Why so much AVCHD compression - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 179 Old 02-06-2009, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I imagine this will be an easy answer for someone. I have been reading many threads and other forums to find out this answer. I won't be one of those that asks "what is the best camcorder?" That is so vague and open ended. I have read that HDVs record the best image quality (currently) because of the minimal compression....but the image isn't true 16:9...it's 1440x1080. That seems to me that in the near future when I wan't to burn my home movies onto Blu Ray discs then the burning program will need to "upconvert" the image to true 16:9. I understand the aguement that HDV owners make....better image quality now.
Is the only reason AVCHD camcorders compress the image so much due to our current limits on storage space?....because then it would seem better to go AVCHD and wait for bigger storage to come out. AVCHD can record 1080p videos but the compression is so bad that the video won't end up looking as good as HDVs. Someone straighten out my thoughts...please.
Sounds like a "future proof" question....which is open ended as well. I realize there is no such thing. I want the format that will line up with Blu Ray better...in the near future.
Thanks
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post #2 of 179 Old 02-06-2009, 12:50 PM
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No, AVCHD compresses more because of using H.264/AVC codec; which is a more highly compressed format than MPEG2 codec that HDV uses. And in fact, the current generation of camcorder such as Canon's 24Mbps AVCHD cam is as good, if not better, than any consumer HDV cam. In addition, AVCHD can record in 1920x1080 which HDV cannot match.

As far as compatibility with Blu-Ray, both H.264/AVC and MPEG2 codecs are supported in Blu-Ray.
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post #3 of 179 Old 02-06-2009, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrdlywrknj View Post

I imagine this will be an easy answer for someone. I have been reading many threads and other forums to find out this answer. I won't be one of those that asks "what is the best camcorder?" That is so vague and open ended. I have read that HDVs record the best image quality (currently) because of the minimal compression....but the image isn't true 16:9...it's 1440x1080. That seems to me that in the near future when I wan't to burn my home movies onto Blu Ray discs then the burning program will need to "upconvert" the image to true 16:9. I understand the aguement that HDV owners make....better image quality now.
Is the only reason AVCHD camcorders compress the image so much due to our current limits on storage space?....because then it would seem better to go AVCHD and wait for bigger storage to come out. AVCHD can record 1080p videos but the compression is so bad that the video won't end up looking as good as HDVs. Someone straighten out my thoughts...please.
Sounds like a "future proof" question....which is open ended as well. I realize there is no such thing. I want the format that will line up with Blu Ray better...in the near future.
Thanks
Jon


avchd is far more efficient than hdv(mpeg2), which means that there is more information in the avchd video stream... that's why it takes a lot of computer to decode the avchd files.

think of it in terms of water flow, with 24Mbps being the size of the pipe; both hdv and avchd use about the same size pipe, but there is quite a bit more water in the avchd pipeline.
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post #4 of 179 Old 02-06-2009, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalak View Post

No, AVCHD compresses more because of using H.264/AVC codec; which is a more highly compressed format than MPEG2 codec that HDV uses. And in fact, the current generation of camcorder such as Canon's 24Mbps AVCHD cam is as good, if not better, than any consumer HDV cam. In addition, AVCHD can record in 1920x1080 which HDV cannot match.

As far as compatibility with Blu-Ray, both H.264/AVC and MPEG2 codecs are supported in Blu-Ray.


This could not be further from the truth. The Canon is not on par nor equal to the HDV models in terms of picture quality. 1440x1080 is 16x9 just as 1280x720 is 16x9. HDV utilizes MPEG2 compression at 25 mbps which has nothing to do with quality. The only advantage that AVCHD has over HDV is on the audio side with support for multi channel audio and a longer GOP. In terms of actual lines of resolution, my Canon HF10 at max bit rate still uses 1.9 million pixels when recording 1080i same as my HV-10. There is no difference. When these camcorder manufacturers are printing their resolution specs, they are not telling the truth. My HF10 uses 1.9 million of the 8.59 million it has available and produces a 960x1080 line image according to my monitor. The exact same size is produced when I display my HDV footage.
It is apparent that HDV is going by the way of the dinosaur but please don't post misinformation like above to people who want to find answers to legitimate questions.
FYI, HDV is not supported by Blu-Ray. MPEG2 is but HDV is not. HDV uses 2 channel LPCM which is not supported by Blu-Ray.

hrdlywrknj to answer your question, go with AVCHD but you will lose image quality compared to HDV. AVCHD is an amateur/j6p/consumer compression standard designed for one thing, one click recording to disk. If you want professional tools to make movies, go with HDV. My Canon HF10 AVCHD is the family camcorder that everyone uses. The kids make U-Tube Videos and direct to DVD+R disks to share with friends who have blu-Ray. For my stuff when I go on trips or need a professional camcorder, I grab my HDV based HV-10 especially of I am going to create an SD-DVD. The workflow is much easier going from HDV to DVD.
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post #5 of 179 Old 02-06-2009, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintit77 View Post

My HF10 uses 1.9 million of the 8.59 million it has available and produces a 960x1080 line image according to my monitor. The exact same size is produced when I display my HDV footage.


