Hi I'm trying to convert/compress hidef mov files to mpg, but with limited or outdated software. Can someone help me?
March 4, 2010 4:28 PM   Subscribe

Hi I'm trying to convert/compress high def mov files to mpg, but with limited or outdated software. Can someone help me?

Hi. I take movies on my camera. It's a Panasonic, saves them as AVCHD Lite, which I guess is their proprietary high def format? It gives you the option to save as a "motion jpeg" with the extension .mov.

The AVCHD saves in some weird format and only seems to be viewable in the software they give, so I don't use it. But it looked the best, cause it was true HD, I think. The frame rate was 60 fps.

I use the motion jpeg option, so it saves as a .mov at 30fps. That way I can view it on my PC in quicktime, and possibly convert it to mpg.

I need to be able to edit them on my pc, running win xp and adobe premiere 6.5. I use "super" (free software) to convert files, and usually it does pretty good, but when trying to convert these .mov files, it drops frames.

So it looks good, but it jitters every so often.

I tried all the settings in the converter software but the best I got was those small jitters.

Anyone know a better way to convert these? Basically, .mov (high def looking) into .mpg, or even .wmv, with minimal loss?

posted by Like its 1997 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
I'd start looking at ffmpeg which is free, and seems to convert everything to anything.
posted by pompomtom at 4:53 PM on March 4, 2010

AVCHD Lite is 720p/30 fps (the 720p/30 video is recorded in the normal AVCHD 720p/60 format, but every other frame is duplicated, resulting in 30 actual frames per second).

I have no first-hand experience with this, but VideoHelp lists some tools that might help. I also found this thread on AfterDawn, another helpful video editing forum/site.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:00 PM on March 4, 2010

Best answer: Getting them into Premiere should be a matter of doing the following:

1) Use DGAVCIndex to index the M2TS file and demux the audio.

2) Use Avisynth with the DGAVCDec plugin to load your source video and NicAudio to load the audio in approximately the following way:

video = AVCSource("C:\path\myfile.dga").SelectOdd()
# load video, take every other frame
audio = NicAC3Source("C:\path\myaudio.ac3") # for dolby digital audio
# audio = NicLPCMSource("C:\path\myaudio.pcm") # for LPCM source
# DelayAudio(-0.5)
#play audio a half second earlier, in case DGAVCIndex reports such a negative delay
#Can be adjusted to any value in seconds/milliseconds, + or -.

3) Load your AVS script into Premiere using the plugin described here.

4) Edit/filter/re-encode away! Note that I don't actually know how Premiere handles audio, so you may need to decode any dolby digital audio to WAV or write a WAV header to any LPCM streams and then edit to sync with any video cuts/splices using Premiere's "external audio" function or similar.

In doing this, you avoid the need for duplicating lossy compression and get the most out of your souece. BTW H.264 recompression is going to be far superior to MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 video compression; why are you using such a dated and inefficient destination format (other than for DVD authoring)?
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:39 PM on March 4, 2010

Response by poster: Awesome, thanks for the info. It works.. that's cool you can open a script like a file.. Kinda a bit confusing but it got the job done!

Oh to answer ur question, lack of knowledge I guess. I should be knowing this stuff as I was at a video production house, but I just never took the time to learn it while I was there, I had other duties..
posted by Like its 1997 at 10:45 PM on March 4, 2010

Response by poster: Oh yeah, forgot to ask (this is related to original question) .. Do I need a H.264 plugin or how do I export as a high-def format, using Premiere 6.5? I just installed last night, so it's a fresh install, no plug ins or nothing.

Thanks again..
posted by Like its 1997 at 10:51 PM on March 4, 2010

Response by poster: Man I'm sorry, never mind I see it now. There is a H.264 option there. Scratch that.
posted by Like its 1997 at 10:59 PM on March 4, 2010

Glad to hear it works. Let me know how you fare on the audio front; I don't use Premiere, but I know from others that it works with Avisynth.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:58 PM on March 5, 2010

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