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Amateur Editor Needs Tech Assist
April 26, 2007 11:12 PM   Subscribe

Questions about importing video from various sources into Final Cut Express HD (note: not Pro!) in order to get live render ability...

Background: Using a Mac Pro running Final Cut Express HD 3.5.1.

As you probably know since you're reading this question, Final Cut Express won't allow fully real-time editing using any footage that does not exactly match the frame rates, sound types, etc. as your base sequence. This means I can not really assemble projects from downloaded files, ripped DVDs, etc. iMovie can convert most of them, but as an editing system, it's pretty weak.

Therefore, what I'd like to know is this: What software and/or hardware would be required in order to convert a variety of video files to the DV-type file needed for proper use in Final Cut Express?

Picture quality is not the primary concern, as this is a purely amateur endeavor and would mostly be used for streaming video anyway.

Two sub-questions:

-Currently, our camcorder has only a USB output, so what DV deck would you recommend for use with a Mac Pro that has a FireWire 800 port?

-Have any of you had success at ripping DVD video using Handbrake into Final Cut, and if so, what settings should I use/look out for?

(This question was posted on behalf of Mr. Asparagirl. :-) )
posted by Asparagirl to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
What software and/or hardware would be required in order to convert a variety of video files to the DV-type file needed for proper use in Final Cut Express?

You could use Visual Hub, or look into QuickTime Pro.

Currently, our camcorder has only a USB output, so what DV deck would you recommend for use with a Mac Pro that has a FireWire 800 port?

You might look at the JVC SR-VS30U for the most flexibility. This reads VHS and DV tape and can feed digital signal via FW400 to your computer.

You can use a FW400-to-FW800 cable, if you're worried about the Mac Pro's FW800 connection at the back. In any case, FW800 won't speed anything up, since you're transferring at a 1:1 playback rate.

Can't answer your Handbrake question, although you could look into Visual Hub, which creates Final Cut-ready DV output. It's not free, but at $23 it's relatively cheap and powerful for what you get. Give the demo a spin and see if it works for you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:33 PM on April 26, 2007


DVD (non-hollywood, Non CSS items) can be ripped for free using MPEG Streamclip (from Squared5.com). You have to actually tweak the settings a little, DV codec, 48k 16 bit stereo audio, but it will generate DV compliant files. It's open source.

For loads of conversions, you ought to look at one of the compression apps for the automation (like sorenson squeeze, episode pro hd, etc.)

Any camera/deck that supports DV will be fine. For example, for less than $1k you can find the DSR-11 (from Sony).

There are no decks with FW 800 - just 400.

Remember, you can buy a cheap camera and get the lifetime warranty from a big box retailer and beat it to death using it as a deck.
posted by filmgeek at 6:50 AM on April 27, 2007


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