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How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

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How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Margthecar » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:13 am

I am working on a project with a bunch of different clips from different sources that I want to output as SD Widescreen onto a DVD.

I posted a couple days ago asking how to convert HD MOV to DV widescreen (i.e. Standard Def) and it turned out the easiest way to get very good-looking widescreen SD video was to create a Project with a HD preset, import the clips, then Share as a Widescreen DV NTSC. Took a bit of time to convert, but playback on the widescreen TV is very satisfactory.

Unfortunately, I just realized another clip in my project is also HD, but this time WMV format (1920x1080). I tried the same trick as with the HD MOV footage, with different HD settings, but keep getting this message when I try to import the clip into my project: "This type of file is not supported, or the required codec is not installed."

So CAN Pre8 import WMV HD clips? If so, what codec do I need? I vaguely understand codecs are ways to code and decode audio and video, but have no idea how to figure out what I need, where to find it, or how to install it. Help!
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Gerlinde » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:33 am

I find it surprising that you would not have the WMV codec on your computer. I never had any problems to import WMV files into PRE. But you could install the free Windows Movie Maker from the Microsoft website and also use that program to convert your files.

http://explore.live.com/windows-live-movie-maker?os=other
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Steve Grisetti » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:38 am

I'm not sure a WMV is your best path from a hi-def MOV to Premiere Elements, Marg. Did we advise you to do that?

All you're doing is converted one problematic video file to another problematic video file format.

The ideal format to convert any hi-def video to, if you want to edit it in Premiere Elements, is the HDV -- a 1440x1080 MPEG/M2T file. This type of file edits natively in Premiere Elements and using it would likely resolve any of the issues you're experiencing.

If you're downconverting to standard def, the ideal format is the DV-AVI 720x480 widescreen.
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Margthecar » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:18 am

The WMV HD file came from another parent (this is a DVD for my kid's class) and I had no control over its format. I don't have the stomach to burn Blu-Ray so I want to edit everything in DV-AVI widescreen. And no Steve, you did not advise me to try to convert the WMV HD file via PrE8--I thought of that zinger all on my own! :-)

My first thought WAS to use Moviemaker, but the super dumbed down WindowsLive version 1) cannot read the file for some reason anyway and 2) does NOT output to DV-AVI anymore. I did not waste more time on it. I have an old copy of the truly-excellent-for-free-software Original Moviemaker running on an Virtual XP machine, but it cannot read the HD format.

Soooo, I continued to ponder my options overnight and emailed the parent from whom I got the file, and he just emailed me that he is going to burn me another copy in the MOV format, so my immediate problem is solved afterall.

BUUUT, I still want to know--should PrE8 be able to import the WMV HD file, if I had the right codec? OR, even with the right codec will this give terrible output resolution, as I think Steve, you are suggesting above?

Suppose I could not obtain the WMV HD file in another format and HAD to use it. Would the correct conversion path be from the WMV HD 1920x1080-->HDV 1440x1080 MPEG/M2T-->DV-AVI 720x480 Widescreen? If so, what software would I use to do that first conversion and does it simply crop the image to make it narrower or do the pixel shapes change (all this stuff gives me a headache)?

Sorry for all the questions, I simply want to learn more about dealing with the different HD formats as I imagine this problem will come up again.
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Steve Grisetti » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:32 am

One of the challenges with using a WMV as a source file is that you have no idea how much the file has been compressed by the person who created it. It's possible the quality you're seeing is as good as it gets.

But, assuming that it's a high-quality WMV, I'd try using Super (free from http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html ) to convert it to a DV-AVI:

To use Super, set the Output Container drop-down menu to DV -- and leave everything else at its default setting. For widescreen video, set the Aspect to 3:2.

Drag the video you want to convert onto the program's interface, to the area just below the Output specs then click Encode.
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Margthecar » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:49 am

Steve, Out of curiosity, I tried the Super software to convert per your instructions and it appeared to convert it but the file won't import--same error message in PrE8 "file type not supported etc". It is also suspiciously small in size which makes me think the conversion is terrribly wrong.

