I bought Panasonic HDC-SD9 in France (i'm french) a few days ago. I've got the same problems as detailled by you.
Michael, have you tried to use Toast 9 Titanium to convert the files on your own? I tried different compressions but, if .mov generated seem to be ok (videoplayback is right), i can't import them into i'Movie! (you can't select the (grey) file).
Can you explain which settings would be best and ok? If not, i'm afraid Toast isn't the solution
You're right. I've moved onto Final Cut Pro which can import the HDV MOV files Toast is generating but iMovie does not. I've tried high bitrate Quicktime, H264 and AppleTV profiles but these can't be read by iMovie either. Looks like VoltaicHD is the only solution for iMovie at the moment (and only for files less than 2GB as I found out last week).
Well... no, maybe Voltaic isn't the unique solution After converting my .mts file with the toast converter (HDV 1080i or p, 25ips, AIC compression, 1920x1080 HD), i opened the .mov file in Quicktime Pro, then export it again using the same parameters with "sequence to quicktime sequence" (i hope this is the right translation in english!).
Then the .mov is ok to import into I'Movie. The video is a bit darker but compression seems similar. Of course and unfortunatly, you loose 5.1 sound and get stereo sound only (like Voltaic indeed).
So, this thread started on Feb 25. It's May 7 now. Any ........ news at all? 2.5 months on some format issue? I'm a programmer, I can tell that you can build a lot in 2.5 month having Apple's resources. I got my SD9 today, like it but going to return it in a couple of days and get canon HF10 if I don't see anything meaningful by then. Soooo much for "it just works"...