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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 July 13th, 2008, 10:33 AM   #1
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Joining AVCHD clips

I recently purchased the Sony SR11 and have to say I love it. I can't imagine going back to tape again after being able to take clips right from the camera to a hardrive then directly out to a Hidef TV- in minutes, not days like tape- I say days because I would have to find time I could sit in front of the computer to capture from tape, then transcoding, then burning to DVD's. With the SR11 I copy the files from the camera directly to the media server hardrive . I use the media server to store all my videos and pictures and it's opened up a whole new world. It finally gave me the ability to have access to all my home movies and digital pictures on our TV with out having to sort through cd's, dvd's, and tapes. If anyone is considering it, all I can say is do it. Of course, right now it's a pain to edit avchd files, but 99.9% of the time, I don't edit.

So here's my problem:

I'm using a media server (Tivx 6500a) to view the m2ts files on my TV. The problem is that every time you hit pause on a avchd camera, it creates another file. When I play back the files, there is a pause between each clip ( I know this is a limitation of the media server or any media player for that matter). What I want to do is join the clips without having to re-encode. Apparently there doesn't seem to be any editing programs at the moment that I have tried that can do this without rerendering the entire file- which takes many many hours and defeats the whole purpose of tapeless for me. I've tried doing the DOS copy that people use for the canon camcorders, but it doesn't work- may have something to do with the Sony m2ts file structure. I've tried TSMuxer- which seems to work if I play the file back on a computer, but when I play the appended file back on the server, it stutters if I've joined more than 2 files together. Has anyone else out there been able to successfully join multiple (more than 2) sony avchd files together with out re-rendering the entire file and then had them playback flawlessly? If you have, I'd like to know what software you are using. Just so people understand what I'm asking- joining 30 minutes worth of clips should just take a few minutes if it's not re-encoding the entire file.

I would assume someday Vegas will have smart rendering for avchd files like they do for dv and hdv files, but it definately doesn't now.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 04:18 AM   #2
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I share your desillusion, and would be more than happy to read any form of solution.

To me this clearly shows that AVCHD is still in its infancy . It was massively pushed forward by SONY and PANA in the overall BD vs HD-DVD war, but the real needs of the users were just left aside !

Just to show in which despair i am in, to get editable and lengthy footage i have decided TEMPORARILY ( i hope) to create an HDV file from my sequences of stupid few seconds AVCHD clips ! It Takes only(!) twice the real-time length but thanks to TMPEnc Xpress batch mode this performs well at night...

Nevertheless this situation is a shame, and the promoters of AVCHD should be blamed for it!
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Old July 21st, 2008, 06:57 AM   #3
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Have you tried TSsplitter?

http://www.ffprojects.net/tssplitter/tssplitter.htm

Regards
Steve
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Old July 24th, 2008, 07:00 AM   #4
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Yeah - It causes freezes where the files are joined when played back.

Bill
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Old July 24th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #5
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Nero 8 Ultra Edition's Vision editor can join, using smart rendering, multiple unedited AVCHD clips into a single large file quickly and without loss of PQ.

I created a 15 minute movie in Vision (version 5.3.9.0) using 30 short clips that were taken with my Canon HF100. The movie was rendered as an AVCHD disc (writing to HDD) and took 1.5 minutes to complete on my quad core desktop PC with 30% average CPU usage. The resulting 2GB mts file in the Stream directory plays smoothly at the full original bit rate with no noticeable pixelation.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 11:36 AM   #6
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I've tried Nero already. It wants to re-encode the video files no matter what settings I use. I'm starting to think it may be that the Sony M2TS files are different than Canon's files.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 11:47 AM   #7
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Bill, when you get to the burn options window, click on details and see if your movie has these settings:

Audio format:Automatic
Sample format:Automatic
Encoding mode:Fast Encoding (1-Pass)
Nero SmartEncoding: Automatic

Number of titles: 1
1. Title 1 (Video Title, 0h 00m 00s)*
- Audio SmartEncoding ratio: 100.0 %
- Video SmartEncoding ratio: 100.0 %

Video disc menu: Do not create a menu

*this will vary depending on number of clips
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Old July 29th, 2008, 02:27 PM   #8
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No matter what settings I use, I can't get the video smartencoding ratio to read anything other than 0%.

I think why Nero won't work for me is the max bitrate it can encode at is 14 mbit/sec. The sony AVC files I'm using are 16mbit/sec. Maybe because it can't presently go over 14 ( I'm using version 5.3.3.0) it forces a reencode. I'll have to experiment latter and lower the quality setting on the camcorder and see if they pass through Nero with out reencoding, also will have to check for Nero updates and see if there's a new Vision update that does over 14 mbit.

