Best HD format for SD output at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > AVCHD Format Discussion

AVCHD Format Discussion
Inexpensive High Definition H.264 encoding to DVD, Hard Disc or SD Card.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 26th, 2010, 08:10 AM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Nebo, NC
Posts: 1
Best HD format for SD output

Being new to HD, I would like to know which format works best if the bride wants only SD. I have a Panasonic HMC150
Bill DeMille is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2010, 09:36 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Melrose Park, Illinois, USA
Posts: 936
Bill,

It depends on the capabilities of your NLE and transcoder. Since the HMC150 does not have an SD recording mode at all, you will have to downconvert the footage on a computer system. You will also need an NLE which natively supports AVC(HD) in order to edit or convert the footage from the camcorder since the HMC150 is a high-end "prosumer"/semi-professional AVCHD camcorder. (Early HD-capable NLEs could support only MPEG-2 HDV for HD.) The best HD recording mode to use for downconversions to interlaced SD, if your NLE can handle the frame rate, is to shoot in 720/60p and then convert to 480/60i on the computer system. Alternatively, if your software fully supports native 24p HD footage, you can shoot in either 1080/24p or 720/24p and then convert to 480/"24p" inserting the 2-3 pulldown for compatibility with 480i-native DVD players (in this case, the resulting downconversion will be 24p encoded inside a 60i stream). The use of 1080/60i is not recommended for downconversions to SD since that will require specialized software to do the job properly (most NLEs do a very poor job of resizing interlaced footage). The 30p modes are okay, but not really optimal, for downconversions to interlaced SD since the end result will look very much like the "30p" PSF-encoded material from certain consumer Canon camcorders in terms of temporal resolution.
Randall Leong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Bill

I'm not sure if you know that there is a free transcoder on the Panasonic website for your camera..it essentially transcodes (only Panasonic) AVCHD to either P2 or SD 16:9

For my brides I get great results simply transcoding back to 16:9 SD and editing the files in SD. The transcoder is made by MainConcept and does a great job of also handling 1080i footage as well since the field order for HD and SD is reversed.

If you want to use only your NLE then you should be shooting progressive otherwise you end up with a nightmare when the NLE tries to downsize the interlaced footage!!

I would try the Transcoder anyway since it's free!!!

https://eww.pavc.panasonic.co.jp/pro...e/download.htm

(They call it the AVCHD to P2 DVCPRO transcoder but Version 2.1 also does 16:9 SD)

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2010, 11:26 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Melrose Park, Illinois, USA
Posts: 936
Thanks, Chris, for mentioning the free Panasonic download. That should be the first step (if one happens to shoot in 1080i) before the OP may try more specialized (and often hard-to-use or super-expensive) deinterlacing/downconversion software.
Randall Leong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2010, 01:11 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Randall

I have seriously spent more wasted time with different HD-SD methods than I care to tell people about!!
With me it comes down to sheer workflow efficiency more than anything else. My brides seldom have a BD player and they are more interested in content than checking out the resolution with a critical eye!!
With my little DuoCore machine I can still edit direct from AVCHD to MPEG2 or I can transcode from AVCHD to HDV and then to MPEG2.
However my render time using HD format takes forever (which is time I don't have!!) Even a clip of say 10 minutes downgraded to HDV will take around an hour to render (AVCHD takes even longer) The same clip in SD will render in 5 minutes or less with a Res difference that no bride will ever detect so it makes sense to get the job done in a fraction of the time as each wedding has around 160 minutes of raw footage so I usually need to render around 80 -100 minutes in all and I haven't got a few days to just render footage!!

I personally think that unless Bill is shooting at max bitrate of 26mbs even he would find it hard to notice the difference between an SD -SD or an HD-SD DVD!!!

If Bill needs to go the NLE route look in the Vegas forum but be warned the process is not a simple as it sounds!!! To me that's a huge amount of work to gain just a fraction better quality!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2010, 08:54 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, GA
Posts: 52
Just my 2 cents, but we've been shooting with an HMC-150 for a few months now, and about 90 percent of our edited output is still SD. We never downconvert. We simply import the full HD clips into an SD project(Adobe CS4). It's wonderful to have that full HD picture on an SD timeline, because it give you so much more real estate to play with, adjusting poorly framed shots, faking dolly moves as well as pan/zooms, etc. Now, having said that, you definitely will take a rendering performance hit on a slower machine, but if your system is properly set up for HD material, or you don't mind the rendering, it's definitely worth it.

