Best settings for archival

DarrenNewsgroup wrote on 4/7/2013, 6:13 PM
I have Movie Studio 10 Platinum Suite on a Windows 7 x64 system with a 2.83GHz quad-core Q9550 and 4GB RAM. I just bought a Panasonic V700 camcorder that can record in AVCHD 2.0 1080/50p (I am in UK so use PAL). I am currently using a CRT TV but my daughter has a Toshiba RL598B 32" LCD TV that can play videos via DLNA.

Can someone please tell me the best settings to record my videos on the camcorder and which output settings for Movie Studio?

I originally set the camcorder to 1080/50p@28Mbps as it was the highest setting. Movie Studio loads it in OK and plays it. I can edit my movie but cannot output at 1080/50p@28Mbps with the provided templates. I tried editing the frame rate but it is only 25 (or 29.97 for NTSC). I tried editing the bit rate from 16,000,000 to 28,000,000 but it always changed it back to 16,000,000 when I changed tabs.

I want to store the edited movie on a hard disc for posterity (well 2 - another one for backup) and a DVD (for our CRT TV). I aim to move to an LCD TV in the next year or so so the DVD is probably an interim format. I don't intend getting a BluRay burner as I think the LCD TV will stream from a network storage device. I think the media streamer will convert to each different TV's format so again I think the network storage format needs to be the best quality possible. As the DVD will be 25i is there any point in recording in 50p? I will be recording 2 types of video (one for dancing so 25i seems fine to me - and one of our kids so best quality is important).

When rendering I got confused with the Sony AVC options as there are MP4 and MTS (MPEG-2?) as well as AVC (but no audio). I notice the MP4 allows for 20Mbps but AAC audio whereas MTS allows 16Mbps and AC3 audio. Which is better for storage/quality?

I have read all the posts in the forum that I could before asking the questions but could not find any suitable suggestions.

Darren .)


videoITguy wrote on 4/7/2013, 10:33 PM
darren, you are asking too many questions....let me re -phrase that you are stating too many questions with too many objectives...hhmmm let me re-phrase that....I think you suffer too many objectives and do not know which one to choose to state your question.

1) Your best archival format for long-term storage is the file that comes right out of your can store on a hard-drive, a mixed-mode DVD, or a mixed-mode Blu-ray optical disc. Providing you get good quality Blu-ray media, you will be creating the best archival quality at the lowest cost per megabyte of used volume considerations.

2) Your best short-term delivery method will depend on what your target device is - be it a streaming media-player or an email methodology or ? whatever you are targeting.

3) The best interim storage method for video-edited assembly will depend on umpteen factors. If the material is really good quality HD definition - then editing a Blu-ray video streamed and authored to a Blu-ray video disc will be the ultimate option.
musicvid10 wrote on 4/7/2013, 11:39 PM
Good answer, vITg.
DarrenNewsgroup wrote on 4/8/2013, 6:56 AM
OK maybe I can ask a few questions at a time.

I usually have to edit my captured clips (1 hour dance lesson) to get rid of a lot of useless stuff. I use the Trimmer using keys 'i', 'o', 'r<RETURN>' to mark each useful region. Then I load the regions via the Explorer window (clicking on the captured clip shows all my marked regions) and then adding them to the timeline.

The final edited material may be rather short (possibly 15 minutes of a 1 hour filming) so I don't really want to store the source material as it will waste a lot of disc space. I want to store just the 15 minutes in the original source format (?). This is why I said that I could not find a 1080/50p template and asked which settings would do what I wanted. As I don't use transitions very often (mostly use simple cuts) I had hoped that Movie Studio would smart render (=copy) unaltered bits and only render transitions. This would, hopefully, be quick.

My ultimate aim is to use a network storage device with 2TB drive and if I needed to burn a DVD just throw the clip into DVD Architect and let it do its stuff.

Is that a good starting point for questions? Or have I asked too many again?

Thanks for the replies so far
Darren .)
videoITguy wrote on 4/9/2013, 3:35 PM
Darren, as far as I can tell your questions has nothing to do with a header topic called "archival" - just a perception of terms.

You are asking 1) Best DVD format - Mpeg2 video stream from timeline and author DVD from that.

2)A easy-flow video stream from a NAS in your own home network - likely will be some variant of MP4 - but this can be very tricky- and the answer will be locked to the specifics of your current network. I won't go there, because it will require many tests by yourself within your own system.
OhMyGosh wrote on 4/10/2013, 10:52 AM
Hi Darren, when it comes to really technical stuff I know next to zero. Well, actually if you were to round down, I guess I know zero. ;) Having said that, I have a similar situation with HD footage and archival stuff. I cut it down to what I think is, or will be relevant one day, and then discard the rest. I then render out what I saved as an AVI file which I believe is as close to loseless as you can get. Then I have it at it's highest quality for later use, no matter what output I will later decide on. If I have it wrong, one of the gurus will show up and step on me shortly! ;) Cin
musicvid10 wrote on 4/10/2013, 10:57 AM
Trim and save your AVCHD files in VideoRedo TV Suite. It is made for the purpose you describe. It does a "fast frame copy," which does not re-render.
Chienworks wrote on 4/10/2013, 2:46 PM
Cin, saying "AVI" doesn't mean much. There's all kinds of codecs that can be stored in an AVI file and any of them can be moderately good at high bitrates down to putridly awful at lower bitrates.

