21 Replies Latest reply on Mar 23, 2009 7:40 PM by Harm Millaard

    Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...

    Level 1
      Hi,

      I'm looking at getting a new consumer level AVCHD Camera (I had in mind the Panasonic HDC-HS100) & High end PC (Quad Core CPU, 4GB RAM, high end GPU etc) soon.
      Using Premiere Pro CS4. I also use a 30" LCD Monitor.

      I want to copy my 1920x1080 videos from my AVCHD Camera onto my PC (Big 1TB HDD) Then work with them in CS4.

      Should I convert all the videos to uncompressed format?
      Or will CS4 run good while editing with the original format from these modern AVCHD Cameras? (I'm under the impression that compressed files run bad in PP & become out of sync with audio?)

      Do I need anything else? Additional codecs? What about this Cineform Prospect HD program? Its very $$$ & I'm not shore If I really need it?

      Finally, what is the best output format & codec to render the final project in? I want to watch it back on my PC in 1920x1080, best quality as possible. Then maybe later burn it to Blu Ray etc..

      Much advice is needed, Thanks.
        • 1. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
          mickkeay Level 1
          The HDD is not the issue - the spec of the PC might be. You need a fast quad core based PC - some have still reported some sluggishness editing.
          I have one of the newer i7 based - 920 @ 2.67G with 3G DDR3 plus nVidia GTX260 and it is fine with 1920 AVCHD and burns great to Bluray after editing. I wouldnt spend the money on any cineform intermediate codec stuff - spend it on a good PC and graphics card. You might want to think about a seperate HDD for your video
          You would render your AVCHD time line out as Bluray H264 (1920x1080) and can burn it with Encore after adding menus etc if you want
          • 2. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
            (Daniel_Labrie)
            Everytime i Render a m2ts (avchd) on After effects....the video skips back and fourth... I tried everything and got the same problem.... It doesn;t happen to other videos...only m2ts videos.... I dont want to convert it.... I want the best possible quality... anybody can help?
            • 3. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
              Level 1
              Thanks MickKeay for the advice.

              Daniel, I'm curious as to what are your system specs?
              • 4. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                Level 1
                > I dont want to convert it.... I want the best possible quality... anybody
                > can help?

                Some CS4 users convert because they want the best possible quality.

                Best,
                Christopher
                • 5. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                  (Guy_Stylaz)
                  I have exactly the same problem as Daniel Labrie, the video skips back and forth a frame or two every few seconds when working on m2ts files. (Really Annoying)!! my specs are as follows:

                  Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium (6.0, Build 6001) Service Pack 1 (6001.vistasp1_gdr.080917-1612)
                  Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
                  System Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard
                  System Model: HP Pavilion dv9700 Notebook PC
                  BIOS: PhoenixBIOS 4.0 Release 6.1
                  Processor: AMD Turion(tm) 64 X2 Mobile Technology TL-60
                  (2 CPUs), ~2.0GHz
                  Memory: 3070MB RAM
                  Page File: 2975MB used, 3369MB available
                  DirectX Version: DirectX 10
                  • 6. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                    Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                    > the video skips back and forth a frame or two every few seconds when working on m2ts files

                    What camera took the footage? What settings? Is it 720p30? 1080p24? What bit rate?
                    • 7. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                      (Guy_Stylaz) Level 1
                      I'm using my Sony HDR CX11E which records at 1080i 25fps PAL at 16mbps
                      The footage always plays, edits and renders perfectly with Sony Vegas 8.0c. I dont particularly want to convert the footage first. Any help greatly appreciated.
                      • 8. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                        Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                        That footage should be OK with Pr CS4 if your CPU is beefy enough. For example 1080i60 plays silky-smooth on my 8-core Vista 64 box.

                        A dual-core is borderline for AVCHD footage. See if you can get better performance by pausing the clip for a few seconds when it skips when you play it the first time through. That'll give the import process server time to "catch up", and should improve subsequent playback and editing.

                        I don't know what Sony does with their codec to make it work so well with Vegas, but I'm not surprised that Vegas is the only editor that seems to handle native AVCHD well on average systems. They've been pulling proprietary stunts like that for a long time.
                        • 9. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                          Level 1
                          Jeff. What 8 core CPU is that?

                          Should I wait for something 8 cores over these high end quad core i7?

                          I will be using 32bit os though.
                          • 10. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                            Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                            I have 8 cores total. They come from 2 Xeon E5420 quad-core CPUs.

                            The i7 should handle AVCHD quite nicely.

                            Premiere Pro CS4 is optimized for 64-bit operating systems. It will spawn multiple 32-bit processes to share the workload, and each process can use up to 4 GB of RAM. After Effects CS4 is similarly configured. I have 16 GB of RAM, but a heavy editing session with Pr, AE and PS open could easily make use of 32 GB of RAM.

                            It doesn't make sense to stay with a 32-bit OS anymore. Windows 7 is getting rave reviews, and Vista Business 64 SP1 is rock solid here.

                            -Jeff
                            • 11. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                              (Guy_Stylaz) Level 1
                              It's a bit tricky to explain, once the footage is imported to CS4 i usualy use page up & down to skip to the next frame in the timeline, even when i do this the first 40 or so frames display as expected but then it will skip back one or two frames giving a twiching effect. Personally i think the problem is occuring when the footage is conforming after import.
                              • 12. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                                Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                >i usualy use page up & down to skip to the next frame in the timeline

                                It sounds like you are using After Effects. I'm not sure AE is set up to handle AVCHD footage at all. I haven't tried AVCHD in AE yet.
                                • 13. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                                  Level 1
                                  Hey Jeff,

                                  What If I was to get Vista Ultimate 64bit, with the fast i7 4core. What amount of RAM should I get? Could I get 16gb?

