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Thread: MTS Files

  1. #1
    MTS Files
    AUZambo's Avatar
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    MTS Files
    Hey everyone,
    I bought the Panasonic HDC-HS100 camcorder for my child's birth (which was yesterday). I swear when I read reviews several people said the files wouldn't need any conversion to be viewed or edited on a mac...which is one of the reasons I went with this model...but apparently it is necessary. The video files are recorded as MTS files.

    I have a few questions:

    1. Is there any way to just view the MTS files on the mac, or better yet is there a way to convert them that I haven't found yet?

    2. If the answer to #1 is "no," is there a completely free converter? I realize there is probably a quality sacrifice or a watermark that comes with free software, but I just want something to use while we're in the hospital.

    3. Of the pay converters, is voltaic the best one or is there another you'd recommend? They're all about the same price to register.

    4. Anything else I'm forgetting?

  2. #2
    MTS Files

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    From what I've read on the camera - it records in AVCHD format.


    From what you've said, it would appear you've connected the camera then dragged the raw video files over to your computer out of the AVCHD folder structure.

    What you'll want to try to do - leave the video on the camera, hook it up as normal so I assume it appears as a hard drive on your desktop, in iMovie '08 import from camera and select the clips and appropriate settings.

    The file will need to be converted to be edited, but it should be converted on import to a format that iMovie can edit - which will be AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) which will also require a lot more space then the highly compressed original file (an hour of footage will take on the order of 60-70 gigs if I recall correctly).

    Corrected numbers: According to Apple, AIC will take ~49 Gigs / hr. Although I could swear mine was a bit larger, when I went to get physical numbers to explain the situation to frankmezz, I found my estimate to be off, most likely due to my current use of a different codec for editing.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)

  3. #3
    MTS Files

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    on my Canon ZR 50 one hour of video takes about 10 gig. i don't know what it records in since it is on tape and the iMovie converts to whatever it needs on import. the camera is controlled (start stop etc) from the software

  4. #4
    MTS Files

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankmezz View Post
    on my Canon ZR 50 one hour of video takes about 10 gig. i don't know what it records in since it is on tape and the iMovie converts to whatever it needs on import. the camera is controlled (start stop etc) from the software
    Apples vs oranges - you're comparing something that can't be (and shouldn't be) compared - you are using a standard def camera vs the OP's High Def camera - SD video takes SIGNIFICANTLY less space then HD video when converted from the storage format on the camera (whether it be tape, mass storage, dvd, etc.) to the editable format on the computer.

    SD video edited in a DV format takes about 3.52 MegaBytes per second for storage, so 1 hr of video will be (raw file size) about 12.672 gigs.

    HD video - which is what his camera records - once converted into AIC takes 14+MegaBytes per second which Apple claims to take about 49 Gigs / hr (I've seen it be more, I've seen it be less, I'm probably a bit off in my original statement because I've been using ProRes mostly lately with FCP which takes more space then AIC)
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)

  5. #5
    MTS Files

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    Those HD camcorders always record videos in some informal hd formats, such as mts, mod, tod, etc. And these formats always can not be read by many softwares. We have to convert them to a regular format before we can view and edit. U can try Handbrake which is a good free one. it can convert mts to mov which can be played on your Mac.

  6. #6
    MTS Files
    chas_m's Avatar
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    Somebody needs to make the following a sticky:

    ABOUT MTS FILES AND THE MAC

    The first thing that's helpful to know about MTS files is what MTS stands for. It stands for MPEG Transport Stream. These files can be either MPEG-1 or MPEG-2, but when talking about MTS files coming from (primarily) Sony and Canon camcorders, we're talking about MPEG-2. For "high definition" cameras, the MTS file is usually a component of AVCHD.

    If you have a file with an .mts extension on it, simply rename it to an .mpg extension. iMovie still won't recognise it, but now a whole host of programs will "see" it, play it, and convert it to something that's actually supported by iMovie.

    iMovie supports DV, MP4 and certain kinds of AVI files.

    There are several free programs that can convert MPEG files into other formats. For MPEG-2, some of these program may require that you purchase Apple's MPEG-2 Playback component ($30US).

