What computer operating system is involved? Whatever the case, Premiere Elements 8 is going to be a 32 bit application whether it is running in a 32 bit or 64 bit system. Your video apparently uses AVCHD (MP4 AVC/H.264) video compression which is a very resource demanding format. All this has implications trying to take a larger project to successful completion. Depending on the level of computer resources, those with AVCHD video to edit sometimes convert the AVCHD to HD MPEG2.mpg which is less resource demanding.
You can help yourself a lot by
a. Making sure that you are working from the 8.0.1 Update of 8.0. Do not download and install this update from the project's Help Menu/Updates. Instead use
b. Be sure to have disabled the automatic background rendering and Auto Analyzer features. They are major grabbers of system resources and can take the project down if left on. For background rendering, see Premiere Elements Editor workspace Edit Menu/Preferences/General. For Auto Analyzer, see Elements Organizer workspace Edit Menu/Preferences/AutoAnalzyer Options.
c. When you open your new project, you are greeted by the New Project dialog. You set the project preset there to match the properties of the source video. In the case of version 8.0/8.0.1, whether you have 1080i or 1080p, your choice is
Full HD1080i30 or, if you have 5.1 audio, Full HD1080i30 5.1 channel
When you import your video to the Timeline, you will probably have a red line over the Timeline content. If so, then Timeline render the Timeline content by pressing the computer keyboard Enter key or go to and use Edit Menu/Render Work Area. The red line over the Timeline content will turn green indicating that Timeline rendering is done and you are now seeing the best possible preview in the Edit area.
Let us start here and then decide what next based on the details and results in your reply.
Any questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to ask.
Wow, that is an amazingly detailed reply, thank you. I will do my best with this new information and let you know if I need further help. Many thanks
Thanks for the reply. Any questions along the way, please do not hesitate to ask for clarification.
Thank you ATR. We have windows 8.1. We have done everything you suggested apart from converting the file format and it is working a lot better now. I am still finding it tricky but the main problem may just be that I am not used to the software! Many thanks again for all your help.
Thanks for the additional information.
Please explore the Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1 AVCHD workflows to determine if practice improves the smoothness of the workflows.
For troubleshooting purposes only at this time, you may want to explore the free 30 day tryout of Premiere Elements 13 to determine if your workflows become easier to manage and be taken to a successful conclusion. Your Premiere Elements 13 on your Windows 8.1 64 bit will be a 64 bit application in contrast to what you have now in Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1 32 bit application. This has significant computer resource/application implications.
There is a major difference in the workspaces of versions 10 and earlier compared to 11 and later. That might take some getting used to. Principles are the same, but the workspaces and feature locations often are not. If you do decide to give it a troubleshooting look, you do not have to uninstall 8.0/8.0.1. Just use one Premiere Elements version at a time.