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#285470 - 01/05/10 09:40 PM Anyone making AVCHD discs from a camcorder?
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5324
Loc: Marion, IA
We got a much needed upgrade for our camcorder (we had one of the very first digital ones on 8mm tape) and went to a Canon Vixia HF20 that can do 1080p and 25Mbs (one of the highest data rates from their advertising anyway).

The software that comes with it for putting the video clips on to a DVD in AVCHD just plain sucks... It came with "ImageMixer 3 SE Ver.5"

Sure, the quality of the end result video is quite good, even though it has to downgrade the video to 18Mbs, but the big issue is that the interface and customization abilities just aren't there. I added several clips, some short, some long (one was 20 minutes non-stop) and it doesn't seem to have an option to set up different "chapter" buttons from the main menu (put in the disc, and everything shows up under one menu item). It does let you move through "chapters" marked by each clip as it plays, but you can't select anything from the menu.

It also forces the audio to come up as Japanese on my Blu-Ray player. What? Really? No language options for anything, and the entire program is in English.

Does anyone know of a decent free or reasonably priced option that can keep good video quality? I've heard that some other programs really mess up the video quality when they drop Bps down.

We are looking to make an AVHCD disc and a DVD quality disc for us with off-site backups (in-laws' house) like we do with our digital photos, and so that we have near original quality HD versions and then ones that we can play anywhere (parents' and in-laws' who don't have AVHCD capabilities).

Thanks!
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#285485 - 01/06/10 12:07 AM Re: Anyone making AVCHD discs from a camcorder? [Re: nickbuol]
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5324
Loc: Marion, IA
Oh, I have a PC running Vista 64 if that helps at all.
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#285999 - 01/08/10 05:25 PM Re: Anyone making AVCHD discs from a camcorder? [Re: nickbuol]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
I just got the Vixia HF S100 and needed to get the files in a format for advertising. Club Neon can tell you a detailed protocol to make it work, but I'll share two tips. One: a local web guru told me you can just change the file type from .mts to mpeg4 (or however you spell that) and it will work.

I did not do that because I had already bought AVS 4 You software which converts .mts files to anything you want. Not very expensive (I think it was $30?) and it makes good video, but the conversion process is slow, even on a really fast computer (i7 CPU). But the end product is good. Example

There are also some files you can download for free (but I can't find them now) that let Window Media player play .mts files directly. I did that but needed convert to upload to web, so don't remember where that files was, but google got me to it.


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#286000 - 01/08/10 05:45 PM Re: Anyone making AVCHD discs from a camcorder? [Re: Zimm]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I thought about speaking up, because I do this kind of thing. But I use such a mishmash of software, that I could never explain it to someone. I use stuff which isn't too difficult to manage, but isn't free, and some free stuff that would confuse the heck out of any first time user (I still have to reference the manual anytime I want to do something different).

For an easy(-ish) to use encoder you could try TMPGEnc XPress. It can deliver very good results, but that may require a little work with getting the encode parameters right, and it is $100. It is my usual encoder, because it is Cuda accelerated.

x264 seems to deliver better results, it's free, and nearly impossible to use (let alone find a copy), along with being an order of magnitude slower.

TMPGEnc does also have Authoring Works. I've not actually used it, but from reading their info about it, it seems more friendly than XPress, but at the same time less powerful. But it does create menus and chapters (XPress is just an encoder, you need to import the video into something else to structure it). It's also $100, but may be the way to go. It does have a free trial, so you can figure out if it works for you.
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#286007 - 01/08/10 07:29 PM Re: Anyone making AVCHD discs from a camcorder? [Re: ClubNeon]
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5324
Loc: Marion, IA
Yeah, I am trying to figure out how to make good "archival" copies of the home videos. I know that some people are doing all sorts of editing and so forth and I just want to get them onto a disc, but with the correct parameters (not "Japanese" labeled audio) and where I can have more than 1 scene show up from the DVD menu... Of course, in AVCHD format...
I found out that there is somewhat of a "limit" on the bitrate for AVHCD recordings on disc of 17Mbs (or was it 18Mbs)... Anyway, seems silly to keep recording at 25Mbs on the camcorder, which should help with file size..
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2-M60s, VP180, 8-M3s, SVS 20-39PCi, DIY Sub, 8-Shakers, JVC RS45, Anthem MRX-1120

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#286036 - 01/08/10 10:36 PM Re: Anyone making AVCHD discs from a camcorder? [Re: nickbuol]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
AVCHD DVDs technically should be limited to 10 Mbps for the full video+audio+sub-picture stream. But every player I know of which supports AVCHD on DVD has at least a 2x DVD drive. So you can use a mux rate of 20 Mbps. With audio, and packetization overhead you should have 17 to 18 Mbps left for video. Although that cuts play time in half, to 31 minutes for a single layer disc, and 54 for a dual layer.

If you set your camera to record at 18 Mbps, you should be able to remux the data into a chaptered AVCHD disc without having to recompress. The recompression would only need to be done for making the DVD. The Authoring Works I linked to above should be able to do both.
_________________________
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs
-Chris

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