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HF R400. Play back issue on computer. Not the right codec?


I own a Vixia HF R400 and when i try to view my videos on my computer in any media player it says that this file format is not supported in all of the players. It also mentions something about the codec? Not to sure what this means. I recorded in AVCHD if that makes a difference.  If anyone could help that would be great! Thanks!



Hi Bruinsfan17!


Welcome to the Canon Forum.


Not every media player may support the MTS files (AVCHD).  What specific media players have you tried?


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I'm sorry I don't know your computer's operating system. Here I'd share my own exprience playing MTS on Mac OS X.


As you see, MTS files are compressed video files that many camcorders these days record to. The great thing about them is that a large amount of your good-looking HD video can be compressed into these small files to fit on small cards on your small camera. While, the bad thing is that there's few program that will allow you to view a raw MTS file on a Mac. Just as I know QuickTime can't play MTS files smoothly. 


To get a smooth MTS playback on Mac, a better solution is to convert MTS to MOV, the best format on Mac. Then it would be easy to play in QuickTime and even edit in FCP, iMovie. 


Adding to what other posters said one important thing missing: to the best of my knowledge AVCHD defines the container format as well as the video and audio codecs. The video codec is H.264.


From my own experience I know that Microsoft's so-called media player doesn't really work with H.264. Especially when using any higher bitrate as AVCHD does, many media players freak out. The same happens with high-bitrate mp4 and mov containers with H.264 streams inside them. Think GoPro Protune H.264 footage.


VLC seems to work, but you may experience playback issues. Xine has no problems ... but doesn't run on Windows.


Funnily, my Samsung Note 10.1 2014 plays back any high-bitrate H.264 footage up to 45Mbit/s without any problems, even in hardware. On the other end, my Samsung TV chokes on the same footage.


In my own experience, AVCHD should be seen as kind of raw file to be used solely as input to video editors, but not useful for direct viewing. Transcode to lower bitrate footage if you want to watch your footage on Windows, low power tablets and phones, as well as TVs.






If you just want to review your video clips, then you can use VLC player, anyway , on my side, it can play MXF fiels. Or if you find yourself a converter to help you covnert them , then you can do no matter edit or review as you want. Good luck.

Some free converters: Handbrake, any video covnerter , ffMpeg, 


Just puchased the R800 and am having this same issue. Can not play files on my Mac with Quicktime or VLC. Handbrake doesn't recognize the file. Transferred the file to my PC and sort of got it to play on HaiHaiSoft Universal Player, but it was jerky and the sound wasn't synced.

Why would they sell something that can't be played easily? I'm ready to return the camera.

Before you take the camcorder back consider trying MPEG Streamclip for playback.  You can also use it to convert the video clips to something useable on a Mac.  


I have a late 2011 MacBook Pro and when I when I want to open an .MP4 file it will open in MPEG Streamclip without any issues.  


Canon is not only camcorder manufacturer to uses that CODEC so if you decide to return the camcorder make sure you get one that records in more than one format.  This is more of an Applie issue than a Canon issue.


Be sure, if you decide to download it, to download MPEG Streamclip from the source Squared 5.  There are many sites that offer it as a download but I only trust the source.


Update:  I see you are having issues with it playing on the PC as well.  Have you tried playing it through Windows Media Player, VLC or something other than what you are currently using on the PC?  What version of Windows are you using and is it up to date?  Do you have any problems with other video formats playing back on the PC or Mac?



Have you tried MPEG Streamclip from Squared 5?  I have a MacBook Pro and this is what I use to play back .MP4 files.  That is provided the file format in question is .MP4.  Is the format you are having trouble with .MP4 or .MTS?