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Old 2nd May 2009, 00:13   #1  |  Link
shmendrapolk
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Good format for encoding AVCHD

My new Panasonic camcorder records in AVCHD format. I use Pinnacle 12 for editing.
I'm wondering what is the appropriate format to export my finished movies in for high definition quality? I don't have a Blu-Ray drive at this point, but I would like to export a high def copy for archiving in the event I get a blu-ray drive.
In addition I'll export in mpeg-2 for DVD-video burning.
My options seem to be either mpeg-4 or a variety of mpeg-2 HD codecs.

Last edited by Guest; 2nd May 2009 at 00:23. Reason: rule 12
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Old 2nd May 2009, 00:24   #2  |  Link
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Why can't you leave it in its native format?
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Old 2nd May 2009, 00:30   #3  |  Link
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If you want to export to DVD, then by all means use a good MPEG-2 encoder. There's lots of excellent options, my personal favorite is the free HC encoder. It's fantastic!

If you are wanting to make AVCHD DVDs (aka HD video on a DVD5 or DVD9), then you should probably either leave them as-is per neuron2's suggestion, or possibly re-encode using x264 if anything.

I couldn't suggest any other H.264 encoder, as they've all been unimpressive to me

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Old 2nd May 2009, 01:07   #4  |  Link
shmendrapolk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neuron2 View Post
Why can't you leave it in its native format?

Pinnacle doesn't have an export to AVCHD function. But I'm not entirely clear on the relationship between MP-4 and AVCHD.

When I create files for burning to dvd I export files in mpeg-2 DVD compatible, so I can create a DVD-video using whatever application. If I export it as anything else than I need to use something like Convert XtoDVD and obviously producing transcodes in the process.

I'm assuming (and of course I may be wrong) that there is a specific format for burning blu-ray discs that would play in a standalone blu-ray machine.

Again, since I burn DVD-video I must export in Mpeg-2, but to avoid the need for transcoding in the future, I want to export in a blu-ray ready format.
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Old 2nd May 2009, 01:23   #5  |  Link
shmendrapolk
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OK sorry - the mp-4 high def exports to 720p, not 1080, so that wouldn't be the right option no? Would I export it as an mpeg-2? My two options are HD 1080i and HDV2 1080i. I have no ide what the differences are.
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Old 2nd May 2009, 03:00   #6  |  Link
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Originally Posted by shmendrapolk View Post
I have no idea what the differences are.
Try reading the documentation.
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Old 2nd May 2009, 20:43   #7  |  Link
shmendrapolk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neuron2 View Post
Try reading the documentation.
Well I have done that, but the documentation presupposes a level of technical knowledge I don't have.

I'm asking what I think is a relatively straightforward question:

I import AVCHD files into Pinnacle 12. I do my video editing. I then export my files in various different formats for different purposes, including mpeg-2 to burn to DVD.
Now that I have an AVCHD camcorder, I would like to export my movies in a blu-ray ready format for (at present) archiving. I do not know what format that would be. For high definition encoding, Pinnacle offers Mpeg-4 Mpeg-2 and Divx.
So which format is the ideal one to preserve the highest quality for later use in burning blu-ray discs?
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Old 3rd May 2009, 01:12   #8  |  Link
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To preserve the highest quality, just archive the original AVCHD streams, as I suggested earlier.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 01:48   #9  |  Link
shmendrapolk
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Originally Posted by neuron2 View Post
To preserve the highest quality, just archive the original AVCHD streams, as I suggested earlier.
That would be fine if I didn't do any editing, but I use tons of effects, music, etc. And because Pinnacle creates so many folders and subfolders and files, I delete projects from the HD every so often.

So I guess my question is - if one wanted to create a blu-ray disc playable in a blu-ray player hooked up to a TV what format should the source files be? Like a DVD-video's files would be in mpeg-2.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 02:25   #10  |  Link
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Study the program documentation and export in the highest resolution available.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 10:25   #11  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmendrapolk View Post
So I guess my question is - if one wanted to create a blu-ray disc playable in a blu-ray player hooked up to a TV what format should the source files be? Like a DVD-video's files would be in mpeg-2.
To avoid re-encoding, video should be H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC), VC-1 or MPEG-2 at 1080p24, 1080i25/30 or 720p60/50/24. However, the Blu-ray specs limit the bitrate, GOP size and some other parts of the format. You need to use Level 4.1 for H.264, for example.

If Pinnacle doesn't support exporting a Blu-ray structure or as AVCHD (which the Blu-ray players support), you'll probably need to re-encode with some other tool. In this case it is best to keep the intermediate video lossless or encode at very high quality, if possible.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 12:02   #12  |  Link
shmendrapolk
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Pinnacle has the option to burn a blu-ray from the movie being edited on the time line. But for some reason there is no AVCHD export to file option.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 13:33   #13  |  Link
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As far as I know, Panasonic AVCHD camcorders come bundled with an editing application called "Easy HD". Have you tried it?
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Old 3rd May 2009, 15:58   #14  |  Link
shmendrapolk
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Originally Posted by SeeMoreDigital View Post
As far as I know, Panasonic AVCHD camcorders come bundled with an editing application called "Easy HD". Have you tried it?

I haven't yet. The software that comes with camcorders usually get bad reviews. But I guess it will be worth checking out. The thing is though, that still wouldn't solve the issue if I want to use Pinnacle for my editing.
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Old 4th May 2009, 04:38   #15  |  Link
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Maybe it's time to switch to a decent editor

Kinda what is being implied here :P

To keep the best possible quality, you will want to export it to H.264 (or AVCHD) straight from Pinnacle (but Pinnacle won't have that option) ... so welcome to the dilema ...

As pointed out, options are persist with Pinnacle and lose quality on your source, or switch to something better that will retain the quality of the source via H.264 or AVCHD export ...

Tek
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Old 4th May 2009, 12:13   #16  |  Link
shmendrapolk
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Originally Posted by 7ekno View Post
Maybe it's time to switch to a decent editor

Kinda what is being implied here :P

To keep the best possible quality, you will want to export it to H.264 (or AVCHD) straight from Pinnacle (but Pinnacle won't have that option) ... so welcome to the dilema ...

As pointed out, options are persist with Pinnacle and lose quality on your source, or switch to something better that will retain the quality of the source via H.264 or AVCHD export ...

Tek
That seems odd, since it has an import feature for AVCHD as well as an option to burn a blu-ray directly from a stream.

Aobe Premiere Elements doesn't have an H.264 or AVCHD export option either.
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