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post #1 of 26 Old 03-04-2012, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I down loaded video from my Panasonic camcorder by mistake to Windows Live Photo Gallery instead of HD Writer AE 2.0 and then deleted them from my camcorder. Well, WLPG can't burn that file type to disk - maybe this is basic computer stuff but now how can I get them into HD Writer? Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 26 Old 03-04-2012, 08:10 AM
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When you use HD Writer to transfer video to your computer it brings a few small auxiliary files with it. Those extra files enable certain Panasonic features like being able to put video back on your camcorder so that you can use it as a media player. Without those files, HD Writer won't read, touch or edit any video file. Apparently, Panasonic does not want you using their software to edit video from a Sony or Canon!

The good news is that the primary video file is probably still on your computer. Use Windows Explorer to search for or find files that end with ".mts" or ".m2ts". On my Windows 7 computer the file type column will show "AVCHD Video".

The ".m2ts" or ".mts" file can be opened, played or edited by any other software including the free Windows Movie Maker.

Windows Movie Maker, or other editors, will burn a file to a DVD playable on a DVD player, assuming that is what you meant by "burn that file type to disk". And, it does it by only reading from your primary file without changing it. If, on the other hand, you are trying to make a backup or archive copy on disk, you can "cut 'n paste" or "drag 'n drop" to a DVD or CD. You won't be able to play it on a DVD player, but you will be able to view it on your computer.

You didn't write what version of Windows you have, so if Windows Movie Maker is too old to work with your files, you can try free programs like multiAVCHD. (http://multiavchd.deanbg.com/

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post #3 of 26 Old 03-04-2012, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply, I have Windows 7, didn't use HD Writer to do the transfer to the computer, Windows Live Photo Gallery won't recognise the .m2ts files to burn to a DVD, I can play the files on the computer. Was hoping there was a simple way to get them HD Writer from WLPG.
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post #4 of 26 Old 03-04-2012, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Meant WLPG to HD Writer.
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post #5 of 26 Old 03-04-2012, 09:54 AM
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You could download the trial of Sony Vegas Pro or Movie Studio Platinum; both compatible with AVCHD/mts and fully functional for 30 days each:
http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/download/trials


You just need the mts files for Vegas/not the extra Panasonic files.
Edit it and render to whatever format you want. Just make sure in the future you don't delete files, so you can use HD Writer.
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post #6 of 26 Old 03-04-2012, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttwomotor View Post

Thanks for your reply, I have Windows 7, didn't use HD Writer to do the transfer to the computer, Windows Live Photo Gallery won't recognise the .m2ts files to burn to a DVD, I can play the files on the computer. Was hoping there was a simple way to get them HD Writer from WLPG.
ttwomotor

Once the the "auxiliary files" produced by the camera are lost there is no way, simple or complicated, to get HD Writer to work with the .m2ts files.

Since you have Windows 7 you have, or can download, Windows Movie Maker for free. It is a good editor, especially if you want to make (burn) DVDs. It will work fine with your .m2ts file. In fact, for DVDs, you may like it better than HD Writer.

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post #7 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 05:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Bill,
Thanks again - but even if I download this program - I am back to how to get the files to the program? Walking on eggs here because these are the grandkids Christmas programs and don't want to do anything to loose them. Thought about sending the HD Writer to the desktop, then right click on the videos, send them to the desktop, and do the drag and drop thing - but - I think I would only be sending short cuts to the desktop and not the files. Know I won't make this mistake again.
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post #8 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 06:30 AM
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There seems to be a couple points of confusion. Forgive me if you already know this. I don't mean to offend.

First is the concept of a Non Linear Editor, or "NLE". All current editing programs, including HD Writer and Windows Live Movie Maker, are NLEs. That means that they can't and won't modify your original files. NLEs only read from the originals. Then you cut, clip, join, add titles, make transitions and create titles. You tell the NLE where you want those things by setting "in" and "out" points. When you are done, you tell the NLE to make an entirely new file that is formatted to the target viewing device, like a DVD or iPad. That process is called "rendering". On my computer, it can take about 10 minutes to make a 2 minute video in HD.

My version of HD Writer is 2.6. It does a couple things a little differently. It will read original clips and quickly join them into a new larger continuous clip without actually going through the rendering process. But, it still won't change the originals.

