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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old September 13th, 2008, 07:45 PM   #1
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Burning AVCH Disks Please Help!!

Please help, I have a Sony SR1 and a 140 Gigs worth of footage on my laptop that I can not burn as AVCHD DVD disks as advertised. The Picture Motion Browser software gives me a message the the file formats are not supported even though they are the M2TS files that were imported using the software directly from the camcorder. I also purchased Sony Vegas 8 Platinum and find it very complex to use. I'm pretty good with computers in general but I can't seem to figure this software out. It does not seem to provide an option to burn an AVCHD disk. Am I missing something? I also purchased a cheaper software called MAGIX Movie edit pro 14 which advertises to be user friendly and it does not even recognize the files!!

All I really want to do is burn disks that will play in my PS3 with perhaps some menus and titles. Can anyone suggest the easiest way to do this. I have a 1 year old son (hence the reason for buying the camera) and little time to call customer support and do research. I love the high def footage, but need to get it onto DVD. I backed everthing up to and external drive and to CDs which I can play on the PS3 but have to select each clip one at a time.

Help for this AVCHD newbie would be most appreciated!!!
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Old September 13th, 2008, 08:07 PM   #2
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Jamie,

There has been quite a bit of discussion on this forum in recent days regarding how to burn AVCHD disks which play hi def content on the PS3 and other BluRay players. You might want to have a look at them, including:

Creating a DVD that displays in Hi Def on a Blu-Ray player - The Digital Video Information Network

Despite claims by Magix regarding AVCHD support, they DO NOT allow direct use of AVCHD content, since it has to be converted first to another (mpeg2) format before the program will even recognize it. On top of that, it can NOT make AVCHD disks whatsoever. I have complained directly to them on this specific matter, and they deleted my specific complaint as well as the complaints of others on the same topic from their user support website. They are shameful in my personal opinion in the way they mislead in their ads.

Vegas does make AVCHD disk, but unfortunately transcodes everything, taking a lot of time and degrading the AVCHD content in the process. They cannot make menued disks so you merely can play a single file with no navigation whatsoever. To put it mildly this is not what a person expects from the co-inventors of AVCHD for several hundred dollars cost.......

Take a look at this forum and review other peoples comments regarding AVCHD disks to see some of the other options. You should be pleased to find that there are several low cost alernatives which make superb menued AVCHD disks very quickly and play beautifully on the PS3 and other players.

If you are looking for additional help, I and others here should be able to provide more assistance.

Best,

Larry


(Visited Lundy's Lane many dozens of times......very near by here...)
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Old September 13th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #3
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Larry (and Jamie):

After rebate, the net price for a boxed Nero Ultra 8 is $35.00 (suggesting Ultra 9 on the way?) at newegg.

Placed my order tonight.

I will report back...after following Larry's concise suggestions, directions and recommendations.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 08:06 AM   #4
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Great price! Please update here once you get a chance to check it out Mark. Remember to enlarge the Nero Vision window to full screen to see all of the controls / buttons and other features well. They use a default window size which is quite small, and I went for a while without increasing it, making it a little more difficult to use.

Best,
Larry
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Old September 14th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #5
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If you want an AVCHD disk, you need an AVCHD disk player. DVD by definition can not contain AVCHD, unless as DVD ROM content for use on PC's.

AVCHD DVD does not exist and is a contradictio interminis. Like a bicycle without wheels.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #6
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The Sony Motion Browser software should make a AVCHD disc for you that will play in a PS3. I think that the basic software hasn't changed much from your SR1 to my SR11. The way I use it is to select the first picon I want in the video from the calendar view, click on the disc icon at the top of the window, select AVCHD disc. Then a window will open with just that one file in it. Then you can drag and drop the other files that you want to use in the disc. On a slow computer just drag one at a time until the picon appears in the Disc creation window. Place a disc in your burner and the amount used will appear in the bottom right of the window. I tend not to place too much on a disc, no more than 20 mins. Then chose menu layout and let the software do the rest.
You can just make a data disc with Nero and play files one at a time on the PS3 or use Nero Vision as descibed.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 01:10 PM   #7
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Jamie, this POS which is PMB also doesn't work for me. I have a SR11 and I updated PMB to last patch, but this program is buggy as hell, if you have other codecs (like ffdshow) it gives you the message that file format is not supported. It works for some lucky guys (like Ron), but I can't use it, no matter what I done (well, I don't want to reinstall my OS for this POS).

