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AVCHD to DVD

cpbjag

Standard Member
Hi

A Newbie here.

I have a Canon AVCHD camcorder. I am using Cyberlink software on a Dell XPS 15 laptop to edit my footage and save to BluRay disk. I have no problems with any of this and the quality of the final output is as good as the original.

My problem comes when I attempt to down-convert my 16:9 PAL AVCHD video to DVD to share with friends. I fully accept that DVD is SD rather than HD but the quality loss I am getting seems excessive. I am definitely converting at the highest quality DVD settings. The picture is watchable but "uncomfortable" with loads of ghosting. I have tried Sony Vegas as well and experienced the same problems. Unfortunately the trial version of Nero prohibits test conversion from AVCHD to DVD so that's not going to be an option for me.

Video taken on my old standard definition DV camera is far superior than anything down-converted from the AVCHD format.

I know I can get better results because my wedding video was shot in AVCHD. We were given both BluRay and DVD disks and the quality of both is great. Unfortunately our video guy has moved on and we cannot contact him to find which software he used, but if anyone can suggest a better way of obtaining a quality DVD image, I'd be really grateful.

Many thanks.
 

JamesASR

Standard Member
Almost definitely an easier option but you could try AVCHD to MP4 (Handbrake) to WMV (some Windows Media program) then use Windows 7 DVD maker. AVCHD might even directly convert to WMV but I doubt it.
 

mikethelaserman

Active Member
I use a Panasonic, but your problem seems similar to the one I had.

I found Cyberlink, along with Corel Video Studio and possibly Adobe Premier Elements all gave disappointingly poor conversion to DVD (Adobe may have been because it has so many settings to make (even down to whether the even or odd frame comes first - how am I supposed to know what comes out of the camera?)).

I found Pinnacle and Magix MUCH better - some compression artefacts and over-enthusiastic sharpening, but perfectly watchable.

I have been getting the best results of all from Edius Neo, and like the fact that it seems to "understand" the formats without having to make loads of obscure settings. Only trouble with Neo is that it is relatively expensive.

There are free trials for all of these.
 

cpbjag

Standard Member
Thanks for your helpful suggestions guys.

Mike, I will start downloading tonight and compare the results. I'm happy to go for Edius Neo if it does what I need!

Thanks again
Chris
 

jonnypb

Well-known Member
I have a Canon AVCHD camcorder as well and I get very good results from Pinnacle when burning to DVD using their standard settings
 

cpbjag

Standard Member
Just to report back on this thread, I have now tried various products including Edius Neo and Pinnacle and, as you guys have indicated, the results are so much better with these products than with Cyberlink or Vegas. I'm going to try Magix as well, before making my final decision but your responses have really helped. I have a feeling I will end up with Pinnacle - the user interface just seems so much more user friendly!

Cheers
Chris
 

UX50

Standard Member
Just to report back on this thread, I have now tried various products including Edius Neo and Pinnacle and, as you guys have indicated, the results are so much better with these products than with Cyberlink or Vegas. I'm going to try Magix as well, before making my final decision but your responses have really helped. I have a feeling I will end up with Pinnacle - the user interface just seems so much more user friendly!

Cheers
Chris

I'm glad you've reported this, as I was about to purchase Sony Vegas after hearing good things about it.

Like MiketheLaserman, I'm using a Panasonic - the HD Writer software that came with it makes perfect DVDs from AVCHD - as far as I can tell. They're higher quality than the DVDs I was making from my DV tape camcorder, and that was with a Pinnacle DC1000 capture card and Adobe Premiere, i.e. the best you can get.

So although of no use to a Canon owner, if the software that comes free with a Panasonic camcorder is good enough, it seems odd that Vegas would do otherwise.

One thing I recall from the HD Writer software is that it uses a CBR of 10MBs which is about the limit of what a DVD player can handle. Do you know what settings you output your video footage to ? I'm still tempted by Vegas to be honest, and if it wasn't able to convert from AVCHD to SD OK, I can't imagine it would have such a good reputation...
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
I'm a newbee to Vegas also, but on another thread there is some reference to YouTube tutorials (for Vegas 10), which includes using Architect Studio (to create DVD, or BlueRay)...worth looking at these if you already have a copy, or can download the Trial.

The Author is TemporalParadox1 (search YouTube) and he seems to get over what the others don't tell you....this came via Sensu, originally I recall.
 

paulwilko

Active Member
I have pinnacle but can not get it to recognise m2ts files. When i drop them into the timeline, nothing happens. Have you experienced this during try of pinnacle ?
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I have pinnacle but can not get it to recognise m2ts files. When i drop them into the timeline, nothing happens. Have you experienced this during try of pinnacle ?
Which version? 14 and 15 certainly do
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Just to report back on this thread, I have now tried various products including Edius Neo and Pinnacle and, as you guys have indicated, the results are so much better with these products than with Cyberlink or Vegas. I'm going to try Magix as well, before making my final decision but your responses have really helped. I have a feeling I will end up with Pinnacle - the user interface just seems so much more user friendly!

Cheers
Chris
Pinnacle is friendly and quite customizable beneath its friendly GUI

As I have the Vegas Pro version on this PC Ill have to use one with Movie Studio but in trying to get good SD Mpeg from Vegas you can create a custom setting by trial and error
Sony Vegas MS encoding engine is fine but whatever works best is what to go for
 

paulwilko

Active Member
Which version? 14 and 15 certainly do

Version 14 I have and when I drag to the timeline nothing happens. Also when I select the vid i cant play it in the player either within Pinacle !!

