12 Replies Latest reply on Apr 17, 2010 7:44 AM by Steve Grisetti

    Quality problems, help

    Hydroshock357

      I've been banging my head against the wall for several weeks now.  Expensive camera for me, Sony HDR-cx500v.  I'm new to digital video, but not new to PC's.

       

      It looks as if I dont have enough computer to process AVCHD: Win XP SP3 media center, HP AMD 64x2Dual 4200 2.19GHz 960M RAM... only one HD though plenty of space.

       

      I have down converted my videos, and also recorder samples at a lower rate but the video quality is ****, completely unacceptable even by cell phone video standards.

       

      Here is a GSpot screen of one of my lower def videos that still plays choppy in PE.  Can someone clue me in to exactly what preset I should be starting with?  It is not clear to me from this compared to the preset settings the best match.  Also, there are several lower quality video settings on the camera, but I don't seem to be able to find what the exact spec's are.

       

      Any other guidance is appreciated.

       

      gspot.JPG

        • 1. Re: Quality problems, help
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          >HP AMD 64x2Dual 4200 2.19GHz 960M RAM... only one HD

           

          No, you do not have enough computer to effectively work with AVCHD files... not even SD files

           

          AMD is not as good as Intel for video editing

           

          You need 4 Gig of ram

           

          You need AT LEAST 2 hard drives (2 drives, NOT partitions)

          1st for Win and all software

          2nd for all video and work files

          optional 3rd for temporary scratch files

           

          Increase your memory and add at least a 2nd internal hard drive and try again

          • 2. Re: Quality problems, help
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            Down-converting your files is a good idea --- but it looks like downconverted to MPEGs, which isn't the most effective way to go. That's why you're seeing a big reduction in quality.

             

            What program are you using to down-convert and what settings are you using?

             

            Do you have the ability with this program to down-convert to DV-AVIs?

             

            BTW, I'm not sure how you're judging "quality" but, by nature of downconverting, you're only going to be dealing with about a fourth the resolution of hi-def video. So there will not be nearly the detail in your picture and, since your video will only be 720x480, you should not be judging quality at full-screen on your computer. 720x480 is just a small window on your much higher resolution computer monitor.

            • 3. Re: Quality problems, help
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              I agree with John T. Many feel that a very fast Quad-core is the absolute minimum for AVCHD, and some say that to get smooth playback, one needs a fast i7.

               

              The extra HDD's will help general editing, and I highly recommend the 2x as the absolute minimum and 3x is even better. However, without the CPU horsepower, you could have several RAID arrays for the HDD's, and still not be able to process the AVCHD material, smoothly.

               

              Good luck,

               

              Hunt

               

              PS - I feel that camera mfgrs. using AVCHD should print warnings on the box - "You will need to significantly upgrade your computer, if you wish to edit this material."

              • 4. Re: Quality problems, help
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                Bill and John, as you can see, the original poster isn't trying to edit AVCHD. He's down-converted the AVCHD to standard DV MPEGs and he's wondering why the quality is so poor.

                 

                His system should be more than adequate for editing standard DV, once you finds a suitable down-converting system.

                • 5. Re: Quality problems, help
                  Hydroshock357 Level 1

                  Hi guys,

                  Thanks for the input.  I am using Sony's software, PMB, that came with the camera to convert to SD MPEG2.  I have also catured some video in this format without converting it down.

                   

                  So reading through this forum suggests I don't have enough PC to do anything with HD.  I'm suprised that SD would be an issue.

                   

                  Other posts claim you need the correct preset, but I don't see a prefect match.  Can anyone suggest one?

                   

                  Is the PC not going to be able to do any video?

                   

                  Should I go buy a Mac?

