12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 20, 2009 9:27 PM by Marty333

    Just starting out


      I just downloaded the trial version of premiere Elements 7, and am having a problem viewing my video clips.  I already downloaded several clips from my new camera, AVCHD type, and the video files are M2ts (not that I really understand what all that means yet).  Anyways... The audio is great, but the video is lagging, almost looking more like several still shots instead of an actual movie.  I am using a Vista 64 bit machine.  I'm not totally sure, but there may be a codec problem, but apparently microsoft does not have a Vista 64 bit codec for the M2ts files.


      Is Premiere Elements the right program for me, or should I be looking at something else? I will be taking video in Africa to be used in short documentaries.


      Any help would be great.  I have only been at this for a week, and it is way over my head already.



        • 1. Re: Just starting out
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          AVCHD is one of the most difficult formats to edit and playback. It taxes one's CPU more than about any other format.


          Many feel that a Quad-Core CPU is the minimum. Some have had success with fast Duo-Core CPU's, but not all.


          Please tell us all about your computer. Focus on the CPU, but also give details of your HDD's (Hard Disk Drives). Their size, speed, controller type and amout of free space will help survey your system.


          You might also want to take a look at this ARTICLE on getting the most out of your computer for NLE (Non Linear Editing) work.


          Good luck,



          • 2. Re: Just starting out
            beaconf Level 1

            Not good news to hear that AVCHD is very difficult.  I guess it's too late for me.

            My computer, like the camera, is very new though.


            HP Pavilion dv4 Notebook PC

            AMD Turion (tm) X@ Ultra Dual-Core Mobile ZM-80  2.10GHz

            4GB RAM


            Thanks for the help already.

            • 3. Re: Just starting out
              beaconf Level 1

              Here is a bit more information. Sorry it took a bit, I wasn't sure where to find the  information.

              Toshiba MK 4058GSX ATA Device

              Optiarc DVD RW AD-75615 ATA Device


              217GB Free

              141 GB Used


              Hope this helps.  I don't know where to find "the speed"

              • 4. Re: Just starting out
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                With a 2.1 GHz Duo-Core and a single HDD, you probably have it as good as it will get.


                Now, that "tuneup" article, that I linked to will probably get you the most out of your laptop, but do not expect too much.


                There is also an entry in the FAQ sub-forum on tuning up Vista. It might be helpful too.


                Good luck,



                • 5. Re: Just starting out
                  Ed.Macke Level 3


                  Just curious why I don't see more advice to simply convert AVCHD to m2t (HDV) before editing.

                  If your choice is to either get an uber-powerful machine to edit AVCHD (and even then you might have problems), or simply convert to HDV and then edit relatively pain-free with a normal machine... why wouldn't you choose the simpler route?

                  I feel like I'm missing something, or I would constantly see advice like: "Forget AVCHD - it's a pain. Just use AVCHDUpshift to capture and convert to HDV and edit that instead".



                  • 6. Re: Just starting out
                    the_wine_snob Level 9



                    The reason that I do not mention it is that I have not shot AVCHD, so I have not tried the conversion process.


                    If you have been very satisfied with the process, maybe the OP and many others can benefit from you workflow and choice of programs. To date, I have not read much on converting AVCHD, and most with a powerful enough machine see to have few problems.


                    Maybe do an article for the Tips & Tricks sub-forum to help others. I just have no experince and have not read of much conversion of that format.


                    Do consider an article, please.



                    • 7. Re: Just starting out
                      beaconf Level 1

                      Thanks for the response.  Would you be able to tell me in depth, how to convert from AVCHD?  Non technical terms would be best, I am a nurse by profession, not a computer person.


                      • 8. StillRe: Just starting out
                        beaconf Level 1

                        Still, more bad news.  I am just not sure weather it is a camera problem, with the AVCHD, or a computer problem because I only have a single HDD and a Dual-Core rather than a Quad-Core.  Perhaps a little of both.  Now that I have these two pieces of equipment, I need to make them work.  What I am seeing now with Premiere Elements 7, is not accecptable for editing.  Still frames rather than motion picture.

                        I certainly read your article with the Vista tune-ups.  Some of that I have already done. But, I have run into other Vista related probelms with other softward I have.

                        My big questions is, would downgrading to XP solve this problem?


                        • 9. Re: Just starting out
                          Ed.Macke Level 3


                          I haven't tried the conversion process, either - I'm still shooting SD. Someday I plan to make the switch to HD, and  AVCHD cameras seem more popular and flexible than HDV. However, the machine requirements for editing AVCHD are pretty steep, while specs for editing HDV are more reasonable.

                          So in an effort to avoid having to spend big $$$ for a top-end machine, I know that one option would be to shoot AVCHD, convert to M2T (which I understand is pretty much HDV) upon import, and PRE can edit the M2T on a "normal" PC.

                          It seems like AVCHD causing problems on underpowered machines is a fairly common issue. If simply converting to M2T was a workable solution - as opposed to having to buy a brand new PC - I would think I would see that advice pop up more. I don't seem to see that mentioned a lot, which makes me wonder if there is some reason why....


                          ETA: I know that one such conversion utility is AVCHDUpshift. It's by NewBlue, which I think also supplies some effects for PRE itself so that seems hopeful. They have a trial, but it only converts 10 seconds. It's also $79, but still cheaper than a new PC!


                          ETA conversion info

                          • 10. Re: Just starting out
                            Ed.Macke Level 3

                            Also, Hunt, I think I may have worded my question oddly...

                            I think it  came off sounding like I was questioning why you specifically didn't offer advice to do a AVCHD to M2T conversion, but what I really meant  to ask was whether you  knew of a reason why, generally speaking, that advice didn't pop up  more.

                            In other words, the gist of my question was whether  you knew of any specific reasons why such a conversion wouldn't be a good workflow.

                            Sounds like we're both in the dark!

                            • 11. Re: Just starting out
                              the_wine_snob Level 9



                              I would assume that there are workflows with conversion of AVCHD involved. I just have not read of any, nor have I tried any.


                              Now, when I do read of enough folk having good luck with a workaround/workflow, I do not hesitate to mention the possibilities. So far, I just do not recall any.


                              I am always ready to learn, and others might well benefit down the line. I wish that I knew.



                              • 12. Re: StillRe: Just starting out

                                Hi beaconf,

                                I'm in the same boat with you (a newbie learning to edit AVCHD files in Premiere Elements).

                                Have you tried having PE pre-render the clips you load, by pressing 'enter', as mentioned here?  For me, this gets the frame rate up to a usable (but not stellar) level.

                                Also, in the project settings, under "Playback settings...", there's an option for accelerated GPU effects.  It may be that this only affects GPU transition effects, in which case the experts here may say, "nevermind that."  (It just seems like there ought to be a PE setting for turning on/off video card acceleration, but maybe this is not it.)

                                - Marty


                                p.s. I like PE, but it's a little disappointing to see their massive system requirements for editing AVCHD. The (otherwise crude) software that came with my camcorder plays the same files, full-screen, without a hiccup on my laptop, so it's disappointing to see the bad performance blamed on the file format.