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Old May 3rd, 2007, 06:59 AM   #1
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ACHDV whats working and whats not

Anybody out here having good success with ACHDV? If so, any tricks we can share. So far I seem to be having good luck getting my Sony ACHDV to edit in Vegas much better than Nero but Nero seems to have a huge advantage in rendering. I will be spending some time tonight going full bore with effects and such but was wondering how people are dealing with this format and any little quirks they may be running into.

All NLEs seem to stutter badly on playback within the software
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:44 AM   #2
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FWIW, here's a post from Mike Jones on the DMN forums about AVCHD.

Vegas7e doesn't have an import function for AVCHD cameras, you still have to use the bloody-awful utility that comes with the camera to import. But once on your hard drive Vegas can see them and use them.

The issue was always going to be the sheer complexity of the AVCHD H264/mpeg4 part 10 codec algorithm. AVCHD is capable of extraordinary quality HD at tiny bitrates and file sizes but the internal coding needed for that is a tough ask of an NLE. My desktop dual CPU 2.6ghz AMD64 system can do 4-5 HDV tracks in realtime no sweat but putting just one track of AVCHD on the timeline in a project native to its specs (1440x1080, par 1.333:1, 25fps PAL) was only bale to get an average of 20-22 frames per second and any dissolve dropped it to 15-20.

It's great that Vegas has been first to support this format and with the universal support from developers you are guaranteed to be seeing much more AVCHD in the future whether you like it or not. But the truth is at the moment it's timeline performance is very poor. You simply won't want to cut AVCHD natively. Cineform is going to be the way to go for sure. A very viable acquisition format but, at least until someone works out something mathematically very special, a nightmare to edit. Lossless transcode is the way to go.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 08:01 AM   #3
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Actually the way I get my files to the HD is using Neros little ACVHD import funtion, I have tried Sonys importer and it seemed sort of clunky but will re-try.

Am I understanding correctly that transitions and such will look bad in final render or just look glitchy on the timeline. I have had excellent luck using Nero but their editing software is basically cut and transitions which I tried all and all worked very well in rendering and played flawlessly via Blue Ray. I really want this to work if nothing else for its blazing speed of getting media to the timeline.

5.1 is an added bonus that really juices up a production as well.

If I can edit in Vegas, render right back to HD and use Nero to render to Blue Ray I would be satisfied at this point. Anyone tried converting to MPEG 2 and making a 480P dvd yet? Or can you?

The problem with Cineform ( from my experience) is it softens the image and steals all the color saturation of what makes HD incredible to begin with. Has this changed from a couple years ago. I used Cineform for everything in the past but was never really happy with final results without adding saturation filters in Vegas
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 10:18 PM   #4
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One more very large question - from what I saw on the DMN website, it appears that Vegas 7.0E will ONLY look at AVCHD that has been recorded on Sony Cameras? Is that really true? I've been thinking about the new panasonic AVCHD camera - can't remember the model numbers, but I won't change from Vegas. Maybe I'm just grumpy, but I really like the way vegas works.

So is this true? and if is - then will the cineform input make video from other cameras work?

Finally WHY would Vegas - which is known for basically using ANYTHING and combining it with most anything else - suddenly change it's tune??

Thanks for any light you can shed here.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 06:03 AM   #5
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Yes, it is true. Vegas 7.0e does not read AVCHD from a Panasonic cam. I was told (but not by Sony Creative Services) it was because they couldn't get a Panasonic camcorder to test with. So, I have offered to loan them mine and pay the shipping both ways if that will help them get to a solution quicker. So far I have not heard from them. Even so, they would have to test again once the HDC-SD3 becomes available in North America because Panasonic has changed the PAR on that camcorder to 1:1 to get a full 1920x1080 resolution.

Cineform will convert the AVCHD to CFHD but you have to purchase the standalone HDLink or Neo software and have PowerDVD, Nero or Elecard MPEG player software. Actually, that is probably the best current editing solution anyway since native AVCHD is going to be difficult for a mortal computer to edit. Unlike HDV, though, HDLink can't convert the files during import...yet. So, you'll have to copy them over to your hard drive and convert them from there.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #6
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How does Cineform perform these days? A couple years ago it performed great for editing but it seem to rob color and add softness from my opinion. I know the claims were it didnt alter anything PQ wise but something was and Cineform was the only thing that could have in my case.

And in terms an idiot like me could understand, whats so tough about ACHVD for processing? BD and HD DVD capabilities? Is MPEG4 and the file sizes just too large to deal with? Regular HD (not HDV) is handled with ease on 2+ year old computers
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Old May 4th, 2007, 09:51 AM   #7
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If a person were to go that route - cineform, decklink etc etc, is there a book out there that lays out all the stuff that's going on, and how to set it up, or do you just have to keep posting questions in various forums until you finally get it?

I appreciate the information I'm getting, and I look forward to see what's going on here.

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Old May 5th, 2007, 12:08 PM   #8
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Milt,
I don't know of a book on the workflow. However, it is not difficult and there are Cineform representative here in the forums to answer questions.
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