My wife and I were given a Canon HFR200 HD camcorder as a gift. I am only concerned with using it for home videos.
Right now, we have the basics for a computer and tv... still have an old CRT and DVD player. We are planning on upgrading to upgrade to flat panel tv and blu ray in near future. Would also like to get blu ray burner.
i am looking to shoot in the highest quality I can that will allow me to burn to blu ray for tv playback with little effort. Does that mean shooting MXP at 24 mbps and burn right to blu ray. Is that possible without editing or other converting?
Thanks, and please excuse my ignorance
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Until you are up to speed with all of that....just save the files from the camera as data on discs or an external hard drive. My camera shoots HD Video and I don't even own a Blu Ray player yet. Burning the data file to a DVD "as data" does not lessen the original quality in any way. Worry about storing them first.....then fire away.
Normal work flow is to create a fully authored Blu-Ray disc to BD media, or a simplified "AVCHD disc" (recorded to DVDR or Blu-Ray media) using software like MultiAVCHD.
It is possible to play AVCHD files directly from a DVDR or BD data disc on some Blu-Ray players. Selection of player is critical to make this work. So far this method works fine on my Sony BDP-BX37 (Costco/Sams model aka BDP-S370). I can't confirm other models.
Some issues that affect player selection and performance.
- "Standard" Blu-Ray players are only required to play authored Blu-Ray discs and DVD at 1x speed.
- Ability to play an AVCHD disc is an extra feature not required in a basic model.
- A "standard" AVCHD disc player only needs to accommodate 17 Mbps data rates. This works out to 2x speed for DVDR media. In order to play at 24 Mbps (AVCHD full speed) or 25 Mbps (HDV), the player needs to spin the disc close to 3x speed*. This is beyond spec performance.
- Playback of AVCHD files from DVDR or BD media as data from the root directory or deeper folders is also a non-standard extra feature. Unfortunately this feature and the ability to play 24/25 Mbps are not promoted in player specs. One must test players for these features. So far my BDP-BX37 plays these 24/25 Mbps files from root or folders with mts/m2ts, ts/m2t or mp4 containers.
- Some Panasonic "50/60p" camcorders record AVC in an mp4 container at 28 Mbps. These files will not play on my Sony BDP-BX37 from either DVDR or BD media. This past year the AVCHD standard has been expanded (version 2.0) to include AVCHD 50/60p @ 28 Mbps and AVCHD-Lite (25/30p with frame repeats). I'd expect to see AVCHD v2.0 Blu-Ray players in the future but current players probably won't play these files.
So buyer beware. Don't assume any of these files or other file types will play. Each player offers some hints of file codec/container support in the manual but performance specs are usually missing.
To be sure, you need to test the player. Make a DVDR test disc with 17/24/25 Mbps AVCHD/HDV files in root and in folders. Add to that** 28 Mb/s Panasonic 50/60p files. Then go test players for ability to play.
* a side issue with Blu-Ray players playing DVDR media at 3x speed is player noise.
** Other formats to test are ATSC/DVB broadcast captures, various AVC files in mp4/mkv wrappers (including Apple h.264), xvid/xvidhd/divx in avi wrappers, etc. These kinds of tests should be offered in magazine reviews but they aren't.
Last edited by edDV; 30th Nov 2011 at 13:40.
In addition to the above, I have some comments/complaints on performance from USB media.
First comment is these "AVCHD disc" Blu-Ray players should offer SDHC flash card slots for direct playback of AVCHD media. The user has already invested in Clsss 6 to Class 10 SD cards.
Instead these players offer USB2 slots. There are two issues with USB. First is most USB flash ram runs only at Class 1 or 2 data rates. These are insufficient for sustained 24/25 Mbps AVCHD/HDV playback. Theses files, even some ATSC/DVB capture files, often play with stutters or gaps from USB flash media. True you can buy high speed USB flash sticks but the cost is high. An AVCHD camcorder owner has already invested in SDHC flash media.
Second issue is USB support for hard drives. Some players like my Sony BDP-BX37 don't support hard disks at all. Some require FAT32 partition formatting. Only a few accept an NTSF format hard disk.
I don't know about AVCHD discs, there is too many conditions, right player, bit rate .... and at the end there is still just optical disc with its limitations ...
1. Burn either BD disc proper way by authoring BD, some editing software (Vegas, Premiere etc.) will do it right after loading them on timeline, or you can add titles or to shove clips around if there is computer powerful enough
2 .Do not burn any BD's, you do not need even BD drive at all ,just load your video on timeline of editing software and export clips from its timeline as one long movie (perhaps Corel VS Pro X4 will do it without reencoding) save it to some hardisk and play it back on your TV (even older CRT, yes , your HD video on CRT) by some media player http://www.iboum.com/net-media-players.php , I have myself couple of WDTV Live players, they play everything basically ...
BestBuy sells still old versions of those WDTV Live players for much less then $100, if you still find them on a shelf, new models WDTV Live streamers are too bugy for now ...
Last edited by _Al_; 30th Nov 2011 at 17:22.
So it sounds like it is not just as easy as burning the files from my camcorder to disc and then playing them on the big screen. So my next question is then, what quality setting, if any, in my camcorder would allow me to do this, and look acceptable on the bigscreen?
Thank you all for the amazing amount of information. I am much more of a still photographer, and the only video recording equipment i have personally owned before our new camcorder are my still cameras and my mobile phones. So any mode I shoot in is a vast improvement!
I like having an HD camcorder so I have the option to shoot those extra high quality videos when I want to. I will be using it primarily to document my family life, though. So if i had to choose between shooting/ editing/ converting the highest quality videos or shooting good quality that I can quickly convert/ burn/ watch on tv, I would choose the latter of the two. I wish I had more time and money, but i don't.
So, with that in mind, if you have any suggestions for shooting settings and workflow, I'd really appreciate it. This hd video world is a new one for me.
Thanks so much!
P.S.- with some of the hdtvs that have sd slots, can you play videos right from the camera on the tv through the sd card?
The problem is there is no way to tell if a Blu-Ray player can do this without testing it. Otherwise you need to go through an authoring procedure.
You might as well shoot full quality 1920x1080 60i at 24 Mb/s. Quality drops off quickly at lower bit rates.
Work flow depends on whether you want to edit the files or just play them.
First step is back up the entire contents of the SD drive including the small files. These contain metadata that you may need in the future.
If you just want to play the video/audio files they are found here in the directory.
You can copy and rename these files. Format is h.264/AC3 with m2ts container. MTS is the three letter extension abbreviation for m2ts.
The files can be played on a computer with MPCHC or VLC.
Many media players like WDTV live can play these files directly as can some Blu-Ray players.
Thanks so much everyone. I'm sure I'll still have a lot of questions as i go along, but that's a great start!