I edit a lot of HDV footage from my own cameras (Canon XH-A1s, HV20) and from a couple of friends (another XH-A1 and a Sony FX1000). I use Avid Liquid 7.2 (AL72) for editing, "fuse" to HDV-like MPEG2 M2V and MPA files and import into TMPGenc Authoring Works 4 (AW4) to create BDMV Blu-ray discs. I've been using this all-MPEG2 work-flow for about 4 years. It's suits me well because it requires minimal re-encoding - only transitions, captions and rare shots that need a bit of colour-correction, etc. are rendered. Therefore it's quite quick with little or no loss of quality from the original camera files.
Now one of my pals has bought a new camera (Canon G20, I think?) that shoots AVCHD. Only one problem - neither AL72 nor AW4 can work with AVCHD/MPEG4. I'm not in a position to upgrade my computer and software just at the moment - as much as anything because of the learning curve.
So, I need a recommendation for a reliable method to convert AVCHD camera files to HDV2 format - or as near as I can get - with the minimum loss of quality, that will run on my rather old Win XP computer. A batch converter that I can safely leave to run overnight would be ideal. If it's free, then great, but I'm happy to pay a few £ for something that's stable and high quality.
I'm new to this site, but I've been messing around with video cameras and NLE programs for more than 10 years. I've done a bit of research around the forum, found quite a few threads about AVCHD when it was new ('08-'09) and quite a few posts along the lines of "this used to be a great tool but the new version just crashes..." I haven't yet found an up-to-date review/comparison of available tools, nor any recent recommendations. Hopefully, someone can point me to a thread or article where this has all been covered before...
HDV2 = MPEG2 CBR 25Mbps, 1440x1080 16:9 (non-square pixel), 4:2:0, 25fps interlaced (i.e. 50 fields, top field first) in M2T transport-stream container file. Audio stream is MP3, 16-bit, 48kHz, 384 bps (I think).
I'm not entirely sure of the AVCHD format my friend is using, but I've recommended he shoot 50i at the camera's highest bit-rate, which I think is 24Mbps. I'm almost certain it's 1920x1080 square pixels.
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"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
As I understand it, the most difficult aspect will be converting from 1920x1080 to 1440x1080 pixels. It's quite stiff test of any converter.