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AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Specific to Premiere Elements Version 7.

AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Simon Silverstein » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:13 pm

I have found the simplest PE 7 way to get my AVCHD project onto a DVD is to just burn the AVCHD project to DVD from the program without fiddling around. PE 7 automatically converts the AVCHD to something that fits on a DVD and is viable on a DVD player. The result, however, is less than outstanding. While color remains good, the images are somewhat fuzzy. I realize there will be some loss in resolution when going from AVCHD to a digital DVD format. I would like to know if there is any other conversion method than the one outlined above that would yield higher quality results (i.e. sharper image) than the one I got?
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Steve Grisetti » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:51 pm

First, make sure your project is set up for AVCHD and that your project specs match your original footage. (You'll know because you won't see red lines above your clips when you add them to your timeline.)

Then, rather than going directly to a DVD, use Share/Computer/AVI with the DV preset to output your file. Open a new project, set up for DV, import that footage and output your DVD from there.

That extra step can often get you a somewhat cleaner (but much more efficiently transcoded) DVD file.
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Simon Silverstein » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:01 pm

I just saw a program online called Cineform that sells for $129. It is supposed to change AVCHD to an AVI format. They say it produces superior results. Would it actually have any quality advantage over the method you suggested?
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Barb O » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:21 pm

Simon,
Have you seen this thread ? Perhaps it will help even though there may be differences depending on whether the final output will be HD or SD.

viewtopic.php?f=81&t=7436&hilit=cineform

Also, if you search the entire Premiere Elements Corner here, you will find additional threads discussing Cineform.
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Simon Silverstein » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:05 pm

I did look at the Cineform thread. The response of "Paul" may be clear to one who is more familiar with the intricacies of codecs--but to me it seemed a bit muddled. I think he's saying is that if you don't do more than one conversion, you don't need Cineform, but I'm not sure.
I did try creating a DVD from AVCHD using the method above that Steve suggested, but I'm not sure if it's any better than just burning a DVD directly from a rendered AVCHD file. Is there any way to determine the final output quality in a more objective fashion than using one's eyes? Sometimes the visual improvement may be so slight it is impossible to tell. I'd rather determine this with numbers, if possible.
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Barb O » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:54 pm

Simon,

My reasons are concern about capacity of my current computers to process AVCHD, so my objectives are somewhat different and I can't answer your question about quality.

Does this thread help ?

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=10470&p=90845&hilit=+upshift#p90845

where Jack Falbey's reply discussed Cineform Neoscene

If that response does not help and no one else posts, you might send Jack a private message (using the capability in the User Control Panel of this forum for private messages) to ask if he can make additional comments in this thread for your quality comparison objective.
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby boogieted » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:45 am

Based on Steve's first response to the original question here, i have a follow-up question along similar lines.

I'm using a Canon Vixia HF20 with PE7. I can NOT find a project setting that will prevent the "red lines". The setting that makes the most sense to me to use is NTSC>AVCHD>HD 1080i 30.
But I have tried that and almost every other project setting and still have red lines above my time line after bringing in the clips with the Pixela Transfer Utility.

What's worse is that previewing the clips in PE7 is very skippy/jittery (because it isn't pre-rendered for my project?), which could be the fault of the onboard video card that i'm currently stuck with using.

I really need to get this figured out so i can stop banging my head against the wall! It almost feels like I have too much camera and too little computer (Pentium 4HT, 3.0 Ghz, 3.5 GB RAM, onboard video, audio).

Thanks and Please HELP!
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:30 pm

The challenge is that you're working in version 7, Ted -- which unfortunately did not edit AVCHD natively, the way versions 9 and 10 do. So, even if you use the right project settings, you'll need to continually render as you work to keep the red lines above your timeline green.

This only compounds the fact that you've got a computer that's way underpowered for working with AVCHD.

So I'd stay away from using a third-party program like the Pixela Transfer Utility. You may only compound the issue!

Probably the workaround I would recommend would be to put all of your AVCHD video into a project set up for AVCHD and then, without editing it, use Share/Computer/AVI to output a DV-AVI. (Go have a cup of coffee. This could take a while.)

Then open a new project, one set up for standard DV, and do your editing with that DV-AVI as your source.
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Barb O » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:14 pm

boogieted,
adding to Steve's comments

I have a Canon Vixia HF M31, so there are probably similarities between our cameras.

When I purchased my camera in August 2010, I was advised that I should use a minimum version 9 of Adobe Premiere Elements. Since version 10 is now available and other people are reporting good stability and results with v 10, that is what I plan to use. However, I suspect that your computer P4 HT would still suffer from being underpowered for AVCHD if you upgrade to v10.

So I wonder -- does your camera have an option to do an in-camera conversion to standard definition mpeg2 ? If it does, I would suggest that you try both

1 -- Steve's approach of using PRE 7 to convert to standard definition DV-AVI and then use that file in a new DV-AVI project
2 -- my suggestion to do in-camera conversion to standard definition (probably a .mod file output to an SD card) and then use an SD MPEG-2 project setting in PRE 7

Determine which runs better on your PC and which gives you better quality final output on a video DVD for TV playback. Please do post your conclusions and observations back here for the benefit of others.
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby boogieted » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:18 pm

Thanks for the info Steve. But the OP was discussing PE7, which gave me hope that I could make it work too.
As far as my poor 2005 Dell computer goes, its specs are similar to the ones you have in your signature line (except for the graphics card probably). Are you able to run versions 9, 10 on that PC?
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Bob » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:46 pm

Premiere Elements 7 does edit AVCHD. More recent versions do edit more varieties of AVCHD and, especially with version 10, do it more efficiently. But, version 7 should be able to do the job with that footage provided the cpu has enough power.

The project preset you chose,"HD 1080i 30", is for 1440x1080 interlaced footage which doesn't match your camera. Your camera is 1920x1080 interlaced. You need to use the NTSC>AVCHD>"FULL HD 1080i 30" project preset.

Converting the AVCHD footage to a less computationally intensive format will centainly help. Steve suggested going to Standard Definition. That's fine if your intended result is a DVD (which are standard definition). But, it's not fine if you want to retain high definition so you can produce a high definition pc file or Blu-ray disc.
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby boogieted » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:57 pm

Barb, unfortunately this camera does not have the in-camera conversion feature.

Bob, my intended result is a standard-def DVD for the time being. So it does look like i need to do some converting.

What about 3rd party software that will allow me to batch convert .mts to another format like .avi? Would that be a good option in my situation? If so can anyone recommend a good tool (preferably free)?

Thanks again.
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Bob » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:30 pm

Your Canon came bundled with a Pixela application disc. You installed the transfer utility, did you also install the Image Mixer? If so, you can use it to convert the AVCHD video to standard definition MPEG-2. Not sure if it will convert to dv-avi though.
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Simon Silverstein » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:27 pm

Thanks for the various responses. At this point, however, there's a bit of drift, and the question has not been addressed: Of the two methods of getting AVCHD from PE7 onto a DVD--Number 0ne being Steve's method of exporting a AVCHD rendered file to a DV PE 7 file and then burning your DVD from the newly created DV project, as opposed to method Number Two--rendering your AVCHD file in a project and then just burning it directly from that project to DVD (and letting PE7 convert it to a suitable DVD format)...Is there any way of mechanically determining which of these two end products is of higher quality?
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Re: AVCHD to DVD Best Method

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:06 pm

The results should be identical, Simon. Though I don't know of any way to know if one provides better quality than the other besides burning a copy of each and comparing them side by side.
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