In other words, the only way you can loose the original grandkid christmas program files is to somehow press a delete button on purpose.

Another point of confusion seems to be where the files are. You need to use Windows Explorer, or something, to find them. If you post back, please tell me what folder you or your computer put them in. The folder will have a name like "c:\\my documents\\vidoes". You can leave them there or put them in one you make like "c:\\my videos\\chrstmas\\cutegrandkids". It does not matter where they are, as long as you can find them.

Get Windows Live Movie Maker (part of the free Windows Live accessory package) installed. Then load it and press the "Add Videos and Photos" button. Here is where you will have to tell it which folder you put the original clips in.

You wrote that this is about your grandkids. My story is that my granddaughters and I were putting money aside for some new Wii games, but they didn't show any interest in actually spending the money. So I suggested we buy a video camera. They got excited and I snuck an extra $600 into the budget. We bought a Panasonic SDT-750. The 10 year old said "Let's make a movie". She found, installed and played with Windows Live Movie Maker. For Christmans she gave be a DVD documentary titled "Granny Makes Beef Stew".

My point is that if you are having trouble with this, you should put your gandkids in charge, get out of their way and have them teach you! You will have DVDs in short order!

Good luck.

Bill
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post #9 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Bill,
Why do you think the grandson was put in charge of the GPS when we took them to Washington, DC last summer . The files are in Windows Live Photo Gallery, I do have Windows Live Movie Maker, I did manage to make a copy of the video files and get them to WLMM where I got a pop up saying the files weren't supported by WLMM. I just haven't been able to get them back to HD Writer, I only see importing from a camera, scanner, etc.
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post #10 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttwomotor View Post

The files are in Windows Live Photo Gallery, I do have Windows Live Movie Maker, I did manage to make a copy of the video files and get them to WLMM where I got a pop up saying the files weren't supported by WLMM. I just haven't been able to get them back to HD Writer, I only see importing from a camera, scanner, etc.

HD Writer only reads files that are (1) on an external media and (2) in the original AVCHD structure.
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post #11 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 08:58 AM
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In a Windows computer, all the files are in the Microsoft file or folder system. The are not "in" an application, such as Live Photo Gallery. For example, a photo or video anywhere in the Windows file system can be read and used by many different programs.

And, repeating an earlier post, you will never be able to read your christmas files in HD Writer again. That's because you deleted the auxiliary files the camcorder made to go with the master video files. They are gone, the master video is not.

Not to worry. Most people don't like or use HD Writer anyway and those auxilary files are not useful anywhere else.

If, as you say, the files are "in" Photo Gallery, they are really in a named folder that Photo Gallery is using.

My copy of WLMM does read and support the files from my Panasonic camcorder. Perhaps you need a update. If that fails to work, you may need to get another program to make DVDs.

Many like Vegas Movie Studio. My favorite is Adobe Premier Elements 10. Both have a lot more capability than WLMM and both are under $100.

I don't think I can be of much more help until you figure out a little about Windows file system and Windows Explorer.

Good luck...

Bill
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post #12 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Bill,
Don't feel bad - just spent 1 1/2 hours with Panasonic tech support and problem not resolved. Are these extra files why they want the camera left connected during the DVD burn even though they say it makes it faster? Thanks, if I get it fixed will post back.
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post #13 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttwomotor View Post

just spent 1 1/2 hours with Panasonic tech support and problem not resolved. Are these extra files why they want the camera left connected during the DVD burn even though they say it makes it faster? Thanks, if I get it fixed will post back.

You spent an hour and a half with tech support for them to tell you that HD Writer only reads files that are on an external media and are stored in the original AVCHD structure? I just told you this in less than 30 seconds. Seriously, you cannot get it "fixed" because it is a feature of HD Writer. You may try authoring an AVCHD card or disc with something like MultiAVCHD and maybe HD Writer will accept it. I don't know. Is it worth it? The only benefit of HD Writer is its ability to cut and join clips without re-encoding. In every other regard it is a very rudimentary editing program. Try Vegas Studio HD and see how it works for you. Sony has free trial versions on its website.
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post #14 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttwomotor View Post

Bill,
Don't feel bad - just spent 1 1/2 hours with Panasonic tech support and problem not resolved. Are these extra files why they want the camera left connected during the DVD burn even though they say it makes it faster? Thanks, if I get it fixed will post back.
ttwomotor

I'm going to try one more time. I don't mean to be rude, but you are not getting it.

