HDV, you either hate it or you hate it.


So, a couple of days ago I was hired by my old media school to fix their HDV workflow. I was pretty stoked about this because it gave me a chance to show off what I learned assistant editing in Chicago and because the solution to their problem wasn’t actually on the Internet yet. Suck it Creative Cow, I have dibs…

I am assuming that I am not the only editor in the world that thinks editing HDV is like being sent to your own personal hell. HDV is like kicking an editor in the junk. Well, a male editor anyways. Probably wouldn’t have worked in the early years when they thought editing and sewing were the same task. I’m sure HDV would hurt Anne Bauchens and Margaret Booth similarly though. If you wanna listen to more diatribes on the subject of why HDV is a very substandard format just google “HDV Shane Ross” or “HDV Larry Jordan”. Now let’s get off the subject of testicles and back onto HDV.

Anyways they were having problems down converting HDV to a Standard DV-NTSC format. They prepared a drive for me. I took it back to my studio and took a crack at it. So, here is a tutorial based on my findings. Later on I will post another entry to show how to make “easy setup” presets and “Sequence Setting” presets for both this workflow and the RED FCP workflow. Following this I hope to have a Media Composer 4.0 review up also.

NTSC Project Setup & Compression Guide for HDV FCP Edits

1. Open Final Cut Pro
2. Go to Easy Setup and set it to the settings in the image below

Easy Export3. Create a new sequence

4. Then go up to the top menu, click on “Sequence” and follow the menu down to “Sequence Settings”

5. Once the Sequence Settings menu appears, set it to the NTSC Format shown below that properly expresses what you want your final offline edit to be.

640 X 480 NTSC


720 X 480 NTSC DV


CCIR 601 NTSC (40:27)


CCIR 601 NTSC (4:3)

436. Once you have your Sequence Settings right, click on the “Video Processing” Tab. Make your video processing settings identical to the image below and then click okay.

Video Processing Tab Settings7. Your project is now setup to start editing for Broadcast NTSC with HDV. Everything you place in the timeline will need to be rendered. If the clip looks strange in the timeline, click on the clip in the timeline to highlight it, then just go up to the “Modify” menu located above and go down to “Conform to Sequence”.

8. Once your picture is locked and your edit is ready for export, just simply:

– Go up to “File” in the top menu

– Go down to export

– Click on “Quicktime Movie”

– Leave everything as is and click okay.


Good HDV Sucks links:







Filed under Final Cut Pro Notes

2 responses to “HDV, you either hate it or you hate it.

  1. Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  2. rjweditor

    Yes. You most definitely can.

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