Help, Panasonic HD writer 3.0 won't copy from camera or memory card to disk


Novice Member
I got a Panasonic video camera for Christmas. It said to download and install HD Writer 3.0, which I did. I now have the memory card filled up and want to write it to a DVD like I used to do with my JVC camera.

I am unable to get the software to work. The instructions say to click on "copy to disc". There is no "copy to disk" to click on. There is a "copy to media", and when I click on it it asks for the destination drive, like the manual said it would do if I had clicked on the non-existent "copy to disc". It then asks for the format I want to copy in and I select AVCHD (I have also tried DVD format to no avail). I get the message about high-definition like the manual says, and click on "OK". Then the instructions say to click on "copy all" or "copy selected files". These selections do not appear in the program. It put me back to the original screen, and it says there are no videos to be displayed, except it displays copy to media in the upper hand corner. I try clicking on "select all", but it does nothing. On the left it says all files 599, and it seems to be pointing to an empty folder on the hard drive. There is a drop a file box on the screen, and I open the camera drive and folder for the video files and try to drag and drop from that, but nothing happens. I find where I can add additional folders, and try to add the camera folder, and also try to add the memory card folder if I move the memory card from the camera to the card slot. In both cases it says that it cannot work with a folder that is no on the hard drive.

There seems to be no way to make a disc from video I have recorded on the camera. The program does not do what the instructions say it will do.

Anyone figured out how to record videos on a disc with a panasonic HC-V180 camera?




Well-known Member
First avoid HD Writer-Yes, I know it comes with the camera but there are easier ways. :thumbsup:

Look in your User Manual for a page labelled "About the PC Display" p116. On it you will see the file structure of the SD card and a data index.
SO, for example, if your recordings are in AVCHD, all the video files are in PRIVATE>BDMV> STREAM. If they are in MP4 you would follow the appropriate folder structure from DCIM downward.

Either remove the SD card and use your PC card reader or connect the camera via USB.
Open the SD card using file explorer, select all the video files (AVCHD will be .MTS MP4 will be .MP4 :facepalm:) and copy to your DVD.

When you advance to editing your videos, you would carry out the above operations and copy the video files to a folder under My Videos on your PCs hard disk. From there you can load them into a video editor and create complete videos from your raw video files.

Remember the Panasonic camera creates actual files for each shot taken and you can you can work with them as you would with any other normal files. The main joy is slinging them together to make a video masterpiece using an editor.
Two rules of thumb:-
1) After you have completed a shoot, download the files into your PC or another storage device. If you need to carry out a number of shoots for a particular subject and have, as a result, a number of folders in your PC you can always load the shots from a number of folders into a video editor.

2) ALWAYS RE-FORMAT YOUR SD CARD IN THE CAMERA. It resets the folders as shown on p116 of your manual. Do not delete files on the SD card - it just puts a "delete" marker on the file but does NOT remove it from the card - only re-formatting will do this.


Novice Member
That will just give me a bunch of video files on the DVD. That will not play on a DVD or BluRay player. To play on a BluRay or dvd player with AVCHD capability there is a whole file and indexing system that has to be built when you make the transfer. I have been doing it for the last 8 years with a JVC camcorder with the Everio software they provided, but it will not work with the Panasonic as the directory names are slightly different.


Well-known Member
Try renaming the files.
Or pass them through a video editor, create a coherent video and render them to suit your DVD formats.
I have always created two versions of my videos from the editor. The first is a SD version to burn directly to DVD (for my family) The second is an mp4 version to run on my Blu-Ray player.

I stopped using HD Writer when I found it carried across a large number of files which were irrelevant to the video files I wanted to use and these interfered with the editing process. The operation I described above will give you all the files you need in a form that can be readily processed in any video editor. (or by any other renaming software)
I have never downloaded video files to a DVD except for storage purposes. I always back up the files directly from the PCs hard disk and then they are available for post production.
If you care to look at any video editor, you will see that there are a number of options for rendering to, for example, YouTube, DVD, Blu-Ray and so on.

Panasonic recognised that users would want to process their raw video shots via an editor but they also recognised that often previews were required. This is why they included a HDMI slot on your camera so that you could view directly on a TV and, presumably, download to a suitable DVD recorder that accepts HDMI.


