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We have some AVCHD files (MPEG 4, 1280x720 H.264, AAC) that we have had a world of trouble editing with Premiere Elements. The main problem is that the audio and video get out of sync. Reviewing this question on the Adobe forums, the likely issue seems to be that Premiere Elements doesn't import some MPEG 4 formats correctly and Adobe recommends transcoding.

We have Sorenson Squeeze 7 in-house (we're using simple iMacs), so my first thought is to simply transcode. The question is what format is best from an editing (and preservation) standpoint. I am currently trying the AVI "NTSC DV" format, since I =think= that's what we get off mini-DV tapes, but I would hate to be throwing away resolution or image/sound quality if there is a more recent, non-lossy format that we should be using. I'm also quite open to upgrading to Sorenson Squeeze 8, purchasing/installing a different transcoder, and/or going to a professional video editing platform--although the latter seems to be a waste. We pretty much exclusively generate flash and MP4 clips from our source files--simplest editing, rarely use any sort of effects (and nobody here knows video editing more sophisticated than what can be done with iMovie--ie., home movie production).

So, my primary goal is to generate reasonably good clips today, and to be saving master files in the best, stable, long-term "archival" format that is accessible without specialized equipment.

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With NTSC DV format (854x480), you are throwing away resolution. I'd suggest I-frames only MPEG2 with a good bitrate (about 5MB/s). I don't know Squeeze, so I don't know what parameters are available. If you post a screenshot of the export/convert dialog, I may be of help.

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Remember that MPEG is lossy, so for long-term archival purposes, no MPEG level is going to be desirable. We are currently exploring Metroska (sp?). –  Ari Davidow Mar 30 '12 at 11:13
    
You have two different goals: 1)editing and 2)archival. Any transcoding except to a lossless codec like Lagarith or HuffYUV or uncompressed YUV/RGB will generate further loss. But these formats won't make for smoother editing on your platform. So, your optimal choice is to keep the source format for archival purposes, and generate intermediate files for editing purposes. For which, my answer above still stands. –  Mulvya Mar 30 '12 at 18:17
    
You are correct that there are two separate goals. But I'm not sure that points to editing in a lossy format such as MPEG. It sounds like I need to talk with the folks at the local public broadcast station and see what they do in terms of standards and editing platforms. –  Ari Davidow Apr 2 '12 at 14:41
    
It's not the different goals which point to using MPEG-2 as intermediate, but the lack of horsepower in your editing rigs and the use of Premiere Elements. Pro workflows on Avid Media Composer use Avid DNxHD codec as intermediate, which isn't lossless, and on FCP use Apple ProRes, which also isn't lossless. Premiere Pro works with a lot of formats natively, else a 3rd-party codec like Cineform is used, which also isn't lossless. All that said, do let us know what the station recommends. –  Mulvya Apr 2 '12 at 15:35
    
Here's a comparison link for digestion. –  Mulvya Apr 2 '12 at 15:50
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