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Old 11-11-2012, 10:41 AM   #1
Starbuck1975
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Question Need Advice: Home Movies: Blu-Ray or Other

I am sitting on several hours of home movies, captured with an HD camcorder. When I purchased the camcorder, I also purchased Sony Vegas studio to make home movies. The version of Sony Vegas I have supports burning both DVD and Blu-Ray, but I currently only have a DVD burner.

I made my first DVD, and noticed a few issues. First, a DVD doesn't have the capacity of a Blu-Ray, so I am limited in how many clips I can squeeze on a DVD. Also, when I play the DVD on our Blu-Ray player and flat screen tv, I noticed we lost some resolution on the clips, and the movies don't play full screen. For instance, if I connect our camcorder directly to our flat screen, the resolution is superior to the DVD, and the clips play full screen.

I posted to the Sony Vegas forums, and most suggested I simply swap my DVD burner for a Blu-ray burner. Prices of Blu-Ray burners now are very reasonable, so this is certainly an option.

Looking for recommendations. Should I get a Blu-ray burner? I am not saavy on all the Cloud services out there now, and my flat screen does have wifi connectivity. Are there other solutions out there for storing, organizing and viewing our home movies without necessarily burning them to Blu-ray?
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:53 AM   #2
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An jailbroken apple TV running xbmc is almost certainly the best option. It's cheap, and a piece of cake to setup. And then you can just stream the videos through your wifi network directly from your computer or NAS.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:54 PM   #3
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I don't know much about Sony Vegas, but if you can save your files in .mp4 format with an .aac audio track, then you can just burn them to DVD as data tracks, still keep them in HD and they'll playback in most BR players, mobile devices and PCs.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:55 PM   #4
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Just make sure the video files are noty much bigger than 4GB.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAG87 View Post
An jailbroken apple TV running xbmc is almost certainly the best option. It's cheap, and a piece of cake to setup. And then you can just stream the videos through your wifi network directly from your computer or NAS.
This seems like an interesting option. I wasn't familiar with xbmc when you first made this recommendation, so had to do some reading.

So essentially, xbmc would turn the jailbroken AppleTV into a media player and entertainment hub. AppleTV would provide the connection between my PC and flat screen tv, and xbmc would provide the interface for selecting and playing content from my PC?

If that is correct, two follow-up questions:
1. Would it make sense for me to simply build a small home theater PC, and store my home movies on it instead?
2. The Blu-Ray player is not the best option, but is it still a viable option for what I want to do?

Quote:
I don't know much about Sony Vegas, but if you can save your files in .mp4 format with an .aac audio track, then you can just burn them to DVD as data tracks, still keep them in HD and they'll playback in most BR players, mobile devices and PCs.
I debated this as an option, but like the idea that Sony Vegas gives me the ability to create menus and some hierarchy on the disk.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:57 PM   #6
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I debated this as an option, but like the idea that Sony Vegas gives me the ability to create menus and some hierarchy on the disk.
That's gonna let most streaming options out of the equation since the menus and extras will require you to rip or save DVDs and/or BRs to .iso image files and there are very few options for playing those back. In fact, I know of no TVs that will stream BR menus (or even DVD menus for that matter).
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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Author to bluray iso, store on external hdd, get an hd media player, done.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:40 AM   #8
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Author to bluray iso, store on external hdd, get an hd media player, done.
This.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAG87 View Post
An jailbroken apple TV running xbmc is almost certainly the best option. It's cheap, and a piece of cake to setup. And then you can just stream the videos through your wifi network directly from your computer or NAS.
The only problem is the current apple tv has not been jailbroken yet and the last generation are over $200 now...
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdifox View Post
Author to bluray iso, store on external hdd, get an hd media player, done.
Would you mind elaborating on what this entails.

Author to bluray ISO...I assume this means authoring the native HD camcorder video files to a format that an HD media player will recognize. Can I do this with the Vegas software, or will it require I acquire additional authoring software?

Also, what do you mean by an HD media player?

If I am understanding the workflow:

Transfer files from my HD camcorder to my PC > author files as bluray ISO > transfer/store files to external HDD > play files from external HDD via an HD media player connected to both the external HDD and my flat screen?
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck1975 View Post
Would you mind elaborating on what this entails.

Author to bluray ISO...I assume this means authoring the native HD camcorder video files to a format that an HD media player will recognize. Can I do this with the Vegas software, or will it require I acquire additional authoring software?

Also, what do you mean by an HD media player?

