Best way to get Full HD AVCHD footage onto iPad?

macbook123

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Original poster
Feb 11, 2006
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I have a Panasonic GH2 which produces ultra-nice full HD footage. I'd like to have as many family movies as possible synced to my 64 GB iPad 3 at the best possible quality. Is there something like a consensus for what is the most convenient and high-quality software to take care of this? Thanks for any thoughts you might have!
 
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Macgeeza

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May 18, 2010
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I have a Panasonic GH2 which produces ultra-nice full HD footage. I'd like to have as many family movies as possible synced to my 64 GB iPad 3 at the best possible quality. Is there something like a consensus for what is the most convenient and high-quality software to take care of this? Thanks for any thoughts you might have!
I use handbrake, but I don't know if they have updated it yet for the retina display on the iPad. Perhaps there will be an update soon for that?
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
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I use handbrake, but I don't know if they have updated it yet for the retina display on the iPad. Perhaps there will be an update soon for that?
From what I read in a few other threads, the max resolution video will playback at is 1080p (in either the Quicktime player or stand alone apps) so no need to wait for a Handbrake update. And do any video recorders record at higher than 1080p anyways?
 

OSMac

macrumors 65816
Jun 14, 2010
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Try clipwrap theres a demo

If it works you will have a lossless extraction
 

macbook123

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Original poster
Feb 11, 2006
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Try clipwrap theres a demo

If it works you will have a lossless extraction
Clipwrap produces .mov files and it seems like iTunes discriminates against .mov and doesn't import it.

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I am just amazed that Apple doesn't provide a simple way to do this.

1) One of the main functionalities without doubt of the iPad is to watch HD footage.

2) Most HD footage today is compressed to AVCHD format.

But there is no sensible way to do this? No, using iMovie's clumsy interface and waiting hours for the conversion while eating up ten times more storage on my hard drive than necessary is NOT a sensible way. WTF Apple, seriously!?!?!
 

Drag'nGT

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Sep 20, 2008
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Yes. Check out the RED cameras.
I love camera porn. :D Now my issue is what the heck I could watch a 5k video on...

OP, are you using iMovie only or do you have Final Cut? Compression to quality does give way at a point. How compressed do you want the video? Or are you just looking for a perfect format?
 

GraphicsGeek

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2008
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Clipwrap produces .mov files and it seems like iTunes discriminates against .mov and doesn't import it.

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I am just amazed that Apple doesn't provide a simple way to do this.

1) One of the main functionalities without doubt of the iPad is to watch HD footage.

2) Most HD footage today is compressed to AVCHD format.

But there is no sensible way to do this? No, using iMovie's clumsy interface and waiting hours for the conversion while eating up ten times more storage on my hard drive than necessary is NOT a sensible way. WTF Apple, seriously!?!?!
1) .mov files (someone correct me if I'm wrong) are Apple's proprietary format so they should play nice in iTunes. I have several .mov files in my itunes library that play across all of my iDevices.

2) Try downloading AVPlayerHD and move your unconverted movie files into it and see what happens. I've been able to play 1080p .mkv movies using this without a hiccup.
 

Chaos123x

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Jul 8, 2008
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Could you imagine being able to log and view your hacked Gh2 footage on the iPad and even do a few rough cuts in iMovie before moving it onto your computer and FCP X. That would be great.


Also found that the camera connection won't read SDXC cards like the Sandisk Extreme Pro 64gig 95mbs, you have to use the camera hooked up.
 

Xeanor

macrumors newbie
May 5, 2011
20
1
2) Try downloading AVPlayerHD and move your unconverted movie files into it and see what happens. I've been able to play 1080p .mkv movies using this without a hiccup.
I did this continually on my iPad 2, which worked fine. (720p videos)

However, on my iPad 3 it's really impossible to play a 1080p video in AVPlayerHD. The player cannot handle the video because it appears it can't use the GPU to decode the video, resulting in an extremely laggy picture and the audio is like 3 seconds behind.

Any solution? The problem exists with .mkv videos, if I convert them to .mp4 i can play them in the "Videos" app of iOS itself, but that requires like an hour of conversion per video, making it very dreary.
 

macbook123

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Original poster
Feb 11, 2006
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1) .mov files (someone correct me if I'm wrong) are Apple's proprietary format so they should play nice in iTunes. I have several .mov files in my itunes library that play across all of my iDevices.

2) Try downloading AVPlayerHD and move your unconverted movie files into it and see what happens. I've been able to play 1080p .mkv movies using this without a hiccup.
On 1), how would you copy the .mov files? For me it doesn't work with drag/drop or vie "Add to Library"...

On 2), I did, but when I try to add any files to the File Sharing pane in iTunes I get the following error message: "a1.MOV could not be copied because an error occurred. The required disk cannot be found"
 

GraphicsGeek

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2008
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On 1), how would you copy the .mov files? For me it doesn't work with drag/drop or vie "Add to Library"...

On 2), I did, but when I try to add any files to the File Sharing pane in iTunes I get the following error message: "a1.MOV could not be copied because an error occurred. The required disk cannot be found"
Add the .mov files to your iTunes library and sync.

It sounds like your trying to sync over wifi? I get this error message all the time. Either restart iTunes and/or your computer or just plug in your iPad and sync it that way. I haven't had too much luck moving big files over wifi sync.

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I did this continually on my iPad 2, which worked fine. (720p videos)

However, on my iPad 3 it's really impossible to play a 1080p video in AVPlayerHD. The player cannot handle the video because it appears it can't use the GPU to decode the video, resulting in an extremely laggy picture and the audio is like 3 seconds behind.

