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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 October 1st, 2008, 11:22 PM   #61
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Larry;
Thanks for your, as always, detailed answer.
I have just ordered a HF-10. It only records in AVCHD nothing else.
To date I am using a Sony VX-2000, SD and it's 10 years old, and falling apart.
Now I need to actually buy something for editing AVCHD instead of just lurking on this forum.

My hobby is playing flute, both classical and traditional (celtic) music. With 3/4 other musicians.
I record audio on a hard disk recorder-a KORG D-16XD using .WAV format at 44.1kHz/16bit.
Presently (in SD of course) I use Adobe Premiere or Microsoft Moviemaker and it is very easy to create 3/5 minute pieces that I can edit into a single program of about 1 hour on tape or DVD by adding the audio track,titles and credits and using various video shots (scenics, beauty spots, etc.) as well as the musicians actually playing.

Does any particular program spring to mind as most suitable when you see what I am doing. It appears Nero 9 may well be my best answer at the moment.

Thanks in advance.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 02:40 AM   #62
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Tom,

I am a huge collector and fan of flute performances, and have eagerly sought out Rampal and Galway recordings in particular for many years.

You need a very substantial computer for AVCHD so I need to ask you what your computer environment is. Also, given your specific emphasis on music capture and playback, are there particular mixing or audio editing requirements? Also, do you have surround 5.1 channel needs? Do you do a lot of video adjustments for color, cropping, or other heavy editing?

Programs like Nero are comparatively basic and easy to use versus Premiere, and may not be versatile enough for you. Have you found Premiere to be a good chioice for your SD editing? What type of playback are you planning? Do you have any BluRay playback capabilities? Authoring AVCHD only makes sense if you intend to present HD content in an HD format.

So I have answered your question with many more questions.....! These are all topics to consider as you / we try to answer your original question regarding the choice of AVCHD software.

Larry
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 12:20 PM   #63
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Larry;
I am not such a huge fan of Rampal (heresy among flute players) as I am of Pahud and Galway who I regard as a real virtuoso. As do most flute players, I think. I have seen him often playing live and have never heard a slight error in even the most demanding pieces, some of which I know quite well.

My new computer is this one, but I can and will build a new one myself if it's not up to the job. Money is important but not the only determinant here.

Model No; Hewlett Packard a6552f. (total cost incl. monitor etc. was $CAD 1,080)
Core2 Quad Q6600 @2.4GHz.
4 GB Ram- 6400/800
640 GB drive western digital sata 3 @7200 RPM. (single drive only)
Standard DVD burner.
NVidia 9500GS video card
22" W/S monitor with HDMI, native 1680x1050 but can do 1920x1080.
64 bit Vista Home Premium.
Premiere 6.5 (adequate but out of date) and Moviemaker Vista V.6 (HD but not AVCHD)

For audio recording;
From experience I will not use a computer to record audio performances as they glitch too often (or freeze) and audio capture is a one-shot deal either you succeed totally or fail totally. So I have gone to hard disk recording and am happy with my Korg D16XD, it takes in 8 mics, has full audio special FX and has some mastering capability as well as popping out a finished audio cd. These cd's that Korg makes are my masters for audio cd duplication so audio cd making is not an issue here. The Korg is reliable, so far.

Presently I use these cd's to import into Premiere or the underated Moviemaker V6.
What I need from the editing program to be able to import .wav's at DVD quality (44.1kHz/16 bit is fine, with 94kHz/24 bit available on the Korg but I rarely use it) and put it onto the timeline and output without distortion. Commonly I import the audio first and then add video clips,transitions,titles and credits, etc to suit, editing as I go along. I re-edit these shorts into a single file of about 1 hour (15 or so takes) for a DVD which must have menus and to date we have only used stereo, not 5:1 or 7:1 output.
Our output is still standard DVD's not HD as yet but it's coming.
Although output for DVD's will probably not be a problem with Nero or whatever I buy, output for the web is an issue. I need about 320x240 resolution at about 520kbps.
Working in SD is very quick and remarkably easy for me.
But the times they are a'changing.

My trusty old VX-2000 is now unreliable (quits due to a bad power switch that I cannot replace) and so I got the HF-10. It's extreme portability is a real plus as I shoot a lot of scenics and so on. If this is a wrong camera not big deal as I can sell it easily, and it came from my Visa reward program points!

