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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old November 24th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #1
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Real Time Full HD AVCHD Editing? The options?

So, what are the current options we have for editing this kind of footage in real time ?
I'm looking into obviously spending as little as possible as I'm not making any money on my footage.

Plug in:
The two plug ins that I know work: (prem pro CS3 not CS4 yet)
Cineform Prospect (over priced considering F.HD is available to consumer cams)
Mainconcept MPEG Pro HD

Only problem with Cineform is that you do need to convert your footage, which is very easy but takes time.

Hardware ?
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Old November 24th, 2008, 03:09 PM   #2
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If by "real time" you mean full previewing of all effects as they are applied, then AVCHD is not the format to chose. Even with the extremely high performance processors being sold such as the quadcores from Intel, AVCHD editing is challenging.

As you indicated in your question, conversion to another format does then allow for editing, and, in fact, some AVCHD editing programs do exactly that by creating "Proxy" files internally just as Cineform does. These proxy files are, depending on the program, created in the background, and give the appearance of "real time" editing, albeit on lower resolution screen images.

There are several programs which are very inexpensive (approx $100 or less) which perform in this manner. There are also several more elaborate programs which offer more powerful editing, have some preview capabilities, and may be worth considering as well.

Could you elaborate on what your expectations are, and also mention what your eventual finished output is going to be, such as AVCHD disks, BluRay disks, web movies, or whatever?

Larry
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Old November 24th, 2008, 03:55 PM   #3
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Most people who use Edius convert to Canopus HQ on capture. THere is a utility to convert AVCHD to Canopus HQ included with the various editions of Edius that I use which will convert in much less that realtime to HQ. Total time to transfer to PC and convert is just over realtime. Once in the HQ format all editing is realtime. I believe Edius NEo is not expensive and if you then like it the move to the full version will add things like multicam editing etc. What ever you do you will need the most powerful computer you can afford!!!!

Ron Evans
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Old November 25th, 2008, 06:22 AM   #4
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Hi guys,

I clicked 'post' and realised I could have put some more info up, and the site was too slow for me yesterday.

Anyway:

Just for real-time cutting and playback. Thats the most important aspect for me, as I can show others the edit first, then concern myself with effects and tweaks later on.

I've just acquired a Canon HF11, and previously I used the HV20 so I was using HDV before (in very UNrealtime as well). I then realised something like one of the above plug ins I mentioned made real time editing a possibility, then I broke my HV20 and eventually picked up the HF11.

I was looking at using Proxy editing with Premiere Pro, but it still looks like nearly any file I bring in as the 'proxy' has a red render line above it, and I need to see my footage in real-time (timing is crucial).
Finally my output: Web HD content + Blue Ray (also sometimes I'll put the files back into the camera so I can connect to a viewers TV)

So I'm considering:
Hardware upgrade
Plug in
New editor (pc only)

Price is a concern but the options seem to be roughly the same price, which is why I posted the question. I would say time is more important to me at this stage as I need to do things very very quickly from now.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 11:14 AM   #5
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Hi Rob,
High speed AVCHD editing and authoring is my passion, and I have purchased virtually all of the current programs on the market to do so. Some of the other threads on this forum already discuss some of the alternatives and choices I personally have compared, and there are many other excellent opinions here from others as well.

I would quickly summarize my position to strong urge you to get a very fast quadcore processor regardless of whatever software you chose, minimally a 2.4 or 2.6 GHz speed, and preferably a 3.0 or higher. The good news for you is that the recently introduced Nehalem processor family from Intel has driven down very drastically the prices for superb Intel Penryn chips which (as I personally discovered) cost well over $1000 6 months ago. They have dropped nearly in half. You should also get a CUDA equipped video card from nVidia in my opinion since several excellet programs, in particular Cyberlink PowerDirector 7 Ultra as well as Pegasys TMPGE Express 4 use the CUDA graphics processor to further speed up AVCHD video editing. The combination is outstanding based on my experience, and comes at very little cost since the nVida 8800GT video card is now only $150 or so, down 50% from 6 months ago also.

Most important, I would encourage you to download and try Cyberlink PowerDirector7 Ultra,
Corel VideoStudio X2Pro, Adobe Premiere Elements, and ArcSoft Total Media Extreme trial versions at no charge, and compare their speed and functions once you have adequate hardware to host them. You can then decide for yourself which one works well for you.

