Converting an AVCHD M2TS Video File Into Something Usable (for free!)
The Corel software that came with my new Canon HG10 made burning a video DVD or an AVCHD DVD a snap. Unfortunately, it came with nothing that would transcode the video files into more commonly supported formats like MP4 (or AVI) so that they can be easily edited and/or uploaded to sites like Vimeo (or Youtube or whatever). I tried a bunch of different apps (FFmpeg, Mencoder, Avidemux, MediaCoder all FAIL) but this process worked the best for me.
Three basic things needed to download:
- K-Lite Mega Pack - when installing, make sure that as many of the following plugins are checked as possible (it seems like they're often renamed or removed): AC3, AAC, M2TS, AVCHD, x.264, h264, MP4, M4A, Mpeg4, Haali. You may not need all of the Codecs in this install, but better safe than sorry
- AviSynth - download and install normally
- MeGui - after downloading and installing:
- go directly to Options - Update, after updating, go there again to be sure you got them all
- I imported all profiles that it gave me the option to, but if you want to make it easy on yourself, you can import the settings that I use: megui-travis.zip (3 KB), just go File - Import Profiles, and select the zip file with my settings
- make sure in Options - Settings - Program Paths, that everything is correct, for me most apps were set to a subfolder of the MeGui install, but the AviSynth path had to be set to its own folder
After opening my M2TS video file in MeGui, here's the settings that worked for me:
These might just be specific to the HG10, but its native video needed to be deinterlaced using the FieldDeinterlace and it was set to top field first, whatever that means, you can find those settings out by hitting the Analyze button if you don't have a HG10 (or if you just don't trust me). The frame rate was set to 30/1001(29.97)fps for NTSC, and here I am resizing it from 1440x1080 to 1280x720 for a Vimeo 16:9 HD upload. You'll probably want to set it to the native resolution if you plan on doing a bunch of crazy editing. Be sure to hit the Save button and rename it to something else.
Then the other video settings:
- AviSynth Script (above, or whatever you saved your own settings as)
- Video Output
- Video Profile
The travis1 video profile sets the Codec to x264, format to MP4, and bitrate to 5000, everything else I left at its defaults. If you make any changes, I'd recommend saving them to new profiles since it makes it so much easier to tweak the settings.
Here's the audio settings:
- Audio Input (this is the same file as I selected in the File ? Open command above)
- Audio Output
- Audio Profile
The Codec that worked for me is FAAC and extension is MP4-AAC with a 128 bitrate.
Now just hit the AutoEncode button. The only things I change on this screen is the filename, the Average bitrate (5000 again), and then I just hit Queue.
Switch over to the Queue tab in MeGui's main window. Click on the New worker button in the lower right. (isn't this hard core? *wink*) Then highlight everything in the queue and send it to the worker you've created. This can be useful if you have a sweet multi-core machine and want to encode a bunch of different files at the same time. When you're ready to go, switch over to the worker window and hit Start.
Once your new MP4 (or AVI or whatever you're exporting to) file is rendered then you can go nuts and edit it with whatever you want or just upload it.