How to Convert MOD Camcorder Video Format to MPEG

By | May 3, 2022

Recording videos these days is very easy. There is no need to carry a camcorder when you have a smartphone video camera. Clips can be easily edited and shared online. It’s rare to find a file format you can’t view or convert.

Whether you’re still using your old camcorder, or you’ve been tasked with copying and converting footage, there’s a good chance you’ll come across MOD files. These media files are hard to read which means they have to be converted but how do you convert MOD to MPG video format?

What Are MOD Files

You may not have heard of MOD video files, but if you have one, you may have had no luck using it.

It’s not a bad file format. It’s just that MOD files are rarely found. In fact, the MOD file extension often appears in other places such as video game modifications. However, it is not the MOD file we are talking about here.

So: How do MOD files play? Why is this format used?

MOD and TOD files (high definition equivalent) can be found on tapeless camcorders. It is a type of device that uses memory cards instead of tape. MOD files are deprecated and are only found on old camcorder hardware. If you have a reliable handheld video camera that you still use, you probably come across the MOD file extension on a regular basis.

Therefore, this file extension becomes frustrating. MOD files are not easy to read. Converting to MP4 format is bad enough it’s hard to convert a MOD file to write it to DVD or Blu-ray. Most of the tools that burn do not recognize MOD files.

Another problem with MOD files is that you will assume from the name and lack of support that it is a proprietary format. However, this is not the case. JVC and other well-known brands are simply renaming the standard video file formats.

MOD files are actually standard MPEG2 audio/video files. As such, they should be simple to convert and watch.

What Devices Are Recorded In The MOD File Format

Many camcorders record video in the MOD file format. They were manufactured by JVC, Panasonic, and Canon, and were sold between 2004 and 2011. They range from using built-in media storage for removable SD cards, as well as compact hard disk drives (HDDs).

If the storage cannot be removed, the Mini USB port can be used to transfer data to your computer.

But how can you view MOD and TOD files on PC? Is there a MOD file converter?

How Do You Convert MOD Files

If you have a MOD video file that you need to convert, you have three options:

  • For older files, just rename the file extension
  • View in VLC media player
  • Convert using FFmpeg

Let’s examine these three options.

Convert MOD Files to MPG By Renaming Extensions

To clarify the first option, older camcorders that save videos as MOD files simply rename the existing format. The solution is to simply rename the file. So, a file named movie.MOD, can be renamed to movie.MPG.

You should be able to see the MOD file extension on your video clip. Otherwise, you will have to force Windows to display it.

Start by opening Windows Explorer and browsing to the location where the MOD file is saved. open File > Change folder and search options and select View.

Here, uncheck Hide extensions for known file types. Click OK for confirmation.

Next, right click the MOD file and change the file extension from .mod to .mpg. Tap Enter, then click OK when prompted to continue. That’s all there is to it.

As alluded to above, this will probably not work on newer devices using MOD files. In this caseā€¦

View MOD Files in VLC Media Player

VLC media player is a media player software. It will play almost all media files, even some that other players have declared corrupted. VLC can even play partially downloaded files.

MOD and TOD files can be played in the VLC media player. Just download the tool, install it, then double-click the file in question to watch it play. Or, in VLC select Media > Open File and browse the file and click OK to view MOD files.

Use FFmpeg to Convert MOD Files to MPG

Don’t want to use the VLC media player? This is one must-have app for Windows 10, but if you prefer the alternative, the MOD and TOD files can be converted to MPG using FFmpeg. It is a command line tool that can be instructed to convert MOD files.

Once installed, FFmpeg is accessed in Windows PowerShell. You have to know and enter the file path of the MOD file on your computer. If not, open Windows Explorer then File > Open Windows PowerShell from the MOD file location.

In PowerShell, use the FFmpeg command to call the program, then use the convert command:

ffmpeg -f mpeg -i originalClip.MOD -vcodec copy -acodec mp2 -ab 192k copyClip.mpg

Note that changing the file type will not improve the quality of the video file.

For high definition TOD files, convert using

ffmpeg -i myClip.TOD -vcodec copy -acodec copy myClip.mpg

With MOD files converted they can be played on any player. If you run into problems, use VLC.

Play MOD Files on your PC

Now you know what a MOD file is, and you know how to play it. VLC media player is the answer to so many playback problems it should become everyone’s standard media player.

It is very important to keep archived material private, whether video, audio or other data. CDs are as susceptible to damage as magnetic tape and vinyl, just in a different way.