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Old August 21st, 2008, 08:23 AM   #1
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Creating a DVD that displays in Hi Def on a Blu-Ray player

I recently got an SR11 to take on safari, and I am thrilled with the results. I am a complete novice to video, and the results exceeded all my hopes. My questions concern how to make a DVD that will display in HD on my Blu-Ray disc player.

I've got Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9, and I am finding the product fairly strightforward to use. I believe I understand how to create various outputs.

So my main questions are about hardware for making the DVD that will play in Hi Def:
  • Do I need a special Blu-Ray disc writer, or can I use the Sony DVD+/-R (20x) rewriteable drive that I already have? If I need a Blu-Ray disc writer, is there any difference between a disc writer and a disc burner?

  • Do I need to use the special (and expensive) Blu-Ray discs? That is, can I use a regular (double-layer) DVD, understanding that it would not have as much capacity as a Blu-Ray disc?
Thanks,

Don
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Old August 21st, 2008, 09:09 AM   #2
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Hi Don,

Maybe.

I have the Vegas Pro 8, so I also have the DVD Arch Pro 5 which is the full featured version. If you unpack your manual (dvdarchitectro50_manual.exe) you'll see on page 25 at the bottom (manuals are the same for all versions - or they have been) that there are sectors available for AVCHD for Blu Ray authoring in DVD.

In my Blu Ray player, the DVDs will play the HD content.

You have the Platinum version, however, and that might make a difference.

Mike
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Old August 21st, 2008, 10:05 AM   #3
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Don, you can just use the Sony Browser software that came with the camera and is really needed to transfer to the PC as it will correctly join clips together if you record a long time. This software also nicely manages the files on the PC and presents you with a calendar view of when they were taken. Just remember to back up.!!! With this you can make both SD DVD's for others to watch and AVCHD high definition on normal 4.7G DVD that will ONLY play on your PC or a Blu-Ray player. All this is explained in the help files for the software that came with the camera. You will need a reasonably powerful PC or it will take some time to encode and burn. With a Quadcore it is reasonable time.
The DVD authoring is simple but adequate for normal use. If you want to get fancy then you will need something like Vegas and Architect 5.
You can use 4.7G discs for AVCHD but they will ONLY play on Blu-Ray players and as warned in the Sony documentation could damage a normal SD DVD player. I have an LG Blu-Ray burner and have just started to author using Architect to BLu -Ray.

Ron Evans
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Old August 25th, 2008, 09:25 PM   #4
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Don,

There are several inexpensive PC programs which accept AVCHD and HDV camcorder input and make very attractive high definition disks on conventional DVD-R or DVD+R media which play beautifully in some BluRay players (those which handle AVCHD). They do not require special burners of high-priced BluRay media, but are, as a result, limited to about a half hour of play time on single layer disks and about an hour with double layer / dual layer disks. I own and use all of them, and can specifically suggest you consider you take a look at the trial versions of Ulead Movie Factory 6 Plus, Ulead Video Studio 11.5, Ahead Nero Vision (latest version), Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 11, Cyberlink Power Director 7 Ultra (i have stated them in the order of my own preference, but all work).

My single and most crucial suggestion is that AVCHD format such as your Sony camera uses demands a very high performance CPU to edit, so you should be thinking quad core or a very fast dual core at a minimum.

Larry
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Old August 25th, 2008, 09:53 PM   #5
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your rankings

Larry,

Can you provide any details as to why the programs you rank as best...ARE the best?

Mark
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Old August 26th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #6
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My primary basis for ranking is the absence of transcoding or re-rendering. The benefits of avoiding re-rendering are two-fold: better image quality and substantially reduced waiting time.

Nero and the 2 Ulead programs offer Smart Rwndering which works exactly as claimed for AVCHD. The others do not.

Since each user has legitimate and quite possibly strong reasons to prefer one editing suite over another based on ease of learning, feature set, cost, user interface, etc. I would urge you to download and try several before commiting to a choice, especially concentrating on making a common style menued AVCHD disk, to allow for your direct comparison of results. You may wind up with an entirely different ranking from mine!

