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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old April 26th, 2011, 07:27 AM   #1
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AVCHD -> ? Then what?

Hi guys,

Recently got me a Sony 1080p AVCHD camera(HDR-CX130) - very pleased with it, indeed!

I can edit the video just fine in PPro CS5 - but after that, I don't really know what to output the material to!

The MTS file seems to be very good compressed, since all other formats I choose to render to gets alot bigger(even though I match the properties of the original clip): 1080@50i

Best results right now for me is to cut with an "Avchd" cutter and then render using DivX Converter to MKV files - very good quality and reasonable file size.

My primary goal is to have the movies/clips watchable on a computer(HTPC and laptops) - so burning to BluRay etc isn't a priority for me.

I tried rendering to WMV, looks good - but generates much larger file than MKV

Please, enlighten me of your good thoughts and workflow!

Regards, Lazze
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Old April 26th, 2011, 08:46 PM   #2
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Re: AVCHD -> ? Then what?

Lars,

I've edited AVCHD files since 2008 using consumer grade editors such as Corel, Nero, and presently PowerDirector9. AVCHD (h264) was designed from the ground up by camcorder vendors (Sony) to minimize storage requirements and maximize HD quality. I've used both Sony and Canon video footage so far and have found that AVCHD is the most efficient with the best HD image quality. The real advantage of the mts files from the Sony cameras is that when rendering them to AVCHD, today's editing software no longer needs to re-render them for the final compilation (unless extensive effects have been added) thereby producing a great result in a very short time (on a WIN7- i7-64 bit PC). I've even noticed that most viewers cannot differentiate between 15 mbps and 24 mbps (Sony default bit rate) video footage. A 1 hour HD clip in full 1920x1080 mpeg2 format can consume more than 12 Gb. An identical rendering in AVCHD is usually under 6 Gb. I've switched to AVCHD for all my videos. The added advantage is that one can burn the video if required to a standard DVD and play it back on a BD player with very good results.
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Old April 29th, 2011, 02:44 PM   #3
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Re: AVCHD -> ? Then what?

Allen,

Thanks for your reply!

If I understand you correcty, you edit in some NLE of choice, then you re-export/save to the same AHCHD format? I haven't figured out just how to do that in PPro CS5. I can render to different MPEG2/4 formats, but not as AVCHD, probably missing something..

// Lazze
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Old April 29th, 2011, 09:06 PM   #4
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Re: AVCHD -> ? Then what?

Lars,

To be more specific:

- I typically use footage from two types of sources: Sony camcorders (1920x1080i, h264, AVCHD, 24 mbps) and Canon DSLR's (1280x720i, h264, MOV, 24 mbps).
- I use PowerDirector 9 (PD9) to edit BOTH video formats. PD9 is a Win7 - 64 bit application, consumer level.
- PD9 (and most video editors) will not re-render footage if the selected output (AVCHD in this case) is identical to the input (AVCHD) format. All of the Sony clips (which are AVCHD) are simply transferred to the output without modification. All of the Canon clips (MOV) are re-rendered to AVCHD format.

In PD9 it is called SVRT (smart video render technology) but that's just marketing bull. It is simply logical not to re-render - the Sony footage is fully AVCHD compatible.

In my case all of the Canon MOV clips are re-rendered because I am going from MOV (h264) to AVCHD (h264), my choice for output which is viewed on a Western Digital HD Media viewer that is able to play back either mpeg2 (BD) or AVCHD (BD) formats. Of course, both formats can also be "burned" to either a BD (mpeg2) disc or DVD (AVCHD).

The time to produce an identical length of video to AVCHD from the two formats is as follows: a 1 minute MOV clip will render to AVCHD in approx. 80 seconds. The same video in AVCHD (from Sony) takes just 20 seconds since no re-rendering is being done.

If you need more details let me know.

Allen.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 03:51 AM   #5
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Re: AVCHD -> ? Then what?

Allen,

I've now tried in PPro CS5, Imported a Sony 1920x1080@50i clip - made some simple cuts(no transitions) - and the re-exported as "same as input", PPro then picks something called MPEG-Preview as format. The rendered quality is way degraded from the original :-( with noise and pixelation.

I'll have to make a serious google on this!

// Lazze
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Old May 1st, 2011, 04:05 AM   #6
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Re: AVCHD -> ? Then what?

h.264 with min rate 16mbps and max 24 - VBR 2 pass, render at Maximum quality seems to be equal to my Sony AVCHD files.

// Lz
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Old May 1st, 2011, 03:24 PM   #7
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Re: AVCHD -> ? Then what?

Lars,

In PD9 the "viewer" resolution quality is selectable to allow for slower graphics cars. In the lower resolution the image is indeed pixelated. In the HD mode it's on par with the full HD quality of the original.

Allen
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