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Old December 31st, 2005, 03:50 PM   #1
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Do I really need a Capture Card (among other things)?

I just got a Powermac G5 with FCP and will be editing short films on DV. My questions is, do I need a capture card? If I just capture using firewire and then burn the finished film on a DVD why would I need a capture card and breakout box (of course if I don't have one how do I set up a reference monitor?)

My other question is, I have two internal harddrives set up (one as my main and one as a scratchdisk and video storage) will this be sufficient or is it better to have some kind of raid set up?
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Old December 31st, 2005, 04:50 PM   #2
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You don't need a capture card to work with DV, just the firewire 400 port. You can hook up a monitor through your camcorder or deck, which will be connected to the Mac via firewire.

Your setup with 2 internal drives will be fine... until you run out of space :-) Only put video on the second drive, and select it as your scratch disk in the FCP preferences. The operating system and applications constantly write to the boot drive, and it will have tens of thousands of little files on it. Your second drive will only have a small number of big video files, and that helps prevent fragmentation.

You'll probably want some external firewire drives as well for backup and additional storage. I find that firewire 400 drives work fine for DV, as long as they are 7200 RPM with Oxford 911 or equivalent fast chipsets.

When formatting any of your video drives (internal or external) be sure that journaling is turned OFF. Otherwise you may experience glitches when using the "print to video" command.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 05:12 PM   #3
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Thanks Boyd! That answers my questions. So am I right in saying that capture cards are only useful if you're working with an analog source?
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Old December 31st, 2005, 05:26 PM   #4
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That's correct.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 05:30 PM   #5
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Yes, or if you want to use uncompressed video or capture from an HD camera directly to avoid going to tape with HDV compression. Most better quality camcorders can also capture analog video from their composite or s-video ports and send it out over firewire to your computer. Or if you want to do this without using your camera or adding a card there are external boxes like this which connect via firewire. This is another way you could connect an NTSC monitor via composite, s-video or component cables:

http://www.adstech.com/products/API-...sp?pid=API-555
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