Stan, are the settings on your canon using full quality mode when shooting? I think the canon hf10/100 goes up to 17 mbit/sec if I remeber correctly. If yours are over 14mbit and it's working for you, are you using a new version of Nero Vision?

edit: Just tried using a lower quality recording that was 9 mbit/sec and Nero still want to re encode it.

Last edited by Bill Jernigan; July 29th, 2008 at 02:30 PM. Reason: Updated
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Old July 30th, 2008, 02:11 AM   #9
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I use FXP 17mbps mode only on my Canon. The 5.3.9.0 version of Vision I use appears to be newer than yours, so that may be part of the problem.

Here's an example of the workflow I use to create joined clips in Vision:

1) Nero Vision Start > Make DVD > AVCHD

2) Content > Make Movie > Locate, Select, and Drag Clips to Timeline > Next > Next

3) Edit Menu > Menus to use: Do not create a menu > Next

4) Preview > Next

5) Burn Options > Write to Hard Disk Folder > Write

6) Done!
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Old July 31st, 2008, 06:37 PM   #10
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Stan.
I wonder if i could get some help with this.
Im using Nero Vision 5.3.9.0 and i too cant get my Hf10 AVCHD files to join without transcoding.
In the details setting i have Smart encoding Video = 100% but Audio = 81.5%.
Any idea why this is.
Also im not clear on the other settings in the Video options. Ive changed the quality setting to custom so i can enter 17,000kbs and 1920x1080 below it. Is this right?


Thanks

Dave.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 09:57 PM   #11
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Dave, I'm not setting or changing any video or audio options at all during my 6-step process. My suggestion is to follow my workflow exactly and see what happens.

Vision seems to smart encode unedited clips the best if you start off using the Make DVD -> AVCHD preset. I tried exporting a movie directly to a file, but no matter what custom setting I made, Vision wanted to transcode it.

I always import my clips from the HF100 to the hard drive first using Pixela ImageMixer3 SE before editing. I don't know if that really makes any difference but you might want to try that also.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 03:03 AM   #12
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Thanks Stand but im not having any luck.
Unless i set the Video options to Custom, 17,000kb/s 1920x1080 the Video smart encode is showing as 0%. With the above osettings its 100%. I think its the audio thats the problem. Its never showing as 100%, always around 75-85%.
Also the output file is coming out really big, 12GB+ for a 1 and a half min clip.

Im going to give up. Its not that important as i normally use VEgas Pro to edit my clips, this ws just to to see how well it works.

Dave.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 07:48 AM   #13
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Dave, using my method, this is what Vision lists in the Burn Options window under Project summary:

Current video options:

Video mode:NTSC
Aspect ratio:16:9
Quality:Automatic (fit to disc)

When you click on More >> at the bottom of the Burn Options window, you'll see the Video Options button. Clicking on that, you should see:

Video mode:NTSC
Nero Smart Encoding:Automatic

Then click on the AVCHD tab:

Video format:MPEG4 - greyed out

Under Transcoding quality:

Quality setting:Automatic (fit to disc)
Sample format:Automatic
Bitrate and Resolution - greyed out
Encoding mode:Fast encoding (1-pass)
Aspect ratio:16:9 - greyed out
Audio format:Automatic

Since you're in the UK, I assume you're using PAL. Your HF10 probably records 50i and 25p. That could possibly be what's causing Vision to transcode the audio.

BTW, I was able to import the HF11 24mbps clips from the Japanese site to the Vision timeline and burn them to an AVCHD disc without any problems. The disc plays back fine on my PS3 at the full 24mbps rate.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 07:55 AM   #14
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Thanks for posting back Stan.
Yes, all my settings seem to match yours other than i am using PAL.
Yet still i get Smart Encoding Audio = 81.5%.
The other thing that makes me think this is all wrong is that using fit to disc i think Vision is trying to fit the file to my HHD. The last one i aborted was over 23GB and this might be why its trasncoding.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 06:50 PM   #15
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I wanted to add that I routinely join AVCHD clips using the latest Nero Vision as described above and there is absolutely no re-rendering.

I have recently tried full bitrate 24 MB/sec and 17 MB/sec Canon clips with no re-rendering whatsoever, and the output .mts file is within a few bytes of the sum of the original .mts clips.

All tests were NTSC.
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