I've searched all over the forums and the rest of the Internet and still can't find a definitive answer, so I need some help, please!
Here's the system specs:
Sony NXCAM (AVCHD Format)
The camera appears to use the mp4/h264 codec, according to the manual.
video: 1080 / 30p (at the highest bitrate setting)
audio: 16-bit LPCM
Intel Xeon Quad-Core 2.67
6 Gb Memory
NVidia Quadro 2000
These are the steps that I have been using:
1. Copy the original footage onto a folder on the computer (I have been copying the entire AVCHD folder so the meta-data etc is all there).
2. Create a new project and sequence in Premiere Pro. I have tried many different formats, but the one that I am using is under the "AVCHD Presets" --> AVCHD 1080p30 29.97 fps at 1920 x 1080. This is the exact same setting we are recording on the camera... the camera's settings are progressive and not interlaced, and they are also not anamorphic. I understand that there are discrepancies to what is "better" or what is truly being recorded (30p vs. 60i).. I did see that in the owners manual it states the system "Video Signal" is HDTV 1080/60i, 720/60p. Either way, the settings on the camera are set to 1080 30p.
3. I can successfully import the media into the media bin in a Premiere Pro project.
This is where there are a few issues:
4. When I preview the clips, they are very jumpy, have some pixelation and artifacts, and appear to have a wobbly movement to them. Note - once they are rendered, this goes away.
5. Upon bringing this clips onto the timeline - it always shows a red line above the clip, indicating it needs to be rendered. Usually, the amount of time it takes to render is equal to real-time... I was working on a project today with 2h 30m of clips and it took over 2 hours to render. I called Adobe support, and the person on the phone ASSURED me that EVERY clip needs to be rendered.. my reply was "even if the sequence settings are the EXACT same as the clip?", and he assured me that every clip needs to be rendered always.. which I don't believe. If the settings on the sequence are right, there's no reason that the clip should have to render.
I understand that .MTS files must be stored and compressed heavily to be put on a memory card - so is this always a necessary step? Do the files need to be "unpacked" somehow? If so, why not just use tapes like before? The entire reason that our video unit switched to tapeless formats was because of the ease in workflow. If it takes almost realtime to render everything, what is the big benefit of using a tapeless format? I understand that there are some upgrades in version 5.5, but I am not sure that we can upgrade at this point, do to budget concerns.
Any help would be much appreciated - Like I said, we called support and didn't feel like we recieved any. Again, all we'd like to do is be able to import our footage and begin editing without having to render raw footage.. many of the clips we have to work with are just raw, uncut video files that need to be burned to dvd in a timely manner for training purposes. Thanks again for your support.
N.C. Dept. of Justice