4:2:2 component

Color is sampled at half the rate of luminance, with both color-difference samples co-sited (located at the same place) with the alternate luminance sample. With 360 color samples per scan line (in component R-Y and B-Y), this system retains twice as much color resolution as the 4:1:1 sampling system used by DV formats. That means it has the large data capacity you need to record computer-generated graphics, or signals used for special effects (chroma keying, digital effects). It also makes it better suited for the higher resolution demands of 16:9 since it is able to compensate for the inherent loss of resolution in pictures with a 16:9 aspect ratio, making it suitable for up-conversion to HDTV. In addition, it provides a signal that's ideal for transparent conversion to MPEG-2 compression systems and sequences smoothly with the 4:2:0 sampling structure of the MPEG-2 ML@ MP system used for digital television distribution. Moreover, now as the SMPTE/EBU task force has recommended 50 Mbps 4:2:2 for network television production, the D-9 component digital recording format is the most logical choice for the future broadcasting systems.

Lossless 3.3:1 DCT compression ratio and data rate of 50 Mbps

With an extremely mild, perceptually lossless 3.3:1 compression ratio and a data rate of 50 Mbps, D-9 can capture even the most challenging picture in all its splendor without compression artifacts such as pixel noise, edge defects, blockiness and multi-generation degradation produced when 5:1 compression systems record difficult pictures. Low compression intra-frame processing not only ensures beautiful pictures, it also makes possible frame accurate editing since compression is performed on a frame-by-frame basis. Highly efficient 50 Mbps intra-frame encoding is the standard reference for mainstream television production. To maintain superb picture quality from acquisition to production, all D-9 products use a data rate of 50 Mbps.

In 1998, a joint SMPTE/EBU task force test results show that D-9 provides;

  • Quality identical to that produced by Digital Betacam
  • Superior quality to that found in Beta-SP
  • Better quality to 50 Mbps MPEG-2 I frame only compression
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4-channel PCM audio

D-9 offers four channels of uncompressed digital audio. Essential for recording in the field and in the studio, this makes D-9 particularly useful for applications such as ENG, discussion panels, multilingual broadcast, audio post production and multi-channel event recording - anywhere, in fact, where stereo or multi-track audio is necessary.

D-9 audio is sampled at 48 kHz with 16-bit resolution. Each channel can be edited independently and the BR-D92 four-channel recorders allow you to take existing two-channel recordings and add additional audio tracks where needed. This compatibility between two- and four-channel D-9 equipment preserves and extends D-9 tape libraries and allows you to strategically mix lower cost VTRs with full-featured models.

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Ready for 16:9 aspect ratio

The outstanding picture quality provided by D-9 is more than ready to meet the demands of the 16:9 aspect ratio. Since D-9's high resolution 4:2:2 sampling system retains twice the color resolution than 4:1:1 when the 16:9 aspect ratio is used, D-9 pictures can be effectively up-converted for HDTV delivery. Our DY-90W D-9 camcorder, for example, features a switchable aspect ratio that's perfect for the growing number of producers who are choosing to shoot wide screen 16:9 video. Since all the D-9 VTR's offer a switchable 16:9/4:3 aspect ratio, you can carry those widescreen images to the studio for editing and post-production.

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Multi-generation performance

To avoid losses during the repeated dubbing of acquired data that occurs in the editing and post-production process, top-notch multi-generation performance is a must. With its combination of 4:2:2 component recording, high data rate and low compression ratio, D-9 has proved to offer lossless multi-generation performance, assuring that original high quality of D-9 images is sustained from acquisition to distribution. As the SMPTE/EBU task force stated in its report, "For the first generation, the performance of D-9 compression and the compression used in Digital Betacam was rated to be identical". The task force went on to say, "No remarkable decrease of picture quality was observed up to the seventh generation". In other words, D-9's lossless quality was judged suitable for mainstream broadcast applications.

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Concatenation in the digital era

All compression systems generate artifacts which compound when signals are converted between compression formats. With MPEG 2 emerging as the compression standard for audiovisual digital data, concatenation with little or no generational loss is critical to maintaining the highest quality images from acquisition to broadcast. While MPEG encoding is very tolerant of coding noise, the fact that D-9 data cannot be degraded by the effects of decoding, production processing, transmission or encoding, makes it an ideal image production format for the digital age. When you also consider the natural look of D-9 and its freedom from coding artifacts, it's easy to see why this format is perfect for ATSC and digital broadcasting.

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