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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 December 6th, 2010, 08:48 PM   #1
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Why does downloading take so long?

Computer:
Imac. 2.8 GHz Intel Core Duo. 2 Gigs of memory, OSX 10.5.8

Software:
iMovie

Camera:
Sony A55, Panasonic GH1

Clip length: 29.50min

Format: AVCHD HD1920x1080

Memory Stick: SOny 16gig Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo

It just took 1 hour 15 minutes to import two 29.50min files. That's longer then real time. All other applications are closed and I'm not working on the computer while it is downloading.

Any way to speed this up? Do I need more RAM?

Thanks
Evan
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Old December 6th, 2010, 09:20 PM   #2
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Was it a USB 1 interface? I am on PC so do not know what interfaces you have. As a guide normal download time for 2 hours of AVCHD 1920x1080, 24mbps from my Sony NX5U takes about 15 mins.

Ron Evans
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Old December 6th, 2010, 09:59 PM   #3
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What USB? v1.1 or 2? AVCHD should download at around 1/4-1/3 real time. Somehow I suspect your computer has got some early version USB ports.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 08:44 AM   #4
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Evan, I wonder if there is a conversion going on to some intermediate format at the same time?

Ron Evans
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Old December 7th, 2010, 08:58 AM   #5
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I always recommend using an external card-reader instead of just connecting the camera directly to the PC.

If you are using an external card-reader and still getting these long transfer times, then it's possible that your computer's USB ports are not in 2.0 mode.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 08:55 PM   #6
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Long time..

iMovie imports and converts files to *.mov files so they can be edited. You will notice that the imported files are much larger in size than the originals.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:43 AM   #7
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As Serge says iMovie by default converts to Apple Intermediate CODEC as AIC is easier to edit. When you import there is a tick box that says something like 'optimize video'. If you untick that box it will import without conversion. Whether your iMac will be beefy enough to edit AVCHD HD1920x1080 files natively is another matter of course.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 02:06 PM   #8
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My first video, 19.5 minutes long, downloaded in 15 minutes via 2.0 USB. I removed the class 10 SD card and plugged it directly in the card slot on my PC and the same file downloaded in 3 minutes. Downloading via USB subjects your downloads to the USB software before it ever commits to the hard drive. Thank goodness I bought a camera with removable memory.
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