So my advice is to use other programs, like Nero, please look after Larry's advice on this.
Harm, please read more on this forum about AVCHD and DVD, because it is very possible to use a DVD to store AVCHD on it...
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Old September 14th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mircea Voinea View Post
Harm, please read more on this forum about AVCHD and DVD, because it is very possible to use a DVD to store AVCHD on it...
That is what I said. Or do you not understand DVD ROM content?
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Old September 14th, 2008, 04:08 PM   #9
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Just to clarify...

AVCHD high definition disks are burned with a red laser onto blank DVD-R, DVD+R, single or dual layer, or re-writable blank media using the AVCHD format rather than the "DVD-Video" formnt standard which is used for standard definition disks. These red-laser AVCHD disks play high definition content in both computers as well as some but not all BluRay set-top players as well as the Sony Playstation 3 game console.

Apparently the AVCHD standard actually includes the use of smaller "miniDVD" disks to be used directly for recording in some AVCHD mini-DVD-based camcorders like the Panasonic HDC-DX1.


Larry
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Old September 14th, 2008, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Lauzon View Post
I also purchased Sony Vegas 8 Platinum and find it very complex to use. I'm pretty good with computers in general but I can't seem to figure this software out.
When Larry and were having our "debate: we both agreed Vegas 8 doesn't provide the SPEED you may want. Which is why he recommends Nero 8.

I'm now working with Vegas Movie 9 Platinum ($85) and the much cheaper feature reduced version of Vegas 8 is far less complicated to learn and use than Vegas 8 Pro. It also provides support for Canon.

Here's the overview:

Vegas was designed for audio editors with video added in.

Avid Medic Composer was designed for film editors with video added in.

Premiere and FCP were designed day 1 as video editors. All other editors are essentially versions of the very first version of Premier -- like 1995.

Adobe then re-designed Premiere to be a near clone of FCP on the outside. Bad move if you don't like FCP. But the internals are still screwed up which is why no AVCHD support and no writing HDV back to tape. I expect this all to get fixed someday, but until then Vegas 9 and Nero 8 are the cheapest way to edit AVCHD, write an AVCHD disc, and get good quality, and have a reliable product.

So if Nero 8 doesn't work for you, see if you can switch to Vegas 9 which has built in Wizards that help you edit.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 07:30 PM   #11
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Many Thanks

Thanks to Larry and others for all the information and discussion. Feel free to keep it coming. In the meantime I will give Nero a try as suggested.

Really appreciate the advice and will come back to this forum often.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #12
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AVCHD plays on the PS3 from a data disk or usb jump drive if you do nothing more than just copy the file(s) onto the media. No menus this way of course, but no authoring required either.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 08:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
When Larry and were having our "debate: we both agreed Vegas 8 doesn't provide the SPEED you may want. Which is why he recommends Nero 8.

I'm now working with Vegas Movie 9 Platinum ($85) and the much cheaper feature reduced version of Vegas 8 is far less complicated to learn and use than Vegas 8 Pro. It also provides support for Canon.

Here's the overview:

Vegas was designed for audio editors with video added in.

Avid Medic Composer was designed for film editors with video added in.

Premiere and FCP were designed day 1 as video editors. All other editors are essentially versions of the very first version of Premier -- like 1995.

Adobe then re-designed Premiere to be a near clone of FCP on the outside. Bad move if you don't like FCP. But the internals are still screwed up which is why no AVCHD support and no writing HDV back to tape. I expect this all to get fixed someday, but until then Vegas 9 and Nero 8 are the cheapest way to edit AVCHD, write an AVCHD disc, and get good quality, and have a reliable product.

So if Nero 8 doesn't work for you, see if you can switch to Vegas 9 which has built in Wizards that help you edit.
Steve,

I really have no desire to begin this debate once again, but I really cannot remain silent on what is a continuing flow of misinformation which causes a lot of unnecesary confusion.

