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why do Canon HG20 videos play slow on my pc?

by juxtafras / October 17, 2008 1:28 PM PDT

i just bought the HG20 camcorder based on the cnet editor and user reviews...i like it but have a couple of problems:

all videos i make play well on the camcorder. however, when i export the videos to my pc, they are jerky and skip several frames when i play them in the image mixer 3 se software that was included? is this due to a setting i messed up on the camcorder? i have it setup to run the highest resolution and the standard high quality 24mbps, frame rate is 60i. i don't have the best pc but it's not horrible either: vista home basic, 2gb ram, intel pentium 4 cpu 3.00 ghz

also the video is grainy...i haven't set any effects to the camcorder. for the highest quality video i wouldn't expect it to look that bad.

i haven't really changed any settings. i am very new to using camcorders, so it's probably my mistake...i just don't know what to do.

also, how do i export videos so something other than image mixer can play them? does anyone recommend a video editing/viewing software for me to get? does the sony vegas software only asupport sony camcorders?

thanks for any help to a complete newbie!

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Sony Vegas supports all camcorders, and you
by Kiddpeat / October 17, 2008 4:48 PM PDT

should probably try it first. The slowness means your computer is too slow for the load, but that may be improved since the latest Vegas version is pretty efficient. If that doesn't work, you may need a faster computer. You should probably post your computer's specs.

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Jerky playback
by Papa Echo / October 17, 2008 5:24 PM PDT

How do you mean " when i export the videos to my pc, they are jerky and skip several frames when i play them in the image mixer 3 se software that was included " ? Were you watching the video with the camcoeder being connected via USB ? (This is called USB streaming". I do not have the HG20 nor the image mixer 3e software , but if you watch it "straight from the camcorder", you may have problems. Try to transfer the image file from the camcorder (or make a 'project' out of it, i.e. make a movie) save it on the computer's Hard disk, and watch it from there .....Windows Media Player can play HD, or DivX player or "Media Player Classic" .....

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Keep in mind that
by boya84 / October 18, 2008 1:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Jerky playback

this is an AVCHD camcorder - this is highly compressed - the decompression (and CPU requirements) for high definition playback could also be a factor. If the files copied from the camcorder to your computer have .mts or .mt2s extension, the normal suite of (non-AVCHD) capable media players likely will not work.

The software included in the box with any consumer camcorder is basically useless. AVCHD-capable versions of Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere generally float to the top.

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I agree. I saw the same kind of stuttery performance
by Kiddpeat / October 18, 2008 2:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Keep in mind that

from Vegas 7, and had to resort to huge proxy files to complete the editing process. Vegas Pro 8 has been so much faster, on the same computer, that I had to double check that I really was working in high def mode. The software makes a HUGE difference.

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by bolts9798 / October 20, 2008 1:39 AM PDT

Is the Vegas software compatable with non-sony cameras? I have the canon hg20 as well, but have read that vegas would only work for sony m2ts files?

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Once upon a time
by boya84 / October 20, 2008 1:49 AM PDT
In reply to: ?

Sony Vegas could only deal with Sony AVCHD - but apparently a few months ago, this was resolved.

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Excuse me!
by Kiddpeat / October 20, 2008 3:13 PM PDT
In reply to: Once upon a time

Where did you get that? That's crap!

Sony Vegas has been able to handle virtually any kind of file for years! There was a lag when it could NOT handle AVCHD. That is what has been fixed.

It would help to refrain from commenting if you don't know.

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"There was a lag when it could NOT handle AVCHD"
by boya84 / October 20, 2008 10:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Excuse me!

I agree. I said the same thing. "Once upon a time it could not, now it can"... take a breath...

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Perhaps you mistyped, but I did double and triple
by Kiddpeat / October 20, 2008 11:11 PM PDT

takes of what you wrote. You said;

Once upon a time Sony Vegas could only deal with Sony AVCHD

I don't know what you meant to say, but it sounds to me like you said that the only type of file Vegas could handle was AVCHD until quite recently. Given that, as I said, nothing could be further from the truth. It is more accurate say that;

Once upon a time Sony Vegas could deal with everything except Sony AVCHD. It could handle high definition files from Canon before it could handle AVCHD. It was also one of the first programs to handle AVCHD.

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The reply fits in the context
by boya84 / October 21, 2008 1:42 AM PDT

of the question from bolts9798, "...but have read that vegas would only work for sony m2ts files?..."

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Sorry, but I'm not getting it.
by Kiddpeat / October 21, 2008 3:52 AM PDT

He had it wrong, and so did you. Why not just admit it? How many ways can I say it? Vegas has not been, and is not, limited to Sony files.

It handles all types of files, and has done so for a long, long time. Since you are an Apple user, I can understand that you don't understand Vegas. So why insist on making statements that are flat out wrong?

Vegas was handling video and audio files long before Sony acquired the company. That has not changed since Sony acquired the company.

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by boya84 / October 21, 2008 5:04 AM PDT

This whole thread has been about AVCHD camcorders - not any other video format... in this most recent question about compatibility, the poster had "read that vegas would only work for sony m2ts files". I pointed out that the Sony MT2S file limitation was in the past and was no longer an issue. This was a huge complaint, originally, but it is no longer a problem because Sony Vegas was updated and has been able to handle AVCHD files from non-Sony camcorders for a while... Sony vegas' handling of any other video or file types was never a discussion item in this thread. Once upon a time non-Sony AVCHD was an issue with Vegas - now it is not. You and I are AGREEING. Sony Vegas can handle AVCHD files from non Sony AVCHD camcorders. This whole thread has nothing to do with other file formats - only AVCHD.

