I'm struggling to merge mpeg files from my Sony DVD 100 handycam... the AC3 2 channel audio is rarely supported. Now Premier Pro seems to handle them ok. Sony's bundled software would be fine but doesn't support the Sony 530A burner. I don't want to convert to AVI (thinking I'm degrading the source).

As far as I can tell the Sony files are (according to Ulead MediaStudio):
Video: 704x480 MPEG NTSC DVD, Field B,Variable bit rate (Max. 9300 kbps) 28% compression
Audio: AC3 48000hz (I read somewhere it is 2 channel)

Once imported Premier Pro reports the audio as 16-bit stereo, why? (does it matter?)

How can I merge a bunch of these files while exporting to one that preserves the same video and audio format? I don't want to change video quality or change audio type...

Do the NEW PROJECT settings affect the files being imported?
When Exporting (using the media

Please help, they are important family videos of someone who has passed away :(