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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 September 20th, 2008, 04:36 PM   #46
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Mircea,

Nero Show Time plays authored AVCHD disks on my system, including menus and navigation. I am now wondering why it will not work on your system.

I do have CoreAVC h.264 codecs installed but that should make no difference for this situation.

Try putting an AVCHD disk in your drive and then doing "Select Source" for that drive using the Show Time menu. Or, try clicking on the small Folder icon on the Show Time player control panel, and then doing "Play From Folder....." and then select the BDMV folder containing the AVCHD authored disk. Both methods work fine here.

There is only 1 slight limitation, which is that the Nero Show Time player cannot play beyond 2 layers of menus deep. I have some AVCHD disks with a top men, a special features menu, and then a 3rd menu below Special Features (let's call it Deleted Scenes). All of my other AVCHD players can navigate all the way down (PowerDVD, WinDVD, Total Media Theater) but Nero can't activate the final, 3rd layer. Aside from that, it works great.

Maybe you don't have the updated version? Mine is 4.3.7.0.

Larry
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Old September 20th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
That is the key, keeping it to just 1 render.

If Xpress 4.0 would just not molest the 5.1 to stereo, I could give it a native mpeg-2 source file.

Then I would have an end to end workflow.

This (Xpress 4.0) would be for high bitrate AVC, yes?

Yes Tom, but looks like straight re-muxing is not an option for AVCHD video.

Larry
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Old September 20th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
Maybe you don't have the updated version? Mine is 4.3.7.0.
4.42.0.0 is what just downloaded for me.
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Old September 20th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #49
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Tom,

Both my "About" splash screen and the update version display show the Nero Show Time as being up to date and version 4.3.7.0.

You should confirm this using:

Start>>>Programs>>>Nero 8>>>Nero Toolkit>>>NeroControlCenter>>> then select Update tab on the left.

You should see:

Nero Show Time Installed Version: 4.3.7.0. if you have the latest version.


Larry
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Old September 20th, 2008, 08:48 PM   #50
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Larry -- thank you for your detailed response.

Looks like Tom and I are still out in the cold looking for something SIMPLE that will do what BD does for Hollywood -- make 5.1 DD, 1080p24 movies, with menus. (And, those who shoot 720p24 or 720p30 -- a dead end too.)

There may be some "esoteric" tools that can be tricked into doing these jobs, but if one wants to author BD, BD-5/9, or AVCHD discs like one can with current Apple or Adobe DVD tools -- I don't think we are there yet.

1) For example, there are ways to manually create a red-laser BD-5/9 disc that will play on the PS-3 and other BD players, but it takes more steps than "pros" are used to using with their tools.

2) When product claims to make AVCHD disks, they fail to be upfront about whether the are outputting Main 4.0 or High 4.1. Sony we know is at, and likely to stay at, Main 4.0. If one is coming from 24Mbps AVCHD, HDV, or one of the XDCAM/P2 formats -- one wants High 4.1, not only because it supports 25Mbps, but because High uses smarter encoding tools!

In fact, those not coming from AVCHD -- really shouldn't want to make AVCHD discs. We want to use H.264 at High 5.1 or MPEG-2. Almost everything I do starts as MPEG-2. (But, may wind-up as ProRes 422 or DNxHD.) And, at 35Mbps, there is not only no quality advantage to H.264, the encoding time or MPEG-2 is much much shorter.

And, it seems the BD folks intended to force Region 50 to only use 24p. I'm still not sure if the BD spec got amended for 1080p25 and 720p25. (Thankfully, 1080p25 should be able to be treated as 1080i50. But, it's still a hack.)

Right now to burn 24p material with 5.1 you have to add 2-3 pulldown -- which kills the whole goal of 24p through to projection at 48p, 72p, 96p, or 120p.

Sometimes, I think we are being locked-out of cheap 24p to force the purchase of expensive tools.