What the ___ are you talking about? I have no idea where you get that from.
I don't even know how to comment on that...

Quote:


hrdlywrknj to answer your question, go with AVCHD but you will lose image quality compared to HDV. AVCHD is an amateur/j6p/consumer compression standard designed for one thing, one click recording to disk.

"This could not be further from the truth."
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post #6 of 179 Old 02-06-2009, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalak View Post


Quote:


AVCHD is an amateur/j6p/consumer compression standard designed for one thing, one click recording to disk.

"This could not be further from the truth."

At this stage of the game... it IS true.

Avchd is a consumer format/standard.
Almost ALL prosumer cams are (among other types) HDV. Panasonic is TRYING to break into the semi pro industry with avchd but so far isn't having that much luck... sales aren't what they had hoped for. Sony's line of prosumer cams for 2008 were ALL HDV cams. None of them were avchd.
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post #7 of 179 Old 02-06-2009, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintit77 View Post


This could not be further from the truth. The Canon is not on par nor equal to the HDV models in terms of picture quality. 1440x1080 is 16x9 just as 1280x720 is 16x9. HDV utilizes MPEG2 compression at 25 mbps which has nothing to do with quality. The only advantage that AVCHD has over HDV is on the audio side with support for multi channel audio and a longer GOP. In terms of actual lines of resolution, my Canon HF10 at max bit rate still uses 1.9 million pixels when recording 1080i same as my HV-10. There is no difference. When these camcorder manufacturers are printing their resolution specs, they are not telling the truth. My HF10 uses 1.9 million of the 8.59 million it has available and produces a 960x1080 line image according to my monitor. The exact same size is produced when I display my HDV footage.
It is apparent that HDV is going by the way of the dinosaur but please don't post misinformation like above to people who want to find answers to legitimate questions.
FYI, HDV is not supported by Blu-Ray. MPEG2 is but HDV is not. HDV uses 2 channel LPCM which is not supported by Blu-Ray.

hrdlywrknj to answer your question, go with AVCHD but you will lose image quality compared to HDV. AVCHD is an amateur/j6p/consumer compression standard designed for one thing, one click recording to disk. If you want professional tools to make movies, go with HDV. My Canon HF10 AVCHD is the family camcorder that everyone uses. The kids make U-Tube Videos and direct to DVD+R disks to share with friends who have blu-Ray. For my stuff when I go on trips or need a professional camcorder, I grab my HDV based HV-10 especially of I am going to create an SD-DVD. The workflow is much easier going from HDV to DVD.

the hv-10 is NOT a "professional camcorder", per canon, look at the page title, it's part of their consumer line of camcorders:

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=14059

testing by camcorderinfo proves that your hf10 has a lot more resolution than your hv-10.
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post #8 of 179 Old 02-06-2009, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

At this stage of the game... it IS true.

Avchd is a consumer format/standard.
Almost ALL prosumer cams are (among other types) HDV. Panasonic is TRYING to break into the semi pro industry with avchd but so far isn't having that much luck... sales aren't what they had hoped for. Sony's line of prosumer cams for 2008 were ALL HDV cams. None of them were avchd.

prove it.

show us the sales stats for the panasonic cameras, as compared to the rest of the marketplace.
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post #9 of 179 Old 02-06-2009, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by osv View Post

prove it.

show us the sales stats for the panasonic cameras, as compared to the rest of the marketplace.

I don't have to prove anything. You can either believe it.... or not. Choice is yours.
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post #10 of 179 Old 02-06-2009, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

I don't have to prove anything. You can either believe it.... or not. Choice is yours.

In a big truck, I can carry 1000 inflated balloons or 100,000 deflated balloons.

In either case, I'm carrying balloons. You can carry deflated balloons or inflated balloons, but you're still carring balloons.

----

BigBarney, you know as well as I do that Mpeg2/H.264 offers a different way to get the air out of the balloons - yet the balloons are still there.

A discussion of Mbit rates amounts to a discussion of how many trucks are involved in transporting balloons. It ignores how many balloons are in the truck, or how inflated are the balloons.

