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Old September 11th, 2012, 06:48 PM   #31
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

Hi Ron,

Fortunately, I'm now past the need to watch the original clips since I now know that FCPX preserves the quality. I know this because exporting to BluRay (without any settings conversions) produces a result 100% as good as the original files playing through the camera.

Now I just need to figure out how to export a movie file that can be played through the PS3 that also looks as good as the BluRay.

When I export from FCPX preserving the current settings of the Project (which is based on the original MTS files' settings), FCPX will export a 1920 x 1080 29.97 .MOV file. PS3 will not play this. I've pasted below the formats PS3 will play. What's the best way to get this result? Changing Export settings in FCPX or converting the .MOV in something else? (Compressor, Handbrake, etc?)

Thanks again for all your help!!

The following types of files can be played by PS3:

Memory Stick Video Format
- MPEG-4 SP (AAC LC)
- H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile (AAC LC)
- MPEG-2 TS(H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, AAC LC)
MP4 file format
- H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile (AAC LC)
MPEG-1 (MPEG Audio Layer 2)
MPEG-2 PS (MPEG2 Audio Layer 2, AAC LC, AC3(Dolby Digital), LPCM)
MPEG-2 TS(MPEG2 Audio Layer 2, AC3(Dolby Digital), AAC LC)
MPEG-2 TS(H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, AAC LC)
AVI
- Motion JPEG (Linear PCM)
- Motion JPEG (μ-Law)
AVCHD (.m2ts / .mts)
DivX
WMV
- VC-1(WMA Standard V2)
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Old September 11th, 2012, 09:02 PM   #32
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

As an update to my previous post, I found an interesting solution to streaming even the full quality MOV file from FCPX (the same quality as the BluRay) There's a program called PS3 media server which trans codes stuff in real time from the Mac. (PS3 Media Server)

The only problem is that a 2:35 movie file is 2.85 GB. Even my Gigabit network can't keep up with that... The quality looked great (like Blu-Ray) but after a few seconds it gets choppy. I don't even think a USB drive connected directly to the PS3 can play back at that rate... can anyone confirm?

My only hope is that it's the transcoding that's the problem, not the transfer rate. The only way to test that is to export in a format that the PS3 can read natively. I asked that question in my previous post... not sure the best way to handle that.
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Old September 11th, 2012, 10:20 PM   #33
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

A 2 min 35 sec movie should not cause a problem for your network. That is a very small file. My PC over my network has no problem streaming a 20G file for a 2 hour movie. That software has the ability to transcode and if it is transcoding your processor has to do the work. The problem may be the transcoding is too much for the processor in your MAC to achieve in realtime. You want to get the files in a format the PS3 will play then the task is just sending them over the network which should be an easy task for the computer and the network. The format that FCPX choose for the Bluray encode is fine. That is what the PS3 played for you. I expect that was MPEG-2 TS 1920x1080 60i at likely 25Mbps. AC3 audio or the original files AVCHD unaltered if you did no editing. Try that if FCPX can encode that as it likely did for Bluray. In fact there should be a folder with the Bluray files in it that the Media server should be able to access. Find that folder and register with the media server. If it is transcoding a MOV file then that is what is causing the problem I think.

Just looked, Chapter 14, page 353 in the user manual for FCPX. I assume you do not have Compressor which you could send the output to and then have a lot more options for encoding I think. Remember if you have a standard bought USB drive it is likely formatted as FAT32 so has a 2G file limit. The PS3 will read NTFS format which will give it a very large file limit but would mean reformatting the USB drive to support large file sizes.

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Old September 11th, 2012, 10:30 PM   #34
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

Hi Ron,

Thanks for all that info. I'm trying to digest all your suggestions. But in short, I'm willing to buy compressor if that's the only way to create a PS3-ready file format that doesn't require transcoding over the network. I'd just love to figure out if that's the problem before I waste $50.

You're correct about the 2 GB limit on the USB drive formatted in Fat32... so that's not a good solution for me. You mentioned formatting in NTSC, but I thought PS3 could only read Fat32. I don't see the NTSC option in Mac's Disk Utitly... only Mac OS Extended. (is that NTSC?)

You also suggested finding the Blu-Ray files that FCPX created and put that on my Media drive. Are those still on my computer after burning the Blu-Ray? (I assumed that would get deleted, otherwise my HD would have a ton of files from previous Blu-Rays... unless I misunderstood you)

Thanks again for taking the time to help me out.
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Old September 12th, 2012, 07:15 AM   #35
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

I don't know enough about the MAC to tell you. On the PC there is usually an option to save the files so that the disc can be burned again. They may well still be there is a temp folder. They will be in the Stream folder/directory. The issue for me is that if FCPX can make them for the Bluray then it can make them as an output file.