Your computer, your camcorder, HD Writer, Windows 7 and Windows Movie Maker are not causing problems. The problem is that you made a minor mistake when you deleted files on your camcorder. You are making more mistakes when you are trying to get software to do things that it is not capable of.

To recover from the mistake, you need to use some other software to edit and render DVDs.

When a Panasonic camcorder makes a video file it ends in ".m2ts". It is generally a large file and is created under a specification that Panasonic and Sony created called AVCHD. It has become common enough that any current video editing software will handle it. Panasonic wanted to supply some unique features for their camcorders and their software so they make three more files that are keyed to the ".m2ts" file. The files are small and end in ".cont", ".pmpd" and ".tmd".

If you were using the optional 1080p60 setting on your camcorder, it will be a little different. A very few software programs might have trouble with 1080p60 because that format was not included in the original AVCHD definition.

The ONLY way to keep the files together is to transfer your video to your computer with HD Writer. If you own an Apple computer you can't use HD Writer. If you use any other software, it ignores the three small files.

The part you don't seem to get, it that you will never recreate those three small files if you have deleted them. And, most important, you don't need them and they won't be useful to any other video edition program.

Your first post says that you are trying to burn DVDs. That is one of the most common features of almost any consumer video software. There is a long list of brands in this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...iting_software.

What exactly are you trying to produce? Is it standard DVDs you can give to relatives? Or, is it something else? Are you wanting to make a collection of video that you view on your computer?

Bill
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post #15 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

When a Panasonic camcorder makes a video file it ends in ".m2ts"

Er, they end with ".MTS" because Sony and Panasonic decided to use FAT, which is free and a de-facto standard for memory cards, but the way Long File Names (LFN) are stored within FAT is patented by Microsoft, hence AVCHD uses stone-age "8.3" convention. Curiously, MTS files are referred as M2TS in CPI and MPL files. Also, HD Writer renames MTS files to M2TS when it copies them to a computer. Where M2TS comes from? It comes from Blu-ray Disc spec, on which AVCHD is based. Until AVCHD 2.0 came about, AVCHD was basically watered down Blu-ray.
Quote:
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The ONLY way to keep the files together is to transfer your video to your computer with HD Writer.

Do you mean the only way to treat several 4GB (or 2GB for Canon) segments as one clip is to use CPI/CLPI files? Right. Most programs that come with camcorders can do that, but most third-party standalone NLEs cannot. This sucks. Seriously, AVCHD is 6 years old already, and it still cannot be used to its full power.

ttwomotor, don't despair. You can join MTS/M2TS segments with programs like tsMuxer. You can join even unrelated segments. You can encounter other issues like audio drift, which tsMuxer is known for when joining long segments, but this can be fixed as well. I believe that some newer NLEs can seamlessly join segments too.
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post #16 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 05:59 PM
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On my computer running 64bit Windows 7, HD Writer transfers the files and Windows Explorer, under the "General" tab says they are "m2ts AVCHD" files. I really don't care as long as I can open them in a NLE editor.

You wrote "Do you mean the only way to treat several 4GB (or 2GB for Canon) segments as one clip is to use CPI/CLPI files?" As usual, you challenge me to figure out what you are asking. I don't know what "CPI/CPLI files" means.

What I meant by saying "the only way to keep the files together" was that, if the OP is trying to make the best use of HD Writer, he has to use it to transfer all four related files to his computer.

I think the OP is trying to make plain old DVDs to give to his relatives without any post production editing. It should be easy. It would be if he had used HD Writer in the first place. Since he didn't, he has a small challenge to figure out how to do it.

Bill

PS: Ungerman, thanks for reminding me that I still don't understand the technical parts of this.
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post #17 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

You wrote "Do you mean the only way to treat several 4GB (or 2GB for Canon) segments as one clip is to use CPI/CLPI files?" As usual, you challenge me to figure out what you are asking. I don't know what "CPI/CPLI files" means.

