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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old June 23rd, 2010, 01:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terence Morris View Post
Thanks for your input, Guy: Please see my first post - I did try this, but dropping the rendered clip on the timeline caused Vegas to simply crash - without fanfare!
...Something must be seriously wrong with your either the NEO SCENE or Vegas Pro install. I've been using NEO SCENE on three different computers with zero problems for almost one year now. ( I custom built all 3 PCs, each one running on premium ASUS motherboards, 1 PC uses an Intel Quad 6600 CPU, the other two both use Intel Quad i7 920 CPUs, Corsair premium RAM used in all 3 PCs, 1 PC runs on Win XP SP3, the other two use Vista SP2 )
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Old June 24th, 2010, 12:32 PM   #17
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You may very well be right. When I get a chink of free time I might trouble-shoot this properly - I know how solving these issues can just explode time-wise. For now, 'good enough" is okay and I'll continue editing mts and use mxf for splicing in sound.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
You are the second person I've heard have issues with the Matrox codec.
I'm now the third person. Black video all round. (Win 7 64 bit). And the codec sounded so promising.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 08:25 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rainer Listing View Post
I'm now the third person. Black video all round. (Win 7 64 bit). And the codec sounded so promising.
Could you answer a few questions for me?

1. What version of Vegas?
2. Where did you get the codec from? Link?
3. Does the video show normally if you play it in VLC or a similar player?
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Old June 24th, 2010, 09:50 PM   #20
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I decided to try the Matrox codec in Vegas 8 on my old home PC. I do a few things here from time to time, so have not even bothered to upgrade it to VPro9. Here's a screen shot:
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Workflow for AVCHD (MTS) Editing in Vegas anyone?-vipers_screenshot.png  
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Old June 25th, 2010, 03:30 AM   #21
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Hi Perrone,
Although I downloaded the codec this morning from Matrox I did end up getting an older version, build 52, which when I checked the fine print said "resolution supported 1440X1080"(not happy encoding 1920X1080). The current version , 1.0.0.028, is at Matrox Video - Support - Matrox VFW Software Codecs Downloads .
VLC reports "No suitable decoder module VLC does not support the audio or video format "M705". Unfortunately there is no way for you to fix this." But it all looks good and plays smoothly in other editors and WMP. There are a lot of settings for the codec, and in particular I need to set rounding to MPEG2 rather than Matrox. At 50Mbps encoding on my system is around real time and there's a 3X space penalty, which is fine. I think I'll be using it instead of proxies from now on. I also hope this solves the issue for the other two people having problems with black video. Thanks again very much for your help, much appreciated.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #22
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I have been playing around with the Matrox Iframe 150 mbit codec and it has actually been running slower then native mp4 files from an EX1. Even the rendering was slightly slower. Now granted I do not have blazing fast drives in this system but to me the whole point here was to get better performance. Considering I get the same or faster performance with the native mp4 files it almost seems like a waste of time to convert the files.

Has anybody really noticed a huge boost in performance with using the Matrox Iframe codecs.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 12:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
I have been playing around with the Matrox Iframe 150 mbit codec and it has actually been running slower then native mp4 files from an EX1. Even the rendering was slightly slower. Now granted I do not have blazing fast drives in this system but to me the whole point here was to get better performance. Considering I get the same or faster performance with the native mp4 files it almost seems like a waste of time to convert the files.

Has anybody really noticed a huge boost in performance with using the Matrox Iframe codecs.
The native files from the EX1(r) and EX3 are *NOT* encoded with Mpeg4. They are Mpeg2 files inside an mp4 wrapper. You are taking a 35Mbps Mpeg2 file in an mp4 wrapper and encoding it to a 150Mbps Mpeg2 file in an AVI wrapper. Yes, that is going to be slower.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 08:49 AM   #24
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Yes I am very much aware of what EX1 files realy are. I wrote my own software to demux the files when the camera first came out.

My point was that the 35mbit files are IPB format while the Matrox files are Iframe. To me on other systems a IPB format was always slower then an I frame format but with Vegas I noticed they were about the same speed. In theory I frame only mpeg2 should be faster then IPB mpeg2 but in Vegas that doesn't seem to be the case. It isn't that it is bad but that Vegas is already pretty good at working with mpeg2.

To me outside of maybe AVCHD I just didn't see any advantage of using the Matrox codecs. I realize thats what this thread was about. I was just pointing out what my experience has been with the Matrox codecs. While they are an AVI file they are still mpeg2 on th inside and I think Cineform is still a much better option. I would like to hear feedback from those that have used both.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #25
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From another forum / thread I started some days ago:

" I use Vegas 9.e and have been transcoding my T2i files to Neoscene - big files. In fact I have ignored MXF up to now.
But I made a litle test rendering some T2i files to Sony MXF (35mb/s) and noticed that, beside the rendered MXF files are much smaller than the corresponding T2i files (great!), comparing them on the preview monitor, it seems that there is no video quality loss, and editing is easy.
Is that possible or I`m making a wrong judgment (on no video quality loss)?
Is there a real benefit (regarding avoiding compression) to transcode to MXF to edit T2i original files?"