If writing back to the camera is a requirement, this will further limit your choices, and this should be discussed further.

Larry
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Old November 25th, 2008, 11:41 AM   #6
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Hi Larry,

Many thanks for the information!!!

I shall certainly trial out the other software you have mentioned.
I'm currently running Premiere Pro CS3, and decided not to bother updating to CS4 (have the demo disk) as some plug ins I use don't work with it (well done Adobe).

Bit of a sore point at the moment but..
As for hardware, well funnily enough I was meant to have a Quad Core computer around 6 weeks ago... seller hasn't delivered or payed me back.
Yes seller is getting a visit in person.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #7
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Rob,

I hope your visit is succesful.

If writing back to the camera is an essential feature, the only program I know of which indirectly supports this feature is Nero Ultimate version 8 or 9. It has a limited feature editing capability, but is very fast and reliable.

I would forget Adobe entirely. You might also consider Sony Vegas which is offered in home and pro versions. While slower and lacking AVCHD output to the camera, it is a reliable program and is especially well endowed with features in the Pro version, which is around $300. They also offer trial versions.

Seems like your next steps will be to get the hardware and then download some trial software.

Since the HF11 is so new, and the bitrate is higher than any of the available AVCHD camcorders previously released, you should be particularly concerned about compatibility and performance. The earlier HF10 / HF100 is not nearly as stressing due to its lower bitrate.

Hope this offers some assistance.

Larry
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Old November 25th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #8
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I believe AVID also offers a solution for edit.

To be more specific I believe it's the Pinacle Studio product line.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #9
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I know that Media Composer is meant to be pretty good but I'm not sure that its actually 'real-time' unless you have their hardware.
I'm told a demo is available, perhaps on CD only not sure as I'll try the others first.

Once again, Larry appreciate the input, certainly helps in this brave new era !

I shall report my findings here, and let you guys know which system I roll with :)
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Old November 25th, 2008, 06:26 PM   #10
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Hi Chris,

It is indeed true that Pinnacle also has an AVCHD product, Pinnacle Studio 12 Ultimate, which does handle AVCHD.

I have just concluded a lengthy thread on the Pinnacle forum asking for help with this product since the recent release literally freezes and crashes all over the place on my system as well as fails to do other things so simple as open AVCHD files. I own and have used this product, but I consider it to be "a train wreck" in the 12.1 version, but considerably better in the pior release. It is, however, very slow in rendering and produces very mediocre quality compared to the other products.

You can see my thread if you wish at:

Pinnacle Systems - Forums - 12.1 - A Remarkably Poor Update

For the reasons in the thread, I really don't recommend it to others until Pinnacle fixes it properly. In all fairness, some other users have not had the problems I have had, but it is unclear whether the issues come from running Vista, a quadcore, other editing software, or some other incompatibilities.

Larry
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:18 PM   #11
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Glad to help Rob.

Not aware that Media Composer actually supports AVCHD format. I don't believe it does but certainly worth checking.

Please do keep us informed regarding your progress, and good luck with the next steps you are taking.

Larry
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Old November 27th, 2008, 08:15 AM   #12
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Sorry, just a very quick question for you.

If you had a clean install of say, XP Pro, and you installed all of the above mentioned editors, would you need to install anything like FFDshow/CoreAVC ect ect?
I have installed all of the demo's now, but I just want to make sure I have all of the other things installed, and set correctly before testing.
:)
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Old November 27th, 2008, 10:17 AM   #13
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No other software is required Rob. Each trial version should contain the codecs, filters, etc. Nero does require optional an HD add-in to handle AVCHD as I recall. Corel/Ulead, Cyberlink, ArcSoft, and Sony trials are AVCHD - ready.

Good luck!

Larry
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Old November 27th, 2008, 07:36 PM   #14
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Sony Vegas pro 8 supports AVCHD.
I've edited AVCHD before, no problems.

Paul.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 11:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
Rob,

You might also consider Sony Vegas which is offered in home and pro versions. While slower and lacking AVCHD output to the camera, it is a reliable program and is especially well endowed with features in the Pro version, which is around $300. They also offer trial versions.


Larry
Paul,

This was one of my suggestions above, and is an excellent choice.

Larry
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