Is the REAL lesson here that WMV files are pretty much useless as source files?
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Steve Grisetti » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:10 pm

No. It's just that only Windows MovieMaker uses them as source files.
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Gerlinde » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:41 pm

As I said in my earlier post, I find it surprising that Windows Movie Maker, especially the Windows Live version, can't import the file. This tells me, there is something really wrong with this file. Could you run it through GSpot or MediaInfo and post the results.
I agree with Steve that WMV files are not meant for editing, but you should be able to use PRE8 to convert the files. I have PRE7 and 9 and I can import HD WMV files with no problem.
I am also not sure, that your statement :
My first thought WAS to use Moviemaker, but the super dumbed down Windows Live version 1) cannot read the file for some reason anyway and 2) does NOT output to DV-AVI anymore.
is correct. I'm not at home right now and can not confirm that, but you can create your own export settings to an extent.
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Margthecar » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:16 pm

Thanks for your interest in my problem. I'm not sure what is up with my codecs but if I take anything away from this experience, it is to try to get source files in any format BUT WMV HD. I would also like to mention that I am in a bit over my head in terms of understanding all the different issues going on. I was able to download and run the Gspot program on the WMV HD file in question as you suggested, but I have no idea how to understand the results, so here is a screen capture of the output.
WMVHD Gspot.JPG


I was able to verify that my Windows Media Player does have the WMV3 codec (at least it says it does), but that "Codec Status Undetermined" looks a little fishy. Is there anything in the photo that gives a clue as to what is going on?

I also went back into Windows Live MovieMaker and looked over all the output settings again and they all output as WMV files. Perhaps I am missing something there, so please let me know if you can find a way to output as a DV-AVI widescreen from it.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Gerlinde » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:53 pm

Hi Marg, sorry it took me so long to get back to you :-D

I looked at the info you posted and I can't find anything unusual about your file. I used a short clip from my own footage, created a HD-wmv file with Windows Live Movie Maker and run it through GSpot to compare. I can't see all the info I have marked in yellow on your file, since it is partially hidden in your picture.

Image

I was able to import this file into PRE7, it also plays without a problem. I have posted it here for you to download and try on your computer. This should tell us if something is amiss on your computer or if your file is damaged and can't be used for that reason.

Now back to Movie Maker, you are correct, there is no option for .avi output anymore. But you can use the option to create a DVD and it will create a SD-wmv file (720x480) which you should be able to use in PRE directly or at least convert it in your old version of Movie Maker.Here is the same file as above in SD for you to try.

I hope this will shed some light on what is going on.
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Margthecar » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:56 pm

Ahhhh, the plot thickens Gerlinde.....

Thanks for the files and info. First off, I did check the rest of the gspot info that you couldn't see in the window. The data for my file is identical to yours, so no help there.

I had no trouble loading your WMVHD file into a PrE8 HDV preset project and Shared it as a DV Widescreen (SD). No surprise it also loaded no problem into Windows Live MovieMaker. Same for the SD WMV file.

So it appears there is a problem with my file, not my software or computer. Could size have anything to do with it? Your clips are very small. My file is large 3.17GB and running 25:58 minutes. Even in Moviemaker it won't load. Moviemaker "processes" for a few minutes then just posts a bunch of question marks on the timeline. Although the file PLAYS just fine in Windows Media Player..... :-k

Just out of curiosity I burned to disc your WMVHD file-->DV widescreen and played it on the TV. It looked fine when compared to a DV widescreen that I had downconverted from a MOV HD clip. Both were of reasonable quality for SD Widescreen.

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the parent who originally shot this footage is giving it to me in MOV HD format tomorrow so I will finish the project using that. Unless you have an Aha moment, I am thinking it is time to give up on this puzzle and let it remain unknown like other great mysteries of the world such as whether Donald Trump's hair is real or made from llama fur, or whether a Twinkie would survive in the center of a black hole :-)

My takeaway lesson here is when someone is giving me movie footage, to ask that it NOT be in WMV if possible.

I can do that.
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby John 'twosheds' McDonald » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:52 am

You can get the last version of 'classic' Windows Movie Maker from here - I found it after doing a Google search.

It runs OK on my Win 7 Pro 64 bit PC. As with all downloads, make sure that you check it for nasties before installation.

http://www.gamefront.com/files/15152035 ... Setup.exe/
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Gerlinde » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:59 am

I'm glad we know now that there is no problem with your computer. :TU:

I don't really have an answer as to what might be wrong with the file. I doubt that the length of the file is the problem. But what ever it is, I guess your best option for future projects is to request the footage in its original format, if ever possible.

You have a nice computer with a powerful processor, that gives you the option to convert the files to the format that work for you. And you know where to get help, when things get difficult. :-D

whether Donald Trump's hair is real or made from llama fur


....that I really would like to know. :-k
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby RJ Johnston » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:17 am

If you try to play the WMV in Windows Media Player, does it play back, or do you get a message asking if you want WMP to find and download the codec?
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Re: How to convert WMVHD to DV Widescreen?

Postby Margthecar » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:00 am

The file loads up and plays just fine in WMP.

One thought I had, and this is a silly one, is that the person who made me the file did add one simple Title at the beginning of the clip. But then once burned to the file, the title would just become part of the bits and bytes of the WMV format right? Could the Title be preventing the re-editing process somehow?
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