I'm totally confused about my iMac's capabilities regarding HD

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ralittle2, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. ralittle2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #1
    I was on the verge of buying a Canon HF10, a flash based HD camcorder. However, if I buy this thing then I'd like to be able to archive/view a movie in HD quality. I'm being told a couple of things, but the ultimate answer has not been given yet, so please help me.

    Here's what I THINK I know.

    1. My iMac, using iMovie, will have no problem importing AVCHD footage, but there the problems start.

    2. Once footage is edited using iMovie, if I take that file and burn it to a DVD as a data file then a Blue Ray player can play it in HD.

    3. Apple tech support appears to be saying that what I want is not possible. They say that once a file is edited in iMovie then it can't be dragged and burned to a DVD as a data file. This data file could be read as a HD quality movie in a Blue Ray player. They have said that iMovie will only output it as a Quicktime movie, which can't be HD quality.

    Can someone either correct, reinforce or otherwise help me out?

    Thanks,

    RAL

    Incidentally I have a 20" iMac that's about a year old and have iMovie 08.
     
  2. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #2
    If you want a data file as a backup, you can just burn the iMovie project file, but BluRay players cannot play that.

    If you want to output a proper movie, you can export it from iMovie as a QuickTime movie, which can be HD, but only a Mac or Windows computer with QuickTime installed can play it. For now, burning an HD movie on a disk through iMovie or iDVD is not possible.
     
  3. ralittle2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for your reply, and while I'm no longer confused... I still am. What's the point of a HD camcorder if you can't archive that footage in HD?
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    iMovie is FREE.

    You can buy apps that will let you burn HD movies in OSX.
     
  5. nufanec macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2005
    #5
    You can archive it in HD, just don't expect to play that archived file in HD through a BluRay player. The fact is that the archive (the iMovie data file) is in HD, and you can export an HD movie file from iMovie, but you can't burn a movie in HD through iDVD because it is for making standard SD DVDs that play in DVD players. It's not called iBluRay.

    I don't know if any BluRay players can do this, but what about exporting the movie as H264/mpeg2 and burning it as a movie file onto a DVD. Some DVD players can play movie files, so I don't see why a BluRay player couldn't, especially seeing as you can save the movies using the same codec BluRay movies use...
     
  6. ralittle2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #6
    Thanks for your reply. I should have been more clear when I said archive. What I meant was what nufanec is getting to... the ability to watch your HD footage on a DVD player. I'm afraid I'm either still confused or something.

    The market for HD camcorders has grown tremendously in the past year, and prices have come down dramatically. This got my attention. So naturally I thought there would be a way to take this footage, edit it, and then watch it back on my Sony 1080p TV in HD.

    No offense to my iMac, but that's not where I want to watch hi-def programming. So, do most consumers not realize this fairly significant limitation? I can buy a HD camcorder, edit it on the iMac, but then not really do anything with it. What am I missing?

    Oh, and nufanec, I'm afraid you've gone over my rather limited technological head when you refer to H264/mpeg2. I get the gist of it, but for some reason I'm reminded of the SACD/DVD-Audio debacle.
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #7
    nufanec: no, exporting as mpeg will not work. they must be formatted as the special mts files that are similar to a VIDEO_TS folder in a DVD.


    OP: im afraid you are somewhat stuck from where you stand now. you would most likely need to purchase extra software to be able to convert to BluRay format. im not even sure if the software is available on mac, you might need a PC to do it for you.
     
  8. vermonter16 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    #8
    Great - I just made the decision to buy my husband an HD camcorder....uh oh.... I think though that in the long run (of course justifying my buy) that it will be worth it. With everyone buying HD camcorders - they've got to come out with something!
     
  9. vermonter16 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    #9
    Ok - now that I've thought about this.... Here is what I would like to do and tell me if this is possible. Store the original AVCHD on my hard drive and leave it for when technology comes around. Convert a copy of the AVCHD video into whatever works for imovie and then transfer it as a standard definition video to DVD.
     
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Singapore
    #10
    sounds like an excellent plan for the mean time, i sure hope you ahve a good couple of days to convert everything multiple times! it will work if u know what your doing though.
     
  11. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    #11
    I'm in the same boat. I've just purchased a Canon HG20. Seems very nice. Amazingly small and light for what it does. However, I'm not totally clear on how I'll edit the acquired footage. My plan is to make a series of training and educational videos (5 minute shorts). These will be played back on computers, not Blue Ray discs. I'll probably convert them and edit with iMovie or FCPE.

    I'm looking forward to possibly seeing new versions of these at MWSF next month. Maybe David Pogue will address this in his session.
     
  12. OrganMusic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #12
    Couldn't the quasi-Blueray mode of the new Toast be useful for some of these uses? It supposedly can burn about 30 min of HD video on a plain old DVD that will play High Def in a blue-ray player.
     
