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How to Convert AVCHD to MP4

Edited by Ben Jacklin

October 7, 2021

What is AVCHD? The AVCHD video format is commonly used for recording HD video on today’s digital cameras. It uses the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video compression, which results in great video quality and a relatively small file size. However, you may encounter problems with AVCHD because of its low support.

Here are some issues you may come across.

AVCHD is not supported on your device

The AVCHD format is not recognized by most mobile devices, so if your device is one of those, convert your video to a more device-friendly format like MP4 which is much more widely supported.

AVCHD is not among the formats recommended for video uploading, at least for YouTube and Facebook. Even if you manage to upload your clip, the quality may be reduced, so it’s better to convert it to a more compatible format like MP4 in advance.

This might be an audio codec problem. Try to change it by converting your video file to another format with a different codec, e.g., MP4. The right software will help you do this without losing video quality.

In the guide below, we describe different ways to convert AVCHD files to MP4, compare AVCHD and MP4, and answer some questions you may have.

How to Convert AVCHD to MP4 with Movavi Video Converter

The first option to convert AVCHD videos is to use file conversion software. We recommend you try Movavi Video Converter – a fast and reliable program that supports more than 180 media formats and lets you convert video, audio, and even image files. It will help you to convert AVCHD to MP4 quickly, thanks to the ultimate SuperSpeed technology. Plus, you can convert a video in another format compressed with H.264/MPEG-4 AVC to the MP4 container without re-compression.

Apart from conversion, Movavi Video Converter offers many editing tools. It lets you trim, crop, and rotate your videos, add filters, and adjust color parameters. You can also add subtitles and a watermark.

Download Movavi’s AVCHD converter for Mac or Windows and read the simple guide below to learn how to convert AVCHD to MP4 without quality loss.

Step 1. Install Movavi Video Converter

Open the downloaded installation file and follow the instructions on your computer screen to install the video encoder software.

Step 2. Add the Files for Conversion

First, connect the AVCHD camera to your computer. Click the Add Media button and select Add Video. Now open the folder containing the files you want to convert, and add those files to the program.

Step 3. Select an Output Format

Open the Video tab, click the MP4 category, and choose the desired preset from the list. To create an MP4 video for a specific mobile device, open the Devices tab and select the preset for the target device.

Step 4. Edit Your AVCHD File (Optional)

Click the Edit button on the right to open the editing windows. Here you can crop and rotate your video, add effects, and adjust the color parameters. You can also cut out unwanted fragments, stabilize your video, and add a watermark. When you’ve done the editing, click Save and Close.

Step 5. Start the Conversion from AVCHD to MP4

By default, the converted files will be saved to the Movavi Library folder. You can continue with this folder or choose a different one by clicking the Save to button. Now all the required settings have been specified, so you can start converting AVCHD to MP4. Click Convert to launch the conversion; on completion, the folder containing the converted videos will open automatically.

How to Convert AVCHD to MP4 for Free

If you're looking for an AVCHD-to-MP4 converter as freeware, these are some of the best solutions out there and how to use each one.

The VLC media player is a powerful media player with a long history of being one of the premier free video players out there for any format. While VLC itself can function as an AVCHD video player, it is also a useful tool for converting video easily and effectively. Though VLC is useful for playing AVCHD video, using it as a free AVCHD-to-MP4 converter can enable you to utilize your video on many other programs and websites.

Here’s how to convert AVCHD to MP4 with VLC on Windows. You can use VLC to convert AVCHD to MP4 on Mac as well, but the interface will be slightly different.

  1. Download VLC from the official website and install the program.
    The VLC website
  2. Open the app and click the Media menu in the top left. Then select Convert/Save. On the menu this brings up, press Add to select the AVCHD file you'd like to convert and click Convert/Save.
  3. Select MP4 as the output format. Click Browse to specify the export folder and hit Start.

Pros:

  • Powerful converter and player in one
  • Easy to use
  • 100% free

Cons:

  • Occasional encoding problems in converted files

MacX Video Converter Pro is a premium paid AVCHD converter to MP4 and other file formats. It includes a free trial, so users can decide if they want to commit to a subscription or lifetime license before they make a purchase. The basic subscription for three months with the option to unsubscribe at any time is $59.95. The 3-in-1 bundled lifetime license is $229.95. The price is prohibitive for some users, especially as there are other options that allow users to convert these file types for free.