I think it makes sense to start a new thread on "I want to make a BD-5/9 Disc" because right now we are mixing three options together: BD, BD-5/9, and AVCHD.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; September 20th, 2008 at 09:18 PM.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 12:09 AM   #51
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I agree Steve, and have notionally segregated the authoring community into 2 basic camps: those who want the rich and complete delivery of all things "expected" in commercial HD disks, including 24p, full movie length play time of 2+ hours, full 5.1 (or 7.1) Digital Dolby, very high bitrates, and total menu navigation control

and

the second camp, those who want a delivery method for more amateur / less professional content, sacrificing one or more of the previously stated features (24p, 2+ hours, full Dolby surround, high bitrates, total navigation).

It is into this latter camp that I believe AVCHD applies, and into the former camp that BluRay applies.

My segregation is somewhat arbitrary, but it does recognize that the tools, costs, and complexities really do "cluster" around these two extremes. As the tools expand and the markets expand, the distinctions will blur and many tools of one camp may indeed solve the needs of the other, but I believe this is like to stay segregated for the most part until costs drop a lot.

No doubt a lot of our own disagreement arises from where we view AVCHD in this delivery mix. Many authors legitimately want to use it to produce event videos or other prosumer / professional content, and are quite rightfully underwhelmed by the amateur AVCHD NLEs which I embrace / endorse. The converse is also apparently true as well, namely, that many amateurs reject the notion of using sledgehammers to drive thumbtacks, a metaphor I may regret using, to represent overly expensive and overpowered tools to make home movies.

For the time being it truly does seem like there is no workflow to do what Tom, you, and others are asking for without applying the heavy guns. And I doubt that NBC news will be switching to Nero Vision any time soon either..... (-8

It concerns me also more than a little bit that AVCHD support among BluRay players is not universal, and may disappear in the not too distant future. Red laser AVCHD may also give way to only support for blue laser playback in the not too distant future, obsoleting many of the disks we save our cherished memories on. Those who have struggled to build collections of VCDs, SVCDs, HD DVDs, etc. know what I mean.

And mark my words........Japan Incorporated will have an "Ultra Definition" format on the street in not too many years, leaving all of this in a state of obsolete garbage, not much different from VHS tapes.

I guess this is what makes it all so exciting and so frustrating.....

Larry
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Old September 21st, 2008, 03:09 PM   #52
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As I have been away experimenting with Nero Vison, I return to the topic finding that my conclusions have already been accurately stated in advance by Steve and Larry!

I read through Steve's points and agree with every one of them. Then I read through Larry's and agree with them too! What love!

But just to restate what I was able to do, or rather not able to do...

- Using Vegas and Nero Vision in combination, I was not successful with mpeg2 native 1920x1080p24 from the EX1, not even through various conversions.

- AVCHD with 60i and AC3 5.1 and menus does work.

- AVC is always re-encoded by Nero Vision
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Old September 21st, 2008, 03:22 PM   #53
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A great summary, Larry.

As a regular lurker in the FCP and Avid groups it's clear there is mass confusion amoungst the "pros."

How does one edit AVCHD that's been brought to them? This question is going to become more often asked when Pana's new AVCCAM arrives.

How can they make HD discs with only a red laser burner?

How can the be confident, given the number of BD players all with different firmware, that what they burn can be played?

For some, the answer is just spend the money to get an authoring package -- even if i's expensive. But, that's not where most of us are at.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 03:38 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
For some, the answer is just spend the money to get an authoring package -- even if i's expensive.
Sony has one. It's about $40,000, no problem...
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 10:15 AM   #55
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I am posting this here for the benefit of Mircea and other readers of this thread who may have found that Nero software, particularly Nero Vision 5 and the Show Time Player do not appear to work exactly as I previously had stated in playing full menued AVCHD disks and authoring BDMV disks:

____________________________________________________________________
I think I now know why Steve and Mircea may have seen different Nero performance from me in 2 earlier replies. I am not entirely sure this is the explanation, but it would seem to explain it all:

I purchased, for an earlier version of Nero, an optional add-in which expanded the functionality of Nero 7 to include HD DVD and some BluRay BDMV functionality. This was added maybe 18 months ago when it was released.

It appears that the newer Nero 8 I subsequently purchased must be using the addin. This is actually something I confirmed by looking in the Control Center licensing panel, where the serial number for my old purchase shows up in addition to the serial number for Nero 8. I therefore have a more robust and more competent version, which is why I am authoring BDMV with Nero Vision and playing AVCHD disks with Show Time with no problems.

