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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old December 31st, 2007, 08:22 PM   #1
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Downconverting to SD

I'm using an HG10 but the HD is of no consequence to me as I intend to burn all of my footage to DVD. I'm using Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 8 as my editor and I'm not happy with its downconversion. Movement is smooth, but moving diagonal lines are jagged.

The two other options I've tried that produced acceptable results are MPEG Streamclip, but that's incredibly slow (partly due to lack of processor optimisation I believe - 25-35% usage on all 4 cores) and unreliable (not all encoders gave good results and it crashes on me sometimes), and Procoder, which is excellent and the speed is good enough for me, but it's expensive.

Is there anything else I could use that's an all-in-one easy solution? I'm not prepared to fiddle with AVISynth etc.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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I noticed the exact same thing to the point where some clips become un-watchable on DVD.

I could not figure out what was causing that, my first idea was - interlace - so I played with different settings to no avail.

I tried TMGEnc 4 Express and got better results but not much... the lines are still jagged.

Anybody has any suggestion as to why this is happening? Video straight from camcorder is perfect and encoded to DivX at 720x480 4000kbps and played on a standard definition DVD/DivX player is much much better than exported to DVD at 8000kbps - this is what I settled on in the SD world

Thanks!
Art
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Old February 4th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #3
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I did end up with a good-but costly solution. Canopus Procoder 3. Perfect downconversion.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 03:12 PM   #4
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At $500 this is not even an option for me...

So, this is all about getting a decent converter? I would imagine that even mainstream software must have mastered DVD encoding by now...

Is there maybe a decent down-converter plugin for Vegas?

Thanks!
Art
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Old February 5th, 2008, 01:55 AM   #5
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There was another option - MPEG Streamclip. It does a perfect job of downconversion. Being free, it is an excellent utility to have sitting on your desktop. However, there are downsides. Firstly, it won't read AVCHD, you have to convert to an intermediate format it is familiar with. Secondly, it was unreliable (didn't like huge files as sources - it would crash). Third, it is incredibly slow. Fourthly, sometimes the aspect ratio was tagged incorrectly and I had to adjust it in Vegas.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 07:54 AM   #6
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Leopold, what did you use to convert the AVCHD into a format that MPEG Streamclip accepted?
Is there a free program that will do that part, or is it payware?

BTW, I totally agree wth your comments regarding Procoder 3 - excellent down conversion of my Panasonic AVCHD.

Only managed to borrow it for a few days though, when a colleague was on holiday - now to start saving up!!

Last edited by Roger Shore; February 6th, 2008 at 08:29 AM.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 09:05 AM   #7
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I just tried it and, yes, it cannot read AVCHD files even though I have CoreAVC codec installed, Quicktime is not using it.

I exported my clip from Sony Vegas using CineForm HD code - 10x the original file size, installed CineForm Neo Player - free download - and MPEGStreamClip successfully loaded the clip

But then what? The aspect ratio is wrong, it does not recognize the clip as 16:9, I guess I should have exported it from Vegas as 1920x1080 square pixel...

But what do I do from here? How to get that awesome downconversion and have it on a DVD? It cannot encode to Mpeg2, so another intermediate format?

And yes, it is sloooooooooooowwwww... tried exporting an 8 second clip to Mpeg4 - took 10 minutes

Thanks!
Art
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Old February 6th, 2008, 02:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artem Lipatov View Post
But then what? The aspect ratio is wrong, it does not recognize the clip as 16:9, I guess I should have exported it from Vegas as 1920x1080 square pixel...

But what do I do from here? How to get that awesome downconversion and have it on a DVD? It cannot encode to Mpeg2, so another intermediate format?

And yes, it is sloooooooooooowwwww... tried exporting an 8 second clip to Mpeg4 - took 10 minutes

Thanks!
Art

Don't worry about the aspect ratio. Just do the conversion. You can put the clip back into Vegas and tell it the correct aspect ratio. Yes, it's a hassle going to so many programs to do the conversion, and potentially losing quality at each step. Though to tell you the truth, I didn't notice any quality loss in the final DVD during normal playback on a TV. Examining it closely might show something up, but normal playback was fine.

I tried encoding to MJPEG using MPEG Streamclip and didn't get acceptable results, so I was encoding to H.264 at max quality. As you can imagine, it took forever. And because it would crash occasionally, I gave up and went for Procoder.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 02:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Shore View Post
Leopold, what did you use to convert the AVCHD into a format that MPEG Streamclip accepted?
Is there a free program that will do that part, or is it payware?
I was using Elecard Converter Studio AVCHD Edition ($75) to convert to MPEG2. But as Artem said in an earlier post, you can export from Vegas if you have it to Cineform. I didn't try that route, as I bought Elecard in anticipation of problems before buying my HG10. Don't really need it now.
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