Archive for March 7th, 2008

HV20 vs HF10 vs HG10

Austin posted his tests (440 MB) comparing the 1 year old HDV HV20 vs the 6 months old AVCHD HG10 and brand new AVCHD HF10. The new HF10 can record full 1080p at its highest quality mode at 17 mbps, compared to just 1440×1080 of the previous Canon consumer camcorders. Note that the HV30 is exactly the same as the HV20 in quality.

According to the tests, the HG10 is visibly worse than any of the other two camcorders (it has this “mushy” cheap Kodak look), while the HV20 still beats the new kid on the block HF10! The HV20/30 is slightly more detailed and has less pixelation than the HF10 (plus, it has a much more compatible 43mm filter thread and bigger sensor that allows for more background blur). The HF10 has visible mpeg4 artifacts (much more than HV20’s mpeg2), but on the other hand it seems to have less fringing than the HV20.

Anyhow, the AVCHD cameras are obviously closing in to the HV20/30. Regardless, we are still one more year behind before a consumer AVCHD camera is able to beat it. That’s how good that camcorder is (no wonder it still sells like hotcakes for less than $700 these days). The rein of HV20 will end for good when manufacturers are able to offer full AVCHD bitrate to their full 1080p streams (24 mbps, according to the standard). So far, this has not been possible for many reasons: you hit the FAT filesize limit faster, you need an even faster PC to edit, and it requires really fast media and internal chipset. When these roadblocks are out of the way (1-2 more years), AVCHD camcorders will shine in their full glory.

MobiTV: Get a clue

So these bozos are trying to shut down the most popular (500,000+ registered members), most useful, cellphone forum on the web: HowardForums. The reason is because some guy posted a URL that gives full access to Sprint’s paid videos. A URL that was never protected, but was publicly available. But it seems that they want to shut down the forum completely! How over-the-top is that? It seems that they are either as evil as they seem to be, OR, they put these theatrics just for Sprint’s eyes only, so the big Sprint bosses don’t get too mad with them. Regardless, I can only call this “moronic”.

Of course, not everyone at MobiTV is a moron. Not my engineer friend who works there for example. 😉

Update: MobiTV backed down. Good to hear!

The relativity of things

Everything is so damn relative in this world. Nothing can be set to stone as truly “good” or “bad”. I won’t give a real-life example on this, but I will utilize my favorite subject, “Lost”.

Last night’s episode, “The Other Woman”, was a so-so episode. Not a fantastic episode, but not crap either. At the end of each episode, DarkUFO (biggest “Lost” fan site online), posts a poll to rate it. Options include: Awesome, Great, Ok, Poor, and Awful. Then, after a few hours, it is compared towards older polls of older episodes. There are thousands who vote on these polls, and so this is the closest you can get to an accurate viewer’s rating of an episode.

“The Other Woman” has a very low average scoring (3.68/5) compared to most other episodes. But here’s the kicker. If you read the comments on the episode comparative chart, you will see that the vast majority of the viewers felt that the episode was judged way too harshly. And I agree with them. The episode was much better than some other episodes that occupy the bottom of the list. Not only that, but we got some real answers too (e.g. Widmore is the “bad” guy, the ‘Tempest’ station was used by the Hostiles to kill the Dharma employees, Charlotte might be aggressive but possibly not a villain). So why was it judged harshly?

The reason is simple: Because the previous episode, “The Constant”, was one of the best “Lost” episodes ever. Viewers did not judge “The Other Woman” to a generic TV entertainment threshold, but they judged it compared to their previous “Lost” experience. “The Constant” has just raised the bar, and it was too recent to not take into account the pleasure viewers got from it.

So basically, “what’s best”, or “what’s worse”, is not necessarily judged compared to an abstract generic value, but compared to other concrete values that serve as reference. Everything is relative.