This camcorder produces AVCHD video, one of the most demanding formats to edit. Most people who are editing AVCHD with any success are running quad core processors with 4 gigabytes of RAM. You don't say what kind of computer you have but, particularly if you are working on a laptop, you might well be under-powered.
Also, ensure that the Premiere Elements project you are importing this video into is set up properly. This is vital, particularly if your camcorder is shooting 5.1 audio. You must ensure that your Premiere Elements project is set up for AVCHD with 5.1 audio -- otherwise, problems like you're describing are likely.
You may also want to post to the Muvipix forum at http://muvipix.com/phpBB3/ There are a couple of AVCHD experts there that will likely be much better at diagnosing this problem.
It's a dual core 2.8 GHz machine with 6GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon HD4650 graphics card with 1GB memory. Although it's not quad core, the machine I have seems to comply with the specs required by PE7 (and given that it came with PE7 pre-installed that should be the case).
Even if it is not a quad core, and so slightly less powerful, would this affect import of audio or just slow down the rendering process?
I guess the question I have is with the setup ... being new to the program, are there any special tricks or things you need to do other than the normal installation, in order to successfully import the m2ts AVCHD files?
Thanks for the muvipix site though, will try my luck there.
the machine I have seems to comply with the specs required by PE7 (and given that it came with PE7 pre-installed that should be the case).
There are two things to consider:
1.) editing most footage, especially SD material
2.) editing AVCHD, currently the most demanding of all common video formats to edit. This is what you have.
Now, when you launch PrE, you get a splash screen. There you can Open New (create a new Project), Open an existing Project that has been opened recently, or Open a Project by navigating to it. One can also Exit.
In your case, you will go to New and when that dialog box opens, choose the Preset for AVCHD w/ DD 5.1 SS Audio.
Also note, that when in the Edit Mode, there are two View Modes (accessed via two icons to the left of the lower Panel), Timeline View Mode and Sceneline View Mode. For DD 5.1 SS Audio Clips, you will find Timeline View Mode to be the best. Now, you can switch back and forth, but Timeline View Mode will give you infinite control. It is the view that most editing programs use, and that most editors use.
PS - I strongly recommend Steve Grisetti's book, The Muvipix.com Guide to Adobe Premiere Elements 7.
Hunt - Your suggestion worked a treat and is greatly appreciated by a novice like me.
The problem was actually a preset as you mentioned. While it was set for an AVCHD preset, it must not have recognised the format I was saving in. There were a whole lot of 1080 presets, and although it wasn't the one you suggested, but after a bit of trial and error I managed to find one that worked and imported the 5.1 sound without any problems.
I will check out Steve's book ... given that I can't get the preset worked out, I think I will need all the help I can get.
Again, thanks for your help.
Glad that I got you started down the right path (I just deviated to one with "slippery cobbles!"). As I do not shoot AVCHD, I was going from memory. Maybe it time to get my RAM replaced?
Project Presets are the key to smooth editing. They should match the source footage as closely as is possible. PrE only allows one to use Presets, as there are no "custom setting" available via a Desktop Preset, like PrPro. One thing I need to point out is that there are some "custom Presets," that have been written by users. These can be installed into PrE. In some previous replies by Paul_LS, he's given at least one URL for custom Presets. Others might know of more. Whether any of these will be 100% perfect for your footage, I do not know.
Now, once you have established the Project Preset for your footage, you can easily edit (provided that one has a robust computer for AVCHD). When done, one can choose all sorts of settings for Export/Share. This is where one would change things like the Frame Size, and also the format/CODEC for the output. By starting with a Preset that matches the source footage, they edit smoothly, regardless of the intended output. That comes at the end of the process. Too many try to start with the output and force the source footage into the wrong Project Preset. That is not the way to do it.
Good luck, and I think you will find Steve's book extremely useful. In it, he covers most of what PrE can do, and explains how to do it.