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Computer fast enough to render H.264/AVC video on the fly?

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Tony ConnolyComputer fast enough to render H.264/AVC video on the fly?
by on May 7, 2012 at 3:24:02 pm

Is there a computer that is fast enough to render Nikon DSLR (H.264/AVC codec) 1080p30 video on the fly?

My Quadcore (circa 2008) Dell desktop is not up to the task, but I did not want to upgrade unless I could be sure that the new computer can do this.

I am also looking into converting to an uncompressed format for editing.

I don't know whether this makes a difference, but I will be using CS6 soon.


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Jeff PuleraRe: Computer fast enough to render H.264/AVC video on the fly?
by on May 7, 2012 at 4:25:01 pm

Hi Tony,

If you get a new desktop with a Core i7 processor and an Nvidia display card supported by Adobe for GPU-accelerated Mercury Playback, you should get smooth scrubbing and playback of H.264 clips, and exports to various formats should be close to realtime for the most part (web, DVD, etc.) using Adobe Media Encoder. Be sure to get a second 7200rpm drive for video only.

I do NOT recommend "uncompressed" video for editing in most cases. This requires specialized (very expensive) hard drive arrays. You should have no issue editing your clips natively on a proper edit machine.

You might be thinking of an "intermediate codec", which converts your native clips to a more robust format (intraframe, 4:2:2 color, higher data rate) which will hold up better for involved color and compositing workflows. One such option would be the Cineform codec, or Avid. An intermediate codec might make editing easier on your old machine, since H.264 is so demanding for playback.

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Tony ConnolyRe: Computer fast enough to render H.264/AVC video on the fly?
by on May 8, 2012 at 11:33:12 am

Jeff,

Oddly, CS6 seems a lot smoother at rendering on the fly. Is this possible, or is it my imagination?

Yes, I did mean intermediate codec like Avid. Thank you!


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Ryan VaughRe: Computer fast enough to render H.264/AVC video on the fly?
by on May 8, 2012 at 12:38:48 pm

Have you read about the Nikon glitch that requires extensions to be renamed? Not sure if it is make only problem but you should look it up, it might fix your problem.


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Tony ConnolyRe: Computer fast enough to render H.264/AVC video on the fly?
by on May 8, 2012 at 2:54:12 pm

Ryan,

Thanks for the heads up!

I did some quick research, and it seems that as of last year Adobe was working on a fix for the problem.

Is it possible that the fix was incorporated in CS6 but not CS5.5? I am pretty sure that CS6 is playing the files fine. I don't even have to render after running the Warp Stabilizer, which is AWESOME. The Warp Stabilizer in AE5.5 was completely unworkable for me.

In any event, no need for a new computer system, which is good news indeed!

(Also, no need to go around changing file extensions!)


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Ann BensRe: Computer fast enough to render H.264/AVC video on the fly?
by on May 8, 2012 at 6:54:26 pm

In CS6 they fixed the Nikon issue.

-----------------------------------------------
Adobe Certified Expert Premiere Pro
Adobe Community Professional


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Douglas MorseRe: Computer fast enough to render H.264/AVC video on the fly?
by on May 12, 2012 at 12:37:18 pm

Also, read http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm People have now hacked a text file to allow premiere to use the graphics cores on several open CL ATI cards as well. The playback of h264 is handled by the CPU and not the GPU.


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Tony ConnolyRe: Computer fast enough to render H.264/AVC video on the fly?
by on May 14, 2012 at 11:49:32 am

Douglas,

Where have you seen anything about non-nVidia cards working with the Mercury engine?

Regards.


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Douglas MorseRe: Computer fast enough to render H.264/AVC video on the fly?
by on May 15, 2012 at 2:50:31 pm

It's part of CS6 http://blogs.adobe.com/premiereprotraining/2012/05/opencl-and-premiere-pro-... and some have hacked a TXT file to use it with non-certified Open CL cards. I can't find the thread in the other forum, but with a little bit of digging and googling, you can find the hack and see if it applies to your card as the only officially certified open CL cards are on some of the newer Macbook Pros.


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Douglas MorseRe: Computer fast enough to render H.264/AVC video on the fly?
by on May 15, 2012 at 7:26:40 pm

Here's the link http://scruffythinking.com/notes/2012/5/8/mercury-playback-and-the-27-imac....


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