Smart Rendering that Works with All AVCHD Camcorders: TMPGEnc MPEG Smart Renderer 4 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 01-07-2013, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Most highly-capable video editors cannot edit and merge AVCHD clips without re-rendering everything, from which you lose quality. PowerDirector 11 claims to "smart render" - not recompress if not necessary - but it plain does not work with all clips in my own experience.

The free included software with Panasonic camcorders and Sony (HDWriter and PlayMemories) do not recompress unecessarily. But:

1. They only work with files from the one camera brand - e.g., you cannot use Playmemories to edit Panasonic AVCHD clip even though they appear to have the same specs.

2. They do not have title or transition effects capabilities.

3. They do not have frame-level editing capability.

4. PlayMemories does not create completely glitch free clip transitions in audio.

TMPGEnc MPEG Smart Renderer 4 does not have any of the shortcomings 1-4. It smart renders, has transition effects and titling, works with Sony and Panasonic clips, allows frame-level cuts, and creates absolutely glitch-free transitions.

I had no software that would smart render and merge Panasonic LX7 clips, so I looked around. This software did the trick. And this video was created using it (the LX7 museuem video):

https://vimeo.com/56672263

You will note how the clips flow seamlessly, audio and video. I did not use any transition tricks (I generally hate such things), but you will see a fade at the end - that could not be done with PlayMemories or HDWriter (even if they could edit the files, which they could not).

I got this tip from Shield (Shawn), who posts here and on DPReview.

http://tmpgenc.pegasys-inc.com/en/product/tmsr4.html
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post #2 of 51 Old 01-07-2013, 02:50 PM
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I downloaded the trial and played with it for 10 minutes or so. Where is the timeline? Also, can I decouple audio from video to create straight video cuts, but to blend audio? Also, preview was extremely slow on my computer even with CUDA turned on. Maybe I don't have the fastest machine, but Vegas starting from version 10 has no problems to play video in realtime even for 1080p60 clips.

I would not mind having an output plugin for Vegas that does not re-encode for the same money TMPGEnc asks for the whole tool.
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post #3 of 51 Old 01-07-2013, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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If you want assured smart rendering and frame-level cutting with real editing features, this is the best option. Of course, Vegas with real smartrendering would be preferred. I can fantasize too.

What computer is being used? And when you do preview in Vegas, what resolution is the preview mode in - you can get smooth peview if you reduce resolution in Vegas easy whatever the properties of the original files.

Let's remind ourselves why smart rendering is important: the compression used for AVCHD is very powerful, but that combined with 4.2.0 8-bit color sampling means that video quaility takes a big hit when recompressed. I can clearly see color and resolution loss when I edit in Vegas and output at the highest bitrate.

And this is far superior to Sony PlayMemories and Panasonic HDWriter.

Let's hope in future updates, timeline is added, and some other things.
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post #4 of 51 Old 01-08-2013, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

You want assured smart rendering and frame-level cutting with real editing features, this is the best option...
Maybe I do for a few things, but not for most.

For most projects, I want a lot more in the way of controls, tools and management. Sometimes I even want to speed up or slow down the playback.. I may even need to add a narrative track for something like a travel video. And, sometimes I need my software to be smart enough to render to different playing devices, like my grandaughters' new iPods. I may even need to add additional stabilization. The list is long.

Bill
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post #5 of 51 Old 01-08-2013, 01:22 PM
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Markr041, thanks for pointing to this tool.
I was trying PowerDirector 11 for my 1080p60 smart renderings. Even it works with all my clips, but mart-rendered file needs to be patched by FixPD9 utility in order to go through multiAVCHD authoring tool. Patching video did not play smoothly. MultiAVCHD is the only method I know to burn 25Mbps-28Mbps to DVD-Rs as AVCHD.
So I found the other timeline based editing tool allowing Smart Rendering: Aunsoft Final Mate. This works well, but still requires FixPD9 for fixing audio stream issues. But the whole process works well and video plays properly.