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Originally Posted by paintit77 View Post

The only advantage that AVCHD has over HDV is on the audio side with support for multi channel audio and a longer GOP.

I think that's false. AVC-HD is a method to compress data and it extends to both visual and audio data. AVC-HD is the business version of H.264.

I'm not American but even I know that the GOP has nothing to do with this. How many groups constitute an accurate picture?
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post #11 of 179 Old 02-06-2009, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

At this stage of the game... it IS true.
Avchd is a consumer format/standard.

So you agree with all the ramblings in paintit77's post?

Sure, AVCHD is a consumer format, but there is nothing inherent in AVCHD which makes it inferior to consumer HDV camcorder output, something paintit77 is claiming. And what he said obviously is not true. Why do you keep dragging prosumer and industrial equipment into the conversations? What the pros use has very little relevance to consumer needs. Even for HDV camcorders, the consumer HDV cam bares little similarity to those used by the pros.

AVCHD is rapidly evolving; we are no where near the the limit of what 24Mbps H.264 encoding can achieve. With improving hardware and encoding algorithm, we can expect better real time encoding in the coming years.
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post #12 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by kalak View Post


Sure, AVCHD is a consumer format, but there is nothing inherent in AVCHD which makes it inferior to consumer HDV camcorder output

Did I say anything about avchd being inferior (or better for that matter)???

Please don't put words in my mouth.

What I said was that at this stage of the game HDV is used widely in the pro arena and avchd is not.... and that's a simple fact
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post #13 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by August1991 View Post

In a big truck, I can carry 1000 inflated balloons or 100,000 deflated balloons.

This is not about balloons. It's about what the pro industry is using.... and it is NOT the Panasonic avchd line of cams. Heck.... Panasonic isn't even a big seller in the consumer industry (compared to Sony/Canon). Count how many Panasonic threads you see on this site.
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post #14 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the posts.

Will the problem of "lots of compression" go away with simply getting larger memory cards or hard drives into the camcorders?

Or is the problem with how the camcorders write the information onto the M.Cs or H.D.s?............which can only be solved as the codec technology improves.


The reason I ask is because I imagine people would be willing to sacrifice image quality and go with AVCHD, IF in the near future their same camcorders can simply be improved by larger storage. IF not then I will just wait two years, and I guess by then the AVCHD camcorders will have reduced the compression. I don't want to buy one now and convert my videos to Blu Ray if the image isn't going to be worthy of Blu Ray.

"We're not worthy..." you will only get that if you grew up in the late 80s and early 90s

Thanks again for the replies.
Jon
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post #15 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrdlywrknj View Post

The reason I ask is because I imagine people would be willing to sacrifice image quality and go with AVCHD,

You're not necessarily going to "sacrifice" image quality by going with avchd. I think that's leaning a bit too far over to the other extreme. The absolute WORST that I can say about avchd in terms of quality is that is does tend to break up a bit more on faster pans than HDV. But then you can adjust avchd bitrate to much wider swings without drastically affecting quality... which is not the case with HDV. Don't forget though, the compression scheme used is only a small part of image quality. I would say that lenses plays a much more important role.

HDV also has the ability to work in editors at a much faster and more efficient level. On the other hand HDV has a 1440x1080 restriction and you also use tapes. HDV has also pretty much maxed out in terms of growth. It will not advance any further than it is now.

Avchd IS a good format... albeit a new one so there are complications in using and editing. Right now it is not much more than a consumer level standard.... but that MAY change in time.

I'm not at all convinced however that avchd has gained in popularity because of the avchd itself. I believe more that the manufacturers have used the new methods of storage (HDD, Flash...etc) as transportation to introduce avchd as it would not have made such a big splash without the new storage methods.

As far as compression goes... there is a restriction on avchd compression and that is 24Mb/s (high profile). It's a rather severe restriction when you consider the incredible compression levels that can be attained by the codec involved (h.264). In any reputable editor you can easily render out avc/h.264 to a Blu Ray players maximum (which I think is somewhere around 40 or 48 Mb/s)....but then on the other hand... we have a hard enough time editing avchd at 24Mb/s. I should point out though that it's not like hdv doesn't have restrictions either.

Your idea that HDV needs to be "up-converted" to 1920x1080 for blu ray is also wrong. While it is true that 1440x1080 works out mathematically to 4:3, it uses rectangular pixels instead of square pixels found in 1920x1080. The pixel width in 1440 is 1.333 instead of one.
1.333x1440=1919.5 (1920)

Blu Ray DOES accept this and DOES display 1440x1080 as real 16:9
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post #16 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

Did I say anything about avchd being inferior (or better for that matter)???
Please don't put words in my mouth.

