4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 16, 2012 2:55 AM by Anaximandus
Anaximandus Level 1 (0 points)


I'm new to Apple computers, but I do know what I'm talking about video-editing wise.


I have a whole load of AVCHD material (home family video). With this new MacBook (Xmas present) I wanted to start editing. In the store I was given to understand that importing single MTS or M2TS or HDV files was "not a problem at all".


Now we all know, and I know, that that is not the fact.

Let me tell you first, that I am aware that my material is of questionable quality, I didn't know how to better set the camera. Recording 1920x1080 INTERLACED was stupid, I know that today. Because that is a thing of the past. Now I do have that material and want to work with it. Got to somehow, cannot recreate a honeymoon or my sons first steps.


Here's what I tried:


Using ClipWrap to convert to Apple Intermediate Codec

Not a good solution. For once, the resolution is lowered to 1888x1062. According to the forums, this has to do with overscan.

I think that's bad product design. My HD TV does not have any overscan, overscan is a thing of the past. Further, when I export such a clip to 1920x1080 HD, it is strechted back to that size, so a lot of pixels and unsharpening occur.

Also, the image quality of the movie in the Intermediate format seems to have suffered contrast. A lot of it.


In short, ClipWrap is unacceptable.


Using a different conversion tool.

First thing I found was the Pavtube converter. It let's me specify the desired resolution of 1920x1080, very good. But, alas, colors are much brighter, very much thicker contrast. Can't work with that, either. I'd even gulp down a file grown from 200 MB to almost one GB.

But I cannot work with those colors.



Next thing I'm going to try

is using TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5 to convert my crap to a usable MP4 format, which I still have to figure out. But I do have a little waterproof Sony camera which records MP4, and those files are NOT converted on import to iMovie.


So there's hope.



If anybody has some advice, I will be very happy to test it.

iMovie '11, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • A.Y. Level 1 (55 points)

    Try using ClipWrap to rewrape the AVCHD videos instead of transcoding to Apple Intermediate Codec.


    I just posted my observation and it may help: https://discussions.apple.com/message/18021908#18021908

  • Anaximandus Level 1 (0 points)


    thanks for your answer. Though, answering "try using ClipWrap" without addressing "ClipWrap is unacceptable" is a little funny.


    Nevertheless, ClipWrap works for me, and is my recommended way to import AVCHD into iMovie or Final Cut Pro X. Because the 1888x1062 issue is merely a metadata issue which is explained someplace deep in the QuickTime documentation - it does NOT affect the actual resolution.


    Rewrapping with ClipWrap is THE way to go.

  • HenrikSUefke Level 1 (0 points)



    I am trying to figure out my workflow with the tools that you are mentioning. I found this thread when I googled 1888x1062, but I seem to be seeing a slighty different behaviour:

    - If I import 1080i directly from my camcorder into iMovie (which works fine, so I was surprised to read that you needed to use any intermediate tool for interlaced recordings?), I get a AIC file (about ten times the size of the original .mts file) that tells me a resolution of (when I choose Get Info) 1920x1080

    - If I import 1080p through a ClipWrap wrapped file (no transcoding), iMovie will also convert into AIC, but now into a 1888x1062 file (unless I use the hidden Clip Wrap option to import without transcoding)

    - If I have ClipWrap transcode 1080p into AIC (which is actually faster than iMovie), I retain a 1920x1080 file

    It feels that the last option is the best unless I can work with the original file in H.264, which I have yet to prove (I am testing on a CoreDuo MacBook right now, which is not capable of playing 1080p smoothly unless it is converted to AIC, but my i5 iMac may be able to)


    I would appreciate any comments and suggestions (one big concern is the huge increase in file size through AIC), and I would love to understand the 1888x1062 issue...





  • Anaximandus Level 1 (0 points)

    Hallo Henrik!


    I cannot import my media from the camcorder, as I have tons of MTS files on my server. No AVCHD-structure anymore.


    ...the 1888-issue is NOT an issue. It was explained to me by ClipWrap support:

    The alternative width you see is what's called a display aperture, something we set in accordance with Apple guidance.  You can see their full explanation here:

    http://documentation.apple.com/en/finalcutpro/usermanual/index.html#chapter=106% 26section=6%26tasks=true


    It's merely some metadata we write into the file - all 1920x1080 pixels are still there.

    So, the resolution is untouched, but QuickTime displays this odd number. I verified this.


    You should try to "rewrap" without transcoding and see if your machine can play those files smoothly.


    But: iMovie ***** at handling interlaced material, and I don't know for sure if you can prevent iMovie from converting on import.



    Viele Grüße