Best,

Larry
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Old August 29th, 2008, 06:34 PM   #7
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how easy is vegas

easy edited of avchd, with music, tititles, transition, then burn to avchd format dvd
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Old August 30th, 2008, 12:34 AM   #8
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"Ulead Movie Factory 6 Plus, Ulead Video Studio 11.5, Ahead Nero Vision (latest version), Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 11, Cyberlink Power Director 7 Ultra"

All of these can be used, but they are at the bottom of my list of editors. Although I'm not fond of Vegas, it is used by pros while the others are certainly not. Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9 is most of Vegas 8 Pro at a very cheap price.

The disadvantage is no BD menus. However, you can team it with Ulead Movie Factory 6 Plus.

Ulead Movie Factory 6 Plus is not really an NLE, but it does add menus and can pass through AC3.

Buy both for about $150.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 04:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Topaz View Post
I've got Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9, and I am finding the product fairly strightforward to use. Don
Don, does VMSP 9 still have the Render To New Track command?

What's the data rate allowed/supported for 1920x1080 MPEG-2?

What's the data rate allowed/supported for 1920x1080 Sony AVC?


Thanks!
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Old August 30th, 2008, 08:24 AM   #10
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I own and use Vegas 8 Pro Suite but have not recommended it for AVCHD for a number of reasons:

1. It can't author menued AVCHD disks.

2. Its output is always re-rendered, with a considerable waiting time and lessened image quality, since my Canon HF100 content at the highest quality 17 MBit/sec rate is transcoded to a lower rate by Vegas. For Sony AVCHD camcorder owners this may not be an issue, since they encode AVCHD at a lower 16 Mbit/sec rate and different AVCHD profile which Vegas 8 does handle, perhaps without transcoding.

3. Previews of many effects require a rendering preview step and associated waiting time, since it does not consistently create and preview smaller proxy files.

4. Vegas 8 Pro, for reasons I and others have yet to resolve, often will not display the video track of the AVCHD content whatsoever when using Canon camcorders. Another new thread on this specific topic on this forum is soliciting help on this issue, and people on the Vegas forum have also dealt with it, mostly suggesting that the AVCHD content should be first transcoded into HDV (using Vaast Upshift or Voltaic) to avoid the Vegas problem, a very very bad solution in my opinion. Sony has not be particularly aggresive in solving this problem since it has been posted months ago by Canon owners like me and others, but their support for non Sony camcorder owners has been, to put it politely, spotty.

I understand that the list of low cost NLEs I I previously provided offers comparatively simple and less professional choices / features than Vegas 8, and indeed I have used Vegas myself for several years to do most of my HDV editing with my FX-1 and several other HDV camcorders. Vegas just does not handle AVCHD as well, especially for my Canon and some other camcorders.

While you can add menus using another authoring program like Movie Factory 6, you still incur the two penalties of reduced image quality and long rendering time , so I have stopped using or recommending Vegas for these reasons.

Larry

Last edited by Larry Horwitz; August 30th, 2008 at 09:26 AM.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 07:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
I own and use Vegas 8 Pro Suite but have not recommended it for AVCHD for a number of reasons:

1. It can't author menued AVCHD disks.

2. Its output is always re-rendered, with a considerable waiting time and lessened image quality, since my Canon HF100 content at the highest quality 17 MBit/sec rate is transcoded to a lower rate by Vegas. For Sony AVCHD camcorder owners this may not be an issue, since they encode AVCHD at a lower 16 Mbit/sec rate and different AVCHD profile which Vegas 8 does handle, perhaps without transcoding.

3. Previews of many effects require a rendering preview step and associated waiting time, since it does not consistently create and preview smaller proxy files.

4. Vegas 8 Pro, for reasons I and others have yet to resolve, often will not display the video track of the AVCHD content whatsoever when using Canon camcorders. Another new thread on this specific topic on this forum is soliciting help on this issue, and people on the Vegas forum have also dealt with it, mostly suggesting that the AVCHD content should be first transcoded into HDV (using Vaast Upshift or Voltaic) to avoid the Vegas problem, a very very bad solution in my opinion. Sony has not be particularly aggresive in solving this problem since it has been posted months ago by Canon owners like me and others, but their support for non Sony camcorder owners has been, to put it politely, spotty.

I understand that the list of low cost NLEs I I previously provided offers comparatively simple and less professional choices / features than Vegas 8, and indeed I have used Vegas myself for several years to do most of my HDV editing with my FX-1 and several other HDV camcorders. Vegas just does not handle AVCHD as well, especially for my Canon and some other camcorders.

While you can add menus using another authoring program like Movie Factory 6, you still incur the two penalties of reduced image quality and long rendering time , so I have stopped using or recommending Vegas for these reasons.

