18 Replies Latest reply on Aug 13, 2010 6:22 AM by MCRoberts

    Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?

    MCRoberts Level 1



      One of the new features of CS5 was said to be that it could encode AVCHD directly to BluRay - or something like that. I interpreted this as meaning that, if your source was AVCHD, then there was support for an encoder that simply copied the AVCHD material that didn't require rendering, directly to the output stream.


      However, I'm not seeing where or how to invoke this feature. I have a Panasonic HD Camera that is producing AVCHD 1920x1080i, 29.97fps video. I would be delighted if I could get my Premiere Pro sequences to be encoded into AVCHD files. I used to work with this other editor years ago that did this with DV-AVI files. I think they referred to it as a "Mix Down". All that meant that the encoder was not really encoding, it was just taking the editor contents with the text overlays and transition effects and whatnot and converting it to a single DV-AVI stream. Blocks of DV-AVI clips that had no text, transitions or other effects where copied over wholesale.


      I don't see anything in the available output formats of the Media Encoder that suggest that AVCHD output is an option.


      Furthermore, I've seen almost nothing in the Adobe documentation that describes the direct AVCHD pass-through or how to utilize it. Yet the promotional material for CS5 has been making quite a lot out of this new feature.


      Could anyone help me out with this one?

      Thank you!

      Mark Roberts


        • 1. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
          Harm Millaard Level 7



          The BRD specs and AVCHD specs are different. Just as DV AVI and DVD specs are different.


          For encoding to BRD acceptable format, your AVCHD timeline needs to be re-encoded to the proper format. No way around it.

          • 2. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
            MCRoberts Level 1

            Hi and thanks for your response:


            More questions though:


            What does all of the promotional literature refer to when it keeps saying that AVCHD source can get written directly to BluRay without encoding it?


            Also, is there a way for me to just render my Premiere Pro sequence to a file in AVCHD format via the Media Encoder?


            Thanks again,


            • 3. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
              Todd_Kopriva Level 8

              Please provide a link to the exact promotional literature that you're referring to, so that we know what you're asking about.

              • 4. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                MCRoberts Level 1



                It was Encore CS5, actually, that boasted this claim:


                AVCHD output to Blu-ray NEW

                Publish content from AVCHD cameras to Blu-ray using the high-quality native camera format. By passing AVCHD content directly to disc without transcoding, Encore preserves the original fidelity of the source content.


                And you will find this at:




                However, (and please correct me if I've misunderstood) doesn't Premiere and Encore both utilize the Media Encoder? The reason that I posted the original question on the Premiere CS5 forum was that I am currently interested in rendering my finished Premiere sequences to the same AVCHD format that the source material is. My understanding is that AVCHD is very compact and, as far as I can tell, looks great when played back on my HD Sony Bravia and avails itself well to further editing with Premiere or publishing with Encore.


                I figured that if Encore was somehow able to Dynamically Link a Premiere CS5 file, and short circuit any AVCHD data that did not require rendering of some sort directly to disk without transcoding, then the Media Encoder MUST ultimately be the entity that houses this capability. This all hinges on my original assumption (above) that Encore uses the Media Encoder to carry out any transcoding actions that it needs to do in the process of creating a disk or disk image.


                So, please straighten me out if I've got this wrong.

                Thank you,


                • 5. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                  Averdahl Level 3



                  Last time i tried it worked, but it *only* works when you import the native AVCHD footage directly into Encore CS5, meaning that you cannot bring in footage/timelines that has been edited on a Premiere Pro CS5 Timeline. I dont know what happens if you use the limited editing functions in Encore CS5, ie if it requires a re-transcode or not. Try it and you'll have the answer.



                  • 6. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                    MCRoberts Level 1

                    Hi Roger:


                    Thanks. I suspect you are right but I hope you are wrong.


                    What earthly good would this new feature be if you couldn't:


                    1. Use Dynamic Link of Premiere Files to produce AVCHD output from Encore.
                    2. Produce AVCHD output from Premiere using AVCHD source.


                    I was warned about a year ago on the Encore forum that Encore is NOT a video editor and should not be used as such. Where does this leave this new CS5 feature that they've been boasting about?


                    I smell a "Bait and Switch".



                    • 7. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                      Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Mark, I understand your hopes, but the promotion clearly says what it does, and that's what it does and all that it does.


                      Bait and switch requires the higher priced product to switch to.  This is the full product.  You just got your hopes up; and I agree they are great hopes!  File a feature request.


                      I assume that what you want is more complicated for one or more reasons.  Adobe has some limitations in EN due to its being based on the sonic authoring core.  Also, if it was as easy as you hope, they'd have an easier way to export such a file from PR to begin with.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                        MCRoberts Level 1

                        Thanks Stan.




                        So, all this new feature can actually do is take AVCHD source file, acquired from your camera, stuffed into a timeline and this is what it will write to BluRay without transcoding?


