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Old 05-30-2008, 01:06 AM   #1
jehill jehill is offline
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May 2008
Default Frustrated Sony HDR-SR12 Owner

Last November I purchased a fully loaded Dell XPS420 PC that includes a Blu-Ray drive. In March I purchased a Sony HDR-SR12 HandyCam with the expectation that I could save movies to Blu-Ray discs. I purchased a couple of Sony BD-RE discs and formatted them with Windows Vista Ultimate. I now have two UDF 2.5 formatted BD-RE discs that I can drag and drop files and folders to. I copied the AVCHD folder on the HandyCam to one of the discs. None of the following Sony software features work with the BD-RE disc with the files:

1. One Touch Disc Burn - Formats a blank DVD and writes AVCHD files directly from camera to DVD

2. Handycam Utility - Transfers AVCHD files from camera to PC HDD and registers files with Picture Motion Browser (PMB)

3. Player for AVCHD - Plays AVCHD files found on camera or compatible media

4. AVCHD Creation - AVCHD Creation - PMB feature that formats a blank DVD and writes AVCHD files to DVD from PMB files

What all of these features have in common is that they utilize the Picture Motion Browser (PMB) Media Check Tool, which recognizes the FAT32 formatted HDD in the camera, but does not recognize the UDF 2.5 formatted BD-RE media. Sony Help advised that the above features only work with DVD media, which makes no sense at all to me. Could it be that the BD-RE discs need to be formatted in a different format? Any ideas?

I have since purchased DVD-RW media and determined that all of the above features work fine with that media. Here are my observations using DVD-RW media:

1. One Touch Disc Burn - Clips that have already been written to a DVD cannot be written again. Only new clips can be written. The destination disc is erased or re-formatted each time the feature is used; thus, you cannot add files to a disc that already has files on it. BD-RE media is not recognized.

2. Handycam Utility - Only works with camera or camera formatted memory stick.

3. Player for AVCHD - Will play AVCHD files written to a DVD. BD-RE discs are not recognized.

4. AVCHD Creation - The destination disc is erased or re-formatted each time the feature is used; thus, you cannot add files to a disc that already has files on it. Previous files must be written again if they are desired. BD-RE media is not recognized.

Last edited by jehill; 05-30-2008 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:28 AM   #2
JadedRaverLA JadedRaverLA is offline
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While I've not tried what you are trying to do specifically, I may be able to offer some help. You're correct that Sony's included software is simply not designed to do what you want to do, nor is any other AVCHD software that I'm aware of. There's really two different specs that you are dealing with... AVCHD (which is just a media-agnostic file format), and AVCREC (which is what the burned DVD+/-R/RW discs are if they are correctly formatted). If you are wanting the AVCHD files to playback in standalone BD players, you need to burn to DVD (following the AVCREC format), or burn them as true Blu-ray discs.

So, you've got a few choices.

1) Use the Sony software for DVD+/-R/RW discs as its designed.

2) Use Blu-ray mastering software that can take your AVCHD files as input and master a proper Blu-ray disc from them. Unfortunately, I don't know of any free software that does this, although I think Nero can do this if you purchase the optional plugins. Alternatively, you can shell out some money for something like DVDit Pro HD, which will allow you a great deal of flexibility in designing your Blu-ray discs... but it comes at a higher cost.

3) Use the BD-RE media as a data storage medium for AVCHD files. This is easy and will work, but the files can only be played on a PC that has proper AVCHD playback software installed (Nero with plugin or PowerDVD Ultra should both work). To do this, you would just drag your movie files from your camcorder (connected to your PC, obviously) to your hard drive, then use any BD compatible data burning software (such as Nero or Roxio) to burn the files to BD-R/RE.

