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TOPIC: AVCHD Footage

AVCHD Footage 21 Sep 2015 12:14 #68742

  • bradywurtz
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Is there no way to bring AVCHD footage right off a card straight into Compressor? I can't seem to figure it out. I want to skip sending into FCPX and just bring my cameras card into compressor so i can export it as a mpg file.

i know i can bring it into fcpx and then it'll wrap it as an mov and then i can export from there, but i wanted to know if i can just skip fcpx and go right into compressor with AVCHD footage off my card?

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AVCHD Footage 21 Sep 2015 13:12 #68745

  • BenB
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So you want to go H.264 MPEG-4 based video clips to MPEG based video clips? Just so I understand, what is the purpose of transcoding to MPEG, and specifically what flavor of MPEG?

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AVCHD Footage 21 Sep 2015 15:35 #68754

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I work at a public access center. One thing we do once a year is cover the high school band competition. It's a long event, where lots of bands are playing one after another all day in a competition. These bands come from all over the tri-state. They all want a .mpg file given to them on a flash drive before the schools leave from the competition that day. The reasoning for an MPEG-2 .mpg file is that it is easily opened in windows media player. Since we have no idea or control over everyones computers from all the different schools, we just want to give them something that will play, hopefully, on all their computers. We've done this before with Adobe Media Encoder by just taking the .MTS files and throwing them into Media Encoder with our MPEG-2 settings, and then it will export our .mpg files. We then move them over to the corresponding flash drive for the band, and they're off.

They want these files that day so they can watch their performances and review it together as a team. Kind of the same way a football coach goes over footage of their game with the team after a game.

But we are wanting to try and switch stuff over to Final Cut's programs. One thing I was trying to find out, was how to do this with Compressor. Compressor will not recognize the .MTS files, nor will it recognize the AVCHD bundled file on the flash drive, nor the flash drive itself as something to select the recorded clips from.

I don't need to do any editing of the footage. I just need to give them what I recorded, in HD, as a .mpg video file.

As far as I know, once I record on our camera, that captures it as AVCHD, and i plug the card into my computer, I can't import anything into Compressor. It seems the first thing I need to do is connect the card, then open up FCPX, and import the footage into FCPX first. I can then export it from the timeline with a preset I've created in Compressor, so it can export as a .mpg file for me.

What I'm trying to figure out, is if there is an easier way to do this, by cutting out the middle man (FCPX). I want to just take the footage from my card, move it to the computer, or even edit off the SDHC card (Which is what we do in Adobe Media Encoder), and go right to Compressor, where it will export a .mpg file for us, so that we don't have to mess with FCPX.

Once again, reasoning for this is that windows media player will not play .mov files unless it has quicktime codecs installed. Also, we can't just give them the .MTS files, because not only will that be messy with multiple .MTS files depending on how long the video is, but they will need VLC installed on their computers because Windows Media Player will only play the audio and no video. Most of all the coaches who are with these bands all have basic windows laptops. And they're just band coaches, they aren't computer savvy most the time, and all their computers have windows media player on it, and they open .mpg video files just fine. If i give them almost any other type of file, I can almost guarantee you that I will immediately get calls from almost everyone saying 'how do i get this file to open on my computer? I don't get it? i double click on it and it says it can't play it.'

These people don't need me to give them a computer class or a talk about how to use different media players, or which media players they need to download, or what codecs they'll need with their player. I don't need to give them the talk either. It's a waste of my time, and their time. The easiest thing in the world for me to do, is to continue giving them .mpg video files of their performances. And I can do that by putting into FCPX first, and then exporting from there, I know. But the one question I have, just out of curiosity, is if there is any way I would be capable of taking the AVCHD recorded footage that is in AVCHD format (shot on a Sony HXR-NX5U) in 1080p, straight into Apple's Compressor, and sending it out as a .mpg video file.

Again, not sure what I needed to explain all that backstory as to why I just wanted to know if I'm able to do this, but there you go. I hope i didn't leave a single piece of detail out for you to be able to let me know if it's possible to do that.

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AVCHD Footage 21 Sep 2015 15:55 #68755

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Compressor won't recognize the camera card, at all? I'll assume it is a FAT formatted camera card, but Compressor should read off of it.

Anyway, if you made a preset in Compressor, use that to create a custom Destination in FCPX, then you've solved your own problem. Open and transcode in FCPX or Compressor is half dozen to one, six to another, you're not having to switch applications. Just import, export. Not sure doing it in Compressor would save you anything.

Well, that is if FCPX MUST transcode the AVCHD files first, which I don't think it has to.

We need someone who's more familiar working with AVCHD.

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AVCHD Footage 21 Sep 2015 16:40 #68766

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I shoot mostly in AVCHD, never EVER!! try to do anything with individual .MTS files, import them with FCPX or copy the whole folder structure to the destination drive.

However for you situation couldn't you set the camera to record .m4v files? I've never yet found a computer that couldn't play them as long as the h.264 or MPEG-4 settings were right (except for being too old and not powerful enough) and the hit in quality shouldn't be that bad,

You can also export a clip directly from FCPX's browser and you can start multiple exports one after another and then let them all export.

Sony's play memories home software will transcode/combine AVCHD. (not sure if it works with your camera) Also, just because you use FCPX doesn't mean you cant use Media Encoder for transcoding if that works for you.

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AVCHD Footage 24 Sep 2015 19:18 #68915

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it won't recognize it because it's AVCHD footage. It won't look at it the same way FCPX does. It sees the AVCHD file on the card and stops there.

i guess going right into fcpx first and then exporting with a preset from compressor is the best option. just trying to figure out if there was an easier way so our station didn't have to worry about having fcpx and compressor installed on the computer, and just have compressor. but i guess i need them both to work together

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AVCHD Footage 24 Sep 2015 19:21 #68916

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it's not a matter of if a computer can handle playing back that file if it is a .m4v, it's more of an issue of trying to explain to a 45 year old band coach that he needs to install VLC and not use Windows Media Player to play back the file. It's more of a headache for them and for me.

First rule of doing client work like this, make it as easy as possible for the client.

I looked at Sony's software. it transcodes and combines the avchd footage, but it takes forever to do so and it's still not the final file type that i want. going into fcpx and exporting with a compressor preset seems to be the most efficient way possible to do this. guess there's really no point in having compressor if you don't have fcpx

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AVCHD Footage 24 Sep 2015 20:32 #68930

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Compressor works fine with most other formats, more of the blame probably lies on the nightmare that is AVCHD, a 9 year old codec designed to somehow squeeze high quality video onto small FAT formatted Flash memory (SD Cards, Memory stick, etc...) with a file size limit of 2GB, impressive then, not so much now.

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