When you're using the HDV project preset, Premiere Elements captures and edits HDV video natively, Bill.
I used PE 8 trial & created a new project w/ settings = NTSC - HDV - HDV 1080i 30. Captured ~60 secs of video & PE 8 went thru an 'analysis' phase with the final result being a .mpeg file. I was expecting a .m2t file (containing the video in MPEG2 & the audio in MPEG-1 Layer2 formats). So... my questions are:
1.What formats are the video and audio streams in the resulting .mpeg file?
2. Did PE 8 encode the original MPEG2 video or did it just transfer it 'as is' from the camcorder?
3. How do I get it in a .m2t container format?
M2T files are MPEGs. You can change the suffix if you want, but it's not necessary. They're exactly the same structure -- and each file includes the vidoe and the audio.
Premiere Elements did not change the file at all in its transfer from your camcorder. It merely packaged it in an M2T file.