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Old April 16th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #1
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HDV playback in FCP 7- probably a dumb gotcha, but...

Sorry for the possibly huge brain fart, but...

I am cutting a new project shot on HDV. I didn't create the FCP projects- they were logged and loaded out of house. The sequence settings are - HDV1080i60 for the codec, and pixel aspect at HD 1440x1080. If I cut a new clip into a new sequence, FCP automatically chooses these settings, so I know I'm using the correct ones.

The problem is simply that I can't get the video to play at anything other than draft quality. When I park on a frame, it's fine. When I play it, it's soft. Obviously, that would mean my machine can't play back the HDV footage in real-time, but even after I render the clip on the timeline, it's playing back softly.

My RT playback settings on the timeline don't seem to matter. Unlimited or Safe RT, I get the same thing. Interestingly, "Playback Video Quality' won't allow me to choose FULL- I can only choose DYNAMIC because FULL is grayed out.

I usually cut in ProRes so the last time I had to work with HDV was a LONG time ago. Am I missing something really obvious? I realize HDV is a taxing codec. What I don't understand is why I can't play it back, even when it's fully rendered. What obvious thing am I missing?

thanks in advance!
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Old April 16th, 2010, 08:09 PM   #2
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Draft quality where? Desktop, Digital Preview or FireWire out?
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Old April 19th, 2010, 10:26 AM   #3
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No, no, right on the desktop. I'm not trying to send video anywhere at this point- external video is shut off. Just playing in the Canvas, the video is sharp when parked and switches to a draft low-res when playing, even after it's rendered and the timeline render bar is gray. Bizarre.

Playing the quicktimes in Quicktime Player plays fine. I would think it's a sequence setting, but even letting FCP create the settings automatically when I cut a new clip into a new timeline, I get the same thing.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 10:29 AM   #4
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Which model Mac?
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Old April 19th, 2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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It's a quad processor G5, 2.5 GHz per processor. Which, I know, the official apple position is that you can't use this machine, it's too old; but I've cut HDV before as well as more taxing HD video on it- the machine can handle the workload from a numbers point of view. It's fast, it's powerful, I have 4.5 gigs of RAM installed as well... I'm pretty sure it's more of a software settings issue than a model issue, though obviously I could be wrong. I can't transcode the footage because they need to keep it HDV. I thought perhaps there's something new in FCP 7 I haven't come across that would explain this.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 03:49 PM   #6
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no high quality playback on final cut pro 7

after doing different text searches, I discovered the answer:

The Problem is: FCP7 can´t detect the correct RT Settings for the Quad ppc Cpu´s and so FCP runs unter lowest RT Quality.

The Solution is very simple.
go in the Final Cut File in the Application Folder(right click and choose Show Package Content)
Then got into the Folder Content/Resources/Non-Localized Settings/FXScripts/Enablers and open the File "RT Software Enabler.txt with TextEdit.

This File gives Final Cut the information about the differnt CPU Types.
And you can see: there is no ppc Support!

Now change in the Line 34 ( i think it was 34) cpuspeed from 2330 to 2500 (for a quad g5) and change in the same line cpu type from "cputtype_x86" to "cputtype_ppc" and from "&& x8664bit" to "&& ppc64bit" (this is on the end of the line.)

When you made this changes and save it, Final Cut think your g5 quad ppc CPU is cpuclass 22. And this is very good!

Restart Final Cut and change your RT Settings in the Timeline to highest!

BTW: i work with this option since 2 Weeks every Day with FCP7 on a ppc without Problems, everything is Working (without AVCIntra)

note: if you are running a different type of g5 or g4, be sure to adjust the setting accordingly.
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