btw. . . .
I am running Windows 10
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FINALLY -- I FOUND IT ! !
Posting this question inspired me to do some more digging through forums.
There are numerous references to the sound recording mode. Many say Lightroom cannot play MTS ( AVCDH ) files.
BUT -- It appears to me that LR CAN play MTS files IF they are recorded in 2 channel (stereo) sound. NOT if they are recorded in 5.1 (surround) sound.
My camera is a Panasonic HDC-TM700. I discovered that down in the bowels of its on-screen menus, there is a setting for this.
- Set the camera switch to Record Video Mode
-- Press MENU
---Scroll down to RECORD SETUP
-----Scroll down to MIC SETUP.
-----Change that to STEREO MIC
There is a tiny icon on the record screen that now says 2ch.
Now the files are recorded with 2 channel sound. AND.... Lightroom handles that business-as-usual.