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10/31/09

WHAT IS AVCHD HOW CAN I RECORD BLU RAY DISCS FOR STORAGE OF HIGH DEFINTION VIDEO AND WATCH ON MY NEW EXPENSIVE HDTV IF I LIVE IN AMERICA WHERE THEY DO

WHAT IS AVCHD HOW TO RECORD BLU RAY DISCS FOR STORAGE OF HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO AND WATCH ON HDTV YOU DONT NEED TO BE A GEEK OR EVEN A TECHIE ITS SO EASY





MAKE LONG TERM RECORDINGS OF HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO FROM AN AVCHD OR HDV CAMCORDER
WHAT IS AVCHD AND HDV? WHY DON'T THEY SELL BLU RAY RECORDERS IN THE U.S?

Where have all the minidv tapes gone?
Remember a few years ago when videocams, even high definition video cameras used minidv tapes? They are still around but the numbers are dwindling faster than Democrats on the Fox TV channel.

  • How are you supposed to store your high definition videos that you make with your new and expensive videocam if it uses a memory card or hard drive for storage?
  • How can you watch those Summer Vacation videos on your HDTV?
  • What the heck is AVCHD?
  • How does it differ from HDV?
  • And how are you supposed to archive and have long term storage if there are no tapes?

    Are you supposed to just pray that your computer hard drive never crashes? And how about watching your recorded high definition video on your expensive new hdtv high def tv? AVCHD is abbreviated for Advanced Video Codec High Definition. It is a format to store high definition video on memory cards or hard drives of cameras and computers. It has advantages over the earlier HDV high definition video.

    WHAT IS AVCHD VS HDV AND WHY IS NEW HIGH DEFINTION VIDEO STORED ON AVCHD?

    Going to a bookstore or looking on the Internet for information about how to edit and convert the AVCHD from your high definition camcorder or digital camera that records high definition video reveals surprisingly little information or directions. You could ask at your local electronics store (yeah and you could also win the lottery, if you catch my drift). What I have discovered is that a good way if not the best way to store recordings that you make on AVCHD camcorders is to transfer the AVCHD files from your camera's memory stick or SD or SDHC card or hard disk onto the computer hard drive and from there burn (record) a blu ray disc. Blu ray will preserve the high definition quality of the recording and you can play it back on your new expensive high definition tv. But how do I burn (record) a blu ray disc? It's incredibly easy just don't get scared away by the jargon.

    HOW CAN YOU TRANSFER HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO FROM AVCHD AND PLAY IT ON YOUR HIGH DEFINITION HDTV?

    There are a few problems with this plan. First, how do you transfer the high definition AVCHD file from your memory card or camera hard drive to the computer? This is not something that most computers can do without some special program. I have tried Cyberlink Power Director 8 and Adobe Premiere Elements 7. They both can do the job but the Cyberlink Director 8 seems to have fewer hiccups than Premiere Elements especially with bigger files. The newer versions of several other video editing programs like Magix Movie Studio Plus and Sony Vegas should also be able to do the job but make sure they can handle AVCHD not just HDV. By the way you need a fairly powerful computer to handle the task of high definition video editing especially AVCHD. You will need a computer with so called "multiple cores", You know, like the Intel Core Duo or something that says "dual processor" or better yet "quad processor". Even those take an inordinate amount of time for large video files and you will be shocked when slower computers especially notify you that the job may take hours or even over night!

    WHAT IS AVCHD AND HDV AREN'T THEY BOTH HIGH DEFINITION?

    That brings us to the question of What is HDV? HDV is an earlier format used by video camcorders to record and store high definition video. The celebrated Canon HV-30 is an example of a high definition camcorder that stores high definition video in the HDV format on mini dv tapes. So what's the problem? I also own a Sony DSC HX1 camera that shoots pictures but also high definition video in AVCHD. Though I love my Canon the AVCHD on the Sony looks great and is easier to transfer to the computer. Guess which I use more? The problem is that when you want to transfer files from the HDV video camcorder to the computer you have to play out the whole tape so for example a 1 hour tape will take one hour to be recorded into the computer. With AVCHD you can pull an hour's worth of video off a memory card in just a few minutes. HDV is still around even in some high professional model videocams but AVCHD is gaining fast.

    HOW YOU CAN SET UP AND INSTALL A BLU RAY RECORDER WITHOUT OPENING YOUR COMPUTER

    Now once you have the programs working and you have the high defintion video stored on your computer it would be good to record a blu ray disc to store and then play the video on your tv. Recording blu ray high definition video is still a bit of a job in the United States. Why? Well you know how they sell DVD recorders that you can use to record video from your video camera onto dvd disks? Well they have blu ray recorders that you can use to record video onto blu ray disks! Only you CAN'T buy blu ray recorders in the good old USA because of some legal squabbles but the Japanese have had them for years and the Europeans have got them now too!

    But Americans CAN buy so called blu ray burners (aka recorder) that will burn (techie talk for record) a blu ray disk. All you have to do is install the blu ray burner to your computer (don't start sweating, there is a way to install a blu ray burner without opening the computer) and these video editing programs will direct the blu ray burner to make a blu ray copy on a new blank blu ray disc. The way to install an "internal" blu ray burner without opening the computer is to buy an external enclosure like they sell for "internal" hard drives and just put the "internal" blu ray burner into the external enclosure and connect to the computer by USB 2.0. All modern computers that you can buy will have USB 2.0 ports all over the computer. You can find them at your local big box store or online without any problems. Just make sure that the sizes fit, example if it says "3.5" make sure you get an enclosure for 3.5.

    All that's left is to play your recorded blu ray disc in your blu ray player attached to your expensive new hdtv and impress your friends, family,neighbors and maybe even your mother in law!

    Be aware that AVCHD comes in different versions but Sony, Panasonic and Canon all make them and the programs ought to be able to recognize the AVCHD files. They may have file names like MTS or M2TS. As Wikipedia says "Recorded AVCHD video can be played back in a variety of ways":

  • Directly from a camcorder on an HD television set, through HDMI or component-video cable
  • Burned onto writable Blu-ray disc in Blu-ray Disc format, (my recommendation) then played on a Blu-ray Disc player or on a Playstation 3 gaming console
  • Burned onto DVD disc in AVCHD format, then played on most Blu-ray Disc players or on a Playstation 3 gaming console(but some blu ray players are programmed NOT to let you play back DVD with AVCHD on it)
  • Recorded on an SDHC in AVCHD format, then played on select Panasonic and JVC Blu-ray Disc players and HDTV sets and on a Playstation 3 gaming console.
  • More from Purple Medical Blog about High Definition Video