New Sony HD camcorders present problems to their owners when it comes time to viewing and editing M2TS files created by the camera. There is actually a lot of people having problems with this. If you Google the topic you will get lost in all the info of failures and attempts.
It is possible to view M2TS files using WMP10 with the Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 7.3 installed. M2TS is an acronym for "Mpeg2 Transport Stream". Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra was reported that it cannot actually open M2TS files from disk for viewing like it can other video types but I can even after installing the updates. You just have to select open media files from the appropriate menu and build a playlist.
From what I have been reading, support from the OpenSource Community is likely over 2 years away. It will take someone with an intense knowledge of Mpeg2 among other things to come up with an OpenSource solution. Two major factors definately contribute to the ability to view/edit these files...System performance and codecs.
Anyone that HAS to deal with these file types is wasting thier time unless the system is HDV compatible. This dosen't necessarily mean 100% compatible.Using tools provided by Cyberlink though, one can determine if thier system is HDV compatible in general. Low-performing systems will have issues with choppy video/audio and likely audio sync issues during playback.
The Cyberlink Advisor http://tinyurl.com/3xfka5
Cyberlink compatibility Chart http://tinyurl.com/3y84ra.
Sony, from what I understand, does include both a viewer and an encoder which is capable of re-encoding a M2TS file into a format that requires less overhead to play on a low-performing system. My guess though, based on my tests, is that even the re-encoded file will suffer from the choppy video/audio problem.
My workstation I do my video stuff on is on a Asus motherboard with a AMD 64X2 4800+, 2 gb ram ,Nvidea GEForce 7300GS 512mb. According to the Cyberlink Advisor my video card is not compatible. Of course, My card is compatible because I can play 1080p WMHDV downloaded from the Windows Media Showcase. My laptop is a POS Acer Aspire 3000 with 512mb ram. I didn't bother running the advisor on it I already know its not HDV Ready. But I have tested what I found works on my workstation and I do get choppy audio/video.
Windows Media Showcase http://tinyurl.com/oxf5o
MY $35.00 Solution: Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 7.3 UNINSTALLED
I found an encoder while surfing the web that can convert M2TS files to .AVI files that are playable both in WMP10 and MPC. The installer is a 21-day trial and is not limited in any other way I could tell so-far. You can preview the files in a small window which is nice. I also downloaded a test video.
Sample Videos http://tinyurl.com/2zg6fs
Elecard AVC HD to DV Transcoder http://tinyurl.com/2x2xf2
The resulting encoded AVI file does play without a hitch on my 99% HDV compliant system. However, I'm not sure of how close to HD compliant the output file actually is. Next I looked at editing.
1.Womble has problem with the display of the Elecard encoded file. There are vertical lines in the preview video that get passed to an exported video. So Womble is out.
2.Sony Vegas Platinum 7.0 can import the encoded file and render as other types of .AVI files that play perfectly with WMP10 and MPC. Womble is still out using the Sony Rendered AVI.
3.Ulead DVD Movie Factory 4.0 can't open the Elecard encoded file but can open and play properly the Sony Rendered AVI. It can also export to a Vob set. Womble has no problem with the resulting file. So Womble is back in.
4.VirtualDubMod can[t open the source M2TS file or directly open either the Elcard or the Sony Rendered file due to a lack of a codec. It can open the Elcard file if at the bottom of the open dialog you select the DirectShow Source option next to where it says Use AviSynth Template. A basic stream dump to an AVI file can be opened by Womble.
5. Windows Media Encoder can render the Elcard AVI to a HDWMV but nothin on my system can play it.
6. Super© can convert the Elcard file with no problem to different iterations of AVI files using DivX or XVID and AC3 which is good news actually.
MY $135.00 Solution: Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 7.3 INSTALLED
PowerDVD Ultra can play the HDWMV file but we are $100.00 over budjet.
VirtualDubMod can open M2TS files but does a lousy processing job.
Here's a sample of what I was able to do...
Audio: Dolby AC3 48000Hz 6ch 112Kbps [Audio 1]