Larry
1) Sony has it's own DVD authoring program, DVD ARCH V5, so they are not keen to put that function inside the NLE. They expect you to buy the Suite -- which is reasonable given Vegas 8 is aimed at the "pro." Anyone with a real business can pay for the suite in one job.

2) Vegas Movie Studio 9 does support ALL camcorders. So, it's only a matter of time until we see Vegas 9 Pro. And, at only $85, you can easily afford to add DVD ARCH V5.

3) I've been using MF6+ for a year making HD DVDs. As long as you feed it ready-to-burn video it does NOT recompress it. It only renders your menus. You simply need to uncheck the RECOMPRESS box.

4) None of the cheap NLEs, other than iMovie 08, do real-time FX without rendering. That's why I like iMovie 08.

5) I've burned an AVCHD disk with Studio 11 -- the quality was so bad I would never use it. They seem to have a very bad software encoder. (And, CyberLink doesn't handle 5.1.) I would expect Sony to offer the best quality encoder. And, Vegas BD disks do look great.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 08:36 PM   #12
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(And, CyberLink doesn't handle 5.1.)
CyberLink's new PowerDirector 7 has 5.1 features!
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Old August 31st, 2008, 06:39 AM   #13
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CyberLink's new PowerDirector 7 has 5.1 features!
I have it and it has no panner to move audio around so I don't see it offers anything other than putting stereo in a 5.1 mode. It may support the Sony 5.1 from the SR12, but the docs don't say it does.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 02:20 PM   #14
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Steve,

You may not have the latest "build". Click on the "director's chair" icon, click on "help", then the "about" file. If the version/build # isn't 7.00.1915 you have an older one. The download section on cyberlink.com has an update patch that brings up either the download version or retail version to "build 1915" which has the latest features and "fixes".
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Old September 1st, 2008, 07:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
1) Sony has it's own DVD authoring program, DVD ARCH V5, so they are not keen to put that function inside the NLE. They expect you to buy the Suite -- which is reasonable given Vegas 8 is aimed at the "pro." Anyone with a real business can pay for the suite in one job.

2) Vegas Movie Studio 9 does support ALL camcorders. So, it's only a matter of time until we see Vegas 9 Pro. And, at only $85, you can easily afford to add DVD ARCH V5.

3) I've been using MF6+ for a year making HD DVDs. As long as you feed it ready-to-burn video it does NOT recompress it. It only renders your menus. You simply need to uncheck the RECOMPRESS box.

4) None of the cheap NLEs, other than iMovie 08, do real-time FX without rendering. That's why I like iMovie 08.

5) I've burned an AVCHD disk with Studio 11 -- the quality was so bad I would never use it. They seem to have a very bad software encoder. (And, CyberLink doesn't handle 5.1.) I would expect Sony to offer the best quality encoder. And, Vegas BD disks do look great.

Steve,

1. I own the Vegas suite including the latest version 5 DVD Architect and it CANNOT AUTHOR red laser menued AVCHD disks. The ONLY way to make red laser AVCHD disks with the suite is directly out of Vegas Pro 8.0b.

2. Vegas 9 may indeed be better, but it is futureware. I am not even aware that the new Movie Studio 9 allows menued red AVCHD disks. To my knowledge, it can't do them either.


3. I know that Ulead MF6 does not recompresss and that is why I like it and recommend it. Unfortunatgely, the Vegas + MF6 approach / method you describe demands recompression in Vegas prior to using MF6, so the damage and delay is already done before getting into MF6. Hence, my objection.

4. Well, Ulead Video Studio 11.5, Pinnacle, Cyberlink and Nero Vision do real time effects on my quadcore with no need to render them out for preview. Your claim / comment / experience differs entirely with mine.

5. I agree with you about Pinnacle image quality, but Cyberlink does handle 5.1 and Sony's encoder is NOT the best looking for the cropped still frame comparisons I have made and examined exhaustively. Since Vegas ALWAYS rerenders Canon 17 and 24 Mbit/sec footage, its image quality is very noticeably inferior to the untouched, non-re-rendered footage I produce with several of the cheap NLEs. Perhaps for Sony camcorders the situation is different. My Vegas (unmenued) red laser AVCHDs look soft, and the color is slighly washed out compared to the results I get with Nero Vision, for example.

Larry
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