If you've never heard of it before, AVCHD may look like a complicated arrangement of letters, but it's actually pretty simple to understand. Just have bought a camcorder of brand Sony, Canon, Panasonic, JVC, etc. and wonder what is AVCHD exactly, you've come to the right place. This article will lead you to know everything about AVCHD.
Best Solution to Play and Convert AVCHD
Not all our devices or media players can support AVCHD. So, if you want to play AVCHD videos on PC/Mac or iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone etc, you'd better convert AVCHD files to MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV or other formats compatible with computers and devices with the best AVCHD video converter/decoder - Dimo Video Converter Ultimate.
Part 1: About AVCHD Format
Part 2: How to Play/Edit/Convert AVCHD video
Part 3: AVCHD vs H.264 vs BDMV
Part 1: About AVCHD Format
AVCHD is a video format and the name stands for Advanced Video Coding High Definition. With it spelled out, you can probably guess that it's a high-quality video format. AVCHD will give you television viewing quality on any device! It is developed Sony and Panasonic collectively, which is originally designed for HD camcorders use for digital recording and HD video playback. It records video at a resolution, ranging from 720p to 1080p or higher. Though some brands of HD camcorder also employ MPEG-4, they are not as popular as AVCHD video anyway. Videos in AVCHD format can be burnt to a standard DVD disc that can be playable on an HDTV and Blu-ray Disc player.
Supported Video Formats
|AVCHD supports a variety of video resolutions which was further extended in 2011. Most AVCHD camcorders support only a handful of the video and audio formats which are allowed in the AVCHD standard. When it comes to video formats, AVCHD supports both standard definition (AVCHD-SD) and high definition (AVCHD 1080i) interlaced video.
Supported Audio Formats
Most AVCHD camcorders record audio using Dolby Digital (AC-3) compression. Stereo and multi-channel audio is also supported. It is important to note that as a distribution format, while DVDs that have the AVCHD file recorded on it, will be called a AVCHD disc, it cannot be played on the standard DVD player, but can be played on most Blu-ray disc players.
Audio, video, subtitle, and ancillary streams are multiplexed into an MPEG transport stream and stored on media as binary files. Usually, memory cards and HDDs use the FAT file system, while optical discs employ UDF or ISO9660.
Audio and Video File Extensions
|AVCHD files are stored with a .MTS or .m2ts file extensions, which mainly depends on the brand or whether you're copying the files to a PC or Mac. There is no significant difference in the contents of the video files that use different extensions.
The advantage of AVCHD MTS/M2TS video
1. Recording HD image onto random-access media, including 8cm DVD discs, hard disk drives and removable flash media such as SD/SDHC memory cards and "Memory Stick" cards. This is crucial factor for why AVCHD format could weed out other type-based HD video recording formats, like HDV.
2. AVCHD utilizes MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (AVC) video compression codec and either Dolby AC-3 (Dolby Digital) or linear PCM (is used for the lossless encoding of audio data) audio compression codec. It permits AVCHD MTS video to feature Efficient Reduction in the Size of the data file, provide Sufficient Shooting Time while maintain the High Picture Quality of the HD recording.
3. Compatibility with Blu-ray Disc. Since the structure of AVCHD video is derived from the Blu-ray Disc specification, it has been designed to be compatible with Blu-ray Disc format and can be used for authoring of high definition video on DVD media, though not all Blu-ray players are compatible with AVCHD discs.
4. What makes AVCHD an Unique and Advanced Codec Compression (comparing with other Videos like AVC, MPEG-4, AVI, MKV, MOV, etc) is that it includes features to improve media presentation such as: Menu Navigation, Slide Shows and Subtitles.
The same case with DVD (somehow AVCHD video is similar to DVD movies, like vivid image and selectable language track), AVCHD video allows you to freely choose the audio/language tracks. If your native speaking is not English or you want to learn other language, it is definitely a useful feature far beyond your imagination.
Detailed information about what AVCHD is doesn't end here, keep reading to dig out all the mystery of AVCHD.
Part 2: How to Play/Edit/Convert AVCHD video
How to play AVCHD video?