I had not considered that an earlier purchase for an older version would have any impact but it apparently does.

The good news is that this plugin/addin is totally transparent, works exactly as claimed, and adds tons of functionality, as shown below. I bought it for $20 when it was first released.

The description is below.

Larry

see: Nero – Blu-ray/HD DVD Video Plug-in
_____________________________________________________________


Blu-ray / HD DVD Video Plug-in
Play your Blu-ray and HD DVD Video on your PC
This plug-in can only be used with Nero 7 or Nero 8
Experience the quality of Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD right on your PC! With the Blu-ray/HD DVD Video Plug-in, you now have access to advanced authoring, playback, and editing features for your High Definition content.

Play your favorite Blu-ray Discs and HD DVDs on your PC
Experience true High Definition video with brilliant images in Full HD (1080p)
Enjoy outstanding audio quality up to 5.1 channels with Dolby® Digital, Dolby® Digital Plus, Dolby®TrueHD and DTS Digital Surround
Edit HD video content and then burn to Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD
Save time by modifying your editable Blu-ray videos right on the disc – no need to copy to another drive!
Record Blu-ray or HD DVD videos from your HDV or DV camcorder and customize it the way you like by adding menus, play lists, etc., or store content in its raw, compressed format on a Blu-ray Disc without loss of quality
Use highly interactive menus and other Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD advanced features throughout movie playback
This plug-in will enhance your Nero applications with the following technologies:
HD DVD-Video playback and authoring*
Blu-ray Disc playback, authoring, and editing**
MPEG-2 decoding/encoding***
VC-1 decoding
H.264 AVC decoding with AVC Film Grain
Dolby® Digital 5.1 decoding/encoding***
Dolby® Digital EX decoding
Dolby® Digital Plus 5.1 decoding
Dolby® TrueHD 5.1 decoding
DTS® Digital Surround 5.1 decoding
AACS Playback

* HD DVD-Video authoring is only available in Nero 8, playback requires Nero 7.8 or higher
** Playback of BD-ROM 2.0 and authoring or playback of BD-R 2.0 and BD-RE 3.0 (BDMV formats) requires Nero 8.2 or higher. Currently supported BD-ROM profile is 1.0. Playback and authoring of BD-R 1.0 and BD-RE 2.0 (BDAV formats) requires Nero 7.8 or higher. Editing requires Nero 7.8 or higher and is not available in Nero Vision Essentials SE.
*** Also included in the full version of Nero 8

Important Information
The Blu-ray/HD DVD Video Plug-in can be used with:
Nero 7 full version
Nero 7 Essentials
Nero 8 full version
Nero 8 Essentials
The Blu-ray/HD DVD Video Plug-in cannot be used as a stand-alone product.

Playback of commercial Blu-ray Disc titles (BD-ROM) is only available with Nero 8. Several titles featuring interactive content are currently not supported. Title compatibility will be improved with periodic free updates.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 11:59 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
Mircea,

Nero Show Time plays authored AVCHD disks on my system, including menus and navigation. I am now wondering why it will not work on your system.

I do have CoreAVC h.264 codecs installed but that should make no difference for this situation.

Try putting an AVCHD disk in your drive and then doing "Select Source" for that drive using the Show Time menu. Or, try clicking on the small Folder icon on the Show Time player control panel, and then doing "Play From Folder....." and then select the BDMV folder containing the AVCHD authored disk. Both methods work fine here.

There is only 1 slight limitation, which is that the Nero Show Time player cannot play beyond 2 layers of menus deep. I have some AVCHD disks with a top men, a special features menu, and then a 3rd menu below Special Features (let's call it Deleted Scenes). All of my other AVCHD players can navigate all the way down (PowerDVD, WinDVD, Total Media Theater) but Nero can't activate the final, 3rd layer. Aside from that, it works great.

Maybe you don't have the updated version? Mine is 4.3.7.0.

Larry
Thank you Larry, I have the same version. If it works for you, it will work for me. I did what you sayed but Nero gives the message that this functionality is not available. I will search for this, it will work...

