Unless you have a Blue Ray Player that reads AVCHD video files, you will not get HD quailty video on standard DVD disc to view on a Standard disc player. You will have to convert video to SD quality using sony vegas or cyberlink power director and yes you will use the HD quality. If you want to keep the HD quality you will have to use one of the above programs to tranfer tapes to hard drive. I also think MS Movie Maker down loads HD files. The HD file should have a .mts extention. HD file are big and will take up your hard drive space fast. Unless you have a fast computer, you will not be able to view video on computer without seriouse stuttering.
So I view your HD videos, you will need to get a External USB drive and a WD TV media player ($89 at best buy). The meadia player connects to your TV and can read the HD files on hard drive.
I have a Canon HV30, I keep video on tape for backups. I use the media player to view all my home video in HD quality.
good luck