Help with importing AVCHD with iMovie '08 or FCE

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Hitch08, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Hitch08 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #1
    I have a Sony 500V camera - the one with the 120 gb hard drive that records in AVCHD. Last night I was trying to import several raw video clips from the 500V onto my uMBP (late 2008 - 2.53, 4 mb's RAM). I put the converted .mov clips onto my HP media server. When I tried to play them back, without any editing, etc., the play back was horrible. The video would play for a couple seconds and then stall and stutter. The audio would continue a bit further, but it would stutter as well. I tried importing with both iMovie '08 and FCE. Same results with both programs.

    It has to be something with the import as I can play the raw AVCHD videos directly to my TV and computer without issue. It don't make sense that it is the server, as people as able to save to externals without issue (it is a wired connection).

    I did some searching on the web and see that both iMovie and FCE have issues with converting AVCHD. Is that correct? It was recommended that I import using the Sony program that came with the camera (on Windows) and then edit back on the Mac side. Will that work? Are there better options?

    I remember reading other threads on here about similar issues, but I can't find one that is on point. My apologies if I missed the answer.
     
  2. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #2
    Imovie should convert those files into AIC so you can edit them. Check your settings to insure your importing it properly. I import from my SR11 (AVCHD) with no problems (besides a little loss of quality) and edit and play just fine.Are you burning to a dvd then playing or to another video format and playing that file?
     
  3. Hitch08 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #3
    No, I just imported them and tried to play the .mov files. I didn't try to burn them to a DVD, nor did I do any editing, rendering, or other converting.

    Shouldn't I be able to watch the files after they are imported? I checked my settings, but, frankly, don't know what to change to try to fix it.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  4. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #4
    Unless your watching them in iMovie, you need to output to a format you want. Try this, open iMovie, put what you want in the timeline, save to mp4 format. Move your file to your media. BTW, what software are you using to watch the movie, quicktime, vlc? .mov is a quicktime format but other players should play it. Whats the specs on the media server? Try different players before rendering the video first.
     
  5. Hitch08 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #5
    First off, thanks for working with me.

    I was trying to watch the movies with Quicktime.

    I will do what you suggest tonight and let you know the results. I did mess around with that somewhat, and it didn't work. I have this feeling that I'm missing something very obvious.... I may have someone come over tonight to help me through this process.

    The media server is the HP MediaSmart server. Here are the specs:

    Intel Celeron 2.0Ghz 64-bit processor
    2GB of DDR2 DRAM
    10/100/1000 (Gigabit) RJ45 Ethernet
    1 - 750GB SATA 7200 rpm drive
    1 - 1.5TB SATA 7200 rpm drive
     
  6. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #6
    I would install VLC. I use this more than quicktime and plays just about everything. One thought. The celeron processors are slow and weak. I hope you have a dedicated graphics card. What kind of graphics card do you have? Or is it integrated? If its integrated, then its choking on shared memory.
     
  7. Hitch08 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #7
    You nailed it. I imported the raw AVCHD to my MBP hard drive and it played fine. I then imported the same AVCHD to an external drive and it played fine. Same file imported to the server, with the same settings, and it stutters. Note this is not involving Quicktime - this is to just play it on the FCE viewer.

    The MBP does have two videos cards, one dedicated and one integrated. When I was having the issue the other night, I tried with both and it didn't make a difference. Tonight, I was only using the dedicated with all my trials. It doesn't seem to be the issue, the server does.

    Note that I had both the MBP and the server plugged into the same router. I also have a switch and thought I would try running them both into the same switch - just to see if it made a difference. It seemed like it worked a little better when plugged into the switch (it played the clip longer before it stuttered), but it didn't play normal.

    I am going to call HP and see if they have any ideas.

    My other idea is to copy the entire AVCHD directory from the camera to the server and then import with FCE to the external drive (not the server) and use the external to run with FCE. If this works, I can save the final video and then delete the imported files - since I will maintain the "originals" on the server.

    Thanks again for all of your help. We're starting to figure this out.
     
  8. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #8
    I was looking at the specs of the media server. Looks like it does not have a graphics card so am trying to figure out how your watching this. It has to go through a graphics card to play so for it to play on your tv, it has to go through something like an apple tv or tivo etc.. If the server can keep up sending the file then your weak point is the graphics card in which to play your movie. HP will probably tell you to get a tivo or even a PS3/xbox. With HD, your going to want a powerful graphics processor. Good luck.
     

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