MTS M2TS File: What is MTS Video File and All Tips for MTS, M2TS and AVCHD File

by Brian Fisher • • Proven solutions

MTS File: Explains Everything About MTS Files to You

Even since the appearance of HD video capability a few years ago, people were quickly attracted by the idea of capturing their travel stories or wonderful moments with the help of a HD camera. It’s safe to say that once the 720p and 1080p or 1080i filming capabilities were implemented into camcorders (small video cameras which can easily be held in a hand), the market exploded and numerous HD formats were created in order to satisfy the needs of all users.

A: The History of MTS Format

Some of the most popular formats when talking about camcorders are surely the MTS and M2TS, alongside MKV and AVCHD, of course. MTS is basically a file extension for AVCHD, also known as Advanced Video Coding High Definition format, which supports 1080i, as well as 720p videos. It can contain audio, video and data. MTS was created by Samsung and Panasonic as a great format that can be used for their camcorders when recording videos, and was quickly adopted by other developers as well.

mts files

B: Features of MTS Video Files

MTS is also the basic format when you record using most AVCHD compatible camcorders, and it allows you to grab high quality, beautiful videos which can easily be transferred afterwards to the PC. Some famous video camera developers even provide specialized software that comes with their products and which enables you to open as well as edit the contents of a MTS file. This feature is very useful, because it allows you to quickly and easily modify the video you just took on the spot, with close to no effort.

In addition, you should also know that the MTS format is based on the MPEG-2 transport stream and that it comes with complete HD support. The size of MTS formats can be quite large, since the recording resolution can be up to 1920x1080 full HD, and a video that has only a few minutes can have up to 1GB. While this might not seem that much, if you plan on shooting video for 1-2 hours, you’ll need a massive amount of storage space.

This format definitely provides the best quality for HD video capture using a camcorder, and that’s why most HD camcorders are placing it as their default format. After you finish shooting the video, you can easily use a video converter to change the format to another one that occupies less space on your hard drive. Keep in mind however that, if you do this, you will also lose video quality.

C: What is MTS Files Used For?

The most important device that uses this format is the camcorder. There are many developers of camcorders, be it for professional or home use. Most camcorders nowadays store the MTS files on flash memory and SD cards because they can easily be transferred to your PC or Mac without problems.

There are multiple software applications that open a MTS files, such as the GOM player, the Creator NXT Pro 2, Cyberlink power DVD, VLC Player, , Windows Media Player, but also Grass Valley Edius and Magix Movie Edit Plus. When it comes to Mac software, we can list Toast 11, Final Cut Pro X, VLC and Elgato turbo.264 HD.

mts m2ts

What is M2TS File?

There are many people that tend to think MTS and M2TS files are the same thing. Of course, they are wrong, and we will explain why right now. First of all, when you record a video using an AVCHD camcorder, the output is saved in the MTS format. This format is kept until you use a software application to collect or upload the saved files. That’s when the format change to M2TS actually occurs.

A: History of M2TS Format

As you might already imagine, MTS files don’t have the option to be edited in such a manner, and many think of them as the raw version of the M2TS file that will result after their transfer. The M2TS files appeared because people needed a format that could easily be edited and then added to a Blu-Ray disk without any problem.

what is m2ts

B: Features of M2TS File

Just like in the case of MTS files, the M2TS files are very large, and require you to have a lot of hard drive space when moving and editing them. When it comes to editing, you also need to be prepared quite a lot, because processing such files requires a lot of computing power, especially during the encoding process.

Most Blu-Ray disks that include M2TS files use copy protection techniques that tend to encrypt the content of the disk, and that is why all software that supports M2TS playback or editing needs to work with decrypted files. The Picture Motion Browser application, created by Sony, allows you to view these files in their raw format, without requiring you to add any codec or plug-in. Of course, you can also open most M2TS files with applications like VLC, Mplayer, ALL Player or PoTPlayer, among others.

C: What are M2TS Files Used For?

Even though M2TS and MTS files are almost the same, they are different extensions of the same AVCHD video you shot using your camcorder. There is an important difference though, and that is the fact that M2TS files are saved in a HD format created especially for Blu-Ray, known as BDAV. The video data stored on a Blu-Ray has two different codecs, and MPEG2, with the audio data being able to use 5 different codecs as well.

On top of that, you can also convert the larger, harder to run M2TS files to MPEG 4 by using applications like Handbrake, Total Video Converter, Format Factory or Nero Vision. Of course, converting is not limited to this format alone, since both MTS and M2TS video files can be saved to formats like AVI, DivX, VOB or WMV with ease, if needed.

what is mts

MTS vs M2TS File Formats

Just as we stated earlier, many people tend to think that M2TS and MTS are the same thing. Not really. MTS files can hardly be seen by amateurs, as they spend little to no time modifying these files on the computer. Most of the time, upon uploading to a Mac/PC, the MTS files will be transformed to M2TS, which is a great thing, because, aside from the editing process itself, they can also be saved to a more powerful BDAV format that allows these files to be used with a large number of codecs and provide even better quality on a Blu-Ray player.

A: The Developing and Developers of the MTS & M2TS

MTS: The MTS format was developed by Sony and Panasonic in an effort to provide their customers with an easy to handle recording format for their newly created camcorder line of products.

M2TS: M2TS on the other hand was created from the need of having a format that can easily transfer MTS recorded data to Blu-Rays. It doesn’t have a certain developer that created it, and it’s widely regarded as a community effort of creating a good format for the reasons listed above.

mts m2ts

B: Differences between the MTS & M2TS

Just like in the case of MTS files, the M2TS files are very large, and require you to have a lot of hard drive space when moving and editing them. When it comes to editing, you also need to be prepared quite a lot, because processing such files requires a lot of computing power, especially during the encoding process.

