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Why Does HDV Suck in Final Cut Pro

August 25th, 2008 · 11 Comments

Why? Can anyone give me a reason why capturing HDV always crashes the log and capture and the timecode breaks so easily. The only setting that I can use without any worries is the Apple Intermediate Codec. The problem with that codec is the same as the HDV, it breaks the video into smaller video clips when capturing any long segment but it won’t stop the capture process.

I know HDV is not the professional standard but I am working with the dotmatrix project in which we use HDV to shoot the bands and this is making my life a living hell.

Any suggestions besides the obvious of buying a higher quality camera and smashing the current ones?

Tags: Apple · Final Cut Pro · Help

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 J.Nothing // Aug 29, 2008 at 11:49 am

    You have to un-check the setting that looks for start/stop recording. If you un-check that, it will enable you to capture the clips at full length with no breaks. The intermediate codec blows in comparison to XDCam HD if you look at data rates vs. quality. I know a friend who has decided to convert ALL his HDV stuff to XDCam. Not something I completely stand behind, but he is so happy after working with XDCam, he’s willing to go through the work required to 100+ hrs of HDV for archiving.

  • 2 Andy Coon // Aug 29, 2008 at 1:03 pm


    Is there anyway you can do a screen capture of that setting. I’ve looked and can’t find it. Also my log and capture won’t allow me to Capture as XDCam. Are you talking about the sequence settings for XDCam?

  • 3 Andy Coon // Aug 29, 2008 at 1:26 pm


    I do have the “Create new clip on start/stop” unchecked and it still drops frames and cuts off my capture.


  • 4 J.Nothing // Aug 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Not sure exactly what your problem is. What kind of hard disk is your media on? It sounds like FCP just isn’t happy.

  • 5 Nick Reed // Sep 1, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Same problem but I’m glad I read this as I had ordered Studio 2 thinking everything would be solved in 6 and apple had just ripped me off again. Now going to go back to 10.4.

  • 6 john // Oct 14, 2009 at 7:14 pm


    Did anyone solve this problem? I’m having the same. HDV captured in broken up clips. I’ve unchecked those boxes in the preferences.

  • 7 Young // Oct 16, 2009 at 7:14 am

    This is what I do with capturing HDV:

    1. Use HDVSplit* with your HDV camcorder to turn your tapes into .m2t files.

    2. Use ClipWrap** to rewrap .m2t files into Quicktime Movies.

    3. Import them into Final Cut Pro and start editing.

    *HDVSplit(freeware) is Windows Only, so you will need either an Intel Mac running Bootcamp***(for firewire to work) or a Windows machine.

    **ClipWrap does not re-encode your files, it only re-wrap them, so it’s much faster. You could use MPEG StreamClip for free, but in my opinion ClipWrap saves you so much time for $50.

    ***Firewire can also work in Parallels with a Bootcamp Windows.

    By the way, I am still hoping I can get a reply for my question, Andy.

  • 8 J // Oct 16, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I just bought a JVC HM100u, I know JVC isn’t the greatest, but it’s direct to QT XDCAM EX / HD at 1080p 30 or 720p 60. I got the whole thing loaded full of accessories for $4200 out the door. Unless I were to spend $10k… I just don’t know that there is a better choice. P2 is good… but SDHC is cheaper and much better.

  • 9 Andy Coon // Oct 16, 2009 at 12:04 pm


    I’ve been looking at the JVC HM100, let me know how you like it and if it is a good purchase.

  • 10 john // Oct 16, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks Young, really appreciate it. Will post when I’ve given it a try.

  • 11 J // Oct 17, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Young has a solution, but it is definitely a mark of how complacent the general ‘audience’ is with format / NLE workflow.

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