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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 December 11th, 2008, 06:54 PM   #1
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AVCHD on Macbook Pro?

Is anybody editing AVCHD on a MacBook Pro?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 08:24 AM   #2
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I personally do not, bu I've got a friend out in L.A. that's got a Sony SR12, and he edits it using his personal MacBook Pro. Doesn't seem to have any problems with it. I can ask how old his setup is just to check for you, but if you've got a rather fast processor, I think you'll be fine.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #3
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Thanks, Brian. I've got the 2.8, and since I made that post I've seen where others are using it effectively.

This may be a dumb question, but can you hook up the camera or card reader and just drag the files to a folder, then burn to a DVD to capture from at a later date if you don't want to edit right away but need to clean out the card? I would assume so, but I've been associated with the first three and last two letters of that word too many times before.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 09:31 AM   #4
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i see no reason why you wouldn't be able to, but i've never tried.

my card reader doesn't seem to support SDHC, but connecting the camera to PC (mac or windows) mounts as a removable hard drive, allowing you to drag the files off. and a data DVD doesn't care what you put on it.

on a single layer dvd (4.7gb), you'll only get about 25-30 minutes of footage on the disc, depending on what quality setting you shot at. a dual layer dvd (8.4gb) will get roughly double that.

Also, to edit AVCHD on a Mac, the format has to first be transcoded into an intermediary format that is a good bit larger than AVCHD from what I understand. Macs at this time can't edit avchd directly.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #5
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You say you've got a 2.8, but how many cores?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 10:02 AM   #6
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It's the Intel Core 2 Duo.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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I've got a 2.83 Core 2 Quad. It runs very smoothly. I've heard that going below quad presents some issues in playback, and editing. I don't doubt that you'll be able to get it on the machine, but editing in an NLE may be a bit choppy. Anyone use a core 2?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 10:33 AM   #8
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i don't use a mac for editing any more.

i bought my mac in college, and is a single 1.6ghz g5, so it just doesn't even come close to being able to do the job, for hd anyways. also, my version of final cut is v4 HD, which doesn't support avchd, which in-turn requires an intel processor.

so i'm using Vegas Studio 9 (trial right now) on a dual core 2.2ghz AMD 4200+, and will play 1440x1080 files off the camera just fine, but stutters a bit on 1920x1080 files from the camera.

editing is a bit choppy, but not enough to be painful (yet anyways). if i keep the bitrate below ~17mbps, the computer will play 1920x1080 files just fine, it just begins to labor at 17mbps, and even then it is still playing at around 20-25fps, so its just barely under powered.

granted they are 2 different systems and processors, but playback should be fine, and editing should be doable, if not a little choppy.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 12:02 PM   #9
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I use an early '08 MacBook Pro with the 2.5 core2duo and 4gb of ram and have never had any issues. Its surprising how fast it is actually.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 09:14 PM   #10
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Yes, AVCHD works fine on a Macbook Pro... You just need lots of storage for the converted files - which are quick and easy to edit.

You can copy the sd card to a folder on your disk and in fact need to do that to keep the originals. You need the whole file structure on the card.

If you log & transfer straight off the card, the small original files don't get saved and you only end up with the huge converted ProRes files which you will need to delete eventually to free up space.

In Final Cut, you can log & transfer from any folder you can navigate to. Brain-dead iMovie 08 needs the files on the card or on the camera.

You need FCP6.04 or 6.05 to be a happy camper.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #11
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Thanks. That's probably the way I'll do it--copy the files from the cards to the computer, then if I stay within 4 gigs make DVDs for backup. Then I can do the ProRes thing when I get around to editing.
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