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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 March 25th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #1
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AVCHD and Premiere Pro CS4

I have been reading post in the AVCHD for a while now. First I want to thank Larry Horwitz for all the info about Nero. I see many uses other than my typical use of its' burning capabilities. I wish to thank all the others in this discussion for the insight provided.
I have been with Premiere for quite awhile and just got PPro CS4. I considered Vagas Pro but the old dog and new tricks began to show it's head and I dropped it. I also own Cineform Aspect HD and a few other NLE packages. I hope to provide you with information soon with regard to my own experiences with AVCHD and upload samples to Vimeo.
I have two questions if anyone can provide help. If I have missed the answers in my readings please accept my apology now for a repeat of what as already been asked. A link to proper advice would help. :)
1. I am shooting with a Canon HF 100 in the 24p mode and wondered if another mode would be better considered? Projects are indie work and weddings. Any advice and/or comments would be welcomed.
2. In PPro4 I recently edited some Canon files and I was impressed. I exported to H264 and DVD but for some reason my last project gave me trouble on export to DVD. I am sure it had something to do with my settings but I cannot get the same quality as my first project. Could this be due to the first project being 4 minutes long and selecting best use of disc space and the second project being 2 hours? I think I know the answer just wanting to confirm the 10 pounds of sugar in a 5 pound bag analogy.
System profile is as follows:
Intel Q9450, 4 gig ddr2 800 ram. Foxconn x38a motherboard, Asus EAH 3870 video card, one Segate 160 gig OS drive, one segate 160 for data storage and two segate 250s in raid 0 for rendering.
Software is Adobe CS4, Premiere Elements 7, Pinnacle studio 12, Cineform Aspect HD and CoreAVC Pro. I have a few open source tools but not much luck with AVCHD on those.
The wedding I shot was right at two hours with audio gain adjusted in areas and shifted in time line as well as cross dissolves and titles and stills at the end. The render time per hour of video exceeded 6 hours. Should this be considered acceptable with the edits I made?
Many thanks in advance for any guidance.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Plymale View Post
I have been reading post in the AVCHD for a while now. First I want to thank Larry Horwitz for all the info about Nero. I see many uses other than my typical use of its' burning capabilities. I wish to thank all the others in this discussion for the insight provided.
I have been with Premiere for quite awhile and just got PPro CS4. I considered Vagas Pro but the old dog and new tricks began to show it's head and I dropped it. I also own Cineform Aspect HD and a few other NLE packages. I hope to provide you with information soon with regard to my own experiences with AVCHD and upload samples to Vimeo.
I have two questions if anyone can provide help. If I have missed the answers in my readings please accept my apology now for a repeat of what as already been asked. A link to proper advice would help. :)
1. I am shooting with a Canon HF 100 in the 24p mode and wondered if another mode would be better considered? Projects are indie work and weddings. Any advice and/or comments would be welcomed.
2. In PPro4 I recently edited some Canon files and I was impressed. I exported to H264 and DVD but for some reason my last project gave me trouble on export to DVD. I am sure it had something to do with my settings but I cannot get the same quality as my first project. Could this be due to the first project being 4 minutes long and selecting best use of disc space and the second project being 2 hours? I think I know the answer just wanting to confirm the 10 pounds of sugar in a 5 pound bag analogy.
System profile is as follows:
Intel Q9450, 4 gig ddr2 800 ram. Foxconn x38a motherboard, Asus EAH 3870 video card, one Segate 160 gig OS drive, one segate 160 for data storage and two segate 250s in raid 0 for rendering.
Software is Adobe CS4, Premiere Elements 7, Pinnacle studio 12, Cineform Aspect HD and CoreAVC Pro. I have a few open source tools but not much luck with AVCHD on those.
The wedding I shot was right at two hours with audio gain adjusted in areas and shifted in time line as well as cross dissolves and titles and stills at the end. The render time per hour of video exceeded 6 hours. Should this be considered acceptable with the edits I made?
Many thanks in advance for any guidance.
When i render final file for output to blu ray, pinnacle converts my avchd to mpeg2 do you know if Adobe CS4 does the same.
There is a small but noticable loss of sharpness involved which takes the gloss off, sorry i cant be of help to you.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #3
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Thanks for response!