But that's exactly why I put the comment "This could not be further from the truth." in response to paintit77's post. paintit77 claimed that AVCHD was an inherently inferior format, and my comment was to disagree with that. And you disagreed with my response.

Quote:


What I said was that at this stage of the game HDV is used widely in the pro arena and avchd is not.... and that's a simple fact

And the simple fact is that this has little relevance to consumer cam.
And the fact is also in consumer cam world, HDV is being replaced - just check the dwindling number of new HDV camcorder announced.
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post #17 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 07:42 AM
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The quote you encircled earlier contained TWO items... not one. It was the latter part that you encircled... which I assume you were also calling "not true". I disagree with that
At this point in time avchd is seen as a consumer format.

Here is what you said:
PAINTIT77:
Quote:


hrdlywrknj to answer your question, go with AVCHD but you will lose image quality compared to HDV. AVCHD is an amateur/j6p/consumer compression standard designed for one thing, one click recording to disk.

KALAK:
Quote:


"This could not be further from the truth."

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post #18 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

The quote you encircled earlier contained TWO items... not one. It was the latter part that you encircled... which I assume you were also calling "not true". I disagree with that
At this point in time avchd is seen as a consumer format.

Well, we have conversed in this topic many times before, and you would have known that I totally agree that AVCHD is a consumer format. My comment was not meant to address that part. I did actually disagree with both sentences paintit77 wrote, namely:
"go with AVCHD but you will lose image quality compared to HDV."
and AVCHD being "designed for one thing, one click recording to disk." - and no, that's not the point of AVCHD specs in the first place.
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post #19 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by kalak View Post

and no, that's not the point of AVCHD specs in the first place.

Now that all depends on who you talk to. Panasonic CLEARLY has wishes to bring avchd to the next level. Canon I think is a fence sitter that wants to remain as open as possible so it can go either way.

Sony on the other hand CLEARLY did not want to take avchd any further then the consumer level with its main profile choice. Now it could be yet another attempt by Sony to separate the consumer from the pro... which they have tried before... and they have future plans of releasing high profile avchd in prosumer packages. Who knows... I've given up second guessing Sony.

But yes... the main idea of avchd at this stage of the game is no-fuss playback on dvd media... stick... etc.
Nothing wrong with that.
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post #20 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

But yes... the main idea of avchd at this stage of the game is no-fuss playback on dvd media... stick... etc.
Nothing wrong with that.

Exactly, that and the need to accommodate limited storage space of current generation of Flash memory card is the whole point of AVCHD. Nothing to do with "one click recording to disk".
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post #21 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by kalak View Post

Exactly, that and the need to accommodate limited storage space of current generation of Flash memory card is the whole point of AVCHD. Nothing to do with "one click recording to disk".

Well... I think you're kind of arguing over Z (zee) and Z (zed... the Canadian/british way of pronouncing).... but they both mean the same thing.

I should point out though that avchd wasn't born on flash but rather HDD, which doesn't have the same size constraints that flash has.... so I'm not sure that's a valid point.
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post #22 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

I should point out though that avchd wasn't born on flash but rather HDD, which doesn't have the same size constraints that flash has.... so I'm not sure that's a valid point.

Actually, no. The first recording media chosen for AVCHD was 8cm DVD; which of course, did not pan out.

Quote:


Well... I think you're kind of arguing over Z (zee) and Z (zed... the Canadian/british way of pronouncing).... but they both mean the same thing.

No, they are not.
"One click recording to disk" needs no media specifications - as only the recorder is involved. You can record anything, any file format with one click. But "no fuss playback" is the one which requires compatible media format between recorder and player. And that's the key difference.
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post #23 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by kalak View Post

No, they are not.
"One click recording to disk" needs no media specifications - as only the recorder is involved. You can record anything, any file format with one click. But "no fuss playback" is the one which requires compatible media format between recorder and player. And that's the key difference.

What the hell are you rambling about???
Please show me a dictionary that defines:

"No fuss playback"
and
"one click recording to disk"

You're arguing nothing but semantics now which is totally pointless.

I saw what Paintit77 was trying to say... and if you can't then the problem is not mine.
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post #24 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

I should point out though that avchd wasn't born on flash but rather HDD, which doesn't have the same size constraints that flash has.... so I'm not sure that's a valid point.

