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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 10:55 PM   #1
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AVCHD Editors

Is there an editing program that actually processes AVCHD at the full 24Mbps rate ?
I use Vegas 9, but sadly, even the latest V10, apparently only processes at 17Mbps.

RonC.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 01:30 PM   #2
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Re: AVCHD Editors

Avid's Pinnacle Studio 15 should. My Canon HF100's highest bitrate is 17Mbps and I've had "sluggish" problems with older versions (version 11 was one of the first NLE's to actually work to some degree with AVCHD files when the others couldn't) even with a quad core processor. I had a Q6600 Intel quad core running at 2.4Ghz when Pinnacle stated it took 2.66Ghz minimum to edit 1920x1080.

I replaced the 256MB video card in that machine with an NVIDIA 8800GT and I could then edit AVCHD as long as I was patient and let each change render, and as long as I didn't use the second video track.

Cyberlink's PowerDirector 8 Ultra did a little better.

My next computer was one of Dell's first Intel Core i7 based machines, it didn't do well at all until my 15 month free McAfee subscription ran out. I uninstalled that and installed AVG free. Suddenly I could edit AVCHD, McAfee had been "hogging" resources.

To get to the point. I just purchased and installed Studio 15 on the Core i7 machine and WOW. Not only can I now easily edit 17Mbps AVCHD (as I never could before) but the Canon DSLR .MOV files now edit "native" with no transcoding or conversion. Those files are H.264 and supposedly up to 25Mbps, your AVCHD 24Mbps files are also H.264 based. This leads me to believe it will edit your 24Mbps AVCHD files "natively".

So if you have a FAST quad core (or six core) based machine, you might download the trial version from Pinnacle Systems: Video Editing Software, Hardware & the video transfer industry leader. and give that a try.

Pinnacle Studio is not a "favorite" like Vegas or Premiere Pro, but for the money it packs a lot of function into a basically single program. I've been using it since something called Pinnacle Studio DV came with a firewire card, upgraded or purchased versions from 7 to 15 (skipping 14 because they "locked out" using SmartSound music from within the program). With version 15 I purchased a SmartSound "plug in" from SmartSound and it works "slick" for scoring productions.

I burn DVDs and render to HD file formats for playing on a hardware media player connected to my TV with HDMI
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Old June 4th, 2011, 03:06 PM   #3
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Re: AVCHD Editors

I use Vegas 10 and Edius 5.5 and V6 and all these will edit native 24Mbps files from the camera. In my case NX5U, CX700, XR500 and SR11. They will also edit the CX700 60P files that are 28Mbps. So do you mean export which is totally different. I don't export AVCHD as I always prepare for SD DVD or Bluray but I think that may be limited to 17Mbps. Most of my video editing is done in Edius which I then export a HQ file and encode in TMPGenc T5 for whatever output I need.

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Old June 4th, 2011, 09:04 PM   #4
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Re: AVCHD Editors

I've used PowerDirector for more than 2 years and the current version (9) does quite well with full AVCHD editing including outputting to AVCHD up to 24 Mbps. Rendering is fast on a well equipped PC. The video quality is also very good. I output to either AVCHD folders to play back on media players (the best method) or direct to dual layer 8.5 Gb DVD which is near BD quality.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 06:34 AM   #5
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Re: AVCHD Editors

Thanks for your replies. The pinnacle Studio 15 looks interesting Bruce but I think it is a bit limited in the number of tracks available. As for Vegas Ron, I am led to believe that while it will accept 24MBps files and edit them, it actually only processes them at 17Mbps.

I don't know about Power Director other than from a friend who had some trouble with the preview.

I find it surprising that with all the features these companies like to "boast" about with their editors, that they don't mention the bit rates they are capable of processing. You would think that this would be an additional feature worth having.

RonC.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 04:37 PM   #6
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Re: AVCHD Editors

HI.
Try Adobe Premiere CS5. The avchd codec is native with this platform. However, to take advantage or to be able to use its proprietary Mercury Playback Engine, a powerful nvidia vidcard is needed with GPU memory of at least 1Gb.

The other platform would be Edius,

Last edited by Julio Madiaga; June 7th, 2011 at 05:29 PM.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: AVCHD Editors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Cooper View Post
Is there an editing program that actually processes AVCHD at the full 24Mbps rate ?
I use Vegas 9, but sadly, even the latest V10, apparently only processes at 17Mbps.

RonC.
Adobe Premiere Pro (the entire Production Premium suite in fact) handles AVCHD at full bit rate, no problem. If you have enough hardware (I'm using a quad core i-720 and only 6GB of RAM) it plays in Premier Pro just fine. Clearly, more hardware is better, but you knew that already.