Novice Member
I've noticed the same thing about the HD Writer and extra files it brings with it. What are those files? I've read in other forums about how they include metadata and information to stitch large .mts files together that get stored in segments, but I have yet to read anything specific on the topic. Does anyone here happen to have any expertise here?


Well-known Member
What expertise do you need? (OK Not helpful - I know, but I have yet to find any benefit of HDWriter over just manipulating the files directly from the camera)
Large .MTS files are better strung together in a video editor OR change your SD card to a SDXC card to give much larger continuous files. (I use a 64Gb SDXC card in my camera.)


Well-known Member
Fair enough. I think that HDW passes over all the files under the folder AVCHD. Try opening your SD card and then the folders shown under AVCHD > BDMV.
Incidentally the process shown above will select ALL the video files which can be passed directly into a video editor or stored on a disk or USB etc.


Active Member
If you include the metadata and import via the media browser on some NLE's, the breaks created by the file size limits of the file system will be ignored and are stitched together, while retaining the breaks from your record button. This is useful if the recorded segments are long (how long depends on the bitrate), for example a locked-off secondary camera. This also tends to avoid audio clitches where the joins are.


Well-known Member
Accept this but change to a SDXC card would eliminate this requirement.


Novice Member
Thanks - I don’t currently have any software, but I’m told that a good package for home/personal users is the Adobe Essentials bundle. Any recommendations? I want to keep a backup of the original, but have something more easily consumable. I also want to have a way to organize all the content because it is scattered all over currently with no naming standards.


Distinguished Member
FWIW, in the past:
- there were only a few Editing programs that could record your Edited movie to DVD (( Although why you'd want to might be a separate discussion...)). Programs such as Sony's DVD Architect* allows you to put short (Edited) movies on one disc, so these can play on a normal DVD-player.
In effect, this mimics a commercial DVD disc which might contain several short movies. The software also has/had a cover-designer feature - but I couldn't get along with that.
* Sony software was taken over by Magix - you'll need to see what they offer to achieve what you want.

More recently:
-some software packages allow you to Edit and then burn to a DVD - however, I'm wary of doing this.

Terfyn has described to route to getting your movie-clips onto a PC, (from a SD card) - When these are placed in "project folders" (( e.g. Family at the Seaside 2020)), you can begin to Edit... but you need a software program to achieve this.... which will allow you to shorten the "takes" +add text, +music and all manner of effects, while retaining the original clips, warts and all.
[ If you are serious about video-making, then your PC should have a dedicated HDD ].

Note that DVD quality is much less than HD clips you can see on yr PC, or TV - the only advantage, IMHO, is that the Media is cheap and most folks can "play" a DVD.
However, for showing to friends/family: a Memory-stick is far better ( but it must be fast-enough ). Many movie-clubs will copy the memory-stick to their HDD, so their Media-Player can run at speed, which many Memory Sticks will not.

If you movie camera records 4K then the whole process is much the same, except you need newer software and latest Blue-Ray discs - although Memory-Sticks could be preferable.

Hope that helps....?


Which editing software you should buy depends on a few things.....

  • If your PC is a little older than a few years you need to check the recommended specs for the software. Some of them run better on older hardware than others.
  • An obvious one perhaps - do you use a PC or Mac? Many of the editing programs are PC only, but there are a couple of both Mac & PC editing programs.
  • Do you know any others that do editing? If so getting the same software as them means you have a host of knowledge available to you.

As for Adobe Premiere Elements it is a popular program that is generally liked in reviews. But any of the software from the big names should offer you far more tools than you will probably ever need.



Novice Member
I really don’t need heavy editing capabilities - just a program to save smaller versions of the clips, maybe cut/splice clips together, and read file metadata for bulk naming / organization.

I tried to use adobe bridge to organize files with metadata, but it can’t see the original exif date for some reason. The exif tool can, but I was looking for something more user friendly to work with.


Well-known Member
For simple stuff, Windows Movie Maker should help but if you download the files as I suggested above, you can copy or move files using the normal Windows commands.

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