Thanks in advance.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 01:56 PM   #64
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Do you want to author HD disks, or will you stay with SD?
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 02:16 PM   #65
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Larry;
Both.
SD to date, but HD is in the not too distant future.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 06:15 PM   #66
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Tom,

There are presently 5 relatively low cost choices when it comes to selecting a program which allow you to make both menued AVCHD and standard DVD disks:

Nero
ArcSoft Total Media Extreme
Corel Video Studio X2 Pro
Cyberlink Power Director 7 Ultra
Pinnacle Studio 12 Ultimate

(Corel Movie Factory 7 Pro has no editing to speak of and is therefore being ignored for this discussion).


The first 2 force you to make a choice immediately upon starting a project as to which type of output you intend to make. Once a project is started in, for example, AVCHD, then you cannot open the project in another format, let's say DVD. Thus, both Nero Vision as well as Arcsoft TME force you to start over again if you want to eventually go from one media type to another. Since I would consider this to be a big problem for someone who is in a situation you describe, I would eliminate both Nero and TME from consideration.

Among the remaining 3 contenders, each has strengths and weaknesses which you should consider:

Corel Video Studio has weak audio trimming and editing, but a very nice set of 10 audio filtering options, as well as pan controlled 5.1 mixing for complete surround sound Digital Dolby 5.1. AVCHD is SmartRendered very well.

Cyberlink has better trimming and editing of the audio but essentially no filter options, and no creation, mixing / panning of 5.1. AVCHD is Smart Rendered very well.

Pinnacle actually offers both better trimming as well as a substantial set of audio filtering and mixing options, but has pretty poor re-rendered video with no AVCHD Smart Render whatsoever.

Personally, I would therefore eliminate Pinnacle since it lacks any Smart Render, with the choice being narrowed to Corel or Cyberlink.

Of the 2, Corel seems more mature, more stable, a bit less intuitive to new users, and very feature rich. I do not like the audio trimming however, but this may be something you do not need to do often. Cyberlink is up until a very recent new patch release quite buggy, and even now I am not nearly as confident in using it. This issue becomes even more apparent for the longer and more complex projects of the type you seem to be interested in.

Thus, at the bottom line, I would suggest Corel Video Studio X2 Pro, but offer you the same caveats and disclaimers, namely, that your mileage may vary considerably from mine. Using both trial programs is the best way to see if either, neither, or both satisfy you for your specific needs. Both make very nice fully menued AVCHD and DVD disks, with Smart Rendering, Smart Proxy instant previewing of effects, and pretty straight-forward user interfaces. I should also add that the web publishing you are describing would be more supported in VideoStudio Pro X2, which has a wider range of output formats suitable for web publishing.

Larry
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 11:16 PM   #67
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Larry;
Many thanks. You have saved me a lot of time.
I am truly appreciative.
I will decide and let you know the results.
The HF-10 arrived to-day.
Neat little package, tiny camera. I like it so far.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 09:31 AM   #68
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Glad to help, Tom.

The little Canon is a terrific camera, and does better video than any other camcorder I have ever owned, including the 3-sensor HD FX-1 from Sony at 4 times the cost.

Larry
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Old October 5th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #69
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Thanks again for your concise replies, Larry. I'm on my way with Nero 8 and the Canon 100 and will report back when I actually find time to do the work...which is why I'm writing this.

Your instructions and suggestions on this board seem to have my goals and interests in mind--decent HD video editing...not necessarily professional quality etc...but decent enough...with reliable software and a quick learning curve.

Thanks again.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 11:09 AM   #70
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Very glad to help Mark. Please try to provide some feedback to this forum regarding your experiences with the HF100 and Nero so others can benefit once you have some time to check it out.

Larry
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Old October 7th, 2008, 10:13 PM   #71
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Hi Larry

Not sure if you got my email but wanted to thank you for the advice. Nero is a great program and really easy to use. In a short time I produced a quality AVCHD disk with menus and chapters. The only thing that didn't work for me was the MP3 audio file that I attached to the project to play while on the menu screens.

It works perfect on the preview of the project, but once the disk is burned it does not play either on the PS3 or in Nero Showtime.

