A workaround to import XAVC-S footage to Avid MC

Couldn’t import XAVC-S .mp4 files into Avid Media Composer for post production? Convert them first. This post will guide you through the process of converting Sony XAVC-S media to DNxHD .mov for editing in Avid systems fluidly.

Sony has developed a special XAVC/XDCAM Plug-in for Avid (PDZK-MA2) to help consumers to view and edit Sony XAVC and XDCAM / XDCAM HD footage in Avid systems, including Avid Media Composer, Symphony and NewsCutter. Unfortunately, this AMA plug-in currently is neither workable for XAVC-S files nor Avid has native support for XAVC-S footage. For a fast and fluid XAVC-S workflow with Avid, you will need to install third party software to transcode XAVC-S to DNxHD QuickTime.
Why convert XAVC-S to DNxHD .mov?
DNxHD is Avid’s favorite editing codec, which Avid will recognize and handle well. Avid uses DNxHD codec to create mastering-quality media at reduced file sizes, shattering the barriers to real-time productivity, whether using local storage or in real-time collaborative workflows. You can use HD Video Converter to turn XAVC-S files from MP4 container into MOV container with DNxHD codec. This process is called “Transcoded editing”. The original XAVC-S files are converted to DNxHD QuickTime format to be compatible with Avid editing system. This process may lower bitrates and quality of the original files.

You can download a demo version (for both, Mac and Windows) to have a try. They are not free but it is totally worth it.
import XAVC-S .mp4 files into AvidThe best XAVC-S to DNxHD Converter

Sony XAVC-S MP4 and Avid workflow – how to convert Sony XAVC-S MP4 files to DNxHD for Avid system?

The steps:
Step 1: Start up HD Video Converter as best Sony XAVC-S MP4 to DNxHD Converter. When its main interface pops up, click ‘Add File’ to input your source media.
Sony XAVC-S MP4 to DNxHD MOV Conversion

Step 2: Choose output format for Avid MC
From ‘Format’ bar, select ‘Avid DNxHD (*.mov)’ as output format under ‘Avid Media Composer’ column.
transcode XAVC-S to DNxHD QuickTime
Important: If you’ve loaded a number of video clips to do batch conversion, please do remember ticking off ‘Apply to All’ option before you start.

Step 3: Custom video and audio settings
If necessary, you can click ‘Settings’ button and go to ‘Profiles Settings’ panel to modify video and audio settings like video encoder, resolution, video bit rate, frame rate, aspect ratio, audio encoder, sample rate, audio bit rate, and audio channels. 3D settings are also available.

Step 4: Start Sony XAVC-S MP4 to DNxHD MOV Conversion
When ready, click ‘Convert’ to start format conversion. As soon as the conversion is complete, you can click ‘Open Folder’ button to get the exported DNxHD MOV files for use in Avid apps with optimum performance.

Related posts
Sony XAVC (S) workflow with DaVinci Resolve
Sony XAVC (S) and Pinnacle Studio Workflow guide
XAVC S to FCP X – is there an XAVC-S plug-in for FCP X?
Sony XAVC S MP4 workflow guide with Premiere Pro CC
XAVC (S) and Pinnacle Studio – Pinnacle not reading XAVC (S)
XAVC (S) import issue with iMovie/FCE-XAVC(S) to iMovie/FCE