Steve Brame
__________________
Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions
Steve Brame is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2010, 08:05 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nebo, NC
Posts: 111
Hi Steve, what format are you shooting in with the HMC-150?
Janice DeMille is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2010, 08:21 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, GA
Posts: 52
It varies per project...but I generally go for 1080/24p, unless I might need slo-mo, for which I'll go for 60i.
__________________
Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions
Steve Brame is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2010, 08:23 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, GA
Posts: 52
'Nebo'...are you serious? Near Yadkinville?
__________________
Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions
Steve Brame is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2010, 07:18 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nebo, NC
Posts: 111
Hi Steve, Nebo is beside Marion. It is located about 1/2 between Hickory and Asheville :-D
Janice DeMille is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2010, 07:26 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nebo, NC
Posts: 111
Steve, another question for you. What do you have for an editing system?

We had heard that shooting in the 1080 modes will give the background jitters when following motion. Do you find that when you are shooting?

Do you use lights at a reception?
Janice DeMille is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2010, 07:54 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, GA
Posts: 52
We haven't noticed any jittering, background or otherwise. I would lean towards the thought that motion jitter may be a function of the shutter speed, especially in progressive mode. Progressive mode with movement requires fine tuning of the shutter speed.

As far as reception lighting, we don't do weddings, so I couldn't help you there. However, we regularly shoot other types of receptions at corporate events, and the concept is similar. We tend to stay away from static lighting at such shoots, except for a camera or hand held mounted if it's really dark. The logistics of properly lighting a several thousand square foot room with possibly hundreds of people really cuts into the profit margin. Also, we try to be as unobtrusive as possible at these things, not to mention the liability factor. Generally there is alcohol being consumed at a reception, and alcohol mixed with light stands and power cords(taped or not) is a recipe for a problem.
__________________
Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions
Steve Brame is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #13
Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada, Ontario
Posts: 1
Hd to SD

This was a truly enlightening experience when I went from hd to sd. The first thing to know is what format is your camera shooting, I use the HVR Z7U and my shooting for weddings and events is 1080i, so therefore my editing profile in Adobe CS3 is set to HDV 1080i 30/60 frames. I first noticed the edge motion flare, not on my camera footage but in the rendered to dvd sd format, it was truly awful quality to offer to a customer. Another thing to know is whether your footage is interlaced upper or lower. I shot some hockey in 1080P and it was Stroby looking, so for my purposes all my shooting is in 1080i.
I use Adobe CS3 for editing so I did some research and I did some research and found out that most NLE's have the same issues going to sd.

On the Adobe forum I found a tutorial by Jeff Bethune I think his name is and it allows you to render a High Quality Sd on dvd for your customer. It involves using a frame server called debug frame server to give your dvd authoring program one frame at a time, tricking it in to believing it is a avi. file. These programs are all free and saved my butt because my customers still want SD probably for the next few years.

Here is the link to Jeff's page and go to tutorials you will be glad you did.

Bellune Digital Video Services

Tom
Tom Foley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 1,384
With my 150, I shoot 1080 30p and edit in the same. to go to SD I learned a trick which works very well BUT requires a seriously fast machine or an overnight to render out the final.

Basically I have a final edit in 1080 30p...I let QT convert to h264 AND scale to 853x480 (I have a Matrox with Max so it's much faster)

Then stick the h264 in Compressor and go to mpeg 2 for DVD.

A compression engineer suggested this and the results have been fantastic. Much better than any other method I've tried. I had a 2-1/2 show to put on a single layer DVD and it's clean at 3.7mbps!

His said that going to h264 first would provide cleaner scaling and smooth out any artifacting much better than the mpeg2 process. Then, compressor would have less to deal with noise-wise and would work much better. He tried to explain the tech details which were way over my head but the results have been awesome so I really don't want to know the voodoo underneath.

Going from 60i is something I have not tried but the process could probably work for that too.


As far as jittering, make sure your OIS is off if you're tripod mounted. The OIS will fight the movement of the tripod and result in jitters.
__________________
A7RII, C100, 1Dx, 5Dmk3, 70D, Kessler goodies, Adobe, Pro Tools and more!
Robert Turchick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 11:12 AM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, GA
Posts: 52
When we were making the transition from interlaced to progressive a few years back we had a few die-hard videographers that couldn't understand the dynamics, and would constantly point out the strobe effect. When I would point out that this was not necessarily a function of progressive shooting per se, but more from an incorrect shutter speed, I even had a couple claim that 'shutter speed' was a film camera function and couldn't be adjusted in a video camera...until I showed them in the menu.

A question I ask is, if your end product needs to be SD, why are you editing on an HD timeline? We simply make our timeline match whatever our final needs to be - NOT what our footage is. You might find that the final downconvert of your HD timeline output to SD MPEG2 is what is causing your problem. I would seriously suspect that any 'edge motion flare' is caused by too slow a shutter speed for the level of motion you are trying to capture.

But I could be wrong...
__________________
Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions
Steve Brame is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > AVCHD Format Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:38 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network