Low cost AVCHD editing / disk creation for 24 mbit/sec AVCHD camcorders

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Smarty, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. Smarty

    Smarty Guest

    Since 24 mbit/sec (maximum rate) AVCHD was introduced well over a year ago
    with the Canon HF11 (in July of 2008), a number of people have been using
    various methods to produce AVCHDs which directly create full bitrate disks
    which can entirely (for cuts / splices editing) avoid transcoding entirely
    and go directly from camcorder to BluRay (AVCHD) player very quickly with
    neither image loss or long conversion delays. These disks play in most
    BluRay players at full 1920 by 1080 resolution and bitrate, as well as on
    PCs with free or low cost software.

    Such software prefers a fast computer to make editing and playback go
    smoothly, and a quadcore machine is best, although Core Duo and AMD users
    can use do so with a compromise in smoothness of editing. Since quadcore
    hardware such as the Dell Inspiron 530 desktop have been selling as low as
    $458 for the computer with careful shopping, and the software is frequently
    offered for $79, the combined purchase price for a system of this type is a
    bit over $500 including both the hardware and NLE software.

    I would specifically recommend as a low cost "beginner" AVCHD editing suite
    the software offered at:


    and a suitable quadcore such as:


    as examples of how it can be done inexpensively.

    Please note that such solutions have been on the market for well over a
    year, and the ability to process 24 mbit/sec AVCHD and create 24 mbit/sec
    AVCHDs in this fashion is not new in any way.

    Smarty, Sep 6, 2009
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  2. Good information - but "editing" does often include the addition of
    color corrections, transitions, titles, and other effects to produce
    a completed video that is more than just a "slide show with motion".
    OK, here come the brickbats, but it is worth noting that with HDV,
    one can do a complete editing job *easily* now with this level of
    hardware and software.
    David Ruether, Sep 6, 2009
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  3. Smarty

    Smarty Guest


    I have no idea what you mean by "a slide show with motion"? If you take any
    video with any motion you incur in video photography, this solution works
    precisely the same as HDV or, for that matter, any other video editing. The
    only time transcoding is required is when the frames are being altered with
    color changes, titling, or other additions or revisions to the original
    video content.

    Your choice of "a slide show with motion" suggests that there is somehow a
    reduction to the video motion content. This is entirely untrue. The output
    AVCHD disk has the original full video content with full motion.

    Once again, at least a year after the original suggestion was made to you, I
    encourage you to learn about AVCHD through actual use. Although it is true
    that HDV would be easily edited on such a system, so would motion jpeg /
    MJPEG, mpeg1, avi, miniDV, and a host of other now-obsolete video editing

    The fact that this newer system can "easily handle" an editing job with
    older formats entirely misses the point.

    I hoped that you might see a glimmer of light / enlightenment here, but I am
    apparently (once again) thwarted.

    Smarty, Sep 6, 2009
  4. Smarty

    Smarty Guest

    Yet-another approach for those doing AVCHD on a tight budget:

    For those interested in making full 1920 by 1080 highest bitrate (24
    Mbit/sec) AVCHD disks for 20 cents apiece in a few minutes time using
    absolutely free software, I strong recommend another product called

    Although this is NOT a video editing program, it can take the camcorder SD
    card content and directly author a fully menued (1920 by 1080p) user
    selectable disk with some or all of the camcorder video captures. It smart
    renders, producing a true bit-for-bit identical AVCHD disk image directly
    usable by BluRay set-top players as well as PC player software. It will also
    do the same for true BluRay disks if you want to record these as well.

    For those who want to take their camcorder files and have a ready-to-watch
    full HD disk in just a few minutes at zero software cost, this is the
    fastest, the cheapest, and the highest quality way to go. Since no rendering
    or re-compression is required, the CPU hardware requirements are trivial,
    and this should work on virtually any PC made in the last several years.

    Check it out at:


    Smarty, Sep 7, 2009
  5. I reasonably took "which can entirely (for cuts / splices editing)" from
    your post to indicate that what you were recommending in hardware
    and software was good for "cuts only" editing - and I pointed out
    that if that were true, it was extremely limiting compared with HDV
    editing with the same price level of resources, with which ANY video
    editing process could be done fluidly and easily to make a "real" video.
    "Cuts only" in video editing is essentially making a slide show in which
    each "slide" contains moving video instead of stills - but this is VERY
    David Ruether, Sep 7, 2009
  6. Smarty

    Smarty Guest


    When I stated that the software was "cuts / splices editing" I was referring
    to the fact that it can make splices as well as cuts in the content without
    the need to do any transcoding. This is commonly referred to as "cuts-only"
    editing, and is the most common form of transition used in television
    broadcasting, namely, a cut from one scene to another without applying an
    intervening effect such as a wipe, a dissolve, etc. The software does allow
    transition effects, but these (as in all NLEs) must then modify original
    frame content, thus requiring recompression.