Response:
"MXF is a file container designed specifically for TV, film and broadcast workflow. It is a subset of the AAF standard.
It is a file container like Quicktime, Windows Media and MPEG-4. Within that container are specific codecs like DV, WM 9, and H.264. The big difference with MXF is that it can contain much more metadata information than Quicktime or Windows Media. Metadata may include timecode, pullown, file path, aperture, color profile, etc, etc.
MXF is codec agnostic. It can virtually support any codec a company wants to implement.
It is possible that there is no video degradation when you converted to MXF. It is possible that Vegas extracted the video and audio stream and then wrapped it in MXF container. This is similar when you convert DV files from AVI to Quicktime. If done correctly, all you do is put the raw media stream in another file container with no change in the data - think of it as cutting and pasting from Microsoft Paint to Photoshop. You have to check what codec Vegas is using to generate the render files. Usually you want some form of a 4:2:2 codec (instead of 4:2:0 or 4:1:1) that does not do long GOP (HDV XDCAM, etc)."

So yesterday I brought the files to a friend with another computer / monitor but with the same Vegas 9e, and he made the same test comparing the original T2i files with its respective first and second generation MXF (1980x1080 35mb/s) convertions and he couldn`t notice any video quality loss too - color, contrast, resolution, everything seamed to be the same.

Then I think that Sony MXF is a viable editing solution for Canon T2i / Vegas 9, despite I didn`t try to edit many video layers with heavy effects in the same project.

Ron
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Old June 26th, 2010, 10:08 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
Yes I am very much aware of what EX1 files realy are. I wrote my own software to demux the files when the camera first came out.
My apologies. Your post made it seem like you were saying the EX1 files were mpeg4. At least it seemed so to me, so I am sorry I misunderstood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
My point was that the 35mbit files are IPB format while the Matrox files are Iframe. To me on other systems a IPB format was always slower then an I frame format but with Vegas I noticed they were about the same speed. In theory I frame only mpeg2 should be faster then IPB mpeg2 but in Vegas that doesn't seem to be the case. It isn't that it is bad but that Vegas is already pretty good at working with mpeg2.
I think you reach a point of diminishing returns here. Every I-frame codec is not always going to be faster than every long-GOP codec. And I think you'll find that point with the EX1 files right around 100 Mbps i-frame. Mpeg2 is not all that difficult to decode on the fly. Mpeg4 on the other hand is another matter altogether. Thus the 150Mbps i-frame codec will be significantly faster than trying to work with the 5D/7D files. And likely will still be faster than working with the AVCHD files which are only 17-24Mbps depending on the camera they come from.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
To me outside of maybe AVCHD I just didn't see any advantage of using the Matrox codecs. I realize thats what this thread was about. I was just pointing out what my experience has been with the Matrox codecs. While they are an AVI file they are still mpeg2 on th inside and I think Cineform is still a much better option. I would like to hear feedback from those that have used both.
There really isn't any advantage of using the Matrox codecs if you are starting with EX1 files. There is a significant advantage if you are starting with mpeg4 compressed material. Cineform, being wavelet, has several advantages over the Matrox codec. But often people are looking for free solutions. If one is willing to pay for Cineform, then it will create smaller, and superior files. Though I have issue with it's color space conversion. I've used Cineform in the past, and have worked with Cineform RAW. The Matrox codecs, at least the i-frame ones, are 8-bit and that is a signficant drawback. But for many users it won't matter all that much.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Ron German View Post
From another forum / thread I started some days ago:

" I use Vegas 9.e and have been transcoding my T2i files to Neoscene - big files. In fact I have ignored MXF up to now.
But I made a litle test rendering some T2i files to Sony MXF (35mb/s) and noticed that, beside the rendered MXF files are much smaller than the corresponding T2i files (great!), comparing them on the preview monitor, it seems that there is no video quality loss, and editing is easy.
Is that possible or I`m making a wrong judgment (on no video quality loss)?
Is there a real benefit (regarding avoiding compression) to transcode to MXF to edit T2i original files?"
The T2i shoots the same format as the 7D. Both are around 45-48 Mbps. Cineform is about 45Mbps. So other than changing from an 8 bit Long GOP codec, to a 10 bit wavelet codec, there isn't a lot to be gained here. And there is going to be a visible color change that will need to be corrected later. But the early tip off that this is going to devolve quickly is when the poster mentions that these are "big files". Most pros consider this size a Proxy size and about as small as they would dare go. Avid's proxy format is 36Mbps and Apple's ProRes Proxy is around 40Mbps. The quality of those won't be as good as Cineform's, but the file sizes are going to be quite similar.

