Issue: HD - Aug 29, 2003


SANTA MONICA - Finishing boutique Steele VFX ( has installed HD-capable Quantel eQ with Qcolor, which it will use as its predominant online finishing system. The six-year-old company specializes in commercial and music video work.

Co-owner Jerry Steele says the new system will allow clients to benefit from the advantages of HD. "What we're doing now is giving the client better quality and more time to be creative at a cost that is close to what they pay now."

Steele spends a significant amount of time talking to clients about the benefits of finishing in high definition and mastering to a standard definition format tape. According to Steele, the quality of HD content downconverted to a standard definition tape is of higher quality than if they master in SD.

"We work from the premise that the higher resolution you start with, the higher quality you end with," explains Steele. "When we traditionally take film, which has a huge resolution, and transfer it to a SD format we immediately end up carving out 80 percent of the resolution of the image as the result of the transfer process. With a transfer to HD using the eQ, that doesn't happen anymore. We can maintain more of the resolution on the film at the highest possible quality, composite and edit the material at HD resolution, and then dump that to a standard def tape."