Hi Martyn,
I didn't check but I will see if this is the case.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 09:28 PM   #4
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In Premiere CS4 you have a blu-ray choice of MPEG2 Blu-Ray (a separate setting from MPEG2) and H.264 Blu-Ray (again, a separate setting from H.264 output). I have no idea what the difference is, but the choices are found in the media encoder. / Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old April 14th, 2009, 12:52 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Battle Vaughan View Post
In Premiere CS4 you have a blu-ray choice of MPEG2 Blu-Ray (a separate setting from MPEG2) and H.264 Blu-Ray (again, a separate setting from H.264 output). I have no idea what the difference is, but the choices are found in the media encoder. / Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
H264 info from the Adobe help:

H.264:

An MPEG-4-based standard for encoding for a variety of devices, including high-definition displays, 3GPP
mobile phones (Windows only), video iPod, and PlayStation Portable (PSP) devices. Filename extensions: .aac (audio
only), .3gp (Windows only), .mp4, .m4v.

H.264 Blu-ray:

A subset of the MPEG-4-based standard that supports encoding in high definition for Blu-ray disc
media. Filename extension: .m4v.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 11:45 PM   #6
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Very glad to hear that some of my earlier posts regarding Nero were helpful. It's a pretty remarkable little program considering that it is almost "hidden" in the dozen or more apps which Nero sells as their Ultimate suite for $60 or $70.

I am by no means familiar with CS4 as I "gave up" on Adobe after version 6.5 of Premiere Pro. I used it on the PC and the Mac since it was released originally, but it just got slow and buggy. I also detest the way Adobe seems to always want to do updates, checks for updates, and releases new versions.

I want to offer some insight into the BluRay authoring issue which came up here.

There are 3 forms of encoding which BluRay players support, and disks can be authored in any of these three encoded forms.

As the person authoring a BluRay disk, you can decide which one to use (assuming your authoring software handles all three formats). Many if not most of the authoring programs do not permit such a choice, mostly because they are consumer and prosumer software.

One good general rule of thumb is that the encoding should preferably stay consistent with the originally captured video, to avoid a transcoding from one lossy compression format to another.

Therefore, if your video was originally captured in HDV, a BluRay disk encoded with mpeg2 should and usually does look best.

Similarly, a video captured in AVCHD / h.264 generally looks best when encoded on the BluRay disk as h.264.

It is entirely possible to transcode AVCHD into mpeg2 and make an mpeg2 BluRay disk, or to make an h.264 format BluRay disk using HDV input. In both cases, the results are less than optimal.

Nonetheless, many people chose to transcode for reasons such as:

1. Their software only permits one BluRay encoding method.

2. Their computer is too slow / too old to properly edit AVCHD natively, so they convert everything to HDV/mpeg2 anyway.

3. They don't understand the differences.

The differences between the 2 formats is significant.

The newer h.264 format is roughly twice as efficient in storage, thereby providing more recording time and faster transmission times for a given level of quality / resolution. It requires much more computing power to use and is therefore still a difficult format for many users to accept. It also is less stable in many of the programs on the market because it is much newer than mpeg2.

For someone with CS4 who has the choice of which codec to use when making a BluRay disk, the choice of h.264 versus mpeg2 BluRay thus boils down to how the original video was encoded, and how much computer power and time the author is willing to buy / spend to get the disk produced.

I have deliberately limited my comments above to 2 of the 3 mandated encoding formats which BluRay supports. The 3rd, a Microsoft derivative of Windows Media Player 9 called VC-1, is also supported, but very few commercial disks or authoring programs actually use it.

Larry
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Old May 11th, 2009, 05:02 AM   #7
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Exporting AVCHD from CS4 Premiere

Hello everyone and thanks for your posts. I just got a new system up and running for editing video and I need some assistance from the community:

Mobo: ASUS P6T DELUXE V2
Graphics: ASUS EAH4870 Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit
CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Fan: COOLER MASTER V8 120mm Rifle
PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 850W
Mem: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
HD OS/Apps: WD VelociRaptor 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB SATA
HD Raw Footage: WD 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA
HD Scratch / Previews: WD 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA
HD Export: WD 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA
DVD: SAMSUNG SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe
Case: Antec 900 Two
OS: Windows 7 RCC
Software: CS4 Premiere
Camera: HF100
Video Format: AVCHD 29.97 fps 1920 x 1080 progressive
Displays: Dual Apple Cinema 30 Inch

Current Issues:

- new driver from AMD/ATI for the HD 4870 is only letting me use full 2560 x 1600 resolution on one monitor
- Asus motherboard drivers CD tells me it's not compatible with Windows 7
- video playback has small pixelated sections in premiere
- exporting for high quality video is not working. I followed this thread and tried h.264 BluRay and experienced the following problems:
1. I can't find a correct preset for my footage and when I do a custom setting, there is no progressive option. is it possible to export to progressive?
2. when I try to export h.264 BluRay, i get a m4v file that plays in windows 7 media player, but slowly, like in slow motion. It won't play in the latest VLC or Quicktime at all.
3. I've tried many of the other exporting options / codecs but nothing exports and plays correctly.

Any advice?
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