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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 22nd, 2010, 12:56 PM   #1
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Sony SR11, AVCHD and FC Express

I don't even know where to post this question -- so I apologize in advance if its in the wrong place.

I've got the three items mentioned above. The iMac is the latest and greatest 21.5" with the 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive. The FC Express is the most current version (4). SR11 connects to the iMac via USB as SR11 has no Firewire.

How do I get FCE to import the AVCHD video I've taken on the SR11? FCE won't "log and transfer" it. I can see the files and copy them to the iMac hard drive. QT won't play them. FCE doesn't seem to like them and I'm not sure how to tell FCE to use 16x9, 1920x1080i.

Maybe its just user error, but can anyone help me figure out how to import the HD video from my SR11 to the iMac and edit them in either iMovie or FCE. (Then I need to burn a DVD, but thats another question).

Am I going to have to use a PC?

Thanks.

-- Will
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Old May 30th, 2010, 09:48 AM   #2
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FCE should recognize it when you plug in your USB cord. If it doesn't, use iMovie 8/9 to import. Save it, then point FCE to the file and import it. Both FCE and iMovie 8/9 use AIC to convert. Video from my SR 11 and my HMC 150 go into iMovie with no problems. I don't have FCE 4 but do have FCE 3 and this is how I get it in FCE for me. Hope this helps.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 05:50 PM   #3
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Thanks, Randy

I'll give it a shot. I appreciate you answering me.

I've found a number of other answers on the apple support forums and such, mostly involving the purchase of the mpeg2 decoder for quicktime and then also using a program called "Streamclip". I like your approach better! I'm new to the Mac world, so I may have some more questions.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 08:48 PM   #4
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You shouldn't need to get that. Mpegstreamclip was nice to use when converting but you won't need it bringing it into FCE or iMovie. One thing to remember about video, when you convert it, you start to loose quality. The next generation of iMovie, FCE or FCS should be able to edit AVCHD natively (hopefully, if apple doesn't want to loose customers to CS5, which is supposed to be able to edit AVCHD natively). If it doesn't, I'll be jumping ship to CS5 myself. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Only way your going to learn.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 09:29 PM   #5
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There in lies the problem

Randy,

I think that there in lies the problem/challenge -- encode and decode of avchd.

AVCHD (which is H.264, I believe) is a compressed format (Apple - QuickTime - H.264 - Frequently Asked Questions). All editing is actually done on uncompressed video. So, formats like AVI and WMV are so huge because they are raw files -- frame by frame and not compressed. Ironically Windows 7 Movie Maker will natively edit the AVCHD files (and the sony mts files), and other editors will also, but what's going on behind the scenes is that they are decompressing what you're currently editing and then putting it back in the right format when you're through. Or something to that effect. The Sony mts format that our camcorders use is AVCHD with a little twist sony put on it. Its essentially H.264, but there's something different about it such that programs have to be aware that its not straight H.264. I think.

But, yeah, I hope that FCE, etc will be able to open mts files without so much fuss. Maybe there are licensing issues involved. Actually, I'd rather use something other than h.264 any way:

http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/...rmsSummary.pdf

All that to say: I don't think there's a way to get around the conversion issue if you use h.264. Hope that made sense.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Painter View Post
You shouldn't need to get that. Mpegstreamclip was nice to use when converting but you won't need it bringing it into FCE or iMovie. One thing to remember about video, when you convert it, you start to loose quality. The next generation of iMovie, FCE or FCS should be able to edit AVCHD natively (hopefully, if apple doesn't want to loose customers to CS5, which is supposed to be able to edit AVCHD natively). If it doesn't, I'll be jumping ship to CS5 myself. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Only way your going to learn.
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Old May 31st, 2010, 11:05 PM   #6
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Only recently did NLE's began to edit AVCHD natively with transitions and such. The early ones only let you chop it up and burn it but in my eyes useless without some good effects and such. Have watched raw AVCHD on my HD tv and it's awesome. But allot of folks still have SD tv's so they can't watch it. So hence transcoding to SD. Heck, I finally just bought a blu ray player for my rear projection HD tv. But I still burn to SD (use iMovie) because I can't share the footage with family and friends due to not having a HD tv. Now once in iMovie or FCE, you can save it to H264. But will only play on computers with graphics cards strong enough. Don't know of any players out there that do. Blu Ray (afaik) is it's own HD format based on h264.
You will have to try different settings to get what you want. Experiment with small clips so your not wasting allot of time. Takes time, patience and allot of questions for help. Your iMac will do for small projects but you will want at least a quad core to do big projects or prepare for long rendering times. Did you get it into FCE yet?
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Old June 7th, 2010, 01:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Pherigo View Post
I don't even know where to post this question -- so I apologize in advance if its in the wrong place.

