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No, every transcoding will take its toll in quality.
Your only options are to improve your hardware, add at least two 7200 RPM SATA drives and exchange the ATI card for a CUDA capable nVidia card.
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Does it make sense to transcode the highly compressed .MTS video files to MPEG4/H.264 video in Media Encoder to work more fluid in Premiere Pro CS5.5?
Probably not. Out of the frying pan, into the fire. AVCHD is H.264--just a specific profile and level of it.
Will the process degrade the video?
If you're having playback problems with AVCHD, the only really viable solution is a faster computer. You can set the playback resolution to something less than Full, but that usually has negative side effects when it comes to the apparent smoothness of the played-back video in the Program Monitor (blockiness, stuttering of a different fashion, lower resolution, etc). That's obviously not the most desirable outcome, but a more-or-less guaranteed solution.
You can also try transcoding to a less demanding codec--for example, DVCPRO HD--but that's time and space-consuming, and if you want to relink to the AVCHD files, there's no simple way to do that.
>2 TB HD
Only one hard drive is below minumum specification... you need at least 2 drives, 3 are better, some use 4
My 3 hard drives are configured as...
1 - 320Gig Boot for Win7 64bit Pro and all program installs
2 - 320Gig data for Win7 swap file and video project files
3 - 1Terabyte data for all video files... input & output files (*)
(*) for 4 drives, drive 3 all source files & drive 4 all output files
Trying to use only ONE Hard Drive for Video Editing
You are a music conductor, with a baton that you use to point to various parts of the orchestra... this is like Windows pointing to various parts of the hard drive to do Windows housekeeping or to load program segments for various functions
Now, at the same time and with the same hand... while still using the baton to conduct the orchestra... pick up a bow and play a fiddle... this would be doing something with your video file at the same time as all the other work
You as a person cannot do both at the same time with the same hand
A computer is a LITTLE better, in that it can switch from one kind of task to another very quickly... but not quickly enough for EASY video editing
You need AT LEAST two hard drives (separate drives, never a partition http://forums.adobe.com/thread/650708?tstart=0 for more) with Windows (or Mac OS) and software on your boot drive, and video files on a 2nd drive so the boot drive is not slowed down by trying to do everything
I find that the three drives I use work very well for me, for editing AVCHD video... some people use a 4th drive, so video INPUT files are on drive three and all OUTPUT files are on drive four... I only bought a mid-tower case instead of a full tower case (my bad... but had to fit in the space available on my office desk!) so I use the three drives that will fit
Depending on your exact hardware (motherboard brand & model AND USB2 enclosure brand & model AND external hard drive brand & model) AND the type of video file, you may... or may NOT... be able to use an external USB2 hard drive for SD (Standard Definition) video editing
Steve Grisetti in the Premiere Elements forum http://forums.adobe.com/thread/856208?tstart=0 and Jim Simon in the Premiere Pro forum http://forums.adobe.com/thread/856433?tstart=0 use USB externals for editing
A USB3 hard drive connected to a motherboard with USB3 is supposed to be fast enough for video editing (I don't have such, so don't know) but eSata DOES have a fast enough data transfer for video editing... I have not used this eSata Dock... for reference only, YMMV and all the usual disclaimers
I have now included a G-Tech 4 TB FW800 RAID 0 striped disk array in my setup and editing my video has become a breeze :-)
Thank you everyone for your help! It is really appreciated!
Harm Millaard wrote:
Unfortunately, none of these is possible with the iMac. Apple never intended the iMac to be a heavy duty video editing machine. Rather it's a home desktop machine that should be able to handle the vast majority of the workload a typical user would throw at it.
There are no extra hard drive bays in it. Adding storage requires using external ports and RAID enclosers perhaps. If it's a newer iMac, it has a Thunderbolt port on it which can be used with some of the newer Thunderbolt RAID enclosers. But at a cost.
The video is integrated into the motherboard and is in no way, shape, or form upgradable. Nor are there PCI slots for after market cards.
That's an interesting outcome considering that Firewire 800 is just twice as fast as USB2.
Since I have similar problems as the ones you described, I am wondering whether moving my working folder to an exernal drive will improve things...
I am going to try...