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Thread: HD Video Editing Issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default HD Video Editing Issues

    Hello all,

    I have made some attempts at capturing/editing HD video, but my results have been "choppy" and frames seem to be dropped during file transfer from the camera.

    Here are my specs/config:

    HP Pavilion a6720y
    Windows Vista 64 bit
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 440
    AMD Phenon 9550 Quad Core 2.2Ghz
    6GB RAM
    640GB SATA drive, 7200 rpm

    Sony HDR-XR150

    Editing Software:
    I have tried:
    Microsoft Movie Maker
    Microsoft Live Movie Maker
    Adobe Premier Elements 8
    along with a few others, all with the similar reults

    I copy the video files from the camcorder to the hard drive via USB 2.0 and then try to edit, but even before I edit, the video file seems to be missing frames and then can get worse during editing.

    Additionally, when I connect the camcorder directly to the TV, the video plays without any issues. The issues are only evident when viewing/editing on the computer.

    My questions are:

    - What is my main bottleneck(s)/issue(s)?

    - Is it possible/worth upgrading this system to fix the problem? (go to Windows 7 64 bit, add RAM, SSD, etc.?)

    - Or is starting over with a new system necessary?

    Thanks for any feedback/advice


  2. #2


    If you are dropping frames when capturing to the computer, it might be more of a software issue than the hardware, providing it is fully functioning. Things like background programs running or poorly maintained OS can be an issue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Blog Entries


    Thing is, it's not capture per se, but file transfer. Can you upload a short sample of raw footage somewhere?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Peters View Post
    Thing is, it's not capture per se, but file transfer. Can you upload a short sample of raw footage somewhere?
    I could try, just don't have a personal website to use. Does this site have an area for that?

  5. #5

  6. #6


    You can't be dropping frames by transferring a file, perhaps when being captured in camera (very unlikely) or being played back on your PC (very likely).

    You only mentioned a single hard drive in your specs, I looked up the model to check and it seems your running your pc as stock, but perhaps with an upgraded graphics card?

    If so then the following is your first bottle neck.

    You want a drive for your OS and programs and a separate drive for your working files. Ideally this separate drive will be a raid, and if external, eSata or Thunderbolt is ideal, firewire 800 is an option, Firewire 400 is fine for DV editing but while it would be better it is pushing it a little for HD and USB is not great at all.

    Your second problem is that your editing AVCHD video, this is a highly compressed Long GOP format. It is very intensive on your processor, if you convert this to an I-Frame codec for editing you will see a massive difference, especially from a second drive. The file sizes are a lot bigger, but your processor will cut through them like butter.

    I recommend the free Avid DNxHD codecs, but I don't know if the NLE's you are using will work with them or not, you'd need to find that out.

    Last edited by david walsh; 02-02-2012 at 11:50 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    Thanks David/all,

    Yes, the only change I made to the original system was the video card upgrade.

    Few questions, and pardon my lack of knowledge:

    1. If I add an internal SSD drive as a 2nd drive, would it make more sense for the OS and Applications to be on the SSD or would that be better for the working files?

    2. If I am able to convert to "I-Frame codec" and then edit, do I then convert it back when I am done and/or ready burn to DVD? Is it still "HD" quality?

    3. I assume I need an eSata port to have an eSata external drive?

    Last edited by dytx; 02-03-2012 at 04:28 AM.

  8. #8


    I've never worked with an SSD, but if I was going to do it I'd use it as the system drive, if for no other reason for the price. The large SSD's necessary for media drives cost a fortune and I read somewhere that cheap ones don't deal with media files well, there was some technical reason that I can't remember.

    If your burning to DVD you need to either convert it to mpeg-2 or let your DVD authoring tool (or NLE) do that for you. Either way it's going to get back to LongGOP. But it won't be HD, it will need downscaled to SD for DVD. To keep it as HD you want to put it on a Blu-Ray or play it file/web based.

    You would need an eSata port, you get eSata PCI Cards, and if not already it should be very soon that thunderbolt PCI cards are available for PC, but the HD's are very expensive.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    Thanks again. So would the following fit your suggestions?:

    Download this to convert files: Avid Codecs 2.3.7 Download (Assuming it works with the software I am using)

    Buy something like this for the files to be on while being worked on: - LaCie Rugged XL 1TB USB 2.0 / eSATA External Hard Drive 301848U (and connect it via eSATA instead of USB 2.0)

    Also, do you feel that my processor is sufficient?
    Last edited by dytx; 02-03-2012 at 12:59 PM.

  10. #10


    It depends on if you have PE or LE.

    LE = Windows programs can use em

    PE = ONLY Avid software programs can use em.

    So if your after: Avid MPEG2 IMX - You can't have it with that codec pack.

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