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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 14th, 2010, 02:32 PM   #1
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Solution for editing and saving avchd video efficiently without losing quality?

Please be patient with me as I'm completely new to this stuff. I am getting a canon vixia s200 cam for christmas and trying to get setup before hand for editing, saving, and streaming the video. Right now I have a dns-323 nas with 2tb of storage for archiving video (will probably grow into a bigger 4 or 5 bay setup), and I will be getting the netgear ntv-550 for network playback. I recently purchased a sony vaio laptop with an i7 740 processor and nvidia gt330 1gb video card, and will be upgrading it to 8 gigs of ram and a 7200rpm 500gig hdd. I'm hoping this will suite me for basic editing (nothing serious going on here yet!). I'm leaning towards sony vegas studio platinum 10 for editing but i see that you can import avchd but can't export the same format. So.... My question is, what is the best solution for making small edits and saving for network playback (or possibly blu ray burning) without losing quality? And how much space would, say, a 30 minute video take up in said format?

I've also read that I can burn avchd files to a DVD and play them with HD playback in a blu ray player that is avchd compatible. Is there a similar option for this in sony vegas? Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 08:51 PM   #2
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Your computer should have plenty of power to handle the AVCHD format. I do not have Sony Vegas, but the export options should be similar to Adobe CS5. The AVCHD format is based upon the h.264 specification for encoding. So what I do when a project is finished is export to h.264. If you want to maintain the quality of the original footage, just make sure to keep the project settings and bitrate the same as the source. I do not know the camera, but it probably shoots at 24Mb. That exported file can be used as a finished master or written to Blu-ray. If you want to encode for streaming, just select a lower bitrate suitable for your audience. When encoding for Vimeo I typically encode between 3-5 Mb. for HD quality video.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 09:33 PM   #3
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just to clairfy, when i say streaming i meaen within my home network at gigabit speeds
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Old December 14th, 2010, 11:42 PM   #4
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Hi, Daniel:

Your camera will record at data rates up to 24Mbit/s. AVCHD on DVD media, or "AVCHD Disc" is limited to 18Mbit/s. Also, these discs are not part of the Blu-ray standard and so Blu-ray players are not required to play them. Finally, at the maximum data rate of 18Mbit/s, a single-layer DVD will only hold about 35 minutes of video. And, while others may have differing opinions, I find that double-layer media--DVD or Blu-ray--is orders of magnitude less reliable and best avoided if possible.

So, in short, I regard AVCHD on DVD as pretty uncompelling. If you really want your HD video on discs that you can expect friends and family to play, a Blu-ray burner is what to get. And then you don't have to worry about capacity, data rate, etc.

Best,
Aaron
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Old December 15th, 2010, 06:56 AM   #5
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thanks for the advice. will sony vegas platinum suite 10 do all this for me?
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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:31 AM   #6
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Sony Vegas Platinum should be fine for you, but I'd advise downloading the trial version first to see that everything works.
It's a very good bit of editing software with tons of features that ought to cost much much more than it does...
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Old December 15th, 2010, 01:45 PM   #7
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thanks again for the replies guys! I actually already own adobe premier elements 8 but have read so many bad things about it (I got it in an elements double pack with photoshop elements) that I'm not even going to try and use it. Look forward to playing with my new cam and a trial of sony vegas platinum 10 over the holidays.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 01:09 PM   #8
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when I go to render the edited video after I'm finished the only option it gives me for m2ts is 1080 60i... how do i get 1080 24p?
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Old December 29th, 2010, 10:33 PM   #9
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when you get that VAIO.....try enabling the GPU

Of course to do this, you will need to get Premiere Pro. I upgraded my VAIO with 8gb also. There is a thread on this site where a guy figured out how to enable GPU accel in PPro CS5, and I tried it & it works! Here is my post:

I was encouraged by Martin Guitar's original post to get my Sony Vaio laptop
< VPC-F11JFX, Win7 Home, 64 bit which has an nVidia GT 330M video card>
to use the GPU in Premiere Pro CS5.

I ran GPU sniffer in a CMD window by dragging the .exe file from the Premiere Pro program file into the window. I did this after having the near instantaneous flash of the results of the sniffer disappear on the screen, after merely double clicking on the GPU sniffer.exe. So now I had the readout and my "problem" was CUDA driver too old. Hmm. Went to the Sony update site and made sure I was up to date, I was. Went to NVidia's site and after entering my model etc. found this note: "Sony has joined the Verde program by supporting the following VAIO notebooks: Sony F Series with NVIDIA GeForce 310M and Sony F Series with NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M. Other Sony VAIO notebooks are not supported at this time (please contact Sony for driver support)."

When I first read Martin's post, not only did I find my CUDA drivers too old, I found that nVidia specifically did not want you to use their driver in my Sony (& other Sony models) notebook. I was pleased to see both 32 & 64 bit drivers available now.

I installed the new 64 bit driver from nVidia. I ran GPU sniffer again and this time I got the result I was looking for, that the card was not in the supported list.

I changed permissions on the "supported cards" file to allow me to edit it. Initially, I found myself unable to change the text file, as others in this thread have also found.
I added my card to the supported cards text file and saved it. Then held my breath as I started Premiere Pro CS5 and looked to see if I could now enable GPU use.

BAM, I now had the choice to enable, & I did. Tonight I will wring the thing out & get back here to report on stability, speed increase, the vaunted yellow line, etc.

Thanks Martin for this. I wish Adobe would give us this info! Give it to us as a beta idea, so we could check it out. Not all of us out here are pros who need bulletproof apps. A nice Christmas present indeed!!
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Old December 30th, 2010, 08:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Webb View Post
when I go to render the edited video after I'm finished the only option it gives me for m2ts is 1080 60i... how do i get 1080 24p?
Why do you want 24P ? YOu need to shoot very carefully in film camera style to minimize judder. Very slow or no panning, no fast movement across the screen etc etc. You can only record to Bluray and playback over HDMI to a 120hz or other multiple of 24 refresh rate display. IF this isn't the case then the playback must have 3:2 pulldown so will introduce a cadence to the playback. 30P or 60P is better for NTSC playback but are not part of any disc spec at 1920x1080. Thus normally 24p is embedded in a 60i stream with 3:2 pulldown for playback on normal 60i/p displays. Bluray players connected with HDMI to a display able to correctly display 24p will do so.

I have Vegas 10 so not sure if Vegas Platinum is the same. When you render there should be Sony AVC as "Save as type" then lower in the same box there is "Template" under this dropdown there should be several choices one of which is BLuray 1920x1080 -24p, 16Mbps. Your project settings should also have been setup this way.

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Old December 30th, 2010, 12:33 PM   #11
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I use AVCHD files on a regular DVD. Only my Blu-ray player will read these files. The regular DVD player will not. However, one does not need a Blu-ray burner to transfer/burn the AVCHD files to a regular DVD-R/+R/RW etc.
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