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Old September 23rd, 2008, 06:55 PM   #16
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Steve,

Under what type of conditions did the Nero AVCHD encoder look unusable?

Larry
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 09:43 PM   #17
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As I said in my previous post:

"Fast moves when shooting trees with tiny leaves and/or pine needles drives the encoder nuts. The trees become enveloped in a cloud of bugs." This is same crap I see from Pinnacle and CyberLink. The Sony AVC codec, at 16Mbps, handles this video perfectly. Of course, it can be switched to HIGH.

That means Nero can only be used in Smart render mode from Sony AVC or MainConcept encoders and/or scenes without moving fine detail. (I suspect the non-Sony products all use only MAIN Profile which prevents the encoder switching to 4x4 blocks when there is fine detail.)

I'm now trying to see why Nero hangs with .m2ts files from Sony when burning AVCHD discs. It may be something about the audio and/or video streams.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 10:27 PM   #18
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I should have been specific with my question Steve:

--What type of file were you encoding / transcoding? AVCHD, mpeg2, ??

--What was the file's source (camcorder output, rendered output of another NLE, etc...)

--What was the encoder being asked to do.....change bitrate, remux, convert CBR to VBR, etc....)

--What was your intended output format.....AVCHD, mpeg2??


I ask the above since my experience substantially disagrees with your observations, but I have ONLY used Nero Vision to make AVCHD disks, specifically to ingest AVCHD files, edit them, and then output AVCHD disks. Any other transcodes and conversions from one compressed format to another (like taking AVCHD to make mpeg2 BluRay disks, for example) I have not tried.....

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Old September 23rd, 2008, 10:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
I have yet to get MF6+ to not re-encode .m2v + .ac3. Yes, it will pass-through .m2t, but that means no 5.1 audio.
.m2t does not mean no 5.1 audio to MF6+. I used it frequently to pass through 1440x1080i60 HDV video with 5.1 audio. The problem I had with MF6+ was that the BDMV it authored would not play from red laser media. I devised a workaround for that, by taking the .m2ts file it created, and using it to replace the same file in another program back in the day called TSRemux. It was a hack but it allowed me to burn red laser BDMV disks. Don't confuse TSRemux with the program I use and recommend now, TSMuxer 1.8.4b. Both programs do similar things and have a similar name but are written by different authors. TSMuxer 1.8.4b is much better.

The other problem for me with MF6+, is the current problem I have with it. While it was super for HDV, with the full raster 1920x1080 from the EX1 it insists on rendering, I can't get it to smart render.

Anyway, good luck on your journey with Nero. I honestly sort of dreaded it because it burns so much time searching for the workflow that does everything you need, if it exists. In fact, I still haven't encoded a thing with it. All of my experimentation was trying to see what I could get it to smart render. It still killed most of a day.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 11:05 PM   #20
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Tom, Steve, et al,

Just to put a sharp point on the red laser BDMV format:


It has been my understanding as well as my experience that a red laser BDMV is a specious and unsupported format, which no commercial authoring software can produce, and no BluRay player can officially play.

Unlike red laser HD DVDs which the Toshiba players handled without complaint, and several programs could nicely author, it seems that Sony and the other BluRay consortium members have deliberately not provided any direct or indirect method to allow for people with HDV, AVCHD, or, for that matter, any other HD content to deliver BDMV which their players truly support UNLESS you burn BluRay disks using BluRay burners.

I am aware of hacks, hex editing of BluRay BDMV folder content followed by UDF 2.5 red laser burning, methods using Scenarist and other very esoteric techniques, but the bottom line is that such a format may play today on one or more players but then, by the stroke of some firmware upgrade, no longer play at all.

I understand that such disks can be made, that they have a name like BD-5 or BD-9, and that they can be made to work under very specific conditions, but am I missing something here?

Or, to get more to the point, why is there any particular interest in creating disks which can only potentially play in some, perhaps very few players, and are not neccesarily going to persist? Tricking a player into thinking it has a BluRay disk is indeed a nice hack, but I am trying to understand the practical / professional opportunity to use this is some continuing manner.

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Old September 24th, 2008, 12:02 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post

Or, to get more to the point, why is there any particular interest in creating disks which can only potentially play in some, perhaps very few players, and are not neccesarily going to persist? Tricking a player into thinking it has a BluRay disk is indeed a nice hack, but I am trying to understand the practical / professional opportunity to use this is some continuing manner.

Larry
Larry I agree with all your points. It's certainly possible it could go away in the future, although presently it works. But as far as the commercial opportunity, if I produced the content that would merit it, I would put it on a Blu-ray pressing. With AVCHD, there is no way to protect the content. Anything really serious in my mind would be commercially pressed, with copy protections, sub-titles and multiple tracks. I do not feel that menus are really needed for content under an hour of running time. They ARE fun to make, and ARE a nice demonstration of creative talent to round out the package, but would not be a deal breaker for most people. Chapter stops are the essential requirement. So it's all just my opinion anyway. It's not for me to judge others.