    Therefore the recommended software does the very same thing for all formats
    of video (AVCHD, HDV, miniDV, etc.) as any other NLE. There is no "slide
    show" or any other disturbance of normal motion whatsoever.

    On the topic of slideshows, I should add that the recommended Arcsoft
    program actually DOES permit slideshows to be added to an AVCHD disk (or
    regular DVD or BluRay) from both Powerpoint as well as normal jpeg photo
    content, Given the very high def 1920 by 1080 displays, this is a wonderful
    way to transform a Powerpoint presentation or photo slideshow into a full HD
    video disk as well. Slideshows and normal video can be mixed on a disk with
    menu selectable thumbnails to choose which one(s) to view.

    My point is posting this thread is merely to say that:

    1. AVCHD is more than 2 years old, and full maximum rate 24 mbit/sec
    camcorders and software have been around for over a year.

    2. Camcorders for AVCHD are sometimes as low as $400, most are in the
    $600-$800 range, and are thus extremely affordable.

    3. Video can be transferred to the computer in seconds or a couple minutes
    time, but never require the hour it takes to transfer a full HDV tape. The
    individual clips can be randomly accessed as well, thus allowing only the
    really useful files to be transferred, often in 10 to 30 seconds.

    4. Editing software and computers cost hundreds, not thousands of dollars,
    and full 24 mbit/sec software can be had for free to make red laser AVCHD
    disks which play immediately without any image degradation or long
    conversion delays on players which have hardware supporting red and blue
    laser h.264/AVCHD playback. (Movies of my grand-daughter taken yesterday
    went from the SD card to a fully menued 1920 by 1080 disk ready to pass
    around to family members in under 10 minutes time including the time it took
    to burn the disks themselves). If I ONLY wanted to insert clips from the
    camera without editing, the free program multiAVCHD would be all that I
    would need to author the disk, and the computer could be a Windows machine
    from 10 years ago since no rendering or viewing is needed / required.

    Once again, I encourage you to "stand in line" as you stated previously to
    learn about and get involved in AVCHD. If you don't want to buy anything,
    then perhaps you might download multiAVCHD for free and some sample 24
    mbit/sec files and burn yourself a couple AVCHDs and pop them into a BluRay
    player or PS3 to see how simple the process actually is.

    Smarty, Sep 7, 2009
  7. Smarty

    Smarty Guest

    Using the fastest 24 mbit/sec bitrate, roughly 20 minutes on a single layer
    and 40 minutes on a double layer disk. Slower bitrates such as the very
    common 16 mbit/sec AVCHD from most camcorders (roughly equal to 25 mbit/sec
    HDV in appearance) gets about 1/3rd more record/play time.

    In authoring you have a list with each selected clip added or removed, and
    the ordering done by using Up and Down arrows to arrange the sort in any
    order you wish. The menu which first appears (in 1920 by 1080p) has this

    There is no "first play" supported yet, but the author is frequently
    updating the product based on user requests. It is one of those really nice
    freeware products where the author can be reached directly. Try doing that
    with Final Cut...
    Smarty, Sep 8, 2009
  8. See "Smarty's" post for this information - although dropping the
    data rate during the making of conversions to 14 Mbps can still
    provide high quality disks if a good conversion codec is used
    (Sony's, and not Ulead's...) if you are converting the best HDV
    to AVCHD, and this can provide longer playing time. The
    conversions can take considerable time to make, though.
    I have been authoring red-laser HD disks using AVCHD conversions
    for some time (and have mentioned this often...) using a now-older
    version of the Ulead VideoStudio editing program. This permits the
    making of a menu panel with buttons of various designs (and with a
    background image of your choice) for the individual videos on the disk.
    You can place (and play) these HD videos in any order you want - and
    these disks can be made with cheap standard DVD blanks using cheap
    standard DVD writers. The only "hitch" is that a Blu-ray player is required,
    and not all may be compatible with these disks (and, as I said earlier, I use
    Sony Vegas to make the original conversion files - which are far better
    than those made from within VideoStudio while authoring a disk).
    David Ruether, Sep 8, 2009
  9. Smarty

    Smarty Guest

    I failed to mention Gary that the free AVCHD authoring program multiAVCHD,
    although it does not offer a first play video option (yet) does allow the
    top menu to have a user selected background image, user selected title and
    "footer" text, selectable font sizes, colors, opacity, and outline colors.
    The menu appearance is thus quite attractive, but not in the same league as
    those from, let's say, DVD Architect or Power Director. There is a menu
    preview which allows you to see the results before authoring if you want to
    play around. Not bad for a freebee program.
    Smarty, Sep 8, 2009
  10. Smarty

    Smarty Guest

    In addition to making a wmv file to play on a computer (and this file is
    actually an h.264 file format very much like AVCHD), you could burn a red
    laser standard disk with an AVCHD format which would play full HD in both
    BluRay players as well as Playstations, both of which are fairly common now.
    This would give the bride and groom a true HD disk which they could play,
    and the cost of creating this disk would be very low for you to create.
    Smarty, Sep 12, 2009
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