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I did some homework on your camcorder.
From your details, you are shooting 1440 x 1080 60i
That means to me non full AVCHD with frame size 1440 x 1080 at 60 interlaced field per second (30 interlaced frames per second). Further your camcorder has 5.1 channel audio. An HD anamorphic is involved for 16:9 display after encoding.
So typically, for that source media in a NTSC area, your Premiere Elements 7 project preset (new project dialog) would be:
HD 1080i30 5.1 channel
Are you in a NTSC or PAL area? Look to the right of the new project dialog to see the description of the preset.
If you use that project preset, when you use Get Media/Files & Folders to bring your video in from the save hard drive location, you should see your video on Video Track 1 and your audio on Audio Track 1. If you do not have the correct project preset, you could end up with your import on the upper Timeline tracks since you have 5.1 channel as the audio.
Think of the project preset as template from which to edit. It does not prohibit you from selecting another export type when you get to Share.
ATR - Thanks for your response. I know how to do the presets now. I am in a NTSC area.
You said "to bring your video in from the save hard drive location...". What does that mean exactly? Are you assuming I saved the video some where on my hard drive. I have a hard drive in my camcorder and I was going to load directly into the computer from the camera using the USB cord. Is that a bad idea?
Also, since I've never used Premiere Elements before I've been reading in the Forums. It sounds like you can't put out a DVD to play in a regular DVD player (non Blu-Ray) if you shoot in AVCHD. Is that true? The default recording on my camera is AVC HD 7M (SP). Book says: Records in standard quality mode.
If you are recording your AVCHD to the hard drive of your camcorder, some people use the software that came with the camcorder to transfer the video from the camcorder's hard drive to the computer's hard drive and then bring it into Premiere Elements with Premiere Elements' Get Media/Files Folders.
Premiere Elements 7 does offer a Premiere Elements 7 route Get Media/AVCHD or other hard disk/memory camcorder and the Media Downloader. In the Media Downloader, there is a Get Media from: and a Select a Device. Sometimes the device is not recognized. If it is, then go with this route first.
Once you have your media on the Timeline and edited, you can go to Create Menus and then Share/Disc/Disc to create a DVD Video widescreen. But, remember that your project preset determined which set of DVD Menus would be available to you when you got to Create Menus in this project, namely HD menus. You will not be getting the standard or widescreen versions of the menus that would normally be associated with DVD-VIDEO standard or widescreen. If you were burning the Timeline to a BluRay disc where HD menus would be more appropriate, that would be another story.
But, if you want a DVD-VIDEO, Share/Disc/Disc (make the best of the menus) and select the burn preset for the widescreen (16:9) version of the DVD-VIDEO.
Remember that you started with AVCHD 1440 x 1080 (4:3) with HD Anamorphic which stretches the video 16:9 on display after encoding. In this situation you end up with 1920 x 1080. With the DVD-VIDEO product, you will end up with 720 x 480 with a 16:9 flag to stretch the video 16:9 on display after encoding.
Check it all out and see what works best for you. If you had a Blu-ray burner, Blu-Ray disc, and a Blu-Ray player, you could take full advantage of the high definition of with the Premiere Elements software. There are also methods for burning AVCHD in Blu-Ray format to a DVD disc. There you export your Premiere Elements 7 Timeline as a .m2t file and then use that file and other software to get your Blu-Ray format on the DVD for play back on many TVs and PS3.
Thank you so much for your thorough answers to my questions. I will try all your suggestions. DH