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Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound

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Rowena Megan
Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 19, 2016 at 10:59:59 pm

Help!

I am desperately trying to convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 (to import into FCPX) with MPEG Streamclip but getting a black screen with sound as the result of the conversion.
The progress window shows a white screen with sound when converting.

I've tried selecting "Play streams with user-data" as suggested by one video I watched but to no avail.

The video files are about an hour long and the dimensions are 1440x1080
Codecs: MPEG Layer 3, MPEG-2 Video

Can anyone please tell me what I am doing wrong? I desperately need to convert these files for FCPX to edit for a client (who can't even remember what she filmed them on) and am getting nowhere!

Many thanks for any help offered!


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 19, 2016 at 11:24:41 pm

Have you tried Compressor? Or maybe something like EditReady? MPEG Streamclip works for me but it's getting fairly long in the tooth.

Is there a reason you're not just letting FCPX convert it? And the inevitable, do the files play OK in QuickTime?

(For some reason I can't edit my own posts so apologies in advance for the stupid mistakes and bad English that I can't go back and fix)

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Melbourne, Australia | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Oliver Peters
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 19, 2016 at 11:30:49 pm

IIRC, MPEG SC requires certain MPEG2 components to be installed. It draws upon those for conversion. I believe in the past, if you had FCP Studio installed, then the DVD Studio Pro portion installed the necessary components. You might be able to find those elsewhere and install them, but I'm pretty sure that's why you are getting a black screen.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Rowena Megan
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 19, 2016 at 11:53:31 pm

Hi there Oliver, thanks for your reply.
I have Final Cut Pro Studio installed already. It didn't appear to have DVD Studio Pro in the kit so I tried downloading it but it wouldn't allow me, saying my computer didn't need it! (??)
Do you know which component need to be installed? And is installing them enough for MPEG streamclip to use them?
So back to square one.
Is MPEG Streamclip the best piece of software for this conversion or could you suggest something else?
Thanks for your time
Rowena


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 20, 2016 at 12:05:09 am

There are detailed instructions for installing the component here:
http://www.squared5.com/svideo/mpeg-streamclip-mac.html

I'd still suggest using some more modern software like EditReady or just letting FCPX optimise the media on its own.


------

(For some reason I can't edit my own posts so apologies in advance for the stupid mistakes and bad English that I can't go back and fix)

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Melbourne, Australia | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Rowena Megan
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 20, 2016 at 12:10:42 am

How do I let FCPX optimise the media on its own?
THanks


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Rowena Megan
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 20, 2016 at 12:04:22 am

Hi there!

Thanks for your response.
FCPX won't let me import the files to even attempt any kind of conversion. They just don't even appear to select them.

I just tried compressor and when I opened one of the files in compressor, I had the same issue of the compressor window being white yet I can hear the sound. So I didn't attempt to convert it as last time I tried with MEPG Streamclip it took over 12 hours!

I can view the MPEG clips that I have been supplied with totally fine with VLC and Quicktime player.

As soon as I try to import them into MEPG Streamclip or compressor all I get is sound.

Thoughts?


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 20, 2016 at 12:09:40 am

I'd take a look at the trial version of EditReady from Divergent Media and see if that works for you:

http://www.divergentmedia.com/editready


------

(For some reason I can't edit my own posts so apologies in advance for the stupid mistakes and bad English that I can't go back and fix)

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Melbourne, Australia | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Rowena Megan
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 20, 2016 at 1:25:17 am

Hi, I tried downloading the free trial you suggested but it won't accept my file due to the size of it (you're only allowed to do 60sec) yet I can't open my 1hr long file in any kind of editing software to cut a 60sec sample.
Then I tried to download the trial of Media Encoder but it says I'm running the wrong operating system... aaaahhhhhh
So frustrating!
I still don't understand what is missing, as I can see the MPEG-2 video in VLC yet the image won't appear in Compressor or MPEG Streamclip.

I found the info below, and followed it but eventually it said that I already have it installed, so it beats me!
"The installer of the MPEG-2 Playback Component may refuse to install the component in Lion and Mountain Lion. Apple states the component is unnecessary in Lion and Mountain Lion, however MPEG Streamclip still needs it.

To install the component in Lion or Mountain Lion, please download MPEG Streamclip 1.9.3b8 beta above; inside the disk image you will find the Utility MPEG2 Component M. Lion: use it to install the MPEG-2 Playback Component in Lion or Mountain Lion. The original installer's disk image (QuickTimeMPEG2.dmg) is required.

The current versions of MPEG Streamclip cannot take advantage of the built-in MPEG-2 functionality of Lion and Mountain Lion. For MPEG-2 files you still need to install the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component, which is not preinstalled in Lion and Mountain Lion. You don't have to install QuickTime 7."

Still not able to see anything.... anyone got any ideas?


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 20, 2016 at 2:00:14 am

I had thought the trial took any length media but only output the first 60 seconds. Anyway, just did a quick test and EditReady couldn't load a straight MPEG2 program stream.

The instructions on the Squared 5 web site that I linked to in my earlier reply should still work if you need to instal the MPEG2 Quicktime component.

Unfortunately MPEG2 is pretty much dead and gone as far as Apple are concerned.


------

(For some reason I can't edit my own posts so apologies in advance for the stupid mistakes and bad English that I can't go back and fix)

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Melbourne, Australia | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Brett Sherman
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 20, 2016 at 10:03:43 am

I use "Handbrake" as a converter of last resort. It can play just about everything. The only issue is that it only converts to H.264. I just set a really high bitrate and then convert again to ProRes if needed.

--------------------------
Brett Sherman
One Man Band (If it's video related I'll do it!)
I work for an institution that probably does not want to be associated with my babblings here.


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Ronny Courtens
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 20, 2016 at 12:57:08 pm

Rowena,

If you haven't found a solution yet: what exactly is the file extension of these clips? Is it .mpg ?

- Ronny


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Rowena Megan
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 21, 2016 at 1:47:07 am

Hi there,
Yes, it's .mpg.
I have finally been able to convert them to Prores 422 using Adobe Media Encoder CS4, HOWEVER, I can't seem to get rid of these annoying letterbox black ends on the resulting clip!
Are you by any chance an expert on Adobe Media Encoder?
Here are the export settings I've used and the result is that the file is letterboxed (with black panels down the sides)

Any idea why?
Which of the following aspect ratios should I choose to maintain the original 1440x1080 without windowboxing?

Thanks!
Rowena


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 21, 2016 at 8:56:36 pm

1440 x 1080 is HDV resolution/pixel aspect.

You might look at the HDV 1080/25 preset and adapt those settings. (You will want to change field priority, for one.)


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Rowena Megan
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 21, 2016 at 10:51:48 pm

By process of elimination I worked it out: Anamorphic 1080. Finally done - two days later, I can start work! Thanks for your recommendations everyone.


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Ronny Courtens
Re: Can't convert MPEG video to Apple Prores 422 for use in FCPX with MPEG Streamclip - getting black screen with sound
on Jul 25, 2016 at 7:47:36 am

Sorry for the late reply, and glad to hear you have found a workaround.

But next time you get files with an .mpg extension, just change the extension to .mod and in 99% of the cases you will be able to import these files in FCP X without any issues.

- Ronny


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