Panasonic AVCHD format downloading problems

  BingoBoy 13:56 08 Jul 2010

I have recently purchased a Panasonic Lumix FZ38 and had problems downloading movies onto DVD for storage.

After several appeals for help and a lot of surfing it appears that the problem for me is the file format. The camera being able to take HD movies was set to AVCHD format and none of my technology is compatible with this format. In fact it appears that very little is actually compatible with this format - what a joke!

Having read the manual I have discovered that I can change the file format to Motion JPEG which is in standard definition thereby defeating the object of having an HD camera. Making this change has allowed me to download a movie from my camera onto my Dell Dimension 2400 (I know it is old) and actually view it through QuickTime.

My next problem is my PC. Basically it is too old but I have hooked up an external DVD writer that appears in My Computer as the E: drive. However, whenever I try to access this drive it says it is not accessible. Strangely I have managed to use something called CDburnerXP that does deal with DVDs and transferred the JPEG images across. At least I think I have but as I can't view the DVD on my PC or my Panasonic DVD hard disc player I can't confirm this. Any ideas why the E: appears on My Computer but wont allow me to access it?

When I first downloaded the contents of the cameras SDHC across to my PC the still pictures came across a JPEGs and the movies were in AVCHD with some M2TS and MTS files. I have now found details of software that converts AVCHD to a variety of other formats - does anybody know if this works and what format might help me? Could I convert those files from my PC then download onto DVD?

Basically all I want to do is ensure that my SDHC card does not get clogged up by transferring pictures and movies onto DVDs in a format that I can view on my TV via my Panasonic DMR-EX77EB hard disc recorder. I am not bothered about editing movies so don't need to use the PhotoFun Studio software which blows my PC as my graphics card is so old and can't cope.

Please help - but keep it non-techy if you can.

  BRYNIT 11:27 10 Jul 2010

A little information on the AVCHD format. click here From what I read you will not be able to transfer files to a DVD to view on your Panasonic DMR-EX77EB it is not capable of reading this format. You will need a Blue-ray player.

  BingoBoy 08:45 12 Jul 2010

Thanks for the info. I thought this might be the case unfortunately - perhaps I should bill panasonic!

Would you have any ideas why I am having problems accessing the DVD writer?

I suppose their is no way round this problem without spending additional cash. As I see it I could:

1. Keep all my movies on SDHC card as the HDMI mini lead allows me to plug the camera in directly to the TV and view in HD.

2. Update the graphics card on my PC to allow me to view the movies via the computer.

3. Both the above depend on sorting out the issue with accessing the DVD writer.

4. Buy a new computer

5. Sell the camera and go back to good old fashioned film!

  john bunyan 09:06 12 Jul 2010

I have no practical experience of this, but do have Roxio Creator 2010, I believe it deals with HD DVD etc. May be worth you looking up the details via Roxio. Also, again from what I have read, it may be worth uing DVD RAM discs if your PC writer will burn them.

  awest3 18:07 14 Jul 2010

I also bought a panasonic camera, albeit a camcorder, and had similar problems to yourself. I use (or try to to be more precise) adobe Premiere 4 to edit my videos (from my sony camcorder) with no problems whatsoever. This version of the program does not handle AVCHD. So I have to use HD Writer (supplied with the camcorder) which I find quite buggy and limiting..So at the moment I'm copying all my AVCHD format videos to my hard drive and when I find a good editor (I think version 8 of premiere works ok) which can handle them I'll have a go at editing them a bit. In the mean time I'm plugging the sdhc card into my TV (Panasonic 37" v10) and playing them..fantastic pictures.!! SD cards are quite cheap so I'll just buy more if I need to..

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