10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 1, 2010 7:58 PM by dradeke

    AVCHD encoding for Youtube


      I recently got a new camcorder, the sony HDR-CX300 (full specs in the link below).  The video format it uses creates mt2s files.  When I play the videos back with windows media player they are fluid and look great.  I'm not sure that when I import the footage into premiere pro cs4, that I'm doing thing properly because the playback is not that smooth.  The specs of the camera say full HD 1920x1080i MPEG4 AVC/H.264.  When I import the video into premiere pro, it reads these settings from the file:


      File Path: ...\20100326225522.m2ts
      Type: MPEG Movie
      File Size: 5.5 GB
      Image Size: 1440 x 1080
      Pixel Depth: 32
      Frame Rate: 29.97
      Source Audio Format: 48000 Hz - compressed - Stereo
      Project Audio Format: 48000 Hz - 32 bit floating point - Stereo
      Total Duration: 01;04;18;11
      Average Data Rate: 1.5 MB / second
      Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1.3333



      My confusion is about the difference in aspect ratio why does premiere think my video is 1440 x 1080 and not 1920 x 1080?  My guess is it has to do with the pixel aspect ratio.  I'm also unsure about the appropriate frame rate to use, 29.97 or 30fps?  Also, is there any difference between using field upper / field lower for interlaced video?  I tried both but did not notice any difference.


      I know the post is long but if you could answer any of these questions, it would be greatly appreciated.


      HDR-CX300 http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId= 10151&langId=-1  &productId=8198552921666073223#specifications

        • 1. Re: AVCHD encoding for Youtube
          dradeke Adobe Employee

          Hey there,


          In a nutshell, 1440x1080 is correct as Sony is 'stretching' the 1440 pixels to be 1920.  This has been used in HDV and also XDCAM.  Panasonic does something a bit different but it's the same idea.  This is one technique for creating a smaller HD picture frame.    It's nothing to be worried about.


          As for encoding for YouTube.  When you export, select H.264 as your format and then select among the YouTube presets.  No fuss, no muss!


          hope this helps,


          • 2. Re: AVCHD encoding for Youtube
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            One of the issues that you are likely facing is that playback in a media player is vastly different than playing back that same material that is being edited. The NLE (Non Linear Editor) has to be able to do much more with the footage, than simple playback, and getting it ready for the editing is basically creating a different file. AVCHD is extremely CPU intensive to edit, and to playback from the NLE. Most suggest a fast i7, and maybe even an overclocked one, just for smooth playback in an NLE, like PrPro.


            I think that Dennis has addressed the other issues.


            Good luck,



            • 3. Re: AVCHD encoding for Youtube
              dcompiled Level 1

              Thanks guys for the feedback, just a few more questions:


              1.) What is recommened preset when I create a sequence?  Should I use AVCHD > 1080i > AVCHD 1080i30 (60i) Anamorphic?


              2.) Is 29.97 the correct frame rate for the camera?


              3.) When you playback the source footage within premiere pro, shouldn't it play just as fast as within any other media player (e.g. windows media player) ?  I'm running this on a 3ghz quad core pentium extreme edition with 4GB RAM.



              Thanks again!

              • 4. Re: AVCHD encoding for Youtube
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                1. Set your sequence exactly to what you shot in resolution, framerate and i or p.


                2. A player and a NLE are completely different. A player may play well, but a NLE may choke on the same material.


                AVCHD is the most demanding format and can slow down a fast machine significantly. A quad core is around borderline.

                • 5. Re: AVCHD encoding for Youtube
                  dcompiled Level 1

                  Thanks for the tips.  So final question still remains, about the difference between 29.97 and 30fps?  I cant figure out what is appropriate for my camera.  I expected it to be 30 fps but premiere seems to think my video is 29.97.

                  • 6. Re: AVCHD encoding for Youtube
                    dcompiled Level 1

                    Interesting observation I'd like to share.  So I re-encoded the video again using the same settings I first tried:


                         AVCHD 1080i(60)

                         Height 1440

                         Width 1080

                         FPS 29.97

                         Field Order Upper

                         Profile Main

                         Level 4.0

                         Format H.264

                         VBR 2 Pass

                         Target Bitrate 15Mbps

                         Max Bitrate 20Mbps


                    When I opened the video in quicktime it looked like garbage.  Strange interlacing effects appeared and the aspect ratio was incorrect.  Then I opened the same video in windows media player and suprisingly it played back perfectly with very crisp picture and smooth motion.  So the moral of the story is, not all video players are created equal even on the same computer.


                    Hope this helps someone else.

                    • 7. Re: AVCHD encoding for Youtube
                      dcompiled Level 1

                      More questions...  I have spent alot of time converting video into different formats to see what works and what doesnt.  What seems to work best is to convert the videos to interlaced format at 29.97 fps.  Playback with windows media player is very good.  However when I upload my interlaced videos to youtube the playback is very choppy.  Seems that youtube only wants videos in a progressive format.  One of the videos I uploaded can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPtdjnQvQMg.


                      From what I understand my camera records at 1080i 60fps.  I'm trying to figure out how I can convert this interlaced video to progressive scan with premiere while keeping the playback smooth.  Does anyone know if this is possible?  Thanks in advance.

                      • 8. Re: AVCHD encoding for Youtube
                        dradeke Adobe Employee

                        Have you tried the YouTube presets under the H.264 format?

                        • 9. Re: AVCHD encoding for Youtube
                          dcompiled Level 1

                          I have tried H.264 and MPEG2 for encoding.  I didn't try the H.264 youtube preset because it only gives me an option for 1280x720 and my video is larger.  However, I did try H.264 but when I uploaded the video, I'm pretty sure youtube wasnt able to process it correctly.  The output was kind of garbled.


                          I'm still curious if anyone has experience converting interlaced video to progressive.  I'm convinced there must be a way to do this but I'm going about it the wrong way.

                          • 10. Re: AVCHD encoding for Youtube
                            dradeke Adobe Employee

                            YouTube HD is 1280x720 - it doesn't get any bigger than that.