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M2TS conversion for editing in Virtual Dub

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July 28, 2011 1:40:28 AM

My Sony HDR-CX110 camcorder records everything in the M2TS file format. Virtual Dub can't open these nor any program I have. I would like one of 2 things. The first would be a plug-in or something so that Virtual Dub can open and play M2TS files directly (this would be the easiest and most useful approach). The second is some program that will convert those useless-as-is M2TS files to AVI so that I can work with them in Virtual Dub. I've already spent 7 hours searching Google for something, but I'm not getting anywhere. There are 4 requirements for the program:

1. It must be freeware and not a trial. It's stupid enough that the software provided with my camcorder only outputs to 640x480 when I got a 1920x1080 camcorder. You buy an HD camcorder for HD video recording, not SD.
2. It must preserve the quality. It appears that my camcorder uses the H.264 codec (search it to be sure), of which I have installed on my system (Virtual Dub can encode to H.264). Some programs only max out at 8000 Kbps, of which is horrible (I need something like 27,000 Kbps (the quality my camcorder works with) or better (I prefer 60,000 Kbps for initial editing)).
3. It must preserve the resolution. You buy an HD camcorder for HD, not SD. Some converters don't even keep the resolution or downgrade it to 1280x720.
4. The output must open in Virtual Dub. If it doesn't, then the program won't be of use.

So far, I've only found 2 programs that work to some extent. Free HD Converter is the closest I've seen so far, but it's only using one of the cores of my new i7-2600K CPU and the AVI option doesn't provide H.264 support (which should use multiple cores). Aura video converter (doesn't work with case 4, but used to extract the audio) is one of them, but Virtual Dub can't open the output for some strange reason. I only use Aura to extract the audio from my second video converter since the audio is flawed with the main one.

Edit: I found MediaCoder and it's producing very good results except for one thing - the durations don't match and, looking at it in Virtual Dub, I see that pretty much every other frame is duplicated. The original video has 749 frames - Free HD Converter works well for that. MediaCoder, on the otherhand, outputs 1349 frames and a lot of them are exact duplicates. The quality is superior though... if only I could fix this strange behavior.
September 7, 2011 5:06:46 AM

I've found FreeMake that works extremely well. The quality output with this is astonishing and I have no problems with it for anything. The only (very minor) downside is that it won't go above 32,000 Kbps, though this is plenty high for most things (higher bit rates are best for editing - repeated lossy compression only degrades the video). 14 total hours of searching is a real pain. I'm truly amazed as to my camcorder's quality! A $400 investment that's worth every penny! I took a while to respond as I was on vacation without access to a computer or the internet (I don't have a laptop or the like).
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September 7, 2011 8:42:16 PM

Trials are not accepted, as per case 1. FreeMake is the solution I have and it's satisfying enough. Thanks though.
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September 10, 2011 11:42:30 PM

I found mediacoder to work fine maybe you just need to play with the settings. As for other programs, if you can do without avi then try handbrake it converts to mp4 i think using .h264 and im sure virtual dub opens them if you use a plugin. Its just a file u drop into the v dub install folder. Anyway, ye try handbrake and use a high bitrate, i use same bit rate as the file im converting so i dont loose loads of quality. 24,000kbps in my case
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September 11, 2011 6:11:13 AM

Media Coder is one thing I've tried already but it's glitched. The original video may be 749 frames but it's getting changed to 1350. That's roughly 600 duplicated frames. FreeMake doesn't have that problem better. Virtual Dub can't open MP4 files nor .h264. I can't seem to find any plug-ins to make VD open more than just AVI, MPG, and VOB (one site I found is confusing to use). These would have to be converted first. Directly opening the M2TS files in VD would be the best though.
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September 11, 2011 11:52:48 AM

I seem to have same problem when using media coder to cconvert to avi, also seems to double the amount of frames. I couldn't really find any other decent free video converters that converted to avi, can't you use a different format such as h.264. AVI doesn't seem to fully utilise multithreaded cpu's, it only used like 15% of my 2600k. You could also try Avidemux, that converted m2ts to avi which played fine, although when i opened it up in virtual dub it showed two videos for some reason, don't know why.
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September 11, 2011 11:57:37 AM

You can open mp4's in virtual dub using this:

http://www.tateu.net/software/dl.php?f=qtvd_bin

copy the contents of the plugins folder into the plugins folder of virtual dub, this will let you open mp4's but i don't know how glitchy it will be when editing or saving them.
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September 11, 2011 1:55:10 PM

Use FreeMake to convert to AVI. It has no problems and Virtual Dub opens the output perfectly fine. Playback is different though, but all high-res video has this problem.

Virtual Dub shows 2 copies of the video for one reason. The one on the left is the input. The one on the right is the output. I get the 13% usage case as well when playing back high resolution H.264 videos. This is because only one core is being used. With 720x480 at 29.97 fps, I have no problems with playback. 1024x768 at 30 fps is good too. 1024x768 at 60 fps is not and plays at about 90% true speed. 1920x1080 at 29.97 fps plays back at only 60% true speed, making these videos very difficult to edit because the audio starts and stops very frequently and there's often a very long delay by the time I get to be able to move the slider again for a replay.
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September 11, 2011 2:02:58 PM

O, i was talking about 15% cpu usage when converting videos to avi, whereas i'm able to fully 100% use my cpu when converting to mp4's and stuff, don't really use virtual dub i just premiere pro
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December 11, 2011 6:52:15 AM

Hello,
someone who tried freemake does know why it converts only half video leght (i.e. 14 sec instead of 28 sec)?

Thanks.

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December 11, 2011 10:15:26 PM

Have you set the frame rates to match? What are your settings?
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