Anyway, I know that's quite a bit to digest (and AVCHD isn't my area of expertise, so if someone knows a better solution please post it), but at least its a few options. Let me know if you need assistance with any of those.
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:15 AM   #3
Chevypower Chevypower is offline
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Feb 2008
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your best bet at the moment is probably Sony Vegas Pro 8. I would say Premiere Pro CS3, but it doesnt do AVCHD out of the box.. Rest assured you did by the best consumer camcorder available... We have two...sometimes when you buy the latest technology you have to be patient for all the brands to have products that are compatible.
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:06 AM   #4
jehill jehill is offline
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May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JadedRaverLA View Post
While I've not tried what you are trying to do specifically, I may be able to offer some help. You're correct that Sony's included software is simply not designed to do what you want to do, nor is any other AVCHD software that I'm aware of. There's really two different specs that you are dealing with... AVCHD (which is just a media-agnostic file format), and AVCREC (which is what the burned DVD+/-R/RW discs are if they are correctly formatted). If you are wanting the AVCHD files to playback in standalone BD players, you need to burn to DVD (following the AVCREC format), or burn them as true Blu-ray discs.

So, you've got a few choices.

1) Use the Sony software for DVD+/-R/RW discs as its designed.

The DVDs created using "One Touch Disc Burn" and "AVCHD Creation" supposedly are readable on Sony standalone BD players, but I don't have Sony standalone BD player to confirm that fact.

2) Use Blu-ray mastering software that can take your AVCHD files as input and master a proper Blu-ray disc from them. Unfortunately, I don't know of any free software that does this, although I think Nero can do this if you purchase the optional plugins. Alternatively, you can shell out some money for something like DVDit Pro HD, which will allow you a great deal of flexibility in designing your Blu-ray discs... but it comes at a higher cost.

This definitely looks like what is required.

3) Use the BD-RE media as a data storage medium for AVCHD files. This is easy and will work, but the files can only be played on a PC that has proper AVCHD playback software installed (Nero with plugin or PowerDVD Ultra should both work). To do this, you would just drag your movie files from your camcorder (connected to your PC, obviously) to your hard drive, then use any BD compatible data burning software (such as Nero or Roxio) to burn the files to BD-R/RE.

The "Player for AVCHD" plays AVCHD files found on camera or compatible media, which includes AVCHD DVDs created. The problem is that is doesn't read the exact same AVCHD files off of a BD-RE disc. PowerDVD DX, more specifically, PowerDVD 7.0.4007 -Dell, came with my Dell XPS420; however, there are no upgrade instructions.

Anyway, I know that's quite a bit to digest (and AVCHD isn't my area of expertise, so if someone knows a better solution please post it), but at least its a few options. Let me know if you need assistance with any of those.
Thanks for the prompt response!
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:24 AM   #5
jehill jehill is offline
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May 2008
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[QUOTE=Chevypower;920808]your best bet at the moment is probably Sony Vegas Pro 8. I would say Premiere Pro CS3, but it doesnt do AVCHD out of the box.. Rest assured you did by the best consumer camcorder available... We have two...sometimes when you buy the latest technology you have to be patient for all the brands to have products that are compatible.

For the moment, I have little use for the AVCHD DVDs that I can create, since none of my relatives own BD players. Instead, it will be necessary to create standard DVDs using the "DVD-Video Creation" feature which I have yet to use.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for your prompt response!
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:11 AM   #6
JadedRaverLA JadedRaverLA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jehill View Post
The DVDs created using "One Touch Disc Burn" and "AVCHD Creation" supposedly are readable on Sony standalone BD players, but I don't have Sony standalone BD player to confirm that fact.

Their software properly formats AVCREC DVD discs, IIRC, so they should play in Sony and most other standalone BD players.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jehill View Post
The "Player for AVCHD" plays AVCHD files found on camera or compatible media, which includes AVCHD DVDs created. The problem is that is doesn't read the exact same AVCHD files off of a BD-RE disc. PowerDVD DX, more specifically, PowerDVD 7.0.4007 -Dell, came with my Dell XPS420; however, there are no upgrade instructions.
There's really no reason for their software to not playback the files from a BD or your hard drive. It seems like they just want you to shell out money for extra software.

