Sony HDR-HC1: A Quantum Leap For Video Buffs

HD Video Editing: Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0

To start our tests we picked two current, popular editing packages that offer reasonably complete support for HD video. The first was Adobe Premiere Pro Version 2.0. We were able to record and transfer the MPEG-2 data stream using Premiere Pro 2.0 without any problems. This software also has a new look, which will be most noticeable to those familiar with previous versions such as 1.5. Those who use dual-core or multi-processor systems with HyperThreading will benefit from the new version's noticeably faster operation during editing and encoding.

This takes us to another important point: it's nearly possible to produce a completely finished video using Pro Version 2.0 in either MPEG-2 or WMV9 format. The first format won't work due to the lack of a compatible MPEG-2 encoder, because necessary plug-ins such as the one from Main Concept aren't yet available for Version 2.0. We'll probably have to wait until later this year to lay hands on one of those.

That leaves only one possible avenue, namely using the Adobe Media Encoder (Windows Media Encoder) to handle this material and transform it into WMV9 format. This is a time-consuming task even on our powerful PC rig: every minute of HD video takes an average of 20 minutes to encode. To put this into context, we must point out that we also activated all possible image quality improvement settings, each of which adds to the processing load entailed in encoding. For users with less powerful systems (and less aggressive settings) this whole process could take as much as 60 minutes.

Premiere Pro 2.0 offers good HD editing capabilities, but plug-ins for MPEG-2 formatted output aren't available yet. Main Concept has a compatible codec planned for Version 2.0, but it's not finished.