12 Replies Latest reply on Oct 13, 2009 3:56 AM by paulvickersUK

    Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'

    Ozpeter Level 1

      I'm aware that experiences with video editing software can vary from user to user, but on my installation and with my source material, there seems to be a major problem with AVCHD 1080i material which was fine in PE7.


      I'm running it on a Windows XP SP3 Q9300 system with 3GB of RAM.  Display adapter is Nvidia GeForce 8600GT.


      The system has a number of NLEs installed include Nero 9, Power Director 8, and Studio 14.  Source material comes from Panasonic GH1 and SD5 devices.  These produce AVCHD files in 1080i and 720p (the GH1) and 1080i only (the SD5).  The other NLEs on the system work well with the source material and the hardware is perfectly capable of handling it with no special preconditions.


      The PAL-AVCHD-Full HD 1080i 25 project preset seems to be the one which is closest to describing these files, so that's what I'm using.


      Using the "organise" button, I click "get media" and then "PC files and folders" - this opens an "add media" dialog which seems to be locked onto an arbitrary folder in my system, regardless of where I last added media from.


      I then navigate to a folder containing some test files from the GH1 in a mixture of 1080i and 720p.  It's a pity that PE8 can't intelligently navigate to folders containing AVCHD files like another NLE I have can do - it's necessary to manually drill down to the "Stream" folder.


      The files get displayed with their thumbnails quite promptly, no problem there.


      I drag the first clip (GH1 1080i) to the timeline and play it.  Unfortunately, the quality in the preview window is deeply unpleasant.  The test file shows a large LCD TV in closeup, surrounded by some grocery packages (to assist in evaluating resolution from the printing on them) and my garden can just be seen through the window behind the TV.  Playing the 1080i file, there is no problem with parts of the image which do not move during the shot, but the image on the TV set jumps and blocks, and likewise foliage moving in the garden behind.  The other NLE's on my system have no problem playing this file from the timeline - and nor does Premiere Elements 7.  So it's hard to conclude other than there's something broken in PE8.


      I wondered whether turning on the new "background rendering" option might help, but that takes so long to work that it's simply unusable - at least ten minutes to render this one minute clip - and having completed the background render, the replay is still just as bad.  On the other hand, rendering a preview of the work area is tolerably quick - not realtime, but not half speed either - certainly nothing like 10th speed.  (Curiously, at the end of that preview render, I see a message "Activating component".)  And now normal quality replay for the clip is obtained.


      It gets weirder.  I now add a 720p clip beside the first one (which was 1080i) and that plays fine right away.  You'd think that it would be more likely not to play, given that it's on a 1080i timeline - and the 720p clip is a genuine 50fps one.  And in Premiere Elements 7, the 720p clips wouldn't play and in fact tended to freeze the program if placed on the timeline.


      So in PE8, the 1080i clips that played in PE7 do not play on the timeline,  and the 720p clips that did not play in PE7 do play in PE8 - unless I 'manually' render the work area first, which is not a step required in other apps.  I'm not sure that I can count that as progress.


      Adding a 1080i clip from the Panasonic SD5 also exhibits the same problem - very poor quality unless the preview is rendered.


      While on the subject of things that are broken, there's no option I can find to create a project preset, despite the 'help

      file saying that it's possible (without specifying how...).


      Also, when closing the program, the "Adobe Premiere Elements.exe" process continues to run, and it's necessary to go into the Windows Task Manager to kill it.


      I've not explored any further with the program - unless I can find a way of getting it to do the simple thing of playing clips on the timeline without having to render them, it's not worth the bother.  I'm now going to go through the folders where my footage is, to delete the ".xmp" files that PE8 has created there for each clip in the folder....

        • 1. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          I recommend you contact Adobe with your concerns. (You can do so by clicking the Contact link at the top of this web page.) They should be aware of your problems.


          Although, in fairness, the AVCHD project setting will only work with true AVCHD video. Many pocket camcorders use the H.264 codec, producing video that is 720 pixels in height, and this is NOT true AVCHD will not work in the program no matter how "close" the AVCHD project setting is.

          • 2. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'
            Ozpeter Level 1

            My point is that the AVCHD footage that is most like the project preset - 1080i - does not play properly without rendering, and the AVCHD footage which is least like the project preset - 720p - does play properly.  Which makes no sense at all.


            Rummaging around in the program folder I detect that the project preset system has totally changed under the hood.  I suspect that presets can no longer be added by end users even by the back door (and the front door certainly seems closed - why?!)  Perhaps this means that some things that used to work will no longer work by intent, and that some will no longer work by accident.  I'll try to contact support to find out whether my problem is the result of a bug or a feature.  Meanwhile it will be interesting to see whether other users of the increasingly widespread AVCHD devices have similar difficulties.

            • 3. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'
              the_wine_snob Level 9



              Concerning the display in the Program Monitor - is its Magnification set to Fit, or 100%? Rt-click in the Program Monitor and see if 100%, or even 200% (you'll now have to scroll around), does a better job.


              I cannot address the need to Render the footage, sorry.