Have you experienced this or do you have any suggestions? Thanks again.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 01:58 AM   #72
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[QUOTE=Jamie Lauzon;948137It works perfect on the preview of the project, but once the disk is burned it does not play either on the PS3 or in Nero Showtime.
[/QUOTE]

MP3 is not supported on BD or AVCHD discs. So, if you imported your own music it should be pre-converted to WAV. WAV and AIFF are PCM which is supported.

Ideally you want ALL audio on a disc to be AC3. Even if the menu music is a type supported, your home theater needs time to switch from one mode to another. I found almost 2 seconds were needed to switch to AC3 from another audio mode with an HD DVD player. So, movies needed 2 seconds of silent black before starting.

That means if your menu program doesn't convert menu audio to AC3, you should do so before importing it.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 09:57 AM   #73
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Jamie,

I did not receive your email, and first checked my gmail spam trap to see if it might be there. When I could not find it there, I sent myself an email via this forum, and again did not receive it. I guess the emaill system is not working entirely correctly. I believe I registered with the preference to allow receiving private email. And this forum does permit private email to me so I am guessing there is a bug somewhere.

In any event, I am really glad that Nero works well for you. Like the other 2 programs I use here, Corel VS X2 Pro and PowerDirector 7 Ultra, it is extremely quick, makes great looking disks, and is very inexpensive compared to the "pro" alternatives.

Steve is entirely correct that mp3 is unsupported, and Nero SHOULD issue a warning but does not when you insert the menu audio as an mp3 file. The solution is exactly as Steve stated.

Check out the audio editing and conversion program which comes with Nero called Wave Edit.

Not only will it do the mp3 conversion for you, but it, believe it or not, will open, edit, and save 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio, and convert into and out of that format as well. All channels are discretely accesible.

Try doing that with Sony's $300 Sound Forge 9 program. You will quickly discover that you can't! Sony only allows export / render in 5.1 and then, believe it or not, cannot and will not open the very file it just created in 5.1 format.

Sony documentation makes it very clear that 5.1 support is "render output" only.

This is yet another reason why I totally love Nero 8. For $60 to $70 you get a very competent AVCHD disk creation Nero Vision app, an extremely competent BluRay and AVCHD player, a tremendous audio editing program, a full featured disk burning program, and a lot of other stuff.

Larry
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Old October 8th, 2008, 07:04 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
Check out the audio editing and conversion program which comes with Nero called Wave Edit.

Not only will it do the mp3 conversion for you, but it, believe it or not, will open, edit, and save 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio, and convert into and out of that format as well. All channels are discretely accesible.

Try doing that with Sony's $300 Sound Forge 9 program. You will quickly discover that you can't! Sony only allows export / render in 5.1 and then, believe it or not, cannot and will not open the very file it just created in 5.1 format.

Sony documentation makes it very clear that 5.1 support is "render output" only.

This is yet another reason why I totally love Nero 8. For $60 to $70 you get a very competent AVCHD disk creation Nero Vision app, an extremely competent BluRay and AVCHD player, a tremendous audio editing program, a full featured disk burning program, and a lot of other stuff.

Larry
Good tip on the Nero program.

Do you see any reason to upgrade to Nero 9? I bought 8 5 days before 9 came out and they still want a 100 or so to upgrade.

I can't explain anything about WHY Vegas is the way it is! People really LOVE Vegas cause they say it's good for editing video. I find the GUI horrible for video. But, I do find it great for editing audio -- which is what it originally used for.

PS: Vegas can edit Sony 5.1 AVCHD from their camcorder.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 07:55 PM   #75
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Steve,

I have not found a good reason to upgrade to version 9 of Nero, based on the new additional features which have been added:




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 should mention that I once purchased an upgrade from Nero a few weeks before a new version was announced, and emailed them to ask if I could get the latest upgrade instead. They sent me a new serial number / key for the latest revision, and perhaps might do the same in your case. It's worth a try. I might suggest emailing your recent invoice or other proof of pirchase along with your request showing the very recent purchase.

I've been only able to edit ac3 content in Vegas when it is present on a muxed file along with video content and can't find any way to bring in only ac3 audio, whether stereo or 5.1. This confirms your comment about editing 5.1 when it comes with AVCHD content from the Sony camcorder. It appears that Sony Vegas as well as Sony Sound Forge as well as Sony DVD Architect can process ac3 but inputing audio for editing is not possible as far as I can tell.

Larry
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