Any solution? The problem exists with .mkv videos, if I convert them to .mp4 i can play them in the "Videos" app of iOS itself, but that requires like an hour of conversion per video, making it very dreary.
Hmm it must be the files I've downloaded then. The ones I have seem to play fine.
 

macbook123

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Original poster
Feb 11, 2006
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Add the .mov files to your iTunes library and sync.

It sounds like your trying to sync over wifi? I get this error message all the time. Either restart iTunes and/or your computer or just plug in your iPad and sync it that way. I haven't had too much luck moving big files over wifi sync.

I tried again and for some reason this time it worked -- via WiFi sync even.

So I finally found a great solution: rewrap (i.e. orders of magnitude faster than transcribing) losslessly with ClipWrap from .mts to .mov, then import into iTunes. Done.

I had been using ClipWrap for other applications for a while, so it's funny that this didn't occur to me earlier.
 

Chaos123x

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Jul 8, 2008
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How is this solved? If you can import the Gh2's video directly on to the iPad with the camera connection kit? Importing it on a computer and then converting it and moving it to the ipad is pretty pointless to me. Why bother even putting it on the ipad after all that.

iMovie and the camera connection kit are both jokes when it comes to video.
 

satchow

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2011
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Any solution? The problem exists with .mkv videos, if I convert them to .mp4 i can play them in the "Videos" app of iOS itself, but that requires like an hour of conversion per video, making it very dreary.
Try these programs: Windows - mkv2vob, OS X - mp4tools. They will change the container from mkv to .mp4/.m4v and remux the audio. This way there's no video quality loss from transcoding and you can play it natively on your iPad. Since it only changes the container and doesn't transcode, it takes 5-10 minutes for a full-length movie.
 

macbook123

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Original poster
Feb 11, 2006
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How is this solved? If you can import the Gh2's video directly on to the iPad with the camera connection kit? Importing it on a computer and then converting it and moving it to the ipad is pretty pointless to me. Why bother even putting it on the ipad after all that.

iMovie and the camera connection kit are both jokes when it comes to video.
Lol. I've long given up on Apple offering sensible solutions for many things, video just being one of them. I've never met anybody who enjoys using iMovie for instance. If Apple had the customer in mind they'd have offered a simple tool to import, organize, and edit AVCHD footage on each the Mac and iPad long time ago. It can be done very efficiently -- I've written one of the Mac but am lacking skills to make it work on the iPad. instead all they give you is iMovie, where the original avchd file system structure has to be intact, it takes ages to import, is complicated to even drag and drop a movie to a project using their clumsy interface, then takes again ages to export, all while creating huge overhead .mov files in the process. I'm pretty sure it's never gong to get easier than clipwrap, which btw is actually 100 times faster than the solutions other have suggested above, while actually being lossless in terms of quality.

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Try these programs: Windows - mkv2vob, OS X - mp4tools. They will change the container from mkv to .mp4/.m4v and remux the audio. This way there's no video quality loss from transcoding and you can play it natively on your iPad. Since it only changes the container and doesn't transcode, it takes 5-10 minutes for a full-length movie.
That sounds like mp4tools is doing the same thing as clipwrap. Geat, thanks for pointing out!!
 

whtrbt7

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Jun 8, 2011
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iMovie can import AVCHD by default. if you need more complex tools, Adobe Premiere and Final Cut express/Pro can fill that void. The limitation of iMovie is that it comes out as 720p instead of 1080p which you would need Adobe Premiere or Final Cut express/pro for. The iPad version of iMovie currently can't import AVCHD yet. It will however accept MOV files from DSLRs by default.

If you're looking to convert AVCHD quickly, I would suggest using Toast Titanium to remux the AVCHD video into MP4. It doesn't take too long and you would be able to drop it into iTunes. This however doesn't mean that you can automatically drop it into the iPad. The reason for this is due to the data stream that iPads and iPhones can handle. So if Titanium Toast doesn't originally work, I would suggest Handbrake or videomonkey to lower the bitrate on the video. My personal workflow now uses MOVs from a Canon DSLR which allows for full 1080p video without any conversion. It just works much better and it's not very expensive.
 

macbook123

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Original poster
Feb 11, 2006
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iMovie can import AVCHD by default. if you need more complex tools, Adobe Premiere and Final Cut express/Pro can fill that void. The limitation of iMovie is that it comes out as 720p instead of 1080p which you would need Adobe Premiere or Final Cut express/pro for.
Yes, iMovie can import AVCHD, but ONLY if the original file system structure on the card is left intact. That's very impractical since it means you have to either copy the entire AVCHD folder from the card onto a hard drive, or copy the movies into iMovie while they're still on the card.

What you say about 720p versus 1080p is untrue. iMovie can handle 1080p.
 

whtrbt7

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Jun 8, 2011
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Yes, iMovie can import AVCHD, but ONLY if the original file system structure on the card is left intact. That's very impractical since it means you have to either copy the entire AVCHD folder from the card onto a hard drive, or copy the movies into iMovie while they're still on the card.

What you say about 720p versus 1080p is untrue. iMovie can handle 1080p.
Whoops sorry you're correct. 720p was on the old version lol. I keep flashing back to my original training when iMovie 09 could only export 720p.
 

macbook123

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Original poster
Feb 11, 2006
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Unfortunately I just had to declare this thread unsolved again, because the solution GraphicGeek suggested only works for 720p videos. iTunes does NOT allow me to import 1080p .mov files.