What I meant by saying "the only way to keep the files together" was that, if the OP is trying to make the best use of HD Writer, he has to use it to transfer all four related files to his computer.

AFAIK, clip information files contain (besides probably some other stuff) info about which file belong to which take. If you shoot a long take you can have several files. ClipInfo files allow a player/editor to stitch these files together.

I tried using HD Writer, but its ability of non-destructive editing is not enough for me to keep using it. I prefer Vegas ;-) Thus, I don't care much for additional metadata files. I can figure out which files I need to stitch by their sizes and names.
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post #18 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

I tried using HD Writer, but its ability of non-destructive editing is not enough for me to keep using it. I prefer Vegas ;-) Thus, I don't care much for additional metadata files. I can figure out which files I need to stitch by their sizes and names.

Agreed on HD Writer. I do use it to transfer files to my computer so that I have the option to use some of the features. As I have posted before, I tried the cheap version of Vegas and, after a month of happiness, it quit. I am now enthusiastically enjoying Adobe Premier Elements, even though I can't make it render to 1080p60. Everything else is wonderful. At least it hasn't quit for silly copy protection!

Your posts suggest you've been doing digital video since it was invented. Although I've done photography since Kodak's Tri-X and Dektol were a common tools, I've only been around this video stuff for a little over a year. Video is challenging!

To the topic, I hope the OP can figure out how to make his DVDs.

Bill
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post #19 of 26 Old 03-06-2012, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

Your posts suggest you've been doing digital video since it was invented. Although I've done photography since Kodak's Tri-X and Dektol were a common tools, I've only been around this video stuff for a little over a year.

I got interested in this stuff about the same time when AVCHD came out. So I played with DV, HDV and AVCHD. Oh, and with XDCAM EX. I am more of a geek than a creative type.
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post #20 of 26 Old 03-07-2012, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.
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post #21 of 26 Old 01-14-2013, 09:55 AM
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Hi bsprague, Ungermann, & all,

I hope I can bump this thread to make a comment and ask a couple of questions.

I’ve been in this digital video business for about nine months. Way long enough to know I don’t know diddly about it. In fact, I went through the “HD Writer won’t recognize a WE file copy from a Panny camcorder” bs when I first got it. I tried to short cut the Panny system and screwed up. Or did I? That was even after reading page 23 of the HD Writer AE 3.0 Operating Instructions, where it clearly tells you not to just copy from the camera. Ooops. (Yes I read instructions – some times – then ignore them.) The instructions call using WE to copy from the camera, Simple Copy.

So, that’s my comment – don’t just copy (Simple Copy or use WE to copy) if you want HD Writer to recognize the files and use it as an editor.

Now, the questions:
1) Are the .mts files as good quality as the .m2ts files?
2) Are they really the same file, just a different file extension?
3) If you use either the .mts or .m2ts files in a non-HD Writer editor and they get rendered or re-rendered, will the newly rendered file be as good quality as what came from the camera?
4) Will the new file be as good quality as an edited HD Writer edit?
5) If one or the other, which file should one start with, to get the best quality after the rendering in a non-HD Writer editor?
6) Does the non-HD Writer editor make a difference in quality of the final output?

That last one should stir up different opinions!

Steve
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post #22 of 26 Old 01-14-2013, 01:04 PM
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1) Are the .mts files as good quality as the .m2ts files?

-- Same thing. At most, the container is slightly different, having 192 bytes per block instead of 188 bytes. Although I think that it does not even do that, it just renames files from "8.3" scheme into long names.

2) Are they really the same file, just a different file extension?

See above. I don't remember whether HD Writer joins segments of a long video, if it takes more than 4GB, into a single file. Even then, the content is the same. No re-encoding.

3) If you use either the .mts or .m2ts files in a non-HD Writer editor and they get rendered or re-rendered, will the newly rendered file be as good quality as what came from the camera?

Depends on your idea of "as good quality". Some damage is being done at every re-encoding, like like making another copy of a music tape. Whether you will see the difference depends on your eyes, encoder and encoder settings.

4) Will the new file be as good quality as an edited HD Writer edit?

See above. HD Writer can edit without re-encoding if you don't add effects and use straigt cuts only, preserving original quality.

5) If one or the other, which file should one start with, to get the best quality after the rendering in a non-HD Writer editor?