When storing the enormous amount of data generated by HDD cams, getting an additional 20-30% compression efficiency at same/similar quality makes a huge difference. The time capacity of on-camera storage is relevant, but probably less important than the long term storage reason. I rarely record more than 60 mins before syncing with a PC, which is well under the typical capacity.
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post #25 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

What the hell are you rambling about???
Please show me a dictionary that defines:
"No fuss playback"
and
"one click recording to disk"
You're arguing nothing but semantics now which is totally pointless.

Sanyo can do the same one click recording to disk, right? So can ANY digital camera using whatever format they use - mov, avi, mjeg.

But none of them offer the convenience of no fuss playback possible with AVCHD using Blu-ray player, PS3 or built-in SD card media player that new TV such as Panasonic is equipped with. AVCHD allows easy playback similar to DVD, unless raw video file data where users may be confronted with a folder/directories screen.

And that's they key essence of playback difference between AVCHD and non-AVCHD mpeg4 recording such as that used by Sanyo, or any other file format recordings by digital cameras.

Quote:
I saw what Paintit77 was trying to say... and if you can't then the problem is not mine.

Sure, it's my problem then [shrug].
Yes, I have big problem understanding what paintit77 was trying to say in his whole post, including HF10 using only less than 1/4 of its sensor pixel for recording etc. I have no idea what he was talking about. If you do, then good for you.
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post #26 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by hrdlywrknj View Post

Will the problem of "lots of compression" go away with simply getting larger memory cards or hard drives into the camcorders?

Why do you consider "lots of compression" a problem?

"lots of compression", in fact, is the whole design goal of H.264 codec. And it has achieved its goal by providing the same quality as MPEG2 at half the bit rate or less.

And according the Apple FAQ, H.264 is poised to succeed MPEG2 in the professional media industry too. AVCHD uses H.264/AVC codec, and that's why it is so much more efficient. It currently has some imposed restriction, but many camcorders have not yet utilized this upper limit.

Apple H.264 FAQ
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Has H.264 been adopted by other standards bodies?
Yes. In terms of broadcast, H.264 has already been adopted by Europe's DVB, the top 6 Japanese broadcasters, and is under final consideration in the US's ATSC. The ITU-T has chosen H.264 for its H.241 videoconferencing specification. And in the mobile arena, H.264 has been adopted by the 3GPP (for GSM) organization and is under final consideration with the 3GPP2 (for CDMA2000) organization.

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post #27 of 179 Old 02-07-2009, 11:22 AM
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People often get too caught up in reading specs. Stop looking at them and asking why/why not, and try the bloody things, and you will see that AVCHD looks better than HDV. That is all that matters. Just buy one, otherwise you will always be waiting for "the next thing."
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post #28 of 179 Old 02-13-2009, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Chevypower View Post

People often get too caught up in reading specs. Stop looking at them and asking why/why not, and try the bloody things, and you will see that AVCHD looks better than HDV. That is all that matters. Just buy one, otherwise you will always be waiting for "the next thing."

I disagree. HDV looks better than any AVCHD camcorder I have tested (Sony, Canon, or Panasonic). AVCHD camcorders have a curious and maddening tendency to create major MPEG compression artifacts along the lines of sharply contrasting images in the video. These MPEG compression artifacts "shimmer" when viewed. My HDV camcorder does not do this (Sony HDR-HC1). Interestingly, neither does the Sanyo HD1010 which uses MPEG-4 but NOT AVDHD...
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post #29 of 179 Old 02-13-2009, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rdewey View Post

I disagree. HDV looks better than any AVCHD camcorder I have tested (Sony, Canon, or Panasonic). AVCHD camcorders have a curious and maddening tendency to create major MPEG compression artifacts along the lines of sharply contrasting images in the video. These MPEG compression artifacts "shimmer" when viewed. My HDV camcorder does not do this (Sony HDR-HC1). Interestingly, neither does the Sanyo HD1010 which uses MPEG-4 but NOT AVDHD...


that is not correct, and we've addressed it in your previous posts.
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post #30 of 179 Old 02-13-2009, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevypower View Post

People often get too caught up in reading specs. Stop looking at them and asking why/why not, and try the bloody things, and you will see that AVCHD looks better than HDV. That is all that matters. Just buy one, otherwise you will always be waiting for "the next thing."

I've downloaded m2t HV20/HV30 samples from the web hv20.com and played it on my TV picture looked good.

I found few samples of AVCHD footage from older Canon camcorder and I thought it wasn't as good as HDV but I would really really like to see 10sec footage of outdoor foliage from the latest AVCHD camcorder. Can anyone provide a sample please.

I think AVCHD is the future and I would prefer to buy this one but so far I haven't seen a proof that it's better.
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