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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 19th, 2008, 01:54 AM   #1
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New major release - Corel (Ulead) Video Studio X2 Pro

VideoStudio X2 - Video Editing


My preliminary results with AVCHD have been quite positive, but I need to do some more testing.

Larry
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Old September 19th, 2008, 04:55 AM   #2
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X2

Is X2 the replacement for Video Studio 11.5?
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Old September 19th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #3
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There are actually 2 new releases, this "Pro" version and a lesser "non Pro" version. The replacement for V11.5 seems to be the "non Pro" upgrade and the Pro version has more features and higher cost.

It seems odd to me that Ulead / Corel choses to offer 2 versions with a small price difference between them. Magix and others do the same thing. Seems to add more confusion but this may allow them to sell more total copies.

Larry
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Old September 19th, 2008, 07:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
Magix and others do the same thing. Seems to add more confusion but this may allow them to sell more total copies.
Hi,

I think there is some licensing that is involved...

My best,

Mike
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Old September 19th, 2008, 08:47 AM   #5
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So Larry, after some of your testing, does this program lose any PQ when rendering AVCHD, or does it seem to have lossless rendering (or whatever)? And I would be interested in knowing how you compare it to Nero, which I know you really like.

Thanks,
Mike B
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Old September 19th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #6
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Mike(s),

The deluxe versions do indeed have more h.264 and thus could very easily be a licensing cost passed along only to the people who want / need h.264.

I like Corel / Ulead software very much, and would probably chose it over virtually any other program for AVCHD authoring since it offers Smart Render to eliminate re-rendering, Smart Proxy to allow full real-time previews with no re-rendering, and a very large range of filters, effects, templates, titles, etc.

People frequently criticize the user interface as being a bit disorganized / confusing / complex, and I have found this to be true for most new users as well. Having lived with Ulead software since its original inception nearly a decade ago, I am entirely accustomed to it, but it can be a deal-breaker for some users.

Both Video Studio and Nero Vision produce equally excellent disks with no re-rendering in the same very short time period, with Nero having the advantage of being much cheaper, maybe half the price of Ulead Video Studio Pro. No doubt Video Studio is a much richer feature set, and blows Nero away when it comes to chromakey / greenscreen, multi-track and overlay track, built in ability to layer moving drawings, painting, highlighting on top of video, output formats, etc. It also has a much bigger NLE customer base (Nero Vision is really an unknown product IMHO, and only the AVCHD support makes it stand out so much in my opinion). This larger Ulead customer base means a much richer set of 3rd party content, tutorial and other aids, templates, etc.

The latest build of Cyberlink PowerDirector 7 is also very good as regards Smart Render, instant previews, and feature set, and is becoming a true contender. Again, like Ulead, it is considerably more expensive and complex compared to Nero Vision, but the more sophisticated user can find a lot more capabilities and features and content compared to Nero as well.

These 3 programs all are fast and relatively cheap, and I would be very hard pressed to say that one is truly "the best". That is why I like to recommend the free trial download and comparison process, although I am learning that the trials apparently (at least in the case of Nero) do not contain the entire h.264 codec support, presumably a licensing issue.


Larry
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Old September 19th, 2008, 09:42 AM   #7
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Thanks Larry.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #8
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Is interface/features much different from the Ulead Media Studio (if you happened to use one)?
I've been using UMS Pro for a number of years, from version 6.0 through 8.0, and really enjoyed it but since Corel abandoned UMSP's development, I'm looking for an alternative NLE with a smart render AVCHD support.
Would you recommend this Corel Video Studio X2 or it'll be too much downgrade for me after Ulead Media Studio?

Thanks

Stas
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Old September 19th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #9
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Stas,
When Ulead offered Media Studio and DVD Studio, these programs had many more choices for format and content but could not handle the newer codecs and HD formats. The latest Video Studio X2 Pro will not allow you to design all of the details of the menu and disk structures / navigation, and is generally a downgrade, but it will do the Smart Render and AVCHD very well if you can live with the limited custom design features.

Why not download the trial and see if it has enough features for you? You may even be eligible for the $59 upgrade price since you are a prior customer.

Larry
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Old September 19th, 2008, 10:45 PM   #10
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Thanks Larry.

I will definitely try a trial version of this program as soon a I build my new computer, hopefuly next week (my old one wont handle AVCHD in any way). I keep in mind few other programs to try for AVCHD editing, like Pinnacle 12, Vegas Movie Studio 9, Nero, but I will probably start with Corel X2 Pro.

Stas.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 11:31 PM   #11
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Sounds good Stas. Just as reminders:

Pinnacle 12 Ultra - always re-renders and very noticeable reduction in image quality.

Vegas 8 Pro - no menus or navigation; always re-renders

Sony Movie Studio 9 - can't make AVCHD disks; always re-renders.


Larry
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Old September 20th, 2008, 12:38 AM   #12
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Thanks. It is very important to know. There is a lot of confusion about recompression issue these days and how different programs can handle simple cut edit. It's been always a high priority to me to maintain original quality of my footage. 70% of my clips are cut edited so I'd prefer a program which keeps those parts untouched.
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Old September 20th, 2008, 05:33 AM   #13
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Thanks. It is very important to know. There is a lot of confusion about recompression issue these days and how different programs can handle simple cut edit. It's been always a high priority to me to maintain original quality of my footage. 70% of my clips are cut edited so I'd prefer a program which keeps those parts untouched.
Me too Stas, and my percentage is more like 90%. Picture quality and very rapid workflow are huge benefits. Rendering on these other programs takes, on the average, 5.3X real time on my super fast workstation and much worse on laptops. Who wants to literally tie up a computer and wait for that many hours.... ?

Larry
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 06:39 AM   #14
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Yesterday I downloaded the trial version of Video Studio X2 Pro and did some work with it. I captured some footage that I had shot with my SR11, did some minor editing and then burned as AVCHD onto a DVD+R disc. When done, I tried to use the PMB AVCHD player to play this AVCHD disc. It said it could not read the disc. Apparently, there is more to AVCHD than I thought; like slightly different language from program to program?

This afternoon I will go to my local BB and try the disc on a couple of BR players.

I also burned the same footage from the SR11 and made a regular DVD on a DVD+R disc. It played fine on a regular DVD player, as I expected, but it had upper and lower bars instead of fitting the screen of my 42" 768 plasma. No matter what I set the TV screen to, there were some bars present. That surprised me.

Any insight would be appreciated.

Mike B
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 07:35 AM   #15
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Mike,

I've never used the PMB player which came with your Sony Camcorder, Picture Motion Browser, but I am guessing it is not designed to handle menued AVCHD disks. The free PMB software which comes with the Sony as well as the free software which comes with the Canon consumer HD cameras is extremely limited, particularly for handling AVCHD playback.

Regarding the black bars you are seeing on the standard DVD you created, did you select the 16:9 format for DVD creation (widescreen)? Did it play within the Ulead in widescreen mode or did the preview in Ulead also show letterboxing?

Larry
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