It might be best to contact Adobe with this one, chewey. None of us on this forum developed the program and I doubt you'll get anything but guesses here.
And do remember that Premiere Elements is a consumer program, created to work with consumer camcorder video, like AVCHD. Are there consumer camcorders out there creating H264 files at 24 mbps?
I don't know. As I said, we can guess, but we can't offer your a definitive answer on this forum.
I do agree that asking adobe would be best. However, at the time of posting, Adobe was unavailable and unwilling to open a chat window. Regardless of the type of camcorder I have, the question is still valid. My goal is to figure out the right balance of quality and bitrate. I see VBR as a very useful feature that I've used before with much success. As mentioned before, the current implementation seems a little lacking. As it sits right now, I'll just set everything to CBR and pick the minimum bitrate that properly balances quality and storage space. Whether the actual progam is classified as consumer or pro, I still expect a feature to work. Being a consumer program does not remove the requirement for a feature to work.
In regards to your camcorder question. Yes, there are "consumer camcorders" that create AVCHD video files using the H.264 codec. I happen to be using a Canon Vixia HFM400.
OF COURSE there are camcorders that shoot AVCHD, Ken. I never said there wasn't. In fact, I own one!
The real question is what is the CBR that your Vixia uses.
Oh my bad, I didn't realize you asked "at 24mbps" at the end of your question.
Yes, the Vixia HFM400 write the AVCHD stream at a rate of 24mbps.
I'd like to add "at 24mbps" to my previous answer. My omission was not on purpose.
I have no answer for you, other than to say that I can't tell the difference between the original video shot by my camcorder and the BluRay disc I output from it using Premiere Elements.
I'm no engineer so I can't say for certain that 15 mbps seems to be all that's necessary. But, to my failing eyes, it appears to be.
Sorry, Chewey. You've definitely started me on a research project -- but I don't have the answer for you.
You may want to post this question over at the Community Forum at Premiere Elements support site http://Muvipix.com. There are a couple very high-level folks there that I'm sure will be able to give you a more satisfying answer.