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Old February 8th, 2009, 12:49 AM   #1
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HD Import and Editing on a PPC G5

So I just got my first HD cam (Panasonic HDC-SD5), quality looks really good with the camera directly plugged in, via component, to a 1080p LCD HDTV.

Here are my questions:

1. What app (if any) works best with editing HD clips (AVCHD raw format).
2. What format or proceedure should I be looking into, to transfer movie to a standard DVD, with keeping the HD quality as much as possible (I know it will degrade somewhat).
3. If I wanted to make a .mov or .avi of the HD clip, what format and setting should I be using to keep the HD quality as much as possible. Especially if I'm looking to import into After Effects.
4. If I'm burning movies onto a Blu-ray media, what is the best way to go about doing this, to get the most out of the HD quality.

I've actually been playing around with #3. I've always thought that H.264 was the codec for HD, That format saves the file as .m4v, but the quality degrades quite a bit, even at the highest setting. Then I tried MPEG-2 format, this format actually gave me a setting for HD 1080i, and the quality was almost identical to the original AVCHD (.mts) file.

I've also been playing around using Toast 10's BDVM burn feature of the original .mts files, and that's pretty good quality too. The only problem with Toast is that you can't edit the MTS files. Hence why I'm asking for advice on pre-burning techniques.

Thanks in advance.


G5 Dual 1.8Ghz (Q37), 6.5GB ram, Pioneer 112D burner (internal) Mac OS X (10.4.10) 2x 500GB SATA (int) HDDs, Radeon 9600 Pro Mac 256MB, LaCie firewire burner (ext)
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Old February 8th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Shawn View Post
1. What app (if any) works best with editing HD clips (AVCHD raw format).
AFAIK, the latest versions of Final Cut Pro, Premiere or Avid should be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Shawn View Post
2. What format or proceedure should I be looking into, to transfer movie to a standard DVD, with keeping the HD quality as much as possible (I know it will degrade somewhat).
The exact procedure and settings will depend on the software you use, but the general workflow is pretty basic and there are many discussions already on this site regarding this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Shawn View Post
3. If I wanted to make a .mov or .avi of the HD clip, what format and setting should I be using to keep the HD quality as much as possible. Especially if I'm looking to import into After Effects.
Depends on what you are trying to do and, again, which specific software you are using. Check After Effect's documentation for what formats it supports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Shawn View Post
4. If I'm burning movies onto a Blu-ray media, what is the best way to go about doing this, to get the most out of the HD quality.
Consult the documentation for the software you are using. If you are going to be burning onto Blu-ray, I believe the only software with support for authoring Blu-ray (AFAIK) is Adobe's ______ (blanking on the name of their DVD authoring app.... )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Shawn View Post
I've always thought that H.264 was the codec for HD
H.264 is a delivery codec that is great for the web and portable devices (iPods/iPhones, etc) but H.264 is not an editing codec.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 11:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
AFAIK, the latest versions of Final Cut Pro, Premiere or Avid should be fine.


The exact procedure and settings will depend on the software you use, but the general workflow is pretty basic and there are many discussions already on this site regarding this.


Depends on what you are trying to do and, again, which specific software you are using. Check After Effect's documentation for what formats it supports.


Consult the documentation for the software you are using. If you are going to be burning onto Blu-ray, I believe the only software with support for authoring Blu-ray (AFAIK) is Adobe's ______ (blanking on the name of their DVD authoring app.... )


H.264 is a delivery codec that is great for the web and portable devices (iPods/iPhones, etc) but H.264 is not an editing codec.
Thanks Mike, the primary apps I'd be using would be dependent on which can handle .MTS files. As it stands, you can't import MTS files into iMovie or FCP. But you can import .MTS directly from your camcorder into iMovie flawlessly. Unfortunately, this leads back to my dilemma, you need an Intel Mac to do this.

My ultimate goal right now is to be able to transfer the .mts files from my Panny HDC-SD5 to my PPC G5, then convert it to an editable file, like .mov, mpg, .avi, without losing the HD quality. Then be able to edit the clips either through iMovie, FCP, or After Effects. Then resave the edited file to be burned on DVD (with near HD quality), or onto a Blu-Ray media.

This biggest hurdle is to be able to import the .mts files and convert them without losing the original HD quality (or at least keep it to a minimum). I just don't want the final product to look like it came off the older non-HD camcorders. This would defeat the purpose of me buying an HD cam.

Just from my research, to keep it simple, most say, unless you have an Intel Mac you can't do any of the above. But there are a few that claim it can be done with a PPC G5. Though they weren't very specific. Was just looking for confirmation.

Cheers.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 07:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Eric Shawn View Post
Thanks Mike, the primary apps I'd be using would be dependent on which can handle .MTS files. [...] My ultimate goal right now is to be able to transfer the .mts files from my Panny HDC-SD5 to my PPC G5, then convert it to an editable file, like .mov, mpg, .avi, without losing the HD quality.
What you will need to do is pretty much what you said: convert your .mts files to something like ProRes 422 or the Apple Intermediate Codec... or even DVCPROHD.

