Deck to burn std def DVD from SD card w/AVCHD files? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-28-2012, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I need a standalone device that can take an SD card containing AVCHD video files (Sony or Panasonic) and burn a standard definition DVD in real time or faster.

Any ideas?

I just spent an fruitless hour searching the forums but I apologize if this has already been answered.

Thanks!
Chris
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-28-2012, 03:30 PM
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Sony VRD-MC6

Read the Amazon reviews and whatever you can glean from tech forums like AVS before purchase, and if you do buy one try to use a dealer with a no-fuss refund policy. This is the latest in a long line of such mini-workstations from Sony, they are clever in concept and no other brand offers such an apparently "ideal" camcorder accessory. But each successive version of this VRDMC device has had dealkiller flaws, omissions or defects that ruin their utility for some people (the chief complaint being it really doesn't work worth beans with any HD camcorder files not recorded by a Sony camera).

Aside from this Sony unit or its predecessors, you're outta luck. The task you propose is typically done on a PC. No "normal" DVD recorder will have this conversion feature (because their encoders cannot handle HiDef input or files). If you lived in Europe or Asia, some pricier BluRay/HDD recorders had transcoding capabilities (but they are all discontinued now and none were sold/designed for North America).
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-28-2012, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks CitiBear, I already tried one of those (and returned it). To make a standard definition DVD you have to use RCA cables to input from your camera and record in real time. I can already to that with the DVD recording decks I have.

I can certainly do the task on my PC but the rendering time is about 10x that of the playing time, and I need to transfer about 6 hours of footage every day, making that impossible.

Do you think any of those European machines were able to transcode faster than realtime? I could probably get a hold of one via Ebay.

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-28-2012, 04:14 PM
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Sorry, someguyonearth, I keep forgetting to cut thru the Sony BS when I read the feature list: they do claim it can make SD transfers of HD camera video, but bury the fact it can only do it via composite line inputs (not directly off the card files or off the camera HD output).

The Japanese home-market BluRay models would be your best bet for a conversion feature, but there were countless models and I couldn't begin to tell you which would do what you want (and you'd need a translator to get thru all the Japanese tech speak, there's almost no info on those models in English). I can't imagine they would be any faster than a PC, tho.

The European models were mostly Panasonic UK, the early ones were better but were quickly replaced by feature-starved models optimized for satellite recording and not much else. Adapting to North American use would be tricky and they are virtually impossible to import due to mfr/dealer/region restrictions: about the only way is to travel there, buy one, wrap it in a plain box, ship it home, and pray Customs doesn't open it before it arrives at your door (they're also technically illegal here because of the foreign tuners).

You might try researching the tunerless semi-pro/industrial JVC SR-HD1250US Blu-ray Disc & HDD Recorder, sold thru USA pro photo dealers like B&H. I don't have the downloaded manual handy or I'd look up the feature for you: the manual is downloadable if you go to JVCs website. You'd want to be sure this unit can do the conversion you need as quickly as you need, because semi-pro dealers don't easily take returns or give refunds on this stuff. According to JVC's spec page:

Built-in format converter
When standard definition copies are needed of original high definition material, the source footage is downconverted and then recorded to inexpensive DVD discs. Even complete Blu-ray™ HD projects can be recorded in SD for clients who may not yet have HD playback equipment.

I think you're kinda stuck with the PC: you may need to get the fastest i7 laptop you can afford and explore faster conversion software. I doubt any available dedicated recorders will do these conversions faster than a new PC. And with a recorder, you're held hostage by the proprietary DRM-enabled burner idiocy: they aren't meant for heavy duty use, they croak faster than anyone expects, and replacements cost as much as the whole recorder (if they even bother to make replacement parts).
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-28-2012, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someguyonearth View Post

I can certainly do the task on my PC but the rendering time is about 10x that of the playing time, and I need to transfer about 6 hours of footage every day, making that impossible.

All depends on the speed of your PC and the quality of the software. I have an i7 and it takes under 15 min to take a 1 hr HD video file and recode to 480i and author it as DVD-Video -- using VideoRedo.

If you have a good PC, investing in good software might be a better, more flexible solution and cheaper in the long run. With free open source video software you often get what you pay for. It usually works but video quality is often lacking and speed is not a priority. Video ReDo = $100; worth every penny if you want to edit/author recorded video. You can download it and try it free for 15 days.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #6 of 11 Old 04-28-2012, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

I have an i7 and it takes under 15 min to take a 1 hr HD video file and recode to 480i and author it as DVD-Video -- using VideoRedo.

