10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 15, 2012 8:10 AM by the_wine_snob

    Sluggish AVCHD playback

    Coacher95 Level 1

      I'm a relatively new user of Adobe Premiere Elements 11 and I am trying to do some HD video editing.  A friend provided me with some .AVI HD files recorded in AVCHD format from a Panasonic HDC-TM90 converted with WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe. I'm probably not saying that correctly since I'm just used to SD .mpeg2 files that are easy to import/edit.


      I have no problem viewing them on my computer with Windows Media Player or the HP Media Player.  GSpot says that I have the correct Codec and can play the files as well.


      I have no issue importing them into Premiere, but when I try to watch them in the preview pane, or view them from the timeline it is VERY sluggish/laggy.  It is absolutely un-useable from an editing standpoint.  I can do some editing by recording the time chunks I want and trim them manually, but doing any sort of fine tuning, transitions, adjusting, previewing is impossible.....


      Anyone know if this has to do with my project settings? (I selected AVCHD Full HD) My computer specs?  (Dual Quad core laptop with 4 GB RAM) Maybe the way it was given to me??


      I'm pretty ignorant on this so feel free to offer ANY advice.



        • 1. Re: Sluggish AVCHD playback
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Windows 32bit or 64bit... ditto question for PreElements


          How many hard drives and where do you have your AVCHD files?


          An i7 with Win7 64bit and PreEl 64bit at 16gig ram and MINimum two 7200 rpm hard drives are really need for AVCHD

          • 2. Re: Sluggish AVCHD playback
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Dual Quad core laptop with 4 GB RAM


            Do you mean a Duo-core, or a Quad-core CPU? [I know of no laptop with two Quad-core processors. For that, one would need a server board, and those would likely be Xeon CPU's.]


            What is the processor's speed?


            You mention a conversion

            converted with WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe.

            Why were the MTS files converted, and what were they converted to? G-Spot can tell you the CODEC.


            Good luck, and please let us know just a bit more.



            • 3. Re: Sluggish AVCHD playback
              Coacher95 Level 1

              64bit Win

              64bit PreEl

              1x HD with files on HD


              16GB RAM with 2x HDs.......That would probably be my issue, lol.


              I was afraid of that actually.



              • 4. Re: Sluggish AVCHD playback
                Coacher95 Level 1

                Doh! Sorry, I meant Quad core.  It is an i7, but I was posting and working simultaneously and had a brain fart...  Have to look at the proc speed at home, don't remember off the top of my head.


                Not sure why he converted it, G-Spot says DivX.


                Video was given to my friend from a teammate's parents, so I don't have direct contact with them.  If there is a better way to request they get the data I can ask.

                • 5. Re: Sluggish AVCHD playback
                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Divx and Xvid are output formats designed for streaming video... NOT for editing


                  You need DV AVI type 2 with 16bit 48khz sound for SD video... the natural AVCHD files edit very well in PreEl 11 but only IF you have a strong computer


                  A laptop that is not specifically designed/built for video editing is most likely going to have a 5400 rpm hard drive, which is "barely" fast enough for Windows and software, and not NEARLY fast enough for video editing files (see below)


                  You need a 2nd 7200rpm hard drive... if external, either eSata or USB3


                  Trying to use only ONE Hard Drive for Video Editing


                  You are a music conductor, with a baton that you use to point to various parts of the orchestra... this is like Windows pointing to various parts of the hard drive to do Windows housekeeping or to load program segments for various functions


                  Now, at the same time and with the same hand... while still using the baton to conduct the orchestra... pick up a bow and play a fiddle... this would be doing something with your video file at the same time as all the other work


                  You as a person cannot do both at the same time with the same hand


                  A computer is a LITTLE better, in that it can switch from one kind of task to another very quickly... but not quickly enough for EASY video editing


                  You need AT LEAST two hard drives (separate drives, never a partition http://forums.adobe.com/thread/650708 for more) with Windows (or Mac OS) and software on your boot drive, and video files on a 2nd drive so the boot drive is not slowed down by trying to do everything


                  Partition = Crash http://forums.adobe.com/thread/957286

                  • 6. Re: Sluggish AVCHD playback
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    Doh! Sorry, I meant Quad core.  It is an i7


                    Do not worry. The exact same thing happened to me, just today.


                    Now, and as John T. points out DivX is about as bad a choice, as is possible.


                    With an i7 CPU, AVCHD (the H.264 CODEC, but a sub-set - AVC) should Import (if you have access to the MTS files) and edit fine in an AVCHD Project. I would not convert, and especially TO DivX.


                    Good luck,



                    • 8. Re: Sluggish AVCHD playback
                      VDOSurfer Level 3

                      What happens if you use the origina AVCHD (Before conversion) and bring it in to the PRE11 timeline for playback and editing? Your machine is well capable of playing back AVCHD in its unconverted state. And as already mentioned, DivX is for playback - ONLY. In the last two versions of Premiere Elements, AVCHD playback, editing etc. have been better than the competition.


                      Even reviewers (weirdos, that lot!) seem to agree with me. And that is saying something.

                      • 9. Re: Sluggish AVCHD playback
                        Coacher95 Level 1



                        Wow, thanks a ton!  This has been very helpful and informative.  I have asked the family to request the MTS files, so hopefully it won't be a problem.  I just have one last question.....


                        While dinking around with the files I discovered that PreEl will export them into .mp4 with no problem, and then I can import the new file back into PreEl and it seems to work great.  What is the downside to this workaround? (other than the extra time)


                        Thanks guys!

                        • 10. Re: Sluggish AVCHD playback
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          The downside of starting with a heavily-compressed file, editing that, outputting to a heavily-compressed format, for later editing is all that compression, and the quality loss associated with it. Depending on the footage, the quality loss will possibly not be enough to worry about, but where one has action, and especially across the lens axis (either subject, or camera action), it might be noticed.


                          For intermediate files (files that will later be edited), I like a lossless workflow. This article goes into more detail: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4103400#4103400


                          The downsides of such a workflow are:


                          1. One must download and install a new CODEC, like the Lagarith Lossless, or the UT Lossless, but both are extremely good and are both free.
                          2. The resulting output files will ONLY play on computers, that also have the Lagarith, or UT CODEC's installed, and ONLY with a player, that can use those CODEC's. Fortunately, most common software players can use those CODEC's easily - but they MUST be installed on any other computer.
                          3. The files, while compressed, but visually lossless, will not be so heavily-compressed, hence larger file sizes.


                          Good luck,