I've got the three items mentioned above. The iMac is the latest and greatest 21.5" with the 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive. The FC Express is the most current version (4). SR11 connects to the iMac via USB as SR11 has no Firewire.

How do I get FCE to import the AVCHD video I've taken on the SR11? FCE won't "log and transfer" it. I can see the files and copy them to the iMac hard drive. QT won't play them. FCE doesn't seem to like them and I'm not sure how to tell FCE to use 16x9, 1920x1080i.

Maybe its just user error, but can anyone help me figure out how to import the HD video from my SR11 to the iMac and edit them in either iMovie or FCE. (Then I need to burn a DVD, but thats another question).

Am I going to have to use a PC?
I'm using Pavtube to convert the HD video taken from JVC Handycam. So far I like how the software has been performed. The user interface is friendly. I like it tells me how long it will take so I can walk away and come back later. I've had good results converting the .mts files to .mov, with the settings h.264, 1200, 1280*720, 25fps, aac. The files look good on my Mac running Adobe Premiere, edit easily, and convert well to DVD format.

Pavtube HD video converter for mac - HD Converter for Mac convert HD video

PS:The deinterlacing option allows you to convert interlaced video into a non-interlaced form, so that you can enjoy a better and clearer video effect.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #8
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How to ingest from sr11

Will,
I use a SR 11 and FCE.
First off, did you update to 4.1, you need to do this to handle 1920 x 1080 material.
Second, you can not have mixed formats on your hard drive or card.
Next, FCE will not ingest avchd material that has been copied to your hard drive. It needs to be brought in through the "log & transfer feature.
Camera in the docking station and 120 v plugged in, USB connected to your computer.
Start up FCE and open your project or create a new one, the sequence settings need to match what ever settings you used for the camera. (1920 x1080 or 1440 or whatever you shot)
Turn on the camera, tap USB connect.
Select log and transfer, the log & transfer window will open, could take awhile for your clips to show up depending on how much material you have.
You can then select a clip, preview, select in out points or bring in the whole clip. I select the clips I want and then bring the select clips in all at one time, rather than select one and wait then doing the next.
Hope this helps. You might want to look into a external hard drive for your scratch disk.
If you don't still have the clips on the camera, then they will need to be converted to AIC and imported to get them into FCE. (MPEGstreamclip)

Tom

Last edited by Tom Cadwalader; June 11th, 2010 at 07:34 AM. Reason: add comment
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Old June 14th, 2010, 09:15 PM   #9
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AVCHD and FCE

You don't need to have you camera connected but you do have to copy the entire AVCHD directory structure to your HD Then point FCE log and transfer to the top level of the directory, on my Canon the directory is
PRIVATE
AVCHD
MY-MUSIC etc.

Log and Transfer will then show thumbnails of the .MTS files which you can select to be converted to AIC
You need to have FCE 4.01

Bob
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Old May 29th, 2011, 08:58 AM   #10
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Re: Sony SR11, AVCHD and FC Express

Thanks to the various responses! I really appreciate that. I'll keep plugging away. Obviously you all are having success, I should be able to also!

Is it useful at all to use Handbrake/VLC to convert the files to MOV or something like that? I guess I need better understanding of how iMovie and FCE work.

What's funny is I got the Mac because I had heard from many sources that it is the industry standard for video editing -- I wasn't expecting all these problems.

Thanks again
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Old January 15th, 2012, 08:17 PM   #11
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Re: Sony SR11, AVCHD and FC Express

I used iMovie to import files from my Sony SR12. Be aware that importing .mts files through iMovie results in transcoding to AIC (apple intermediate codec). The quality is excellent but Apple and Microsoft do not play well together. The result is that if you try to export a video transcoded to AIC it will not play on a Windows computer. If you want your videos to be viewable on a Windows platforn, you are better served by importing your files with Adobe Premier Pro or other software that does not transcode to AIC, but to Pro Res. I would be happy to learn if I am incorrect about this, but so far this appears to be true.
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