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AVCHD Format Discussion
Inexpensive High Definition H.264 encoding to DVD, Hard Disc or SD Card.


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Old February 22nd, 2008, 02:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by David Saraceno View Post
Cheap PCs, are well, cheap PCs. You can buy a no name or build your own for far less than a Mac. But the OS sells.
Agree 100%, the O/S is the real deal. But cheap PC's don't have to be cheap PC's. If you don't trust the foreign boards from Asus, Gigabyte, Abit, etc., then go with an Intel board, particularly if you don't need to OC. Right now, I am building all of my corporate replacement PC's with the Intel DG31PR motherboard. This is a very inexpensive, well designed and built board with sufficient expansion for even moderately advanced systems. $150 will get you the board and the same E2140 I'm using right now. That's cheap but very high quality.

When I absolutely don't want ANY callbacks, RMA's, etc., I use Intel boards.
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 03:47 PM   #17
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Being someone who has edited on both machines I have to say I favor the Mac right now, mostly for its out of the box stability. The reason for this is simply in the fact that Macs only get configured in a very small range of ways. PCs have a huge range of options, you should probably research and buy only components that are tested to run flawlessly with the program you intend to use. That being said, I guess it's a matter of personal choice and if you do your homework you can get a very stable PC to edit on as well.


As far as AVCHD goes I think we are making do with what we have until an efficient solution is released. Vegas may be the best right now(native), but I don't use it so I'm not positive on that. I'm sure that once everyone is running 16 core machines there will be no issues with AVCHD. I remember back in the day, just trying to play Mpeg1 video on an underpowered 386 and the frustration that caused.

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Old February 22nd, 2008, 04:45 PM   #18
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Hi Aaron. You got me trying again. I converted a 99MB m2ts in the latest Canopus convert to HQ which resulted in a 688MB file took about 2.5 times realtime. I have downloaded NEo trial but can't get it to work properly even though I have Sony AVCHD Browser software, Vegas 8, Nero 8 and Canopus Edius 4.6 all of which will play AVCHD, so there are plenty of AVCHD decoders on the system for NEO to use. Media Player 11 will play only if I tell it too ( won't just play from initial selection). HDlink converts this same file into multiple 6.6GB(explorer says its a 1440x1080 file duration 25sec)) files with just green screen on playback and cannot be placed in Vegas or PP CS3 timeline!!!. I have obviously got something wrong in the trial installation !!
Vegas 8 will play AVCHD on the timeline just like HDV and at the moment is my preferred NLE for mixing HDV and AVCHD.

Ron Evans

update I rendered to intermediate from Vegas 8 the same file and it took about 4 times realtime. A HDV file of the same length rendered to intermediate from Vegas 8 in 2.5 times realtime. At least this shows the relative complexity of conversion. I quess my old AMD 4200X2 is due for replacement!!!!!!!! Couple fo months and I will get the new quad core Intel with a X48 motherboard.

Last edited by Ron Evans; February 22nd, 2008 at 05:23 PM. Reason: New tests
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 09:39 PM   #19
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It's taking me about 20 minutes to convert 1 minute of video in Pinnacle 11 + on my 4400+ x2 to wmv 720p







Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
Vegas 8 will play AVCHD on the timeline just like HDV and at the moment is my preferred NLE for mixing HDV and AVCHD.

Ron Evans

update I rendered to intermediate from Vegas 8 the same file and it took about 4 times realtime. A HDV file of the same length rendered to intermediate from Vegas 8 in 2.5 times realtime. At least this shows the relative complexity of conversion. I quess my old AMD 4200X2 is due for replacement!!!!!!!! Couple fo months and I will get the new quad core Intel with a X48 motherboard.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 10:17 PM   #20
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The latter. Unfortunately, the B&H Photo upgrade deal is no longer - check the Vegas forum for the thread. So you're looking at ~$380 now.
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=115373

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Old February 24th, 2008, 09:52 AM   #21
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Something else you may want to consider is the NLE that you are using. I do agree with Aaron that Macs are expensive and undoubtedly overpriced. However, I don't know if I can personally make a recommendation to anyone on a platform without knowing more information. What is your end goal result? Home movies with simple edits made in a NLE? Professional or prosumer editing? If you are already set in using a particular type of NLE, then basically your path has already been chosen.