How to convert AVCHD to MP4 with MacX Video Converter Pro.

  1. Launch MacX Video Converter Pro on your Mac.
    MacX Video Converter Pro
  2. Click + Video and import your AVCHD video file into the software.
  3. From the icons at the bottom of the screen, choose MP4 as your video output format.
  4. Click the Run button to convert and save your AVCHD file to MP4.

Pros:

  • Fast conversion speeds
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Supports most popular formats and devices

Cons:

  • Free trial lacks some features
  • Limitations on some online video downloads
  • Limited editing features

Freemake Video Converter is an excellent free AVCHD-to-MP4 converter. It is an entirely free tool, offering batch conversion, subtitle conversion, merging video files, and downloading and converting streaming videos. Freemake supports many file formats other than MP4 to convert AVCHD files to, and supports device profiles to make it easy to convert files compatible with any device.

Here’s how to convert AVCHD to MP4 for free using Freemake.

  1. Download and install the software.
    The Freemake website
  2. Click +Video to add AVCHD videos to the conversion queue.
  3. Select to MP4, then adjust any file settings that you may want for the new file and click Convert.

Pros:

  • Downloads and converts streaming video easily
  • Import subtitles without additional steps
  • Easy batch conversion for multiple videos

Cons:

  • Hasn't been updated since 2017
  • Converts more slowly than other popular converters
  • Only supports Windows OS

How to Convert AVCHD to MP4 Online

If you don’t want to download and install software on your computer, you can convert AVCHD to MP4 online. Using an online tool can sometimes sacrifice some additional options and tools available with downloaded AVCHD-to-MP4 converters. However, it can still provide great conversions that don't sacrifice the original file’s quality. Using the tool online circumvents any possibility that your OS is simply not compatible with a program- any OS that can access a web browser can use these converters.

Onlineconvertfree.com is an online tool that allows users to upload and convert video files online with no need to download software to their computers. It supports multiple file formats and gives users the power to make as many conversions as they need for free without watermarks. With that said, if you want to download your files after you convert them, you will need to enter and verify your email address. If you have privacy concerns around giving out your email address, you may want to use an alternate account or choose another converter tool.

To convert AVCHD to MP4 with Onlineconvertfree.com, go to the site. Click the Choose File button to browse for your AVCHD files. Click the Convert All To button and select MP4. Click the blue Convert button and wait for your file to load. Click Open and follow the prompts to verify your email address and get your download.

Pros:

  • No download required
  • Easy AVCHD-to-MP4 converter for free
  • Batch conversion capabilities

Cons:

  • Requires email address to download converted files
  • No editing or control of resolution settings

Online Converter is a useful yet very bare-bones tool to convert AVCHD to MP4. It is straightforward and simple to use. Opting for a plain text browser-based UI, there is no fancy interface to make Online Converter feel new and high-tech, yet it is still a very powerful converter. Through their site, they provide dozens of other useful video conversions as well.

To use Online Converter, simply go to the site and upload the file you want to convert, then click Convert.

Pros:

  • An extremely simple interface leaves no chance of user error
  • Can crop and adjust resolution during conversion

Cons:

  • Pop-ups, redirects, and ads sadly plague the site
  • Users have encountered inconsistent results when converting and sending to another device

Convertio is incredibly useful and versatile as an online AVCHD-to-MP4 converter. It has a lot of features other browser-based converters don't, such as converting directly from a URL or a cloud service. It isn't only for AVCHD-to-MP4 conversion – it can convert any of thousands of file types into thousands of others and has a simple interface that should allow any level of user to learn and navigate it easily.

To convert AVCHD to MP4 with Convertio, select AVCHD as the input format and MP4 as output format. Then select a file from your computer, input a URL, or select a cloud service to choose a source file and click Convert.

Pros:

  • Fast and reliable
  • Easy to use interface
  • Converting directly from URL or cloud service

Cons:

  • Many features gated behind paid version
  • Conversions capped at 100MB for freeware version

AVCHD vs. MP4 – Comparing the Formats

If you want to compare AVCHD vs. MP4, keep in mind that these formats are used for different purposes. MP4 is mostly used to playback videos and is supported by almost all existing device types. AVCHD was developed to store video at a very high quality and watch it on Blu-ray or HD TV, not on mobile devices or computers. Here’s a table with the main format differences that will help you decide which format to use – AVCHD or MP4.