If I am understanding the workflow:

Transfer files from my HD camcorder to my PC > author files as bluray ISO > transfer/store files to external HDD > play files from external HDD via an HD media player connected to both the external HDD and my flat screen?

An iso is an image file of the bluray movie you are creating. Normally video editing software has an option to output aniso file so you can burn it later.

Hd media player is a piece of hardware that can play back a lot of media content. Example is the wd tv live

http://m.wdc.com/en/product/330

And your process flow is about right. What you are transfering to the external hdd is the iso. If you don't need the menus, you can playback the video files that you transfered out of the camcorder directly.

I don't know the capabilities of the vega software so I cannot speak directly about it.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:53 PM   #12
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Wow thanks, I had no idea that was even possible.

So if I am understanding this correctly:

If I want to enjoy the menu functionality of a Blu-ray disc, I create a Blu-ray ISO image, store that ISO image to the external HDD, and the media player will both recognize the Blu-Ray ISO and execute it on my flat screen as if I was running a Blu-ray disk in my Blu-Ray player.

OR

I can simply dump the native video files into a folder structure on the external HDD, and the media player will allow me to play those to my flat screen?

I like either of these options.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck1975 View Post
Wow thanks, I had no idea that was even possible.

So if I am understanding this correctly:

If I want to enjoy the menu functionality of a Blu-ray disc, I create a Blu-ray ISO image, store that ISO image to the external HDD, and the media player will both recognize the Blu-Ray ISO and execute it on my flat screen as if I was running a Blu-ray disk in my Blu-Ray player.

OR

I can simply dump the native video files into a folder structure on the external HDD, and the media player will allow me to play those to my flat screen?

I like either of these options.
Need to check on the particular media player you go with re bluray iso support, but yeah you got it more or less. If you have a pc with all your movies, you could also stream to the media player over the network, wired or wireless. Although bluray pobably presents a challenge to wireless streaming.

<-- has 1200 dvds and 15 TB of movies on hdds.
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Last edited by sdifox; 11-14-2012 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:33 PM   #14
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What you might be looking for is AVCHD. In this situation its essentially blu-ray on DVD media. You should be able to do it in Vegas. Just keep in mind that you cannot store as much on a DVD as you can on a blu-ray, but visually they can look the same. You could event write AVCHD to flash media, and if your tv or media player has a card reader and supports AVCHD, you can play back the movies without a disc.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:49 PM   #15
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Just a word of caution;

Blu-Ray iso support is virtually non-existent. Most will support DVD iso. AVCHD may be the best choice or just put HTPCs at all of your locations.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:08 AM   #16
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I am definitely liking the WD TV Live option. I just pulled up the supported formats:

Video - AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9, FLV (h.264)

I am not seeing either Blu-Ray or DVD ISO as supported formats, unless they go by another name I am not familiar with.

I do see AVC as a supported format. Is this the same as AVCHD?

I just checked the file extensions of my home videos. They are all saved to my hard drive as AVCHD, so assuming that the WD HD Live supports AVCHD, does this mean I can play these files directly from my hard drive without having to manipulate or convert them?
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:52 AM   #17
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Dune HD Base is supposed to play bluray iso. But that is very expensive. I would say you just forgo menus and just play the edited video straight.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck1975 View Post
I am definitely liking the WD TV Live option. I just pulled up the supported formats:

Video - AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9, FLV (h.264)

I am not seeing either Blu-Ray or DVD ISO as supported formats, unless they go by another name I am not familiar with.

I do see AVC as a supported format. Is this the same as AVCHD?

I just checked the file extensions of my home videos. They are all saved to my hard drive as AVCHD, so assuming that the WD HD Live supports AVCHD, does this mean I can play these files directly from my hard drive without having to manipulate or convert them?
The WD Live will support DVD .iso but not BR .iso.

sdifox is dead on. The new Dune will play BR .iso and I think an upcoming Popcorn Hour will also be able to do it, but like he mentioned. Both of those boxes are around $300.

I know what AVCHD is, but I have never really messed with it. It's basically meant as a container for HD video on DVD size. I'm just not sure if you can include menus and extras with AVCHD.

Last edited by smitbret; 11-15-2012 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck1975 View Post
I am definitely liking the WD TV Live option. I just pulled up the supported formats:

Video - AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9, FLV (h.264)

I am not seeing either Blu-Ray or DVD ISO as supported formats, unless they go by another name I am not familiar with.

I do see AVC as a supported format. Is this the same as AVCHD?