The TMPGEnc MPEG Smart Renderer really looks interesting to try; it has more timeline editing features.
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post #6 of 51 Old 01-08-2013, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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TMPGEnc MPEG Smart Renderer will also burn an AVCHD 2.0 compliant bluray (25-28Mbps 108060p).
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post #7 of 51 Old 01-08-2013, 02:33 PM
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Sony Vegas generates files that are compatible with AVCHD / AVCHD 2.0 / BD, but sometimes Sony renderer can jack up bitrate up to 40 Mbit/s even if you ask for 28 max. AVCHD discs may stutter with such a high bitrate (depends on disc manufacturer and on player). Not a problem for BD media though.
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post #8 of 51 Old 01-08-2013, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Again, TMPGEnc MPEG Smart Renderer burns the original files from the camcorder; there is no rendering by the program other than at edit points. So, if the camera max is 28Mbps, that is what is burned. It just arranges the edited camcorder AVCHD files in a BDAV array to conform to the AVCHD 2.0 standard for bluray.

You can choose to have it combine all the (edited) clips as one merged file or as separate clips (for AVCHD it does not matter).
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post #9 of 51 Old 01-08-2013, 04:09 PM
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I know, but without being able to split audio from video this tool is not of much value to me. I would pay the same money if it were an output plugin for Vegas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Again, TMPGEnc MPEG Smart Renderer burns the original files from the camcorder; there is no rendering by the program other than at edit points. So, if the camera max is 28Mbps, that is what is burned. It just arranges the edited camcorder AVCHD files in a BDAV array to conform to the AVCHD 2.0 standard for bluray.

You can choose to have it combine all the (edited) clips as one merged file or as separate clips (for AVCHD it does not matter).
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post #10 of 51 Old 01-08-2013, 05:45 PM
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Perfectly "loss-less" editing makes theoretical sense. I get it. But, my eyes don't.

I used PlayMemories Home to cut a very short clip of a nice (to me) Oregon coast lighthouse. Then I used Premier Elements 11 to "share" it in what I think may be is it's highest quality "render" or "transcode" process. I didn't use any of the available tools to change anything. My idea was to test what I would loose in quality in the rendering or transcoding process of a current consumer priced NLE.

Next I pushed the the two clips to Vimeo though a weak and slow internet connection. (I'm living in an RV for a couple months) and relying on a Verizon 3G MiFi card. Uploads are slow!

My idea was to see if my standard issue eyeballs could see a difference. Would the "rendered" clip look different that the original on a common sharing site like Vimeo?

Do I need the perfectly lossless TMPGEnc tool? Or can I use an NLE that adds more variety and choice of tools?

I uploaded the original and the "rendered" copy to Vimeo. I know there has to be important diffences in quality, but my standard issue eyeballs don't see it.

My conclusion is that I prefer a more capable NLE to one that is stuck on the the theoretical concept of "lossless".

https://vimeo.com/57029122 vs https://vimeo.com/57029123. Does one look worse than the other?

Bill
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post #11 of 51 Old 01-08-2013, 05:57 PM
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Non-destructive editing is attractive because it is fast. No re-encoding, just straight cuts and copying of pieces of data from one place to another. This is as fast as editing can be.

But most people use effects, so re-encoding is needed anyway. Even documentaries are color-corrected and color-enhanced. To avoid even basic color correction you need to set white balance and exposure beforehand, and then be content with the results. I guess for those who think that color correction (or 24p for that matter) is distortion of reality this mode of operation would work.

Besides speed, I can see another application of non-destructive editing, which is making a rough cut, then send for final editing and color correcting. But now we are talking about professional workflow, and professionals do not edit HDV or AVCHD anyway, they use beefier intermediate codecs.

I wish HD Writer allowed fast and easy cropping of clips, but it is too time consuming: load a clip into editing window, crop, save. Then do it again. I wish it had batch cropping, which, AFAIK, it does not have. Say, you quickly select in and out points in clips you want to trim, set output directory and output name template, and it crops and output a whole bunch of file. It would be a very valuable utility.
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post #12 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 07:12 AM
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markr041, I am trying to see how the TMPGEnc MPEG Smart Renderer 4 demo works on my files, smart rendering is the key. What output/rendering settings do you use for 1080p60 mts files? The only available I found is the progressive for AVCHD.
I am not sure how to burn AVCHD 2.0 compliant bluray (25-28Mbps 108060p) as you mentioned. How can I burn created BDAV structure to standard DVD-R to get AVCHD 2.0?
Some dissapointment (I could be wring here and need something to learn) is the timeline editing. It is no actula full movie lenght timeline. The procedure "adding clips, cut/join" is long, requiring multiple steps/clicks. No whole reulting movie overview.
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post #13 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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1. You do not need to set "output settings". That is the whole point - it outputs exactly what the original files are. If the "master file" (any clip you choose) is AVCHD 28Mbps and all the rest are the same, it will smart render everything and the resulting output will be the same as the master clip. Easy.