The Transcode to MXF inside Sony Vegas is indeed lossy. H.264 is about twice as efficient as Mpeg2. Thus it would take nearly 100 Mpbs of Mpeg2 to provide similar quality to the 7D/550D files. The MXF options in Vegas are 35 Mbps, or 50 Mbps. These constitute a significant step down. Due to their lower bandwidth, they will certainly create smaller files though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron German View Post
Response:
"MXF is a file container designed specifically for TV, film and broadcast workflow. It is a subset of the AAF standard.
It is a file container like Quicktime, Windows Media and MPEG-4. Within that container are specific codecs like DV, WM 9, and H.264. The big difference with MXF is that it can contain much more metadata information than Quicktime or Windows Media. Metadata may include timecode, pullown, file path, aperture, color profile, etc, etc.
MXF is codec agnostic. It can virtually support any codec a company wants to implement.
It is possible that there is no video degradation when you converted to MXF. It is possible that Vegas extracted the video and audio stream and then wrapped it in MXF container. This is similar when you convert DV files from AVI to Quicktime. If done correctly, all you do is put the raw media stream in another file container with no change in the data - think of it as cutting and pasting from Microsoft Paint to Photoshop. You have to check what codec Vegas is using to generate the render files. Usually you want some form of a 4:2:2 codec (instead of 4:2:0 or 4:1:1) that does not do long GOP (HDV XDCAM, etc)."
Though MXF is codec agnostic, Sony's implementation inside Vegas is not. It's Mpeg2. Only. It is either 4:2:0 35 Mbps or 4:2:2 50 Mbps. Both Long GOP.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron German View Post
So yesterday I brought the files to a friend with another computer / monitor but with the same Vegas 9e, and he made the same test comparing the original T2i files with its respective first and second generation MXF (1980x1080 35mb/s) convertions and he couldn`t notice any video quality loss too - color, contrast, resolution, everything seamed to be the same.
How did you do the comparison. A mathematical difference would have shown a massive amount of loss. And that is the method I use to determine just how much I am throwing away. It's scientific and VERY accurate. It's also quite easy to see to the casual observer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron German View Post
Then I think that Sony MXF is a viable editing solution for Canon T2i / Vegas 9, despite I didn`t try to edit many video layers with heavy effects in the same project.

Ron
The Sony MXF codec, to my view, is a poor choice for an editing codec because:

1. It is low bandwidth
2. It is Long GOP
3. It has subsampled colors (though this is not such a big deal for most delivery)
4. It is lossy mpeg2
5. It will cause Vegas to choke as your project gets more advanced.


All that said, it might work perfectly for your needs. I don't know what those needs are. If you are delivering 2 minute videos to YouTube it may be overkill. But if you are looking to deliver pro level work, then it's a poor solution and something like Cineform, the Matrox i-frame codecs, DNxHD, CanopusHQ, or others would be better choices. Each of those has things to work around, but each is a higher quality solution.
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Last edited by Perrone Ford; June 26th, 2010 at 05:04 PM.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #28
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Thank you Perrone. I gess I understand what you are talking about.
My needs are pro level - TV broadcast (and maybe a theater projection).
Our comparison was not scientific and not VERY accurate. We used our eyes.
I believe in you that "mathematical difference would have shown a massive amount of loss".
But as unscientific testers and casual observers (eye checking), Im sure I and my (video professional) friend noticed absolutely NO change in video paramethers / image appearance.
We put each video file (T2i original, first and second generation Sony MXF converted files) in each Vegas 9e track and pressed solo button on each track to compare them in a 19`widescreen LCD monitor. No change at all. They behave as clones.
Again, thank you for your comments.
Ron

Last edited by Ron German; June 26th, 2010 at 05:20 PM.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 09:27 PM   #29
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Render the events to uncompressed AVI or uncompressed MOV (I prefer MOV files) which will have the smallest hit on quality. The problem with compressed video formats is that the processor has to do a lot of decoding between I-frames. By transcoding to uncompressed AVI, you will not have that overhead.

The PavTube MTS Converter software seems to do a decent job. 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 PC.

Pavtube MTS/M2TS Converter - Convert MTS/M2TS to AVI,WMV.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 11:49 PM   #30
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did you tried HD stream tools, I just downloaded it and still evaluating, it converts videos and also converts framerates, does pulldown removal and many things more. I like it gets apperture and shutter speed info from my SD9, have converted a few avchd for testing and the results are very nice so far, but it has a lot of options, would like to see a professionals review about , the web is CineComp Software - HD StreamTools - Professional video processor converter and transcoder for HD,HDV and AVCHD video cameras. Convert, pulldown removal, deinterlace, slow motion, superwhites, convert to 24p.
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