If your NLE is still undecided, then think about this. iMovie can be a blessing or an burden. I suspect most professionals or prosumers would steer (run?) away from iMovie because it would shackle them too much. But if you are just a home movie kind of guy, then I would suggest running over to an Apple store and hop on a Mac and give iMovie a shot. What you pay for is a simplified way to do simple tasks. I'm not suggesting Windows programs can't do the same thing, it's just that Apple's main focus is about user experience. How to keep things as simple as possible.

Macs and PCs are both CPU bound when trying to edit raw AVCHD, and both have either workarounds or built-in solutions. iMovie creates smaller thumbnail versions which makes the editing real-time friendly. Aaron has a great suggestion to switch to a more CPU friendly intermediate codec. The only counterpoint I would have for that, is then why bother going to AVCHD in the first place?

If converting runs real-time, then the advantage between a disk vs. tape is less than perceived. I see the biggest advantage for disk over tape to be there's no longer any need to convert to begin working in an editor. If you need to spend time 1:1 to convert from AVCHD to an intermediate codec, that's the same time you would have spent going pulling from tape. Yes, there's all sorts of other topics that can be pointed out, cost of tape vs. cost of disk, backups, etc. Perhaps, that's a discussion for another day.

But back to the original topic, PC or Mac for editing AVCHD? IMHO, the question needs to come back to you and ask, "Which NLE are you planning on using?" And if you don't know, then what kind of editing are you planning on doing?

The job should decide which tool you intend to use, not you choose the tool, then find a job to do.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #22
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Overpriced in comparison to what?

Compare a MacPro with a similarly configured Dell?

Also, the OS sells the product, at least to me.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #23
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Mac price discussion is not really the topic here, it's more about what NLE should someone choose. But I digress. I do think that Mac products are expensive, but that does not necessarily stop me from buying a Mac. I use a Mac everyday. I value my productivity above costs and I spent well over $3,000 on my MacBook Pro. For me and my work, which supports my lifestyle, I need to use a Mac. Sure, we can argue that brand X has a cheaper computer, but then we'll walk down the discussion of, "well, are they comparibly equiped laptops". Then that will dive through another series of discussions, blah blah blah.

Perhaps, maybe I can change my point of reference to make the discussion easier. Macs use more expensive parts and give less options to remove things that I as a consumer may/may not want. They bundle more equipment into the computer which makes the overall product a more expensive purchase.

On the brand X model of systems, the manufacturers tend to give me more control over the hardware and don't lock me into buying a complete bundle.

So, are Macs overpriced? No. Are Macs more expensive? correction, are Macs more expensive then comparable equipped PCs? No.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:23 PM   #24
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Buy 6 first, then the upgrade?

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http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=115373

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So I buy 6 as cheap as I can, and only then I buy/activate the upgrade?

Think I'll wait to see what Sony includes with the SR11, then maybe get my toes wet with more advanced software.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 09:09 PM   #25
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Dan, yes, you buy v6 and then pick up the v8 Pro upgrade. You have to install 6 in order to install 8 (I uninstalled 6 afterwards). I went this route and had no problems. This is truly an incredible deal and you get the Cineform intermediate codec thrown in.

Leonard brought up some excellent points in his first post in this thread. To clarify my position, which obviously is not the way for everyone to go, I required the Cineform product since Vegas does not remove pulldown from Canon 24PF video. So the time spent rendering AVCHD footage to Cineform is required regardless of whether or not I can effectively edit AVCHD clips on my PC. I knew this before purchasing either the HG10 or Vegas Pro 8 thanks to several informative threads in this forum.

So, in my case, even though I'm back to near realtime capture ala HDV, I'm still benefitting from AVCHD vis-a-vis HDV at the acquisition phase because of HDD vs. tape. One other point that is absolute is performance of both AVCHD editing and rendering is entirely CPU dependent at this point in time. I fully expect hardware accelerated graphics adapters specifically spec'd for AVC/H.264 decoding in the very near future.

Regarding the Mac vs. PC debate, my problem with both Mac's and brandname PC's is that generally speaking, you're locked into a proprietary, non-upgradable model. You just can't rip out the mainboard and CPU of your Mac Pro or Dell and replace it with more current technology when your hardware's age starts to become a problem. At least on the PC side, you have the chance to spec out your own components and assemble with an upgrade path in mind.

