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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 November 10th, 2008, 01:01 PM   #16
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Some interesting discussion here, especially on the practicality of the AVCHD format, personally I agree with Steve. Ever since it came out I have always said I would never use it however in this case its very practical, you can get many many 32GB SDHC cards in the space of just 1 MiniDV Tape. I'm happy to compromise time for editing for the portability aspect, though i agree it certainly wont suit everyone.

I've just had a friend test some 24Mbps footage on a Core2Duo E4500 2.2GHz and he said it was very jerky video.

What we really need is a compact camera that records HDV to flash memory like the Sony Z5 & Z7. As a side note, is there a device like the FireStore that can record HDV to flash memory instead of a hard drive?

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Old November 10th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Danny Gilbert View Post
What we really need is a compact camera that records HDV to flash memory like the Sony Z5 & Z7. As a side note, is there a device like the FireStore that can record HDV to flash memory instead of a hard drive?
Is there a reason you aren't recording to a harddisk?

You can now buy the Sony CF recorder which i THINK can connect to any HDV camera via Firewire. If so, Sony is selling the FX7 for $2000. But, perhaps a Canon HDV camcorder could be used. The little CF recorder is nice because it work as a your source player.

I think this is what you are looking for.

My JVC HD7 records HDV to harddisk which you can capture as HDV via Firewire.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 03:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
Danny,

AVCHD playback requires a really fast CPU or a special video card with h.264 support.
Indeed, and if 'playback' is the only targeted purpose, a recent ATI video card is enough to correctly play a AVCHD video with a dual-core.

I was able to play a AVCHD 17mb/s video on a Desktop PC with a dual-core at only 2.4Ghz/ 2GB RAM and with a ATI 3870 card. I've not yet tested a 24mb/s video, but the load of the processor and the disk during the payback of the 17mb/s test showed that there's still a margin to be able to do it fuently in 24mb/s.

Now the problem is with the actual portable PCs: the actual ATI video cards for mobile PC are not in par with the ATI desktop versions.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 04:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
Is there a reason you aren't recording to a harddisk?
Yes Steve, I'm concerned about the robustness of a hard drive in a hiking/camping situation, they are also effected by altitude. Also they eventually fill up... where as flash I can keep feeding it more cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
You can now buy the Sony CF recorder which i THINK can connect to any HDV camera via Firewire. If so, Sony is selling the FX7 for $2000. But, perhaps a Canon HDV camcorder could be used. The little CF recorder is nice because it work as a your source player.
Interesting, I was aware of the CF recorder but wasn't aware that It may be compatible with other camcorders, can anybody confirm that this will work with a Sony HDR-HC9?

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Old November 11th, 2008, 02:02 AM   #20
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I confirm what i told at the bottom of the previous page about the playback requirements.
on my dual core dell i also played a 40mbit avc from 5dmkII.
What is also important is the choose of player.
mpc-> http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/
or also powerdvd 8 is good and requires not too much resources.

I think the best decoder for avc is always nero decoder (nero show time) in its last version, but it requires many resources, in particular it is greedy of RAM (at least 4Gb and better a 64bit o.s.).

Ciao!!
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Old November 11th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #21
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My MACBOOK PRO 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo with nVidia 8600GT 256, and 2GB of Ram can't play 1980x1080 AVCHD videos... I dont know if i increase the RAM memory to 4GB i will get better results..

One day i will try to install on bootcamp, a windows xp or vista and try on powerdvd.. I think is more software issue than hardware..

About the HD @ 5400 rpm, can't be, because the data rate is 24 Mbits and the hard disk can handle with that needs....
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Old November 11th, 2008, 05:44 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Danny Gilbert View Post
Interesting, I was aware of the CF recorder but wasn't aware that It may be compatible with other camcorders, can anybody confirm that this will work with a Sony HDR-HC9?

Thanks
Danny
The only place I have been able to find technical specs for it so far is here:

Sony : HVR-MRC1K (HVRMRC1K) : Technical Specifications : United Kingdom

When I read through it, what struck me was absolutely no mention of specific camera model compatability. Nothing about the HVR-Z7U or HVR-S270U whatsoever. Just that it be a DV, DVCAM, or HDV camera.

I still also note nobody seems to have it in the USA.
They are taking orders, but nothing in stock as of yet.

Additional Note: Check this thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-xh-...non-users.html

If it works with a Canon XH-A1, the odds are really, really good that it will work with your, and mine, HDR-HC9

Last edited by Bill Koehler; November 11th, 2008 at 06:22 PM.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 07:19 PM   #23
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From what I understand, you need a FAST cpu to playback AVCHD. I think alot of it has to do with the software you're using to play it back (quicktime is one of the worst, drops the most frames).
I think a lady by the name of Eugenia has benchmarked a few. Search her blog: Eugenia’s Rants and Thoughts

edit: I just came across this on her blog:
http://eugenia.gnomefiles.org/2008/1...oder-there-is/
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Old November 11th, 2008, 07:43 PM   #24
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>an example: T7200 + 7900gs + mpc home
>avchd full 1920x1080 smooths playback.