It is my opinion based on installing and using the new version 9 of Sony Vegas Movie Platinum that 2 extremely basic and extremely important issues are being entirely overlooked by you when you recommend this product for AVCHD disk creation:

Nowhere does Sony claim or advertise that it can produce AVCHD disks, and my inspection of the Help Files, the program itself, and Sony's detailed description of this product on their web site make absolutely no reference to AVCHD disks. This program can ONLY, I repeat ONLY, edit AVCHD and NOT make AVCHD disks.

Secondly, and this is another big big issue....... Sony makes no claims to offer anything but support for "Sony AVCHD" format, and you and I both know that Canon uses a different format which, to this day, is not even entirely supported in Sony's much more expensive Vegas 8.0c, even in their latest version released only days ago.

As I stated in the prior thread, Sony is NOT an alternative for those wishing to make AVCHD disks in my opinion. This assertion is true both for their cheap $85 Movie Studio program as well as their $300 Vegas / DVD Architect suite, which I use here all the time for HDV.


Sony STILL SLOWLY RE-RENDERS everything, cannot support the newer higher bitrate AVCHD above 16 Mbit/sec at all and thus makes all recent Canon, Panononic, and other higher bit rate camcorder content forced to be re-rendered at a lesser rate if it can import it in the first place. The Sony 16 Mbit content is also always re-rendered, even though several of the other NLE software developers have found a way to avoid this re-rendering entirely. The resulting output looks softer and the colors look a bit more faded.

I continue to see absolutely no good basis to recommend Sony software, either Movie Studio or Vegas, for AVCHD applications, unless someone wants to use a Sony 16 Mbit/sec or lower AVCHD camcorder to make transcoded BluRay disks.

Finally, for the record, Vegas 8.0C DOES make AVCHD disks from the timeline, totally re-rendered AVCHD disks, slowwwwly, and these have no means of navigation since menus are NOT SUPPORTED either. For those who want to merely see their camcorder clips on a Playstation, there is no advantage to using Sony Vegas since you can, as others have pointed out, merely copy the raw clips onto a DVD and play them directly without waiting for all the re-rendering and suffering the quality loss. Therefore, Sony Vegas 8 AVCHD disks are, in my opinion, essentially useless, without menus, navigation, and with degraded quality.

Larry

Last edited by Larry Horwitz; September 15th, 2008 at 10:17 AM.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 12:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
That is what I said. Or do you not understand DVD ROM content?
Well, maybe it was a misunderstanding from both. Of course DVD-Video format can't have AVCHD streams, of course you can put AVCHD streams in data mode on a DVD media, but you can play in a BR player (well, sort of AVCHD player).
I'm sorry for my assumption, but when I see that ,,AVCHD DVD does not exist and is a contradictio interminis" I thought you sayed it's not possible to put AVCHD on DVD media... many people use their HD camcorders only to make SD DVD instead AVCHD DVD...
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Old September 15th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
Sony STILL SLOWLY RE-RENDERS everything, cannot support the newer higher bitrate AVCHD above 16 Mbit/sec at all and thus makes all recent Canon, Panononic, and other higher bit rate camcorder content forced to be re-rendered at a lesser rate if it can import it in the first place.
I'll only deal with a one of issue at this time:

Once you color correct a clip -- no matter the NLE -- you have to re-encode this clip upon export. Since I color correct most every clip -- I expect to EVERY clip will need to be re-encoded.

Any graphics or pix must be re-encoded. Every transition must be re-encoded. Any title must be re-encode. Any video filter must be re-encoded.

Therefore, by the time one creates a movie -- most every clip has to re-encoded!

So there is no value to Smart GOP splicing because it will function for only a few clips. Or, put another way, I would not choose an NLE based upon this feature.

PS 1: Look for my story on Smart GOP Splicing in a fall issue of Broadcast Engineering.

PS 2: Shipping AVCHD camcorders are 16/17Mbps which can be imported by Vegas 9. We'll see what happens when the new camcorders ship.

PS 3: The AVCHD specification for recording to SD is 24Mbps, MAX. The AVCHD specification for data-rate to red-laser DVD is 18Mbps, MAX.

This is why Canon warns that if you burn 24Mbps to DVD it can only be played in their DVD burner. Yes -- some other BD players MAY play your disk, but if they don't -- it's your problem.

Which is why it simply makes sense to burn BD discs if you REALLY care about quality.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; September 15th, 2008 at 05:57 PM.
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