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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 February 19th, 2009, 12:23 PM   #16
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I didn't know Toast could do this. I looked at their site and it's a little vague. What's the interface for this? Does it provide any preview of the clips, selection, etc? Can you batch the clips you want to transfer?

Thanks!
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Old February 19th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Michael Murie View Post
I didn't know Toast could do this. I looked at their site and it's a little vague. What's the interface for this? Does it provide any preview of the clips, selection, etc? Can you batch the clips you want to transfer?

Thanks!
The last tab in the Toast Interface is named Convert. It has 5 different options.

• DVD Disc
• Image File
• VIDEO_TS Folders
• Video Files
• Audio Files

You select Video Files, then you simply drag and drop your .mts file into the interface and you will see an instant thumbnail, that will let you scrub through it.

Click the "Edit" button and then using the drop downs, you can select whatever codec your heart desires, and off you go!

And yes... you can batch the clips. :)

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Reuben Miller; February 19th, 2009 at 05:49 PM.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #18
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Ruben - you're the man - about 100 people here have been looking for an easy solution for ppc macs and avchd - I can't believe this hasn't been posted yet . I'm in shock ! Am I the only person out of this loop ??
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Old February 20th, 2009, 08:55 AM   #19
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Ruben - you're the man - about 100 people here have been looking for an easy solution for ppc macs and avchd - I can't believe this hasn't been posted yet . I'm in shock ! Am I the only person out of this loop ??
Glad to have been of help. Toast is an amazing tool that should be in every editors tool box.

I am Intel Mac equipped (MacPro 2.66) and love ProRes etc., but I've really come to like going to DVCProHD with AVCHD files. The color space is great, easy to edit, and the quality is great.

And of course, you don't need an Intel Mac for conversion to DVCProHD or AIC.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 05:07 PM   #20
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First off, for the original poster, the camera you should probably get is a Sanyo Xacti, or some other camera that shoots regular old MP4 files rather than AVCHD.

AVCHD is a bad format compared to MP4, it brings nothing to the table. AVCHD is H.264 video and AC-3 Audio in an MPEG2 format transport stream. This is necessary to record data to the DVD based cameras of the past. But totally useless on flash-- well useless in the sense that it has no advantage.

Anyone who has a license for AVCHD has a license for H.264 and thus a license for the MP4 file format.

With my Xacti, I copy the files from the flash card into the iMovie events folder-- no conversion, no transfer, no hassle. Instant ready to edit footage.

However, if you already have an AVCHD camera and a PowerPC mac, the best way to get the footage into an editable format is to use the program Voltiac. This will convert your AVCHD into regular MP4 files-- but it takes awhile and is a PITA.

You can also string together a long series of open source tools to do this-- and voltiac is just a wrapper around that process.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:18 AM   #21
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MP4 is not an editing codec. It is a delivery codec. Toast is much faster than VoltiacHD for conversions on a PPC.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #22
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MP4 is not an editing codec. It is a delivery codec.
MP4 is a file format, in which you will usually find H.264 video.

H.264 video is an excellent modern codec that provides about twice the quality for a given bitrate as MPEG2/HDV video, and is reasonably efficient to encode and decode.

Thus, H.264 is a fine codec to use for acquisition, editing, and delivery.

While there are some specialized codecs that only make sense for a specific step in the workflow, H.264 is not one of them.

Of course, everyones free to pick the solution that works best for their priorities and resources. It would be wrong to say that you have to do things one way, or that one way is the right way. For instance, some editors work with AVCHD natively.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 01:27 PM   #23
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I don't know what y'all are complaining about.

I copy the raw files from my HG20 straight to the computer, edit them in the timeline, render out an uncompressed master, and convert that to MP4 for YouTube delivery.

MUCH faster than tape. MUCH, MUCH faster than tape.

I'm working with Vegas, so that might have something to do with it, but still.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #24
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I'm working with Vegas, so that might have something to do with it, but still.
It works for you, great! I expect that Vegas makes some tradeoffs to edit AVCHD natively, but obviously they aren't getting in your way.

On the mac, iMovie and FCP won't work with AVCHD natively, it has to be converted on import. This may well change with the next release of FCP. We'll see.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 04:30 PM   #25
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It works for you, great! I expect that Vegas makes some tradeoffs to edit AVCHD natively, but obviously they aren't getting in your way.

On the mac, iMovie and FCP won't work with AVCHD natively, it has to be converted on import. This may well change with the next release of FCP. We'll see.
Basically, the tradeoff for Vegas users is that it'll sacrifice resolution in preview mode, then once the resolution gets to a certain point, it'll start sacrificing framerate. But it's good enough for editing a rough cut before rendering. I gotta say that my time to final project completion is faster on Vegas than on FCP.
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