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Workflow/Settings from AVCHD to .H264 for HD Broadcast

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David Mercer
Workflow/Settings from AVCHD to .H264 for HD Broadcast
on Sep 21, 2011 at 8:05:29 pm

I'm looking for help with my workflow.

I'm a freelance video journalist and shoot news packages for 1080i50 broadcast. An editor recently said the footage looked heavily compressed ("youtube quality"). First time I've heard this and it shocked me.

Up until now my workflow has been this: convert 1080p25 AVCHD files (.MTS) to Prores 422 using Toast, edit 1080p25 on FCP timeline, export to HDV 1080p25, upload to FTP site with no additional compression. I was told by a different editor to convert to either HDV or XDCAM for delivery. Prores files are too large for me to upload (I'm in a village in Guatemala) or for them to download (not sure why).

The editor who said the footage looks compressed said the compression probably results from their conversion of 25p to 50i.

But when I asked this question on another board on Creative Cow one of the pros said the problem was likely converting from Prores 422 to HDV. He suggested it would be better going from Prores to .h264 through Compressor (maintaining the file progressive). However, I still have to cut back on the datarate for upload as the channel prefers a filesize of say 500MB for a 2 minutes news package.

On my laptop LCD the HDV .mov looks identical to the Prores .mov file.

For what it's worth, I edit on a Macbook Pro, 2.5GHz processor, 4MB RAM using snow leopard OS.

Any advice greatly appreciated!

Dave


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Eric Strand
Re: Workflow/Settings from AVCHD to .H264 for HD Broadcast
on Sep 24, 2011 at 2:47:42 am

AVCHD is h.264 already. You're correct in transcoding to edit, but export a self-contained quicktime movie from FCP in ProRes, don't export to HDV or h.264. Take your self-contained ProRes file then drop that in compressor to h.264.


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David Mercer
Re: Workflow/Settings from AVCHD to .H264 for HD Broadcast
on Sep 24, 2011 at 8:49:13 pm

Thanks Eric.

Any suggestions on settings? Ideally a 2 minute .h264 file would be no more than 450-500MB.


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Eric Strand
Re: Workflow/Settings from AVCHD to .H264 for HD Broadcast
on Sep 25, 2011 at 1:10:23 am

500MB for 2 minutes is a HUGE h.264 file! When you drag the h.264 setting into Compressor, try leaving the data rate at automatic and see how big it is. Then try adjusting the data rate to 10,000 kbps. You could easily go higher than 10,000 kbps and be under 500MB if you had to.


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David Mercer
Re: Workflow/Settings from AVCHD to .H264 for HD Broadcast
on Sep 25, 2011 at 1:31:14 am

Thanks Eric. I'll give it a try.


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