My dual core 2.7Ghz per core PC can recode a HD video file to 480i and author it as DVD-Video in just a little over real-time using 1-pass VBR and a little less than twice as long using the higher quality 2-pass VBR - using Nero.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-28-2012, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting. Thanks guys!

I'm running an I5 with 12GB ram and Premiere CS5. Thought I'd be near the top of the transcoding speeds. Maybe I need to explore settings and other software packages. Maybe I'll try VideoRedo. Anyone tried Wondershare?

Also, you guys are working with HD? From what I understand AVCHD (the format I'm using) is a deeper compression and takes more time to transcode.

Worse comes to worse I just record the DVDs in realtime analog from a camera into a DVD recording deck (which I've been doing for years with my mini-DV tapes). I had just hoped for a more elegant solution now that I'm upgrading to tapeless HD. And my studio does about 12 half hour videos each day so a time savings would be nice.

Cheers,
Chris
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-28-2012, 06:04 PM
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I don’t do HD to SD often and I’m only going by memory on my “time it takes to transcode” But from memory trancoding “to not from but to” a SD format using MPEG-4 (DivX, AVCHD) takes longer than going to MPEG-2 (DVD-Video) as MPEG-4 codecs are more complex and take more math and computer calculating time.

The last HD to SD file I did was a 90 minute HD 1280x720 MPEG-4 DivX movie file that I transcoded to MPEG-2 DVD-Video. If memory serves me it only took a little less than twice as long as real-time using 2-pass VBR. If I have time I’ll take a 10-minute splice and trans-code to see how long it takes but I’m pretty sure my estimate is correct.

BTW, I used a bit-rate to fill a single-layer DVD-R with 90 minutes of content.

In the image are the properties of the actual HD file.
Attachment 244951
LL
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-28-2012, 08:14 PM
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The recent Australian Panasonics can transfer AVCHD from SD card to DVD in SD, well i am pretty sure mine can anyway. You could probably import one a seller would probably sell you one at least, if you can find one but you would need a step up converter.
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-28-2012, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someguyonearth View Post

Also, you guys are working with HD? From what I understand AVCHD (the format I'm using) is a deeper compression and takes more time to transcode.

Anything I do with recorded TV shows is HD and has been for the last 3 yr. AVCHD is a disk format derived from BluRay format but is simpler in terms of simple menus and no java or BD Live type special features. AVCHD was developed for HD camcorders and designed to be burned to DVD-R or DVD-DL. Nearly all current BluRay players support AVCHD formatted DVD disks.

BluRay format allows for 3 video codecs: MPEG-3, H.264/AVC and VC-1. The spec. for AVCHD allows for only H.264/AVC (and AC3 audio), however using MPEG-2 in AVCHD seems to be common and most players will support an MPEG-2 encoded AVCHD disk. While AVCHD can be burned to BD-R as well as DVD, many players do not support AVCHD on BD-R -- they expect to see BD Video on BD-R. Likewise BD Video can be burned to DVD-R, DL (aka. BD-5 and BD-9); many players will not recognize BD Video burned to DVD and expect to only see AVCHD or DVD Video on DVD-R, DL. So, one needs to check ones' player compatibility if going outside the lines.

Camcorder footage is generally recorded as H.264 which is a more efficient codec than MPEG-2 so it can use a lower bitrate and achieve the same PQ. Many people treat H.264 as some kind of magical codec which is capable of enormous compression over MPEG-2 while maintaining equivalent PQ -- that's not true. In general, when going MPEG-2 --> H.264 you expect to retain the same PQ if you compress to ~70% of the original MPEG-2. Going the other way, H.264 --> MPEG-2, you will need to increase bitrate by ~140% to retain fidelity. Those statements refer to keeping the same HD resolution across the transcoding.

To author a DVD Video from HD camcorder source, you are going H.264 --> MPEG-2 AND decreasing resolution to 480x720. In that case you can get very good results using the SP bitrate of 5.1 Mbps for the MPEG-2 encoding. Video ReDo was made for this kind of processing. It has primary menu operations to take an H.264 encoded file(s) and transcode/author a DVD Video with simple menu.

- kelson h

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post #11 of 11 Old 04-28-2012, 09:56 PM
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I've used AVS2DVD to make DVDs from HD TV captures on this i7 2600. I get it done in about half time if I use Quenc as the encoder. It's a little tricky to set up but there are guides available at that link. If you aren't quite in that big a hurry AVS2DVD can also use HCenc for slightly better video quality. HCenc is considered by most to be the best free MPEG2 encoder out there, and QUenc ain't no slouch either.
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