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In this video tutorial I show how to Render a 720p HD Video with the Sony AVC (H.264) codec and .mp4 file extension using Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10.

Sony AVC (H.264) .mp4 Video produces a higher contrast look compared to Windows Media Video .wmv, whereas .wmv produces a smoother looking video and a smaller file size.

I also have a separate tutorial showing:

How to Render 720p HD .wmv Video for YouTube using Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10


Where to buy Sony Movie Studio or how to Upgrade ?

You can buy Movie Studio Platinum 13 or Movie Studio Suite 13 direct through Sony Creative SoftwareIf you have an older version of Vegas Movie Studio and would like to upgrade, you automatically qualify for discounted upgrade pricing when you purchase directly through the Sony Creative Software website.

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About Derek Moran
Derek Moran is the author of all articles on Movie Studio Zen.
You can find me on YouTube, , FacebookTwitterRead more about Derek...

Hi Derek, thanks for this. Do you have a video for rendering (Pal) MiniDV recordings for Vimeo/YouTube? If not, is there a template you could recommend? Thanks
Hi Simon
Which exact version of the program are you using ?
What Frame Size is your MiniDV video ? 1280x720, 1440x1080 or 1920x1080
Hi Derek,

It's Movie Studio Platinum 12 (64 bit), not sure about the frame size other than it was shot on a 2003 Sony TVR50E which has effective resolution of 970 pixels

Open the folder on your computer where you have videos located.
Right-click video and go to Properties/Details - here you will find the Frame Width, Frame Height and Frame Rate.
What does it say ?
720w x 576h 25fps

thanks Derek
OK. Now we are getting somewhere.
Your camera is recording Standard Definition video using the PAL 25fps format.
I would not recommend you render 1080p HD video, because it is going to "blow up" your low resolution video and it may look very pixelated and blurry. You can if you like, but it is up to you.
What would be better is if you render to 480p or 720p settings.
480p is actually a perfect match for the video type you are working with. Back before people started using HD cameras, everyone on YouTube was using video like yours and the maximum resolution was only 480p.
I actually have a tutorial you can watch right now here:
Do an experiment. Render a project to 720p and 480p, and then see which one you like the best.
Inside the Mainconcept templates, you will find the 720p and 480p template.
VERY IMPORTANT - make sure when you render it is set to 25fps and not 29.97fps!
Many thanks Derek/DrZen - that's really helpful and straightforward. I'll certainly follow your advice and see how I get on!
Hi. How to render .mov with a H.264 codec? Thanks!
Hi Pierre
You cannot strictly do that with Sony Vegas, because Apple Software owns this format and they do not allow other companies to use this.
However, in Sony Vegas, Mainconcept AVC/ACC uses H.264 to encode video. When you render to this format it creates a .mp4 file extension.
Quite often, you can simply rename the file after rendering and change it to .mov and it will work.
Are you actually using Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 ?
In this version, the best rendering templates are actually under Sony AVC .mp4
In Version 12 - Movie Studio Platinum 12, they moved all the best templates to Mainconcept AVC/ACC .mp4. Included in the list, Sony has CUSTOM templates for all the MAJOR Apple Devices, which makes rendering good video for Apple very, very easy.
And other people are saying that Vegas does not support H.264. Is this true?
Vegas DOES support H.264 - it just does not use "H.264" in the naming of templates.
There is a lot of confusion about Video Codecs, Video Formats, File Extensions and Video Containers. There is so much dodgy information on the web, that spreads like wildfire without anyone questioning it.
Here is a simply test you can do, that proves what I am saying is true.
Download Any Video Converter free version from this link:
This is one of my favorite free video converters that I use all the time. Once you have it installed, render some video to Mainconcept AVC/AAC and also Sony AVC/MVC. Drop these test videos into the program and you will see that it identifies the actual video codec as H.264.
If you would like to learn a little more, I have another article/video that explains more about the mystery.
Make sure you have Quicktime for Windows installed - very important for making Vegas work properly with any Apple codecs.
Is Australia NTSC or PAL? I remember seeing PAL 4 and other things PAL-related on DVDs but I'm not sure if I should always be rendering in NTSC. Thanks!
Hi Jack
Australia is a PAL Country = 25fps (or 50i in some cameras).
UK, Europe and most of Asia are also PAL Countries.
USA and Japan are NTSC = 30fps (29.97) (or 60i in some cameras).
It is all due to what the power line frequency is for each Country. PAL Countries are 50Hz, NTSC Countries are 60 Hz. If it is mis-matched you can get horrible flicker in Video Recordings when shooting inside near light sources.
Dex :)

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