Final Cut Pro 6 - Video Standards

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Video Standards

A number of video standards have emerged over the years. Standard definition (SD)
video formats have been used for broadcast television from the 1950s to the present.
These include NTSC, PAL, and SECAM, regional video standards, with each used in
certain countries and regions of the world.

 NTSC (National Television Systems Committee): The television and video standard used

in most of the Americas, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.

 PAL (Phase Alternating Line): The television and video standard used in most of

Europe, Brazil, Algeria, and China.

 SECAM: A video standard that is based on PAL and used in countries such as France,

Poland, Haiti, and Vietnam. SECAM is not supported by Final Cut Pro. However,
editing work is usually done in PAL and converted to SECAM for broadcasting.

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Part I

An Introduction to Final Cut Pro


When you are specifying your initial settings, make sure you choose an

Easy Setup that corresponds to your country’s video standard. (An Easy Setup is a
collection of settings that determines how Final Cut Pro works with your editing
system.) For more information, see “

Opening Final Cut Pro and Choosing Your Initial


” on page 163.

Originally, all these formats were analog. Analog video uses a signal that consists of a
constantly varying voltage level, called a waveform, that represents video and audio
information. Analog signals must be digitized, or captured, for use by Final Cut Pro.
VHS and Betacam SP are both analog tape formats.

More recently, digital SD video formats were introduced, as well as digital high
(HD) video formats. Most consumer camcorders today record SD digital
video (such as DV), and professional cameras may record SD or HD digital video.