When it comes to the hardware they are used on, things also tend to be a little different. MTS was designed to be the recording format for the camcorders, while M2TS is widely regarded as the best solution available worldwide to store movie data on a Blu-Ray disk. So, even the name tends to be quite similar, there are a few differences. These can also be seen when talking about protection. M2TS files store important movie data and are stored on protected disks, and that is why most of the time these are copy-protected and cannot be copied to your hard drive. Things aren’t the same in the case of MTS files however, because this is a recording format, and you can easily copy these files to any type of file with close to no effort.

Also, while most applications tend to change the format from MTS to M2TS while performing the transfer from your camcorder to your computer, there are some apps out there that allow you to modify the content of MTS files as well. This function is also offered by some converter applications as well. What’s great about most applications is that they tend to offer support for both M2TS and MTS files, so even if a MTS file is not automatically converted to M2TS, you can easily perform this conversion manually, if you need to.

Size-wise, MTS and M2TS are almost the same, since they are basically the same file, but M2TS files tend to be a little larger sometimes because they go through a conversion process.

C: The Main Usage of MTS & M2TS

Just as we stated earlier in the article, MTS files are used when recording a video with a camcorder. Basically, the output saved after you finish the recording process is a MTS file. Once you transfer it from the camcorder to your PC, the MTS file is automatically converted to a M2TS file. This format can easily be edited with your favorite video editing software. M2TS files are often used to store the video data on a Blu-Ray disk, because they have great quality.


AVCHD is a format that’s file based and it was designed for the recording as well as playback of digital, high definition videos. The AVCHD format was created by Panasonic and Sony, and it’s widely regarded as one of the standard formats for the camcorders.

A: The Developer of the AVCHD

AVCHD is a format that was developed by Panasonic and Sony back in 2006, and which was specifically introduced for the HD camcorders that were targeting home consumers, and not professionals. The response from clients was overwhelming, with more and more developers developing camcorders supporting this format each and every year.

what is mts

B: Differences between AVCHD and MTS/M2TS

And, while the AVCHD video has the MTS and M2TS extension, there are some differences between these formats. M2TS transmits MPEG videos that also include other streams, and it’s basically based on MPEG-2. AVCHD on the other hand features two audio encodings and a single video encoding. This basically means that AVCHD videos won’t provi9de the same encoding capacity as a M2TS file, with the latter allowing you access to multiple audio and video codecs.

This is the main difference between these formats. But there are also some similarities as well, such as the fact that all of these formats have a high resolution that can sometimes be up to 1920x1080, and they also tend to have a large size as well. Storing these may take a lot of disk space however, so people tend to encode them immediately or convert to other formats that use less hard drive space.

Aside from hard drives, these files can also be kept on various removable media types, such as the built-in hard drives, memory sticks, as well as SD, SDXC or SDHC memory cards.

C: Conclusion

In summary, AVCHD, MTS and M2TS files are great for anyone that wants to record, store and edit HD videos in their purest form. These formats are widely spread and more people nowadays think of them as the standard of HD video storage. And why not think that, since millions of users use them each and every day to take a snapshot of their memories, which they can easily watch again after years and years.

Convert MTS or M2TS Videos with the Best MTS Converter

There are many multimedia solutions in the world but none that surpasses UniConverter, especially in its class. Although it was initially designed for Mac users, there is a Windows version although it may lack some advanced features found in the Mac version. This is a tool that makes the conversion of your video easy, and maintains high quality. This is a tool that you can use to turn your video clips on your phone or camcorder, into works of art. You can make arbitrary videos come together to tell a tale about a day you sent on a short vacation, or a birthday party. This is the kind of tool that every home should have; one that will make sharing video a much more fun activity.

UniConverter - Video Converter

Get the Best MTS/M2TS Video Converter:

  • 150+ video and audio formats – UniConverter is a tool that works with several video formats. Whether they are standard form or high definition does not matter; this tool can handle them all. Files drawn from a DVD will be converted with the same effectiveness as files drawn from a mobile phone. This is your one-stop video conversion tool.
  • High speed conversion – Because of the GPU acceleration feature this tool can convert video at speeds of up to 90X. This means that you do not have to spend s much time converting videos as you did in the past. This is a definite plus for people who do a lot of conversion professionally.
  • Edit before converting MTS – This is an editor that allows you to do some basic, but important editing functions. Adding subtitles to your video and labels is quite easy. You can also add a watermark so as to keep the copyright of your video.
  • Download online video – Go to online streaming sites and download free videos which you can use for your project or burn to DVD so you can enjoy them on a later date.
  • Output to mobile devices – You can send your video to YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook. You can also send it to your iPad, iPhone or computer. Finally you can write it to DVD.
  • Transfer with USB cable – Easily transfer your converted or downloaded video/music files to your portable devices with USB cable connected.

mts m2ts video converter

Related Articles & Tips

This article will introduce how to convert MKV to MOV on Mac and Windows so that you can smoothly play or edit your video on a Mac computer.
If you want to extract WAV from MOV, then the 7 ways to convert MOV to WAV listed in this article can help you a lot. Let's check them out!
If you find it difficult to play FLV videos on QuickTime, then the most effective way to solve it is to convert FLV to MOV. Read this post and you can turn FLV to MOV easily.
This tutorial introduces 3 viable solutions to convert MOV to WMV in Mac and Windows 10 by using the helpful MOV to WMV converters.

Brian Fisher

staff Editor

Home > How-to > Convert Video Format > MTS M2TS File: What is MTS Video File and All Tips for MTS, M2TS and AVCHD File