3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 15, 2009 8:58 AM by Paul_LS

    AVCHD/5.1 audio/PE7

      Hi all,


      My parents just got a new camcorder and have recorded a load of footage that they (and I) would like to now be able to edit (details at foot of message, incl our not-so-fantastic system specs).


      So, as you might expect, playback of AVCHD clips in PE7 is choppy to say the least. What I'm hoping you guys might be able to help me with is working out a workflow to get smooth playback while editing. Ideally, editing in HD realtime, but since space is not a premium on either system, down-rezzing for editing and then playing out final clip based on EDL+Original HD media.


      I've been looking around, both here and Doom9, but keep getting horribly lost with all the different options for transcoding etc. Most understandable suggestion I've had so far is to use DGAVCIndex to demux the H.264 and AC3, then remux (??using Avisynth??) to a more standard container, e.g. MP4. Obviously this will work, but will it lose me quality in the process? And will I be able to retain the 6-track audio that's been recorded? Is there a more efficient way to run the whole process?


      I'm new to PE7, but have done some work with Avid and FCPro before, should that information influence any suggestions. No longer have access to them unfortunately.


      Thanks for any help/pointers you can give me, apologies if this is the wrong place to ask these questions!




      Details/Specs are:

      Camera: Panasonic HDC-SD9

      Encoded: AVCHD

      Res: 1920x1080 PAL

      FPS: 25

      Audio: 6 stream AC3


      Machine specs ar:


      Win XP 32-bit


      4Gb RAM

      Internal Graphics (G35)

      Samsung Spinpoint F1 1Tb SATA Hdd


      while I'm (perhaps more ambitiously??) on:


      Win XP 32-bit


      2Gb RAM

      Internal Graphics (GMA4500 MHD)

      160Gb 5400rpm SATA Hdd

      500Gb 5400rpm eSATA Hdd

        • 1. Re: AVCHD/5.1 audio/PE7
          Paul_LS Level 4

          No point in maintaining the surround sound when you convert as PE7 can not export 5.1 audio, only stereo.


          For ease of editing, import your AVCHD and export as HDV MPEG2 setting the bitrate to 25Mb/s in the advanced settings. Bring these converted files back into PE7 for editing, you should get smooth playback on your systems. This will maintain your quality... but note every conversion will degrade the quality to some extent. By maintaining the bitrate high you can minimize the impact.


          Alternatively you could convert to an intermediate AVI codec for editing, in which case you will need to buy the codec... for example Cineform Neo Scene. The advantage of these intermediate codecs is they maintain the quality on multiple export/imports but the file sizes are much bigger... plus you have to buy them. If you are not going to do multiple imports/exports the HDV MPEG2 should be fine.

          • 2. Re: AVCHD/5.1 audio/PE7
            Level 1



            Thanks for your answer - I didn't realise PE7 wasn't able to output 5.1 sound. In fairness, the existing sound isn't true 5.1 - it's 6 tracks generated in-camera from a few mikes scattered around the lens. I'd like to be able to keep them as-is to mix between them as needs be - is that possible when exporting to HDV?


            I recognise every transcode will lose some quality (though agree it's highly unlikely I'd notice it), but since AVCHD is an H.264 stream + audio stream packaged in a really compressed container, I was hoping there's be a way to extract that stream, then just repackage in a more CPU-playback-friendly container like MP4 or AVI.


            I've just looked into the Organiser function, there doesn't seem to be a way to batch convert all clips in the library to an alternative format. Am I being blind, or am I actually going to have to export these clips one-by-one?


            Cheers so far!

            • 3. Re: AVCHD/5.1 audio/PE7
              Paul_LS Level 4

              You can view the mutiple audio channels within the 5.1 surround sound but you can not adjust individual channels or mix them. You can mix the tracks but not to the channel level in the 5.1 surround sound. Maybe in a future release.


              Although MP4 is offically supported be PE7 it will be just as processor intensive as the AVCHD. If you convert to HDV MPEG2 PE7 will handle this natively and you will get smooth playback. You could convert to an AVI, but the resulting file will be very large compared to MPEG2 and again will not be natively handled by PE7... although playback will be smoother than AVCHD, but no better than MPEG2. In PE7 you could only convert to uncompressed AVI (hige files), otherwise you would need to purchase a suitable AVI codec. Neo scene is one that I previously mentioned http://www.cineform.com/products/NeoScene.htm


              You are not blind, PE7 does not have a batch convert function. You could look at AVCHD Upshift... http://www.newbluefx.com/avchd-upshift.html this can batch convert to MPEG2 and is reasinable priced... problem is there are few free conversion packages that support AVCHD.

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