AVCHD and MTS/M2TS: A Comprehensive Guide

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Find a comprehensive guide to understanding MTS and M2TS, their relationship with the AVCHD format, and the key differences between the two file extensions. The information covers the origin, usage, file structure, playback compatibility, file size, and editing capabilities of both formats, providing a clear and concise overview for users who want to understand and work with AVCHD videos.

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MTS (MPEG-2 Transport Stream) and M2TS (MPEG-2 Transport Stream 2) are file extensions used for storing AVCHD videos. These file formats are based on the MPEG-2 transport stream, a container format that can hold audio, video, and other data in a single file. MTS is commonly used to store video recordings in AVCHD format on devices like camcorders and digital cameras. On the other hand, M2TS is associated with AVCHD videos when they are copied or played back on Blu-ray discs.

Before we delve into understanding the differences between MTS and M2TS, it is essential to have a grasp of the AVCHD video codec. AVCHD is a high-definition video format developed jointly by Panasonic and Sony for camcorders. It is primarily used to record HD-quality videos and is known for its high compression capacity. AVCHD videos can be played back on Blu-ray discs, TVs, and media consoles.

Common Difference between MTS and M2TS: 

CharacteristicMTS (MPEG-2 Transport Stream)M2TS (MPEG-2 Transport Stream 2)
1. OriginPrimary file extension used for storing AVCHD video recordings. Associated with AVCHD videos on Blu-ray discs when they are copied or played back. 
2. UsageCommonly used by camcorders and digital cameras.Commonly used on authored Blu-ray discs.
3. File StructureIt contains only a single video stream, audio stream, and metadata.It can contain multiple video and audio streams, subtitles, menu data, and additional content. 
4. Playback Compatibility  Low (Especially with media players and video editing software)High (Especially those supporting Blu-ray playback) 
5. File SizeSmaller (Due to containing only essential audio and video streams.)Larger (Due to additional content like subtitles, menus, and multiple audio and video streams.)
6. Editing and AuthoringSuitable for basic video editing and sharing directly from the camcorder.Suitable for advanced video authoring and editing. 


After reading this article, you should now have a clear understanding of the differences between M2TS and MTS, as well as AVCHD Video Codecs. Both M2TS and MTS are different file extensions used for storing AVCHD videos. While the MTS file type is commonly used by camcorders, M2TS is associated with AVCHD videos on authored Blu-ray discs.

About the Author: Molly Owen

Molly is the Lead Technical Specialist with distinguished knowledge and understanding of Mac computers and operating systems. Being a veteran photographer and video recovery specialist, Molly’s expertise in video formats and file repair has helped restore a lot of videos and cherished memories of users. As a technical specialist, she also believes in learning and…