  7. #7
    MTS Files

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    The key is to not take the HD files out of the hierarchy. If you take it out of the hierarchy and the camera is one that is compatible with the appropriate software (iMovie, FCE, FCP), then the files you manually extract will not work - FCE, FCP and iMovie expect the files to be in the native folder hierarchy structure so that the software can read the important information to properly import and convert the footage to AIC or ProRES.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)

  8. #8
    MTS Files
    chas_m's Avatar
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    Please add Nethfel's comment to the sticky, good points!

  9. #9
    MTS Files

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    I'm trying to edit the 1080P files it saves to the card. After trying to edit the h.264 files directly i FCP, and seeing the major frame dropage, I did some research and saw that it is better to convert to Apple Prores422.

    How to convert to Apple Prores422? What's Apple Prores422?

    thanks

  10. #10
    MTS Files
    chas_m's Avatar
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  11. #11
    MTS Files

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    ROFL Chas_m, that was hilarious, I've never seen a link like that before.

    To kate:

    You really ought to have started a new thread for your question - it really needs to be separate from this antique thread. In terms of converting to ProRes, normally at log and transfer it will do it automatically. If you're dragging and dropping footage into your project, you may need to do a manual conversion of say using compressor (if it will read the container/codec your master file is in) or creating a timeline and exporting the timeline with the appropriate ProRES settings, or using something like mpegstreamclip or quicktime pro to convert your footage to ProRES.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)

  12. #12
    MTS Files

    Member Since
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    thanks ,i am newie.

    i will start a new thread for my question

  13. #13
    MTS Files

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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    Somebody needs to make the following a sticky:

    ABOUT MTS FILES AND THE MAC

    The first thing that's helpful to know about MTS files is what MTS stands for. It stands for MPEG Transport Stream. These files can be either MPEG-1 or MPEG-2, but when talking about MTS files coming from (primarily) Sony and Canon camcorders, we're talking about MPEG-2. For "high definition" cameras, the MTS file is usually a component of AVCHD.

    If you have a file with an .mts extension on it, simply rename it to an .mpg extension. iMovie still won't recognise it, but now a whole host of programs will "see" it, play it, and convert it to something that's actually supported by iMovie.

    iMovie supports DV, MP4 and certain kinds of AVI files.

    There are several free programs that can convert MPEG files into other formats. For MPEG-2, some of these program may require that you purchase Apple's MPEG-2 Playback component ($30US).
    I don't know about other folks, but I have no problems with iMovie importing MTS files from the camera. By doing so the files are converted to quicktime format. What I don't understand is why a converted file (once the import is done) comes out 5 or 6 times the size of the original MTS file.

  14. #14
    MTS Files

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    The MTS files in the camera - usually stored in AVCHD format (specifies file hierarchy as well as codecs used) - are extremely highly compressed files. These files are very hard on a system to edit natively, plus if you have to export and reimport footage (like making modifications / fx / etc that would create a new clip in a separate file to re-import into the main project).

    To edit this HD footage on a Mac, iMovie (as well as FCE and FCP) will convert the footage into a different codec that has significantly less compression - hence making the file significantly bigger. The files are a significantly higher bit rate. By default FCE and iMovie will transcode the footage into a MOV container (commonly recognized as a quicktime file, but won't be useable on just any system unless certain conditions exist) and it will use the Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC). On a FCP system, it will use ProRES (depending on the version of FCP installed, it might use ProRES 422 or ProRES 444) but it can be configured to use AIC if one so chose (when logging and transferring AVCHD footage).

    This is normal, and one of the biggest benefits is that it requires significantly less CPU power as you don't have a lot of decompression happening during operation compared to attempting to use native AVCHD data.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)

  15. #15
    MTS Files

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    thanks!
    Thanks for all the time you all put into posting helpful info on the forum here - I am a new mac user - love it - and am not very technically savvy, but I can usually find help here. As was the case with converting MTS files to mp4 format.

    I downloaded Handbrake for free! (That's always nice). It seems to be working flawlessly for what I need. A coworker filmed and saved the footage in .MTS format - which I tried to open and use on my macbookpro, unsuccessfully tried that is. Downloaded Handbrake. It has converted them - audio and all - to mp4 format nicely.

    Thanks again.

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