3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2009 2:42 PM by Keith_Andrews

    AVCHD Profiles, Datarates, and Editing Issues

    Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP
      I found this interesting:


      I was tempted by a recent thread to ask about the relevance of various AVCHD datarates to problems some users have, and others don't, with editing AVCHD. But I decided I was being lazy, since Google is my friend. The first hit was the link above. It seems to me that discussing most AVCHD problems (and successes) without more information about the flavor of AVCHD being used is almost as bad as discussing AVI without information about the codec. I do realize that discussing particular cameras or instances (720 vs 1080) handles part of that, but I do not see posters providing the information.

      I do not use AVCHD, but know that sooner or later, I will be asked to assist someone who is or will be asked to use a piece of AVCHD video in something I am editing. It may be enough to ask "How do I edit/convert AVCHD?" But it may be better to ask "How do I edit AVCHD 720p with a datarate of 20Mbps?" Or perhaps identifying the camera will become the practical option.

      So, are posts including enough information (and I don't realize it because I don't know the cameras), or is this an important variable to identify when discussing AVCHD issues?

      Is CS4 capable of editing the most demanding flavors of AVCHD? Is that "High Profile at Level 5.1" or is that a moving target?
        • 1. Re: AVCHD Profiles, Datarates, and Editing Issues
          Jim_Simon Level 8
          An excellent point, Stanley. As with most questions, it can't hurt for users to supply such relevant information as frame size, frame rate and data rate when having issues with AVCHD.
          • 2. Re: AVCHD Profiles, Datarates, and Editing Issues
            creig bryan-mUOxt4 Level 1

            Thanks for the clarification.

            Keep Smiling
            • 3. Re: AVCHD Profiles, Datarates, and Editing Issues
              Keith_Andrews Level 1
              Personally, I own and operate arguably the most popular AVCHD camera to this date and that is the Panasonic AG-HMC150. That particular camera records only in High-Profile H.264 Level 4.1 AVCHD and does so at four different bit rates.

              I have had no issues in CS4 importing, logging, editing, or exporting the native AVCHD files at 6Mbps, 13Mbps, and 17Mbps with my recently upgraded PC (3.0Ghz Quad Core CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce FX1700, Vista Ultimate 64 Bit).

              That being said, footage shot at the 21Mbps bit rate does respond more sluggishly in Premiere as opposed to the lower bit rates. The program remains stable during the edit, but it definitely demands more from the system.

              Keeping that in mind going forward, may help you make a better decision about whether or not you opt to edit AVCHD footage natively, or transcode it into a different video format. Currently there are several options for transcoding or editing AVCHD video. There is the Blackmagic Intensity card. You can use the free MainConcept AVCHD Transcoder for video files that were created using a Panasonic AVCCAM camera. Another option is from CineForm called Neo Scene. Procoder 3 supports AVCHD transcoding to other video formats. Lastly there are some plugins like MainConcept MPEG Pro HD 3 which allows AVCHD editing on legacy products like Premiere Pro 3. Lots to consider, but definitely possible with today's systems and applications.