I used Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere for a couple of weeks at a small local studio last year. Both are very capable. Just because I use an application does not mean I have no knowledge of others and how they work under certain circumstances - and it certainly does not mean I have not used other applications. Do I know how it all works under the hood in excruciating detail? No. I have no need for that.

AVCHD is hugely compressed. We all know that. I am not questioning or disparaging ANY applications or operating systems. The editing computer's CPU needs to work harder and the RAM (and page swap files) will be taxed too. The decompressed information needs to be processed and held for work somewhere. This will happen with ANY operating system being pushed with memory intensive applications and files. Video is about as taxing as consumer activities get - This has nothing to do with Sony Vegas or Apple FinalCut or Windows or MacOSX or Linux or whatever operating system or editing application one chooses... And if there is a bottle in the system, the symptoms will be the same.

And for this thread - that's all I have. If you want to keep arguing and making the same point - that we seem to be saying the same thing on - then have at it. Seems like that would be a pretty odd thing to do, but that is your decision/time/energy. It won't help the end-user in their quest to edit Canon-AVCHD using Sony Vegas because that has been solved. But the jumpiness - that could be from a couple of places... and those couple of places have been identified.

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Thanks, I got Sony Vegas 9.0
by juxtafras / October 20, 2008 11:42 PM PDT

Wow! Thanks for the advice guys!

I was hesitant to get Sony Vegas because I had read in other forums that it couldn't handle Canon camcorders. However, I am pleased to say that it works for my videos. I'm surprised how much a difference the software makes. My only complaint is that you can't see the video in test form frame for skips quite a few. I guess that's because it's such a large file? I can see the video in normal frame for frame format when it is created, but that take 30 minutes to do.

Does anyone have an idea how big a 1 minute HD video file is compared to the high quality internet video option? I'm going to put these videos on my website. I want them to look great, but not be 1GB each. They are 34MB for 1.5 minutes with the high quality internet format but have noise in the backgrounds due to the downgrading in quality.

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If it is skipping, your computer is too slow.
by Kiddpeat / October 21, 2008 1:34 AM PDT

Perhaps the Vegas program code could be more efficient, but the bottom line is that the video must be displayed at a rate which will keep up with the audio. If the computer cannot process the frames fast enough, it will look like it is jumping.

I use Vegas Pro 8 on an older computer with a 2.67 gig processor. It is able to display smooth video from a high def file. I do have several large, fast hard drives to handle the video.

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The HDV from your XHA1 is different from
by boya84 / October 21, 2008 2:10 AM PDT

the HG20's AVCHD video... Decompression requirements are a lot less for HDV. Perhaps this is contributing to the "jumpiness" being experienced by juxtafras?

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Since I do not use AVCHD files, I cannot speak specifically
by Kiddpeat / October 21, 2008 4:01 AM PDT

to them. However, since I have many years of experience with Sony Vegas, have had training in it, and have followed its forums, I can say that "jumpiness" occurs when the computer does not have enough power to render frames in a manner that will keep up with the audio. I have seen that happen. I have also seen it corrected with Sony Vegas Pro 8.

Let me ask you. How much personal experience do you have with Sony Vegas on any kind of file? What is your basis for knowing how it behaves? Do you know what good performance in Vegas looks like? I suspect that it looks much different, and is much easier to use, than Final Cut Pro.

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On the "jumpy" from your original post...
by boya84 / October 21, 2008 1:50 AM PDT

Is your computer a laptop or desktop machine?

What is the total size of the hard drive where the video was transferred? What is the available hard drive space on this drive?

What is the total size of the hard drive where the operating system resides? What is the available hard drive space on this drive?

How long have you had the computer?

When was the last time the hard drive with the Operating System was defragmented?

What other applications are running/active while you are editing?

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PC Specs
by juxtafras / October 21, 2008 1:54 AM PDT

i don't have the best pc but it's not horrible either: vista home basic, 2gb ram, intel pentium 4 cpu 3.00 ghz, 120GB hard drive with 24gb free, last defragged about a month ago

i do have other programs open when i'm editing. you are right that i should i close those to see how it helps. i have another pc with more HDD space and 3gb ram and a slightly faster processor. it also has an above avg video card whereas the main pc we use does not. does the video card help with editing?

thanks again!

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Quitting the other apps
by boya84 / October 21, 2008 2:06 AM PDT
In reply to: PC Specs

will help. The 24 gig available on the hard drive is starting to approach my pain threshhold (time for another drive about now, I never let a drive get too full, otherwise housekeeping gets to be challenging. My rule is always stay above 10% free space - but good for you for defragging recently. This should help keep all the virtual memory on the hard drive in a fairly contiguous space. I know you are at 20%, but bringing in a video project can fill that in a hurry.) An external (or separate internal if there is space in the case) hard drive (minimum 250 gig to 500 gig) is recommended.

As for the other machine, additional RAM and slightly faster processor will be helpful - the video card shouldn't have an impact.

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Trying to run Vegas with a single hard drive is NOT
by Kiddpeat / October 21, 2008 4:05 AM PDT
In reply to: PC Specs

recommended. Vegas winds up fighting with Windows for access to the drive. Also, 24 gigs free is kind of small. Your CPU is fast enough, and your memory looks fine. Try adding another large, fast internal hard drive. Use the second drive for video, and the first drive for programs.

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