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ddt460 Level 1 Level 1
I just got this Panasonic which is able to shoot video at 1080p 28Mbps. I know that this format is not AVCHD compliant, and currently not recognized by iMovie 09.
Does anyone know of a work around? The first step is getting the files imported into the Mac, and then the next would be to see if one of the converters could convert it to AIC, which I was hoping would work as they are .mts files.

24" iMac 2.8GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.2), 13" Macbook Pro 2.26mHz
  • GaryLarryWally Level 1 Level 1
    As a workaround you can take the MTS files (in the camera STREAM folder file structure on the desktop mounted disks) into TOAST and convert to any format there. ProRes 422 HQ retains top quality but maxes out the file size!
  • Alan Somers Level 6 Level 6
    As another work-around if you don't want to buy Toast, you could try running it through the free Handbrake application and converting into a plain MP4 file. You also have the option to max out the quality with the same issue of huge file size.
  • ddt460 Level 1 Level 1
    When I look into the camera memory, the .mts files are in the file structure, Camera Mem/AVCHD/BDMV/Stream/.mts files. Are these all I need to copy? There are other files in the BDMV folder such as clip inf (.cpi), and playlist (.mpl). Do these need to be copied also to use something like Handbrake, or Toast?
  • Alan Somers Level 6 Level 6
    The .mts files should be enough. However, if you're using Relay Recording, I don't know how the internal and external files get merged.
  • ddt460 Level 1 Level 1
    You are right, just the .mts files are enough. Thank-you.
  • Alan Somers Level 6 Level 6
    Please let us know how things work out. I'll likely be getting one of these camcorders in a month or two and I'd be interested in your experiences.
  • David S. Level 7 Level 7
    These appear to work with ClipWrap2.
  • ddt460 Level 1 Level 1
    This is what I know so far.
    1. Clips shot at 1080i 17Mbps can be imported straight from the camera to iMovie 09. These clips I understand are converted to AIC, and edited. If the movie is exported to iDVD via share to Media Browser, the resultant movie is .mov file, and an acceptable SD DVD can be made. I felt that the colors in the movie were changed a little (there was a yellowish cast) and there certainly was a degradation in sharpness. I did the export at Large setting, and have not tried HD yet, but plan to do that next.
    2. Clips shot at 1080p 28Mbps have to be copied from the camera memory manually. I then converted the .mts files to MPEG4 (.mp4) movies using Handbrake. I found that before these .mp4 clips could be used, it was necessary to deinterlace (with JES Deinterlacer), converting them to .mov files. It was not that you couldn't import the .mp4 files to iMovie, but that the DVD resulting from that process was full of artifact, and totally unacceptable. Importing the deinterlaced clips, editing and sharing to Media Browser at HD setting resulted in the best quality DVD I have made yet. Sharpness was acceptable, even though not the same as original, but again, there was a yellowish cast to the colors. If you had not viewed the original, you probably would have thought that it was a fine effort. I will add that all these movies look fine when viewed through the viewer on the Mac. I will probably also be looking at other alternatives, such as Streamclip, and maybe even the converters that are not free to see if improvements can be made.
    There are other ways that have been pointed out to import and edit movies for different forms of playback, such as off a media player or PS3. So far that has not been my goal, which has been to produce acceptable DVD's to distribute to family and friends. For those other forms of playback, I think that you can get output practically indistinguishable from original.
  • Alan Somers Level 6 Level 6
    I played around with one of the raw sample files I grabbed fro a link on Vimeo and I was able to use the ffmpeg command line application to rewrap the video into MP4 without transcoding. It imported into iMovie 7.1.4 just fine (I don't have iMovie '09) and I was able to edit and export.
  • ddt460 Level 1 Level 1
    " I was able to use the ffmpeg command line application to rewrap the video into MP4 without transcoding"

    Explanation please. Sounds like something I need to learn how to do.
  • Alan Somers Level 6 Level 6
    I created an Automator workflow to make it a simple drag-and-drop process. You can get it from my MobileMe public folder ( and it's named

    It requires you to get the ClipGrab application ( because it uses the copy of ffmpeg embedded in ClipGrab's application bundle (it's the only up-to-date compiled copy I could find reasonably easily). ClipGrab must be installed in the /Applications folder in order for the workflow to work; the workflow itself can be installed anywhere.

    Then, just drag and drop the .m2ts or .mts files onto The converted files will have the same name with a .m4v extension appended.
  • tt1729 Level 1 Level 1
    Alan, this is fantastic! Thanks. It even works on the AVCHD streams from my Canon HF-100. This is almost as good as if QT supported this MPEG2 transport natively. Now I can keep the raw AVCHD files around and just import as needed. It also beats using the slow iMovie archive feature.

    I actually had the same idea earlier, but I couldn't get it to work. Would you mind sharing with us which options ffmpeg needs for this? Thanks.
  • Peter Fal Level 1 Level 1

    Very nice work flow package. Works well and keeps 60 fps.
    Resulting files look good.

  • Alan McDonley Level 1 Level 1
    tt1729 wrote:
    Would you mind sharing with us which options ffmpeg needs for this?
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