Please, re-phrase.

6) Does the non-HD Writer editor make a difference in quality of the final output?

Depends on the editor, editor's decoder and editor's encoder. Most editors offer several encoders even for the same format. For example, Sony Vegas offers its own AVC encoder as well as MainConcept AVC encoder.
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post #23 of 26 Old 01-14-2013, 02:19 PM
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@Ungermann,

Thank you very much for the reply and answers.

re 5) Since .mts and .m2ts are the same thing, no answer necessary to an ill constructed question.

I have a TM80. Wanted a starter camera to get into this video business and all the zoom I could get. It only does 1080i, but I think the vids are great. So, maybe a different editor than HDW3 won't hurt too bad.

I'm happy with HDW3 except for audio voice over capability or adding a different audio track altogether.

So, I got a hot deal ($20) on Corel VideoStudio Pro X3 (I know it's two generations old, but what do I know at this early learning stage) to see how it will work. Hope it doesn't butcher the video with its coding.

Thanks again for the info.

Steve
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post #24 of 26 Old 01-14-2013, 03:14 PM
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Have you downloaded a trial before buying? Have you read reviews about it? http://download.cnet.com/Corel-VideoStudio-Pro/3000-13631_4-11207246.html
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post #25 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 07:01 AM
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Good advice. I'm only 1 for 2 with it. Did not download to try. I never think of that until too late. It's ordered.

Did read a bunch of reviews. They were mixed at best. But a lot of them were complaining about how much the software UI changed, not for the good, from the last version. Since I would be a newbie to any program, those were discounted a bit. Still, the overall rating wasn't great. But, none of the software seemed to really stand out, particularly in my price range.

What helped tilt me was when I went to the Corel Forum to look for insight. What was found there were some video tutorials, 12 - 15, by one fellow. After watching them I felt pretty comfortable that I could leap in and do what needed to be done. That said, I'll have to see about performance.

Then there was the price. At twenty bucks for a software name I recognized, I thought I'd try it. Actually, I get along pretty well with HD Writer, so I might not be using VS X3 except when HDW won't do something I want. We'll see.

Thanks again for the help.

Steve
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post #26 of 26 Old 01-18-2013, 07:22 AM
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I've learned quite a bit with the "Hyercritic's" advice. So, here's an update that might help some folks. Of course everybody probably knew it already.

Setup: Camcorder - HDC TM80 with HD Writer AE 3.0 (HDW) on laptop with i5 Intel processor and 64 bit Win 7 and a Samsung 46" TV

Initially transferred some videos from camcorder to laptop via copying with Windows Explorer (WE) and got mts files off camcorder. Could not edit them in HDW. Figured out the screw up by reading a sidebar titled [Simple Copy] on pg 23 of the Operating Instructions for HDW. I had read it before, but did not get it, because after using the WE copy procedure you can't go back and use the copy procedure with HDW. So no m2ts files for these videos. Nuts! I thought I had lost some picture quality and wasn't happy.

With Ungermann's input I learned that the mts file should be as good as the m2ts and so proceeded as follows:

Edited an mts clip with Windows Live Movie Maker (WLMM) and saved it with HD Display configuration and got a wmv file. A big one, 580MB. Played the wmv file on the laptop with Windows Media Player and the picture quality was great to my eyes - as good as playing the original mts on the laptop via WMP.

Copied the wmv file to a flash drive along with the original mts file and a different m2ts file. Stuck the flash drive in the TV and played the wmv file. It looked great. As good as some other m2ts files edited via HDW and burned to a DVD as AVCHD files via HDW and played thru a Panasonic Blue-ray player. Well, if it isn't as good I can't tell the difference.

Then, I outputted the edited mts file in what WLMM calls Zune HD. It is for 720p display. Got a file of 190 MB. Then uploaded that to Vimeo. The picture quality looks great on the internet after all of Vimeo's monkeying with it.

The bottom line: from my eyes don't sweat not getting an m2ts file off of the Panny camcorders with HD Writer. There is not much you can do with audio in HDW. So, if you want that capability, you have to go with a different editor anyway. Even one with a reputation supposedly as low as WLMM did pretty good with the file decoding and encoding.

The next test will be to see what kind of results come with editing via Corel Video Studio X3.

Steve
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