AVCHD(Advanced Video Coding High Definition) is a highly efficient codec for acquiring and displaying high quality high definition images. it is also known as the H.264, MPEG-4 part 10 standard and was jointly developed by Panasonic and sony to provide a high quality, low cost, high definition format. AVCHD is based on a long GOP (Group of Pictures) compression and as such is supported by the majority of both consumer and professional non-linear editing systems. Because of its superior efficiency, AVCHD requires far less bandwidth than the MPEG-2 based HDV format.

About AVCHD Video Format and Resolution

720p: The AVCHD specification supports 720-line progressive recording mode at frame rates of 24 and 60 frames/s for 60 Hz models and 50 frames/s for 50 Hz models. Compared to HDV 720p, AVCHD uses higher data rate (up to 24 Mbit/s VBR vs. 18.3 Mbit/s CBR) and a more advanced compression format (AVC vs. MPEG-2).

1080i: All AVCHD camcorders except for AVCHD Lite models are capable of recording 1080i interlaced video. For some models this is the only recording mode offered. Early models captured anamorphic video with horizontal resolution reduced to 1440 pixels. Newer models offer higher data rate and full 1920x1080 resolution, while in some cases keeping the anamorphic format for use with lower recording data rates.

1080p: In the professional and prosumer markets, AVCHD camcorders such as the Panasonic AG-HMC150, the Panasonic AG-HMC40, the Sony HDR-AX2000 and the Sony HXR-NX5U, are capable of recording in all three high definition formats: 1080i, 1080p and 720p. Sony camcorders do not support film-like frame rates — 24p, 25p, 30p — in 720p mode.

For further details about the AVCHD video file format, please read the information listed directly below this summary.


Video signal 1080/60i






480/60i 576/50i
Frame size in pixels 1920×1080


1280 x 720 720×480 720×576
Frame aspect ratio 16:9 4:3, 16:9
Video Compression MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Luminance sampling frequency 74.25 MHz

55.7 MHz

74.25 MHz 13.5 MHz 13.5 MHz
Chroma sampling format 4:2:0
Quantization 8 bits (both luminance and chrominance)


Compression Dolby Digital (AC-3) Linear PCM
Compressed audio bitstream rate 64 to 640 kbit/s 1.5 Mbit/s (2 channels)
Audio mode 1-5.1 channels 1-7.1 channels


Stream type MPEG transport stream
System data rate up to 24 Mbit/s (flash and HDD media); up to 18 Mbit/s (DVD media)
File extension (generally) mts (on camcorder), m2ts (after import to computer)
Media 8 cm optical media (DVD)
SD/SDHC Memory Card
"Memory Stick"
Built-in hard-disk or flash Media

Playing back AVCHD video: Recorded AVCHD video can be played back in a variety of ways:

  • Directly from a camcorder on an HD television set, through HDMI or component-video cable.
  • Burned onto DVD disc in AVCHD format, then played on most Blu-ray Disc players or on a Playstation 3 gaming console.
  • On a computer, played from the camcorder connected via USB as an external storage device, or from removable media or from the computer's internal hard disk drive. Presently, the default media players from Apple (QuickTime) will not play AVCHD natively, a AVCHD Converter software is required.

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