Rendering a purchased AE theme using the author's output template for High Quality HD .MP4 produces a 25GB .mp4 file at the correct time 2:17. This video file stalls/slows & appears like its rendering in AE, also 25GB is ridiculous
If I change the comp's output to AVI PAL & render I get a 2:56 .avi file around 26mb or so, which is problematic with mixing the 2:17 sound track outside of AE . Any clue to why another output setting makes the same comp longer?
It sounds to me like you do not understand the rendering workflow, frame rates, the difference between production and lossless formats delivery formats. The difference in time can be attributed to can be easily attributed to a frame rate mis match. The file size can be attributed to render settings. If you are new to AE and you are trying to customize Output Module settings you need to take the time to learn what to do or you'll foul things up. If you are using the default settings then you are rendering a lossless file which is going to be huge and is not designed for playback.
If you are using the Adobe Media Encoder and you're new to rendering then you should be using the h.264 presets to render your MP4 and unless you really understand the settings you should not try and customize the settings. You settings should match the comp frame size and frame rate.
If you are using the Render Cue and the output module to render an MP4 you are not using the right tool and you have probably customized the Render Settings and the Output Module settings and fouled things up.
Since we don't know the details of your workflow or anything about your comp it's impossible to give you any other suggestions. If you are new to AE please take the time to study up on rendering by typing rendering in the search help field at the top right corner of AE.