Article ID : S1F0810 / Last Modified : 05/24/2011

Features and Comparison of AVCHD™ and MP4 Video File Formats

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Two of the most popular video file formats are AVCHD™ and MP4. Sony® Cybershot®, Handycam®, Bloggie® and & (alpha) cameras use these formats to store recorded video. The information below describes the features and usage of each file type:


Features and Usage


AVCHD

MP4

  • Create Blu-ray Disc™ and AVCHD1 media.
  • High resolution video quality for watching on an HDTV.
  • .m2ts (file extension saved with the Picture Motion Browser (PMB) software)
  • Easily upload to websites and move and copy files.
  • Saved as a single movie file.
  • Edit video using third-party software.
  • .mp4 (file extension saved with the PMB software)

Comparison


Notes:

  • PMB is not supported on the Mac OS® operating system.
  • Play back AVCHD media on Blu-ray Disc players, PlayStation®3 systems or PC with supplied software. AVCHD media should not be used in standard DVD players because it may fail to eject disc or erase its contents without warning.


Task File Format
AVCHD MP4
(AVC or Visual)
Import movie files from the camera to a computer
Using supplied PMB2 Yes Yes3
Using iMovie® 8 or later Yes4 Yes3
Copy directly to the computer No Yes
Create DVD/Blu-ray discs
Create with supplied PMB2 Yes5 No
Using third-party movie editing software Yes5 Yes
Using a DVD writer Yes6 No
Upload movie files to websites
Upload with supplied PMB2 Yes Yes
Using supplied PMB Portable2 No Yes
Using a web browser Yes Yes

1. An AVCHD disc is a DVD disc with HD image quality.
2. Some Bloggie® cameras are supplied with Bloggie software instead of PMB or PMB portable.
3. 3D compatible equipment is required to play back 3D movies.
4. If using the iMovie or Final Cut Pro® software, AVCHD movies can be imported only after upgrading the Mac OS operating system to version 10.6.7 or higher.
5. An AVCHD disc cannot be created with the same picture quality when a movie is recorded in [HD PS] (28Mbps) or [HD FX] (24Mbps) mode. Blu-ray Disc media cannot be created with the same picture quality when a movie is recorded in [HD PS] (28Mbps) mode. Using the PMB software, the bit-rate can be converted when creating a disc.
6. Blu-ray Disc media cannot be created.