Your next question is probably about how to play AVCHD video shootings. AVCHD videos are saved with .mts/.m2ts file extension, and cannot be directly played on Windows or Mac OS X for incompatibilty problem with video players attatched by system. So if you try to watch AVCHD/MTS files, a powerful yet easy to use AVCHD Player is in demand, which will achieve Full 1920x1080 Resolution enjoyment which is surely what you desire from playing AVCHD video.
Although some AVCHD camcorders ship with software designed to playback the files on computers (Sony's HDR-SR1 and the newer HDR-SR5 both record video in the AVCHD format and ship with the Picture Motion Browser, or Sony PMB for short), majority of AVCHD viewers do not have well-packed AVCHD playback software's support. Therefore, to get an AVCHD video player is quite necessary for our regular users.
#1. VLC Player
VLC media player is an open-source and royalty free AVCHD/MTS player. It is available for GNU, Linux, BeOS, and BSD. To oepn AVCHD videos, all you need to do is download and install it on their PC, then drag the AVCHD files to the player. >> See solution for "VLC no sound"
#2. 8K Player
Here 8K Player is a truly masterful piece of free AVCHD Player which delivers a great solution to play AVCHD/MTS video for free. As for AVCHD video with 1080i signal, the picture you see from computer is not as clear as 1080p. But thanks to 8K Player's Advanced De-interlacing Engine (transfer and interpret 1080i AVCHD video from interlacing to progressive scanning), you are ensured with significantly more clear and sharper images and enhanced visual quality. Apart from playing AVCHD, 8K Player can also play other videos audios, Blu-ray/DVD sources, add bookmark, loop video, take snapshot, turn video to gif and record screen video for broadcasting.
How to edit AVCHD video?
To share your recordings in better way, you need to edit AVCHD videos with a proper AVCHD Editing Software. Besides, AVCHD camcorders usually use recording 1080p Interlaced Video. When playing interlaced AVCHD video, the image you see from AVCHD video will not be true to the original. It is a pity that most regular AVCHD editing tools treat progressive video recorded within an interlaced stream as interlaced.
#1. Sony Vegas
The famous non-linear editor (NLE) Sony Vegas Pro is one of first-class high-end video editing software with AVCHD support. It has many highlight features like HD Support Non-destructive editing, unlimited video & audio tracks and linear timecode display.
#2. Windows Movie Maker
With the codename Sundance, Windows Movie Maker is a free video creating and editing software and own movie studio included in Windows Essentials software suite. The videos produced by Windows Movie Maker can be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, OneDrive, Flickr and so on. With Windows Movie Maker, you'll be able to split video, merge videos, slow down or speed up video, add effects, set video transitions, add titles, etc.
But some professional AVCHD Editing Software will convert your HD recordings from interlased to progressive scanning, like Dimo Video Converter Ultimate, and it will achieve much better visual effect. This user-friendly design of makes Editing AVCHD video now a hassle-free task even for beginners. Just run this powerful and easy-to-use AVCHD video editor, import your AVCHD recordings, and then you can:
- Easily trim and split the large AVCHD video file into smaller pieces and delete unwanted
- Crop the recording image to highlight the most brilliant part or remove black edge
- Extract the fantastic scenes and make them into GIF
- Add special effect or text watermark, adjust brightless/saturation/contrast to make a personalized film
Not only Edit AVCHD Video, But also Convert AVCHD/MTS Video
As for the Mac OS, it is true Apple's Final Cut Express, Final Cut Pro, and iMovie (iMovie is bundled with all new Apple computers; Final Cut Express and Pro are sold separately) are powerful enough, but they do not support editing of AVCHD clips directly. Imported AVCHD clips are automatically converted into the Apple Intermediate Codec format, which requires more hard disk space (40GB per hour as opposed to 13.5GB per hour for Standard Definition DV), a more powerful machine (an Intel-based Mac), and a more recent OS. And this top AVCHD converter for Mac users also strives for converting AVCHD video to FCP, iMovie, FCE, Premiere, Avid Media Composer, etc. Therefore, you can feel at ease to edit the video you like for sharing freely.
How to convert AVCHD video
What AVCHD is doesn't make much sense when it comes to solution to AVCHD format compatibility. Dimo Video Converter Ultimate, a reliable and quick AVCHD conversion software is able to solve AVCHD compatibility issues perfectly. It allows you to:
- Convert AVCHD to MP4 and any other video format, like AVI, FLV, MOV, WMV, to name just a few, with 50X faster speed and original quality remained.