2. To create the AVCHD file structure, you in the "Format' tab, 'Output Target' select 'Blu-ray (BDAV) Standard Meg File'.

Then the program will output to your hard disk (wherever you choose) the exact file structure with your edited/merged video file in it. After that is done, it will give you the option in the program to burn a blu-ray disc. But you can copy the file structure to a DVD-R with any program.

I also find the "adding clips" part tedious, and do not understand why we have to click for each clip. The program does save the project, so the next time you go into to it all the clips are immediately there.

No timeline - you can order the clips any way you want. Given how little time it takes to create the merged video, I just merge and then examine the merged file in any viewer I choose. If I do not like it, I re-edit.
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post #14 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Non-destructive editing is attractive because it is fast. No re-encoding, just straight cuts and copying of pieces of data from one place to another. This is as fast as editing can be........
Point taken. If speed is necessary, I get where non-destructive smart rendering is useful.

(Do "non-destructive editing" and "smart rendering" mean the same thing?)

Did you look at my 10 second vimeo clips? I used a low priced NLE that is full of tools, controls, etc and file "B" does not seem to suffer any destruction. What are my eyes missing? Maybe I should render the rendered file a few times and see what shows up!

Thanks.

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post #15 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Do "non-destructive editing" and "smart rendering" mean the same thing?

'Smart rendering' means the software knows when it can carry out 'non-destructive' processing. So if you trim a clip, it is not necessary to re-render all of the remaing clip. If you can cut edit and not re-render the entire clip, you have non-destructive editing.

Dumb rendering, like Sony Vegas and Adobe, will re-render all the video no matter what is necessary to render and you waste time and lose quality, so it is destructive.

Look at all the attention to 'sharpness'. well, if you rerender, you lose some sharpness, among other things.

Oh, and you also re-rendered the audio, recompressing the original compressed audio. So the sound is worse also. Smart rendering also does not re-compress the audio.

I downloaded and looked at the clips (nice shot, btw - well exposed and composed). I did not see or hear any great difference (the audio is mostly noise anyway).
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post #16 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bordo32 View Post

markr041, I am trying to see how the TMPGEnc MPEG Smart Renderer 4 demo works on my files, smart rendering is the key. What output/rendering settings do you use for 1080p60 mts files? The only available I found is the progressive for AVCHD.
I am not sure how to burn AVCHD 2.0 compliant bluray (25-28Mbps 108060p) as you mentioned. How can I burn created BDAV structure to standard DVD-R to get AVCHD 2.0?
Some dissapointment (I could be wring here and need something to learn) is the timeline editing. It is no actula full movie lenght timeline. The procedure "adding clips, cut/join" is long, requiring multiple steps/clicks. No whole reulting movie overview.

Is the goal is to master TMPGEnc MPEG Smart Renderer for it's "non destructive" magic? If not, the NLE that I use is priced about the same and all of that is built in as simple menu choices. It makes AVCHD Disks on DVD disks that are playable in Blu-Ray players or Blu-Ray disks if you have a burner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

1. You do not need to set "output settings". That is the whole point - it outputs exactly what the original files are. If the "master file" (any clip you choose) is AVCHD 28Mbps and all the rest are the same, it will smart render everything and the resulting output will be the same as the master clip. Easy.
2. To create the AVCHD file structure, you in the "Format' tab, 'Output Target' select 'Blu-ray (BDAV) Standard Meg File'.
Then the program will output to your hard disk (wherever you choose) the exact file structure with your edited/merged video file in it. After that is done, it will give you the option in the program to burn a blu-ray disc. But you can copy the file structure to a DVD-R with any program.
I also find the "adding clips" part tedious, and do not understand why we have to click for each clip. The program does save the project, so the next time you go into to it all the clips are immediately there.
No timeline - you can order the clips any way you want. Given how little time it takes to create the merged video, I just merge and then examine the merged file in any viewer I choose. If I do not like it, I re-edit.

