AVCHD supported by iMovie '09?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by amitdoc2b, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. amitdoc2b macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008

    I am thinking to purchase this new Sony HDR-TG1:


    I was curious to know if iMovie '09 allows you to edit these AVCHD files?

    Also, what can I use to play AVCHD files in my MBP?

    I heard iMovie '08 did not allow so. I simply want to take videos with this camcorder, attach it via USB to my 17inch Unibody Macbook Pro, drag the files onto my desktop, and play them on my computer.

    Once in a while, I will do some mild editing to the video.. but not enough to buy sophisticated software other than what is given to me in iLife '09.

    Let me know.

  2. filman408 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2006
    San Jose, CA
  3. qti macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2008
    I heard in converting to AIC format, a lot more harddrive space would be taken up. Does anyone know if this is true, and if yes, by how much?
  4. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    The answer is yes (AIC is relatively uncompressed compared to the AVCHD source files), by a factor of roughly 5x (I forget the precise figure). Hence you need to keep an eye on your hard drive space, and in my opinion it's best to archive the source files (I use disk utility to make a disk image of each full memory card, which when mounted allows you to import as if you had a camera or card reader attached) rather than the transcoded AIC clips, which can be deleted once you've finished editing with them.
  5. mkjj macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2003
    Works fine with iMovie 09 (can take a few minutes to be recognised so don't panic)

    As far as I know you can't drag them on to the desktop, you must import them, good thing is you have a check box under each clip to import/leave so you don't have to import everything.

    Other tip for backing up, a PS3, reads the native files and you can view (unedited) direct from the PS3 in glorious HD.
  6. PCMacfly macrumors newbie


    Nov 17, 2008
    Interesting, so HD video (AVCHD) will be converted to Apple format (AIC) by way of having iMovie '09 do so. Basically iMovie 09 can import from any HD Camcorder that has AVCHD assuming its from an HD camcorder that's listed on the compatibility chart published on the iMovie 09 Apple support website. Will there be any loss of HD quality in this process, and if so, will it be noticeable on a 37' HD LCD Samsung television? Please clarify this for me if you could....

    To build on that question, I have a further dilemma - I have iMovie 08 (which came with my Macbook last year) and I also loaded iMovie HD on my system. iMovie HD is my preferred editing program of choice right now since it is much better to use than iMovie 08. So rather than upgrading to iMovie 09, which I am really hesitating to do, can iMovie 08 recognize and import native AVCHD footage from a HD camcorder (like iMovie 09 can) and convert it to AIC for me on my Macbook so I can do my AIC editing in iMovie HD? If it can, then all my problems about buying an HD camcorder for iMovie HD will be gone...except for the disk space that AIC footage will use for my HD footage...in which case I have an external 250 GB storage that I'll probably need to tap into. Hopefully the loss of HD quality will not be too noticable as a finished product when I burn to HD-DVD
  7. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    A little.
    Suck and see?
    Yes . . .
    . . . but I tried this myself a couple of times and found that because iMovieHD doesn't support 1920x1080 video (the maximum it supports is HDV 1440x1080) transitions looked like the proverbial.

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