Ingesting Footage Via AJA Cards

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the June, 2010, issue of
Larry’s Monthly Final Cut Studio Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


Here’s a conversation between Peter Tours, of TNT Video Services, and Tony Lauria, of AJA Technical Support, which I’ve reprinted with their permission.

Peter writes:

I am really confused about DVCPRO HD setups. My crew is shooting 720p24N. What easy setup should I be using if I monitor on an analog component SD Sony monitor? Should the crew change their settings? I spoke to Tony yesterday and he really tried to explain this all to me but within an hour I confused myself again.

The crew uses a Panasonic HPX500. While we acquire in HD, our clients still want SD masters only, either on BetaSP or DigiBeta.

Tony replies:

720P23.98 is an acquisition only format. You can have a sequence in that format but you have to play it out at 720P59.94 as you have noticed. Also you cannot down convert from 24 frame to standard def.

So the bottom line is that you clients will have to view the 720P59.94 footage along with everybody else.

Peter continues:

So it follows that the crew should actually acquire 720P59.94 rather than 24p? Still kinda confused.


Since your delivery format has to be SD content, I’d recommend staying as simple as possible, and that would mean capturing at 720p59.94. Some producers like the 24 frame look, but, ultimately, you’ve gotta output one of the broadcast standard formats. To save some headache and confusion it’s best to stay away from the 24 frame content and stick with a broadcast format.

That being said, we *do* talk to quite a few people who have 23.98 frame rate material, and it’s not generally a problem. In Final Cut, the video playback setting is simply set to the broadcast frame rate 29.97 or 59.94, and playout works just as well.

I think one of the issues here is that various producers/videographers, like the look of the 24 frame captures, but there are many who think it adds an excessive stutter to the video. In your case, the workflow is easy in either frame rate.

Here’s my step by step procedure for importing the footage file you sent, into Final Cut:

I opened Final Cut, and immediately chose Easy Set Up. I picked this:

FYI, I can also achieve success using a 720p59.94 sequence preset. Most importantly is the video playback setting.

When I imported the clip, using File > Import, FCP prompted to change the sequence settings to match the video content. I chose YES. I have not researched what this actually changed. To do so I would have to select NO when prompted, then compare the changed sequence settings to the unchanged. However, I don’t really think that’s too important here, since we’re achieving successful playback anyway.

As a side note. these system settings are recommended:

Larry concludes: Thanks to both Tony Lauria, AJA Technical Support and Peter Tours for sharing their conversation with us.

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