Comparison parameter

AVCHD

MP4

File extension.mts, .m2ts.mp4
Video-coding formatsH.264/MPEG-4 AVCH.264/MPEG-4 AVC, HEVC/MPEG-H Part 2/H.265, MPEG-2 Part 2, MPEG-4 ASP, H.263, VC-1, Dirac, others
Audio-coding formatsDolby Digital AC-3MPEG-2/4 (HE)-AAC, MPEG-1/2 Layers I, II, III (MP3), AC-3, Apple Lossless, ALS, SLS, others
Video quality (resolution and aspect ratio)1920×1080/60i, 50i, 24p (16:9)
1440x1080/60i, 50i (16:9)
1280×720/60p, 50p, 24p (16:9)
720×480/60i (16:9, 4:3)
720×576/50i (16:9, 4:3)
Any
Device compatibilityBlu-ray disc players and recorders, DVD players and recorders, HD TVsCompatible with almost all devices

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AVCHD?

Advanced Video Coding High Definition (AVCHD) is a video format invented by Canon, Panasonic, and Sony. The intention was to create the most efficient codec for recording videos, and many camcorders now use AVCHD format to store videos that they record. AVCHD can compress information into very small file sizes, making it ideal for storing information on smaller personal video cameras while maintaining high definition quality. Blu-ray supports AVCHD video as well, which also takes advantage of smaller file sizes to deliver high-quality video, meaning it can be very easy to create Blu-Ray discs from your AVCHD cameras. These files are saved on camcorders as MTS files, but once moved to another device, they become M2TS files, which are the specific type of AVCHD file that plays on a Blu-ray.

How do I play AVCHD?

While there are a number of ways to play an AVCHD video, one of the easiest and most accessible is using a free AVCHD player like VLC. It is a powerful converter as well as an amazing tool for playing many file formats, including AVCHD. To play an AVCHD file in VLC, it's as easy as simply clicking the Media button in the top left, clicking Open file, and browsing for the file you want. No conversion or editing necessary.

Which format is better – AVCHD or MP4?

It depends on what you need your file for. AVCHD has better video quality, but the file size is relatively large and format support is limited. MP4 has better compression, smaller file size, and is supported by almost every device.

How do I convert AVCHD to MP4 on a Mac?

To change file format from AVCHD to MP4, consider using Movavi Video Converter. The app is compatible with macOS 10.10 or higher. Here’s how to use Movavi’s AVCHD converter for Mac:

  1. Download and install the program.
    Download Movavi Video Converter for Mac
  2. Add your AVCHD files to the program: click Add Media, choose Add Video, and select the files you want to convert. Hit Open.
  3. Go to the Video tab and find the MP4 group of presets. Choose the one that suits you best. Click Convert. You’re done!

Can I upload an AVCHD to YouTube?

While some AVCHD may successfully upload to YouTube, many times you'll find problems uploading AVCHD to YouTube. YouTube uses the WEBM format for streaming, and sometimes you may encounter problems when uploading AVCHD to YouTube. Whether you choose to use AVCHD or MP4 for YouTube uploads, having a converter handy in case of problems will be a good idea. Typically, the MP4 format will upload cleanly, but you can also use many of the above options to convert directly to WebM.

Can I import AVCHD files into iMovie?

Yes, you can. AVCHD is among the iMovie-supported video formats, at least for macOS Mojave and Catalina. However, MP4 or MOV might work better and, to be sure your video will play correctly, consider converting the files to one of these formats.

How do I transfer AVCHD files to my iPhone?

To watch AVCHD files on your iPhone, convert them to a more device-friendly format. Movavi Video Converter can help you! Download and launch the program, and add your files by dragging them to the program window (you can also click Add Media, then Add Video). At the bottom, switch to the Devices tab. In the Apple group of presets, find your iPhone’s model and click on it. Then hit Convert.

To read a detailed guide on how to adapt AVCHD files for your iPhone, follow the link below: