After selecting the videos to be burned, the program determined that most of the videos were in NTSC format and offered to use this format rather than the default PAL. Since my TV system is using PAL, I stuck with PAL. Half an hour later, I had my first DVD at my first attempt, thanks to my LG DVD burner. I then tried it on my DVD player with my PAL TV and I found the video rather jerky. I read in some forums that conversion from one system to another will result in this jerkiness and they are right. So I burned the same videos again, this time using the NTSC format. The results were better and smoother than the one done in PAL. However, the video quality was not as good as when watching directly from the videocam. Later I found out that the DVD videos were burned with a resolution of only 720x480 with a frame rate of 30 fps.
I am not sure if this resolution is a standard for videos burned onto DVD or there are other DVD burning programmes with a higher resolution. Thus there is still a lot to learn about this subject.
These are my preliminary opinions and findings after playing with the Sanyo VPC HD2000. The video quality is great if your watch it on HDTV; there is no problem to watch the video on older type of TV but the quality would only be as good as that of the TV. It is easy to just drag and drop the video files from the videocam to a PC, since the files are in MPEG4 format.
However, not many programs can play these files, especially at the highest resolution and you will need a high-end PC to play these videos satisfactorily even if you have the right software. (BTW, I upgraded my PC memory from 1G to 3G RAM but the result of playing the video on Nero Showtime was the same, still jerky at the highest resolution. This means I would need to upgrade to a faster processor or need a dedicated graphic card or both if I want to watch these videos on my PC or shoot at a lower resolution.) As for my Lenovo S10, it can handle only the 640x480 resolution, beyond that it is all jerky. There's no problem to burn the videos onto DVD but at a lower resolution and quality.
I suppose all these points are also applicable to other HD videocams since this high quality is too much for normal PC and software to handle. You need to have a high-end PC to run these video effectively. And the files size of these video are huge. Here are sample sizes of the video files for the various resolutions for a one minute clip each. The names are those used by the HD2000.
TVSHQ - 640x480, 30fps (30p) 23.2M
HDSHQ - 1280x720, 30fps (30p) 62.4M
FULL SHQ - 1920x1080, 30 fps (30p) 89.1M
FULL HD - 1920x1080, 60 fields/s (60i) 117.9M
FULL HR - 1920x1080, 60 fps (60p) 175.2M
The manual also lists the recording time for various sizes of SD card. For a 8GB SD cards, the times are as below.
TVSHQ - 5hr 32min
HDSHQ - 1hr 50min
Full SHQ - 1hr 27min
Full HD - 1hr 5min
Full HR - 43min 50sec
You will need a lot of SD space to shoot your videos at the higher resolutions and I suppose this is the price of quality! I believe this is also true of other makes of videocam with full HD and not just for the Sanyo HD2000.
Thus it is a good thing that you can connect an external HDD (Hard Disk Drive) directly to the HD2000 via the USB port for storing and managing your library of video files without the need of a PC. I am not sure if this function is also available in other makes of videocam. This will be great if you are travelling and you need not invest in too many SD cards. I will detail my experience on this function in my next post once I get hold of a suitable external HDD.