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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:33 PM   #1
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Elecard Releases World’s First AVCHD to HDV Converter

http://www.newswiretoday.com/news/17942/
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Old May 12th, 2007, 03:13 AM   #2
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Hopefully it doesn't stutter on high motion portions of certain files. I sure hope this is a "Perfect" converter.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #3
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demo is available
http://www.elecard.com/products/prod...-studio-avchd/

if you can spring for the cash Canopus Procoder 3 might be another option (access to a far greater range of output codecs that might be more suited to editing than MPEG2 HD)
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Old May 12th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #4
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Canopus also offers their converter utility that converts AVC-HD into Canopus HQ, so EDIUS users could use that as an intermediate/editing codec.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 11:50 AM   #5
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This is a useful utility but underscores the folly of choosing AVCHD to avoid HDV tape capture only to go right back through rendering to where the user could have started...HDV.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 12:17 PM   #6
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aye, except if the user sits down at 12 oclock at night with a few hours of footage to capture he might preffer to set up an overnight batch render of the AVCHD files hes dumped on hard disk and head for bed, than have to hang around half the night feeding tapes :)

though Id agree Id rather overnight it to something like canopus HQ than just into HDV

hmm.. Ive just tried the demo with a few sample m2ts files that werre on a thread in this forum.. these play in nero showtime smoothly enough with dolby 5.1 sound but the Elecard convert seems to barf on them anytime I tried to load them into it for conversion, by looks of the error message seems to be audio related? (Same clips convert to canopus HQ format using the canopus AVCHD convert utility)

Last edited by Steven Cowie; May 12th, 2007 at 02:06 PM.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 09:47 PM   #7
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No multi CPU support. No thank you.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 10:22 AM   #8
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I tried the demo last week and ended up buying it. As a Mac user with an SR1, it's the most straightforward workflow to get the files into a Mac-friendly format (I transcode to 30MB/s MPEG2 with Elecard, then use MPEG_Streamclip on the Mac to transcode to a 720p Apple Intermediate Codec MOV file for easy import into iMovie/Final Cut Express HD). While it does have a couple bugs, it is producing good results for me.

Needless to say, I am running it via BootCamp (it also runs under Parallels, but since it is Multi-Core, though not multi-processor, aware, it runs slower) under Windows XP Pro SP2. I have both a Macbook and 17" iMac (both Core Duo 1.83GHz), so I just let the Macbook crank away on the files and save them to a shared network drive on the iMac.

I had some problems going from the demo to the paid version, and ended up reinstalling Windows on both machines. With the demo, I had no problems with audio, but since the reinstall, I can only pass the AC3 sound through to the transcoded file - any attempt to use MPEG audio fails, and I'm waiting for support to get back to me on that. Maybe this is similar to the audio problem others mentioned?

Also, the way they have crippled the application is a bit frustrating - there are some features that just don't work (like the Batch Folder mode, and some processing settings), even though they are present in the interface and menus. I think they must have realized that people were buying their AVC plugin to use with other solutions, and decided to try to get that market to themselves - I wish they would have put a bit more work into actually removing the features that have been disabled.

With that said, there is still batch-processing capability - you have to use the "Open file(s) with profiles" method, where you multi-select the files you want to process, then select the profile setting you want to use and where you want the files to be saved. It will then add all the selected files to the task list, and you just hit the big "Play" button to start the batch. They thoughtfully included a checkbox in the Statistics/Progress panel to turn off the computer when it's done processing, so you can start a batch and head off to bed, knowing the computer will shut off when it's done.

If you are Windows-based, you are probably still best served by Vegas - I came very close to buying it myself. However, if you are Mac-based and took the risk of going with the SR1 (like me!), I think the Elecard converter is the best option. The resulting MPEG2 files should import directly into Final Cut Pro, and MPEG Streamclip offers a free option to transcode to an AIC Quicktime file that works well with Apple's more "consumer" editing packages.

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Old May 15th, 2007, 08:47 AM   #9
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my $.02 - I tried the Elecard demo and I thought that TMPGEnc's Express 4.0 [w/Elecard's AVC plugin installed] was a better option. I prefered the batch transcoding and the fact that I could get to more options associated with the various codecs a lot easier. With that last part I'm saying that there seemed to be way more tweaks to your output settings in TMPGEnc than in Elecard's solution. And, TMPGEnc is using both cores.

Like the poster above stated, I do most of my transcoding at night. I have two templates setup. One creates the files I edit and the other creates the tiny files I send out to my partners so that they can check out a very rough sample of the day's shoot.

If I'm way off base let me know. I'm not trying to derail the thread but I just thought I would throw out another option that I thought worked out a little better for me. [I'm transcoding HDC-SD1 files]

Last edited by Derrick Whitlock; May 15th, 2007 at 08:50 AM. Reason: spelling & added camera choice
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Old May 15th, 2007, 11:38 AM   #10
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Derrick - the Elecard converter seemed faster to me than TMPGEnc, but I'll have to run some more tests. I'm having more problems with bugs in Elecard right now, can't do any batch processing using 2-pass profiles.

However, the Elecard converter definitely does use both cores on a dual-core machine - it just doesn't work with multiple separate processors.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:12 PM   #11
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Rick, thanks for the info and please keep us posted on the bugs you are coming across.

I apologize if I gave the wrong information regarding the dual-core issue. My response was based on a few emails back and forth with the Elecard group and the pdf online that states that it doesn't handle multiple cpu's. If it handles 2 cores then I will definitely revisit this app as it was my original choice. I had wanted the functionality in this app over the TMPGEnc solution based on just one little niggle I had with TMPGEnc. TMPGEnc wants to hit the net from time-to-time for reactivation. That's going to bite me sooner or later when I am somewhere with no connection. So, thanks again Rick, I'll give it a second look.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 08:41 PM   #12
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I went and downloaded the new demo and still had problems. First the good news.

I thought that the colors and sharpness were there like the original file. I wasn't getting that before. In addition, when the output file size is comparable the Elecard soultion is roughly 30% faster than TMPGEnc during the transcode.

With that said I transcoded a 41meg file 6 times using different settings and everytime during playback there was a stuttering in the video (not audio) during a pan with the camera.

Now using the AVC plugin with Elecards Mpeg player there is no stuttering at all in the original file. I can also play the file back with Media Player Classic since it uses direct show filters as well and got the exact same results. Its quite possible that I just don't know how to set the advanced settings properly. Either way I was not able to get a doable result.

Settings:
Profile = High
Level = High Level
RC Mode = Variable
Bitrate = 6000
Picture Type = Interlace

The only other adjustment that I made was to the "Resize". I changed it to 1920x1080.

Before trying any adjustments I left it at its defaults and got the same result. Each time I made a change I only adjusted one parameter at a time. Six trys and no success. If anyone has a suggestion as to what I may need to tweak [maybe not an easy thing without seeing the video] please let me know. I think I have a few frames left before the demo expires :)

Anyway that's my $.02
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Old May 15th, 2007, 09:50 PM   #13
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I still say it would be better to buy an Intensity card and capture AVCHD video as mjpeg, photojpeg, DVCPROHD or Cineform. One hour of footage will take one hour to capture and it would be even easier to edit then HDV.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 12:56 AM   #14
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A bit confused. What is the purpose of converting AVCHD to HDV?
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Old May 20th, 2007, 11:22 PM   #15
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To allow editing with software that doesn't support AVCHD yet (like anything on the Mac).
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