I have been doing some extensive testing this week, after reading all the posts in this and other forums.
Editing TM-700 video files:
I have tried the demos for Adobe Premiere CS5, Vego Pro 9, Vegas Movie Studio HD, Corel Videostudio Pro X3, Pinnacle, PowerDirector, and Edius 5.5.
I shot some basic footage at full 1080/60p.
I used files converted with HD writer to .m2ts vs just copying the .MTS files directly to hard disk.
Most programs will open both types of files, and allow editing. However, to save and reencode the files was a problem.
Only Premiere and Vegas (both versions) had the ability to change custom settings to 1920x1080 59.94 (or 60)p. Premiere was via the H.264 preset, and Vegas was via the Sony AVC preset and Mainconcept mpeg2 presets.
Premiere - I could not hear any sound when importing and previewing files (it said there were no audio tracks). Also, the only template available is H.264, and only creates .mp4 files. There is no option to keep the video in the same format at the original .m2ts or .MTS. It encoded the video, but the result had no sound. I'm not sure if these file choices or sound problems are a limitation of the trial version.
Vegas - Although it appeared promising that I could select 59.94 frames per second as a custom option, in both the Sony AVC preset and Mainconcept mpeg2 presets, neither would encode. Encoding would not begin, and reported "An Error occured while creating the media file. The reason for the error could not be determined."
Encoding to any other preset worked fine.
Videostudio Pro X3 was also able to edit the original video, and burn to blu-ray. Unfortunately, the video was reduced to 1080i. Video files could only be saved at 1920x1080 29i (24 p not even an option)
The included HD Writer software is very basic, but will do the job.
If you simply want to trim your videos, add some basic transitions, and save the file in original format, this is still the simplest option. It is an awkward program, and to trim video, you don't actually mark in and out points, you "delete" unwanted pieces of video. You select the opposite - what you don't want, as opposed to what you want.
Playback of 1080/60p on computer:
I have tried Windows Media Player and PowerDVD 10 Ultra. I also tried with and without DivX installed. I also turned off Windows Aero, and as many programs running in the background as possible.
Initially, I thought that PowerDVD was the best, with fewest skipped frames. But it was still not perfect.
Then I downloaded Splash lite. Wow. So far, perfectly smooth playback of both .MTS and .M2TS files from the camera. Not bad for a free program!
So for playback, Splash lite works the best for me.
For editing, HD Writer is a basic fix for now.
Premiere CS5 and Vegas are promising, but I need some questions answered:
Can anyone who has full versions of Vegas or Premiere confirm if
1) In Premiere - is the audio present when previewing video, and is it present after reencoding clips?
2) In Premiere - can you encode to anything other than .mp4 and keep 1080/60p?
3) In Vegas - has anyone been able to encode files without the error at 1080/60p? What are the detailed settings used?