But one way I looked at it, is presently except for not having a menu or an especially long running time, a collaboration that I would author onto a hybrid red laser BD5/9, will play on 5+ million PS3 Blu-ray players currently. Why worry about the others? They are so few in number as to be inconsequential. Nevertheless, the hybrid BD5/9's do play in some of them, with possibly as much compatibility as exists for AVCHD or even BD-R/RE.

Although lacking the menu itself, the image of a mpeg2 full raster 1920x1080p24 at 30mbps with 5.1 is near the top of the 30 cent format heap. What's to lose? I can be a big fish in a little pond! But seriously, the quality is stellar.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 12:31 AM   #22
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Thanks very much Tom for your reply. I mostly wanted to confirm my understanding, and see if I had somehow overlooked some fundemental point.

The Playstation 3 is no doubt the single biggest platform now being used for BluRay playback, and I too use the PS3 as my major home theater player, but I have already had at least 2 episodes where firmware upgrades have abruptly changed the way my PS3 handles certain AVCHD disks, even though such AVCHD disks are based on published and agreed-upon standards. It is altogether common for me to see that AVCHDs coming from one of my several workflows/NLEs played perfectly well before a firmware upgrade from Sony and then entirely refuses to play at all or with huge stuttering. In fact one of my favorite ways to create AVCHD disks using ArcSoft's Total Media Extreme, has been totally abandoned since the AVCHD disks play perfectly in my Sony BDS-350 (latest profile, vintage July 2008 release) player but refuse to play at all in the Playstation 3 despite having the newest firmware flash just a few weeks ago.

I am thus very cynical about building a library of any format which is here today and gone tomorrow, and doing hundreds of HD DVDs didn't help............ I therefore am hoping to avoid some of the torture surrounding the creeping formats (and creeping HDCP, HDMI, etc.) which Sony now is using to make virtually all HD content totally under their DRM and other controls.

So, long story short.........I am personally not looking to hitch my wagon to a horse that is running off in a momentarily stable but unpredictable course.

And while it is true that good 25-30 Mbit/sec mpeg2 HD looks extremely nice on both BluRay and HD DVD players, the non-transcoded AVC coming from the current AVCHD camcorders going directly to an AVCHD disk without being re-compressed are equally sharp and suffer essentially no more visual artifacts that mpeg2 going to a BluRay or HD DVD disk.

As a sidebar, I am also extremely concerned that the thin protective coating put on pressed commercial BluRay disks (I believe it is around .1 mm thick) may not be present on the home-burned BluRay disks, adding yet another potential headache for those of us who hope to be able to view these videos years from now. It is quite possible that even those of us willing to make the investment in burners and media for BluRay mau be looking at unreadable disks in the not too distant future. This keeps me more motivated to squeeze every drop out of AVCHD format, red laser delivery, etc., so as to avoid the disappointment of being unable to read these $20 disks because of fading contrast, dye stability, scuffing, scratches, and so on.

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Old September 24th, 2008, 01:10 AM   #23
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The compatibility problem I had was with HD DVDs. I authored a slew of disks for the original A1. They played great until I got an A2. All the disks stuttered so bad on the video and audio they were unwatchable. I found the problem and posted the solution on the AVSFORUM. The problem was the A2 required either DVD-R media, or (better) DVD+R media but with the booktype bitsetting set to "Physical Media Type," ...not DVD-ROM. That solved ALL playback problems but I still had slugs of stuttering disks. When the A3 came around, they were back to reporting more problems with home authored media, but by that time I had a working method for the PS3, and HD DVD conceded the war shortly afterward.

But so far I haven't had a single problem on the PS3 side through all the updates with the TSMuxer 1.8.4b, (not even with the AVCHD files I've played for that matter). Compared to HD DVD, the PS3 further has the advantage of outputting honest to goodness native 24p just like the commercial recordings, something HD DVD authoring didn't offer although certain HD DVD players did. The 24fps AVCHD from the Canon and Sony consumer cams playback for me from the PS3 as 1080i60 or 1080p60, but not 1080p24, so it has judder frames.