As for upgrading PowerDVD, you can upgrade your included OEM BD edition, to full PowerDVD 8 Ultra by going to: http://www.cyberlink.com/multi/cyber...ade_1_ENU.html . They charge you nearly full price, though... $89.99. BTW, if you upgrade, you need to go to Ultra to keep BD playback and get AVCHD file playback.

If you have a small file you'd like me to test with either PowerDVD or Nero, feel free to post it somewhere and send me a PM. I have both solutions and can do a quick test to make sure the files coming off your camcorder work without issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jehill View Post
Thanks for the prompt response!
No problem. Good luck.
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:55 AM   #7
pseudomaniac pseudomaniac is offline
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That handycam happen to have a firewire out on it? You might be able to rip full quality video from the cam to the computer using any number of free software suites and then put it in any format you want. (mpeg, avi, qt, DVD, BD, HD-DVD, etc)

Instead of trying to go Media A to Media B to Media C try

Media A to DataStream to Media C
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:04 AM   #8
plee plee is offline
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Mar 2007
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Jehill, I have the CX7 and pretty much the same software you have and I would also recommend using a NLE like Vegas, etc...the software that comes with the cammy is not really designed for Blu distribution

Also, if your only doing DVD you might look at some other encoder because the MPEG2 converter doesn't seem that good.
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
Chevypower Chevypower is offline
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Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jehill View Post
For the moment, I have little use for the AVCHD DVDs that I can create, since none of my relatives own BD players. Instead, it will be necessary to create standard DVDs using the "DVD-Video Creation" feature which I have yet to use.

Thanks for your prompt response!
Yeah I am yet to try stuff like that, but it should be really easy. Let me know if you have any issues doing that. Sony Vegas, should be able to instantly downconvert to DVD, even if you want to edit in full HD, so you don't have to do it twice. That is if you are interested in upgrading your editing software.

Last edited by Chevypower; 06-01-2008 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:40 PM   #10
odin24 odin24 is offline
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May 2008
Windsor, Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jehill View Post
Last November I purchased a fully loaded Dell XPS420 PC that includes a Blu-Ray drive. In March I purchased a Sony HDR-SR12 HandyCam with the expectation that I could save movies to Blu-Ray discs. I purchased a couple of Sony BD-RE discs and formatted them with Windows Vista Ultimate. I now have two UDF 2.5 formatted BD-RE discs that I can drag and drop files and folders to. I copied the AVCHD folder on the HandyCam to one of the discs. None of the following Sony software features work with the BD-RE disc with the files:

1. One Touch Disc Burn - Formats a blank DVD and writes AVCHD files directly from camera to DVD

2. Handycam Utility - Transfers AVCHD files from camera to PC HDD and registers files with Picture Motion Browser (PMB)

3. Player for AVCHD - Plays AVCHD files found on camera or compatible media

4. AVCHD Creation - AVCHD Creation - PMB feature that formats a blank DVD and writes AVCHD files to DVD from PMB files

What all of these features have in common is that they utilize the Picture Motion Browser (PMB) Media Check Tool, which recognizes the FAT32 formatted HDD in the camera, but does not recognize the UDF 2.5 formatted BD-RE media. Sony Help advised that the above features only work with DVD media, which makes no sense at all to me. Could it be that the BD-RE discs need to be formatted in a different format? Any ideas?

I have since purchased DVD-RW media and determined that all of the above features work fine with that media. Here are my observations using DVD-RW media:

1. One Touch Disc Burn - Clips that have already been written to a DVD cannot be written again. Only new clips can be written. The destination disc is erased or re-formatted each time the feature is used; thus, you cannot add files to a disc that already has files on it. BD-RE media is not recognized.

2. Handycam Utility - Only works with camera or camera formatted memory stick.

3. Player for AVCHD - Will play AVCHD files written to a DVD. BD-RE discs are not recognized.

4. AVCHD Creation - The destination disc is erased or re-formatted each time the feature is used; thus, you cannot add files to a disc that already has files on it. Previous files must be written again if they are desired. BD-RE media is not recognized.