NTFS is the file format of current Windows 64 bit OS it allows large files just like the MAC drive format. I think MAC OS can read NTFS and FAT32 ( which is the early Windows format for 32bit OS). Not sure if the MAC OS can format a drive NTFS though and I think PS3 will only read NTFS for large files.


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Old September 12th, 2012, 07:54 AM   #36
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

Thanks Ron. AFAIK, PS3 can only read Fat32, not NTFS.

Can PS3's read NTFS hard drives? - Yahoo! Answers

If that's true, my only option is to stream to the PS3 over the network... which means I need to find the best way to remove the need for trans coding and minimize any CPU strain so the PS3 can easily read the file.

Someone else I know suggested this:

If file size is not a concern, I would try taking the natively exported .mov file and wrapping it as an MP4 in MPEG Streamclip- You can do this by simply dragging the .mov file into the application window and doing Save As and then choosing MP4 from the bottom center of the save window. Hit save and try playing the resulting file on the PS3.

If that doesn't work, try exporting an H.264 .mov file from FCPX and repeating the same procedure to make an MP4.

If that still doesn't work, you may want to experiment with the 'Export as MP4' option in MPEG Streamclip
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Old September 12th, 2012, 12:34 PM   #37
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

Looks like it may be true. I thought the last release had included NTFS but maybe not. I do not know enough about the MAC to tell you how to set up the media server so that it can be seen correctly by the PS3 or about encoding from FPCX so I think you have all I can help you with. Yes you will need to encode to one of the PS3 formats. You have the list so now it is up to you how you get to one of them .
Good luck

Ron
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Old September 12th, 2012, 12:40 PM   #38
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

Thanks Ron,

Yep, the PS3 Media Server is great, but so far, even the mp4 don't play smoothly. This can only mean one of two things... a Network issue or a computer issue. (although mp4 don't require real-time encoding so I can't imagine it's a computer issue)

But since I've tested my Wired data rate at 56 MB/sec, I don't know how the Network could be the issue either.

Anyway, To Be Continued....
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Old September 13th, 2012, 07:33 AM   #39
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

Can't speak to the MAC world specifically, but there can be a major difference between a measured data rate in a bandwidth test (some of which may be burst speed rather than sustained data rate), and the actual rate that can can be realized in actual applications. Factors may include other processes going on in the computer, in the network, whether or not AV is running and what the AV is examining, the actual configurion of storage on the drives, and so on.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 08:16 AM   #40
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

Very true Don. I will look into the files and see what the actual bits rates are and do some tests. More to come...
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Old September 13th, 2012, 10:27 AM   #41
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

Tom, have you tried the trial version of Adobe Elements to see if it has any other export options that may work?

Ron
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Old September 13th, 2012, 10:37 AM   #42
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

It's taken me over 30 days to get to this point so sadly I can't try that out. But I'm pretty confident that this is simply a Bitrate issue... and between FCPX, Compressor and Streamclip, if anything's going to work, these three programs can handle it.

I've noticed that the original footage has a bitrate of 147 mbits/s, as does the h264 conversion I tried. I'm quite sure this is why the PS3 streaming is choppy....regardless of the PS3 media server which seems to be transcoding just fine.

The big remaining question is... IS there any way to get that bitrate down to something that can be streamed over a fast network while preserving the "Blu-Ray" quality of the original footage. It's hard to imagine that in 2012, my only solution is to burn a Bu-Ray.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 11:58 AM   #43
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

147mbps is a strange number. Your camera I think has a maximum bit rate of 24mbps. All the Bluray disc I make are in that range too. I could understand 14.7mbps as an average number which should easily pass over your network. I am beginning to think the issue is the Mac Mini is not powerful enough to transcode realtime and send over the network. It only has one hard drive and I am not sure how much memory you have either. Result could be a lot of drive activity and memory swapping. My older PC with a dual core processor was also not powerful enough to play AVCHD reatime for editing. However with either the Intel graphics or the AMD video processor ( not sure which one you have) it should be able to play AVCHD files. You need some MAC expert to help I think as we PC users are short on input now.

There is no way to compress further than AVCHD and preserve the same quality as this is already a very efficient codec. Going to MPEG2HD at similar bit rates you may not notice much difference depending on your subject but technically it will not be as good.

Ron Evans

Last edited by Ron Evans; September 13th, 2012 at 09:20 PM.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 12:13 PM   #44
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

Just to make sure we're not getting our bits and bytes mixed up.. I meant to say the rate it 147 mbits/s.

I also tried this with my 8 core with 32 GB of RAM doing the transcoding... same result. Also keep in mind, I tried this with an large mp4 with a data rate of 205 mbits/s...which doesn't require trans coding and that also had the same result.

I'm prety sure this is a network streaming issue. I did copy files from one computer to another at 56 MB per second, so I'm assuming the PS3 can also get data that fast... so I'm still unsure why streaming is so choppy.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 01:20 PM   #45
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Re: Please Help - Preserving AVCHD quality off camera

Have you tried different media servers on your MAC?

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