Converting .MTS to .WEBM video

I recently purchased a Sony HDRCX210 HD Camcorder 8GB. So far I’m happy with the video results. What is causing frustration is the file format .MTS AVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition). Proprietary file codecs have created frustration and aggravation for many end users. I’m one of those customers right now.

As far as I’m aware no video hardware offers an open source video codec option. I’m not aware of any that even allow you to select your chosen file format. With almost any type of hardware you are stuck with closed source codecs and operating systems. This can cause problems when trying to convert that file format to something else.

I knew when I made my purchase that I might run into conversion issues. My choice of hardware was pretty much set when comparing other models at my price point. Where I didn’t do my homework was in regards to file format used for recording. I’m now seriously paying for that lack of research.

All video content I post here uses the .WEBM codec. Basically this is the codec extension for video to run in HTML5. So I’m needing to find an easy method to convert the Sony .MTS to .WEBM. The logical solution would be to use the VLC Media Player Convert / Save feature. Unfortunately I have had no luck with that. This was my go to piece of software in the past. Although it can have it’s quirks when processing – I had been able to get a conversion process worked out previously. But in the past I was using video content taken with our digital camera.

Since I had no luck doing a straight conversion with VLC – I had to start hunting for other options. This is where your head can start to spin. Especially if you are using Linux for your operating system and need an open source solution. As usual most of the solutions point you towards long aggravating command line steps. Linux users just can’t seem to leave the dark ages behind – they long for the early and late 80’s style of computing.

After messing with a few different options here is what I ended up trying. Using WinFF I used DVD preset NTSC DVD HQ widescreen. This output a usable MPEG file. I’m sure some video elitist will start screaming about how this downgrades the overall quality or something to that effect. But my goal was just to find a method of conversion. After getting a usable MPEG I put this into VLC for conversion to .WEBM – everything seems to go smoothly until the very end. Each time right when the conversion is about to complete VLC crashes. I’ve not checked the error messages option to see if that offers any clues. I guess this should be my next step.

What is aggravating is AVCHD has been around for some time now. Many forums are full of users complaining about conversion problems. You’d think by now some open source guru would have come up with an easy to use solution. I’m sure someone will say they have – do this that the other in command line 50 times spin your head around then back into terminal and do more of these commands then you’ll have what you want = NOT COOL no ease of use and functionality.

Until I can figure out a way to get the .MTS files converted to .WEBM I’m stuck with cool videos but no way to have them working here on my site. I only use .WEBM here because I want video that can play using the HTML5 standard.

A few minor details on the AVCHD files I recorded. If I continue to use WinFF I’ll have to tweak a few settings I think. The conversion process definitely is longer than before with this file format.

Codec: H264 – MPEG-4 AVC (part 10) (h264)

Resolution: 1440×1080

Frame rate: 59.940060

Using the latest version of VLC Media Player I’m getting audio but no video when doing a conversion. I’ve seen this in the past and had to re-encode the file before doing .WEBM processing.

Searching through forums is giving me more of a headache and causing more aggravation than offering a solution to the problem.

It looks like the solution to my problem was just a click away. Once I actually re-explored one of the links I provided in this article – I then came across my solution. It looks as if Arista Transcoder ( open source ) just solved my problem. I’ve done a test run and it looks like it’s gone smoothly.

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Why aren’t you using HTML5

Reliable HTML5 Video Made Easy

WinFF Free Video Converter

Use VLC Media Player to convert your current files to play using HTML5.

VideoLAN VLC Free multimedia solutions for all OS

The WebM Project VP8 and WebM Tools an open web media project

The software that solved by problem is below.

Arista Transcoder The easiest way to convert your media

.m2ts Wikipedia

“M2TS format from Sony is not necessarily the same as that of Panasonic or Canon camcorders.”

AVCHD Wikipedia

Deinterlacing Wikipedia

How to convert Canon .mts video files to other formats in Ubuntu

A Guide to Open Source AVCHD .mts Conversion

Problems with Converter (from flv to ogg)

How to get better performance when playing HD H.264

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