MPC and MPCHome usually use the h.264 decoder with degradation ON. This means that whenever they don't have enough CPU power to decode it, they bring down quality instead of skipping frames or make it slow-mo. VLC, which uses pretty much the same decoder but by default does not allow degradation of quality during decoding, is extremely slow. Quicktime is very slow too.

As Bob wrote above, the only decoder I found that can deal with AVCHD is CoreCodec's. Here's how to use the CoreAVC decoder with MPC instead of its default ffdshow-based decoder: How to change/install Media Player Classic codec filter Art Life and Technology (follow only the instructions on how to use the CoreAVC codec, not the stuff about ffmpeg or KLite). Works like a charm here.

CoreAVC costs $14, but it's worth every penny IMHO. Try the trial version with the latest version of MPC: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/gul...c_20081005.zip (and with the instructions above on how to force MPC to use the CoreAVC codec). To force CoreAVC to decode .m2ts or .mts files, you MIGHT need to rename these files as .mp4. To force CoreAVC to decode .mov files you need to rename them as .hdmov

EDIT: if you rename avchd files to .mp4 and .mov files to .hdmov you will be able to play them back on WMP too, no reason for MPC. If you decide to use WMP, you need to play with the de-interlacing options in the CoreAVC Pro preference panel. In my tests a few days ago, I got over 20 fps performance on a 4 year old P4 3Ghz with an HF11 24mbps AVCHD file. Which means that even any DualCore PC should be able to perform full speed with CoreAVC. And indeed it does so on my new Vista PC.

Last edited by Eugenia Loli-Queru; November 11th, 2008 at 08:17 PM.
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Old November 12th, 2008, 02:55 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Eugenia Loli-Queru View Post
If you rename avchd files to .mp4 and .mov files to .hdmov you will be able to play them back on WMP------
That's an interesting bit of information. Would Windows Movie Maker be able to edit AVCHD and .mov files, if they are re-named as .hdmov? The inability of WMM to accept .mov files has been a frequent complaint on some other forums. If WMM could re-publish AVCHD as one of the .wmv HD formats, that would be a big advantage to those on a small budget. The shift by Canon to .mov for its new SX1 and SX10 digital cameras, for video, would be made much less problematic for a lot of users, if that could be done.
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Old November 12th, 2008, 03:15 AM   #26
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No, MOV files won't work on WMM no matter what renaming I do to force CoreAVC. I would suggest you invest and buy Vegas Platinum 9 for $90, it works with the new Canon files.
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Old November 12th, 2008, 11:07 AM   #27
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So is it mainly software not being optimized for avchd that is the real culprit of people not being able to play back their footage at full fps? I mean, can't the PS3 play back avchd just fine... yet a much higher spec'd CPU has problems? Is it all in the software being used? Is the PS3 decoding software that good?

Just making conversation...
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Old November 12th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #28
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The PS3 is actually a fast machine, when all its cells and its media decoding chips are utilized, it is faster than most home PCs for these jobs.

As for AVCHD editing, usually editors can't be as fast as media players because they have a whole lot of things to take care of with their editing engine. Usually, seeing a 50% speed drop inside an editor compared to a media player, is normal. Regardless, most editors are not as fast as they could be with AVCHD either.

But for media players and decoding codecs in general, yeah, they don't have any excuse to be that unoptimized. CoreAVC shows that it's perfectly possible to be fast with such codecs.
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Old November 12th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Bruce Foreman View Post
"Any" core 2 duo will not. You have a lot of folks who just don't know what they are talking about that are "pontificating" and expressing "opinion" that often misleads.

The fact is...AVCHD display and especially editing require real serious computer "horsepower", there is no getting around that.
Hi, Bruce. I disagree. I have a AMD Dual Core 5400+, and I am able to edit HF100 17mb/s AVCHD with no trouble by using the smart proxy aspect of Videostudio 11+. It also smart renders which doesn't take much time. I am also able to watch the 1920x1080 AVCHD video played back in windows media player, and it looks quite good, although probably not perfect. I usually make pretty short videos, so maybe the speed would be an impact on hour+ long projects, however the system requirements for smart proxy are quite low.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 10:52 PM   #30
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Im not sure why everyone is saying you need a quad core, it would be nice, but NOT NEEDED.
I am currently editing and have been for the past year my HG10 footage (i know its not 24mps, but its still avchd). All on my laptop; Intel Duo Core, 2GHz, 2GB of ram.

For me playback is bad in any media player (probably because of the codec?).
But playback is fine in Sony Vegas (using 8) setting at the Preview window at AUTO.

When i render to any format, playback is smooth. I always shoot to edit..
BTW, when im editing, i only have the editing software running. Absolutely nothing else...

Just my 2cent.

Last edited by Jack Tran; November 14th, 2008 at 10:54 PM. Reason: typo
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