Editing HD Church Video M2T Files from Datavideo HDR 50

Royality free videoAs I have mentioned in previous articles, we currently record our sunday church services in full HD using Sony EX1 cameras, a Datavideo HD mixer and the Datavideo HDR 50 digital hard drive recorder.

Using this setup allows us to maintain a full digital signal flow right from the camera capturing path all the way through to the recording of the video files and also eliminates realtime tape capturing, thus reducing time requred for our church video podcast production.

One unforseen problem that people encounter when they record HD video directly to hard drives is that contrary to popular expectations you can't just drop these files into your chosen NLE video editing software and start working.

The datavideo HDR 50 records HD video in M2T files which is a form of MPEG transport stream which Final Cut Pro or Express can not handle, and needs to be converted before being imported. If you are performing single camera HD recording with a Sony PMW-EX1R, then you will be capturing files onto the memory card using XDCAM format which FCP can handle but not FCE. Other HD hard drive file formats that you might encounter include DVCPRO P2 and AVCHD.

Ths article is going to explain how to convert M2T files for editing in Final Cut Express, this procedure will also work for FCP, but I can't guarantee that other file formats can use the same process.

There are 2 software products that I use for my HD Video edting conversion, one is free, the other costs a few dollars.

The first product I use is called Clipwrap

church video converting software

With Clipwrap you can easily wrap your M2T file in a quicktime compatible MOV container that is then usuable in Final Cut editing software, but you might need to download Perian and Perian XDCAM Codecs for this to work properly.

The main advantages of Clipwrap is that it is very fast, produces small video files (same or smaller than original).
I tend to use it only for short HD video clips, as I have to re-render the MOV files again in FCE since the codecs used are not supported (this should not be a problem in FCP, as it supports a wider range of file formats).

Clipwrap costs $50 and I would recommend you add it to your list of church video editing software, as you never know when you might need it.

The other product I use is MPEG Streamclip, and this is what is used to convert the M2T files for my TV editing.

church HD video editing software

MPEG Streamclip is a very versatile video converting tool, and can open and export to many file formats, and the good thing about it is that it is also free.

To use my HD M2T files is Final Cut Express, I open the files in streamclip, choose the export to quicktime option, and choose the parameters shown below which work for me here in the UK.

For those of you who might be wondering what FCE easy setup I use, here is a picture.

Make sure you use the settings appropriate to the TV settings in use in your country, for the USA you should be using 1080i60 in FCE, and you would need to find the corresponding settings in MPGEG Streamclip otherwise you will find that the clip needs rendering once droped unto the timeline in Final Cut Express (again this shouldn't be a problem in FCP if you use the proper Easy Setup).

There are two disadvantages of using Streamclip compared to Clipwrap, one is the time required to carry out the conversion is longer (I usually do mine overnight), and the second is the resultant MOV quicktime file is much larger than the original M2T recording.


Unknown said...


It is wonderful getting some facts from you.
I sincerely appreciate the great effort you are putting in.

Pls is there anyway I can contact you as I'm also in UK.

Anonymous said...

On your Mpeg stream clip spec why do you use lower field? All hd interlace originates in upper unless progressive.
The large files really have nothing to with a "disadvantage" of mpegstream clip, rather your choice of low compression AIC format.

Unknown said...

Hello to this wonderful and packed-full of info blog.
I have searched and couldn't find what i was looking for.
Here is my question I bought an Edirol V4 vision mixer my problem is how do i capture audio from my cameras (2 XL1s) as the mixer has no audio outputs

Shola said...

As you are probably aware, this blog is about video production in a church environment, and all churches will usually have a sound mixer which captures the audio used with the video cameras, so video comes from the V4 while sound comes from PA output into whatever recorder you are using (DVD, HDR, Tape Deck, etc).

If you don't have a sound desk, then you will need a seperate audio mixer if you want to combine the audio outputs from both Canon XL1s camcorders.

If sound is being captured by only one camera, or you have a lapel mic on subject, then you might be able to plug audio directly into the video recorder, with the output coming from the Edirol V4.

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