                        There may be somebody out there that might want to do that, but most of us are using Adobe CS products because we want to do more than that with the video we record. Simply taking the video clips directly out of our cameras and slapping them onto a disk of any kind would produce some pretty unwatchable media. In fact, my Panasonic camera came with software that offers to take all of the video files recorded on your SD card and write them directly to a DVD or BluRay for viewing. This new feature advertised by Encore CS5 offers little more than just that.


                        I'm puzzled, actually. AVCHD may be a more compressed and therefore difficult format to handle, but you would think that if you have a decoder that can digest the input files, then why can't you have an encoder that can spit out an output file of the same format?


                        I used to work with an editor during my fledging days of video editing. My input was DV-AVI (from tape). This editor, for all of its faults, could output DV-AVI files for all of your editing work. What was really nice about it was, since it was translating DV-AVI to DV-AVI, it would only work as hard as it had to. That is, it would render text overlays, fade-in, fade-out and transition effects, of course, but whenever it encountered a stretch of video that required no rending, it just block copied the entire stretch from the input to the output. As a result, it was very fast and there was ZERO degradation of the source video resulting from transcoding that didn't have to happen. Yes, I guess I was expecting that CS5 was offering an analogous option with AVCHD sourced projects.


                        Perhaps I am very naive, but I would have thought that one of the easiest jobs from a encoder would be to take source material of format XYZ and render it to format XYZ, exactly as described above. If the input format is highly compressed and it all needs to be stretched out, mixed and then re-encoded, then, yes, I understand that block copying of input stretches would not be possible.


                        Anyway, thanks for your help again.




                        • 9. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                          Harm Millaard Level 7



                          DV-AVI is completely different than all the flavors of long GOP MPEG's. If you change or cut even a single frame, the whole GOP (Group of Pictures) needs te be re-encoded.

                          • 10. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                            MCRoberts Level 1

                            Hi Harm:


                            Yes, I kind of alluded to that in my last insert. If the stream is compressed, then it has to be "stretched out" so that text and whatnot can be rendered over it and then it will have to be re-encoded again and simply snipping off and copying the chunks that don't require any rendering isn't going to work.


                            However, I still wonder why the Media Encoder, which MUST be able to DECODE AVCHD, cannot encode it as well and give you an AVCHD file output.




                            • 11. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                              Jim_Simon Level 8

                              Probably because AVCHD is a (ahem) "source" format, and not generally used as an output format.

                              • 12. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                                MCRoberts Level 1

                                Hi Jim:


                                Surely there are formats out there that are used both ways. If Encore is offering a feature that writes AVCHD directly to BluRay without transcoding, then this suggests to me that AVCHD might make a quite suitable output file format. And why not? It's compact and the playback quality is excellent.


                                All I am saying is, if all this "new" feature from Encore can do is take a raw AVCHD file and write it directly to a BR disk, then the least Adobe could do is provide us with the opportunity and means to use AVCHD files that have undergone some editing.



                                • 13. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                                  Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  When exporting to BR h.264 the extention is m4v (this is without the audio) you can change that to m2ts or

                                  import the timeline into Encore, make a folder and pull the m2ts stream from the folder.

                                  • 14. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                                    MCRoberts Level 1

                                    Hi Ann:


                                    Are you saying that the output M4V file is simply an AVCHD file with a different file extension? That seems too good to be true. Could you clarify?




                                    • 15. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                                      Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      It files play in Power dvd as avchd.

                                      Just try it.

                                      • 16. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                                        MCRoberts Level 1

                                        I will as soon as I get home this evening. I will report my results as soon as I have them.




                                        • 17. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                                          Jim_Simon Level 8

                                          Surely there are formats out there that are used both ways.


                                          Yes, but they are typically I-frame only formats like DV.  No temporal compression, no GOP structure to get messed up by editing.  Every frame is encoded as an individual frame with no dependence or reference to any other frame.

                                          • 18. Re: Encoding to AVCHD from AVCHD?
                                            MCRoberts Level 1

                                            Hi Ann:


                                            I imported the m4v files as assets into my Encore project last night. There were no objections from Encore. I had to set bookmarks, poster frames and rewire my menus again and I ran the job overnight.


                                            Based on the timestamp of the BR iso file that was produced, it looks like it took about 3 hours to do it all. Not bad.


                                            I was not able to burn a disk yet. My 6 year old got up early and there were endless distractions this morning. I will burn one this evening and check the quality.


                                            Nevertheless, I have no reason to think that the quality will not be good and the video files loaded into Encore smoothly and were easy to handle within Encore while I was setting the bookmarks and whatnot. They also re-loaded into premiere without a problem.


                                            So, barring any unpleasant surprises with the final product, it looks like this will be my solution.


                                            Thank you for your help (and everyone else too).

                                            Mark Roberts,