I really don't see the need for 24fps from the AVCHD cams anyway. Although it adds a filmic feel, the depth of field is not shallow due to the small sensor size. The other side of the coin is a strong reason for shooting the EX1 at 24p, it's a native progressive sensor has higher vertical resolution at 24p than it does at 60i.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 03:20 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
It has been my understanding as well as my experience that a red laser BDMV is a specious and unsupported format, which no commercial authoring software can produce, and no BluRay player can officially play.
"BD9/BD5 discs can be authored using home computers for private showing using standard DVD±R recorders. AACS digital rights management is optional. The BD9/BD5 format was originally proposed by Warner Home Video, as a cost-effective alternative to regular Blu-ray Discs. It was adopted as part of the BD-ROM basic format, file system, and AV specifications. BD9/BD5 is similar to 3×DVD for HD DVD."
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Old September 24th, 2008, 03:50 AM   #25
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.m2t does not mean no 5.1 audio to MF6+.
If you have software that can produce an ATSC Transport Stream, yes the .m2t can be 5.1 AC3.

However, most software that outputs .m2t (HDV) muxes .m2v and .mp2.

Anyway, I've got a working OS X (ProRes, uncompressed, or M-JPEG) to BD flow -- with 5.1 mix and menus.

I'm out of blank DVD-Rs. Once, I have them, I can find-out why Nero is hanging on .m2ts files from Sony that MF accepts. That will get an AVCHD workflow.

Since Vegas puts out VERY good 16Mbps AVCHD with 5.1 AC3 -- it's not clear BD-5/-9 is needed. If one accepts a 2:1 advantage of AVC over MPEG-2, then that is about 32Mbps of MPEG-2.

Now compare this to 1920x1080 ATSC which is 18Mbps. We know this isn't enough for rapid motion. And, we also know XDCAM EX at 35Mbps is fine. So, 32Mbps should also be fine for making BD discs.

Again, the key -- as Sony always says -- is not the data rate, it is the quality of the encoder.

PS: Nero has an AUTO setting on Type of video. It has no setting for frame-rate. So, maybe it will pass-though 1080p24 from Vegas.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #26
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"BD9/BD5 discs can be authored using home computers for private showing using standard DVD±R recorders. AACS digital rights management is optional. The BD9/BD5 format was originally proposed by Warner Home Video, as a cost-effective alternative to regular Blu-ray Discs. It was adopted as part of the BD-ROM basic format, file system, and AV specifications. BD9/BD5 is similar to 3×DVD for HD DVD."
Thanks very much Steve. I think this is encouraging, and now wonder why the dozen or more authoring software companies have yet to support it. Most of us would like to avoid BluRay format for relatively short family movies and such which would get very limited distribution. With a dzoen authoring suites on the market or more, eventually somebody will have to offer some tools. If the companies making set-top BluRay players incorporated the support, that might avoid what could be a "chicken-and-egg" problem currently.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #27
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Since Vegas puts out VERY good 16Mbps AVCHD with 5.1 AC3 -- it's not clear BD-5/-9 is needed. If one accepts a 2:1 advantage of AVC over MPEG-2, then that is about 32Mbps of MPEG-2.
Except that Vegas 16Mbps AVCHD doesn't support 24p...
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Old September 24th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #28
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I tried making a BD-5 with 720p60 in AVC through Vegas 8, came up with blank undecodable video once I put it on my PS3. 1080i works wonders though for both AVC and MPEG-2.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 05:13 PM   #29
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Except that Vegas 16Mbps AVCHD doesn't support 24p...
Consumers with 24p cameras first need to find an NLE that will remove 2-3 pulldown either during conversion to an intermediate format -- or natively. CineForm will do it. I can't remember if FCP does it.

I suspect that many just edit in 60i and don't worry about pulldown cadences being broken. 24p gives them a different "look" which makes them feel they aren't shooting film.

If they really wanted a look that is closest to film itself -- no pulldown judder -- they would shoot 30p. But, it's hard to convince them because "aspirational marketing" has convinced them 24 is a magic number. I think even many prosumers believe the pulldown judder they see -- is what film looks like.

I think getting 24p on AVCHD, BD-5/9, or BD will be possible which is good because I long ago learned that film look fanatics can't be switched to 30p by any kind of rational argument.

My biggest concern is no 720p support. I think Larry is right that originally the goal was to force prosumers down to BDAV or force them up to replication on BDMV. BDMV was restricted to BD-ROM at the start. That logic extends to 720p.

According to Japan-think -- having spent million on pushing FulHD to consumers -- what major company is going to make a 720p consumer camcorder. Not even JVC. Thus, there is no reason to put 720p into "consumer" burning software.

The fact that a whole bunch of prosumers and pros shoot 720p and want to make BD -- seems to be lost. In fact, you said you would want ACC protection. That may mean you'll be forced to follow the high cost path. And, guess what company has a path for you to follow if you've got the $$$.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; September 24th, 2008 at 07:41 PM.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 05:28 PM   #30
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I think getting 24p on BD-5/9 will be possible which is good because I long ago learned that film look fanatics can't be switched to 30p by any kind of rational argument.
I think you mean "getting 24p on BD-5/9 will be possible on AVCHD." It's already a reality for mpeg2 of course.
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