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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 May 19th, 2010, 01:43 PM   #1
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Render unto ceasar - AVCHD to AVI

My old Sony DVD Handycam 603E was stolen and I replaced it with a Sony HDR XR350E which records in AVCHD format 1080i. I am very impressed - the quality of picture when played straight from mycamera onto my Samsung plasma is superb.

The technology has advanced in the 5 years since I bought that camera. I used to edit the footage with Movie Magix 12

Now I would like to be able to get my edited AVCHD projects to display in that same quality.

Only thing is - I have no blu ray player or writer.

I do have an Iomega Screenplay HD 500 multimedia player that can play HD video and supports the following formats AC3 (Dolby® Digital Encoding), WAV, WMA, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (AVI/VOB), MPEG-4 (AVI/DiVX 3.11, 4.x, 5.x/XViD)

I am hoping to be able to play my edited HD projects on this media player and enjoy them in quality that is as close to the unedited clips played on the camera.

In my efforts to accomplish this I have downloaded trial versions of Adobe Premier elements, Cyberlink Power DVD, Sony Vegas Movie Studio and Pinnacles offering - all products aimed at the enthusiast but strictly amateur - that's me.

None of these has been able to produce a file that the media player can play. The message - Codec not supported displays.

Can anyone give me some advice? Of course, the obvious solution is to purchase a blue ray player and writer and that is on the cards once the fiscus has recovered from the camera purchase. (Nice to have something to grow into)

Any help is greatly appreciated.

David
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Old May 19th, 2010, 01:51 PM   #2
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These small WD Media Players work great.
Your edited movie goes on a USB drive, attach to the WD player, HDMI out to HDTV, and it's magic.
Look here:
WD TV Overview
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Old May 19th, 2010, 02:27 PM   #3
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Robert is right, lots of us are using the WD player in lieu of BluRay. Some of us even pledged to skip BR all together as we don't consider it a viable media format for the long run (we think it'll all go file-based eventually)...

But even your player plays MPEG2 files, so why not try to output MPEG2 files at 1920x1080?
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Old May 19th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #4
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I use Pinnacle Studio 12.1 and when done editing (1920x1080) from the same HD timeline I render to standard DVD for distribution, then from the same timeline I render to HD WMV format. I've been using the 1280x720 at 60p preset and play that from a "thumb" drive plugged into the WD TV media player.

The results look great to me on my 42" LCD TV.
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 03:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

I'm still having problems rendering to a compatible file format.

I've tried the mpeg2 option but that gave me a codec not supported error on the multimedia player.

Since then I've had to upgrade my machine and settled on Adobe Premier elements which just feels like such a quality piece of software with lots to grow into. Now it doesn't even offer me the option to render to an mpeg.

Also struggling to find a good workflow as I learn. Is it best to edit in the AVCHD format and then render down or use an intermediate render to avi for example and then edit.

I ask because my DVD renders are also of a little lower quality than I'd expect.

Is it advisable to install more codecs? If so which ones.

Thanks for input - I hope to progress beyond total neophyte soon!
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Old May 24th, 2010, 08:53 AM   #6
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Transcoding HD to SD is not as easy and simple as you would first think... lots of us struggled with it when HD first came around a few years ago, it takes either good (e.g. expensive) software to make it happen, or several steps/transcodes with free/inexpensive programs... so don't be surprised if your first tries give you lower than expected image quality.

Adobe Premiere Elements is a fairly crippled software, don't expect much from it.

As far as MPEG2 not being played back by your multimedia player - did you follow the exact specs? For example, checking the specs on your player I see it can only handle 1080i but not 1080p...
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Old May 31st, 2010, 02:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
Transcoding HD to SD is not as easy and simple as you would first think... lots of us struggled with it when HD first came around a few years ago, it takes either good (e.g. expensive) software to make it happen, or several steps/transcodes with free/inexpensive programs... so don't be surprised if your first tries give you lower than expected image quality...
Amen- particularly downscaling HD interlaced footage to SD.
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