Later edit: I saw your last post and I think that's the explanation...
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 12:47 PM   #57
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Larry, my copy of Nero 8 (the latest version) has arrived safe-and-sound, and I am ready to install it. Your recent post (to summarize): I must purchase a plug-in in order to get the BluRay functionality?
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 07:30 PM   #58
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Unless you purchase and then enter the serial number for the HD DVD/BluRay plugin, the software apparently will not create BDMV (menued) BluRay disks nor will it play menued AVCHD or BluRay disks in the Show Time player. The simple answer is that you will need to purchase the addin/plug, and then enter the serial number into Nero in the License control center (Start>>Programs>>Nero 8>>Nerto Toolkit>>Nero Control Center>>License Tab and then use the Add button.

Larry
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Old October 1st, 2008, 11:39 AM   #59
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Larry; I see Nero 9 is now out. As of just a couple of days ago.
Any comment on this new version?
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Old October 1st, 2008, 02:45 PM   #60
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Tom,

I am a bit undecided on this upgrade. The published information on the upgrade provides little or no reason to justify the purchase as far as I can tell. I will list the information below and you mauy agree with me that the new version does not appear to offer anything substantial compared to version 8. I have coincidentally been using the new trial version of Movie Factory 7 Pro from Ulead / Corel and feel the same way here. It hardly seems worth spending anything for a very limited number of new features.

Let me list the new Nero 9 upgrade features here and then close with a few more comments below:

From Nero's website:
______________________________________________
Top 5 Reasons to Upgrade Comparison Chart

1.Enjoy a fast, easy, and convenient user interface
Nero StartSmart, the intuitive command center in Nero 9, now integrates new playback, ripping, burning, copying, and backup functions with one click tabs so you can quickly and easily access your favorite digital features.

2.Create superior High Definition video
Simply capture video from AVCHD camcorders and create stunning movies with 3D animated menu templates for professional-looking videos. The new Tape Scan feature lets you quickly and easily preview with scene selections from digital (DV) or High Definition videos (HDV) for the seamless import of video, saving you time and hard drive space. Easily add HD menu templates and burn AVCHD discs using standard recordable DVD media. Nero’s Smart Encoding for AVCHD saves you time and ensures quality playback.

3.Watch, record, pause, and customize your live TV experience
Providing a great new TV experience for your PC, Nero Live is a new addition to Nero 9 that lets you view high-quality live TV on your PC. As a stand-alone application or to enhance your Windows® Media Center, Nero Live makes it easy to watch live TV/HDTV, record TV shows, watch two channels at once with Picture in Picture (PiP) capabilities, time shift for up to 60 minutes, and listen to DVB radio.

4.Edit videos and create professional-looking DVD movies
Nero 9 provides highly-enhanced yet easy-to-use video editing tools that let you personalize your home videos and slide shows. The new Movie Wizard allows for greater creativity with an easy-to-use library of templates including themes for special occasions like birthdays, holidays, and weddings, plus soundtracks and special effects.

5.Protect, back up, and recover your memories
Nero 9 includes new easy and convenient tools to protect your valuable memories and confidential data, plus safeguard against system crashes, natural disasters, and human error. The new Auto Backup feature in Nero 9 makes it easy for you to back up digital files from your PC including files, folders, drives, and even the entire system via a simple wizard interface for offline or online backup. With Nero RescueAgent technology, you can safely and securely recover data from damaged or scratched discs, hard drives, USB and flash sticks, and other memory devices.

____________________________________________

Although there are some major new benefits in item 3, I am not personally interested. Item 2 for those of us doing AVCHD disks looks pretty much unchanged for AVCHD and only adds the Tape Scan for tape-based DV and HDV content.


One other very big consideration is that Nero is unlike almost every other piece of software in the way it installs, since removing it entirely and going back to an older version is a real pain. I am not willing to go for the trial unless I am reasonably sure I would buy the new upgrade, and so far anyway, I have yet to see any reason to go for it.

I might download 9 on one of my other machines here to check it out, but my first reaction is a bg yawn..............

Larry
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