Make sure that when you copied the SD card contents that you didn't change ANYTHING...not the name of the files, the order, etc....
Timecode for AVCHD files is set on metadata files in the AVCHD folder structure - MTS files do not contain timecode data, nor can timecode data be written to MTS files (as you discovered).
The reason you shouldn't change anything - and again, this means the filenames as well - is because all the metadata is being read as you edit, and if a filename changes then the links are broken and boom...not metadata (including timecode).
Christian, thanks for the info, but I already copied the entire contents of the SD cards, as I stated in my post.
The time code is embedded in these files. DVMP can read and display it even without the metadata. Adobe's just not reading it. Even if the timecode weren't embedded, it doesn't make sense that Adobe can't display calculated timecode since the created date is in the metadata. There's no explanation why Modify->Timecode is grayed out.
Does anybody have a workflow for burning in timecode for AVCHD files or setting the timecode?
Again, just guessing...was the card locked when you put the SD card in your computer (and are you on a Mac)?
I know there are some issues with MacOS doing funny things, and locking the card is one way to prevent the issues.
Sorry I couldn't be more helpful...the only time I've heard of people having TC issues on AVCHD footage is when copying individual files off the card or bypassing the Media Browser in PPro.
Christian, I'm on Windows, as I stated in my first post.
The cards were locked, when I copied the data over to my hard drive. The issue is that Adobe Premiere Pro isn't reading the timecode off the files, and it won't let me set the timecode manually.
So, I need another workflow to edit with timecode. Anybody?
I already submitted this as a bug.
Whether or not the files from a Canon Vixia HF S200 actually
contain valid timecode is a question I can't answer.
But, if you are looking for a timecoded proxy workflow in order
to use numerical reference while editing... you could try this.
Use Media Encoder to transcode all of your source material to a
timecode compatible format like P2 or MXF (matching your original
source's framerate, aspect etc).
Import these new files into your project and you will then
be able to access the Modify>Timecode function.
Set each clip to whatever value you want, then edit away.
After you are finished editing unlink your clips from the proxy media
that you created, and relink to the original media for final rendering.
Timecode was not originally in the AVCHD specs, but some camcorders have implemented it such as the Panasonic 150. There have been past threads about Premiere not recognising timecode in AVCHD and at the time Adobe's response was that timecode was not in the AVCHD specs. But I'm sure that a later release of PPro 5 had fixed this.
This thread might be of some help - starting at post number 25 and continuing onto a second page. It's about a Panasonic model but there might be some relevancy for yours.