Easy enough to edit. So sadly, I can't blame my (many) editing woes on the hardware /software.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 02:19 PM   #8
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Re: AVCHD Editors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Cooper View Post
Thanks for your replies. The pinnacle Studio 15 looks interesting Bruce but I think it is a bit limited in the number of tracks available. As for Vegas Ron, I am led to believe that while it will accept 24MBps files and edit them, it actually only processes them at 17Mbps.

I don't know about Power Director other than from a friend who had some trouble with the preview.

I find it surprising that with all the features these companies like to "boast" about with their editors, that they don't mention the bit rates they are capable of processing. You would think that this would be an additional feature worth having.

RonC.
I think Vegas will only render to AVCHD at 17Mbps but I think all these NLE's edit in RGB or YUV space so convert the AVCHD to this format for editing then render from this to whatever output is chosen. It is this conversion that consumes the CPU power in editing AVCHD native files.

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Old June 10th, 2011, 12:32 AM   #9
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Re: AVCHD Editors

edius 6.02 handles avchd very well. i can put 5 layers of video with 3dpip and it plays perfect. only running an i7 950 with an asus mobo
there is no rendering
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Old June 12th, 2011, 06:07 AM   #10
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Re: AVCHD Editors

Quote - From Ron Evans : " ..... I think all these NLE's edit in RGB or YUV space so convert the AVCHD to this format for editing then render from this to whatever output is chosen. It is this conversion that consumes the CPU power in editing AVCHD native files." - ( How do you put quotes in a box ? )

Can I convert my AVCHD files to these formats within Vegas 9 & if so, how ?

RonC.
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Old June 12th, 2011, 07:04 AM   #11
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Re: AVCHD Editors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Cooper View Post
As for Vegas Ron, I am led to believe that while it will accept 24MBps files and edit them, it actually only processes them at 17Mbps.
I don't understand what you are saying. 17 mbps is the bitrate of the distribution codec, it has nothing
to do with the editing or editing quality.

All software editors have to take the distribution codec and decode it to uncompressed HD, edit that, and
then compress the result. Unless, of course, you are rendering cuts only and then you can just
recombine the compressed bit streams without processing sometimes.

The only problem you could have with Vegas 10 is if it was unstable or crashed a lot, which may very
well be true. There is no quality problem with Vegas 10 that has anything to do with bitrates.
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Old June 12th, 2011, 07:34 AM   #12
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Re: AVCHD Editors

Vegas 9 does that automatically when you edit. All the editing is done in RGB which is why you have to render an output to your chosen format. Render time will depending on your computer and format that is chosen. Native file renders mean different things for different NLE's unfortunately. Native format normally means that the NLE will use the format directly on the timeline without conversion to another format for editing. Really means the NLE decodes the format within the NLE for editing. The other definition is that the NLE will edit in the native format and only changed the edited pieces. Some do this but if for example colour correction is done on the whole clip then of course the whole clip will have to be re-encoded. Sony cameras can edit in camera for just cuts for example as can some simple editors. With Vegas and Edius etc once its on the timeline it will be rendered for output. Then you are limited to the output choices for format and data rate. AVCHD output for Vegas at the moment its 17Mbps. If you want to render to MPEG 2 or AVC then you have more choices for data rate.

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Old June 13th, 2011, 01:56 PM   #13
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Re: AVCHD Editors

Ok, I almost got it. What you are saying is that if you are doing mostly cuts only editing
and your AVCHD in and AVCHD out and you happen to stick in a transition, the part
that must be re-rendered will be at 17mbps rather than 24mbps.

Well, I don't think the bitrate difference is actually going to have a noticeable effect. For one,
the codec running on the computer running in high quality mode is probably going to be
as nice as the 24mbps codec in use in the camera. Often, the realtime codecs in
the camera can't do as well as a codec running on a cpu with no time constraints.
Second, the transition is during a transition so the picture is going to be a bit messed up
anyway. No sense in picture peeping during a clock wipe. This assertion deserves
proof but it is hard to execute such a test in general.
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Old June 13th, 2011, 08:56 PM   #14
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Re: AVCHD Editors

Not quite. For most NLE's the moment you change anything from the clips it will ALL be recoded. Some of the lower cost consumer editors will change as little as possible but the most of the pro NLE's will render everything for output. This is not an issue for most people who will want to render for BLuray or SD DVD anyway rather than go back to the camera.

Ron Evans
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Old June 14th, 2011, 03:23 AM   #15
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Re: AVCHD Editors

i second power director.

dont be fooled by this programs price tag and consumer oriented design, it is fast, powerful and easy to use. also the new version is much, much more stable than the olde ones. it is also 64-bit and uses gpu acceleration to render previews and help in final rendering.

premiere pro can read/import avchd natively but it cannot export to avchd. also it is many times more expensive than power director.

give power director a try. they have a trial version that will not allow you to export to hd, but other than that it has full functionality.
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