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'
                A.T. Romano Level 7



                Thank you for posting your initial results with your camcorders' video and Premiere Elements 8.  I am preparing an in depth response to each of the issues and comments that you presented and hope to post them in this thread as soon as possible.


                Forgive me for asking, but I do it all the time. So, forced by habit...when you are running Premiere Elments 8, how much of 3 GB RAM is available and how much free hard drive space do you have on your C: local drive as well as any external drive to which you have directed those Scratch Files? Most of the comments that you made about your Panasonic video fits in with that camcorders specifications that I passed by you the other day in another thread. So, I am assuming that I am OK with the video specifications for the Panasonic.


                I am hoping that my look into your issues will help you and help me to better understand how Premiere Elements 8 is or is not performing.


                To be continued.....



                • 5. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'
                  Ozpeter Level 1

                  Thanks for your interest - my system has 2GB RAM altogether.  That's normally OK in other programs - and should be enough for playing a one-minute clip with nothing else on the timeline!  And the 1080i clips that need rendering play fine without rendering on PE7.  I've sent a report to Adobe and await their eventual response...

                  • 6. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'
                    A.T. Romano Level 7

                    I will be posting my how to create "new" project presets in Premiere Elements 8 in a few hours. I think that I have that all figured out.


                    Also, have you seen Adobe addressing some of these issues in AdobeTech Notes, such as:





                    I think it very important for all Premiere Elements 8 users to take a look at Adobe addressing troubleshooting issues for version 8 (See AdobeTech Notes) and offering a variety of support (see link above), especially:


                    “Troubleshoot problems with AVI, MOV, MPEG, VOB, and other kinds of video files (Premiere Elements 8)”





                    Troubleshoot Premiere Elements 8 installation problems (Windows)



                    At this time I have just posted these for others to check out and have saved personal remarks on them for later.




                    It will be interesting to learn how they address your specific issue which I am looking at from a user troubleshooting point of view.

                    • 7. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'
                      A.T. Romano Level 7



                      I am sorry that I got so hung up with this business of creating new project presets in Premiere Elements 8. I am still working on the matter, have no answer, and hope that my update on my progress will generate some input. My comments to date have been on the tryout, not purchased, copy of Premiere Elements 8 and do not know if that is factoring into the problems with this matter. I am eager to move on to the video editing problems, but these project presets are drawing me on to try "just one more thing". Here is what I have accomplished and not accomplished so far:



                      In Premiere Elements 7, the project presets are found under Change Settings in the New Project dialog when you open a new project. That dialog has a New Preset as well as a Delete button in its bottom area. You highlight an existing preset, alter properties in a Custom dialog box which allows you see the parameters that can and cannot be edited, and can delete it all at the New Project dialog level. Afterwards the new preset shows up in the New Project dialog in a special category “Custom”, in the company of NTSC and PAL categories, each of which includes subcategories. This newly created preset would be found via the route:

                      C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\Adobe\Premiere Elements\7.0\Custom, which houses your new preset with the file extension of .prpreset file.

                      It would not be found with the original project presets which are found via the route:

                      C:\Programs Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Elements 7.0\settings\en_US, which houses the NTSC and PAL folders.

                      All these project presets (original and custom) have the file extension .prpreset.


                      Further once you opened the program and got beyond the New Project dialog, you could go to Edit Menu/Project Settings where you would find General, Capture, Video Rendering, and Default Timeline dialogs, with Save buttons, and save that new project presets that would appear in the New Project dialog. If, for example, you wanted a different number of Timeline tracks and wanted to save that setup as a preset for a project, you would type in the change, hit Save to generate the preset for future use. The preset would be shown in the New Project dialog as well as shown as a .prpreset file in the Custom Folder in Applications Data.


                      In Premiere Elements 8, the project presets are still found under Change Settings in the new project dialog, but the New Preset and Delete buttons are gone. I tried unsuccessful to locate a possible new route to these user custom presets in Edit Menu/Project Settings and other places. Edit Menu/Project Settings now lists on General, Capture, Video Rendering (No Default Timeline) and more importantly NO Save buttons.


                      If you look for a Custom Folder in the Application Data, you find only a file named “Effect Presets and Custom Items.prpreset”. The route there is:

                      C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\Adobe\Premiere Elements\8.0.

                      You can find the files for project presets that the program came with via:

                      C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Elements 8\settings\Sequence Presets.

                      All these project presets now have a file extension of .sqpreset instead of .prpreset

                      (I have not yet tried to import a Premiere Elements 7 .prpreset into a Premiere Elements 8 .sqpreset based situation.)


                      At this point, I am not sure:

                      a. Did the designers in the final build decide to eliminate user customized presets in Premiere Elements 8, but the support documentation writers did not get the message and are therefore out of sync?

                      b. Is this issue only with the tryout version? Will those New Preset, Delete, Save buttons exist in the purchased version?

                      c. Is the feature there, but found only from some non intuitive route which I have not found?


