should be used for archival purposes only.