Mark, with due respect, did you look at my two 10 second clips? Where is the visible destruction caused by rendering? What is the point of "smart rendering" when the price is giving up so much control, ease of use and flexibility and there is indistinguishable (to the eyeball) loss of quality?

Bill
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post #17 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
You do not need to set "output settings"
But in order to get file rendered (let's say as m2ts for an external authoring tool) I need to press a button and specify output options, also an option exist to examine/audit a timeline to see which areas are going to be reencoded - clips stitches, end of movie. Strangely so many frames in the stitching area (no transitions) are reencoded, making process much slower. I tried Aunsoft Final Mate smart rendering time line based tool, it renders stitched areas at the same speed and makes nice movie flow during this. The mt2 files/clips are made by camcorder. I guess that ending and beginnig of separate files is formed and cut by camcorder SW following GOP structure. It is no clear why TMPGEnc is reencoding the files stitching area if no transitions there?
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post #18 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Bordo32: Again you do not need output settings other than telling the program whether to make one big file or to make the BDAV structure. You do not have to 'analyze' or 'audit' the file; just edit the clips, arrange them as you want, select the mode (one file or not) and target (BDAV or not), and start. That's it. Then lickety split you have a movie at the highest quality possible.

To properly stitch together two AVCHD files, processing needs to be done at the stitch points. I have Aunsoft Final Mate, it does not properly stitch together the AVCHD files. It is, among other reasons ,why I went to this one (plus the ability to title and add transitions).
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post #19 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Bill: If you do not mind waiting hours to re-render a video and you do not see or hear any difference in quality then you can ignore all of this thread.

As I said above: "'I downloaded and looked at the clips (nice shot, btw - well exposed and composed). I did not see or hear any great difference (the audio is mostly noise anyway)."
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post #20 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Bill: If you do not mind waiting hours to re-render a video and you do not see or hear any difference in quality then you can ignore all of this thread.
As I said above: "'I downloaded and looked at the clips (nice shot, btw - well exposed and composed). I did not see or hear any great difference (the audio is mostly noise anyway)."
I missed that. Sorry! I think I was typing or re-typing when you posted. And thanks for the compliment! It was shot with my RX100.

A book I read suggested most people's thoughts wander if any video is more than 5 minutes. Three minutes is even more likely to be watched from beginning to end! My new i7 computer will render at about 3 or 4 to 1 unless there are complex effects added. A three minute video won't be more than 10 or 12 minutes to process, So, I don't waste hours, only minutes. smile.gif

Why would I ignore the thread? An awful lot of video is about post processing. I like learning about other approaches than the one I use.

Bill
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post #21 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

A book I read suggested most people's thoughts wander if any video is more than 5 minutes. Three minutes is even more likely to be watched from beginning to end!
I don't like 3-minute YouTube piecemeal videos. I prefer not watching 2+ hour Hollywood sagas too, most of them do not deserve that much of my time. My preferred duration for movies is 1 - 1.5 hours, for docs anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes, for reviews and other online stuff from 5 to 15 minutes.

My old-ish 2.2 GHz machine render speed is about 6x to 8x of running time HD to HD depending on output encoder and whether GPU acceleration is involved. So... a 10-minute home video renders for an hour and a half. I am thinking of upgrading, but on the other hand I do not render that often, after all this is just a hobby not a full-time occupation.

I am thinking about not-so-expensive i5 chip (~$200) vs more expensive but barely within 5% speed increase i7 chip (~300-350). I will need a new motherboard too. But what kills me is reinstall process, I am not sure Windows will agree to go on with the motherboard replaced.
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post #22 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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If you can get a new 3rd-generation i5 machine with 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive and Windows 8, wireless, ready to go, for $599, why not just do that? No hassle, and the latest editing software uses the intel quicksync feature for hardware acceleration (As does the software that is the topic of this therad) so you do not necessariliy need to add a graphics card. Look around. I have never found building a machine from scratch or upgrading an old one to be cost-effective.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Gateway+-+Desktop+-+8GB+Memory+-+1TB+Hard+Drive/6835451.p;jsessionid=DC3774D026040B190CC30D3E667C9B35.bbolsp-app01-27?id=1218808631512&skuId=6835451&st=gateway&cp=1&lp=2
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post #23 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 11:58 AM
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No more pre-built computers for me. Too much hassle replacing crappy parts, finding drivers and dealing with custom device bays. Don't want to re-install the whole shebang as well. I don't render all day long, so I can just set things up and leave for an hour.

