The Camcorder was purchased in North America, so it' NTSC over here. Frame rate in Final Cut Pro is automatically set to 29.97 after it imports the footage and there are no major visible problems until after youtube has uploaded:
At around 0.51m, 1.20m and 2.08m motion lines/ glitches are most noticeable. Seems to happen mostly during panning/ movement shots. Full HD at fullscreen is not a problem - all other settings are.
To be honest, my fear is that this is really a problem with HD AVCHD/ .MTS files being compressed in general.
What I'm finding is that whether de-interlaced (Upper/ Odd) or left as progressive (Field dominance none) I'm only seeing pans and motion looking O.K when the video is played at full HD definition at full size after allowing the file to fully load on youtube. At all other sizes the motion problems or choppyness seem to be a problem.
Please look at these two short clips from the same original footage.
1. In this clip there is no field dominance (no comb-like image when viewed close up) and the movie was compressed without de-interlacing. In other words, it was uploaded as a progressive movie (H.264 mpeg4)
2. In this clip, the source footage was de-interlaced (Upper/Odd) in Final Cut Pro (which originally imported the file with an Upper/Odd field in the sequence settings) and the de-interlaced options were also checked when it was converted to H.264 mpeg4.
Essentially, I can't tell the difference! As you will see, either way the motion issues are there when the video is not viewed full sized, full HD and fully loaded, leading me to wonder if it's to do with youtube or a more fundamental issue with my camera's AVCHD files being converted for editing in Final Cut Pro. I can't tell if this is a compression issue, but it seems to be. I'm at a loss as to how to deal with this! Any ideas!?
One last note, I have found that if I convert to .mov (still H.264) with lots of de-interlacing, frame blending etc AND I downscale from the original 1080 to 720p AND I set my data rate to 15000 KBPS I get slightly better results - but still far from perfect!
Here's a link to the Quicktime converted footage using the method you suggested. The automatic setting in Compressor de-interlaces the Quicktime file and converts it to 1280x720. Played on my desktop before upload it looks O.K.
Once uploaded the same issue is evident. Looks acceptable only when fully loaded at full HD, full-sized.
I'm not sure whether I should conclude this is an issue with youtube's compression or mine - but at this point I've tried all settings and have all but given up. It's really disheartening.