                  • 6. Re: Quality problems, help
                    John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    I am not sure that I would classify "960M RAM... only one HD" as "more than adequate" for video editing

                     

                    That would likely be only 1 Gig of memory, minus memory shared with onboard video, and that means that between the OS and program, the hard drive page file is going to be used a LOT

                     

                    With only one hard drive, that also means that even SD video is going to be fighting with the OS and program swap file for data access

                     

                    That just does not meet the minimum requirement for editing video, according to any discussion I have ever read

                     

                    Static pictures in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements... yes... video, I don't think so

                     

                    Increasing to even 2 Gig of memory and a 2nd hard drive dedicated to video data files would help a lot... even for SD video

                    • 7. Re: Quality problems, help
                      Hydroshock357 Level 1

                      You guys are very helpful.  Thank you.

                       

                      What would your opinion be of using a USB 2.0 external hard drive as the location of the data?

                       

                      BTW,

                      Doesn't Movie Maker handle SD video?

                      • 8. Re: Quality problems, help
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        I would ONLY use a USB external for archiving/storing assets, and for cleaning off the system HDD. I would NOT try to edit to/from a USB external in any way.

                         

                        When the USB 2's came out, I put them to the test for doing just that. They failed for me, and for many thousands, as the USB 2 connection could not keep up with the reads/writes requests from the NLE program, or from the OS. Many also got the dreaded Delayed Write Failure. Also, they were so horribly slow.

                         

                        FW-400, and I tried those too. They were far more stable, but still too slow to really use.

                         

                        It was not until FW-800 was introduced, that I had found an external to actually use in the workflow. The eSATA's would be even better.

                         

                        Were I looking to use an external in my workflow, I'd go with the eSATA drives and necessary controllers. I will be adding eSATA's to my mix, but for now, I am so heavily invested in FW-800's, that I have yet to change over - also, my workstation does not have a spare PCI/PCIe slot for eSATA.

                         

                        Good luck,

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: Quality problems, help
                          Barb__O Level 4

                           

                          Can someone clue me in to exactly what preset I should be starting with?

                          I suggest that we not loose sight of this question in the original post.

                           

                          I am using Sony's software, PMB, that came with the camera to convert to SD MPEG2.  I have also catured some video in this format without converting it down.

                           

                          If this video was recorded in Widescreen (probably yes) and the ouput of Sony program conversion process is a .mpg (mpeg-2) file, then

                          , I think the Premiere Elements project preset would be the Widescreen choice under the Hard Disk, Flash Drive Camcorder. 

                           

                          And I would give that preset a try. Also if you have any red lines above areas of clips on your timeline, you should render those before doing any playback within Prem Elem in order to have smoother playback.

                           

                          FYI - However, even then you should not judge the quality by playback within Premiere Elements - especially on your constrained for video editing PC configuation.  Instead your final output format should be used for judging the quality.

                           

                          Steve and Bill,

                          do you agree ?

                           

                          Hydroshock,

                           

                          Hi again. I do come here periodically as well as the Photoshop Elements forum.  I'm still not sure - which version of Premiere Elements are you running and which version of Windows ?

                          • 10. Re: Quality problems, help
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Barb__O,

                             

                            I agree completely on the judging of the quality on the Program Monitor. If one is going to BD for the final output, I would strongly recommend a BD RE disc, to be tested with a set-top BD player and appropriate TV. The Program Monitor is but an emulation.

                             

                            In PrPro, the test of quality is an NTSC (or PAL) calibrated monitor, connected via an A-D device and FireWire.

                             

                            Hunt

                            • 11. Re: Quality problems, help
                              Barb__O Level 4

                              Bill,

                               

                              sorry that I was not clear with my question

                               

                              My intent was to ask for your snd Steve's feedback for the Premiere Elements setting for the project. Do you agree with this conclusion?

                               

                              If this video was recorded in Widescreen (probably yes) and the ouput of Sony program conversion process is a .mpg (mpeg-2) file, then

                              , I think the Premiere Elements project preset would be the

                              Widescreen choice under the

                              Hard Disk, Flash Drive Camcorder
                              • 12. Re: Quality problems, help
                                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                                As I said at the outset, I think the problem is that the poster is converting his AVCHD to standard def MPEGs.

                                 

                                Converting to standard def DV-AVIs and using the DV project preset in Premiere Elements will solve everything. (Well, except that the video will be standard def instead of hi-def.) The challenge is in finding a program that will do that.