- Extract audio from AVCHD music video file as MP3, AAC, AC3, iPhone Ringtone, and many more.
- Play ACHD video directly with excellent video and audio experience.
- Create ISO from AVCHD folder to ISO for playback or storage.
- Make YouTube/Facebook/Vimeo to accept AVCHD video willingly. So there is no boundary to Upload AVCHD and share your amusing HD recordings online.
- Edit AVCHD video or make GIF for more broadened use
- Turn AVCHD to playable format for playback or wirelessly sharing on iPhone, iPad, Android, TV, VR, etc.
- Change AVCHD into editable format for using in NLE software like MAGIX Video Pro X, Pinnacle Studio, Premiere Pro, Avid MC, etc.
- Support to convert AVCHD (1080i) video from interlaced to progressive scanning. It will achieve better image quality than original.
- Output Multi-track video, which helps you play and watch video with the language track you preferred.
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Step 1: Load AVCHD Files
After Free this AVCHD converter and fire it up, click "Add File > Add Folder" to load the target AVCHD folder you want to convert.
Step 2: Select Output Format
Select the output format you desire. What's more, customizing your presetting makes the output video looks great on your player.
Step 3: Select Output Folder
Specify output folder on your computer to save the output files. Click the "..." button to choose the path where you want to save the output files in.
Step 4: Start Conversion
After finish the above steps, click the "Start" button to start AVCHD conversion, the AVCHD converter will automatically helps you convert AVCHD to choosed format/devices, and you could view the conversion progress and are able to cancel the converting process at anytime. It not only performs quite well in AVCHD conversion, AVCHD to MOV, MP4 to MP3, etc., but also does good job in YouTube HD video downloading, online video music downloading from 300+ video music sharing sites.
Part 3: AVCHD vs H.264 vs BDMV
Now, before you go to convert your AVCHD files, you might be wondering which format is the best. If you're choosing between AVCHD, H.264, and BDMV, all are great options.
BDMV is a Blu-ray format, while H.264 uses standard compression. It really comes down to which format your player will work with best. If your current media player is already compatible with one of these options, go ahead and select it. While there are some minor quality differences between these three formats, it's not enough for you to notice unless you're watching the videos on an extremely large screen. So, it's worth saving yourself the time and trouble and using a format already playable on your device.
That means you're likely best off converting your AVCHD files to whichever format works best with your current media player. You can get media players that work with both Mac and PC and they are perfect for BDMV and H.264 videos. If you're burning to a disk, it depends on your DVD player which you should choose. For playing on your devices, you'd be best off converting to MPEG-4 or another common format and you won't be able to notice any quality loss. This will also make the file smaller and more shareable.
BDMV vs AVCHD
|It supports the Blu-ray Disc format.
||The menu supported is the DVD format, and you may add or remove the menu by changing the settings.
|It supports more video resolutions in burned Disc- e.g.
MPEG-2 (HQ): 1920*1080
MPEG-2 (SD): 720*480
AVC MPEG4(HQ): 1920*1080
AVC MPEG4 (SD): 720*480
|It only supports two video resolutions in Burned Disc.
i.e. AVC MPEG4 (HQ): 1920*1080
AVC MPEG4 (SD): 720*480.
|They contain information about the contents of Blu-ray disc, but they do don contain the actual multimedia files.
||They contain the actual multimedia files.
H.264 vs AVCHD
|It includes everything from the baseline, including low-quality profiles that are suitable for iPods and other mobile devices, to even much higher quality than Blu-ray.
||AVCHD uses a subset of H264 specification.
|When a Blu-ray disc is using H264 compression, it has fewer restrictions in terms of bitrate compared to AVCHD.
||It uses a subset of H264 restriction with restrictions.
|Due to fewer restrictions, it has the potential for better quality.
||The restrictions make it has lower quality compared to H264.
First-rate AVCHD Converter
Dimo Video Converter Ultimate - No.1 fast video converter offers you the easiest way to convert AVCHD to MP4 or AVI, MOV, FLV, WMV, MKV, iPhone, iPad, Premiere Pro, Gear VR, Xbox, YouTube, etc with untouched quality and fast speed.
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