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Old July 29th, 2009, 05:31 PM   #1
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Editing HD Captured from Television in Vegas 9...What is the Right Codec?

Hi, this is my first post though I joined this site (the first time) years ago!

I am doing some work for a cable channel that has a magazine as well . They asked me to record and edit some programs off my cable box for their internal use.

After I went through the sheer hell of figuring out how to capture the footage from my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD, I managed to get some really nice looking .M2TS 1920x1080 files onto my computer, and to my pleasant surprise, they were recognized right away in Vegas 9 64 bit.

However, I was taught that it is always better to edit in an editing codec, and it seems to me that these mt2s files are highly compressed at about 3 Gigabytes per half-hour, and they play sort of choppy in Vegas, though not terribly so.

I checked the format and they are AVC. This is my first foray into editing any kind of HD and I have searched this forum extensively. I have read a lot about Neo Scene. Should I edit and render out the files I captured directly, or should I use an editing codec. If so what is the right one?

This footage is being mixed with other standard definition footage and it is destined to be played in standard definition. I captured in high definition because I wanted to be able to go close in to various details. Is there any downside to bringing the MT2S files into my standard def project and using it as is, rendering out to DVD and maybe some computer-based formats like MPEG and WMV?

***

By the way, if anyone else has faced the holy hell of trying to capture HD off of a cable box for totally legitimate purposes, I used the Happague HD PVR and it worked like a charm. I just saved you 3 days of searching and trying 100 different methods! ;-)

Thanks for any help. I'll keep on searching in the mean time.

Ken

Last edited by Kenneth Fisher; July 29th, 2009 at 05:34 PM. Reason: Fixed the Subject
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Old July 29th, 2009, 07:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Fisher View Post
By the way, if anyone else has faced the holy hell of trying to capture HD off of a cable box for totally legitimate purposes, I used the Happague HD PVR and it worked like a charm. I just saved you 3 days of searching and trying 100 different methods! ;-)
I can vouch for that. For capturing HD video from either a cable or satellite box, nothing beats the Hauppauge HD PVR. The quality is so good it's nearly indistinguishable from the original.

I had some problems getting the video files into Vegas 8, but I finally figured that out. Haven't installed Vegas 9 yet, so maybe there have been some improvements. Are you importing the m2ts files created by the PVR, or are you converting them first? With Vegas 8, I found that the m2ts files created by the bundled Arcsoft software wouldn't import - I'd get an hourglass that never went away. I also couldn't import TS files created by the PVR software, even though the Vegas specs say it's supported. I finally figured out that if I chose the "Burn" option in the Arcsoft program but burned to the hard disk instead of a DVD, the resulting m2ts file would import into Vegas with no problem.
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Old July 29th, 2009, 08:06 PM   #3
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Hi Ron,

The M2TS files created by the Happague HD PVR open in Vegas 9 64 bit 9.0 with no problem. The files I have are the M2TS files encoded by the Total Media Extreme software that comes with it. I did not "burn" or use any other option. I captured at the highest possible quality.

What I still can't figure out is if I should be using those specific files for editing mixed in with the rest of the footage I have for this project which is all SD footage that I pulled from a Digital Beta tape I was supplied with. The M2TS files are more sluggish on the timeline and I am not sure they will render properly because of the lower/upper field order difference.

Ken
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Old July 30th, 2009, 01:00 AM   #4
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So here is what I am doing at the moment: I am rendering short clips from the M2TS to Huffy AVI. The file size is obscenely large but about half that of the built in YUV template.

I am placing this on the timeline with my standard definition footage, but it is choppy no matter what my preview window or quality size is. If I build a dynamic ram preview it plays beautifully.

I don't know if this is an optimal workflow but it is what I got going right now.

The only thing is now I have red frames all over the place. This was starting to happen before the hi-def footage but it is getting out of control. I am going to do a quick search to see if I can do anything about it.

Ken
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Old July 30th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kenneth Fisher View Post
So here is what I am doing at the moment: I am rendering short clips from the M2TS to Huffy AVI. The file size is obscenely large but about half that of the built in YUV template....
The only thing is now I have red frames all over the place...
You might try rendering to the AVI-Cineform codec that comes with Vegas. You'd find it in Render As | Video for Windows (*.avi) | HDV 1080-60i intermediate.

Unfortunately, this version of the cineform codec maxes out at 1440x1080. But it is absolutely worth a try - I'd expect that you'll get smaller files, better timeline performance, excellent picture, and no red frames (which are bad! Sometimes they render!).
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Old July 30th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #6
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Hi Seth,

Thanks very much for your advice. 1440x1080 would be perfect because I am cropping the video to 4x3 aspect ration on my standard definition timeline anyway.

For some reason I am not seeing the Cineform HDV option in the "Render As" options. I read somewhere that the Cineform Codec no longer ships with Vegas as of V8 or V9. Do you know if that is the case?

Thanks again,

Ken
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Old July 30th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #7
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It shows up in V8 for me, but I also have V7 installed.

How to check:
Render As | Video for Windows (*.avi) | HDV 1080-60i intermediate | custom | video | codec. This should show up as Cineform 2.5 if you have it.

If you buy Neoscene, not expensive, I think the current codec version is 3.1, there are some improvements, and you get some tools. But there's nothing wrong with 2.5
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Old July 30th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #8
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This project is just about finished. I will have to stay with my Huffy workflow until the next HD project.

One thing I tested that played insanely well on my timeline was 720 24P footage I shot on my Canon Vixia HV30. Those files had the M2T extension.

I really wish there was a handbook for all these HD formats -- what recording codec specs are, what the editing codec specs, pluses and minuses are, and then what is the right rendering format for playback on which devices!

I am sure that the answers are out there, but I have not seen anything centralized.
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