I'm guessing you might be meaning DV .avi, but even this is far from lossless. DV straight to DV will be lossless, but the initial conversion to DV clobbers the image pretty badly. Also, if you perform any processing on the video at all, such as color correction, titles, crossfades, compositing, or anything that changes the image at all, it has to be recompressed to DV again, which adds another level of clobbering.

Also, DV can't store HD material. It's SD only.
videoITguy wrote on 4/10/2013, 3:52 PM
Archival is not a term that should have been thrown in to this thread title. The OP's request was answered in a number of other diverse ways and opinions as above.

Yes, you could store the rendered video piece as a lossless codec in an .avi container- but what silliness, as at the expense of hard-drive volume space for what advantage?
OhMyGosh wrote on 4/10/2013, 11:28 PM
Thanks Kelly as always for the info. I thought AVI was a container that could be uncompressed, lossless, or lossy depending on the codec used. I use NTSC DV Widescreen usually, but didn't know DV couldn't store HD footage. Shows what I don't know.......... Cin
DarrenNewsgroup wrote on 4/11/2013, 6:08 PM
Thanks for the info guys/gals(?) I will need some time to work through all this. Glad to see it is helping someone else as well (OhMyGosh) so I wasn't being that stupid (or there are 2 of us who are).

Is there any benefit of me upgrading to Movie Studio 12? As far as I can see it would be (for me) exporting to 1080/50p@28Mbps and a better trimmer (supposedly).

Is there news of a v13 as 12 has been out a while which may make it worthwhile waiting and upgrading? I don't know if Sony have a policy of free upgrades to the next version if bought within <x> months of the new version (good idea really as it prevents people hanging on for the next version - a bit like me really).

Darren .)
TroyTheTech wrote on 4/30/2013, 10:33 AM
Hi Darren,

There are generally two modes of thought when you are archiving footage 'forever':
1) The "Best Quality". This is simply using the highest settings you can. Unfortunately, this takes up the most space. Many people will suggest you keep the 'original recordings', but hardly anyone can afford to do that. Heck even NASA no longer has the original Moon tapes
2) What is "Good Enough Quality". This is relative (some people will think a piece of footage looks great and another will come along and nit-pick with compression artifacts), but in general, this is the one most people will use in the end.
To that then, I say for now, use the highest available quality your media is allowing you.

What I mean is, if you are recording at 1080p/50fps/28MBps, that is a good BluRay(HD) quality, and rendering out to BluRay @ say, 25MBps will work fine for you.
You asked about Frames Per Second. The general rule is, if it is fast motion, keep the high fps, and if it is just people talking/a party/etc, 29.97fps is fine (heck a film speed 23.976fps is fine). So, people dancing or sports, I suggest keeping the 50fps.

The reason why Vegas is changing the settings on you is that there are conflicting settings within the customization you are attempting. For instance, you may need to change the PROFILE while you are customizing a template, to a higher setting, to allow more legroom in the bitrate/etc settings. Once you change it, you should be able to choose a much higher option for the other settings in the template.

So, try to keep the 1080p (for quality) and try to keep the 50fps if it is Fast Motion (like SPorts) but it is not needed for something like a get-together. That leaves the bitrate.

I always suggest to people, do their own tests, take a few short clips and render them out and watch them on the target screen and see what they think for themselves. Does 16MBps bitrate look ok to you? Or do you prefer 25Mbps? Does 8MBps look ok to you? If you aren't going to lower the resolution (down to 720p or something), then keeping the bitrate as high as your eyes can stand is the way to go. If 16MBps looks fine to you (It would be for lower-motion clips), then that's fine.

A quick lesson on Bitrate: it is how much data/file size per second that is being used to show what is on the screen (simple, eh?). If you have a complex, fast-moving horse, he will look blurry with a low bitrate (as the compressor 'lets data go' here and there, attempting to still resemble the original footage, blurring and losing detail as it goes), because it only has so much bitrate to use to represent the horse. With more info-per-second, the horse can look crisper and clearer (well, as good as the source) as it moves and jumps, because far more detail can be kept as there is bitrate 'room to move around' (bitrate room to represent the horse moving), but then the file size may be too large. This is the balancing act of Bitrate that must be done.

I recommend using MPEG-4 (AVC) as opposed to MPEG-2, by the way. It is a lot newer and has many more tricks for compensating for lack of bitrate where it needs it. With MPEG-2, you are going to have to use a much much higher bitrate for it to 'look as good' as the same MPEG-4 render.
I only state this because you were asking about MPEG-2. BluRay discs can be MPEG-2, but they have to have much higher bitrates to compensate for not having Deblocking and many other helper tricks for hiding things like Macroblocks and Gibbs Effects.

Have to go for now, but I'd be glad to help out with any more ideas if you are so inclined. Good luck with it and have fun!