  13. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #13
    Pardon? You can burn your movies to standard defintion DVDs and they will look as good as and probably better than video that started out in life as consumer-level standard definition. You can watch them on your Mac (if you want to) and they'll be significantly crisper than standard defintion clips. You can put them online (e.g. Vimeo, or host them yourself) and they'll look better than lower resolution standard definition. You can transfer them to the appropriate format for enjoying on a media player like the PS3. You can even use your camcorder as a media player plugged into your television. Etc., etc., etc.

    When standard definition mini-DV camcorders arrived on the scene, what did people do then? That's right, plugged them into their televisions to view the unedited footage while complaining about how mini-DV as a format was too difficult to work with (i.e. edit & distribute). De ja vu, anyone? Instead of moaning our way through the holiday season, let's try to use our initiative, shall we?

    Andrew.
     
  14. ralittle2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #14
    While I appreciate your thoughts Andrew, if you have a HD camcorder that is not tape based then you are looking at say two hours of HD video capacity. It would be nice to shoot more than that and retain the high definition resolution.
     
  15. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #15
    I haven't used it, but based on Roxio's CLAIMS, Toast 9 is able to burn HD footage onto BD-Rs and DVDs for playback on a BD player (or HD-DVD player). It specifically says that it can burn the AVCHD footage from a camcorder, but It doesn't elaborate on taking AIC footage from iMovie.

    ft

    EDIT - I suspect that the next revision of iLife will include support for burning BD-Rs and AVCHD-DVDs for playback on BD players.
     
  16. MrLatte23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    #16
    BluRay burner needed...

    Ultimately you need a BluRay DVD burner that connects to your computer via firewire to "author" the BluRay disc. There are many threads about using Toast to burn a BluRay DVD on the internet, but if iMovie CAN create a HD, BluRay compatible video file, then you need something like Toast or Adobe Encore to put it on a disc that a BluRay Player can play.

    I don't know specifically if iMovie can make BluRay (not the now defunct HDDVD) compatible files.
     
  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #17
    You are going to need a BluRay disc burner. Apple does not sell these so that is why Apple tech support says it's not possible. But you can buy third party USB BluRay devices. You will need to get one. Next you will need software that can convert your Quik Time HD move file into BlyRay format and burn it on your USB device. The latest verion of "Toast" can do this.

    The other option is to buy an "Apple TV". These can get your HD quicktime fie on a TV buy ony at 720p, not 1080.

    LG sells and expernal USB burnner for about $370. They are not cheap. Neither are the BluRay media. Blank iscs currently sell for about $6 to $8 each or for $170 to $200 for a pack of 25 discs. A copy of "Toast" will set you back about $100. So it's going to be about $600 to get started

    EDIT: Good news. Here is a quote from the Roxio web site...
    I'll know if this works in about one week from today.
     
  18. ralittle2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #18
    So let's predict the future a bit...

    OK, so buying a HD camcorder and then being able to turn this footage into a hi-def disk is not really available at the current time... at least done easily. So where do we go from here?

    I suppose we will need to look to Apple to provide both hardware and software support for BluRay in the near future? This isn't all bad since it means I really don't need to buy a HD camcorder at the present time. It will mean that I will need to upgrade my Mac down the road though or buy a new one. So I will need an Apple computer with a BluRay burner and iMovie or iDVD to be able to burn a BluRay disc.

    Isn't technology fun?
     
  19. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #19
    Or get a Popcorn Hour player, or a PS3, or the new Western Digital media player - all of which will play as much 1080 video as you throw at them.

    Andrew.
     
  20. ralittle2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #20
    Well now that you mention it... a PS3 will be under the tree for the kids. In addition to hearing Guitar Hero until I'm about to have an aneurism I'll be able to watch BluRay movies and see the difference. Since the kids get Guitar Hero, I somehow snuck Gran Turismo and a controller in the bag for me. Late at night it will be a touch choice... watch a movie in HD or try to reduce my lap times by a few seconds in GT.

    This endless fun will also help me forget all about HD camcorders until the manufacturers get their act together and offer a simple affordable solution to the issue.

    Merry Christmas
     
  21. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #21
    are you positive that Toast can convert videos into a mts file/container? i guess i will have to read up about it a bit.

    it isnt readily available no, i wish i had a burner/reader to be able to experiment for you.

    apple will definately need to provide software support very soon! more and more people are starting to buy BluRay reader/burners, and they want to be able to play them on their macs. i am very close to buying a combo drive (read functions only), for me to be able to play them on my mac i need to convert the movies into .mkv/mp4/m4v etc, thats ok for me because they will be played on the big tv upstairs which is hooked to a MacMini.. but yea the support really needes to come quickly.

    the difference is AMAZING! you will love it. lol that is a very tough decision, you should rotate every night :p
     

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