It's hard to say what's going on because I'm not sure what your video is SUPPOSED to look like. Should it really look like a split screen of two different videos? Is that your issue?
1) Go to the Window drop-down menu and select Restore Workspace. Then right-click on your video in the Monitor panel and set Magnification to Fit. Does that help things fit in your Monitor more accurately?
2) What type of camcorder is this video coming from? If this is from a non-standard video source (something other than a tape-based or AVCHD camcorder) it's possible that it's imcompatible with the program and you will need to convert it. Also, are you using a project preset that matches your source video?
The video is supposed to be split; the problem lies at the top, where there is a doubled image.
The first step unfortunately didn't help, but here is my camera info:
It records into QuickTime format, in this case standard definition. What format would you recommend setting the project preset to for this type of video?
If I must convert the video into a different format before working with it inside Premiere Elements 8, what format would you recommend?
You definitely want to convert the video from the camera to DV-AVIs before you bring it into Premiere Elements!
Quicktime Pro (which sells for $29) is your absolutely best tool for this. There are also free tools that may work -- like Super and Prism.
More information on these programs and how to use them can be found in the FAQs to the right of this forum.
I've converted the original video into AVI codec (using Premiere Elements 8), but I'm not sure whether the random video snippet problem will return until I begin working with the video again, and the second problem is still there. (I don't want to waste time working with the AVI codec video all over again that I've already edited previously since I still have the alignment problem.) There is still a frozen bar at the top of the monitor preview (even when working with this new AVI file). Is it supposed to be there? Any other ideas?
I don't think using Premiere Elements to convert the file will solve your problem.
You need to use a conversion program that can read the MOV codec of your original file and convert it to a DV-AVI.
I agree with Steve, that Apple's QuickTime Pro (a US$29 upgrade/unlock) is a good MOV & MP4 converter. One just chooses the AVI and the DV/DVC CODEC. Do not recall if there is even need to plug-in the Audio specs. I think that PCM/WAV (Uncompressed) 48KHz 16-bit is the default, but check me out on that.