AVCHD consumer purgatory

Crave blog writes about the current challenges of dealing with AVCHD footage. As a potential consumer HD camcorder buyer I acknowledge that AVCHD’s unmanageability is a shame. Even viewing shot footage is still bit complicated. The lack of wrapper and codec support in common editing suites makes matters worse. However I think people are partly missing the point. AVCHD was designed as a delivery format and consequently users should settle to annotating and cataloging the content.

AVCHD is by design a very compressed format and that is exactly what makes it great. It was meant for delivering content cost-effectively and thus it is missing a point to try to process the data. For modern computers in HD resolutions any video format requires a lot of processing power even to view, let alone process. If you want to do editing your should really invest in a camera that stores footage in a format that is as close as possible to raw images. For example currently most professional broadcast cameras use some MPEG-2 based storage format.

I do not think most of the video in file-based workflow should be edited anyway. Clips should be managed (discarded or selected), but there is very little point in additional processing in home use. If you shoot correctly there is no need for color correction or excessive processing. To make the content more audience friendly trimming can be accomplished by using simple playlists with in and out markings. Things are likely to get better by time and playlists would be easy to trasform to good old edit lists (EDLs).

1 Response to “AVCHD consumer purgatory”


  1. 1 fideocam December 3, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Somebody commented on the fact they had bought a prosumer camera and expected to be able to edit their shots freely. There is no denying this would be the expectation if you look at the DV legacy. For professional crowd there are interframe formats developed that make editing simpler. There is no denying the fact that prosumers are caught in the middle with no good solutions available. My point is that most consumers would be best served by cataloging their footage instead of trying to create montages. Basic home user should pursue creating an archive of their videos. Most people do not cut up pictures in their photo albums either.


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