If I start building a next machine, I will start with a huge box and with 650W power adapter :-)
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post #24 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 02:37 PM
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Thanks for posting info on this software Mark. I will download the trial and give it a try. Does it smart render just as fast as HD Writer 3.0? This software could make it easier for me when doing 1080/60p and burning to Blu-Ray.

I am still using PMB to burn avchd 2.0 1080/60p bd's with TM900 combined files outputted by HD Writer 3.0 I have never upgraded to Playmemories. I don't feel a need to and I do not wish to upset the process that is working for me and my Sony blu-ray player right now.

Do you or anyone else know if HD Writer 4.0 has added the ability to burn 1080/60p avchd 2.0 bd's now?

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post #25 of 51 Old 01-09-2013, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tingham View Post

Does it smart render just as fast as HD Writer 3.0?
I think that "smart rendering" is an incorrect name. It is basically "dumb copying" paired with "traditional rendering" for unclosed GOPs. It should be almost as fast as a disk drive allows. The only "smart" thing about it is figuring out when to render and when to copy as is.
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post #26 of 51 Old 01-10-2013, 04:56 PM
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^I agree Unger. Although, the software makers have adopted the "smart render" phrase for their products. I don't care what they call it as long as it works and works fast.

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post #27 of 51 Old 01-17-2013, 06:58 PM
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Markr041, thanks for advise, I still experimenting with CAM footage Smart rendering and authoring and burning as AVCHD on DVD-R media.
Regarding:
Quote:
Again you do not need output settings other than telling the program whether to make one big file or to make the BDAV structure.
In order to do this I still need to use a Format tab first, select File Output or BDAV Authoring tab. In order to make a “big file” the Output Target dropdown list needs to be used and either Mpeg File for AVCHD Progressive Device or Blu-Ray (BDAV) standard Mpeg File needs to be selected. Actually the resulting authored file in both cases is the same.

The problem with “making big file” option is that rendered file is not accepted by multiAVCHD for further authoring (intention to burn it to DVD-R).

For option BDAV Authoring, the resulting rendered folder structure is BDAV, kind of old not so widely used format, still accepted by BD player burnt on DVD-R, but it is not the AVCHD, not recognized as AVCHD in BD player. In other words TMPGEnc actually cannot author AVCHD, only BDAV or prepares files which can not be used by multiAVCHD without patching by third party SW.
Can you please share your process steps with TMPGEnc, from CAM file to disk. Do you actual burn video to DVD-R? As BDMV or AVCHD?
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post #28 of 51 Old 01-21-2013, 01:55 PM
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Markr041, can ytour share please your experience on following: are you burning AVCHD on DVD or BD media? What authroing process do you use, BDAV created by TMpgenc or multiAVCHD? Did you have a chance to try VideoRedo TV H.264?
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post #29 of 51 Old 01-21-2013, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I do not burn video to DVD's or Blurays.

1. I can play the merged files created by the software directly from a usb stick using my Sony Bluray player attached to an HDTV (it has a usb port for this purpose).

2. I can also make the BDAV folder structure with the software and put the files on an sd card. I then can play the video from my Panasonic Bluray player attached to an HDTV (it has an sd card slot for this purpose).

So I have no reason to make platters. Sorry.
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post #30 of 51 Old 01-21-2013, 02:52 PM
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Markr041, thanks for clarifying your process. I found that VideoRedo H.264 joins/cuts files properly as well, although less convenient vs. Tmpgenc, but renders files ready to be used for miltiAVCHD authoring SW to get them on convinient sharable media DVD-R.
Just curious, before you found Tmpgenc, did you have any exposure to VideoRedo?
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