There are a multitude of video formats currently in use, both online and in digital cameras and mobile phones. The sheer number of these means that anyone hoping to convert, edit, share online (or all three) any footage recorded in one of the various non-standard video formats has to scrabble around the World Wide Web looking for a suitable converter.
MTS is no different. This BDAV (Blu-ray Disc Audio-Video) container format for AVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition) is common to HD video cameras and is a similar standard to that used on Blu-ray Discs.
The results are often great – clear, crisp, high definition video with resonant audio – but the problems arise with trying to play back the results on a computer.
How to View MTS Video Files on Your PC
Even if you want to edit these files, an initial challenge comes when trying to review your footage on a desktop monitor. Copying the data from the camera (perhaps via a cable or by removing the memory card and copying the clips to your PC) is the easy part.
If you don’t have a suitable player for viewing MTS clips, then you’ll be unable to appreciate exactly what you’ve recorded. You might be planning to edit high definition video (more on that later) so checking through to decide what to lose and what to keep will prove useful.
Fortunately there are some applications for viewing MTS videos, available free online.
The popular VLC Player is one such application, allowing you to load and playback high definition videos saved as MTS format.
Another popular media player application, The KMPlayer, will also handle MTS files, delivering the crisp detail that you expect from a HD recording.
Some MTS files will playback in Windows Media Player 11. Because there are slight differences between the methods used by various cameras for encoding in this format, it isn’t a dead cert that your footage will play back, however. Using a codec pack may help – or you could just use one of the third party suggestions above.
Converting MTS Video Files
I recently found that even if viewing video files in MTS format is possible, editing them is another matter entirely. As such, conversion to AVI format was required before loading the clip into a video editor and processing.
For this task, I discovered that Free HD Converter provides a fast and efficient conversion, with a choice of output formats (AVI, MPEG, WMV), resolutions, bitrates and a choice of presets.
After converting my MTS clip you might wish to copy it straight to an iPhone; this option is available as a preset, along with other useful options. Conversion is fast too – this utility is certainly worth trying out!
Can I Edit MTS Files?
Different methods are available for editing an MTS file. To save time, you might prefer to head straight in and use a tool such as Windows Live Movie Maker (the most recent version of Microsoft’s desktop video editor), which will natively play back MTS videos and allow you to edit them.
However, the options available in that particular application are limited, and certainly not as advanced as those on offer in the earlier Windows Movie Maker. This is why you might choose to convert the data before editing. Note that if you already have some video editing software installed, this might play MTS natively.
Conclusion: Make Your Choice Wisely
While it appears that more and more applications are providing support for MTS and other AVCHD container formats – hardly surprising given the obvious attractions of high definition video – finding the tools to do the job can prove tricky.
Fortunately using the applications listed here you can do what is necessary to review, convert and edit MTS format videos as you see fit, hopefully with very good results.
Using the tools listed here I have recently recorded a short interview using a digital video camera recording in MTS format. To gain the best results for the finished production I used VLC Player to review the footage, Free HD Converter to convert the file to AVI and Windows Movie Maker to edit the production. If your production doesn’t need to be too polished, you can use Windows Live Movie Maker.