I just checked the file extensions of my home videos. They are all saved to my hard drive as AVCHD, so assuming that the WD HD Live supports AVCHD, does this mean I can play these files directly from my hard drive without having to manipulate or convert them?
Avc is a codec, you can encode sd or hd, so avchd is the use of avc in hd.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:48 AM   #20
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Thank you all for the responses, and I apologize for all the follow-up questions. I don't know much about movie formats. Two final questions.

Let's say I skip the whole DVD or Blu-ray ISO menu option and simply store my movies to hard drive and play them via a media player.

I am assuming that the WD HD Live will recognize my AVCHD files as is and play them no problem.

However, I also have snippets of video that I wish to combine or edit, which I am able to do as projects in Sony Vegas Movie Studio. However, the file extension of the project is not of any media type, but the software does give me the option to render the project into a media type. There are a myriad of options for rendering these projects. What format would you recommend so that I don't lose the HD resolution of my AVCHD raw footage and can play these edited videos via the media player?
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:52 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck1975 View Post
Thank you all for the responses, and I apologize for all the follow-up questions. I don't know much about movie formats. Two final questions.

Let's say I skip the whole DVD or Blu-ray ISO menu option and simply store my movies to hard drive and play them via a media player.

I am assuming that the WD HD Live will recognize my AVCHD files as is and play them no problem.

However, I also have snippets of video that I wish to combine or edit, which I am able to do as projects in Sony Vegas Movie Studio. However, the file extension of the project is not of any media type, but the software does give me the option to render the project into a media type. There are a myriad of options for rendering these projects. What format would you recommend so that I don't lose the HD resolution of my AVCHD raw footage and can play these edited videos via the media player?
It should be able to output avchd. What formats does it output? There are other free options.
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...deo-editor.htm
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:34 PM   #22
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I know what AVCHD is, but I have never really messed with it. It's basically meant as a container for HD video on DVD size. I'm just not sure if you can include menus and extras with AVCHD.
Just think of AVCHD as blu-ray lite. Many newer camcorders and cameras use this format for capturing footage. The bitrate is artificially lower than blu-ray, probably so TVs can play it, but for this conversation thats the only difference. You can have menus, and extras would be nothing more than a link to another clip. It doesnt necessarily need to be on DVD. Its just a matter of having the folder structure and index files in the right places, and when you point to it via software player, blu-ray player, video editor, etc, it is seen as it should be. The folder can be on DVD, flash, hard drive, or disk image, although depending on how old your app is, it may not recognize the folder structure. Vegas 10 is an example: you need to point to the m2ts files directly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck1975 View Post
Thank you all for the responses, and I apologize for all the follow-up questions. I don't know much about movie formats. Two final questions.

Let's say I skip the whole DVD or Blu-ray ISO menu option and simply store my movies to hard drive and play them via a media player.

I am assuming that the WD HD Live will recognize my AVCHD files as is and play them no problem.

However, I also have snippets of video that I wish to combine or edit, which I am able to do as projects in Sony Vegas Movie Studio. However, the file extension of the project is not of any media type, but the software does give me the option to render the project into a media type. There are a myriad of options for rendering these projects. What format would you recommend so that I don't lose the HD resolution of my AVCHD raw footage and can play these edited videos via the media player?
According to your earlier post, the WD TV Live can play m2ts, so at a minimum you should be able to navigate the AVCHD folder and select the m2ts files directly. m2ts (mts is the common extension) is just a container for the audio (AC3) and video (AVC - another name for H.264). I happen to have Vegas 10 (normally use Premiere and FCP), and it has an AVCHD render setting, but it doesnt author in AVCHD folder structure, it just creates an m2ts that probably adheres to the AVCHD spec. I havent used Vegas in awhile, so I would need to poke around to see what the options are. But for your purposes, that would be good enough. Sony probably wants people to use DVD Architect for blu-ray/avchd authoring, which is included in the studio.

But if your footage is already in AVCHD (probably from a camcorder), there is no need to use Vegas, unless you want to edit it. If you wanted to edit it, I would keep it in AVCHD. Apparently Vegas 11 has a feature called smart rendering, so it will just make cuts and save the files out. Vegas 10 is reencoding simple edits, which is less quality then the original source file. My clips are AVCHD 1080p60 23Mbps, and Vegas 10's presets only go up to 1080i60 15Mbps. It might be better in Vegas 11. If I researched all the options I could probably make Vegas 10's AVCHD template look pretty good, but after this thread I will probably never open the app again. There are freeware options like tsmuxer which will allow you to make cuts without reencoding. Even freeware authoring apps like multiAVCHD which will allow you to author so you could burn to disc or flash so that TVs and blu-ray players can play them.
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