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The bottom line is: Support is a word and a concept they have never heard about. The plug-in does not work, it completely corrupts existing projects and in short is a complete waste of money. It has been like that with version 2.0 and still applies to 3.0
b Don't buy the MainConcept plug-in.
I have been using the MPEGPro HD 2 plug-in with PP2 and HDV projects for a few months. Generally small projects. However, I found that this plug-in causes Premiere to use a lot more memory. I'm using 4 GB of RAM with XP SP2 and found when setting the Boot.ini switch to 3GB that Premiere with MPEGPro runs much smoother. However, PP2 without the MPEGPro plug-in behaves very erratically when the 3 GB switch is used so keep this in mind.
You are correct that when installed it forces all native HDV media to be rendered. Also, I have experienced some problems using the MPEGpro export to tape option using a Sony HVR-M15U deck. The smart rendered M2T file plays fine from the timeline but stutters when going back out to tape. I am going to test using a different HDV recording device to determine if it is related to the HVR-M15U or MPEGPro.
Yes, MPEGPro with Premiere does not handle video overlay properly, my Matrox APVe Parhelia graphics card which provides dual monitors plus HD out, does not provide output to the HD monitor with MPEGPro installed. To echo Harm's comment, support from Main Concept is very poor. I have had several requests for assistance remain unanswered.
But the smart rendering capability of MPEGPro is very compelling for someone trying to retain quality.
I used MPEGPro 2.0 together with PPro 2.0 without great satisfaction and now I have MPEGPro 3.0 plugged into PPro 3.0.
I have 2 PCs running, one on XP SP2 and the other on Vista Ultimate.
On both I have identical results.
- On the overlay issue I cannot comment. I am only using one monitor on each machine.
- ALL other comments made by Jorgen and Ron I can confirm: e.g. Adobe's HDV editing mode, with the plug-in installed but not selected in the project mode, is less stable, the timeline suddenly marked with a red line which (fortunately!)again disappears after the MPEGPro 3.0 plug-in is un-installed.
- I have experienced enormous stability problems (Adobe crashes) when importing more than one or two clips at a time.
- Another unsolved problem for me is, that I want to playback the edited project to tape. I had hoped that the plug-in would overcome the problem that Adobe PPro 3.0 obviously has with HDV material (at least in may case, using a XH A1): I have not been able to export to tape for more than ~8 minutes without the plug-in installed, and not without major gaps with the plug-in installed.
The work-around I found is writing the Adobe generated intermediate file HDVExport.hdv2 (re-named to to something.m2t) back to tape using Tools > Print Video to HDV Tape of Sony Vegas 8.0. That worked immediately and without any problem.
-Regarding the Mainconcept support: YES, that is a problem. A company of that size and reputation should do better.
-Regarding the Adobe support: living in Europe, I must talk to the Adobe support in Europe, as the US support wouldn't even react at all on my requests. The answers I was given regarding the export to tape problem were poor, to say the least.
Finally, Jorgen, we all appreciate that you are in contact with Mainconcept and please let us know about any outcome, positive or negativ.
MainConcept just got bought by DivX. Maybe they're really busy cashing the checks from the sale and don't have time to respond to their (ex-) customers' requests for support.
How long do you think until MainConcept creates a DivX plug-in for Premiere Pro, Jeff? :)
It wouldn't surprise me!
Just some words about the Main Concept support.
I have asked them for support a couple of times. The normal was two days for a reply, but one time it took almost a week, but then the follow-ups came the next day (three times in a row).
Maybe type of attitude when asking for help influences the support-guys.
>but one time it took almost a week
I'm sorry, but that's completely unacceptable. I'm at a week and counting.
>Maybe type of attitude when asking for help influences the support-guys.
No doubt. Here's a snip from the closing paragraph of my support request:
Thank you in advance for any help you can give in figuring out why muxed mpeg audio causes the crash.
I expect better support. I would pay for better support, but that's not an option.
I just want to say that my dialog with Main Concept has been quick and helpful. Really nice people.
The last they asked me to was to upload an m2t-file to their server so they could take a look at it. That's 5 days ago, and they have just answered that they will look at it and get back to me.
I don't think that attitude in your case is the problem. I'm sorry to hear that you are experiencing a long response time.
Have you tried to "push a button" (or two) here:
It is not a question of attitude that is the problem. Even contacting them by telephone is extremely cumbersome (they are always in meetings or sick or out-of-the-office or otherwise occupied, you name it) and never phone back, nor do they respond to mails, even though support requests are very politely phrased and detailed, including MSINFO32 and still they can not respond. My last mail was from November 22 and I'm still waiting for any reaction, even if it were something like:
i We currently have no answer but are looking into this matter and will keep you informed.
Just utter out-of-space silence, which in my opinion, after confirming by telephone that my mail has arrived in good order,
b is completely unacceptable.
This is from Main Concept's Support (quoted with their permission):
Some clarifications regarding smart rendering...
When the MPEG Pro plugin is installed, one should use also the MPEG Pro project presets for HDV and other formats, not the ones from Adobe.
The reason is as follows:
In Premiere there are so called Editing modes. An Editing Mode consists of an Import, Player and render module. These three communicate with each other to figure out whether smart rendering is possible or whether material on the timeline needs to be rendered. When MPEG Pro is installed all mpeg import is taken over by its import module. But it can not communicate with the modules
of a Premiere project types editing mode. There is no standard way for this.
If the user has an already existing Adobe HDV Project that he wants to finish he should uninstall the plugin temporary. But then he will not have the MPEG Pro export capabilities available. If he needs them there is an other workaround. He can rename the module importerMCMPEG.prm in the plugin path, which is something like C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS3\Plug-ins\en_US\MainConcept. Then the Adobe mpeg importer will handle the
mpeg files again.
For future projects he shall use MPEG Pro project presets only. Only he will have the full benefit of smart rendering.