Q: I want to take AVCHD video recorded with my Canon HFR400 camcorder and burn it to Blu-ray discs. I have a computer running Windows 10 software with an LG Blu-ray writer and blank Verbatim BD-R discs. The files each fill a 16 GB SD card and will be burned on a 25 GB disc. I can import the video files to the computer via the SD card slot or USB connection from the camcorder. Can you recommend a program that will work with my equipment? The discs I burn will be played back on Blu-ray players and 4K Blu-ray players.
A: First, let's start with a quick vocabulary primer to make sure everyone knows what we're talking about. AVCHD stands for Advanced Video Coding High Definition, a format that was introduced a dozen years ago for use with high-def camcorders, of which your Canon is one. BD-R discs are recordable Blu-ray discs.
To answer your question, I would look at Nero Video for your projects. Nero Video 2019 lists for $69.99, but I found it on sale for $49.99. Not only will it allow you to author Blu-ray discs and burn them to recordable Blu-ray media, but you can use Nero Video to edit the recordings. Mac users should look to Toast 17 Pro from Roxio, which offers similar functionality. See them at nero.com and roxio.com.
While the software recommendation is all you requested, I have some additional information you might find helpful as you work on future projects of this type.
The first regards the AVCHD format you are using with your camcorder. It provides excellent image quality and saves some space on the memory card compared with other video formats like MP4. Unfortunately, as you will soon find out when you import the videos and try to work with them in software, it is not a very friendly format for home editing and video creation.
Editing AVCHD requires a lot of computer processing power. Even with a very fast, late-model computer, you might encounter glitches and slow speeds. Your camcorder has an MP4 recording option, and I suggest changing to that if you plan on working with your videos in software. I switched from AVCHD to MP4 in all my cameras and camcorders a long time ago for this reason, and I've never noticed a difference in the image quality despite AVCHD's touted superiority. If you never plan on editing the videos or working with them in a computer, and will just play the files directly from your memory cards, then leaving it on AVCHD is fine.
This brings us to the second point. If you just want to play the movies on your Blu-ray players, you probably don't even need to burn the videos to discs. Your Blu-ray players or TV probably has a USB port or SD card slot. You can use a USB card reader, or transfer the files from the SD card to a flash drive with your computer. Then simply connect the card reader or flash drive to one of these USB ports to view the videos.
You can even edit them, export to a new MP4 file, then save to a flash drive for playback on a player. This is what I do with my video projects now because my experience in burning movies to Blu-ray was a bit of a headache. Exporting to a new file, then saving to a flash drive was a more reliable option.
By the way, those blank Blu-ray discs and burner make excellent data backups, as well. A Blu-ray burner can be more than a tool for making movie discs, so be sure to explore all the capabilities it provides.
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.