But I totally agree with Leonard when he says the app should drive the decision, not the other way around. That was one of the main reasons why OS/2 failed in the marketplace. IBM knew its true 32-bit, pre-emptive multitasking, multithreaded O/S was far superior to MS Windows. However, it failed miserably on the marketing side and so the apps for the platform never materialized. In the end, even those "in the know" had no chance but to choose Win32 over OS/2 because that was the API used by all of the ISV's.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 01:35 PM   #26
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Gents:

From a moderator standpoint, just want to let you know that metadiscussions about Macs vs PC's tend to get pruned out here on DVi as it's been done to death, so probably best to table the discussion of "are Macs overpriced?" and focus on which format offers which possibilities for editing AVCHD.

Outside of that, I'm reading this thread as I'm about to recommend a camcorder for some dear friends who are expecting their first kid and would like to see them in an HD hard-drive system, but wary of what this will mean for them when they want to start editing. My best guess is that the kid will probably be at least walking by the time they have enough energy to think about making their first "greatest hits" video and by then this nut will be cracked (one can hope), but being that they are PC users (and I am not), is there an entry level solution for them that will do the trick, something akin to iMovie? I'm hearing from you guys that converting the files to AVI first is smart, but then what might they use to edit after that. Thanks!
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Old February 25th, 2008, 03:34 PM   #27
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Charles, unfortunately, there really isn't an inexpensive turnkey solution ala iMovie on the PC platform. That has always been one of Apple's strengths. Instead, the consumer is left self-spec'ing the hardware, software, O/S, etc.

If you render your AVCHD footage out to a more universal file format, then you can choose just about any NLE that you'd like. Of course, that choice is highly personal and I'm not sure you want to walk down that road, LOL. Having said that, a lot people seem to like the Vegas Movie Studio product(s), particularly bang for the buck.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #28
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For an amateur shooting the family they don't need anything more than the Sony software that comes with the AVCHD cameras. AVCHD backups and conversion to SD DVD with menus, especially for a PC man. Don't know about the Canon etc but would be surprised if they didn't do much the same. The ability to select scenes by a number if categories ( like date etc or even faces in the Sony software) is something just not possible from tape. This for a family amateur is a lot more useful than the occasional need to do fancy editing. When that desire arrives then buying a suitable program to edit will be the cost of entry. There are already a number of PC programs around $100 that will do this just fine, in fact some better than the expensive pro NLE's!!! Though I would leave in AVCHD and play back in a PS3 or Blu-ray player. Again a lot more convenient than tape.

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Old December 15th, 2008, 06:13 AM   #29
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woah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Smith View Post
It's taking me about 20 minutes to convert 1 minute of video in Pinnacle 11 + on my 4400+ x2 to wmv 720p
Could someone please comment on this? I am SOOO close to buying an ADVCHD camera after a ton of research adn waiting for technology to be great on it (as opposed to when AVCHD first came out for consumers).

The above concerns me, are you talking about when you've finished editing AVCHD and then want to render it out to a final product? Isn't this an absolutely massive amount of time??
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Old December 15th, 2008, 07:20 AM   #30
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Could someone please comment on this? I am SOOO close to buying an ADVCHD camera after a ton of research adn waiting for technology to be great on it (as opposed to when AVCHD first came out for consumers).

The above concerns me, are you talking about when you've finished editing AVCHD and then want to render it out to a final product? Isn't this an absolutely massive amount of time??
i don't know about pinnacle, because it doesn't have a demo that supports avchd, but both premiere elements and vegas studio 9 natively support avchd, meaning you can directly import an avchd file into the program, and edit the clip without converting it, and then export it in whatever format you'd like.

granted, editing avchd takes a pretty stout computer, but some programs handle it better than others.

for example, i've got a AMD X2 4200+ (2.2ghz) dual core, with 2gb of ram, and editing avchd is tortuous in premiere elements, but is perfectly reasonable in vegas studio 9. and yes, it does take a while to render out, but that is after the editing is done, i'd say about 10-15 min per minute of video. but compression takes a lot of horsepower, especially the newer, more efficient (visually) codecs. you can either do it fast, but that will cost you some fast and relatively expensive hardware, or you can do it with cheaper with slower hardware, but the price savings is paid for in time it takes to complete.
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