AVCHD Playback Software

While creating Arachne AVCHDView, we found the following software capable of playing back AVCHD video files on a sufficiently-powerful PC. There are both dedicated players and codecs that can be used with standard video players like Windows Media Player available.

Codecs

CoreAVC

CoreAVC claim to have the world's fastest H.264 (AVC) software video decoder.  It worked well, but their deinterlacing never seemed particularly effective for me and they never answered my support question on whether the trial download was of the standard edition or the professional edition.

K-Lite Codec Pack

I've found the K-Lite Codec Pack to be an excellent, completely free, codec pack capable of playing back AVCHD. On my Intel Core Duo 2.4 GHz it doesn't provide perfect playback, but it's good enough to preview clips roughly.  Note that it can interfere with other solutions, so you may wish to uninstall it or disable it for software supporting AVCHD natively.

Ulead VideoStudio 11.5

I recently purchased Ulead VideoStudio 11.5 (at a very good 'special offer' price from Corel). Installing this has added an excellent AVCHD codec.  This seems to be significantly better quality than the free K-Lite Codec Pack one.

Dedicated Playback Software

HD Writer 2.5

For Panasonic users AVCHD camcorder users, the HD Writer software is provided on CD. Personally, I always found the user interface for this too clumsy - that's why I started looking for alternatives.

Mirillis Oxygen Player

Mirillis Oxygen Player seemed good. There was a note on its website saying that it had been suspended due to use of IPR belonging to third parties for a while, but this has now been removed. Their player appears to have been renamed 'Splash', and is currently in Beta and free to download. I haven't tried this latest version yet.


Thumbnails in Explorer

If you have an AVCHD codec installed, it is possible to enable thumbnail display in Explorer by making the following registry settings:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mts\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{c5a40261-cd64-4ccf-84cb-c394da41d590}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.m2t\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{c5a40261-cd64-4ccf-84cb-c394da41d590}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.m2ts\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{c5a40261-cd64-4ccf-84cb-c394da41d590}"

You may simply run the registry file here if you prefer.