                                  If AE didn't work with avchd, would converting to uncompressed be ok?

                                  Thanks.
                                  • 14. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                                    Hey Jeff,

                                    I`m about to buy an AMD phenom X3 or X4 with 4Gb of memory. I`m planning to install a 64 bit OS.

                                    It will be enough to edit AVCHD in CS4? or you recommend to convert .mts to an uncompressed avi (without loosing quality)

                                    Video card matters?

                                    Thanks,

                                    Ariel
                                    • 15. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                                      don solomon Level 1
                                      I'm not Jeff, obviously. If you want opinions, here's mine. It all matters. Why AMD? What else willl you use the machine for? What 64 bit OS?

                                      4 gigs of memory is too little in my opinion to edit HD AVCHD without conversion. Cineform Neo Scene does a great job of that, however.

                                      If you do a search, you can get a fair idea of the configurations that are being successfully used.
                                      • 16. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                                        Level 1
                                        Hi Don, thanks for your opinion! I will answer your doubts:

                                        Why AMD? because it´s cheaper than Intel and I think it can keep up with the same performance levels.
                                        I do not have any other "special" use for my PC besides this.
                                        And I was thinking about VISTA 64b, or perhaps Windows7

                                        I did a little search and honestly it didn´t help me at all. That´s why I´m asking here.

                                        Thanks again,

                                        Ariel
                                        • 17. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                                          don solomon Level 1
                                          Arielsan,

                                          What CPU you use is of course your choice, but if I were doing it I'd want to hear from someone here using that CPU before I started with that. Most CS4 users upgrading their machines, from the reading I've done here, are using Intel Quads ( and a lot of i7 920s),with Nvidia cards, mostly Vista 64, with some using Windows 7 beta (but with some problems)and I'd guess that most are using 8 gigs of fast Ram or more.

                                          Obviously, there are other older configurations and likely some new that don't fit that pattern. Bless them for their patience and tenacity, some are even running it on old but beefy P4s.

                                          I run a Quad 2.85 Mhz Intel 9550, 8 gigs of fast DDR2, Nvidia 8600GT on Vista Ultimate 64, with SATA 2 internal and external drives (4), on an Asus P5Q. And CS4 runs problem free--that is problems free related to the machine, but not problem free with respect to the well documented bugs and poorly designed features.

                                          I will move up to W7 myself, but not until its out of beta and run through wide use for several months until I am sure there will be no machine configuration problems.

                                          I use Edius 5 for all my cutting, and it smokes compared to PPro CS4. Would I have a better experience with CS4 with an i7 with DDR3--probably a bit faster.

                                          My machine will do AVCHD with CS4 but not as smoothly or as fast as with Edius 5.01. I am sure that Adobe can get their code going faster, and until they do, however, the more horses you have under the hood the better, of course.

                                          But back to machine configuration. It's the center pin. So, making sure that everything you put in a new machine, and especially in combination with everything else in there, is being used without problems by others is paramount, which I'm sure you realize.

                                          Hopefully, others will share their configurations with you.
                                          • 18. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                                            Harm Millaard Level 7
                                            AMD CPU's are at the bottom of the performance range. Sure, they are cheap, but also lousy performers. AVCHD requires an enormous amount of muscle, which AMD just can't deliver.

                                            b If you want a future proof system at a reasonable price, get an i7-920.

                                            Admitted, there are even faster systems, but the price differential is just too big IMO.

                                            My NLE system is an i7-920 running at 3.8 GHz with 12 MB RAM running Vista 64 Business, ATI 4870 video card and 150 GB Velociraptor boot disk, 2 x 1 TB Raid0 for previews, 8 x 1 TB Raid30 for media (Areca ARC 1680iX-12 controller with 2 GB cache and BBM), 2 x 1 TB for exports and stock media, 2 x BR burners and some externals. It gave me the second place in the PassMark benchmark test, only bested by a triple CPU (with 24 cores) Itanium and 32 GB RAM. PassMark score 4044.11

                                            If you look at the AMD scores, they are always at the bottom of the list. And what do you save? Peanuts!

                                            Just my 2 cents.
                                            • 19. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                                              Level 1
                                              Don & Harm, thanks a lot for your advice.

                                              I see that the difference between an AMD processor and the ones you told me are big (performance & price) and will not object what you said. Surely it is always better to have pure Intel horse power in its ultimate tech inside :-)

                                              But my question was about if AMD Phenom X3 could do it (not as good as Intel Quad or i7) with the configuration I told you.

                                              I do not intend to do a radical upgrade in my machine. I´m not using it for AVCHD editing all day (just a couple of vacations videos a year).

                                              So, it will worth to upgrade from an Athlon X2 machine to an Phenom X3? it will transform editing AVCHD from frustrating to just boring? :-)

                                              Thanks!

                                              Ariel
                                              • 20. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                                                Harm Millaard Level 7
                                                CPU cost in a new system will amount to less than 10% of the TCO. I can't look in your wallet, but given the choice between AMD and Intel, I would opt for the latter. Maybe AMD will be able to handle AVCHD in a sluggish way, but why take the chance? Even a single i7 will be hard pressed to handle that material.
                                                • 21. Re: Getting Started with CS4 & AVCHD...
                                                  Level 1
                                                  > My NLE system is an i7-920 running at 3.8 GHz with 12 MB RAM running Vista
                                                  > 64 Business

                                                  ^^^^^^^^^^

                                                  I'm dating myself, but I remember when we used to specify memory in KB.
                                                  Sometimes the fingers refuse to type GB. :)

                                                  Best,
                                                  Christopher