Are you able to drag/drop the m2ts files from the Sony HDD to your PC?
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:04 PM   #11
jehill jehill is offline
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May 2008
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Update:
Last Saturday my wife hosted a baby shower for our daughter-in-law. Naturally, I took a few video clips. As I mentioned before, none of my relatives have BD players, so I tried out the "DVD-Video Creation" option included in the PMB that came with the camera. It exceeded my expectations! It converted 1.15 GB of .m2ts files into a 573 MB .vob file in about 15 minutes. The DVD created includes a simple menu with a thumbnail for each clip. Each clip is a new chapter. The video quality looks great on my old Sony 36XBR450. Although the menu takes up the whole screen (4:3 aspect ratio), the clips are displayed in a 16 x 9 window so that nothing is missed. Also, for the first time I hear the 5.1 audio that was recorded by the camera! It adds a whole new dimension to the sound!

JadedRaverLA
I plan on taking you up on your offer. Thanks for the link to the Ultra update!

plee, Chevypower
Thanks for your suggestions!

odin24
Yes, I can drag/drop any file desired from the Sony HDD to my PC or a BD-RE disc. The video is stored in .mts files on the camera. The .mts files are converted to .m2ts files when they are loaded onto the PC by the Handycam Utility.
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:25 PM   #12
odin24 odin24 is offline
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May 2008
Windsor, Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jehill View Post
Update:
Last Saturday my wife hosted a baby shower for our daughter-in-law. Naturally, I took a few video clips. As I mentioned before, none of my relatives have BD players, so I tried out the "DVD-Video Creation" option included in the PMB that came with the camera. It exceeded my expectations! It converted 1.15 GB of .m2ts files into a 573 MB .vob file in about 15 minutes. The DVD created includes a simple menu with a thumbnail for each clip. Each clip is a new chapter. The video quality looks great on my old Sony 36XBR450. Although the menu takes up the whole screen (4:3 aspect ratio), the clips are displayed in a 16 x 9 window so that nothing is missed. Also, for the first time I hear the 5.1 audio that was recorded by the camera! It adds a whole new dimension to the sound!

JadedRaverLA
I plan on taking you up on your offer. Thanks for the link to the Ultra update!

plee, Chevypower
Thanks for your suggestions!

odin24
Yes, I can drag/drop any file desired from the Sony HDD to my PC or a BD-RE disc. The video is stored in .mts files on the camera. The .mts files are converted to .m2ts files when they are loaded onto the PC by the Handycam Utility.

That's great. If you are looking to make a Blu-Ray disc or AVCHD DVD there is a very simple way to do it... without using Sony's software thus saving you tonnes of headaches.

Use a program called tsMuxeR, it just takes the m2ts files and muxes it to the Blu-Ray structure. Unfortunately it does not create menus but it does create chapter points. This is freeware and you can download it here; http://www.smlabs.net/tsMuxer/tsMuxeR_1.8.4(b).zip.

If your still interested let me know and I'll give you a very easy how-to. It litereally takes minutes to complete.
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Old 06-07-2008, 12:15 AM   #13
jehill jehill is offline
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May 2008
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I'm going to hold off for the moment. I really don't have reason to do anything more than create DVD videos at this time. I was just surprised to discover that the utilities provided by Sony don't recognize a BD-RE disc, considering that Sony invented them.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:36 PM   #14
jehill jehill is offline
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May 2008
Default Unable to install Upgrade!

I am not a happy camper today.

My Dell XPS 420 came with PowerDVD 7.0.4007 pre-installed. Today I purchased and attempted to install "Upgrade to PowerDVD 8 Ultra from 7 OEM version Download version", file "CyberLink.PowerDVD8.Ultra.Upgrade.080505.exe" . I receive the following message when installation is attempted:
_________________________
PowerDVD - Install Shield Wizard

Unable to install Upgrade!
Your system must have PowerDVD 6.0 retail version or above installed.
Setup will abort.
_________________________

That's just great! I downloaded and attempted to install what appears to be the correct download and this is what I get for the $99.90 that I paid?

