Tag Archives: Sony

Editing Sony HDR-SR7 videos on a Mac

Well… no instructional “how to” in this blog update.


I thought that Mac’s were meant to be an easy platform to import and edit videos on.  Well, not if you have an AVCHD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVCHD) camcorder it seems.

So I was there last night, wanting to get some footage off my Sony HDR-SR7 video camera, do some quick editing, then make a DVD.

I thought I could just start iMovie with the camera attached and all would work right?  Hmm nope.  iMovie just did not detect the camera.  The Mac OSX did as it saw it as a USB device and it mounted its hard drive.  I even followed some other people’s instructions on the web which suggested a sequence of starting iMovie, turning on the camera, plugging in the USB cable but to no success.

How can it be this hard?

So I imported the videos onto the computer using the camera supplied software in a Windows VM, which meant I ended up with .m2ts files.

Tried to import these into iMovie.   Nope – doesn’t work. 

Googling shows a stack of results for 3rd party applications to convert the video into an iMovie supported format.  And so I downloaded a trial of iSkySoft’s Video Converter for Mac and converted my videos to mpeg2 format (or I could have used the camera’s supplied software to convert to mpeg2 too).  I’m not too happy about having to transcode it into mpeg2 and then editing it after this.  It defeats the whole purpose of having a high definition digital camera in the first place!  Plus if I do non linear edits, the video will have to be re-encoded into mpeg2 again!

I need to find a way to edit in high definition resolution with quality as close to the source footage as possible.   And then only convert to mpeg2 for DVD as the last step.   Maybe I should try Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere (http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/291160-Editing-AVCHD-(M2TS)-with-Adobe-Premier)?  Or maybe I should be converting the AVCHD to Apple Intermediate Format using MPEG Streamclip or VoltaicHD.

A few useful links I found in case anyone else is having the same problems:


Anyone have problems editing AVCHD footage?  I really wonder how the average Mum and Dad deals with their AVCHD footage once their camera runs out of space??

40 days of no PS3

Gosh it almost sounds like some passage out of the bible.

Today marks the 40th day of no PS3 for me.  No, not self enforced or inflicted, but because my PS3 had died with the Yellow Light of Death back in January.

The whole family has sooooo missed it.  No Beatles Rockband or Guitar Hero.  More saddening is I just recently bought Assassin’s Creed 2 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, and have had hardly any play time on it.    And it makes watching DVDs really cumbersome as the PS3 was our only media player!  I eventually had to hook up the MacBook Pro to the TV through VGA to watch stuff.

But the good news – I rang Sony yet again today to chase up the repair status, and was told some good news – it’s on its way to me!  Woohoo!!

My PS3 has died with YLOD

Oh dear…

My PS3 has suddenly died with what is known as the YLOD – Yellow Light of Death.  I wasn’t home, but apparently it was working in the morning, but when Wifey and the kids tried to watch a movie in the afternoon, it just wouldn’t turn on.   Pressing the on button at the front made the power light go to green momentarily, then go to orange, then flash red afterwards.

We’ve tried turning it on/off via the Power button at the back with no success either.   I also found heaps of posts online, but with no real definitive home fix.    It seems that the PS3 does a check of hardware when it starts up, and if anything is not quite right, it will shut down.   With no indication of what is wrong at all.    Couldn’t they implement some 4 LED system to report startup problems like on Dell computers?

I thought YLOD’s was something that happened to the “other” people, whoever “they” are, but my original PS3 60GB decided to join in the fun.  Being our DVD player, our Blu-Ray player, and media player (watching shows through the SD card slot and USB HDD) – we’re going to miss it for a while 😦

So I spent 2 hours last night trying to find the receipt.  Unfortunately, with moving house and getting rid of our filing cabinet, it was nowhere to be found.  And so I started phoning around today.  The good news is that I did purchase extended warranty from Harvey Norman for it, and it’s still under warranty until June this year! 

  • Rang Harvey Norman Warranty Claims, spoke to someone helpful and got my Invoice number, but they said they need the Product Code and Sony’s reference number
  • Rang the actual Harvey Norman store, spoke to someone who seemed in a really good mood, and they gave me the Product Code, Supplier Code, Batch Number and Serial Number
  • Rang Sony, punched my way through heaps of voice menus of some really enthusiastic Aussie gaming dude, spoke to someone and they said they needed the Extended Warranty Claim Number first
  • Rang Harvey Normal Warranty Claims again and using the Invoice Number, Product Code and Serial Number, they gave me the Extended Warranty Claim Number
  • They put me through back to Sony and they gave me a Booking Reference Number and will send out instructions for me to send my PS3 back to Sony

It’s almost like a computer adventure game from the 90s!  Luckily the hold times weren’t too long and everyone was quite helpful on the line.

Bad news is that it will take approximately 2-3 working weeks to fix (since it’s one of the first generation ones) and they will wipe my Hard Drive which contains all my save games.

And I haven’t backed any of them up.

And the game that’s in there at the moment will take possibly another 1 week to send back.

Oh well, better than having to fork out for a new PS3.  I’m glad to see the Extended Warranty actually being used for a change!

Buffer Overflow on Sony Handycam!

On the weekend, I was assigned to video’ing duties at a friend’s wedding.  No problems – I’ve got a Sony HDR-SR7 High Definition handycam.   I have the amateur gear to capture the pixels.

So, the ceremony happened, signing, photos, speeches and LOTS of food!

With typical Chinese weddings, there was a table by table Yum Seng which was really fun.  I love seeing the expressions on family and friends, who are normally or seemingly conservative, but at the Yum Seng, shout their hearts out.   It came to our table’s Yum Seng.   We were determined to be the loudest – and then…   a Blue Screen of Death on the handycam appeared with the words “Buffer Overflow”…  AAARRGHGHHH!!!   Had I just lost the entire Yum Seng footage?   No wayyyyyy!!

Next, “Recovering Data”, and then “Data Lost”.  NOOOO!!!    I quickly restarted the handycam, pressed the Record button again to keep going.    We all ended up doing a entire combined Yum Seng.   This was awesome – EVERY table on their feet, yelling Yum Seng at the top of their voices.   And then it happened again, “Buffer Overflow”.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.    If I had the time, I would’ve taken a photo and tweeted, but no…   had to get the handycam back recording again.

It left a bad sick feeling in my stomach for the rest of the evening.  I couldn’t wait to get home and analyse the videos on the camera to see if I really had lost the footage.

Got home, started the Handycam Utility, downloaded all the video.

And the Yum Seng footage was there!   *sigh of relief* except for the parts when I got the Blue Screen of Death.   But that was only 2 small parts.   I was soooo relieved.   I’d never had a problem with recording before and have recorded hours and long stretches at once.

A quick Google search shows that it’s probably related to the volume of sound.   Which lines up to my experiences.  Our own table’s Yum Seng when I was shouting away, and also the full room Yum Seng.

I haven’t tried yet, but you can probably reproduce it by shouting/screaming into the handycam.   So, tip for the day – watch out if you’re recording really loud sounds.   But don’t worry – you won’t lose any previous footage you’ve video’d.

Buffer Overflow Error – http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archive/index.php/t-888712.html

Another Report of Buffer Overflow on loud sounds – http://www.volnation.com/store/index.php?Operation=CustomerReviews&ItemId=B000PQJGFO&ReviewPage=4