                      I have found that I can go into the Premiere Elements 8 Program Files, go to the location of the Adobe created project presets, copy one of them, open the copy in Notepad, edit the preset document, save it, and have it show up in the New Project dialog as a project preset choice. I can even use it in a project which I subsequently export successfully. But I do not recommend what I have just described as a last resort since your editing choices in the Notepad document are limited and the program crashes if you try to render the Timeline before exporting.


                      I have not given up the challenge and am determined to find out the whys of all this.



                      • 8. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'
                        Ozpeter Level 1

                        What you are seeing in the tryout is the same as in the purchased program, in this respect, so there is no longer provision for DIY presets.  And presets from earlier versions are most unlikely to work.


                        The new project presets have internal references to new (I think) Sequence Preview files at C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Elements 8.0\settings\EncoderPresets\SequencePreview - so project presets call encoder presets when playing back on the timeline, or something like that.


                        For reading and editing these files, google for "notepad++" which is a freeware advanced editor.


                        (Those not sure of what they are doing in these areas should steer clear of them as you might do something which would stop the program working altogether.)

                        • 9. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'
                          Ozpeter Level 1

                          As far as I can tell, the AVCHD 1440 preset is also broken - using a file converted to that format using other software, on the AVCHD 1440 preset timeline, it too displays pulses and blocks on timeline replay, and again, only 720p footage plays properly.  Rendering a preview of course works but takes time.


                          So basically, PE8 is only able to play 720p AVCHD from the timeline, not any other AVCHD format that I can test, which is fine for people with 720p devices but an irritation for the those using other AVCHD formats.


                          This would appear to be a bug (but surely the program would have been tested with FUll HD AVCHD?), or a rather bizarre feature decision, or the program was released in a hurry at the behest of marketing before support for HD or Full HD AVCHD was implemented.  Or there is something unique about the footage I'm testing or something amiss with my hardware, but given that it worked in PE7, I don't think that's likely to be the case.  Huh.  I still await Adobe's response to my complaint.

                          • 10. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'
                            A.T. Romano Level 7



                            Thanks for your comments about user custom presets and confirming what I have been observing.


                            I would agree that editing the document for the existing project presets in Notepad or wherever is risky without expert training in reading the document. You may have noticed, there is not all that much that you can change even at that level and then not without unwanted consequences.


                            I still have not reconciled Adobe's language on this topic in the Help PDF and the absence of any features in Premiere Elements 8 that make such a feature practical to use. I am hoping that an AdobeTech Note will appear on the scene soon to clarify the situation on this feature. I still have this on my list of "must get a definitive answer" for.


                            I am still working on your video issues and hope to have something on that soon. Also, I am trying to finish off my first looks at the Exports. Preview:

                            have you seen the new video codec for 24p in Share/Personal Computer/QuickTime (See DV/NTSC 24p). In your Panasonic, are you given the option to record 24p Advanced as well as 24p. I will go into that in more detail later.


                            I will also mention the following in the First Look thread where I think that you posted your observation on the program opening: I cannot confirm your observation about the program opening differently depending on what you click on. The sequence that I get is as I have described in earlier posts. I cannot escape the Welcome Screen. I tried opening from Start/All Programs/Adobe Premiere Elements 8 as well as the shortcut icon that was placed automatically in the installation process and got the same sequence.


                            To be continued,



                            • 11. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'
                              Ozpeter Level 1

                              I'm in Australia (PAL) so we use 25 frames per second rather than 24, but thanks for the 24p suggestion.

                              • 12. Re: Premiere Elements 8 - AVCHD 1080i is 'broken'

                                I too would be interested in the response to these problems. My experience with the trial version of Premiere Elements 8 is similar. Importing as AVCHD 1080i from a Panasonic SD9 works fine but playback is juddery and Premiere Elements spends a long time "conforming" the files and then a long long long time "background rendering" each clip. I have Vista on an Intel Core 2Duo 2Ghz dual-core, 4Gb RAM, 500Gb disc, Nvidia GeForce HD graphics.I have tried all the possible project settings for AVCHD. I was not expecting all this processing time (I didn't time it but it was of the order of 10 minutes background rendering a 1 minute clip) to be needed on re-rendering imported clips, although I do expect that my machine will struggle when rendering the final edited video. I don't understand why it needs to re-render imported clips.


                                I've been using Premiere Elements (v1.0 !) for years happily on miniDV, and when buying the SD9 AVCHD FullHD camcorder from one of the manufacturers (Panasonic) behind the AVCHD standard, I was expecting that Premiere Elements v8.0 would be the right choice for editing footage from the bestselling camcorder. The SD9 spec says that the recording format is AVCHD format compliant - but motion pictures are compressed using MPEG-4 AVC/H.264. The files have filetype .mts which as I understand it is AVCHD not MPEG-4. Maybe this is a European/US issue? In particular, I have been using the highest motion picture quality recording mode HA which is 1920x1080/50i and I'm wondering if that 50i (rather than 25i) matters.


                                This is probably a dumb suggestion, but I'm wondering if what is happening is that Premiere Elements wants to re-render each clip to superimpose on each frame the message to the effect that the video has been created with the trial version.


                                I also get the same problem that the Adobe Premiere Elements process does not end when the application is closed, and has to be manually ended using Task Manager.