It sees the vids and sees them as M2TS files but wont play them

I have activated the H.264 and various other things but it just wont play them or go on the timeline :-(

Paul
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Im puzzled It seems something is yet to be " activated" properly !:cool:
 

cpbjag

Standard Member
UX50,

I was using the highest quality automatic conversion settings on Vegas. I also played with the manual settings, including bit rate, but couldn't get an acceptable DVD quality. Quite why Neo and Pinnacle are better than Vegas or Cyberlink in this area I have no idea, but the difference in quality is notable, even when played back on a smaller screen TV. Interestingly, since my original posting, I have found a lot of comment on Cyberlink's own forum criticising this area of their system. I'm sure Cyberlink and Vegas will have other benefits over Neo and Pinnacle but, until everyone has BluRay rather than DVD, the down-conversion facility will remain important to me when it comes to sharing disks.

I now have another question on the use of laptops for AVCHD editing, but I will set up a separate thread for that!

Cheers
Chris
 

senu

Distinguished Member
UX50,

I was using the highest quality automatic conversion settings on Vegas. I also played with the manual settings, including bit rate, but couldn't get an acceptable DVD quality. Quite why Neo and Pinnacle are better than Vegas or Cyberlink in this area I have no idea, but the difference in quality is notable, even when played back on a smaller screen TV. Interestingly, since my original posting, I have found a lot of comment on Cyberlink's own forum criticising this area of their system. I'm sure Cyberlink and Vegas will have other benefits over Neo and Pinnacle but, until everyone has BluRay rather than DVD, the down-conversion facility will remain important to me when it comes to sharing disks.

I now have another question on the use of laptops for AVCHD editing, but I will set up a separate thread for that!

Cheers
Chris
:confused:
I have made very acceptable DVD from Sony Canon AVCHD and Sony HDV fairly recently but as I said It was Vegas Pro and I have a custom encoding setting for SD
but
Pinnacle studio output is possibly comparable
 
Last edited:

UX50

Standard Member
UX50,

I was using the highest quality automatic conversion settings on Vegas. I also played with the manual settings, including bit rate, but couldn't get an acceptable DVD quality. Quite why Neo and Pinnacle are better than Vegas or Cyberlink in this area I have no idea, but the difference in quality is notable, even when played back on a smaller screen TV. Interestingly, since my original posting, I have found a lot of comment on Cyberlink's own forum criticising this area of their system. I'm sure Cyberlink and Vegas will have other benefits over Neo and Pinnacle but, until everyone has BluRay rather than DVD, the down-conversion facility will remain important to me when it comes to sharing disks.

Cheers
Chris

I downloaded the trial version of Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 and had a look at SD DVD creation. My source is AVCHD, which it handles fine. When I got to 'Make Movie, the only template I can choose that offers a PAL DVD is 'MainConcept MPEG-2'. I used this and have found the resulting video to be poor quality. There's a sort of shimmering effect around moving objects.

I noticed the bitrate is set to 6Mbs CBR. I've used this setting before for DVDs when making them with Adobe Premiere and authoring with DVD-Lab Studio and not seen these artifacts, so my conclusion is that there is indeed something wrong with the encoding in Vegas.

However, I've not yet burnt this to DVD to check on the telly. But in my experience, if it looks odd on my PC it won't be much better on the TV, i.e. the lower res of the TV screen won't hide this shimmering.

Did you choose this same template when outputting to DVD ? This was my first attempt with Vegas so perhaps I chose something wrong ? I can't see what though. At least it was easy to do. I didn't even read any instructions, it seemed fairly self explanatory, although considering I'm well taught on Premiere, I guess most things will seem simple :rolleyes:
 

cpbjag

Standard Member
I have uninstalled Vegas now as my trial expired but am 99% sure I tried the same template. I also played around trying to convert manually to MPEG2 file format using various bit rates and then using a separate program to burn the file to DVD. It was no better.

Pinnacle and Neo just seem to get it right first time, without any need to mess around with settings, which is what I am looking for. I am still undecided between the two but I have to say that the Neo support guys at Grass Valley have been brilliant which could well sway my decision.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Neo is also more "stable" and kinder to modest hardware
 

UX50

Standard Member
I have uninstalled Vegas now as my trial expired but am 99% sure I tried the same template. I also played around trying to convert manually to MPEG2 file format using various bit rates and then using a separate program to burn the file to DVD. It was no better.

Pinnacle and Neo just seem to get it right first time, without any need to mess around with settings, which is what I am looking for. I am still undecided between the two but I have to say that the Neo support guys at Grass Valley have been brilliant which could well sway my decision.

Thanks for that. And to recap what I said a few days back, the free Panasonic HD Writer software that came with my camcorder outputs directly to standard definition DVD with excellent results. As you say, they should all be able to do this in one go, without you needing to tinker with anything. The only reason I'm looking elsewhere is that my version of Premiere can't handle AVCHD and the latest version is 64Bit only, so Adobe have now lost me as a customer, which is a shame as I paid in full for Premiere (and Photoshop btw).
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Thanks for that. And to recap what I said a few days back, the free Panasonic HD Writer software that came with my camcorder outputs directly to standard definition DVD with excellent results. As you say, they should all be able to do this in one go, without you needing to tinker with anything. The only reason I'm looking elsewhere is that my version of Premiere can't handle AVCHD and the latest version is 64Bit only, so Adobe have now lost me as a customer, which is a shame as I paid in full for Premiere (and Photoshop btw).

Hmm... I dont suppose yours is Premiere CS4 which can handle AVCHD and is 32 bit? .
 

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