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Best way to compress edited AVCHD video for easy & fast distibution?

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Kaoru Koike
Best way to compress edited AVCHD video for easy & fast distibution?
on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:31:34 pm

Hello, I am VERY new to the video editing and video compression so I would appreciate it if you could help me!


I just installed FCP X to edit my video shot with Panasonic AG-HMC150. (Records 21 Mpbs 1920x1080 and stores AVCHD)

My final goal is to somehow distribute the edited file using FTP application via internet.

Does anyone know how to export the finished project back to the original AVCHD format?
(I thought FCP X edit AVCHD natively...? wrong??)


Or anyone know even better (lighter) format without loosing the original quality of the video that won't take 200 hours to export?

I am looking for a light encoding setting for fast export and distribution.

The person who would be receiving the file has the equivalent setup as me (FCPX, Mac Pro)So as long as they can open the file on the other end, It's OK. I want the file to be light,when I am sending it.

The original footage is usually 30-60 mins long and 5GB~12GB in AVCHD.

I want to somehow find out the way to edit it down to 10-20 mins and export the edited file around 6G or less.

Am I just talking dreams...?

Any thought, advice and idea are appreciated! Thanks guys

MacBook Pro
OSX 10.7.2
2.5Ghz
Intel Corei7
8GB Memory


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Best way to compress edited AVCHD video for easy & fast distibution?
on Dec 27, 2011 at 3:02:25 pm

[Kaoru Koike] "(I thought FCP X edit AVCHD natively...? wrong??)"
I don't have am AVCHD camera around - I'm 98% sure that FCPX can edit AVCHD natively, for the card structures it recognizes.

This is a highly compressed codec - hard for your computer to playback; any effects (like text or color correction) would yield so-so results due to the compression. It's about 30:1 compressed. So while you can edit with it directly (no transcode necessary) you'd never want to output directly in that format.

I suggest you edit, etc however you like. When you're finished, you can use the share command in FCPX (or use compressor, which Share utilizes.) I just opened compressor....

Anything around 10mb/s or so (which is decent for 1080 video, 720 could be less, 960x540 could be less, SD could be less, etc) The Apple Device settings: HD for Apple Devices (10mb) should produce decent results at the sizing you want. Smaller (and decent) is the Large 540p Video Sharing setting under video sharing.

Feel free to ask followups, etc

Best,

Jeff G


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Kaoru Koike
Re: Best way to compress edited AVCHD video for easy & fast distibution?
on Dec 30, 2011 at 1:58:45 am

Hi Jeff! Thank you for the reply.
I think FCP X Does not edit AVCHD natively for some reason.
As soon as I import the clips from the SD Card, all the clips are stored as QT movie in my original media folder....

Anyways, I have tried with the compression with 10mb bit rate 1980×1080 MPEG-4 video and it certainly reduced the size and video looks as good as QT Movie.

But I have a new concern.
The final destination for this video is TV broadcast so I want to make sure it looks good on TV. But for some reason MPEG-4 setting in compressor doesn't give me the option to choose i/p.

Do you know when you export MPEG-4 it is automatically set i/p? Is it true that MPEG-4 is more for web tv than TV broadcast??? if so, do you know why??


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Best way to compress edited AVCHD video for easy & fast distibution?
on Dec 30, 2011 at 3:54:22 am

Kaoru,

I just testing some AVCHD footage from a Canon camera. FCPX gave me momentary access to the AVCHD files and then rewrapped them into a QuickTime container (codec AVC1- meaning it's an AVCHD file), in the directory I gave it for the event. So, FCP is editing the native AVCHD file.

[Kaoru Koike] "Anyways, I have tried with the compression with 10mb bit rate 1980×1080 MPEG-4 video and it certainly reduced the size and video looks as good as QT Movie."

Did you use compressor? Are you sure you didn't make an h.264 (a type of MPG4) as opposed to an MPG4?

[Kaoru Koike] "But I have a new concern.
The final destination for this video is TV broadcast so I want to make sure it looks good on TV. But for some reason MPEG-4 setting in compressor doesn't give me the option to choose i/p.

Do you know when you export MPEG-4 it is automatically set i/p? Is it true that MPEG-4 is more for web tv than TV broadcast??? if so, do you know why??"


Well, again, I don't knwo what you used here. FCPX (and possibly compressor) may not be the best tool for the job for delivery.

What does the brodcasters delivery specification sheet look like? It should give very specific data rates and file types. You use a compression term (I/P) and we need a bit more information than that. Often, Apple doesn't always give you every option for every tool.


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Kaoru Koike
Re: Best way to compress edited AVCHD video for easy & fast distibution?
on Jan 17, 2012 at 11:49:52 pm

Hi Jeff!
Happy New Year and sorry for the late reply.

Did you use compressor? Are you sure you didn't make an h.264 (a type of MPG4) as opposed to an MPG4?

Yes, I did use compressor and I made MPEG4 file with H264 compression.
It was surprisingly a good quality video with small file size.
Thanks so much.


My concern that I addressed in last post was just me wondering why I hear people say that MP4 is for web. I lack the knowledge in that area...

My understanding is that TV use interlace as opposed computer (progressive) and I assumed maybe when I use Compressor to export MPEG4 it was automatically set as progressive and thus it looks good on the computer but it may not look good for broadcast?


What does the brodcasters delivery specification sheet look like? It should give very specific data rates and file types.

Unfortunately they have not given me any specifications. I was told to search for best file format and compression that maintains good video quality... I guess I just have to keep trying different formats to see if that works on TV.

But Thanks!


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