Have you considered HandBrake for this conversion? The latest version doesn't support PPC anymore, but you can get PPC versions here:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/handbrake/files/0.9.4 (click on "HandBrake-0.9.4-MacOSX.5_GUI_ppc").
From the documentation, it isn't explicitly clear whether it imports AVCHD format, though.
I have recently bought a Powermac G5 to use for editing my videos, as my Macbook 2005 is on it's last legs.
The only problem is i didn't realise how much trouble i would get myself into in terms of compatability. I need to convert AVCHD to MPEG so i can import my clips into iMovie or Final Cut.
I read in another discussion that VoltaicHD would solve this problem, and does work on PowerPC Processors, but it keeps telling me it is not supported on this architecture.
Any help would be much appreciated. Cheers, Oli
Hopefully you did not pay much money for a Powermac G5...
At the end of the day, unless your time and effort has no value monetarily, you will watch endless while this ancient machine tries to transcode AVCHD video.
The time needed on even the slowest and least expensive of modern Macs (Mac Mini) will be amazing!
When my iMac G5 died, I replaced it with the 2011 Mac Mini and now I do ALL my transcoding on this machine; what a difference!
To answer the remainder of your question: what purpose do you need MPEG video for? Do you mean MPEG-2 for creation of DVDs?
In any event the current version of Handbrake (running on a modern Mac) will handle most anything that you need other than DVD creation.
"ClipWrap" will unwrap the AVCHD files for you into .mov, capable of being used in Final Cut. Costs a minimal amount of money...
Once you've unwrapped them however, the G5 will probably struggle with the files in Final Cut, as especially if you've captured in full HD, the files are so big, you may need to convert them to ProRes or AIC codecs...
No i didn't pay alot for this machine thankfully. I was considering a Mac Mini for a similar kind of price, but i jumped the gun and didn't do my research on it.
I did mean for the creation of DVD's. I think i may have to look into purchasing a Mac Mini or fixing my MacBook.
A legacy program that is no longer sold, VisualHub had a handy module for creation of DVDs from other sources; without any bells & whistles like no menus,etc. That is what I still use for a quick and dirty DVD for a friend or family member.
Quite honestly, if I have to transcode, I have moved to MPEG-4 H.264, archiving files on my large hard disk, and playing them on my AppleTV (1,2 or 3).
When it comes to transcoding, the more powerful CPU you can afford (and some extra RAM), the better off you are!
That all being said, I am not an expert on editing; as I usally just convert what I have.
I tried a number of different apps but liked Clipwrap the best
That said, I did a HD movie on a PPC Mac once to see how it would compare with my Macbook pro. Using the same files the early Macbook Pro took less than 2 hours while the PPC mac took over 2 days