Quote:
I just don't want the final product to look like it came off the older non-HD camcorders.
It won't, don't worry.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #5
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Thanks again Mike. I'll give those a go.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
H.264 is a delivery codec that is great for the web and portable devices (iPods/iPhones, etc) but H.264 is not an editing codec.
It's all relative... It depends on what editor you use.

Recently my TV show host went to California and shot a few shows using Sony EX3s captured via HD mixer to a Mac to Prores 422 codec. Because he didn't take a drive with him, came home empty handed, but I had to deliver a show to the TV station, so the guys in California compressed a one hour show to mp4/h.264 using Final Cut and uploaded the 2GB file to a web server. I got it down, edited in Edius and the DVD I delivered to the station looked about the same as those we shoot locally in DV-AVI.

So yes, H.264 is theoretically a delivery codec, but in case you need it, you can use it for editing. All you need is the right tool.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #7
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I do use the H.264 codec every now and then. It retains image quality at a smaller file size. That's if your already working with high quality video clips. Doesn't help if the original clip is bad to begin with.

Which is the hurdle I'm running into with a PPC G5 and AVCHD (.mts) files, is when I convert it from an .mts file (I've used VoltaicHD, Video Converter X, and Handbrake) the quality degrades quite a bit (I've converted the files to H.264 and MPEG2). Although these apps converted the file successfully, the quality isn't great and defeats the purpose of an HD camcorder. Note: the MPEG2 versions were a little better in quality than the H.264 versions.

However, when I connect my HD cam to iMovie on my Intel Mac at work, iMovie converts the files fast, and with very little to no lose of quality.

There in lies my dilemma. I have a PPC G5, and iMovie won't connect to my HD cam through that system. Hence using the apps mentioned above as a workaround. But not a very good one workaround at that.

It looks like the only choices I have, is 1. deal with the poor quality of the converted files, or 2. Invest in an Intel Mac.

Thanks for all the input.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 08:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Shawn View Post
I do use the H.264 codec every now and then. It retains image quality at a smaller file size. That's if your already working with high quality video clips. Doesn't help if the original clip is bad to begin with.

Which is the hurdle I'm running into with a PPC G5 and AVCHD (.mts) files, is when I convert it from an .mts file (I've used VoltaicHD, Video Converter X, and Handbrake) the quality degrades quite a bit (I've converted the files to H.264 and MPEG2). Although these apps converted the file successfully, the quality isn't great and defeats the purpose of an HD camcorder. Note: the MPEG2 versions were a little better in quality than the H.264 versions.

However, when I connect my HD cam to iMovie on my Intel Mac at work, iMovie converts the files fast, and with very little to no lose of quality.

There in lies my dilemma. I have a PPC G5, and iMovie won't connect to my HD cam through that system. Hence using the apps mentioned above as a workaround. But not a very good one workaround at that.

It looks like the only choices I have, is 1. deal with the poor quality of the converted files, or 2. Invest in an Intel Mac.

Thanks for all the input.
Use Toast v9 or v10 and convert to DVCProHD. You can handle that on your PPC w/FCP.
Read more here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/1013985-post13.html

Good Luck!
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Old February 21st, 2009, 08:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Eric Shawn View Post
when I convert it from an .mts file (I've used VoltaicHD, Video Converter X, and Handbrake) the quality degrades quite a bit (I've converted the files to H.264 and MPEG2). Although these apps converted the file successfully, the quality isn't great and defeats the purpose of an HD camcorder.
This is because you are converting into lossy codecs which aren't meant for editing in the first place. You need to convert to either ProRes, DVCPROHD or AIC.

MPEG Streamclip is an excellent free application for format conversion. Grab that and give you conversions a try. You won't have ProRes as an option unless you have FCS2 installed, but you will be able to at least try DCVPROHD.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 06:38 AM   #10
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I have a JVC Everio HD300 (AVCHD) camcorder,i am annoyed with the MTS files, for they counldn't be edit on Adobe Premiere but now i found out a fastest and easiest way to solve it-just use a professional HD Video converter which can convert MTS/TOD/MOD to wmv, mov, mp4, avi, etc. without any problem.The software seems to do a decent job. I've had good results converting the .mts files to .mov, with the settings h.264, 1200, 1280*720, 25fps, aac. The files look good on my Mac running Adobe Premiere, edit easily, and convert well to DVD format.

How to convert and burn MTS videos to Blu ray disc and DVD
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Old May 24th, 2010, 06:57 AM   #11
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MPEG Streamclip is an excellent... etc... but you will be able to at least try DCVPROHD.
Mike, would you please tell me where did you find the DVCPRO-HD export option in Streamclip?

Thanks,
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Old May 24th, 2010, 07:41 AM   #12
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Keep in mind that when responders refer to the most recent versions of editing software, the original poster has said that his system is a G5...not an Intel Mac.
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