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AVCHD to Mpeg 1... Let's dumb it down

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John Sherman
AVCHD to Mpeg 1... Let's dumb it down
on Jul 13, 2010 at 11:26:08 pm

So we purchased a fleet of HMC 150s, and a pair of HpX 170s. They've been great so far... but now we need to run through some hoops.

My superior, in his great judgement purchased equipment without considering the workflow. So now he's turning to me... more like yelling... but I digest...

Is there a quick/simple/cheap way... to transcode AVCHD files (downloaded with AVCVIEWER) directly to MPEG-1? Our Bitrate could be ultra low we're talking 600kb/s for what we need this for. Ultimately we'll be shoving almost a days worth of footage on a standard DVD with added software. We're looking for a way to transcode quickly and efficiently on site. And now I'm doing benchmark tests on existing sub-par laptops without decent capture devices. So transcoding files I can copy with an SDHC card reader would be ideal. Ideas? Much obliged!

Has anyone tried the free AVS converter for this?


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Noah Kadner
Re: AVCHD to Mpeg 1... Let's dumb it down
on Jul 14, 2010 at 1:23:35 am

Are we talking Mac or PC here?

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


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John Sherman
Re: AVCHD to Mpeg 1... Let's dumb it down
on Jul 14, 2010 at 2:14:48 pm

Well it's a bit of both... We have a Macbook Pro with Snow Leop running Fcp and I'm prepping to load premiere pro because it handles avchd natively I heard...

And we also have PC laptops which I'm going through 1 by 1 to see if any are fast enough to use a converter.

Having a 1 day to same day turn around is killing us.


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Noah Kadner
Re: AVCHD to Mpeg 1... Let's dumb it down
on Jul 14, 2010 at 4:21:40 pm

If it were me and this were day in /day out I'd suggest getting a hardware converter instead so you can simply play footage in and get converted out. Doing this in hardware, especially on slow laptops is not a wise course. Check out Blackmagic and AJA for starters.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


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John Sherman
Re: AVCHD to Mpeg 1... Let's dumb it down
on Jul 14, 2010 at 6:12:32 pm

That would be the price barrier I was up against... But we found a solution:

We're using macbook pros with Imediaconverter... transcoding takes about the same as realtime (2.66Ghz processor and 4GB ram) but changes native AVCHD to Mpeg-1s without much fuss.


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Noah Kadner
Re: AVCHD to Mpeg 1... Let's dumb it down
on Jul 14, 2010 at 6:25:05 pm

You should be able to script or batch that as well and make it even simpler- i.e. define a watch folder that automagically starts conversion as footage gets added to it...

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: AVCHD to Mpeg 1... Let's dumb it down
on Jul 14, 2010 at 6:29:23 pm

Likely the fastest conversion to MPEG-1 format would be a hardware based solution that can convert AVCHD video much faster than realtime. I wonder if any of the Matrox devices can do this?

Also, for software conversion, the mid-priced Cineform software does very good HD to SD conversion, though I don't know how fast it is.

Cineform NEO HD

One last thing, why are you going with MPEG-1 ( 352x240 pixel resolution ) and not MPEG-2 which would produce a much higher quality SD image ?


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John Sherman
Re: AVCHD to Mpeg 1... Let's dumb it down
on Jul 14, 2010 at 6:53:08 pm

It's all about space saving... we have a ton of data that has to be copied over along with these video files. Yes we could get high capacity DVDs but honestly our clients don't like copying large files to their various servers to begin with. Thankfully my supervisor came up with the above software solution as the superior does not often go with expensive purchases. And I needed something mobile that wouldn't involve more hardware, or a capture card in a large desktop.


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: AVCHD to Mpeg 1... Let's dumb it down
on Jul 14, 2010 at 7:17:31 pm

With my own clients I usually just buy ( or lend them ) a portable 2.5 inch external hard drive, which can hold up to 250 GB of data ( or more ), and can connect either through a USB or eSATA connection. These can be bought for as little as $60, and are often appreciated by your client for their conveinence.

Seagate FreeAgent Go 250GB External HD : $60


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