AVCHD editing speed, Part II

A few months ago I wrote about how slow AVCHD is to edit. Some people emailed me and said that on their computers it’s smooth. So now that I have a brand new machine, a plenty modern quadcore 2.4 Ghz with 6 GB of RAM (a pretty fast PC for today’s standards, don’t start telling me that it’s not), I retried AVCHD. Here’s what I found (Vegas Pro, preview “auto” mode):

1. 1440×1080/60i clips barely run full speed on Vegas. If you start editing and add more clips in the timeline, expect to barely make it through full speed (and that’s without plugins, transitions).
2. 1920×1080/60i clips average a 22 fps playback, which make it impossible to edit real time clips from the newer AVCHD cameras.

Now, there’s always the possibility of buying quad 3Ghz machines, but these are machines that cost $2500 onwards, and are something that normal people don’t buy — although the same people do buy AVCHD camcorders for $800.

So I am a bit perplexed if I should buy an AVCHD or other AVC camera, or just stay with the HV20 for the time being. The other option is to re-encode all AVCHD clips in Cineform NeoHD 1080/30p, as these playback plenty fast, almost as fast as HDV does.

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