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Old January 3rd, 2009, 04:51 PM   #1
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How long to ingest, convert AVCHD to Prores

I'm curious how long it takes to ingest, convert AVCHD to Prores per GB or per hour. From my understanding I'll need to copy the SD card to my external, then import it to FCP, converting it to Prores. I do a lot of multi-cam stuff, so editing in AVCHD doesn't sound wise.

I'd be filming on an HMC150.

Can I ingest multiple SDs at one time so I don't have laundry?
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Old January 4th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #2
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I'm evaluating a HMC150 now.

Copying from the card to the computer (which is wise to do for archiving it) goes as fast as your SDHC card/card reader combo. From 10-15MB/second for me, I was using a Transcend 16GB card and their little included USB card reader on a Mac Pro 8 core.

Transcoding from AVCHD PH mode to Prores seems to be around 20-23MB/second right now on my Mac Pro 8 core 2.8ghz (one of the faster Macs), over a gigabit ethernet network to the destination drive. You can do the math on that on GB per hour, but around 70GB per hour or so. This is a particularly time-consuming task (although easy) and using a Mac and FCP to me a drawback with AVCHD. However in order to really look at the footage I need to transcode it because nothing I've yet found on the Mac can really play the high quality HMC150 video back in high res real time. (VLC attempts to but chokes). Also a maintenance task later because I'll probably want to throw out a lot of the transcoded HMC150 files, and re-log and transfer what I need. Kind of puts us back in the old days of offline and online edits, because of the large file sizes of Prores.

I have an EX1 as well. Much faster workflow using the XDCAM format as it works natively (basically) with FCP and FCP just puts wrappers around the XDCAM EX data which is a lot faster than the transcoding to Prores, and take up a lot less space.

If I keep the HMC150 (jury is still out, I'm still evaluating it, trying to get some images I can live with out of it) I hope that FCP will support AVCHD natively in the future.

As far as ingesting multiple SD's, I think it could do that if you had 2 card readers and SD cards, but I think you should copy the cards over first to a hard drive to archive the original captured AVCHD files including the directory structure. The FCP log and transfer process is serial, it works on one clip at a time. You could have multiple machines, each with FCP to make that faster if necessary.

Hope this helps.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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Thank Keith. That helps tremendously. It sounds like you're also having probs with picture quality? Are Prores files larger than HDV?

I'm curious to hear what you do with the cam.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 01:49 PM   #4
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Dana,

HMC150 Picture Quality: Well I did more tests yesterday with the HMC150, using the CineD Picture profile, with no other modifications. No gain, good light. I did the whole log and transfer, to transcode to Prores. I looked at the transcoded as well as straight out of the camera via HDMI as well as the component outputs on my 50" Panasonic Broadcast plasma. I was a lot more pleased with the images on this test than my previous test. It seems slightly softer and noisier than the EX1 but I was pleasantly surprised by the other pleasing aspects of the image. So I'm more positive about the image. I have to do more tests with the EX1 and the HMC150 side by side on the same scenes to see if I can cut between them without it being too noticeable.

As far as file size, the native AVCHD files vs time recorded is slightly smaller than the HDV files. AVCHD PH (the new higher bitrate mode) is about 21mbs (megabits per second) and HDV is 25mbs.

The transcoded AVCHD to Prores files are quite a bit bigger, Prores bitrates are: Normal 145 Mbit/s and High-Quality 220 Mbit/s for HD resolution at 60i. For example, for yesterday's shoot, the AVCHD PH files totaled about 5 GB. The Prores Log and Transferred transcoded files totaled 34GB or about 7x that of the native AVCHD files. So for every 8 GB card you fill up, if you want to transcode it all, you'll ned to store about 54GB for the transcode and then 8 GB for the native AVCHD, for a total of 62GB of storage for approximately 45 minutes of recording time or about 80GB per hour. In addition, Prores decoding still takes processing power and a fast hard drive. So be prepared to invest in that gear as well and a lot of backup hard drives.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #5
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Wow. Per my other thread on converting from FX1s to HMC150s, it's starting to look like it won't work. If the Prores files are that big, the time it will take to render and the space it will take to store will totally eliminate the time saved capturing. It doesn't look like it makes sense with either time or finances. Since we are a three-camera operation, we can't afford three Ex1s, so it looks like we'll stay with what we've got.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 01:38 AM   #6
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To convert AVCHD files to Applr ProRes, there are two options which can achieve this task.

Option 1:Clipwrap
Clipwrap focuses on rewrapping video files to Quicktime .mov and personally it is not the best program for you to converting.

Option 2 Aunsoft MTS Converter for Mac
In my opinion, you should get a professional software which has the functions of deinterlacing and converting to guarantee the quality of output video files.
As for this professional AVCHD converter, i recommend Aunsoft MTS Converter for Mac which is good at converting MTS/M2TS video to other editable video formats, like Quicktime MOV for editing on Final Cut.
To solve the issue of interlacing, this software can deinterlace your video files automatically once you import video file into this software.

Good Luck.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #7
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A good way to look at the ingest time is to remember that only a few years ago - at the Tape Age - we had to capture real time: 2 hours of footage = 2 hours of ingest.
But nowadays we are "spoiled" and we don't want to wait too long anymore.
These old days are still vivid in my brain when I had to ingest 90 hours of footage, so for me I let the computer do his thing (20 min, 1 hour depending on the computer) and I find a little something to do in the meantime: clean up my project folder, start switching my brain from the technical side to the creative side (and it takes time as you get older!!) and before I know it my capture's done!!!
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