Did you try WMM or Magix? Hauppage material is great for consumer level editors. That stuff needs to be converted to something that is editable in CSx.
If you're looking for "smart rendering" of AVCHD material, Premiere Pro
CS4 is not the answer. It will export various flavors of H.264, but not
in AVCHD's folder structure, so you'll need Blu-ray or an HD media
player to view the edited content. Depending on the Hauppage's
capability, you may be able to move the edited HD video files back to
the DVR, but I don't know what format they'd need to be in for the
Hauppage to play them, nor what kind of connectivity the Hauppage requires.
Some users sing the praises of Sony Vegas Pro w/ "smart Rendering," but I have never used it. Might be good, or might be hype. Do not know how it handles DD 5.1 SS Audio, nor which formats/CODEC's it can/cannot handle. Might be worth a visit and read of the site.
Now, note that if you add Transitions, or Titles, or do anything but just straight cut-n-butt, that affected footage WILL be Transcoded again - just not the bulk of it.
PS - if you do decide to go with PrPro, and live with the Transcoding, remember that to retain that DD 5.1 SS, you will need to invest in the SurCode plug-in for about US$ 250.
Thanks all for the suggestions.
After playing with PremPro CS4 and discovering the limitations (re-encoding; SurCode Stereo license extra); I briefly tried Corel VideoStudio (which brought my poerful laptop to it's knees crawling at a snail's pace - even though it runs PremPro really well!) and Pinnacle Studio HD Ultimate which cost me $99 and was also rubbish), I finally found VideoRedo TV Studio (h264 version). This is *excellent* even in it's pre-release/beta form. It is SMALL (about 20MB download package), does frame accurate editing and resaves with Smart Encoding only recoding what is absolutely necessary. Absolutely spot on and doesn't bring my laptop crashing down!
Thank you for reporting. Others, with the same requirements, will learn from your testing.