In all fairness, I need to give CyberLink an opportunity to resolve the issue and I have already submitted a request for help. However, I was eager to try out the new AVCHD related features. This certainly isn't what I expected!
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:10 AM   #15
jehill jehill is offline
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May 2008
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After several exchanges, it is concluded that I must order the full version of PowerDVD 8 Ultra. I'll wait until my credit card has been credited for the first purchase before I do that.
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:12 PM   #16
jehill jehill is offline
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May 2008
Default PowerDVD 8 Ultra exceeds expectations!

Today I downloaded and installed PowerDVD 8 Ultra. Not only can I playback the AVCHD DVDs that I have created, but I can playback the AVCHD files previously copied to a BD-RE disc from the HandyCam as well as files directly from the HandyCam! All include the the 5.1 ch sound that was recorded. The only downside for the latter two is that there is no menu. Playback starts from the first clip, so you have to increment to the desired clip. I also discovered that the recorded date and time is included as a subtitle.
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:37 PM   #17
Chevypower Chevypower is offline
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Well that sounds pretty good then! Sony Vegas 8 wouldn't give you a menu either, it only does direct to Blu Ray from the timeline. Adobe Encore can, but i had to rip through iMovie which doesn't support 5.1, but the 2.0 comes out pretty good. Premiere will not recognize the raw AVCHD files. (The 5.1 gets automatically converted to 2.0 in iMovie). As I keep saying, when Final Cut Studio offers full BD support, nothing will beat it in any way. The best thing right now probably is to just use Final Cut Pro or Express for capturing, editing and mastering and make the Blu Ray Disc in Adobe Encore.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:18 PM   #18
jehill jehill is offline
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I didn't discover this until yesterday, but I was wrong! You do not have to increment from the first AVCHD file previously copied to a BD-RE disc from the HandyCam to play the desired clip in PowerDVD 8 Ultra. Instead, all that you have to do is the following:

1. Start playing the first clip, right click the screen, select "Go To" and the desired "Title" (1, 2, 3 ...). The titles correspond to the playlists saved on the disc.

2. Wait until the first clip in the selected title starts playing.

3. Right click the screen, select "Go To", the desired title and a list of "Chapters" (1, 2, 3 ...) will appear. These correspond to the clips in the selected "Title".

Best of all, you can "Bookmark" a desired clip. Just right click the screen, select "Bookmark" and "Add Bookmark" while the a clip is playing. Now you can select the desired bookmark to go directly to the clip. If the clip is in a different title, you will have to wait for the title to load first.
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Old 08-22-2008, 04:35 AM   #19
Chevypower Chevypower is offline
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I have had some more experience with SR12 and editing since last time. If editing, import as full 1080x1920 (be sure to record in HD-FD mode (16mbs) render as Quicktime or AVI 1080x1920 (interlaced) 50i if PAL version or 60i if NTSC version. Keep the same bitrate as the original files. Import that MOV or AVI file into Sony DVD Architect 5.0 on a PC or Adobe Encore on a Mac. Make your Blu-Ray disc! You will find so many variables to all this, theres no real right or wrong way, there seems to be quite a few grey areas. But i have found best results so far, to make a Blu Ray, is Quicktime export, and import in Architect 5 and make an AVC Blu Ray (not MPEG 2). Looking forward to Final Cut Studio supporting Blu Ray encoding!
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Old 08-22-2008, 05:02 AM   #20
dtrush dtrush is offline
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I purchased this camcorder a few months ago. Love it!
Haven't had time to mess with editing or burning so I wouldn't be much help.
I have put files onto PS3 hard drive though and it plays them great! Most stuff gets played out Mini HDMI port or USB'd to PS3.
When I need to get stuff to BD I'll look back at this thread. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!
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