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Thread: Need help speeding up playback and render time.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    New York
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    Default Need help speeding up playback and render time.

    Hey there,

    I use Premier Pro 2.01 and have recently switched from a SD Widescreen camcorder (Canon ZR700) to a HD 1080i (Sony HDV-SR1). The big difference is that the Sony stores it's files in AVCHD which is based on H.264 codec.

    After some pain, I managed to convert the files into divx based avi. But re-encoding took about a week for a four hour clip. I was getting 1-3 fps on the conversion. Totally unacceptable.

    Next editing the avi files showed I could no longer view the videos in realtime. The video was choppy at best and in com cases even the audio cut out. It was painful just to do the simplest edit. And that was a SD 4:3 project using the HD video as a source.

    My PC is no wimp. It's a dual core 3ghz intel with 2gb ram. I also have three disks in a spanned filesystem dedicated just for video. The video card is a nvidia 6600 GT and the audio is a Creative X-FI. The PC just just reloaded from a fresh install of XP.

    So, can anyone please give me an idea where the problem is? Is this expected behavior for my type of machine and this type of video (HD content)?

    If so, is there any extra hardware that can greatly improve this situation? Or better yet, a software tweak?

    I was not able to playback the HD content in realtime until I installed PowerDVD Ultra. Once I installed that, the videos were finally watchable (fast enough).

    I've looked up possible codecs that use video hardware to speed up decoding, but haven't found much yet. I would consider getting a dedicated encoder/decoder card if the price isn't too prohibitive.

    Any idea?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Bournemouth, UK
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    659

    Default

    It's just a guess but I would think that the AVCHD file format is a file wrapper and the video is actually a .m2t steam(HDV MPEG)

    If this is the case then you might be able to strip the wrapper from the files using Graphedit and the cyberlink mpeg.ax codecs that you probably already have if you have power dvd installed.

    The files you require to test this are

    GraphEdit.exe

    CLDump.ax

    MpgMux.ax

    When used to remove the wrapper from windows media center files the program copies across the mpeg parts only and not the wrapper so no encoding takes place meaning no quality loss or long render and premiere then treats these files as straight mpeg2.

    Just a thought have you tried renaming to m2t or mpeg
    Canon, Edius, Final Cut Studio, Always Progressive, Promotional Video Production

  3. #3
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    Apr 2007
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    New York
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    Default

    I thought about that. You are correct as they actually are m2ts files, they just call it AVCHD. Actually I downloaded a plug in that lets me import m2ts directly. But the real time playback, just playback mind you, in premier was worse than the divx.

    I thought maybe uncompressed but then I'm looking at files so huge that throughput of just raw bits may start to become an issue.

    The m2ts files actually contain mp4 (h.264) and 5.1 aac (if I remember correctly). Both are well known by me to be real cpu hogs. The fact that my camcorder can encode and decode this in the fly makes me wonder what is in there that is that powerful. The only answer I can think is a dedicated hardware encoder/decoder.

    I may test stripping the audio and video streams into seperate files and import those. That may help.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
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    Bournemouth, UK
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    Default

    What is your HDD setup, you describe it as spanned, a dedicated stripe raid for video only will help. The other thing is that Premiere has never been great at handling HDV so the poor playback could be normal. Also make sure your power supply is 550w or better if you are running multiple HDDs

    How fast does the timeline render?

    The other thing is that a dedicated hardware card may not like the video files either which could render it useless.

    Check out the elecard mpeg codec too, it is generally not to fussy about what type of Mpeg it gets.
    Canon, Edius, Final Cut Studio, Always Progressive, Promotional Video Production

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I have three drives in a spanned software volume. I'm in the process of taking everything off them and making it a 1 TB stripe (500x2). The extra 300gb will go somewhere....

    The Timeline renders really slowly. Until it does, audio won't play. Inm my current setup, I'm having a new problem where it seems I can't play back the footage in real time on other programs too. I think this is another problem I created since I last posted as I messed around with the codecs and may have broken something.

    --Wes

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
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    Default

    For 'proper' HDV edittign on Premiere 2 you have three options:

    1) Use the in-built HDV handling capabilities which, as you are finding out, work but need a really serious spec to work at proper rate;
    2) Pop along to CineForm Home Page and download and install the demo of Aspect HD which will give your a s/w solution for real-time editting of HDV. I use this and it is fine. Might not help your final high def export though. I rarely export a fional high def cur. Until blu-ray or similar are common enough I edit high def and export as MPEG2 DV for DVD mastering; or
    3) Spend real money on a hardware solution lilke the new Matrox RT.X2 or Axio and just be done with the problem altogether.

    But do try the time-limited demo of Aspect HD and see if it helps you though. It certainly did me.

  7. #7
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    Funny, I happened across Aspect HD this morning while looking online. I'll take your suggestion. I may just buy it if it helps this weekend.

    I just purchased two more 500gb HD's to build out the Raid on the PC. I may make it a RAID 0/1 if my Motherboard supports it.

    --Wes

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TDP4 View Post
    Funny, I happened across Aspect HD this morning while looking online. I'll take your suggestion. I may just buy it if it helps this weekend.

    I just purchased two more 500gb HD's to build out the Raid on the PC. I may make it a RAID 0/1 if my Motherboard supports it.

    --Wes
    If you're quick you can buy Aspect HD v4 now and get a free upgrade to V5 next month when it's released. Not sure what the pricing is but you might find you can save a few quid by doing it that way (ie. if v5 costs more than v4 does right now) - if you adopt them as your solution that is.

    For more reading I can let you know where there is a forum dedicated to Cineform products but I won't post it here (bad form don't you know!). PM me if needed.

  9. #9
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    New York
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    Default

    Hmm, Aspect HD is giving error trying to convert the m2ts files. I see *.m2t but not m2ts in the drop down for opening files. but it does show m2ts files in the 'all supported file types'. Weird.

    I opened a ticket with Ciniform.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDP4 View Post
    Hmm, Aspect HD is giving error trying to convert the m2ts files. I see *.m2t but not m2ts in the drop down for opening files. but it does show m2ts files in the 'all supported file types'. Weird.

    I opened a ticket with Ciniform.
    Did you capture the footage using HDLink? I've never got an m2ts file. Curious.

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